Welcome to My Full-Time RV Living LifeStyle Blog!

I suppose I should mention that this is an RV blog. The picture of me standing beside a motorhome in the banner probably tipped you off to that fact already, but you know how it is with blogs, any body can put anything in the header.

Anyways, I was born, raised, and live in Maine, I have 12 cats, and some people would call me homeless. Nope, I have a home, I just don't have what people call a standard house. My house has wheels and her name is Rosebud. My backyard stretches on for thousands and thousands of miles all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Once upon a time I had a "regular home" but a flood came and took it away. Me and my cats spent the next 3 years living under a 8x6 tarp and survived through 3 blizzards and Maine's coldest winter on record when the temps hit -48F. After that me and the cats moved in a Volvo. As hard as it is to live in a tent with 12 cats, it's even harder to live in a Volvo with 12 cats, and a motorhome named No Hurry was the answer. No Hurry: my home, my office, my RV.

I plan to use this blog to share my thoughts, ideas, adventures, and advice on being self-employed, living and working a full-time RV LifeStyle with an army of cats, while boondocking in the wonderful (and sometimes sub-zero) state of Maine.

I hope to write a post a day featuring random thoughts as they pop into my head, and hopefully 2 or 3 posts per week will focus on something helpful to those seeking to live in an RV full time. If you've any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on what sort of posts you'd like to see me write, please comment and let me know.

I hope you all have as much fun reading this blog as I know I'll have writing it.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Answers To Your FullTime RV Living Questions: Where is your legal residence? If you travel fulltime, where do you renew your drivers license and what state to you file taxes in? Do you still need to own property somewhere to be a resident?

Where is your legal residence? If you travel fulltime, where do you renew your drivers license and what state to you file taxes in? Do you still need to own property somewhere to be a resident?

You've got several questions rolled in one here, let's answer each separately, okay?

Where is your legal residence? 


Why? Easy. I like Maine. I was born in Maine, raised in Maine, no plans to ever leave Maine. When I do travel (which is rare) I travel with-in Maine, sometimes New Hampshire, a few times Vermont, but mostly just Maine. I've been in every town in Maine at one time or another, but I stick to the coast pretty much 24/7, I'm on the beach almost every day, jogging hip deep in the waves 3 hours a day, and for the most part I stay in one place months at a time.

I didn't become a full-timer to travel. I initially did not become a fulltimer by choice. The lifestyle was thrown on me when a flood took everything I owned, including my house. (Remember what I said about me liking to live on the coast, well, my front door was practically in the ocean.) I was homeless for 5 years, spent that time with the goal of getting back into a house. But than one day that goal just melted away.

I lost everything to a flood. Was quite happy living in a house, had no plans to stop doing so, (well, happy enough, I didn't really like the tiny 700 square foot house, it was the location I loved) but  than one day there was no house. Lots of water. Lots of rubble. Lots of mud. But no house. I lived in a "home made tent" (a 8x6 tarp thrown over a woodpile) for the next few years. Eventually got a car and lived in that instead, while still also living under the tarp-tent-thing. The whole 5 years I was working towards getting back in a house. Than, after 5 years of "homelessness", I moved into an apartment, and HATED being indoors. OMG! I had spent those 5 years with one goal: to get back inside a house, only to reach that goal and realize, I really, really, really HATED living indoors! So it was back to the land (which I still owned, but still had no house on it, where the tent-thing still stands to this very day) to try to figure out what to do next.

In my 5 years of "homelessness" I had learned to love living without a house. I had boondocked the whole time: no electricity, no running water, no toilet, pretty much it was like a 5 year camp out - a cold blizzards filled camp out, but a camp out none the less. I learned to love cooking over a campfire. I learned to get up with the sun and sleep under the stars. I got used to my radio station being the ocean waves and the screaming seagulls and the singing songbirds. I had even learned to love living without electricity, without running water, and without a toilet! I couldn't believe it - I got back into a house and I could not adjust to HAVING these things! All I wanted to do was escape the indoors and rush back outside to be out in nature.  I even got use to dealing with thunderstorms, hurricanes, and blizzards with only a 8x6 tarp for protection! Weird, I know, but that's what happened. The whole time I was wanting to get back in a house, but I got so used to living off the land, that when I did get back in a house, I couldn't fathom going back to house living which now feels like a confining prison to me. I had never lived a normal life, and my house lost to a flood, was a 700 square foot 1 bedroom summer cabin, which I had rarely spent much time in to begin with seeing how I was always too busy being outdoors. I basically only slept in the thing. I think I only really lived in a house to begin with, because I felt it was the thing "normal" people did and I was "supposed" to do it. Going into an apartment, showed me just how much I REALLY detested being indoors.

Logic told me I needed a house of some sort, at least to have a dry/warm place to sleep during Maine's endless rain and snow seasons. And than it hit me: what I needed was a motorhome! It allows me to have a warm dry place during rain and snow and still have the option to live at one with nature. The other advantage of a motorhome is, when the next hurricane, nor`easter, blizzard, or thunderstorm comes ripping up the coast (and one or the other arrives every month of the year) it's a simple matter of starting the engine and driving my home inland to sit out the storm, than drive back to the ocean once the storm passes. No more worries of floods taking out the house! LOL!

And so I became a fulltimer/boondocker, with no goal of ever traveling at all. Now granted my fulltiming is not the norm, most fulltimers, got their motorhome with a goal of traveling, me, I'm content to stay in one spot most of the time, I don't move around to much. I don't particularly NEED a house, it's just me and my cats, and there's plenty of room for us in a motorhome. A House has all sorts of expenses, that a motorhome doesn't have. And with a motorhome, I don't have to stay just on one beach all the time, I can go from one beach to the next and take my "house" with me. Living in a motorhome just plain made more sense to me, than living in a house.

Thus my "Domicile" is as it always was: Maine, because I love Maine, I love Maine beaches, I love Maine coastlines, I love Maine forests. I just plain love Maine. With a house only one tiny lot in Maine could be my home, now with a motorhome, the ENTIRE STATE of Maine is my home. I still have the land where the house used to be and I'm parked there much of the time. My mail comes there, I vote in that town, I attend that's towns counsel meetings, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's where I grew up, it belonged to my parents, my grandparents, my great grand parents...there are no buildings on the land anymore, it's basically an empty lot, turned into a parking space and garden. I have a garden here, roses, vegetables, fruit trees, it's only about an 1/8 of an acre...So even when I'm elsewhere, that address remains my "home address" and very likly will remain so the rest of my life.

While reading lots of RV stuff in prep for my motorhome, I noted money (taxes, insurances, etc) to be a major deciding factor for most RVers when choosing a place of residency. I found this quite interesting, because money has never been a deciding factor for me in any of my decisions, RVing or otherwise. But I thought I'd comment on this myself, as it may be of interest to those deciding their own domicile.

Fact #1: Maine is in the Top 10 for being a state with the HIGHEST taxes in the nation.

Fact #2: Old Orchard Beach (my Domicile city) has the SECOND HIGHEST taxes in the state and is among the highest of any town in New England.

Fact #3: My father's grandfather founded and settled this town over 200 years ago and for most of that time my family pretty much ran every business and government seat in the town.

Fact #4: I have Autism. I was removed from school at age 8. Did not talk for most of my life. Never had any education of job training. I can barely count, let alone to math, so talk of money is generally lost on me. You tell me what I own you and I can count enough to count out the cash I hand you. That's pretty much my limit of money ability. I require adult supervision and have a difficult time with most things.

Fact #5: The flood that left me homeless, also left me alone. It didn't just take the house - it took everything and every one, leaving death and destruction all around me. I was 29 years old and both alone and without adult supervision for the first time in my life. I have had to teach myself EVERYTHING since than. I was 34 when I got my GED, and 36 when I got my driver's license. My next goal is learning how to get a job.

Fact #6: My current income is $2,000 PER YEAR, made from selling my art online via Zazzle.com. I pay my taxes, I register/insure/put-gas-in my vehicles (I also have a Volvo and a 1964 Dodge), I buy food for myself, I buy food for my 12 cats. I have no other expenses.

Conclusion: I rarely use money, I barely understand money, I go for months at a time without money and without the need to spend it either, I make enough to pay for what few expenses I have, and otherwise have no reason to think about money. Thus money is not a deciding factor in choosing my domicile. For me the deciding factor is - I am at home in this town: I know the people, I know the town counsel, I know the businesses, the town is so small I can walk from one end to the other in less than an hour, I can walk on the beach every day, I can hike in the forest every day, there are fewer than 8,000 residents, I am one of less than a 1,000 year round residents, in the winter it's pretty much just me and the lobstermen.

In Short: this town is my own little Paradise. You can't put a price tag on that. I chose my place of residence based on the fact that I like this town and for no other reason.

If you travel fulltime, where do you renew your drivers license and what state to you file taxes in? 

I am not the right person to be asking this question to.

First off, let me explain that there are two types of full-timers: Full-Time Travelers and Full-Time RVers.

Full-Time Travelers are on the road a lot. They rarely stay in one location more than 3 or 4 months, and most only stay at each stop for a week or less. They may or may not live in an RV. Some live in cars, some live in vans, some live in trailers, some live in motorhomes, some live in tiny pop-ups pulled by motorcycles, and I've meet a few who live out of their backpack while crossing the country on bikes. Some live in their cars during the day and sleep at motels or in tents during the night. They call no place their home and move from one place to the next, year after year.

Full-Time RVers may or may not be Full-Time Travelers. They live in a trailer or a motorhome full time. They may be "Snowbirds" living 6 months in the north and 6 months in the south always parking in the exact same location, which they may either rent or own outright. They may be "Homesteading Boondockers" living off the grid all year long never moving off their land at all. They may be "Part Time Travelers" living in the RV on their own land most of the year and traveling in the RV only a few weeks of the year.

Full-Time RV Travelers are when Full-Time Travelers are also Full-Time RVers.

Me? I am a Full-Time Boondocker, a Semi-Full Timer RVer, and only an occasional vacationing traveler. What this means is this: I live on my own land, without utility hook-ups (no electricity, no running water, no sewer/septic). On dry warm days I live in a tent and on cold, rainy, or snowy days I move into a motorhome. My traveling consists of monthly weekend visits to in-state tourist attractions, festivals, fair grounds, beaches, fishing villages, state parks, etc. I am a Scottish Traveller by birth, race, and culture (note the double "LL", but I am not a Traveler (single "L") by life style.

So to answer your question: have a Maine license and I file my taxes in Maine.

Do you still need to own property somewhere to be a resident?

In some towns, in order to vote, you are required to own property and live on it 6 months of the year. Where I live, Old Orchard Beach, Maine, they have this law, but as I live here year round it is not a problem for me.

I know that folks who are Full Time Travelers rarely own property and usually use a service via Good Sam's or Escappees or some other RV Club, which helps them provide "proof of residency", though I'm not sure on the specifics of such things and you would have to ask some one who actually uses these services.


This post was written by Wendy C Allen aka EelKat, is copyrighted by The Twighlight Manor Press and was posted on Houseless Living @ http://houselessliving.blogspot.com and reposted at EK's Star Log @ http://eelkat.wordpress.com and parts of it may also be seen on http://www.squidoo.com/EelKat and http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com  If you are reading this from a different location than those listed above, please contact me Wendy C. Allen aka EelKat @ http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=viewprofile and let me know where it is you found this post. Plagiarism is illegal and I DO actively pursue offenders. Unless copying a Blog Meme, you do not have permission to copy anything appearing on this blog, including words, art, or photos. This will be your only warning. Thank you and have a glorious day! ~ EelKat

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