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Greetings from newbie fulltimers, and a question


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Greetings all! We're a family of four ... Michael, Bethany (that's me), Douglas (13) and Fynn (8) + two cats, who went straight from renting a house in PA to full-time travel in December. We started out in our diesel pickup and 30' TT, and so far have been camped in the driveway of family in Knoxville, while we make TN our domicile and figure out how to actually make a living while we travel :). Cart before the horse I know, but it's the way we roll I guess ... will be over the the RV on a Budget forum next, for sure!


We brought a pile o' tools along, a list a mile long of friends and family that we want to visit, and a short but growing list of folks who want work done. We're artists, handy in a pile of ways (and I'm a web designer on the side), and so far having been making ends more or less meet with design work and some busking in the market square with portrait drawing. We hope to design/build/fix/paint stuff wherever we can, for whatever (if anything) folks have to pay, and trust that it all works out in the end. We have a website at www.heartloose.com if you want more details on the dreams and the reality, as they make a messy mix whether you're on the road or not!


One question (for now) ... TN doesn't require trailer registration ... and as we bought it (in NY) right before we came down, the registration hasn't been transferred here yet, nor does it have to be so long as we're here. So once we leave TN, the fact that there are no plates on the trailer ... is this going to get us pulled over or hassled? I'm assuming that as most states do require registration, we'll have issues sooner or later. And at some point we'll be hoping to wander into Canada, and possibly also Mexico. Just asking on the very slim chance that I don't have to go pay the taxes and registration fees on it before we pull out of here in 2 weeks :).


Thanks in advance, and glad to find a place with lots of questions and lots of answers!




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First let welcome you to the Escapee forums! It is great having you join us and we look forward to a long friendship. We have a good number of members who do early their living as they travel and a small but growing number of families. We are happy that you have chosen us.


I suggest that you verify the fact that you do not need to register and license your RV as I am looking at page 354 of the Tennessee Title and Registration Reference Guide which indicates that you do indeed need register and license your RV.


3.Campers, Tag-long(bumper pull), Fifth Wheel -- Required -- Trailer E
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After reading Page 354 of the document to which Kirk gave the link, I'd agree with him...it sounds to me like a travel trailer DOES need to be registered in Tennessee. It appears that the trailers being talked about that don't require registration are those without living quarters.

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Thanks all ... really appreciate the feedback and ideas. I'll read that page when I can get the .pdf to download :) and will take it from there. I based my info on calling the local Knox county office twice, and both times was told that if I insisted on registering it they would do so for me, but it wasn't required. One of those calls was last December, and one in Feb of this year. I don't have anything in writing from them however, so if they're wrong that won't hold up. I guess I'll go in person, iwith a copy of the law, and see what I can find out that way, and get it writing somehow!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure if we ever had to show vehicle registration going into Canada, but you sure do going into most of Mexico.


Word of caution, a pile o' tools will weigh a lot. Know you might need them for business, but do get rid of duplicates. Might want to leave "stuff" with your relatives that you don't need for RVing, but may want later.

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thanks much for all the help, got it registered today, and we head back out sometime tomorrow. Thanks Bill for the caution ... working on paring down as much as possible. Most of the tools are in the back of the pickup, but it's still overall weight to haul! We've got a small storage space back in PA, and are ditching a fair bit here in TN with family as well, glad to have the downtime here to see what we really don't need.

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