UK RV Couple - New to Forum

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Well-known member
Apr 25, 2005
Hello Everyone,

Thought we would say hello to you all - escpecially as we will be asking you loads of questions over the next few weeks/months.? ;)

We are Paul (38) and Ann-Marie (33), married with no children.

We live in the South-West of the UK, a place called Weston-super-Mare (120 miles west of London).

So, why are we here ?

We've decided to buy an RV and tour America for 6 months - longer if we can get a visa sorted.

Thats about it really.

As I stated earlier, we would love for you to help us with a few answers to the many questions we will have.

Hope to see you around the Forum.


Paul and Ann-Marie

Paul and Ann-Marie

Welcome to our friendly forum. Weston Super Mare - used to be one of our day trips from sunny South Wales when I was a kid.  I even recall one of those trips being by boat from Swansea across the Bristol Channel to "Weston". Is WSM technically in scrumpy country?

We have a number of UK members here, some of whom have done exactly what you're planning to do. Ian Hall Hancock, a fellow countryman, and his wife are currently touring the USA. I'm sure Ian will jump in when he sees your message.

Meanwhile, feel free to ask any questions about RVs and the RVing lifestyle. I'll try to dig up some of the prior relevant discussions here and post some pointers for you. And, please ignore my teasing; It's just that teasing Englishmen is one of my hobbies, and I haven't had so much fun since Wales won the Grand Slam 27 years ago.

Taff exiled in California
Hi Tom

Thanks for the quick welcome.

I guess that WsM does come under "Scrumpy Country" - in fact, I had 3 pints on Saturday night (and 6 pints worth of hangover on Sunday morning) NEVER MIX YOUR DRINKS !!!

Ive seen a reference to Ian on another Forum - hopefully he will stop by sometime.

Ive placed a few questions on the Newcomers Thread.

Hope to speak again over the next few weeks or so - Thanks for your hospitality.


Paul and Ann-Marie
Paul and Ann-Marie!

Welcome to the RV Forum and hope you will enjoy our online community.  Feel free to join in any of the discussions going on, or start one of your own.  In addition to members from UK here on the Forum,  there are several UK RVers in the areas in which we travel!

Sounds like it may be a popular lifestyle in your Country.
Paul and Ann-Marie,

Welcome to the RV Forum framily.  We are glad you found us.  About when do you expect to begin your travels in the US.  You are sure welcome to join in any RV Forum rallys that might fit your schedule.  Ian from the UK is over here now and had the opportunity to attend the Southeast Rally recently.  Hope Ian see your message.  I'm sure he can give you some pointers too.

Please feel free to join in any of the ongoing discussions or start new discussions revelant to the RVing lifestyle.  Ask any questions that may come to mind.  There is a lot of experience among the framily members and we are willing to share information.

Thanks for joining us.

Hi Paul and Ann- Marie
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? i will only be glad to help the best i can.We flew over in late january and are flying back home in late june,we purchased an rv to do what you are planning to do and are currently in Salem New Jersey visiting friends we met in Florida.The weather here is just like home so will be heading back south shortly.The buying and insuring precces is quite simple and if you are going to import yours back home like us we will soon have that sorted aswell.

bye the way Tom ? ?its Hancock not Hall ?a bit of coincidence that we are near Hancocks Bridge i will have to look into the story of this
Apologies Ian, didn't realize I had your surname wrong. Must have something to do with me knowing someone by the name of Ian Hall. Of course, any name other than a Jones, Thomas or Evans is foreign to us Welsh, so we wouldn't know the difference  :)
Paul & Ann-Marie,

Welcome to the RV Forum and the USA.  We are delighted to see you here and hope that you will make this your on-line home.  Ask any questions you may have or jump in and participate in an on-going discussion.  We have plenty of experienced RVers here and someone is bound to be able to help you.

We hope your visit to the US is as enjoyable as was our visit to the UK back in the late 80's.  We thorougly enjoyed our exploration of your lovely isle.  We stayed in London for a week taking in the sights, theater, etc. then rented a car and traveled all around the country as well as Scotland.  We were there a total of 4 weeks and got to see a lot but I am sure we also missed a lot  ;D.
Tom said:
Apologies Ian, didn't realize I had your surname wrong. Must have something to do with me knowing someone by the name of Ian Hall. Of course, any name other than a Jones, Thomas or Evans is foreign to us Welsh, so we wouldn't know the difference? :)

Jeesh man, you left out the Davises.
Thanks for the warm welcome everyone.

A question for Ian (or anyone else who knows the answer)............

I probably havent got this absolutely right, but I believe that you have to pay 17.5% VAT and 10% Import Tax when importing your RV into the UK ?

BUT, if you have owned the RV for min 6 months and have been out of the UK for 12 months, you don't have to pay either of these taxes - saving ?16,500 on a ?60,000 RV - enough to cover the cost of the extra 6 months stay.

Obviously, there are visa issues involved - which we are trying to find a solution to. Perhaps a tour to Canada or Mexico or even ship from the US to Spain and spend the 6 months in Europe.

Any ideas ??

Many Thanks

Paul and Ann-Marie
Hi Paul
that door was closed by the HM customs and excise last year because that was the original route i was going,the only way to avoid import duty is if you are registered disabled  but that is a tricky one aswell.What they will tax you on is 10% of the wholesale value of the RV and the cost of shipping and then 17.5% vat of that total.
You can save this end by setting up a Montana LLC as i did thus saving sales tax .Importing to Spain will be no advantage because of the European union they will still get you,we also tried that route and they start tying you up in red tape.We also tried the Canada to Ireland route but in the end decided to do it the easy way and import straight to the UK.I got 2 months before importing and if yu do find a way i would like to know
cheers IAN
Hi Ian

Ive just telephoned Customs & Excise on +44 (0)845 0109000

The woman I spoke to confirms my thoughts.

The import comes under a "Transfer of Residence Relief" which means no VAT or Duty is payable - as long as the vehicle is owned for min 6 months and youve lived outside the EC for 12 months plus.

She is sending me a leaflet on this and stated that quite a few people are doing it, especially with "mobile homes".

UPDATE : Ive just added the details here.

Basically, it seems that you must :-

1. Have had the RV for 6 months
2. Have lived outisde the EC for 12 months
3. Be moving permanent residence into the EC
4. Not sell the RV for 12 months after importing it.

My main problem is that I will have 2 houses in the UK which we rent out. I will have to chat with an accountant to see if we can still be classed as non-UK residents when we plan our tour.

The other problem of course is that, whilst we can register a temporary address with, we would still be "visiting" the US as far as our Visa goes - I need to find out whether this would satisfy the UK Government.

Lets cross our fingers and hope  :eek: - it would be good to save nearly ?16,000 !!!!!


Paul and Ann-Marie

Don't know if this applies to the U.K., but in the States you can be a landlord and not a resident as long as you don't live in one of those houses you rent out. As far as residency with Escapees, that probably wouldn't work, as each state has minimum residency requirements which usually include a permanent address where you spend 'x' months/year, possibly transfering various vehicle registrations to that state, and other things. Best to consult a tax attorney and/or accountant on BOTH sides of the pond.

Good luck! 16k of (almost) any currency is nothing to sneeze at.
Hi Paul
you hit the nail on the head where it says moving your permanent residence,in the book you receive from HM customs it classifies your normal home as being where your bussiness and family ties are.That was one of the main changes the wording.If you pm me your email address i can put you on to the company to set up a Montana LLC at least you can save the state sales tax. I think you will find that Escapees have stopped UK residents using there address due to 9-11 but the Montana company will give you a US address 0% sales tax and forward all your motorhome correspondence.There is a forum for brits on that will answer a lot of visa questions,i think the problem you will get is spending over six months in the states and income tax.

you mentioned how we found it touring for the winter,the answer is we found it very hard
hard not to laugh when filling up with diesel at ?1.10 a gallon,hard not to laugh when we are in 85 f weather on the beach when the rest of the family is freezing in the UK,
actually its been great with the exchange rate as it is and everyone we have met have been so friendly.

we found it very hard hard not to laugh when filling up with diesel at ?1.10 a gallon

Keep your fuel receipts because you are required to show them to U.S. Customs when you leave. For non-US citizens there's a duty of $3/gallon levied as you leave. Failure to show your receipts allows them to use an estimated fuel consumption based on the time you were in the U.S.

hard not to laugh when we are in 85 f weather on the beach when the rest of the family is freezing in the UK

I've heard that UK Customs and Excise now levy a charge based on the mean temperature difference between the country you've visited outside the EEC and the UK. If it rained anywhere in the UK while you were away, there's an additional charge (remember, it rains 366 days a year in sunny South Wales).

Oh, yes, Tony Blair just announced an additional surcharge if there was a favourable exchange rate while you away. Since this is election year, his ratioanle is that this will lose him less votes among the workers on the wet side of the Severn Estuary than the traditional increase in petrol and booze tax.
Hi, Paul and Ann Marie.  Welcome to the Forum.  We're expats.  Have lived over here since '79.  We now full time in our 'fifth wheel' and love it. 

We're originally from Malvern, and have lots of memories of Weston - day trips with Sunday school, etc.  Has the tide come in yet?

Most of the folks on this forum have motor homes, rather than trailers, and they're all incredibly helpful.    Ask all the questions you have, and you'll get some very helpful answers.  Good luck in your search for an RV.

Dennis & Peggy Underhill

Hi Paul & Ann Marie,

Welcome to our friendly forum. Hope you get all the answers you need. I'm sure you will. :)  Looking forward to perhaps meeting you in the US someday soon.

Hi Ian, Paul and Anne Marie

It seems Ian will be living the US shortly, so this post will probably not apply to you. 
My name is Julea and my husband is Alan, we are from Hertfordshire in the UK, and came to the states September 2003.
We bought a 5th wheel and traveled till September 2004, stored the RV in Florida and went home for 8 months.

We are now back in the US for another year and on the road again, and would like to meet other Rver?s from the UK in our
age bracket, we are in our early forty?s. Whilst visiting 23 states and 82 campgrounds last year we didn?t meet anyone our own age or from
the UK. We both agreed that this life style is great, and it would be even better if all the campsites were full of people our age from the same back ground.

Knowing this is totally unreasonable as we are touring America, hence the shortage of English people, and most people can not afford to full time RV until they retire. In saying that we don?t want to wait till we are at retiring age to enjoy life and it would be nice to meet, on the odd occasion, some English folk a bit younger than the norm. We know you are out there and we would love to share stories and ideas with you. So Paul and Anne Marie drop us a line with you plans, we aren?t always on the net so here is our cell phone number 941 323 8666 or email [email protected].  Hope to hear from you or anyone else that would like to contact us. Come on you BRITS where are you.
We are currently in Utah near Moab, then onto Colorado.

Alan & Julea Field

2000 Fleetwood Prowler 5ver 3.5.y
1995 Ford F350 PSD
Alan and Julea,

We have a number of Brits and ex-pats on this forum, but it sounds like you're very picky about the age of the people with whom you associate. I guess my wife and I fall into the "way too old" category, although we welcome any and all Brits and any and all RVers. Prior to reading your message we felt quite young, but now feel like we've been cast aside by the younger generation. As my elders used to say when I was young "we were your age once". Or, as we say to our kids as they face issues with their kids that we had with them "payback is a bitch".
Hi Tom

Nothing against older people, the couple next to us in this campground has 20 years on us and we made friends at the last campsite and they have joined up with us for this site. It's just we all do tend to socialize with people our on age in life. 
Put it this way, if you walked in to a bar, and in the left corner there were 10 people your age, and in the right corner there were 10 people 20 years younger than you, which corner would you pick to spend your evening socializing with. We know this life style is geared around older people than us, we accept that. We would just like for ONCE to meet some younger people as we now we are not that odd in retiring so young, or maybe we are ?. Perhaps you could put us in touch with some people?. Awaiting in anticipation for your reply

Julea & Alan

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