Thursday, August 19, 2010

Full-Time RV = Road Trip Dream

Dear Jamie,

We have already been to USA 3 times, a total road trip drive time of about 14 weeks, and travelled in more than 18 states. Up till now our preference has been to hire a car and travel 2 lane roads .... we discovered a strong dislike for Interstates and only use them when there is no other way. We have also made a rule for ourselves, which we broke many times due to time constraints, to drive no more than 3 hours on any day, so we would have plenty of time to explore and rest.

Currently we are working on an adventure to live in USA for 2 -3 years or until we can do so no longer for health/family reasons. We are from New Zealand so our time in USA is subject to Visa restrictions and maintaining our NZ eligibility to receive Superannuation. We are 70 plus. At this point we are planning to stay in USA 24 weeks at a time, returning to New Zealand for a couple of months before going back to USA again.

We are going to purchase an older Motorhome and small car to be towed. This, of course will need to be stored while we are home in NZ. At this stage we are thinking our home base will probably be Redding, CA because we have some personal connections there which should make it easier to establish an US address.

We don't have a date of arrival although we are hoping to start in March 2011.

Our question to you is this .....

Do you have any advice re dividing up USA into 6 segments?

Our plan is to stay in anyone destination for a month or more and generally explore from our Campsite. We will be spending as little as possible on Campsites as we plan to Boondock about 75%

We do hope to join up with some volunteer groups or even do some unpaid Workamping depending on what is available in our chosen area and time frame. We are also researching vehicle sales and Full time RVing, reading personal Blogs to prepare ourselves as much as possible.

This is a little different to following your Road Trips but you are the best person I have found to answer our question. I've just been told we can work this out for ourselves but I wonder what you advise.

God Bless :):):)



Dear Anne --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA -- it sounds like you have a wonderful adventure ahead of you. (And quite a few in the past, as well!)

The international nature of your road trip makes planning more complicated, for sure, but it sounds to me like you have thought it through. Having a US base will definitely make things simpler, and I hope you find a way to sort out insurance policies etc, without too much trouble.

Lots of Americans do a version of your trip -- mainly people who want to avoid winter in the northern USA, who every year travel south (to Arizona and Texas mainly, and also to Florida), where they are known as Snow Birds. I have met many of these travelers around Lake Havasu and the lower Colorado River, on the California / Arizona border.

Snow Birding seems like an interesting life -- mobile communities of sometimes 1000s of RVers.

One program I think might be of help to you is called "campground host" (aka Workamping, I think...) This lets people stay for extended periods of time in a national park or national forest or state park campground -- but instead of paying the nightly rate, you act as "host" and make sure the campground runs smoothly. Because I don't usually stay in one place that long, I don't know much about it, but I have met many "hosts" over the years and it seems like a "win win" deal. Alas, it may not be an option for non-US Citizens .

I'd also like to point toward a good book that helps people make the move to "full time" RV-ing: it's called Live Your Road Trip Dream. (Amazon URL: )

To answer your "red letter" question, I think it makes sense to find a base and then do some regional exploring. Not sure about how to make 6 regions -- but however you divide up the USA, weather would have a lot to do with where you go and when -- Great Lakes and New England would really only be an option in summer, for example (which is NZ winter, right??) I like the desert Southwest in Spring (Arizona in March + April), and the Deep South is also nice in April May, before it gets too hot and humid. Northern California and the Pacific Northwest would be good almost anytime, best for September October.

And the Rockies (Colorado, Wyoming, Montana...) would realistically be a summer time spot as well.

That makes 6 regions, I think -- does that help??

I hope this all works out for you & John. Please keep in touch and let me know how your plans shape up.

With very best wishes,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA

** On Sale Now **


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Blogger MargieAnne said...

Thanks Jamie.

I appreciate the time you took to answer.

You've given us a good idea of where to begin to plan our first of hopefully 6 trips. Our plans are very vague right this moment. I do hope we can begin decision making in the next few weeks.

We are contemplating the possibility of living in Texas for 5 months and doing 1 and 2 night trips from out base there. I would love to be able to see spring flowers in the desserts of Texas and California.

Here's Hoping.

7:27 PM  

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