Why Florida?

 Posted by at 12:59 am  Nick's Blog
May 182014

After I wrote that we are thinking very hard about switching our legal domicile from South Dakota to Florida, a couple of blog readers wanted to know why, and a couple more asked if we had considered Texas.

When we started fulltiming 15 years ago we switched from Arizona to Texas and used the Escapees Mail Service. We did that for a long time, but then suddenly Texas decided that our MCI bus conversion, which had been titled as an RV since we bought it, needed to pass the more stringent commercial vehicle inspection because it started life as a commercial vehicle. We argued with them about it for a while and finally said goodbye, we’ll go someplace that wants our business (residency).

We switched to South Dakota and have used Alternative Resources in Sioux Falls for quite a while now. But our needs have changed and it’s no longer as attractive for us. For one thing, we have to go there to renew our drivers licenses and it’s just not on our regular travel routes. We usually spend part of every winter in Florida and if we ever hang up the keys it’s very likely that’s where we will settle down. Now, with the Escapees opening a branch of their mail forwarding service in Florida, it makes it even easier for us.

Florida Welcome Center sign

A while back, my friends Chris Dunphy and Cherie Ve Ard from Technomadia posted a blog about Setting Up A Domicile In Florida that explains very well many of the same reasons we are planning to switch and also all of the steps involved. Check it out.

I think now that Texas is requiring all vehicle to actually come back to the state to get an annual inspection, we are going to see more and more fulltimers switching to other states. That may be a big part of why the Escapees decided to create a Florida mail service.

Yesterday started out gray and cold, and when Terry and I left to go to Mishawaka to run some errands we wore jackets, but by the time we were done and were ready to come back home the sky had cleared and it had warmed up enough that we took them off.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I was considering a Nexus 7 or a Samsung Galaxy Tab to replace my old iPad. After looking at both at Best Buy, I am pretty sure the Samsung is the better choice for me. One major selling point for me was that the Square credit card reader we use for rallies does not work well with the Nexus. So that decision is pretty much made.

When we got back to the campground, our friends Greg and Jan White had arrived in their American Eagle motorhome and were parked next to us. We had not seen them since the Escapade in Gillette, Wyoming last July and have really missed them. After hugs all around, we all piled into the Explorer and went to King Wha, our very favorite Chinese restaurant, for dinner and lots of good conversation. Then we came back home to visit some more!

Greg and Jan were tired from their trip up from Texas and before too long their eyelids were getting heavy and they said their goodnights and went home. I spent the rest of the evening working on the outline for Monday’s self-publishing workshop. Today I’ll finish it up and put together a PowerPoint presentation to go along with it. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes together.

Thought For The Day – Always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive.

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Nick Russell

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  8 Responses to “Why Florida?”

  1. Nick: I checked the Texas DPS web site at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/vi/texasRegVeh.htm and found no change. We only have to get the inspection sticker renewed when we enter Texas, but until then we just have to “Ensure that your Texas Vehicle Registration is current” and “Follow the laws of the state you are in.” Further, we have three days upon entering Texas and after returning to our “home, station, or destination” to get reinspected.

    Has that changed?

    We are Escapee Texans.

  2. Dave,
    As I understand it, last year Texas changed the law to combine the annual safety inspection process into the annual registration process. This new law is set to take effect March 2015. Before a vehicle registration can be renewed an inspection must be completed within the 90 days prior to the vehicle registration expiration. Proof of safety inspection will be needed before registration renewal can be completed. http://legiscan.com/TX/text/HB2305/2013

  3. This next few days is going to be FUN, reading your blog and reading Greg’s blog at the same time, about the same things. 😉

  4. When we left TX three weeks ago they were still arguing about the new changes in the inspection requirements. The Escapee’s were leading the fight stating that it will affect over 50,000 residents that are not in state to do a 90 day inspection requirement. If it does pass we will just have to make sure we comply with it. It will be a pain in the *** but you do what you have to do. We hope they will make exceptions for the RVer’s but we will not hold our breath.

  5. South Dakota now allows every other time to renew your drivers license by mail.

  6. Nick

    have you looked into the costs of vehicle and health insurance moving to Florida?

  7. Yes I have Bill. Vehicle insurance will be a bit higher, but the other advantages make it work for us.

  8. All other positions and arguments (above) aside — as I have stated several times in another “Snowbird” blog: “If your idea of an idyllic winter involves sitting under an umbrella in a warm breeze, a book in one hand and a cold drink in the other, the place to be is somewhere south of Lake Okeechobee, preferably on the SW side between Fort Myers and Naples.

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