May 2022 Financial Update

After a fews days on the road we are settled into our new spot in Pennsylvania where we will stay for a couple of months. Normally I love being on top of everything that is going on in the markets and with our financial situation, but I have to admit that focusing on driving and enjoying the scenery for a few days was a really nice break. I tend to get overly invested in the market details, trends and financial news. This is probably not very healthy so being away from turmoil for a few days was refreshing and something I should do more often.

As for the current state of the economy, there isn’t really much more to say. Our government failed us, and is continuing to fail us. All we can do is wait to see how everything plays out and take advantage of any opportunities that may arise. Sadly I think we are heading for a recession as we can’t count on an incompetent fed, and an even more incompetent former fed chairman turned treasury secretary, to glide the economy down to a soft landing.

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Campground Review – Jetstream RV Resort

Welcome to another edition of our campground review series. In this edition we will be reviewing Jetstream RV Resort at NASA located in Webster, Texas.

This was our second visit to Jetstream and we stayed at the resort for 2 months after leaving our lovely spot in Sedona, AZ. Since our last visit here almost 2 years ago, and after we made our new reservation, the resort went through a management change when it was acquired by Sun Outdoors. We were a little concerned that it wouldn’t be the same. From what we saw, most of the changes being made were for the good.

Jetstream RV Resort at NASA is located south of Houston just off Interstate 45 heading towards Galveston. The location is great because you are centrally located between Houston and Galveston and you can be in either area in 15 to 20 minutes. Best of all, it is minutes away from NASA Johnson Space Center! If you are a NASA or Space X fan like us, this is the place to be.

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10 Essentials For Your New RV

Before you know it spring will be upon us and thus begins RV and camping season. With the huge increase in popularity for RV’s it seems like a good time to put out an updated list of essential items, all of which we use.

We have some items that are standard must-haves and part of owning an RV. Then there are some items that are essential because they make life a little easier and traveling a little more efficient and safer. There is something to be said for practical use and being full-time on the road that has given us a lot of experience in necessities of RV life.

You can find our original list from 2019 here. It’s a good list and while we are including items that are essential, we also strive to include some items that are not typically included on the standard lists people post.

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2021 Year In Review

What a difference a year makes! As a matter of fact, we never published our 2020 year in review for a few reasons. Mostly because 2020 just plain sucked! The pandemic ruined everything from our son’s senior year of high school, large parts of our college road trip, his freshman year in college and our plans to start our full-time RV life. And who can forget the financial rollercoaster from the top of the world down to the pit of despair and back again? Publishing a blog post and reliving it all over again was the last thing on our minds.

Here we are at the end of another year and still dealing with the continued fallout from the pandemic. Some things have remained the same. Everything else in our lives has changed for the better.

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Campground Review – Distant Drums RV Resort

Welcome to another edition of our campground review series. In this edition we will be reviewing Distant Drums RV Resort in Camp Verde, Arizona.

This was our first ever visit to Distant Drums and we stayed at the resort for 3 months after leaving Utah. The resort came highly recommended in several of the RV groups and it didn’t disappoint.

Distant Drums is located on the North side of Camp Verde right off of Interstate 17. The location is great because you are centrally located between Sedona and Cottonwood/Jerome and you can enjoy the entire area without living in the traffic that comes with these great places.

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Full-Time RV Budgeting

One of the most asked questions by people looking to go full-time RVing is “How much does it cost?” The problem with answering this question is it is very subjective as the variables for full-time RV living seem to be unlimited and there is no uniform cookie cutter option when it comes to this lifestyle.

Just asking a few questions will make you quickly realize how much a full-time RV budget can vary between families:

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Campground Review – Cedar City KOA

(Please note that this campground has been sold and is no longer a KOA as of 12/2021)

Welcome back to another edition of our campground review series. In this edition we will be reviewing one of our longtime favorite campgrounds in Utah, The Cedar City KOA.

Before we start just a disclaimer. This review is going to be a little different than previous reviews as this is a campground we worked at this past Summer and have been invited to work at again next Summer/Fall. Additionally, we have been staying at this campground for almost ten years now and have become friends with the new owners, so we are probably a little bias. None of this however will change our opinion of the campground itself and we are not saying anything in our review that we haven’t already expressed to the owners personally. They are great people and have made vast improvements to the campground with big plans still to come.

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April 2021 Financial Update

The month of April came and went in what seemed to be a flash and we are happy it is over. The month began with us still being stuck camping in a bodyshop parking lot as repairs continued on our RV. Once the wonderful folks at M&M Coach completed the work it was time for us to head to South Dakota so we could complete the process of becoming residents.

Of course everything we hoped to avoid on our journey to and from South Dakota ended up happening. And why not since Murphy’s Law seems to be our copilot and trial by fire is the gauntlet we apparently have to run through in order to live this amazing life.

We hit below freezing temps, snow and heavy winds pretty much every single day in Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota. Just the week before these same places were enjoying sunny 80 degree days but now it’s snowing in the middle of April. We made sure to fill our water tanks every chance we got because several campgrounds were unable to turn on their water due to the risk of the pipes freezing. This also meant we had to ration water because getting more would require breaking down camp and driving the RV somewhere in snowing conditions to refill the tank. No thank you!

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Becoming South Dakota Residents

To us one of the essential parts of becoming full time RV’ers was to establish residency, or domicile, in a state other than California. This is something most full timers do if they no longer intend to have a permanent residence or home base in a state. There are several reasons both financially and logistically to take this step and although it takes a little bit of work it is a fairly easy process and well worth the time.

When it comes to full time travelers some states are more beneficial than others. Have you ever noticed that many RV’s on the road are to be registered in South Dakota, Texas or Florida? This is because these three states are considered full time friendly states and make it very easy to become residents even though you don’t intend on being in the state most of the time. Another thing these three states have in common is they have an income tax rate of ZERO!! That’s right, if you are a resident of one of these three states you do not have to pay a state income tax. Contrast that with California who has one of the highest state tax rates in the nation and you can start to understand our motivation for getting out of the state. Continue reading “Becoming South Dakota Residents”

Living The Dream For 30 Days

There is a common understanding in the RV community that the full time lifestyle while amazingly liberating, can also be extremely challenging and frustrating. The mantra that you have to take the good with the bad is repeated adnausium in social media groups. There is no going into this way of living without knowing that you will eventually face your share of challenges and adversity. Well, after one month of living the dream, consider us fully christened into the realm of taking the good with the bad! Continue reading “Living The Dream For 30 Days”