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rv'er mail and residency

Big RV Questions: Residency, Mail & Health Insurance

We’ve been avoiding some of the biggest RV questions for a while now.  Why? Because choosing residency, handling mail and getting health insurance as a full time traveler are all fully loaded subjects.

Honestly, it’s got to be up there with puberty, the birds and the bees and why drugs are bad conversations.  Yet, where to call “home”, getting mail and health insurance that will work around the country are topics that are extremely important for every full time traveler to figure out.

rv'er mail and residency

We’ve been avoiding these questions because in the past we didn’t necessarily have the personal experience to back it up and everyone’s wants/needs/situation is unique so a general info article wouldn’t provide much help.  Before we even hit the road we were pretty well setup: We were already Texas residents (one of the most popular states for nomads) so we never had to deal with RV residency.  Then there’s Jason’s mom (she’s the coolest) who has been graciously handling our mail for us.  We choose not to have health insurance (we pay out of pocket and sometimes head to Mexico).

So why make this post now when we’re over 4 years in?  Well, we’re about to be forced into making some changes:  with the new healthcare act, we’re going to either pay a fine or pay for insurance (so insurance it is).  Also mom isn’t going to want to handle our mail forever, or want us to run our business from her address.

It was high time we stop dodging the inevitable, do the research and share what we learn with you.

We had a few beers, put our big boy pants on and simplified everything as much as we could into bite size pieces.  You can blame any incomplete information as well as grammatical and spelling errors on the beer.

We’re not going to get into all the details (trust me there’s a lot) because it could be overwhelming and to be honest we don’t know all the answers.  Plus, everyone’s situation and needs are different.  This info is to help get you started with your research, orient you in the proper direction, and to provide our personal research and recommendations.  So, here we go…

Picking a Domicile (AKA Residence)

Pretty much everything is affected by the state you ‘reside’ in.  Texas, South Dakota and Florida are the 3 most common states full timers use for residency…for a long list of reasons that mostly boil down to saving you a ton of money and hassle.  Your domicile or residence affects a lot of important things.  So let’s look at the 5 biggest things to consider when choosing your state of residency.

 

1. Health Insurance

This is a loaded subject that’s had a lot of changes recently and is affected greatly by the state you live in.  This is why we are going to highly recommend you talk to Kyle of RV’er Health Insurance .  I knew we were going to like him when he said,

“I am not your typical insurance agent. I don’t believe you need to insure every single aspect of your life. Over-insuring is a result of a society over-exposed to fear-based marketing and consumerism.” 

We couldn’t have said it better and it’s exactly the way we feel! He’s an RV’er so he understands our challenges, needs and knows how to maximize benefits and minimize costs.  You can find him here: RV’er Health Insurance

You can read all about our insurance experience here: Finally Insured! Our Simple, Affordable RV Healthcare

 

2. Income Taxes

Some states have income taxes (some are really high like California) and some states don’t have any (like Texas).  Choosing a state with a very low or no income taxes can save you a lot of money.

 

3. Driver’s License

You will need a driver’s license from the state you reside in. So things like online renewal options (not all states have this) and frequency of renewal will be important to consider.  Another thing to consider is the class of license, if you choose TX and your RV is over 26,000 pounds you’ll need to plan on getting a class B non-commercial license (which can take up to 3 months to get)  Oh, and don’t forget to register to vote while you’re at it.  Most states will let you do this at the same time you get your driver’s license.

 

4. Vehicle Registration and Insurance

Vehicle Registration and insurance has to be in your state of residency.  And oh my how the frequency of renewal, rules, and regulations vary from one state to the next!  We have the best insurance agent at State Farm that totally understands our nomadic needs and has saved us a lot of money.  But unless you are a Texas resident, it won’t do you any good to call him. (If you are a Texas resident and want his info, let us know).

***update: We’ve received lots of requests for our insurance agent in TX, please only call him if you are interested in obtaining insurance, please be respectful of his time. We are not getting any kickbacks or discounts for this info, we just think he’s been great to us for all our insurance needs from RV, Smart Car, Business, Renters and so on. www.willtweed.com 972-242-0393 he’s also on Facebook if you want to check in socially 🙂

 

5. Mail 

Even once you have a state of residence and a mailing address…there is still the issue of getting that mail to wherever you are.  There are mail specific services out there such as Mailbox Forwarding (around $15 a month).  They receive your mail, scan it, email it and then you decide if you want it shredded or forwarded to you at your current location.

If you want mail forwarded, you’ll need to pick a location.  Some campgrounds, Harvest Hosts locations, Friends, Visitors Centers, and of course Post Offices will accept packages for you.  You will always want to call ahead and ask nicely if that is something they offer and if so what the mailing address is and to whose attention the package should be sent.  I know it sounds complicated but it really isn’t a big deal once you get the hang of it.  (You’ll also want to sign-up for Amazon Prime, it’s the best way to get packages quickly when you’re constantly on the move.)

 

This isn’t everything that is affected by the state you domicile in, but its most of the biggies.  Whew, it’s a lotta information to think about right?!?  Now you see why we needed that beer!

 

You could research all of your residency options and all of the details that come along with the switch until you’re blue in the face… (I have already spent more hours than I care to recount) or you could save yourself a lot of time and headache by joining a group like Escapees (this is probably what we’ll do).

Escapees is a membership program that helps with residency in both Texas and Florida (and soon in South Dakota).  They have years of experience with a wide range of much needed services like mail to helpful newbie stuff like RV’ers boot camp. Right now memberships are only $30 a year.  It’s a great group and a one stop shop with lots of people to help and answer questions (they even have referrals for lawyers, but let’s hope you don’t ever need one of those!).

If you know of any other great services like Escapees (I did find a couple of others but escapees seem to be the best), please let us know in the comments below, because it’s always good to have more options.

Well, I think that about sums it up.  I hope we have given you some resources and given you a little insight on things to consider when choosing a residence.  And don’t let all of this overwhelm you, because in the grand scheme of everything, these are just details and life is too short to not live the life you want!

Feel free to ask questions below, we may not have the answers but with all of us together I bet we can find one!

If you’re considering this lifestyle and you have never visited our RV’in page you may want to check it out, it’s full of useful stuff (at least we think it’s helpful).

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (120)

  • Delinda

    Does anyone know once a service is established with Escapees or something similar where you have established a resident address, can you be called for jury duty? If so, likely you are hundreds or possibly a thousand miles away, what is the summons process.

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    • Curious Minion

      You can be called for jury duty. If you are you may request a postponement because you’re traveling out of state (or county), but the court has the right not to excuse you.

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  • One way to get a SD residency is to use http://www.yourbestaddress.com. The benefits of SD residency are, lower car insurance, cheaper fees when registering a vehicle and no State income tax. YourBest Address gives people wanting to setup SD residency the best and easiest method for doing so. Speak to a live person when you call.

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  • This is about the composting toilet cleaning video. Three things:1 If you placed one or two disposable bags into the clean container, you do not then need to turn it upside down to empty, just lift the composted material and replace with a clean bag! 2. Please don’t water the roadside with waste water—–I could be pulling in after you walking my dog etc, urine not healthy after a few minutes exposed to air and 3. Most exciting I am a nurse who worked with bedside commodes and think I have figured out a much less expensive option to the 966.00 compost toilet with minor changes to the commode. Hope this has been helpful you two have really started the rv ball for me. Thank You Susan Young

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    • Hal James

      Care to share your commode solution, Susan? I’m about to hit the road full-time and could stand to save $966 🙂

      Thanks.

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  • Jennifer

    Hello Gone with the Wynns! Thanks so much for all your info. This full time lifestyle is about to get going for my family and I. I live in Florida currently but want to get back to Texas. I’m trying to decide if it’s just easier to claim Florida as domicile or change to Texas. I understand that it may cost more to change to Texas with registrations and inspections. I am still homeschooling one of my children as well…any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much in advance and keeping rocking on!

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    • Curious Minion

      Healthcare is another big variable. Texas no longer offers nationwide plans if you’re covered under the ACA.

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  • Jake

    I know it has been six months or so Mrs Joann Wilkinson, but I thought I would reply anyways.

    I have been a ‘resident’ of Nevada for several years. I moved to nevada as a kid when I was 17 and then left at 19with my new wife, divorced in nevada at 21 and have still claimed residence there every since.

    It’s simple

    MailLinkPlus.com is your best bet. They will scan it for you, email it to your, send you emails when you get mail etc. Don’t tell eric that jake sent your (hes the owner) or do… lol either way. His place is on rainbow in zip 89107. I use it for my license (just went to dmv and did an address change while in vegas), voter mailing address (they want physical address also, so I used the signature on harmon, as I stay there when I’m home [in vegas]) and use this one (848 n rainbow) for mailing, for business address (he does FREE BUSINESS REGISTERED AGENT!!!!), car registration (they give you tags and reg. on the spot, never ask for a ‘physical address’) and I do the same as for voting for Nevada State Bank, use the signature as physical and this one as mailing. I’ve not an issue in 4 +years. I even use this address with the IRS to pay taxes and select Nevada as my only state [turbotax] (as only address they have)…. never had an issue except the few that want a physical address get suite 00000 at the signature. lol

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  • You’ve gotten terrific thing on this site

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  • A Zelesny

    It would be great if you did an updated article on how having the sailboat instead of the RV has changed your situation for any of these points. And where it hasn’t too

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  • Catherine

    Hi, I’ve gotten a lot of great advice! My situation is a little different though….I want to purchase a 5th wheel, and set up residency in a Mobile home/rv park. I need to set up residency, and where I live, there are only short term camping as it’s a tourist area. My big problem is finding insurance JUST for the RV. I cannot bundle, my car is too small, and will have to hire a tow. I’ve been searching everywhere for information, or a blog about someone who has gone through the same thing. I live in the South, any tips would be great!

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  • It’s been a couple years since you guys wrote about how you handle physical mail. Do you still use the same service to scan and forward it? I see that there are a couple new players in this space now, so just wanted to get your take.

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  • Lynn Evans

    You sound just like us. We are also Nevada residents and have made decision to go full time this year, as soon as the house sells. We have been part-time RV’ers for two years and have used South Dakota for our mail forward and RV registration. We have been using Your Best Address, in Sioux Falls and they have been very good, safe and very affordable. We will probably domicile in South Dakota when we hit the road full time. Much easier and inexpensive than Nevada. When you call SD you actually get a live person who answers the phone and will answer your questions. As fellow RV ‘ers and Nevada residents we are always interested in how others are addressing the many questions that we have regarding going full time.

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  • JoAnn Wilkinson

    We are new to RVing. We made the decision in October 2015, and have been following you as part of our ongoing research! Thank you for all your knowledge. We will be full timers June 2016. We are residents of NV 15 years. Registration fees are scaled in the age and value of the vehicle. Our 2016 34 ft gas will be about 1700 to register, but we like NV as our home base. Really looking for the best mail service with a NV address. We welcome all input. Felt our UPS store was too high and offers limited services. We want to be careful not to be scammed. Has anyone heard of maillinkplus.com or personaladdress.com? Thank you!

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  • JoAnn Wilkinson

    We are new to RVing. We made the decision in October 2015, and have been following you as part of our ongoing research! Thank you for all your knowledge. We will be full timers June 2016. We are residents of NV 15 years. Registration fees are scaled in the age and value of the vehicle. Our 2016 34 ft gas will be a boy 1700 to register, but we like NV as our home base. Really looking for the best mail service with a NV address. We welcome all input. Felt our UPS store was too high and offers limited services. We want to be careful not to be scammed. Has anyone heard of maillinkplus.com or personaladdress.com? Thank you!

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  • Steve Gibbs

    I am retired, last October I sold my house in AZ and was driving to AK to establish a domicile or residence living in the back of my truck. I ordered a RV which will be available in May. I totaled my truck in OK visiting my mom. I still have an AZ drivers license, but no home. So in a sense I am homeless. (Been staying with friends) My stuff is scatter in three states stored at friends and family. I am living out of a backpack and small suitcase. I am not destitute, just saving for the RV, I am a Chaplin/minister planing on donating my time and services as I travel.
    I need a passport, but I have no address.
    What would be the down side to making Alaska my home until I get a RV to Full Time?
    It seems like Alaska has all the advantages of TX, FL and SD………….
    * No sales tax (huge savings on 100K RV)
    * No State income tax
    * Mailbox Forwarding
    *Low title and registration fees
    ……but I never see it as a ‘Full Timer’ best option. What am I missing?

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  • Priscilla

    Hi again! I already have residency in Florida, and won’t be going FT RVing until June this year. My question is….is health insurance cheaper in ones state of residency?
    Thanks for all your useful info….I’m looking forward to my next adventure!

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  • Theresa

    Florida again, I think I left the wrong email address.

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  • Theresa

    We live in Florida, own two homes, that we will most likely rent, before we “hit the road”. So we will still have “ownership of physical property in Florida, as well as a buisness. If we use escapees mail service, keep our Florida Health/vehicle insurance, we should be all set, right.
    Am I forgetting to dot any “I’s” or cross any “T’s”???

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  • What do folks do for “renters” insurance to cover the contents of a vehicle (tow vehicle) and such?

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  • Progressive has now become “full-timer” friendly, and covers us living full time in the rig. But it was hard to find a company with a good record that could manage that.

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  • John

    Hi,
    We have a 2014 Georgetown and the manufacture’s warranty is ending. What do you think about extended service warranty on a newer class a?
    Thanks

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  • Janice Zieke

    What are your thoughts on using Alaska as a state of residency, as they pay a dividend yearly for residents? I know you have to be a resident for a year before receiving the dividend (I think March to March), and have to reside in Alaska for a (unknown–I think 3 months) certain amount of time, but you’d be earning a dividend! Last year every resident earned 1,500.00!

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    • I don’t know! A dividend would be nice, but not sure how many months you’d need to live there each year to get it. I will tell you that you’ll spend more than $1,500 getting up there and back each year.

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    • Kathy Shankel

      Hi There. I am a long time Alaska resident. You need to physically live in Alaska and demonstrate intention to remain living in the state, and are allowed to be out of the state for just so many days out of the year to receive the dividend (ninety days, I think if my memory serves me correctly). People are prosecuted for making false claims of residency to claim a dividend, so it’s not really a good idea. Also, the state is undergoing severe budgetary shortfalls right now due to the low price of oil and lower oil production; the dividend program is expected to be revised if not, ultimately, eliminated.

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    • Suzanne Wilson

      Last year the Permanent Fund Dividend was $1884 (2015) & you have to be a resident of AK for 1 full calendar year before you can even apply. Make sure you establish residency (driver’s license, utilities) & there are rules about how many months you have to physically in the AK. Check the Permanent Fund website for more details.

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  • Tiffany

    What if you are in a different state than your domicile and need to file a RV insurance claim? Will the local States Farm handle that?

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  • Edward Elbers

    Just to add a bit of potentially useful info, I am domicile do in NH which has no income tax or sales tax on the RV, Yay, but watch out for the registration fee, it was giant! Also, my car and my Rv registrations expire at different times which is annoying. I can renew my registration remotely but not my inspection. Luckily, I was told that as long as I do the inspection when I first get back to NH I won’t be hassled by other states for an expired inspection sticker.

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    • Hey Edward, what mail service do you use?

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  • Todd M.Ciccarelli

    So I am just a little confused about the residency thing in TX ( or other places) . So if you live in another state and want to make TX your new place of residency….all you have to do is drive to the closest TX city to you and open a POBox? Afterwards you change your driver licence, vehicle registration and ins , ect.ect while the whole time using your new POBox TX address. And that counts as a full time TX resident? I guess I just dont understand what “they” consider a resident. Are you saying that you dont need an actual physical address like a condo/house/apartment to be considered a resident? Sorry if I am making this question harder than it is…..I just want to understand how you become a resident without actually ever living there. Thanks for ALL your help and postings. It is wonderful to watch you folks cruising through the world living life to the fullest.

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  • Hi guys – Enjoy so much what you are doing!! My question is this: We live in Missouri and will be purchasing an RV (Class A DP) next Spring in Arkansas. We’ll hopefully sell our house in May or June. At what point along this timeline do we need to have new state residency established? (We’re thinking Texas or S.Dakota.) Thanks a bunch! DC

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  • Wendell

    Hey Guys,
    What address do you use when ordering something through Amazon? I’ve been using the UPS Customer Center addresses close to where we will be, but this last time the Amazon order got shipped through USPS and it was a hassle tracking it down. Any recommendations?
    Thanks,
    Wendell

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  • Stephen Pena

    We lived in Texas when we decided to go fulltime. We had State Farm insurance and were told that since we no longer had a physical residence in TX they would not insure us. They would not insure the 5th wheel as a residence, only as part time. When you drop home owners or renters insurance you also lose personal property and liability insurance on the RV. The truck could not be insured in Texas there was not a physical address assigned. I am not sure how your SF agent is allowing you to keep your insurance there.

    Another thing to consider is jury duty requirements. On the Montana Owners Club Forum the issue was discussed and members passed along that TX was a state that may require you to return to the state for jury duty. This can be very inconvenient especially if you do not plan to return to the state periodically. We moved our domicile to South Dakota for the taxes, insurance, and general attitude toward fulltime RV’rs. I received a summons last year for jury duty and there are instructions to request exemption if you are a fulltime RV’r on the jury duty website.

    Texas recently added a requirement to have your trailer inspected prior to allowing you to renew your tags. Again, if you do not plan to return to the state for such things this may present a problem.

    We use South Dakota and are happy with it. I am not too happy that they have raised the tags fees just about every year since we changed over in 2012. Every state gets their ounce of flesh somehow.

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      • Sue Valentine

        To answer some of Stephan Pena’s concerns about Texas residency: I’ve been a full-timing Texan for 10 years. My Escapees mail service address is considered by the state as a physical address for residency/vehicle insurance purposes. Regarding the new vehicle inspection requirements: all they did was consolidate 2 stickers (registration & inspection) into just one sticker. Once your vehicle is registered & tagged, you can still renew online with no inspection if the vehicle is out of state – you just have to get it inspected within 3 days of bringing it back in the state & show the inspection paperwork if asked by police. (I just renewed my vehicles out-of-state via internet recently – no problems). Regarding jury duty: I don’t know how the other counties are, but in Polk county (where those of us who use the Escapees addresses are domiciled), they are very understanding of the FT lifestyle & will waive the summons if you call & explain you are out of state. They only ask (very nicely) that you volunteer for jury duty when you return. Hope that helps clarify…

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      • Billy B

        It is easy to get out of jury duty, just tell them you want to see the person go to jail and they won’t want you in a jury/

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  • Manuel

    We are soon to be fulltime rvers. We now live in California I have checked with the UPS stores here and they all said they would forward our mail at anytime as long as we gave them a CC and an address to send to. Medical I am still working on. The PO box will be our address here. I am open for suggestions if this is the wrong way.

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    • Michelle Sims

      I have the same question. What did you find out?

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  • Jake McDonald

    If you go through Escapees for a residency address and then want a service such as Mailbox Forwarding, how does that work? Wouldn’t that create a situation where you have 2 addresses? Or Escapees can give you your residency address and your mailing address can be Mailbox Forwarding? Thanks in advance.

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  • Mark young

    This is a little off subject. If you still have a house I have heard it is impossible to take care of property tsxes while on the road. We have friends who go on long cruises and they have to leave a check with a neighbor to take care of this for them.

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    • Depends on your state, some states allow online payments. I wouldn’t let something so small hold you back.

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    • Susan

      I am a resident of Texas and know that many areas within the state do allow you to pay your property taxes online. It depends on the county, so you may want to check the County Tax Assessor’s office that resides over the area where you own or intend to purchase property. Many of the urban counties already allow online payments and I expect more of the rural counties will offer this service over time. Mailing in the payment is another option that I imagine most County Tax Assessors in Texas would accept if paying online is not an option.

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      • Thanks for sharing Susan.
        Mark – don’t forget to check out the Escapees program, they are all about helping part time TX residents.

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  • Hi Guys;

    I was wondering if you had any problems with your insurance company regarding having your rig branded or a web site url on it.

    I was reading a posting the other day where the posters insurance company was trying to get out of paying a claim stating the rig had their url on the back and they therefore considered it a commercial vehicle and their policy did not cover it.

    Just curious.

    Thanks

    Tom

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    • I would ask your insurance company before putting any sort of branding on your RV. If you are making money off a blog then it could be seen as a commercial business, and its possible insurance companies won’t cover you. We have a business policy along with our personal policy so our agent and insurance company knows our logos are on the rig.

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  • Larry Veneer

    Hi Wynns-

    In your experience, what happens with JURY DUTY?

    Usually, jury duty follows legal address, drivers license or tax home. What happens when you are in the middle of a great trip and get a summons for a jury appearance?

    Thanks

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    • Heidi olson

      Check with your state. I have postponed twice one year. Other years I have simply shown up when it worked for me. Some states are flexible like that. You can call and ask like I did.

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  • Mary

    Your mailbox is full. When can I deliver? : – )

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    • Haha, Thanks mom 🙂 I need to start paying a service cause we’ve been taking advantage of your generosity too long.

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  • HEALTH INSURANCE – It is important to know that presently there is no way for the government to collect the “penalty” from you unless you expect a refund. We also choose not to have health insurance, but we do our taxes in a way that insures we do not get a refund, we refuse to pay the penalty and the government cannot collect it either – there is nothing written in the law that allows them unless there is a refund at some point in the future.

    So, choose how you want to deal with this, Our CPA is on board with us. There is no legal recourse for collection in the law. We choose to not participate, could not afford to if we wanted to.

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  • Patricia

    My parents have been Escapees since the mid 80’s and use the Livingston mail forwardingforwarding. They have never had any complaints. My mom and dad helped build the Park of the Sierras Escapee park in California. It’s a beautiful park near Yosemite.

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  • Bruce

    Excellent post. I think your “general” posts help more than the Wynns realize – you guys throw good information at us and make us think about how we can adapt it to our situation. Thanks so much!

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  • Scott Bledsoe

    Here is another option for mail service and ability to be a Florida resident. http://www.amhomebase.com

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  • Georgia

    Hi Jason, wanted to let you know that my husband and I just completed all of the steps to become Texas residence . Before leaving our home state of Minnesota, we got our mailing address through Escapees in Livingston TX, then reached out to Kyle to get through the healthcare coverage,(great guy and very helpful). We then came to Livingston to complete the rest. We took both vehicles in for the inspections which consisted of lights, wipers, horn,turn signals at a cost of $15.50 per vehicle the off to registration for both vehicles. I went in for my license and my husband picked up the reading materials for his written test. He studied for a few days, took the written and passed and then started searching for a place to take the driving test which we ended up doing in Conroe yesterday. Livingston did not have an instructor as he just quit and Huntsville’s 1st available time was Oct. 7th. Conroe was only a 4 day wait. We then changed our vehicle insurance today. We too were told that it could take 4-5 weeks to complete but we did get it all done in about 10 days so we were pleasantly surprised.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing! What did TX say about yearly inspection? Sometimes we don’t get back into TX before our emissions testing expires, we were told to remove the sticker then have it re-inspected the minute we entered TX. Just wondering if they told you anything specific on this issue. Safe travels and enjoy your new “home”.

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      • brenda

        Just found this website today. Texas is changing registration and inspection process march 1, 2015. Go to this website: Two step one sticker.com

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  • Great info…..we thoroughly enjoy your website and subscribe to your updates. We sold our yacht and bought a new Fleetwood Discovery and have become full timers as of July 2014. We are presently in Santa Fe for a month and thanks to you we will be visiting Taos. Thanks for all you do…..safe travels.

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    • Thanks for saying hi Jay! Were you always looking at a Discovery? How you liking it?
      Have fun in Taos, let us know if you visit some of our fav. spots.

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  • Eric Rondeau

    Great info guys. Thanks for all youdo 🙂

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  • Glenda Kelsey

    We’ve been full time RVing since May 2012. My hubby and I are both retired military, so fortunately we’re covered by Tricare health insurance. And, since we were Texas residents it was easy to switch to Escapees out of Livingtson, TX. Our address with them keeps us TX residents and there is no minimum requirement to be “home” at all. (It is kinda weird getting political propaganda from Polk County!) Our RV insurance is provided through Progressive as USAA members. USAA has been wonderful for on-line banking – if you are eligible to use them, we highly recommend it. Even if you aren’t military or DOD, you may be eligible through a parent. Our only unresolved issue is life insurance – we inadvertently let our term insurance lapse and since we have a few significant issues (diabetes, hypertension, skin cancer) we can’t find anything affordable now. So for now, we do without and are glad we are debt free. Still, we would love to hear about other’s life insurance experiences and choices.

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    • Thanks for sharing Glenda,
      We originally had Progressive insurance but they would not let us live “full-time” in the RV. That is when we found State Farm, they allowed us to live full-time and they were 40% less expensive! Would love to hear your thoughts.

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    • Glenda,
      I wanted to mention we do offer Life Insurance and easy Online Banking. You can take a picture of a check with your smart phone and deposit into your State Farm checking account. It is really convenient for people on the go and allows you to manage/pay bills electronically.

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    • Francine Brown

      If you file a claim with the VA for disability, as soon as you finish jumping through all the hoops, you get your va disability percentage. You then have a year to sign up for a special life insurance (VGLI). It is always after a change in va disability rating. Also I thought USAA offers life insurance.

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  • David Lee

    Jason, good information, but all of the posts I’ve read on many different blogs and websites, including John Huggins from Living the RV Dream Podcast, say that State Farm does NOT insure full-time RVers. I’ve had them in the past and I haven’t contacted them about insuring my rig for full-timing, so I don’t know. How did you and Nikki make it work?

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    • I’ll ask our agent to confirm, but Will has assured me we are covered for Full-Time travel.

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    • Thanks for the comment David! I know everyone’s situation is very unique, but the Wynn’s RV insurance is tied through a location here in Texas. They have policies that cover them for personal home/property and a business policy that the RV is bundled with. If you have a State Farm Agent you can discuss different coverage options available with them or give us a shout if you’re in TX. Good Luck on your adventures.

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      • Thanks for the info Will, I knew you had our back!

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      • brenda

        Sounds like you are covered thru state farm by your business. As an individual they would not insure me. I have progressive. Thanks for clarification. Small details like this are very important.

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        • We have a renters policy and a business policy with SF so yes, each of these items makes a difference.

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  • Joseph

    Being a military brat who also joined the navy I’ve had to pick a Home of Record and always used Fl. Now I’m out of the service and live in GA but have wonder where I want my residence after I retire. I plan on doing what you do for extending periods of time and have always wondered how your mail keeps up with you and how you have internet purchases shipped to you. Still need more infor on the mail forwarding services.

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    • click the links inside the article, they will direct you to the proper people and services that will make your life a little simpler. Good luck.

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  • Steve

    Except for in-state tuition, residency requirements are confusing, on line. You can vote absentee, but you need your state safety inspection every year. Seems all registrations can be renewed on line, but you will need a local address. You are supposed to have a mailing address, but looks to be taken care of by some mail forwarding services. Texas.gov has all the information, if you can interpret it all. Good luck with that. A lawyer could help, but why you should need one to tell you what the law says is insane.

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    • Steve

      More research!
      Title: Texas resident temporarily out of state.
      “Evidence of maintaining Texas residency could include continuing to vote in Texas or maintaining a Texas address.”
      Establishing residency requires a presence, but I don’t know if in-state tuition rules apply. I would think so.

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    • Steve,
      Check out Glend’s comment above.

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  • Liza

    My husband, 3 kids, 1 dog and 1 cat are about to embark on our adventure. We have chosen to domicile in Texas (we’re currently living in CA) and would love to know the name and phone number of your auto/RV insurance agent. We will very soon have a Texas address through Escapees. Thanks so much for all your valuable info you’ve provided to us over the past several months as we prepare for this grand adventure.

    P.S. Did you attend any RV shows prior to buying your first rig? There is a big one in Texas at the end of this week and wondered if you guys found them valuable. We are planning on purchasing our rig in the next week or two.

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    • Liza,
      Congrats on the big adventure! I will confirm with my insurance agent and I’ll update the article with his contact info if he says its ok.
      Here’s our tips on RV shows:
      https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rv-show-tips
      We’re going to be speaking at the CA RV show in early October if you want to attend and meet up with us. Hope to see you on the road soon!

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    • LIza,
      I just updated the article to include our insurance agents info. Hope this helps, he’s very good (at least we think).

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      • Liza

        thanks so much! We’ll be in touch with him really soon.

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  • John Mayfield

    Hard to believe you’ve been FT for 4 years & haven’t joined Escapees yet. We’re Life Members & so glad we found them when we started FTimg. Highly recommend them even if not FTimg. for general as well as specific RV info. Enjoy UR travels !! John & Patricia

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    • I looked at their website when we started RVing and I was so confused what they could offer me as an existing resident of TX, so I pushed it aside and never got around to researching it again. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Thanks for the suggestion to check out RVerHealthInsurance.com! We’ll be sure and take good care of your readers.

    Even though the quote you referenced is no longer on my About page (had to shorten it!) , I still believe it to be true 🙂

    Kyle

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    • Well Kyle, you said it and now it’s been written, so it is the law 🙂 So happy we found you, what a great resource for RVers.

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    • Laurie and JP Pedrick

      Thanks so much for the referral to Kyle. He answered my query promptly and with a great rate.

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      • PERFECT! We think anyone that caters to RVers can help make our lives easier because they know exactly what we do/don’t need.

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      • Liza

        Kyle was so helpful to us too (and super prompt!). We will be signing up soon after we get our new address through Escapees. This website has been invaluable as we plan our new adventure. Can’t imagine doing it without help, that’s for sure.

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        • So happy Kyle has helped you out, it seems like a no brainier to use someone who actually understands our needs as RVers.

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  • Hugh R-J

    Excellent post, albeit somewhat general, due to everyones circumstances being different.

    We cruised 10+ years ago (my how time flies) but are now dirt dwellers again. We kept our SC residency while cruising, but used a UPS store for mail retention and forwarding, online everything else, did wi-fi at coffee shops, libraries, and sometimes at friends, I guess the identity theft aspect of public access wasnt as prevalent back then, I’d be much more careful these days…..ignorance was bliss.

    We have a friend up here from Texas, he has to spend a certain amount of time there each year (2 months?) to maintain residency, will that affect you, other than your family might be guaranteed visits each year….

    Please keep us updated on how it all pans out for you guys….as Im sure it could apply to a lot of others.

    Always enjoy hearing and seeing what you are up to,
    All the best, H&L&Crew

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    • As far as I know TX does not require you to be in TX for a certain number of months each year. We will have to confirm and get back with you.

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  • Paul Holstein

    Having started off in Florida, we went with St. Brendan’s Isle for our mail forwarding. They actually scan each letter and post an image on a personal web portal. From there you can have them scan the contents, hold it, shred it, or send the mail to you wherever you are.

    They also make it very easy to establish residency and help with voter’s registration and driver’s licenses.

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  • Hey guys, great information as usual. We are already FTers, but we are heading to Yuma in October to have a crown put on across the border in Mexico.
    I really enjoyed your video on your dental experience in Mexico. I’ll have to look up your dentist when I do some more research. I notice that your dentist was “cash only”. Is that correct?
    Jason it’s been awhile now since you had the crown installed. How’s it holding up?

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    • Crown is holding up well, and yes it’s cash only! If you make an appointment, and you can come back a few days later it will save you a couple hundred bucks (vs. me having to rush the crown on a weekend).

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  • jim

    I see you are in the Markleeville area. Nice.

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    • Yep,
      We’re staying in the National Forest on top of a mountain overlooking the beautiful valley. AMAZING place for sure!

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  • This is such complicated stuff… and so individual. There’s really no one size fits all solution to this, and takes a good amount of research to figure it all out!

    We went with Florida for our residency, and use St. Brendan’s Isle out of Green Cove Springs. What we love about them is that they scan our mail and we can read it online. But, they don’t offer nearly the services of Escapees for full timers, who we are also members of.

    We also love love love that Kyle has opened up his business to help RVers with the healthcare questions, such a headache!

    Anyway, for anyone wanting more information on domicile/mail stuff, we have an extensive article about the considerations and a listing of mail services that are viable for RVers:

    http://www.technomadia.com/domicile

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    • Did you guys write the book on that? 🙂 HAHA. You’re the second person that’s mentioned “St. Brendan’s Isle”. Thanks for sharing guys.

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  • Great information Jason & Nikki. Regarding mail handling… we had a relative (John’s sister) receiving our mail during our first few years on the road. When we started our business, we didn’t want to burden her with that. We tried a mail receiving company, which we used for a couple of years, and it was sort-of-okay. Then about 4 1/2 years ago, we discovered Mailbox Forwarding, and it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. We always talk about how technology makes our life on the road so much better, and this is a prime example. Can’t recommend them enough.

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    • I think it was the RV Geeks that introduced us to this Mail Forwarding service. You guys are sooo savvvy.

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  • Hi there!

    Great post and great info. As usual you are both thorough and fun to read.

    We decided to keep our Washington residency. We use a company called PostNet for our mail needs. They are amazing. They do anything you need them to do and more. Also, WA has online registration so that’s a plus as well!

    I have insurance though my job and since we’ve only been mobile for about two months, haven’t really figured out the issues that come with being based out of WA.

    Thanks again for the great food for thought!

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    • Amy,
      Let us know what you find out on the positive or negative as you dive deeper into Full-Time travel. Nikki and I are luck we already lived in TX, so it saved us a ton of work and planning.

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  • We are full-timers and are domiciled in SD. Our mail is handled by http://www.mydakotaaddress.com. We get our health insurance via the federal marketplace exchange (Obamacare). It was super-easy to get everything setup. But Kyle at RVer Health Insurance informed us that the only company that sells SD health insurance via the federal marketplace exchange (Avera) will NOT be offering policies to RVers in 2015. Yikes! So it appears we will have to “move” to FL in order to obtain health insurance via the federal marketplace exchange. If RVers are looking to establish a domicile in SD also obtain their health insurance via the federal marketplace exchange, they may want to reconsider TX or FL instead. More to come on this topic I’m sure…

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    • Thank you so much for sharing Greg, we had no idea that SD was potentially changing the healthcare rule…its such a pain to keep up with all these changes!

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  • Great information – though as you say, everyone’s situation is so different that any advice given winds up being painted with a broad brush.

    Audrey and I have a friend in South Dakota, and South Dakota also makes it pretty easy for people to establish residency – they even have a form for the actual South Dakota Resident Friend to fill out indicating that they are effectively acting as an ‘agent’ for someone establishing South Dakota residency – and that there won’t be extra people living at that address.

    Truthfully, though, I’m really, REALLY hoping the Escapees get their South Dakota program sorted by the time we’re ready to become digital nomads.

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    • I know the Escapees are working hard on bringing in SD, so our fingers are crossed for you guys.

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  • Randy Rockwell

    I just recently changed to a Texas Class “A” non commercial license due to pulling our 5th wheel RV with Freightliner Sport Chassis. I took the written test on a Tuesday & the driving test the following Monday and received my temporary license at the end of the test.

    Not sure why it would not be a similar time frame for the Class “B” ?

    Love what you guys are doing, have been following your adventures since I saw you on the TV shopping for your first coach. Great information nd insight to the world of RVing…. Thank you!

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    • Hey Randy,
      We live in Dallas and the wait time for the driving test for a Commercial License is typically 2-3 months. Might just be the fact its a big city and there’s lots of people applying for this type of license. What city did you take your tests in?

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      • Randy

        Jason,

        I took the test in Lubbock. Guess that’s just another good reason to live in Lubbock! 🙂

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        • yep, probably a little quieter up there, and maybe even more DPS agents that are approved for grading commercial driving tests.

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  • John E. Baker III

    According to the website http://www.govspot.com/know/incometax.htm …:

    “Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Two others, New Hampshire and Tennessee, tax only dividend and interest income.”

    So, if you don’t have an interest-generating trust in TN or NH, you’re home free! However, I do believe Florida has what they call an “intangibles tax” which is a percentage/mil of the value of stocks/bonds. I’ve never had any of those, so I didn’t verse myself in that aspect of tax liability.

    I LOVED living in Texas and Florida with no state income tax!

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    • There are so many other factors that make TX and FL the most common place for full-time travelers to “live”.

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