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  1. #1

    Default 23 Year-Old getting insurance on RV.

    Hi there,

    My name is Jamie from Scotland and i'm planning a year long trip to US starting June/August next year. I am looking into the details to see if it a viable option and the costs etc. I was planning to buy an old 2nd hand small(ish) RV as this would save any hotel costs for the most part. In the UK it is IMPOSSIBLE for anyone under 25 to get insurance on a motorhome (RV), even if they offered a million pounds it seems to be not an option.

    Before i do any more research into this trip i wanted to ask people if they know if i would experience any problems being 23 in the US? I plan to buy a mailbox type thing from the post office over there which will be my address for registering the vehicle, insurance etc.

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance
    Jamie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default bad news

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The problem isn't just your age, its your residency.

    It is nearly impossible for anyone, regardless of age, who does not live in the US to purchase any vehicle. The insurance is certainly one part of it. However, other parts of your plan are also flawed. You need to be able to prove residency in the state where you plan to do the paperwork/registration/title/etc, and in a post-9/11 world, providing a post office box is not sufficient. You actually have to show that you are living at a physical location, which is nearly impossible to do when you are only visiting on the Visa Waiver Program.

    You didn't say how long you plan to be visiting, but for the most part, you have to be on the road for 2-3 months before you start to reach the break even point for renting vs. buying anyway, once you factor in costs like taxes, registration, insurance as well as the loss of money in the resale, not to mention the substantial extra time needed for the purchase process.

    I will also let you know that RVs actual are a poor choice if you want to save money. They actually will cost you quite a bit more than going with a car/motel trip, once you factor in the increased cost to obtain an RV, the increased fuel costs, as well as campground fees which will full hookups can cost just as much as a cheap motel!

    I wish I had better news for you, but we've got regular posters from overseas who have been trying for years to overcome the challenges you are facing, and the hurdles are incredibly difficult to overcome.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks very much for your quick reply!
    I was planning to come over for a year or so, which to the best of my knowledge means i wouldnt qualify for the visa waiver scheme anyway as that is only valid for upto 90 days. I believe i would require a B-2 visa although i cannot find any definitive info on the US embassy website to show exactly how long this is valid for.

    I read on some old forums from this site and others when i searched on google, in which UK citizens say they have purchased a vehicle in US with one of these mailbox things. This was at least 2 years ago i believe so perhaps tighter restrictions make this impossible as you say. Surely there must be some kind of other alternative here on how to register an address?

    In terms of which vehicle, as the trip is planned to be around a year i believe buying would be the way to go, depreciation and all that taken into account. I would be looking to purchase an RV for $10,000 or less so its not going to be a palace. My only worry is the age of the vehicle may push maintenance costs up.

    If i was to do it in another vehicle, how easy/permitted is it to just pitch a tent at a rest-area or layby? After driving to mongolia this year through deserts, salt flats and the 2nd highest road in the world i am used to just pitching up wherever i feel like it...

    Sorry for the long reply but i like to get all my facts straight when im looking into something like this.

    One last thing to add, if i were to import a british vehicle into america that i purchased here is there any restrictions or time-limits etc.

    Thanks again
    Jamie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default first things first

    If you are serious about wanting to visit for a year, you really need to start the process now. Unfortantly, Getting a long term tourist visa to the US is a long, complicated, and difficult process. That really is the first step thing you need to do, as everything else would kind of fall apart like a house of cards.

    If you are here on a long term visa, then the registration process will be a bit easier, as the visa itself can be part of the documentation you need.

    As far as camping, no you can't just camp anywhere. Sleeping overnight in a rest area is dangerous and often illegal, and pitching a tent along the side of a road could get you arrested. Every part of the US is owned by somebody, and if you don't know the rules you could likely find yourself facing a trespassing citation. Even on public lands, there are rules about where and how you can camp. Having said that, there are places like Truck Stops where you can park and sleep for the night, and there are public lands where you can set up camp for free without being in a campground, but you need to know where those places are and the regulations involved.

    I believe you are allowed to import a vehicle for up to 1 year, without having to deal with taxes/registration/etc, but you'd want to double check that.

  5. #5

    Default

    Ok thanks again Michael. I have made a kind of checklist of things to do in order with the visa naturally being at the top. I wanted to try and make sure that everything else (buying a vehicle, insurance etc) was actually possible before embarking on the visa process.

    So are you saying that the long term visa will help me in terms of buying/registering a vehicle and also perhaps with insurance?

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Unlikely

    A long term visa will have little, if any, effect on the problems of registering a vehicle when you are not a resident of a state here. I don't know any current facts to share, but seriously, this is a very tough process these days.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    This is your best chance to do what you want, once you have a proper visa arranged to be here more than 90 days. Expect the insurance to be VERY costly, and also expect to PAY to park the RV overnight legally in a lot of cases.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thank you glc and everyone else. I am going to make enquiries with that company and see what comes of it.

    Cheers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Let me throw my hat in here.

    As you will now be aware from all the information above, registering and insuring a vehicle in the US without having a residential address is almost impossible. It is something I have been pursuing for a decade.

    But, as Michael has already stated, the first thing you need to do is apply for a visa. Applying won't cost anything. From what I hear and what others have brought to these forums, it is very difficult to get a visa for more than 90 days.

    If you are fortunate to get permission to come for 12 months - don't hold your breath - then I would follow up the link glc has posted. However, I suggest that you ring Don, and have a chat with him. He is not good at responding to email. I have had several long discussions with Don, but have not used his services, so can't recommend him.

    An alternative to buying could be Adventures on Wheels. They will not sell to non-residents, but they do have long term leases.

    One thing you need to remember is, when purchasing your own vehicle all breakdowns are your responsibility. It is the very nature of buying second hand. Do you have the resources to cover the cost of breakdowns and the associated accommodation costs? (On my last visit I was loaned a vehicle which was only a couple of years old with very low mileage, and which was completely checked over before the trip. Within three months I suffered a breakdown, more than 100 miles from help. The bottom line was around $1000.)

    Have you read these threads?

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Don can't help with a visa.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregs17 View Post
    Thank you glc and everyone else. I am going to make enquiries with that company and see what comes of it.

    Cheers
    Greg, may I suggest you get the information on the visa first. What is the point of asking Don to find you a vehicle which will do a twelve month trip, if you will only be able to get a visa for 90 days.

    And I doubt that buying would work out cheaper than renting, for such a short time... when taking into account all associated costs.

    Lifey

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