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Old 07-10-2012, 03:33 PM   #1
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1987 34' Excella
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Traveling Full-Time as a Freelancer

Hey Y'all,

I'm yet another new member looking for some advice before setting off for the full-timing adventure. I tried looking through existing posts for answers to some of my more specific questions, but couldn't find what I'm looking for.

Here's the backstory, briefly: I'm 26 years old, currently living in NYC. A couple of years ago, my mother bought an '87 Excella 34' and renovated the interior. She had used it for a vacation getaway while it was parked in Georgia, but hasn't used it much lately and it's now in storage. She has graciously agreed to my crazy plan to take it on the road for a year, starting in January. I'll be bringing my girlfriend along for the ride, and this trip will also signify my official leap into full-time freelancing as a web designer/developer.

So onto the questions:
  1. Is anyone else here full-timing while travelling? We are going for a broad exploration of the country, so we don't plan on staying in any one place for more than 2-3 weeks, if that. It seems like a lot of the topics in this sub forum refer to full-timing in one location...
  2. While I'm currently operating my freelance business (part-time for now) as a New York LLC, it operates out of my rented apartment. What kind of things should I be looking into in terms of staying legit after I no longer have any residency in NY? Is it as simple as getting a UPS mailbox? Would it be worth relocating my paperwork to Delaware for the apparently low tax rates?
  3. On the topic of business, I left Bank of America during the height of the Occupy Wall Street protests (they were in my neighborhood, after all) and opened my business account at a local bank. That's obviously not going to do the trick if I'm traveling constantly, so I'm thinking of going back to BofA just for the massive ATM network that allows for check depositing. I have a USAA personal account, but they don't offer business accounts, unfortunately. Any better ideas?
  4. Since we will be constantly travelling and carrying the most important things in my life - my home, my business, and my significant other - I am concerned about security. I am not a gun enthusiast, and have mixed views on gun laws in the US, but in this case, I'm considering getting trained and armed, mostly as a deterrence measure. Any advice about inter-state gun ownership?

Thanks to other discussions on these amazing forums, I feel like I have a good enough grasp on a lot of the other aspects of such a plan, such as the truck, solar panels, etc. but these are questions that I haven't seen in other threads. So thanks in advance for any advice you can share!

Cheers,
SrslyAwesome
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:43 PM   #2
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Welcome and I hope you enjoy your adventure.

As to a business address, where does your mom live? Would this work as an address, if so it would solve a lot of issues.

As far as bank accounts go, I would go with the big boy or another one. The atm fees will rack up. And pretty much all banks are the same in the end.

As for carrying a gun? I have a ton of them, and shot trap and long range rifle shoots. But I don't carry one in the AS. Main reason is the kids. I have two large cans of bear pepper spray for critters of both types. You would have to look into each state you are going to as far as gun laws. NY being a bad one. middle of the country has pretty liberal, just the west and east coast to look out for. Best is don't tell, and have it well hidden and easy to get to.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:31 PM   #3
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1987 34' Excella
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Hey purman,

Mom lives in Florida. I've considered using her address as my "permanent" address for the year that I'm away, but I'm not totally sure if I want to burden her with having to FedEx mail to my whatever my current location is, etc.

And yeah, it's seeming like one of the big banks is probably the way to go, mainly because of the national coverage.

The gun situation may get complicated, precisely because of varying laws between states. Heavy-duty pepper spray and defensive personal combat training may be a more practical alternative.

Thanks for the input!
-SrslyAwesome
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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My wife and I lived in the Bronx and Albert Einstein college of Medicine while she was in med school. Loved the city but glad to be gone now.
This site might help with the gun laws.
gunlaws.com - State by State Firearms Laws
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:33 PM   #5
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There are mail forwarding services that help you establish address in a tax favorable state, then forward your mail to you whenever/wherever you wish. One is Escapees- the one we will use after we sell our stick house. Escapees provides some other advantages to full- timers. But there are many like it that forward mail. Some offer campground discounts too.
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:09 AM   #6
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You have two major challenges ahead of you. One is starting a new business. Two is towing and living fulltime in a travel trailer. Both of these will take a lot of work and preparation, especially the second one since it sounds like you have no experiance at all. Enjoy the ride where ever it takes you. Good Luck.

I might suggest going down to Georgia and taking about a one week trip with the Airstream just to get your feet wet. You will learn a lot, and have a better feel about what you need to do to be able to do this full time.

Dan
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:48 PM   #7
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1987 34' Excella
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Hey Dan,

Fortunately, I am only happy when I'm being challenged. I have been freelancing part-time for years and it's starting to pay off now, so I'm not to worried about that.

But yes, learning to tow this sucker around is a more exciting and frightening challenge. I will be picking it up in Florida, parking it at Mom's place (where it lived for a long time while she was restoring it) and taking time to get "moved in" and trained on plumbing/electrical/etc. as well as plenty of driving practice.

Cheers,
SrslyAwesome
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:33 PM   #8
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SrslyAwesome,

My wife and I (mid-30's) just started full-timing in our 25'er about a month ago. I am trying to full-time it with work and travel at the same time. We want to see the country and get westward, so we are staying 2-3 nights at most stops.

I'm working. right now.. (back to work as soon as I finish this post.) We are in a National Forest campground. Lake front campsite and then about a mile to seriously awesome beaches on Lake Michigan where we spent the afternoon.



Feel free to PM me with any questions..

We use Charles Schwab for banking. No monthly fees, refund ATM fees and deposit check by taking a pic of it. No idea about business accounts though.

We don't have much for security. All of the places we have stayed so far have been filled with friendly locals on vacation.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:26 PM   #9
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Srsly Aweson:

The organization Escapees (SKP's) was origanally formed by fulltimers for fulltimers. Their forum has a wealth of knowledge. See Escapees Discussion Forum and use the search. There are many fulltimers working on the road.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:52 AM   #10
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Please stop at the Top of Georgia campground on your voyage. The campground is wend by te GA unit of te WBCCI, and there are always a ton of people around who can help with any questions you may have.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:30 PM   #11
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Bluebird has some great advice! Join Escapees and learn from them. Get on their forum and ask your questions. They will have the answers for you.

To get you started, you will have to have a domicile, that is, your "official" place of residence. Many full-timers use the Escapees address in Livingston, TX, as their domicile. You can sign up for their mail forwarding service or use others, your choice.

Florida, South Dakota, and Texas are popular domicile states for full-timers because they don't have a state income tax. You will need to check their business laws, though, for your situation. The general suggestion is to move to your new state during the year and file a partial-year income tax return with your former state. Also get your vehicle(s) registered in the new state, get registered to vote, etc. All of that helps show that you have left the old state and settled in the new.

I'd suggest that you really need to get a good attorney/tax consultant who can help you with your business questions, as I think that is where most of your problems will lie.

Good luck with your adventure.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:39 PM   #12
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I have a state trooper customer here in TX that heavily promotes concealed carry, but has also shown us some awesome alternative. Pepper spray, tazers, and stun guns, he says they'll put the toughest grown man to the ground. No license needed for stun gun (got to be real close to the attacker or critter) or pepper spray. I prefer a small pistol with good safeties for carrying, Bersa has one you can "super lock" with a key, awesome if there's concern with children getting ahold of it. I like a shotgun for home defense, but many of my friends that are just getting into defensive weapons prefer a 22. The girlfriend would probably feel very comfortable with it, no kick, and great for hunting if you find the opportunity.
Very jealous of your journey, I hope y'all have a blast!!! (but not a literal one ; )
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