Travelling in USA

Submitted: Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 06:06
ThreadID: 107195 Views:1607 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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Gill & I are travelling to the USA in May 2015. It is out intention to travel there for approx 6 months per year for the next 2-3 years. We have both travelled to the USA previously both on business and for holidays a number of times.

We are contemplating buying a class C RV and using this as our base/transport for the period, putting it into storage for the months that we are not there. (Storage would be in the Durham area NC as we have a son who lives there).

Now like most kids, whilst he thinks it's a great idea that we travel within the USA and get to know it better, finding out the basic stuff like where is the best place to buy the camper, how does ownership work for someone who is not in the USA permanently etc is just not something that he either comprehends and or is any use for finding the info!

We were wondering has anyone else on the forum done this and what tips can you share that just might make this easier. Thank you.
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Reply By: Member - John - Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 06:57

Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 06:57
Lucky buggers........................
John and Jan

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AnswerID: 530277

Reply By: RussS - Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 07:30

Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 07:30
I have been researching the same problem for some time.

The main problem is the registration of the motorhome with no permanent US address.

There are two possibilities:

1 A "Limited Liability Company in Montana". The company has to be set up by a Montana lawyer (Just Google it as there are a few who specialise in this sort of work). The company is then able to own the RV, but of course yearly company paperwork is required.

2 Go to the following web site This is a group set up to support long term RV' owners in the US. If you check out the "Discussion Forum" you will find quite a number of threads regarding Australian/English/New Zealand residents buying and registering their RV's in Polk County in Texas where Escapees is based. They have a very good mail forwarding service that facilitates the process.

If you require any more information reply to this post and I will follow it up.

AnswerID: 530279

Follow Up By: Krooznalong - Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 13:19

Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 13:19
Would not registration in the son's name be an easier/better option?
FollowupID: 813220

Follow Up By: RussS - Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 16:35

Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 16:35
Not necessarily it depends on registration costs which vary from state to state,also if that state requires a "Smog check" if the RV is second hand and if that particular state charges yearly property tax on the RV's. So it is not that simple!
FollowupID: 813239

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 12:28

Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 12:28
Have you tried using the forums on Trip Advisor? You select a country, region, topic and ask your question there. There is an "expert" for each one that will help if you don't get the right answers from the other members. There will be a Forum to suit your situation. Hopefully, you'll get the same kind of fantastic help as we did when we used the Road Trip USA forum. People seemed very willing to help. Good luck with your trip, I'm very jealous.
Michelle Martin
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I.T. Beyond Pty Ltd / ExplorOz

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AnswerID: 530300

Reply By: Kiwibound eventually - Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 13:33

Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 13:33
Thank you so much to everyone for their replies and assistance. We will certainly follow through on all the suggestions. Yes, registering and insuring in our son's name maybe the best option, but if we can be independent we prefer. Also he is in North Carolina and in many ways we would prefer to purchase in California or even Florida. We also have insuring the vehicle to sort. We have lots to look into but it is exciting and research is certainly part of the adventure. Thank you everyone.
AnswerID: 530313

Follow Up By: RussS - Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 16:28

Friday, Apr 11, 2014 at 16:28
Escapees can suggest insurance companies and possible help as I think with many thousands of members so they may have some influence.

Be careful with state taxes on purchase in the US. I think 6 states have none and California is one of the highest at 10%. It can make a substantial difference to the total price paid.

Also be aware that some states and even some counties levy "property taxes" on your RV's value if the stay within the area for more than a couple of months.


FollowupID: 813237

Reply By: Gwray - Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 10:23

Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 10:23
Hi Kiwibound
My wife and I spent 6 months in the US in 2012.
We bought a Dodge Grand Caravan in Orange County Ca. We purchased it from a local mechanic but it was basically a private sale.
We took it to a smog testing facility - no problem with that - and took all the paperwork to the nearest AAA office. They are incredibly helpful and will walk you through the whole registration and insurance process. Insurance was a bit pricey because we had no way of proving our driving record.
We drove all over California and then across the country and up and down the East Coast. We left the vehicle at a long term car park in New York. My brother in law collected it a few weeks later and did the reverse trip, he sold the car on our behalf to a dealer in LA for not a lot less than we paid for it.
I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about the buying/selling process but assure you that if you join the AAA (which is worth doing anyway for their breakdown service, free maps etc) they will help you all the way.
Cheers Keith
AnswerID: 530515

Reply By: davekirk - Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 22:43

Monday, Apr 14, 2014 at 22:43
G,day Gill
The wife and i obtained 5 year visas for the US, and did all the research that you are doing "as we had the same idea as you". I will cut a long story very short.
We have been members of the Esscapees for three years now receiveing the bi monthly mag. we traveled to Wyoming in 2011 for their annual RV conferance/get together. we then took our hire car through Colarado, New Mexico, Texas, New Mexico,
Arizona, Navada, California, where we left for home. We bought Bedding, cuttlery/crockery, etc etc. and stayed in as many RV parks as we could to get the "feel", and the "feel" was absolute zero comoradere, we walked around many parks with a glass of wine in hand at what we consider happy hour time, and the result was consistant, NO PEOPLE OUTSIDE, we got the impression that they were all scared of each other, ( nearly all are armed ). Car hire is cheap, Fuel is cheap, Motels are cheap, Food is cheap, All are friendly, we decided to NOT BUY, but instead just to do what we did, and travell the country in a hire vehicle. I am putting a 2 month trip into a few paragraghs. ppl in Texas is probably the bigest turn over of RV,s in the US.
We are more than willing to convey our thoughts and findings if you wish.
Dave & Jenny
AnswerID: 530573

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