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Health Insurance for RV Nomads

Being self employed and working out of your home is a dream for many of us.  Having internet access makes this possible for a lot of people.  Wifi coverage is available in metropolitan areas and satellite technology is available for those areas not covered by the traditional internet providers.  This allows anyone to live in an RV and run their business literally anywhere in the country.

This provides some unique challenges.  One major one is finding health insurance.  We live in a country that regulates the health insurance industry on a state by state basis.  The portability of health coverage can be restricted and limited.

Currently, there is no one carrier that can offer a health plan that provides HMO coverage for all 50 states.  Normally, HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) coverage provides the most comprehensive coverage at the best price, but normally limits access to specific providers and hospital except in an emergency.

To get around this issue, PPO (Preferred Provider Organizations) plans and Indemnity plans are available.  These type of plans offer coverage that are not as restrictive as HMOs.

The first item on the RV Nomad’s agenda would be to have a permanent or local address when looking to purchase a policy.  This can be accomplished by getting a PO Box at the UPS store, Mailboxes, Etc or using your home address.  What is important is in what state and your purchase your policy.

Different states have different medical costs and regulations.  You need to shop around and find what a similar plan would cost in the state you want to have as the permanent address.  This can be accomplished online by using your favorite search engine and looking for health insurance.

Note:  the HealthCare Reform Act will require all US citizens to have health coverage.  This will come into effect on January 1, 2014.  When this comes into effect, health coverage will be costing more.  This is due to mandated benefits and guaranteed issue.  Depending on your circumstances, you may want to look at quotes for coverage effective before January 1, 2014 and those that become effective on January 1, 2014.  Getting a policy sooner if you qualify may save some money.

The easiest way to do your comparison shopping is to select a PPO Plan with a $1000 or $5000 deductible and $20 or $30 copays and 20% coinsurance.  Most carriers will have a plan close to this benefit configuration.

With the selected plan, look at coverage costs in several states you may want to purchase your coverage in.  Also look for carriers that offer coverage in each state.  Blue Cross/Blue Shield has a national PPO network.  Aetna, UnitedHealth, Cigna and Humana are also national carriers that can offer nation wide PPO coverage.

If you find this process overwhelming, contact a Broker that specializes in individual health insurance.  The first place to start is with the agent you get your other insurance coverage from.  If they do not offer health insurance, they will know someone to recommend.  Be sure and tell them you are looking for coverage that will accommodate your living in different parts of the country.

One benefit from the Health Care Reform Legislation is preventive services are now covered with no cost to the member.  This means you can get your annual physical done at no cost to you.  This should be done as soon as the coverage becomes effective.

One of the major concerns is the cost of coverage.  You need now is to figure out how much you can afford to pay out of pocket vs what you pay in premium.  A good Broker can help with this calculation.

What is key is to know how much medical services are you going to need to purchase for the year.  If you are healthy, then a higher deductible plan and higher coinsurance percentage will lower your premium.  If you know you are going to need services done in the next year, then estimate the cost of the service and see if a lower deductible and coinsurance percentage and corresponding higher premium will be right for you.

Another consideration is prescription drug coverage.  Make sure you do not pay for extra coverage that will not be used.  If you have no ongoing prescriptions, then a high copay or deductible plan would suffice in emergencies.  On the other hand, if you have a specialty medication that is needed, make sure the coverage can reduce the financial burden of the drug cost.

Finally, if you are running your business from an RV and there are two of you involved, look into getting coverage as a business.  Or, hire your spouse to do work as an employee.  Consult your tax professional to make sure you have the correct forms and reporting requirements in place.  There are many tax benefits for small businesses including the ability to include your health care premiums as a business expense.  This can be an advantage over paying for coverage as an individual.

Health care reform is moving the country to having everyone covered by some type of health care insurance.  This is a positive development.  Don’t ignore this situation.  The states will be providing ongoing information as we move closer to 2014.  Depending on your situation, subsidies may be available to you.

 

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Why Your Next Car Will Be Cleverer Than You

Science fiction films will have us believe that the future holds self-driving cars that can fly through the air while we sleep, text or watch television. However, the reality is much more prosaic than this. The future of motoring is less likely to be about flying cars and much more about automated systems to deal with the boring parts of driving.

We look at the forthcoming developments in car technology and why your next car could be smarter than you.

Advanced driver assistance systems set to take over the boring parts of driving

The recent GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California highlighted many of the new technologies that you can expect to see in cars in the next few years. One of the most important is ‘advanced driver assistance systems’ (ADAS) which are designed to automate the mundane parts of driving such as driving in traffic or parking.

One such system under investigation is the European Commission’s “Safe Road Trains for the Environment” (SARTRE) project. Here, cars would platoon behind a professional driver piloting an 18-wheeler, for example and their cars would semi-autonomously bunch up behind the truck in a tight convoy. This allows the drivers of the cars to engage in otherwise illegal activities such as testing or talking on their mobile phones.

However, before cars even become partly self-driving, ADAS-enabled vehicles are set to provide you with road and traffic information, help you park, assist in changing lanes, and help you refocus on the road should your attention wander from the task at hand.

“We spend a lot of time thinking about how we can improve safety and how can we avoid accidents in urban areas,” said Mario Tippelhofer of his team at the Volkswagen Group of America Electronics Research Laboratory in Belmont, California.

“Our approach was to help the driver to be less stressed, more focused, going into those urban areas in a more relaxed manner,” he said. “We’re trying to paint a vision of what urban mobility can look like for our Audi customers in the near future.”

Cars that are personalized to you

Mr Tipperary also believes that ADAS systems should be personalized for each individual driver. “Right now,” he said, “your car is mostly generic, for a generic driver. But if this car would be really tailored to your needs, it would know about your needs, it could assist you in a much better way.”

The Register reports that ‘this personalization includes not only what the driver is doing and focused on in real time, but also what his driving patterns and history are.’

Cars will also be able to use predictive modelling to learn your normal route to a frequent destination, predict traffic congestion on that route at a specific time and without you having to use your navigation system reroute you when the congestion is bad enough that avoiding it would be more efficient than driving through it.

In addition, cars in the future are likely to feature multiple in-car cameras. These will keep an eye on you and make sure that you are focused on the road. They will also direct your attention back to the road when necessary.

“This needs to be done in a positive human-machine interface,” Tippelhofer said, “because we don’t want to distract the driver even more if we detect that he’s not paying attention.”

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What You Need To Know About RV Insurance

People often travel long distances in their RVs, treating them as second homes. As a form of transportation, state minimum insurance coverage is necessary for RVs- however, there are some special insurance needs and options when it comes to covering all bases in insuring an RV.

  • What is the most basic RV insurance? How does it differ from car insurance?

The most basic insurance coverage available for RVs is comprehensive and collision coverage, which can be provided by many auto insurance companies. The difference between insuring an RV and insuring a regular motor vehicle is that the living quarters of the RV contain personal effects that require additional insurance in order to assure adequate coverage. Liability and loss of personal belongings are not covered by policies offered by most auto insurers.

  • What other types of insurance may be appropriate for an RV?

The amount of use the RV gets and the personal effects it generally contains are relevant to the types of insurance coverage that would be appropriate. Two of the most commonly used specialty insurances for RVs are liability insurance and personal property insurance. Liability insurance ensures that any damage caused by the RV to the property of someone else for which the owner of the RV would normally be liable is covered. Personal property insurance covers damage or loss to personal belongings. For people who use their RV as a full time home, full-timers insurance is available. This covers personal belongings, comprehensive personal liability and some living expenses.

  • What companies offer RV insurance?

Specialized RV insurance is available through a variety of sources with coverage and cost depending on a variety of factors including the type and model of the RV, the insurance laws in the state of policy issuance, other vehicles on the plan, driving history and level of coverage. Some of the most highly recommended companies for RV insurance include:

  • Good Sam VIP Insurance
  • Explorer RV
  • Foremost
  • Progressive
  • RV America
  • Twin Peaks Insurance
  • What other considerations should be taken by owners of RVs?

Some primary considerations that should be taken include maintaining the safety of the vehicle, its occupants and other people on the road by driving safely and using carbon monoxide, smoke and gas detectors with regular battery changes. Propane systems should also be maintained to prevent incident. When traveling internationally, RV owners should be aware of the efficacy of their insurance in the country in which they are traveling. For individuals who are renting an RV, consideration should be given to the insurance policy chosen for the rental duration, as options beyond those offered by the renter are available.

As with all automotive insurances, it’s important to take the time to compare rates and insurance coverage with different providers in your area. Depending on your prior driving history, age and state, you will find a wide range in pricing and policy premiums.

Thanks to the internet, we can rely on insurance coverage comparison sites to discover the many different policies that are out there and can compare quotes with a lot more ease. Make sure you don’t take the first policy that looks good to you, as many companies will lower their rates if you contact them directly with competitor rates.

This article was written by Paula, who writes about auto insurance coverage. You can view some of her publications by clicking here.

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How To Beat The Dealer – Get the Best Price On Your Next RV

Buying a vehicle of any sort is a nerve-wracking experience. When it is an RV that will become your living quarters, you really need to do your homework. Unless you’re sitting on a pile of money, payments will comprise a large chunk of your monthly budget for years after you actually select your ride. Consequently, the process of negotiating over the price can mean the difference of hundreds to thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. No wonder the buying process causes so much stress.

I learned this process the hard way. Although I’m satisfied with the last vehicle I bought, I realized later how much the dealer got the better end of the bargain due to my lack of planning. There are things you can do to overcome nerves and be prepared for anything at the negotiation table.

Strangely enough, learning to negotiate well on a big purchase will help you in all aspects of your life. You can turn conversations to your advantage by educating yourself about the options and utilizing a calm demeanor in your bargaining. What follows are some tips to help you get the deal you want.

Go Online

Rather than have a face-to-face encounter at the onset, where you are likely to be charmed into paying more, it is better to spend some time comparing costs before stepping foot on a dealership lot. Start by listing reliable dealers near your area. From here, you can gather contact details and send out quotation requests to begin comparing prices.

Prep Up

The biggest advantage you can have over these crafty dealers is your knowledge. The more you know, the less likely you will fall for their sugar-coated words and high pressure tactics. As you negotiate for a better deal, make sure to feel and, more importantly, look calm and collected. Never divulge to the dealer just how much you are willing to spend and let the salesman know that you are in control and not the other way around.

Price, Not Payments

Don’t get suckered into talking payments before settling on a final price of the vehicle. This was my downfall when I purchased my first car. Payments hide all manner of sins and extra fees. Agree on the sales price first. Then, you can start to discuss payment terms and loan periods.

Financing

It really does not matter whether you pay in cold hard cash or through financing. When choosing the latter, however, it is better to get a preapproval from an accredited bank or lending institution rather than go through the dealers themselves. Dealerships are likely to put in an extra markup to earn a bonus for themselves. Use an automobile calculator to set your maximum purchase price and plan for the monthly cost of your new RV.

Ask for Rebates and Freebies

Never hesitate to find additional ways to save. Rebates, for instance, are typically offered by dealers and manufacturers. Apart from the standard discounts, some providers also offer special deals for military, college students, and handicapped individuals.

If they won’t give you a discount, then ask for free upgrades. Adding a nicer stereo, TV system, or interior upgrades cost the dealer very little. It can be a better deal for them to offer $1000 in free upgrades versus lowering the price by the same amount.

Timing is Key

A great trick when purchasing your RV is to buy at the end of the month. It is likely that you will get additional incentives from your purchase because dealers are given monthly incentives and bonuses from their sales at this time. With the right timing, you can end up with the dream mobile living space of your choice for hundreds less.

Play Hard to Get

If the dealers are playing it tough, play tougher. If you don’t get what you want, simply walk away and leave them to pursue you instead. Keep in mind that the last thing any dealer wants is to see a prospective customer walk away.

Even though negotiation is what car sales people do, they often will not expect someone to be well-informed come in from a position of strength. They are just as desperate to make a sale as they believe you are to own a vehicle. The most important thing is to remain calm and collected. Making yourself hard to read in a bargaining situation will give you the upper hand in the negotiations, and ensure you get the best price on your new vehicle.

Tim is a writer for OnlineLoanCalculator.org, and routinely helps car, truck, and RV buyers get the best deal on their next purchase.

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The Best RV Amenities Available

You are a travel guru. You’ve visited every National Park and Museum you could find and have spent a good portion of your life on the road. You have spent time planning vacations that last the entire summer and are getting ready for retirement so you can move to the road for good. You’re looking into Recreational Vehicles (RVs) that can serve as your home for at least a few years so you can make the road your permanent home.

Sophistication at its Finest

Unfortunately, in your search for the perfect RV home you’ve noticed that the prices aren’t what they used to be, primarily because of the added benefits of owning your own home on the road.   The RV living industry has become bigger in recent years and so the perks have also become more inviting and exciting.

You’ll be excited to hear about all that you can get with your new RV for luxurious on the road living. We’ll give you a little rundown about upgrades that have been made that make your transition from stationary to on-the-road living easier and more manageable.

First of all you should know that most companies will do specific modifications if you are willing to pay the price.  You can plan it from the bottom up to your exact specifications from the detail on the cabinets and tiles to the color of the front door.

 

  1. RV Size: There are many options for your fulltime RV lifestyle.  Size classes range from A to C. They can be a pull behind or a complete all in one vehicle. It is up to you. Decisions are usually made based on mobility desires and affordability.
  2. Heating and A/C Units: Many units, as you’ve probably seen, have not just fans, but a pretty sophisticated air conditioning and heating system to keep you cold in the summer and warm in the winters.   However, the unit you are looking at may not come with the top of the line installed or may need upgrades, adjustments or repairs.  Harris Air Serve heating repair can help get your heating and air conditioning system up and running and ready for the road.
  3. Green Living: Many full time RVs are going green. There are various options for plumbing as well as solar panels available for the roof.  This will help with your costs and usage when stopped.
  4. Advanced Storage: If you are planning on living in your RV only, you will need additional storage. Some models have added metal storage boxes to the rear bumpers to provide you with extra space.
  5. Plumbing: You can find RVs now with intricate plumbing systems that can include smart charging and draining systems for the toilet, shower or sink.  This is great to have if you are on the road 24/7. You may also consider looking into the washer/dryer combination machine so that you won’t have to spend additional money on laundry.
  6. RV Living Clubs: There are various RV living clubs that you may be interested in joining. Being a participant in any of these clubs can help you better adjust to your life on the road.
  7. Sell or Store: You will also need to decide if you want to sell your possessions and home or if you’d simply like to store them.   This is a decision that requires a lot of time and consideration. If you plan to spend the rest of your life on the road, it may be wise to sell your home. Another time when selling is a good idea is if you plan to downsize when you return from your travels.
  8. Mail: You will have to choose an address to have all your mail sent to. Some people choose a state that is not their original home address, simply because of the lack of tax or other benefits that may come from being a resident of that state.  Some places are also willing to forward mail to you, no matter your current address.

There are of course many more custom installations and things you should know about fulltime RV living before you decide to go for it. However, if you take the time to study up on the perks and downsides to RV living, we are sure you’ll be able to make the right decision for you!

 

 

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The Many Different Types Of Travel Trailers

Travel trailers or caravans are trailers towed behind a road vehicle to provide a place to sleep that is more comfortable, sheltered and protected compared to a tent (although there are fold-down tent trailers). They provide the means for people to have their own home on a journey or a vacation (holiday), without relying on a hotel, and let them to stay in places where none is available.

Travel trailers and caravans vary from small basic models that may be little more than a tent on wheels to those containing several rooms with all the furniture and furnishings and equipment of a home. They are used chiefly in North America and Europe and are rare elsewhere, thus this article deals mainly with those continents.

Please take note that for safety reasons in North America and Europe it is generally unlawful for people to ride in a travel trailer or caravan while it is being towed on a public road.

In the United States and Canada, caravans are called “travel trailers”. Their history can be traced back to the early 1920s, when those who enjoyed their use were sometimes referred to as Tin Can Tourists. As time progressed, trailers became more livable and earned a new name in the 1930s and 1940s which was the House Trailer. Today travel trailers are classified as a type of RV along with motorhomes, fifth wheel trailers, pop-up trailers, and truck campers.

Smaller travel trailers and pop-ups are still made with touring in mind. These normally are less than 18 ft (5.5 m) long and contain simple amenities. By design, they are lightweight and quick to set up or prepare for travel.

Mid-range travel trailers are 18 – 25 ft (5.5 – 7.6 m) long can weigh 5,000 lb (2,250 kg) or more, and are generally towed with compact V-8 powered pickup trucks and SUVs. They have most of the amenities of the larger travel trailers, but sleep fewer people.

Larger travel trailers are made with the seasonal or full-time user in mind. These in general range from 25 – 40 ft (7.5 m – 12 m) long and contain all the comforts of a luxury condominium. Because they need a purpose built tow vehicle, highway tractor or large truck or SUV, these amenity-laden homes can reach 12,000 lb (5,500 kg) or more.

A latest innovation in the Travel Trailer typology is the “toy box” or “toy hauler.” Half living area and half garage, these trailers allow ‘toys’ to be brought to the countryside.

Bio – Ruth Rogers enjoys traveling around the country in her own travel trailer.  Seeing the world from the road is one of her biggest pleasures and recommends anyone that is in the position to do so, get on the road and enjoy the scenery.

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Guide to Buying a Used RV

RVs immediately begin to depreciate the minute they get driven off the lot. Like any other type of vehicle, they lose value no matter how much use the owner gets out of them. For those in the market for a used RV, this can mean finding great bargains, if they know how to look for them.

One benefit of buying used instead of new is that the vehicle will depreciate more in the first year than in any other year of its lifespan. The buyer of a used RV will not have to bear that loss. Of course, the vehicle will still depreciate, just in smaller increments.

Aside from the initial cost of the vehicle, the buyer must first decide how much use they want to get from it before they commence shopping. Heavy usage, such as spending a year traveling around in one, has different requirements from light usage, where the buyer plans on living in the RV for a short amount of time out of the year. They will also have to decide on a budget, as with shopping for any other large purchase.

Costs to take into consideration include the fact that many communities will not allow an RV to be parked indefinitely by a resident; the buyer will need to find out if this is the case where they live. If their homeowner’s association or landlord refuses them the right to park the vehicle, then the cost of storage will also have to be factored in.

Beyond that, they will have to follow the same rules as when purchasing a used car, meaning they will have to carefully inspect any RV they are thinking of buying.

With an RV this means looking for defects like:• Scratches and dents on the exterior• Bad tires• Air conditioning that does not cool• Missing or broken appliances (water heaters, stoves, refrigerators)

Note that not all problems may be seen at a glance, so buyers should take the time to perform a careful and thorough inspection. If necessary, they should find someone who knows about RVs to go along when inspecting the unit.

A buyer should expect to pay more for a newer unit, in good condition and that has more extras, as with any other type of vehicle. Research on the MSRP for a particular year, model and brand should be conducted. The buyer should also check the history and Carfax report.

RVs that are properly maintained can run well for years and provide multiple different owners with comfort and safety according to one of the best Springfield MO rv dealers. They can usually be resold without too much trouble if they are kept in good condition.

 

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Right Bike Rack for Your RV -Tips to Install One

-Tips for choosing the appropriate bike rack for an RV:

The objective of using a bike rack is simple. But there’s a seemingly endless selection of bike rack models and a wide range of prices from which to choose. By and large, this is an advantage, but to get the appropriate bike rack for your needs, you should do a little bit of research and compare the different makes and models. The appropriate rack should fit the vehicle properly, securely transport the bikes, and must fall within your budget. The wrong rack may perhaps be a safety hazard, and may possibly lead to a stolen, lost, or damaged bicycle.

The solution to choosing the right bike rack is precisely defining your needs and assessing your vehicle. One should always consider the following when choosing a bike rack for your RV:

  • How often will it be used?
  • How many bikes are needed to be transported?
  • Do you need to switch the rack between different vehicles?
  • whether the vehicle leased or rented?

 

-Tips to instal a bike rack On your RV:

Bike racks are the most popular tools for transporting bikes over long distances. Most bike racks are equipped to fit compact RVs, cars, SUVs and trucks. Once you’ve determined which rack works best for you all you need to do is install it, and you’re all set to transport your bike. Discussed below are some steps for installing a bike rack:

  • Adjust the upper and lower support girds of your bike rack. The smaller arm should be on top and the longer arm on the bottom.
  • Position the arms upward at 15 to 20 degrees angle. Each arm should be fitted with a knob that can be loosened to change the angle of the arms. After you have adjusted the arms properly, they should make the shape of the letter “V”.
  • Position the rack on the trunk or hatch of your RV. The bike rack kit comes with two upper belts which should be attached to the top edge of the trunk with hooks which are also included within the kit. When attached, they should form a straight line. Two side hooks and two lower hooks with belts will also be included. Fix the two side hooks and belts to the side of your trunk or hatch and the two lower hooks and belts to the base of the trunk.
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Review of the Honda Goldwing 1800 Motorcycle

The Honda Goldwing 1800 is the flagship of the Honda motorcycle range and comes with an airbag as well as many other advanced accessories which go towards making it one of the world’s most luxurious motorbikes.  Read on for more about this motorbike, including what you can expect should you decide to purchase the Honda Goldwing 1800.

Introduction to the Honda Goldwing 1800

The brakes on the Honda Goldwing are fully equipped with ABS. The suspension also gives a lot of comfort, with compression damping adjusted using buttons on the right side of the. The suspension appears in line with the bike, in other words it operates on a sort of flying carpet above the engine – well, that’s how it felt to me anyway!  Other motorcyclists will know what I mean.  If you are driving the Honda in mountainous terrain then you will need to exercise a little bit of restraint when the road gets bumpy or bends are increasing.  This is due to the low ground clearance.

Clear Dashboard Display with GPS Navigation

In terms of the front of the bike, the Honda Goldwing includes a dashboard with speedometer, a tachometer, gauge, engine temperature, and a central digital display that contains radio, GPS mapping, and details on the headlamps.

On the left side of the fairing is everything you need to control the radio, and the central part contains nothing since this is the place reserved for the airbag. On the right side, there are buttons to adjust the headlight height and buttons needed to operate the GPS. Be careful not to take your eyes off the road though, as many of the buttons are placed quite low down.

High Comfort Levels for Driver and Passenger

Rider comfort on the Honda Goldwing is top notch with a seat worthy of a lounge chair.  It provides a very natural feel and outstanding comfort and the fairing is protected very well.  For driving, you will appreciate the adjustable levers and cruise control on the highway.

If you are driving with passengers then they will also travel in comfort.  There are wide footrests, armrests on the rear speakers (optional), large grab handle and the rear seat is heated like the front – which can be controlled independently from the driver by a small knob under the left rear speaker.

Lots of Room for Weekend Travel

The cargo space available is very impressive too. The trunk and panniers allow you to take everything you want for a weekend for two. You can easily store two full face helmets and some cases, although the panniers are not large enough to store a month’s shopping, but just enough for a weekend break as it easily takes two travel bags.  In the front fascia under the handlebars there is another small storage area which includes an MP3 player jack so you can listen to your favorite music.  You can even sync via Bluetooth into your helmet for hands-free entertainment functionality.

Overall, this is one of the best larger motorcycles on the market and is a true market leader, comparing only to similar sized models from the Harley Davidson range.

Author Credits: This review of the Honda Goldwing comes courtesy of the GPS Navigation DVD website.  Please visit them if you would like a Honda Navi Promo Code 2012 which offers money off GPS map updates for the navigation device that comes with the Honda Goldwing.