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Author Topic: brits planning for fulltiming in USA and Canada for 1yr  (Read 1811 times)

JETLAG

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brits planning for fulltiming in USA and Canada for 1yr
« on: November 01, 2013, 10:24:53 AM »
Hoping to tour USA and Canada and in doing so stay more than one year in total, less than six months in USA the first visit with an escape to Canada for a few months of touring to return for a second visit in the USA to complete at least one year in total thereby allowing us to import into the UK without paying all the nasty taxes our government wish to levy. I know I can't avoid ALL taxes but some (vat) will be nice.

Here goes with my "little" list of questions to be added to, extended and elaborated upon as we go

1. Insurances
    a. Rv insurance... Possibly looking at a Fleetwood Tioga Montara 25' and would need fully comprehensive cover for myself and wife both 50+ to cover breakdown and recovery to a local garage, I understand that previous no claims discounts offered both in the UK and France would not count in the USA but simply looking for "ballpark" figures to get the planning underway
     b. Personal health insurance, not yet checked with our gov dept to find out how long we can use our "EHIC" having lived in France for a few years now we are familiar with the process of paying for health insurance.

2. Parking
    Probably a silly question as I suspect the reply will differ for each location but generally is it considered "safe" to park outside of the recognised trailer parks and are there any rules as to where one cannot park an RV ie supermarket and factory car parks, beach fronts .

3. Communications.
    Sadly, we will need to maintain contact with the outside world and those we left behind in the UK and France. We will have a laptop, or whatever the modern version is these days so will need some way of connecting to the internet ask McD's and others offer free wifi in the UK and France I'm hoping the same, but better, exists over there. We will also need to look at a mobile phone that will work both in USA and Canada for emergencies and other quick calls.

4. Living expenses.
   Having previously some of this topic previously on other areas of the forum, we propose 1400$ per month for expenses, we eat very simply and drink "a little"  ;) eat out very rarely and intend to hold an emergency pot of about 3000$ (in the bank, not in the RV). Thoughts ... enough or not

5. Travel.
   What if any restrictions are placed on RV's for moving around other than the usual weight length stuff for bridges and town centres etc. and any suggestions for good maps showing the restrictions. We will have a good satnav also but having been a trucker for the past "many" years I do like to have a map also in the firm belief that satnavs are truly "for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools" and whilst they are superb for finding the location of a place they do not always perform when finding the correct route.

Look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions with regards to the above and anything else you may feel that as a Brit's first visit to your country could help and same us loss of face, money or worse.

TTFN


 



Tom

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Re: brits planning for fulltiming in USA and Canada for 1yr
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2013, 10:44:45 AM »
This Visitors to the USA board and our Library (button above) section with the same name will have answers to some/most of your questions. You'll find a few other things by clicking the Resources button above and scrolling down to, for example, RV Insurance. You should contact an insurer with a make/model/year of vehicle to get a quote.

Quote
I understand that previous no claims discounts offered both in the UK and France would not count in the USA...

Known here as the "good driver discount", it won't apply. Actually, you'll likely find that premiums will be double the non-discount price unless you hold a US-based license and have held it for some defined time.

Quote
Personal health insurance...

I have a rule that our UK visitors should stay home unless they purchase medical insurance. They're usually able to purchase it through a UK travel agent, and it's good for a year. Several family members and friends have needed medical attention here, and the providers usually billed the UK insurance company. In one case, I paid the bill with a credit card, and our visitor was reimbursed when they got back to the UK.

Quote
... is it considered "safe" to park outside of the recognised trailer parks and are there any rules as to where one cannot park an RV ie supermarket and factory car parks, beach fronts .

That's been the subject of extensive, sometimes heated, discussions here over the years. Most freeway rest areas (our equivalent of motorway service areas without all the amenities) do not allow overnighting. Check out our Camping at Walmart and other non-campgrounds board.

To help clarify some of the terminology, click the Glossary button; It includes a number of "UK equivalent definitions".

Meanwhile, some of your questions have also been discussed at length on other message boards here. The Search button in the toolbar above will find these discussions.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2013, 10:47:04 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Marsha/CA

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Re: brits planning for fulltiming in USA and Canada for 1yr
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2013, 11:03:43 AM »
Quote
Rv insurance... Possibly looking at a Fleetwood Tioga Montara 25' and would need fully comprehensive cover for myself and wife both 50+ to cover breakdown and recovery to a local garage

Most of us carry comprehensive, as well as, collision insurance for the RV.  Then we carry "CoachNet" or "Good Sam" for RV roadside service  i.e. towing, tire changes, anything related to being stranded on the road.  They are two different types of insurance.

Marsha~
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SeilerBird

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Re: brits planning for fulltiming in USA and Canada for 1yr
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2013, 12:50:01 PM »
1. Insurances
    a. Rv insurance... Possibly looking at a Fleetwood Tioga Montara 25' and would need fully comprehensive cover for myself and wife both 50+ to cover breakdown and recovery to a local garage, I understand that previous no claims discounts offered both in the UK and France would not count in the USA but simply looking for "ballpark" figures to get the planning underway
CoachNet is your best option for emergency roadside assistance. They are around $100 per year.
Quote
     b. Personal health insurance, not yet checked with our gov dept to find out how long we can use our "EHIC" having lived in France for a few years now we are familiar with the process of paying for health insurance.
I would look for a good agent to find the lowest price on health care insurance.
Quote
2. Parking
    Probably a silly question as I suspect the reply will differ for each location but generally is it considered "safe" to park outside of the recognised trailer parks and are there any rules as to where one cannot park an RV ie supermarket and factory car parks, beach fronts .
There is no place in particular that bans RV parking however there will be places you can't fit into. As far as safety goes, I have been full timing for ten years without a toad and never had a problem parking.
Quote
3. Communications.
    Sadly, we will need to maintain contact with the outside world and those we left behind in the UK and France. We will have a laptop, or whatever the modern version is these days so will need some way of connecting to the internet ask McD's and others offer free wifi in the UK and France I'm hoping the same, but better, exists over there. We will also need to look at a mobile phone that will work both in USA and Canada for emergencies and other quick calls.
Lots of places offer free WiFi such as every library in the country however it is a lot better to buy a hot spot. Tmobile offers one for $30 per month. A phone can be had from Tracfone for under $10 per month.
Quote
4. Living expenses.
   Having previously some of this topic previously on other areas of the forum, we propose 1400$ per month for expenses, we eat very simply and drink "a little"  ;) eat out very rarely and intend to hold an emergency pot of about 3000$ (in the bank, not in the RV). Thoughts ... enough or not
You would have no problem on $1400 per month.
Quote
5. Travel.
   What if any restrictions are placed on RV's for moving around other than the usual weight length stuff for bridges and town centres etc. and any suggestions for good maps showing the restrictions. We will have a good satnav also but having been a trucker for the past "many" years I do like to have a map also in the firm belief that satnavs are truly "for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools" and whilst they are superb for finding the location of a place they do not always perform when finding the correct route.
A gps is your best option for touring the country.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 07:27:33 AM by SeilerBird »
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ArdraF

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Re: brits planning for fulltiming in USA and Canada for 1yr
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2013, 05:00:25 PM »
Quote
  What if any restrictions are placed on RV's for moving around other than the usual weight length stuff for bridges and town centres etc. and any suggestions for good maps showing the restrictions.

We don't have a lot of restrictions, per se, except in some places like New York state that restricts large vehicles on certain roads because they have a lot of older tunnels or places with bridges that don't allow explosives, including propane.  California restricts motorhomes over 40 feet to certain roads and I'm sure there probably are others.  Sometimes popular places such as Santa Monica in California and Bar Harbor in Maine restrict RV parking on their streets but that's a local ordinance situation that you only know about when you see the signs.  They should post such restrictions.  When you enter the various states, they'll often have a whole bunch of signs that you want to read, because they tell you if talking on cell phones while driving is prohibited, if there is a state speed limit for certain types of vehicles (California has a 55 mph speed limit for any vehicle that is towing which includes RVs), etc.  Also California has agricultural check stations to prevent the spread of insects and blights that can ruin agricultural crops.  We even encountered one once in Prince Edward Island because they were having a problem with a potato bug.  After they checked under and around our RV we had to drive through a special solution to kill anything on our tires.

For paper maps I much prefer those put out by AAA (American Automobile Assn.) but you have to be a member to get them.  They show such things as tunnels and mountain passes.  Rand McNally puts out a Trucker's Atlas that lists restricted roads in each state.  We have a Mountain Directory book for the west coast and another for the east coast.  These tell you what to expect in terms of sharp curves, long up- or down-grades, the speed limits, and the percentage of incline.  To my knowledge we don't have one source that will meet all your needs.  I suspect we're just too big and have too many roads for one paper product to have everything you want.  Garmin and Rand McNally now have RV and/or truck GPS units.  These are relatively new and we've had a discussion or two about them (use the Search button above to find those discussions).  But, like you, I still like to see routes on paper.  Join the dinosaur club!  ;) I just saw a write-up for the Garmin RV unit and you can put in your vehicle height and weight so it avoids places like tunnels and bridges where you should not go.  On the other hand, we've had our regular Garmin add 100 miles to a route because we said to avoid toll roads and the one I remember specifically in Maryland had a bridge with a toll so it wanted to take us all the way into Washington D.C. and in a huge circle to get down to our destination in Virginia.

By the way, if you enter a state on a freeway (e.g. the Interstate system) they often have Visitor Centers and some are quite good with brochures about different parts of the states, maps, accommodations including campgrounds, state parks, and various attractions.  Canada does the same as you enter provinces.  If they're large enough to be staffed, the people generally are quite helpful and they've told us about a lot of neat things to see and do.

Also, you might want a copy of the Good Same 2014 RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory which you can purchase at Camping World or online.

ArdraF
« Last Edit: November 01, 2013, 05:16:39 PM by ArdraF »
ArdraF
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: brits planning for fulltiming in USA and Canada for 1yr
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2013, 05:50:44 PM »
     I fully agree with Tom Jones and vehemently disagree with Tom Seiler about not arranging for health insurance before entering the US.  Those of us who are used to socialized medicine find prices in the US for even simple matters are far beyond anything we could imagine.  I know people from here who have lost their houses as a result of an uninsured heart attack while visiting the US, of course that assumes that the debt follows you home as it does here in Canada.

Ed
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GR 'Scott' Cundiff

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Re: brits planning for fulltiming in USA and Canada for 1yr
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2013, 06:26:47 PM »
What a great trip you are planning! 

You will want to schedule your adventure to focus on the north in the summer and the southern states in the winter.

Add libraries to your list of WiFi locations.  Like in the UK most libraries offer internet access.

You might want to get copies of the Trucker's Mountain Driving Guide for the eastern and western US - it will help you plan your routes so you'll be prepared for (or avoid) some of the more challenging grades in the country.

You'll find lots of information on budgeting here on the forum.  If you are interested, I've just posted our expense sheet for 6 months of fulltiming.  You'll find it on my blog which is listed in my signature below.

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RLSharp

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Re: brits planning for fulltiming in USA and Canada for 1yr
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2013, 09:13:07 PM »
CoachNet is your best option for emergency roadside assistance. They are around $100 per month.

That should be "around $100 per YEAR."
 
R

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SeilerBird

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Re: brits planning for fulltiming in USA and Canada for 1yr
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2013, 07:28:16 AM »
That should be "around $100 per YEAR."
Thanks for pointing out my error. I have fixed the post.
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jerrydiver

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Re: brits planning for fulltiming in USA and Canada for 1yr
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2013, 07:40:32 PM »
I wish you guys luck on the journey.
  We feel the same away about keeping real maps on board.  You can often find the Trucker's Atlas at truckstops all over the country, in paper or laminated form, and regular size font or very large.  And the previous year's are usually available at a big discount.
  Many of the state line truck inspection/scale stations are good places to ask about restricted routes that you may encounter, as are those road atlases. And a few of them have large truck overnight parking. One possible source of info that I would not use with blind faith is the CB radio.  Most people will freely tell you what they know, but sometimes you'll get someone who deliberately leads you astray.  Sad, but true.
  I stay in touch using Verizon 4G service, which has great coverage in the eastern half of the country, but not so great out in the wide-open spaces between major cities out West.
You can see their national 4G/3G coverage map of the country online.  But as far as comms while in Canada, I don't know.
  If you're planning some boondocking, there are actually quite a few of the interstate rest stops that have RV pump-out facilities available for no charge.  Most of the big-box retailers like WalMart, Target, CostCo and large shopping malls have no problem with overnighting there, but best to follow the 'Truck Route' signs within the parking lots to safely scout the best place to park for the night.  And of course, these same stores will have many items that you may require. 

 

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