So far our #fulltimerv adventure has gone amazingly well but with some adjustments along the way. We left California on June 29, 2021, with the second and final load of our possessions. Heading to Sturgis, South Dakota to the storage facility. We actually have two, we can’t believe we actually downsized.
Once we got everything organized and stored, it was time to finalize becoming domiciled as South Dakota residents. We had set up our mail service prior to leaving California. Which has been for the most part a good experience but much like the rest of the country they have had a difficult time keeping employees during the pandemic.
After collecting a receipt from our RV Park to show proof of our stay and a receipt for our mail service, we headed to the DMV. Literally, in 37 minutes we walked out with our South Dakota driver’s license. In California, this would have been a two to four-hour visit to the DMV and then wait six to eight weeks for it to arrive in the mail. Not to mention having to re-test should you have any endorsements on your license.
After the DMV, we headed to our appointment with our mail service “America’s Mailbox” to handle the registration of all seven vehicles, yes I had said seven. When you do this make sure you have all of your vehicle documentation with you. Such as titles, registration, and original purchase agreement (this shows you paid taxes on the purchase). We opted to have America’s mailbox handle the registration, thinking it would be completed faster than the County Treasure office. We were wrong on that but I will get to that in a minute.
We completed our business by becoming South Dakota residents, it was time to get our rig ready for some hard-core traveling. The first three to four months will be a non-stop go go go. We had some big plans and some of which had tight schedules.
Our first event scheduled was the World Record Poker Run starting in Florida and riding to Sturgis. So we made our way towards Florida but first stopped in Colorado to meet up with some friends. Then we headed to Red Bay, Alabama to get the rig serviced, polished, and to have the WiFi installed. Below is a video on the Winegard installation. While were in the area we had the four back tires replaced as they were the original tires. Once this was done, we were off to the races. Florida and the World Record Poker Run, here we come.
The plan for the World Record Poker Run was for me to ride in the run and for Andy to follow in the RV as my chase vehicle. All was going according to plan until we were back in Alabama, Chester Alabama. During Andy’s fuel stop he did his routine walk-around inspection and found the inside tire on the back axel was flat. Yes, one of the new tires! Luckily for Andy, he located a parking space at the truck stop against a curb. This is a habit we have always done so you only have a truck on one side of you. Even as a truck driver I avoided parking in truck stops but it was a relief for him with a flat. It worked out I was behind him and was able to meet up with him to help get a tire service for him. Unfortunately, he found the flat at around 12:30 pm on a Saturday and absolutely no one was available to come out. Eventually, we determined I should pack a couple days of clothes and get back to the World Record Poker Run. We originally thought by the next day someone would finally come out for the roadside service call. Thank goodness for AAA, the operator worked tirelessly to find a service provider but it wasn’t until late Sunday. We were still kind of hopeful Andy would be able to catch up. But then we found out the only tire available wasn’t the same size or RV quality as the rest of the tires. So, Andy decided he would go back to Red Bay, Alabama to locate the correct tire. At this time we knew he wouldn’t catch up but we also knew he had to meet me in Sturgis by the time I arrived.
The next big event was The 2nd Annual Blue Ride held during the Sturgis Rally. Andy had all the keys with him to the storage unit with all the Sponsored donations, it was imperative for him to be there in time for the ride. As luck would have it, as I was riding with the World Record Poker Run crew through Spearfish to the finish line at Buffalo Chip, Andy was passing the other direction to park the rig in Spearfish.
After the World Record Poker Run, The 2nd Annual Blue Ride, and The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally we rested for a couple weeks in The Blackhills. Rested, meaning we leisurely rode the Blackhills and hung out at the rig.
Then round two, we head east once again. Along the way, we stop in Milwaukee to visit the “Harley Davidson Museum”, high on our bucket list. Then the next event is the Five Dirty Biker Meet in Louisville, Kentucky. And while we are there we check off a couple more bucket list items, visiting the “Louisville Slugger Museum” and my favorite “Churchill Down”.
From there we head to the North East stopping in at Niagra Falls, a place I have always wanted to see in person since a very young age.
Afterward, we continue on towards the North East to visit family and friends in New Hampshire. We stayed for a couple weeks at a beautiful KOA just inside the Maine state line. It was a perfect location not only to visit family but also to visit Portland, Maine to go to some of the many breweries located near the wharf.
Another change to the plans. When we traveled to Florida, we only had our bikes with us in our sixteen-foot trailer. While in Alabama it rained about two inches a day, not ideal riding weather. Thus deciding to bring our truck with us on this portion of the trip to have another form of transportation. We had planned on moving the rig from Maine to Florida to stay for the winter… But new to the #fulltimerving scene we couldn’t find a park with long-term sites available. Most reservations for snow bird locations are done well in advance. Simultaneously, I was tired of traveling in a separate vehicle. We decided to sell our sixteen-foot trailer and get one long enough to accommodate our bikes and our jeep. In our search, we found there was a shortage of aluminum trailers. We did however find one in New Hampshire that would work but it wasn’t outfitted to our liking. With the combination of not finding a winter site in Florida and the new purchase of a longer trailer, we changed our plans. We sold the smaller trailer and I towed the new trailer behind the truck following Andy back to Sturgis. This was twofold, one was to outfit the trailer near where most of our tools are. And the other is to deal with America’s Mailbox. Remember when I said we had them handle our registration? Out of the seven vehicles we had them process, three were done incorrectly. One was the truck I was driving across the country they delayed so long (over a month) the registration was expired. On the other two they entered the incorrect laden weight. One of which was our RV. When we got back to South Dakota we went to the County Treasure and corrected everything in less than thirty minutes. The county employee told had we not corrected this our RV wouldn’t be registered and put on nonoperal status. My advice is to go to the treasure office yourself and avoid the fee’s America’s Mailbox charges and get it done correct the first-time in a timely manner.
After a month in Sturgis outfitting the new trailer we hit the road in search for warmer weather. We joked to each other, we are now officially “Snow Birds”. We landed in Mesa, Arizona where we are getting a lot of riding in and enjoying the warm, sunny weather.