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How to add an Office to RV, Travel Trailer or 5th Wheel

How to add an office to a travel trailer RV or 5th wheel. This KZ Sportsman is the bunkhouse model and I removed the bunks to make an office space. This video will show you how we removed the bunks to make room for our new office space. This also allowed us to make room to add a full size couch which will be featured in another video

Part 2 KZ Sportsman Bunk House Conversion

Part 2 of adding an office to an RV, travel trailer or 5th wheel

Part 3 Moving the table brace

Moving Table Brace

Part 4 Adding Full Size couch to RV Travel Trailer 5th wheel

How to add a full size couch or sofa to an  RV Travel Trailer 5th Wheel

Part 5 Adding office desk to RV Travel Trailer 5th Wheel

Part 5 adding the folding brace to the table

Eternabond Seal = No More Caulking

Part 1

How to install Eternabond tape to seal out water  In this video, I beef up the seams on the trailer roof and I seal up any places where you have caulk. The purpose is so I never will caulk the roof again. I have found several people who have had Eternabond tape on the roof of their RV and it has lasted over 10 years with no noticeable wear. Odds are the tape will outlast the material the roof is made from. Make sure you check to be sure the tape is compatible with your roofing material 

Eternabond part 2 front and back

Eternabond tape is great for places where you currently have caulk and you want to never caulk again. The tape seals out water better than caulk it does not shrink and you do not miss a spot. It is not easy to apply however if you take your time it is a worthwhile project that will save you many hot hours on the roof peeling old caulk and resealing.

Install a folding table in an RV more Counterspace

This video shows how to install a folding shelf to make more room and to add functionality to your countertop. This can be used to add space or add another space to eat or place drinks.

How to clean RVAwning (Vinyl)

Did you know if you have a vinyl awning some products could damage it and cause it to lose its ability to shed water. Here is what the experts say you should do if you have a vinyl awing

Installing a TV Bracket in RV

When you install a place to mount a TV in your RV you need to be sure the backing is strong enough to hold the TV. In this video I show you how to mount a board first to the wall and then add the bracket so you have added strength.

TV Bracket in Travel Trailer Part 2

Make sure you check the length of the screws so they do not go outside the trailer

Research Related to RV travels

Are there any tax advantages to living in a travel trailer or rv full time?

("disclaimer" I am not an attorney and the below research is subject to change I would advise additional reserach just to be sure the facts are still the facts)

1. If you live full time in your rv you want to establish "Residency" in a State that does not charge income tax Texas and North Dakota are a couple to research further. As a current Texas resident we at this time will keep our Texas residency however because we also have a house in Florida we may reconsider. 

What is Legal Domicile?

My laymans understanding is you can live anywhere in the US as a US Citizen however you can only have one "legal domicile" being the place you call home aka "Home Base" ...well how do we establish a home base since full-timers "live" all over, the states then look to other "contacts" such as where you work, where you own property, where your vehicles are registered, where you are registered to vote, where you have your driver's license etc.

 Prepare for Change of Residency 

•Check into mail forwarding services in the state where you will become a resident. Changing your mailing address by itself is not changing your residency.  

• When your moving date is a month to six weeks away, start changing your mailing address for memberships, subscriptions, financial institutions, etc. Mail service can scan and email any mail you need to print a  hard copy of

 •Plan a visit to your new home statee, before you need to change over your drivers license, registrations and insurance

 •Once you are a legal resident of your new state, be sure to change your address with the Social Security Administration, Medicare and your health insurance companies.  Also consider when you make the change as you may have to file taxs in two places if youy make the change mid-year.

IRS Regulations 

My "Uncle Sam" always seems to need my financial help

This is some research to save a few dollars and I am not a CPA nor do I work for the IRS so this research is whatr I found you may want to pda check out the regs for updates as we all know the IRS changes things on occasion 

Publication 936 (2017), Home Mortgage Interest Deduction This publication discusses the rules for deducting home mortgage interest.

Generally, home mortgage interest is any interest you pay on a loan secured by your home (main home or a second home). The loan may be a mortgage to buy your home, a second mortgage, a line of credit, or a home equity loan.    You can deduct home mortgage interest if all the following conditions are met.  • You file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040).   • The mortgage is a secured debt on a qualified home in which you have an ownership interest You can deduct your home mortgage interest only if your mortgage is a secured debt. A secured debt is one in which you sign an instrument (such as a mortgage, deed of trust, or land contract) that:  • Makes your ownership in a qualified home security for payment of the debt,   • Provides, in case of default, that your home could satisfy the debt, and   • Is recorded or is otherwise perfected under any state or local law that applies. For you to take a home mortgage interest deduction, your debt must be secured by a qualified home. This means your main home or your second home. A home includes a house, condominium, cooperative, mobile home, house trailer, boat, or similar property that has sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities.

Again as a layman it appears you can write off your RV/Travel Trailer even if you are not a full timer....as mentioned earlier this is just my view, please contact a CPA or IRS for answers I can assure you they will not take my website as a reason you filed incorrectly.  

Some other things to consider...home Improvement...may cover things like new springs wheels tires and tax credits for solar power etc.

Travel Expenses would be the best write off however it will probalby also be the most difficult and the one  you want to keep good records. To consider if you have a second home where bills are duplicated travel cost my be easier to justify in the event of an audit. For those who own their own business, there may be more gray area.  If yours is a special or complex situation, it would be a worthy investment to work with a qualified tax preparer who can take your unique set of facts and correctly interpret and apply the tax code to your situation.  Remember that you are ultimately responsible for the numbers that are reported on your return, so it’s important to work with a professional who will be fair but not overly aggressive.  Sec 119 provides if you're required as a condition of your employment to stay at the premises, the value of the lodging which you receive qualifies as "excludable income" -- in case you fufill a camp host job keep accurate records and get sign off from the manager and keep that information just in case.

Things to deddeduct the business portion of our cell phone charges and internet charges plus office supplies, business postage, advertising, promotional costs (logo hats, visors, shirts, etc.), website hosting, special clothing required for workamping jobs, Rally costs, printing costs, and anything that we can directly tie to the production of business income.


The Patriot Act 

Requires that financial institutions have a residential address on file for each of their customers, and it explicitly excludes the use of mail forwarding addresses for this purpose. Routinely, institutions are subject to internal audits to make sure they have these addresses on file, so having your name on a bill or a lease agreement with a family member is one idea. Maybe purchase a very cheap parcial of land in your state of choice


RV Travel Trailer 5th Wheel Electric and Utilities Cost 

 Most of the sites the water will be free or at least included in the cost for camping one thing to be sure is the water is turned on during off season or you may find yourself literally high and dry.  People generally assume that because a recreational vehicle is smaller than a house, the fees for using its utilities will be less. In many cases this is true, but not always. A lot will depend on your location, how many amenities your trailer has and how you use them do you run the A/C 24x7 and it is over 100 every day then you can expect a high bill verse you only need to turn the TV and open the windows.   One thing to ask before moving into a park is the KWH cost per 1000 some places are more reasonable than others or you may be able to negotiate a flat fee if you have a small rig and can make a case with the park manager. You may also ask if there is any work you could for electricity exchange or for that matter any fees….jump on a mower and mow the grass or maybe man the front desk for few hours in trade. Barter is alive and well in our modern age people just forget to ask.  One thing you should always do is take a picture of the Meter before you hookup and take a picture after it has been read to be sure you are getting charged correctly. Also does not hurt to show picture to manager so they know you are keeping an eye on it.  Now with that said if you stay for less than 30 days more than likely the electric will be included in your daily fee. So something to think about during hotter months is to move more often for example. If the Monthly fee is $500 and the weekly fee adds up to $700 but, the electric would cost you $300 you will come out ahead by moving earlier and paying the higher weekly fee. This will be something you will have to calculate based on cost of Electricity verse weekly cost verse monthly cost. Just write it all on paper and see what you come up with. Finally “Google” electricity calculator and use that to determine what you are using and you could calculate it after a day or two to get a guess on what your monthly electric bill will look like.  For the geeks here are the calculations you can use


 Energy consumption calculation The energy E in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day is equal to the power P in watts (W) times number of usage hours per day t divided by 1000 watts per kilowatt: E(kWh/day) = P(W) × t(h/day) / 1000(W/kW) Electricity cost calculation The electricity cost per day in dollars is equal to the energy consumption E in kWh per day times the energy cost of 1 kWh in cents/kWh divided by 100 cents per dollar: Cost($/day) = E(kWh/day) × Cost(cent/kWh) / 100(cent/$)  


Heating  RV Travel Trailer 5th Wheel

 I did a lot of research on this topic and in a quick nutshell get a “blue flame” heater for serious cold and for using many days in a row,  for short term cold days get a buddy heater for just knocking the cold off for a few days or if you are on shore power use space heaters which in my opinion a space heater would be my choice just because you have less chance of killing yourself and is I think the safest option.  Propane creates water as a byproduct when it is running so if you have a lot of moisture on your windows in your trailer then it is not venting well enough and of course the problem with venting well enough to keep the water out is you have to let air in and so your heat goes out the window.


 


What should I consider if I want to travel full time

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Income where will I get money

Find a company that allows you to work remote.

Google Workamping and Workabroad for some options where you can trade lodging for labor

Social Media Influencer again a google search will guide you thorugh this

Planning to downsize from a house to a suitcase

Should you store it or sell it

How to get mail How to pay bills

Get mail service in state you choose for your domicile


Online bill pay

What is the average cost living in a travel trailer, RV or, 5th Wheel

Some average costs

Campground Fees – 

Communication – Cell Phone Wifi

Entertainment – 

Food – 

Car/RV – 

General –

Laundry – 

License/Insurance – 

Full-time RV and tow vehicle insurance and licensing. 

Utilities – One propane tank fill.

How to get the most from a storage unit

Update.

Questions thoughts or opinions

Cell Service While Traveling

Information about what service to use

All the below summed up as of 4/30/2018


ATT shorter distance from tower to phone Verizon longer distance


You will need to use the maps to determine tower locations and tower needs to be sending signal  in  your direction and it needs to be transmitting on the band you are using. 


  

How to find a cell tower when traveling in an RV or for that matter when you want to stay someplace and need to have good cell service -----


Websites you can use:

  OpenSignal.com Gives you a general idea of weak and good coverage areas near you.

CellMapper.net This one shows the tower and the details of the towers equal very useful 

CellReception.com more user friendly 

AntennaSearch.com  slow and has a lot of information you will need to look through


For Finding TV Towers (keep in mind under 60 miles is reasonable over 60 miles you will suffer from signal attenuation)  we use an outdoor antenna to help find the signals but the other half of the story is the tower and it transmit power. There are a lot of variables to consider when traveling from place to place as the signal power tower location etc all play into finding TV stations for Free.

 https://www.gps-coordinates.net/gps-coordinates-converter  First get your location/coordinates

 http://otadtv.com/tvtower/index.html  Next scroll down to enter coordinates then find towers

 https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps this link you put in your Zip Code



Apps for your Phone:

 OpenSignal  

 RootMetrics

Network Signal Info

LTE Discovery

Phone App Meteor

FieldTester

LTE Discovery

Signal Check Light 

Try them out and find the one you like


  

The maximum distance between a cellphone and a cell tower depends on many different factors. The connecting technology, landscape features, the power of the transmitter in the tower, the size of the cellphone network cell and the design capacity of the network all play a role. Sometimes the celltower transmitter is set to low power on purpose so that it doesn't interfere with neighboring cells. Often hills, trees or buildings interfere with transmission. Any of these factors might prevent you from getting a signal, even if a cell tower is quite close.

 

  

A cell-phone carrier typically gets 832 radio frequencies to use in a city each cell has about 56 voice channels available.  in any cell, 56 people can be talking on their cell phone at one time

    

There are two common frequency bands that all cell phone carriers use.  The Cellular band commonly referred to as 1900 uses the frequencies 1850-1990 ATT.  The other band is PCS which is the 800 MHz band uses frequencies in the 824-894 range Verizon.  Most of our cellular phone signal products work on one or the other.

  

To see the signal strength reading on an iPhone running iOS 11 or later, follow these steps:

1. Dial ⚹3001#12345#⚹ and hit the Call button: This will put your iPhone into Field Test Mode.

2. Tap Serving Cell Measurements scroll down to Measured RSRP. To exit the test mode hit the HOME button 

For droids it can be found under Signal Strength 


  

The strength will fluctuate even when you are stationary. One cause is the User Load on the tower the more people connected to one tower the weaker the signal then data usage also pulls from the tower causing the signal to weaken more. Because of shifting usage loads, signal strength from a cell tower to your phone is constantly changing. If your cell signal is −95 dBm, you can usually make a call without any problems. If your −95 dBm signal fluctuates down to −100 dBm because of the load on the tower, you might drop the call for a moment, but be able to redial and resume in a few seconds.


 -50 -65 = Excellent 

-79 to -65 = Good

-89 to -80 Ok 

 

  

Cell phone signals are measured in decibles aka DBM.  Which are radio waves cellular devices operate at and within this standard:-50 dBm to -120 dBm frequency.


  

Different frequencies carry different distances. Carriers that use the 800 MHz frequency range can broadcast their signals more than twice the distance of carriers that use 1900 MHz frequencies. There are only so many FCC licenses available for each band of frequencies, and when they are all claimed, carriers have to use other frequencies. 800 MHz also has better penetration capabilities than 1900 MHz, so cell signals in buildings may be stronger with 800 MHz. 

  

CDMA broadcasts farther than GSM. In the United States, Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular use CDMA, while AT&T and T‑Mobile are GSM carriers; in Canada, Bell, Telus, and SasTel are CDMA carriers; Rogers, Fido, and Wind use GSM. (This, by the way, explains why you can’t take your Verizon phone and activate it on AT&T’s network: Every cell phone has a radio that works either on GSM or CDMA, but not both…usually.)

 

  

ATT 3G : 850 MHz Cellular, Band 5 (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE). 1900 MHz PCS , Band 2 (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE). 850 MHz Cellular, Band 5 (UMTS/ HSPA+ up to 21 Mbit/s). 1900 MHz PCS , Band 2 (UMTS/ HSPA+ up to 21 Mbit/s).  4G : 700 MHz Lower B/C, Band 12/17 (LTE). 850 MHz Cellular, Band 5 (LTE). 1700/ 2100 MHz AWS, Band 4 (LTE). 1900 MHz PCS, Band 2 (LTE). 2300 MHz WCS, Band 30 (LTE).


Verizon 3G : 850 MHz, Band 0 (CDMA). 1900 MHz PCS, Band 1 (CDMA). 4G : 700 MHz Block C, Band 13 (LTE). 1900 MHz PCS, Band 1 (1xRTT/ EV-DO/ eHRPD). 1900 MHz PCS, Band 2 (LTE). 1700/ 2100 MHz AWS, Band 4 (LTE).

TMobile 3G : 1900 MHz PCS, Band 2 (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE/ UMTS/ HSPA+). 4G : 1900 MHz PCS, Band 2 (LTE). 700 MHz Lower Block A, Band 12 (LTE). 1700/ 2100 MHz AWS, Band 4 (UMTS/ HSPA+/ LTE).

  

One way to overcome poor tower signal due to distance would be to get a booster however if the tower is busy the booster will not increase the availability on the tower. A tower getting heavy use will just be slow until the usage drops. 


Cell phone signal boosters are powerful devices that reach the cell tower, pull in the signal, amplify it up to 32X, and then rebroadcast the boosted signal  so you have fewer dropped calls and lost connections, and you get faster data uploads and downloads in weak-signal areas


  

Best of luck as you work through these numbers and try and determine what will work best for you. If you can afford to have one phone on ATT and another phone on Verizon that would as of this writing be the best option. A work around would be to get a Verizon phone and a cheaper phone that uses the ATT towers for signal. You will need to research to verify but as of this writing Cricket uses the ATT network at a much cheaper price. 

  

  

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