by Phillip Kirk
(Elgin, Ok USA)
Q. I am getting ready to retire and I have just now considered selling off everything for RVing. Don't know diddley squat about it. Have a lot of questions, some I may not even have thought of yet.
One question is about receiving Internet as you travel and also receiving mail. Also I enjoy hunting and fishing, so how about hunting and fishing licenses as we travel? I also have a HD motorcycle and a small SUV I would like to take along with us. Would a 2-tandem trailer be efficient to purchase?
We will be a total of 4 people occupying (1 72-yr- old woman, 1 mentally and physically handicapped woman, plus my wife, and I) and maybe a dog, so what size will be efficient for 4 people to travel comfortably? Also the cost of insurance. We're also concerned about cost of upkeep. About how much minimum emergency savings would be efficient?
Marianne's Reply:Hi Philip
There are various options available for Internet these days. It really will depend on how frequently you depend on it and how much you're willing to spend. Verizon (and similar companies) offer wireless mobile Internet that can be part of a cell phone plan or sold separately. We have purchased their usb mobile device in the past and paid roughly $50.00 per month without a contract. Some people have a satellite Internet connection -expensive but very dependable. Autonetmobile is another interesting option.If you don't need it "on demand", you can access free wifi (with the purchase of a coffee) at a lot of coffee shops, MacDonald's restaurants, and other locations across the nation. There are websites that list free wifi hotspots. I list a few on my resources page. For the most dependable FREE Internet, stop at town libraries as you travel. Even the smallest branches will offer it. A few charge a dollar or two but most often it's free.
RV clubs such as Escapees and a few others will collect and forward your mail for a small fee. Cut back on mail by transferring all your regular bills to automatic payment.
Unfortunately, fishing licences are issued separately by each state - there is no federal licence to cover various states.
We know nothing about hunting licences....maybe another RVer can chime in. I also don't know much about towing - and don't know what you mean by a "tandem trailer". I'm hoping a reader will comment.
To figure out what type and size RV would suit four people like yourselves, try going to a local RV show. They'll have lots of options to show you and, if you all go together, you'll be able to try functioning in the space to see how it feels. You'll also be able to see what type of floorplans, door width, steps, etc. will work best for the handicapped person. The RV showroom would be a good place to ask about towing that trailer too.
We are pleasantly surprised that our RV insurance is about half the annual cost of our automobile insurance yet both vehicles have similar value and coverage. This is in Canada but it may be the same in the USA.
As for emergency funds - that will depend very much on what you're comfortable with. There are too many variables and types of emergency situations that no one can forsee. This is, however, the case even when you're living in a stationary home.