I know I’ve been a little absent from the website the past few weeks but as always I usually post daily on our TRAILin Facebook page so please like us over there too! Update, we have been in Texas for 4 weeks takin care of business.
Our first stop was our new home, Livingston, TX. When I say our new home I don’t mean we really live there, but our address does. When traveling like we do you will need a permanent address of sorts. We decided to switch from Georgia to Texas for several reasons.
- We need to pay taxes, I know sad but true
- We need a drivers licence, car registration and license plate
- We need insurance on our vehicles
- We need to declare a state to homeschool out of
- We need a state to affiliate our business with
We no longer own a home or have a job or actually reside in Georgia so switching it all over to Texas was our best all-in-one stop shop to do so.
“So why did we choose Texas?”
Florida, South Dakota and Texas are the 3 most Fulltime RV friendly states to be a resident of. Look at most RV license plates and usually it will be from one of these states. What makes them so RV friendly, mostly the taxes, then registration as well as homeschooling laws?
Livingston, Texas is our home turf now because a company called Escapees is located there. They are an RV club & mail service and for additional fees they will also give you an actual physical address of your own, not just a POBox, this is important. We need the physical address for our business, Hippie Hoopla.
OK so on our way to Dallas where we were staying for a month we decided to stay in Livingston for 3 days and get as much done as we could. First stop was visiting the actual offices of Escapees to fill out/sign paperwork and pay monies to get the official address, which you get right there and then. FYI escapees has a large RV park so don’t confuse their RV park office check-on bldg with the actual business offices which are a few blocks apart.
Now that you have your permanent address you need to get to work on switching all your vehicles over. You’ll need to get them inspected, have insurance for them both in Texas and then get them registered in same county as your permanent address. Sounds easy enough, bwahahahah? You also will need to get a drivers license but that’s last and I’ll talk about that down the road.
The inspection thing is kinda a joke, they just have it as a way to generate additional monies for their government, its $7. One thing on the list of things they look for was mud flaps or guards that are required on all dully trucks. We did not have these so we were scrambling the day before to find them. FYI we checked all the major auto part stores in town and it was a no go unless we ordered them. Finally found them at a small mom and pop truck accessories shop. We were going to get the truck and RV inspected at the same small auto repair shop in Livingston but their inspector dude woke up late and my hubs was there right when they opened and he was not so we went on down to the nearest car dealership. Truck passes no problem and he came back to our RV site to hook up and take it to the small mom and pop spot cause the guy finally woke up and was now at work. We arrive, guy asks if we have a fire extinguisher, never looks in the RV and in less then 5 minutes we are on our way, see I told you it was a joke!
Next day we headed to the government building where you pay all sorts of taxes to get our registration and license plates. It’s a small office and no one was waiting ahead of us but there’s a lot of paperwork and after taking forever to fill out it takes forever for them to type it all into the computer. So plan on staying there at least an hour even if it’s not busy. The picture above is what we needed to bring with us to submit for registration for them to have on file. You will also need to take a picture of the label on your rig with all its weight measurements. We had zero issues, paid them their money, got our license plates and were on our way! FYI this small government office does not have parking for a large RV in their small parking lot. I suggest doing what we did and just drive your truck or Toad to take care of business.
Just a reminder you will need to get your insurance for all vehicles switched to Texas before you can get registration/plates. Coming from Georgia our RV insurance stayed relatively the same but our truck insurance about doubled, crazy! We shopped around a few weeks later and saved a few hundred more and paid for the year in a lump sum so that was an additional saving but it’s still high. Apparently the storms from the past year skyrocketed all the rates due to all the hail damage payouts:(
Yea we got all the things done in Livingston that needed to be done. We don’t have to actually ever go back there to our home turf, I think? We can get our drivers license anywhere in Texas and we did. Same with inspection, can be done anywhere in Texas. Also for the following years we don’t need to be in the state when our annual registration fees are due. You can send in a letter that you promise to get the inspection within 48hrs the next time your in Texas, see still kinda a joke!
You may have noticed a picture above of our cargo carrier which holds our generator. Well because of how ridiculously bumpy I-10 is through Louisiana into Texas the frame at the hitch bent, a lot! It was not over weight but we think because of how far the hitch attachment extends out from the hitch itself it was enough of an engineering no no resulting in this incident. We were able to bend it back, but not close enough to its original state. We made it safely to our next destination without any drama and got us a new one! Crossing fingers this one will be our last! The new one is better for us anyways cause its actually a wheelchair cargo holder which has a drop down ramp. This makes it much easier to wheel it on and off.
To end this on a high note the site we stayed in at Lake Livingston was booked solid, partly cause it was the weekend before Halloween and also because a group of Heritage Girls from Houston had taken it over. They were great, our kids instantly had several dozen new buddies to play with. Most of them homeschooled like us and they even let our girls hang at a few of their scheduled talks. We met a few of their parents who were very nice. One of the dads was very interested in our journey and may even being reading this now, if so “hello!” We meet a lot of people on our adventure who state how envious they are of our lifestyle. Just goes to show there are so many people stuck in a lifestyle they don’t want to be in. We were there, trapped in that suburban shuffle not 6 months ago. I love the choice we made and continue to make, I’m very excited to see how it all shakes out.
Tune in soon to hear all about part 2 and maybe part 3 of Big Tex! Hey it’s a big state so it deserves to be a trilogy, right?
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