EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: Newbee to USA daft questions  (Read 9605 times)

loddy

  • ---
  • Posts: 167
Newbee to USA daft questions
« on: February 16, 2011, 04:12:42 AM »
Good morning folks
                           I am several hours ahead of you in the UK so get up sleepy heads.

In a few months my Partner and me are coming to the States hopefully to buy a RV and do a Tour (at least a year) I have a good contact at Lazydays FL and that's where the tour will start, I have owned a couple of RVs in the UK so I am not new to RVing.

The couple of question I have are, using the standard winguard thing on the roof is television signals widespread across the States or would I need a satellite dish/system to keep up with news and weather ?.

Second one concerns a towed vehicle, are you allowed to drive around with the A bar still attached and held in the vertical position, and are you allowed to put a small boat/dingy on the roof of the car?, I intend to purchase a Jeep Cherokee as I know they are towable 4 down.

Regards   loddy

Utclmjmpr

  • ---
  • Posts: 3038
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 05:30:04 AM »
Most modern tow bars today fold down flat and out of view, yes a small boat or canoe can be carried on the top of your towed.>>>Dan :)
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.
President Western GM Coach chapter FMCA

codgerbill

  • ---
  • Posts: 518
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2011, 08:08:53 AM »
The Winegard antenna (Batwing) signal will depend on location. Sometimes it gets great local channels and sometimes all it picks up is the public broadcast stations (PBS)  Buying the Winegard Wingman (http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/winegard-wingman/44021) will help somewhat. We are semi new to satellite in the motorhome but as I recall you will get most of the stations available on regular cable TV (Depends on what package you subscribe to on the satellite provider).

We use a Blue Ox tow bar ( http://www.blue-ox-towbars.com/?gclid=CKL65LDrjKcCFQO8KgodZl3Wfg) and it stays on the coaches hitch folded up nicely (when not in use) and covered with its own storage bag.  Blue Ox also has  a base plate for the tow vehicle I think the A frame is kinda an older system and I don't recall seeing many tow vehicles with the A frame still attached. Blue Ox is not the only tow bar and I am sure others will help with information on the available towing systems.

Last year we were in a campground (cant remember the location) and the coach next to me had a Jeep  (Wrangler)with a Rack on it that they used to haul their kayaks on. I have also seen people put the kayaks on the roof racks.

Bye the bye......  When in the U.S. remember to drive on the correct (right) side of the road...............................
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 08:12:26 AM by codgerbill »
2005 Itsca Suncruiser 37b
Banks Powerpack
2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4 Dr
Chocolate Lab ( Buddy)
She who must be obeyed

Ned

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 25574
  • Ned and Lorna are former full time RVers
    • Have you seen Rolling Stock?
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2011, 08:11:23 AM »
There are a lot of places you might like to go where over the air TV isn't available.  If you want television everywhere, you'll need a satellite system.

I would recommend a towbar that stays on the motorhome.  That way there is very little showing on the towed vehicle, just a couple of attachment points.  Some places will ticket you for driving with an a-frame towbar that obstructs your vision.  But there are towed mounted bars that do fold down, but the motorhome mounted tow bar is generally preferred.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60996
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 09:02:07 AM »
We've generally had good luck with tv reception via the roof antenna, but it really depends on where you go. In regions with mountains & valleys, or in places far from cities, reception may be difficult. On the other hand, campsites with trees are death on satellite signals, so there are drawbacks there as well. We use both antenna and satellite, as conditions warrant.

You already got good advice on towbars and boats on the roof, so I won't add anything there.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Lou Schneider

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7403
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 09:25:25 AM »
I wouldn't worry too much about over the air TV reception.  If you're in an area of bad or no reception, private campgrounds will usually have a cable TV feed available.  These are mostly in the mountainous West, where distance or terrain block the signal.

Most satellite TV contracts require the up-front purchase of equipment or at least a one year commitment with the equipment cost pro-rated during the life of the contract.  So the total cost is not cheap.  And you have to put up, aim and take down the satellite dish every time you stop.  Not the best situation if you're moving every day or two.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 09:29:17 AM by Lou Schneider »

mypursuit

  • ---
  • Posts: 370
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2011, 11:41:51 AM »
      I tow a small Toyota sedan with a fixed A-frame tow bar.  When unhooked the a-frame is folded and secured in the up position.  I have never been stopped,  Not to say I might but in 8 years not yet.  I also sometimes put my 9 foot boat on top of the car.  Makes for an interesting sight.
1997 Georgie Boy Pursuit     2008 Ford Focus
P-30 / 454 Chevy w/ Stan's Headers, ceramic plug wires, cold air intake and K-N Air cleaner
Home Port Whidbey Island Washington
U.S. Navy 1970 - 1990
"Truth is the hardest thing you'll find, because you can't change it in the slightest way. " J. Paycheck

ArdraF

  • ---
  • Posts: 9779
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 12:28:01 PM »
Quote
We are semi new to satellite in the motorhome but as I recall you will get most of the stations available on regular cable TV (Depends on what package you subscribe to on the satellite provider).

Codgerbill, this is just a bit confusing.  Cable TV requires one kind of setup and Satellite TV requires another.  Both provide similar channels to view.  The difference is in presentation, with satellite (in my opinion) having far superior onscreen guides to find shows at times you want to watch.  We only use cable when there's no other choice, such as the aforementioned trees in a campground.  Also, in our experience most campgrounds do not provide cable hookups.  The Winegard antenna provides local channels when you can get it and we like that for local weather.  Also, we added a Wingman to the Winegard which helps pull in weaker signals.

We currently have a Roadmaster towbar attached to the motorhome.  Previously we had Roadmasters that fold down on the toad.  Either works, but not having it on the toad means unsuspecting pedestrians won't walk into a towbar that hangs out over the sidewalk.  Both Roadmaster and Blue Ox are good brands.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

loddy

  • ---
  • Posts: 167
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 01:32:37 PM »
Thanks for that Guys

so you can carry a boat, A frames are collapsible ( unlike UK ones that have to be removed and stored ) but television can be patchy, I don't really want to go the satellite route because we intend to ship the RV home after our tour and we hope to visit out of the way places ( boondocking is I think what you call it ), the Satellite definitely wont work in the UK ( nor the TVs ) maybe a cheap dish and receiver, would I have to pay to receive using that sort of system ?

Loddy

codgerbill

  • ---
  • Posts: 518
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2011, 03:18:50 PM »
Arda,
My reference to satellite and cable was referring to the basic packages. Both give you a bunch of cable TV oriented programs (History channel, Discovery, etc) and if you want network stuff that's an extra cost. I have comcast cable at home and had a portable satellite on my former coach. I cant say that the programming guides on either one is superior to the other, but maybe that's just me  :).

Loddy,
From what you say I guess just the batwing antenna with a wingman attachment will fit your needs. As has been stated you may find some areas where  the reception is extremely poor. It is also true that some campgrounds offer cable TV, but I have found a lot that do not (such as northern Indiana for example). You can check for amenities on particular campgrounds with a website such as this http://www.rvparkreviews.com/search.php.  I am also wondering what you will do with the TV once your tour of the US is complete as you indicate it will not work in Europe.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 03:22:45 PM by codgerbill »
2005 Itsca Suncruiser 37b
Banks Powerpack
2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4 Dr
Chocolate Lab ( Buddy)
She who must be obeyed

loddy

  • ---
  • Posts: 167
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2011, 03:59:09 PM »
codgerbill
thanks for the input, when we ship the RV home Lazydays have said they will buy the old TVs ( not much but better than bining them in the UK ) and of course the RV has to be modified to 230 volt for the UK. I shall look at the wingman it sounds the best route, thanks again

Regards Loddy

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60996
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2011, 05:14:40 PM »
Try the antenna for awhile - you can always add satellite later, either an onboard dome or a tripod mount dish set up outside. For any satellite service, you still require a subscription to the satellite tv service,  regardless of what type of dish you use. Figure around $60/month, depending on your choice of channels.

The Wingman add-on works on many Winegard antennas, but not all. I don't have a Winegard antenna at all (mine is a Braun), but it does a mostly fine job.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44697
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2011, 05:41:03 PM »
Something that other Brits have asked about is a free to air service, which is delivered via satellite and uses a special receiver. It does not require a service fee or, in some cases, may be provided free in conjunction with a minimal (low cost $$) service plan. I don't hear/read much about it here, but FTA receivers are readily available on store shelves in the UK.

Maybe someone who uses FTA in North America will comment.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Marsha/CA

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 4533
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2011, 09:55:10 PM »
Also, you do realize you can only stay in the States for a total of 6 months at a time?  If you go into Canada you can then come back into the States and start all over on the length of stay.

Marsha~
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44697
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2011, 12:51:22 AM »
Quote from: Marsha/CA
Also, you do realize you can only stay in the States for a total of 6 months at a time?

For clarification, that's only with a visa. Traveling from the UK under the visa waiver program you're allowed to stay for up to 3 months. In any event, visa or not, the actual allowed length of stay will be determined by the agent at the point of entry.

As Marsha says, you can cross into Canada for a short visit and re-enter the US to restart the clock. Although this has been done by many Brits, we've heard of isolated cases where folks were refused re-entry, but this might have been in cases where folks tried to get two re-starts in succession.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

loddy

  • ---
  • Posts: 167
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2011, 04:03:55 AM »
Thanks Tom
Yes I understand the Visa requirements, we have an interview with the London Embassy next month, yes in the UK we have freesat which is totally free and then BSB charge for the decent channels.

Regards Loddy

mike eddleman

  • ---
  • Posts: 445
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2011, 04:56:33 AM »
You posted that you were planning a year trip, most of the satellite plans require a  year contract so it seams like it would end about the time you were going home.

Utclmjmpr

  • ---
  • Posts: 3038
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2011, 09:06:55 AM »
Come through Mexico and you would need nothing.>>>Dan
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.
President Western GM Coach chapter FMCA

codgerbill

  • ---
  • Posts: 518
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2011, 10:53:45 AM »
Come through Mexico and you would need nothing.>>>Dan

Maybe one would need a kevlar vest ;D
2005 Itsca Suncruiser 37b
Banks Powerpack
2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4 Dr
Chocolate Lab ( Buddy)
She who must be obeyed

loddy

  • ---
  • Posts: 167
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2011, 12:12:55 PM »
Mexico wasn't on my list of Countries  to visit   :( :-\

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44697
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2011, 01:35:32 PM »
Quote from: loddy
Mexico wasn't on my list of Countries  to visit

Maybe not, but at least you could hop over the fence (or walk/run around or under it) without needing a passport or worrying about your length of stay. Countless thousands do it daily, then disappear into the population. If you get stopped or challenged, just say "si senor, I'm a gringo".
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

loddy

  • ---
  • Posts: 167
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2011, 04:35:30 AM »
Sounds like Mexico or it's border is a thorn in the side of America  :o

Loddy  :)

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44697
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2011, 09:51:40 AM »
Can't imagine why  ???
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Utclmjmpr

  • ---
  • Posts: 3038
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2011, 02:34:42 PM »
No more than Honduras, El Salvidor and Guatemala is a thorn in the side of Mexico.>>>Dan
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.
President Western GM Coach chapter FMCA

fastrak100

  • ---
  • Posts: 236
  • Snowbirds from Yorkshire, U.K.
    • Roadblog Fall 2011
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2011, 05:20:46 PM »
Sound interesting.
We are from the UK.
We bought the TT part of our rig from Bates RV, just up the I4 from Lazydays. No I don't reccomend them, then again I would find it difficult to reccomend any RV sales place, as  I have found very little to reccomend caravan dealers in UK.
There is some good advice about buying an RV on this forum, though a lot is out of date.
Try and clarify a 'price out of the gate', i.e. one which includes SalesTax, registration (tag plates), delivery, etc, then try and beat them down. We paid for ours mostly on Credit card, no problems (even got thousand of points on my Tesco card), but make sure that the CC company knows you are going to make a big transaction, it could be embarassing to have to re-activate your account mid way through buying the RV.

Once you have bought it stay on site (Lazydays) and try EVERYTHING out. If you can, give it a soak test, use that local car/truck wash (there is a truck stop just by Lazdays, I think it is a Raceway), and check very carefully for water ingress, though don't use the pressure washer direct on seams. Remember you will only get a one year bumper to bumper warrantee for a NEW vehicle (not like the 10 year guarantee against water ingress that UK caravans come with - go on you yanks drop your jaw, I really did say 10 year guarantee). Then make your first foray with the assumption that you will have to return it to Lazydays for a snagging list to be sorted, which may take from weeks to months to sort (yes I am a pessimist). Although most RV dealers are helpful they do not take kindly to solving other dealers warantee problems, so hightailing it out of the state may not be the best thing. (other RVers of greater experience please tell me I am wrong).

You may have residency sorted out, but if not plan that before you go (I can give more advice if necesary). If all else fails then the dealer will probably be able to smooth out all your registration problems, but don't leave it till you have bought it to get them to do it.

I found getting a visa a total pain (don't forget no mobile phone, and you can't leave it anywhere, unless you take someone with you to hold it outside. they won't hold it and you can't go in with it!!), take a good book with you, eat well before going in (some vending machines serve confectionary I seem to remember, but it isn't cheap).
If you want to stay out of UK for a year check you can get travel insurance that will extend that long (I would be interested if you find it). Not sure if now 'popping' across the border to Canada or Mexico counts - maybe bahamas or somewhere caribbean (suggest not Cuba).
Make sure you are not on any benefits - Job seekers, max 6 weeks a year. What was IB - 26 weeks in the previous 52. DLA - 26 weeks in any year. For the latter two if you want to stay longer you have to transfer residency to collect benefit (again I can supply more info).

Now, others please correct me if I am wrong, but I am sure that if you use a boat - any boat(even a tender/canoe)  - you must register it with the State you are in! Then apply a reg. number in a particular way! Then if you want to use it in other states you must register it there.

TV is the least of your worries, unless you are addicted to it. There really is very little worth watching (everyone to their own though).If you are desperate to be entertained have a laptop, rent DVD's (Google RED BOX Video online - in most Walmarts, new movies, - $1.00 a DVD, return to an other Walmart down the road. Reserve on line) listen to PBS radio (Public Broadcast Service) for news. More useful is a mobile broadband airtime card. Verizon is the best coverage, but the most expensive. ($140 up front for the card, $80 a month for 5 gb), Walmart ($40p.m.? (runs of the back of Verizon network), or Virgin ($not sure) (runs off Sprint) may be the cheapest, but run off the back of other networks and may not get the bit rate of their prime network (no proof, just makes business sense).

I am concious that I am drifting into general topics and you have probably dropped off, however, if I can be of any further help, please let me know.

Don't be put off, lots of others have done it (haven't met many though). Be flexible, be persistent, enjoy the experience. We did it four years ago and we have had the time of our lives ever since then.
U.S.A.: Chevy 3500 Express Van: 31ft Starcraft
U.K.:    Ford Galaxy:           25ft Lunar Lexon EW

The U.S.A. is our Onboard Entertainment System
http://sallyterryroadblog.blogspot.com/
http:roadblog14.blogspot.com

Utclmjmpr

  • ---
  • Posts: 3038
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2011, 05:28:40 PM »
I disagree on the boat registration,, most states require the registration only if you will be using a motor on it. If powered by hand is not required.>>>Dan
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
Jeep liberty 4 down
72 VW Baja 4 down
Cedar City, Utah
USAF vet. 59-63
The difference between intelligence & stupidity is: intelligence has it's limits
      Albert Einstein.
President Western GM Coach chapter FMCA

fastrak100

  • ---
  • Posts: 236
  • Snowbirds from Yorkshire, U.K.
    • Roadblog Fall 2011
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2011, 05:32:33 PM »
« Last Edit: February 18, 2011, 05:35:03 PM by fastrak100 »
U.S.A.: Chevy 3500 Express Van: 31ft Starcraft
U.K.:    Ford Galaxy:           25ft Lunar Lexon EW

The U.S.A. is our Onboard Entertainment System
http://sallyterryroadblog.blogspot.com/
http:roadblog14.blogspot.com

Carl L

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7303
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2011, 12:31:35 AM »
Quote
Now, others please correct me if I am wrong, but I am sure that if you use a boat - any boat(even a tender/canoe)  - you must register it with the State you are in! Then apply a reg. number in a particular way! Then if you want to use it in other states you must register it there.

Not exactly.    You must register a boat in a state that you operate in.    One exception is boats "documented" by the US Coast Guard need not be so registered.  Documenting is usually limited to large vessels.   Another exception is very small sailboats and oar/paddle driven boats -- check the state's regulations. 
 
If you have registerd in one state, you can use it on the waters of another state temporarily.  The time varies by state --  California  which has some 900 miles of coastline allows 120 days.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44697
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2011, 01:16:42 AM »
Adding to Carl's comments, here's the California "official" DMV explanation of what vessels must be registered. As Carl suggests, the requirements of other states will/may vary.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60996
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2011, 06:40:52 AM »
Traveling with a boat is not a problem, at least as far as vessel registrations are concerned. All states will honor a "visiting' vessel registered in another state. If you were going to stay more than a month in some one place, it might become an issue (unlikely), but RVers generally don't have that problem anyway.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Ian H

  • ---
  • Posts: 248
Re: Newbee to USA daft questions
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2011, 02:14:33 PM »
Hi Loddy
we never had satellite in all our travels in the States and we are tv addicts
As for the wingard antenna it works fine in the UK picking up digital tv also when we shipped our A class over in 2005 i just changed the lnb on the dish and picked up SKY no problem on auto tracking so if you do end up with a dish it wont be a waste of money

Ian
Ian and Doreen
Dodge 3500 Dually   Cedar Creek 5th Wheel

Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

 

Hosted by Over The Network