RV The Vote;Powerful Voter Registration info for Full-Time RVers

We are entering the home stretch of the political season and for full-timers who may not be in their home state, how can they ensure eligibility to vote. Americans assume that they have a constitutional right to vote. After all, the founding fathers shaped America's legal structure to ensure everyone's voice could be heard. However, the "right to vote" is actually a privilege, not a constitutional right and it is granted by the individual states to most American citizens but not all.

Selecting a Home Base can be a very complicated proposition.

What do we mean by Home Base? In the United States you can be a U.S. citizen but you also have to be a citizen of one state. The state in which you establish "domicile" is your Home Base. Legal domicile is different from "residency".

However, 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,  and where you have your will.

Voting can be viewed as a daunting task and not a fundamental right so the act of voting is not easy for some. To embrace your civic duty, you need to establish a domicile. In order to establish a domicile, an individual has to be physically present in a place and he or she must have the intention to continue residence in the place for an unlimited period.

Thus, two essential factors required to establish a domicile are:
  • Residence along with physical presence; and
  • An intention to continue there permanently or for an unlimited period of time.
To decide if a person has intentions to take a place as his/her domicile, the conduct of the person and the surrounding circumstances are taken into consideration.

If the two main elements required for establishing domicile exists, duration of the residence will not be an essential factor in establishing domicile. Even a short period is sufficient if there exists an intention to reside.  Temporary absences have no effect on the status of domicile.  Duration of residence is relevant only where it is required under state law.

A domicile once established continues until it is replaced by a new domicile.

make sure you talk to your neighboring full-timer about voting 

Where do most Full-Timers Live?
After doing some serious searching on the Internet, we discovered the 3 top-ranking states, as far as the general population of full-time RVers are:

#1 Texas
Texas came out on top mostly due to the Escapees RV Club which is headquartered in Livingston, TX. They have better than 15,000 members who declare Texas as home. The Escapees even go so far as to have a Become a Texan Manual on the Internet that gives you all the information you need to establish your domicile in Texas. They can even do your mail forwarding for you.
#2  South Dakota
South Dakota is popular among full-time travelers because it boasts no inheritance tax, no property tax, and no vehicle inspections
#3 Florida
According to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, over 8 million U.S. households own RVs and travel an average of 4,500 miles annually. Many Florida RV parks have responded to the trend of permanent RV living by offering special long-term rates to full-timers.

South Dakota RVers can make up to 11% of the vote

The Impact of Non-Residents on states

The advantage to states and communities of having lots of non-resident residents is that they receive many thousands of dollars of sales taxes, insurance premiums and registration fees that wouldn't otherwise come their way. The presence of mail forwarding companies also creates jobs in these states that wouldn't otherwise exist.

At the same time, this non-resident residency impacts the local politics of the cities and towns where the biggest mail forwarding companies do business because of the huge number of absentee voters. These voters may vote like each other — full-time RVers have a lot in common with each other — but they don't necessarily vote like the other residents of their adopted hometowns.

Where Do Fulltime RVers Vote? 
Next to your social security number and drivers license, the most required piece of information that all levels of authority and government officials want is your physical address. Giving up your physical home in no way takes away your government representation – you still get to vote! Your legal domicile address now serves as your address to register to vote if you choose to. Of course, you likely won't be showing up in person, so you'll need to make arrangements in advance to get registered and get an absentee ballot in plenty of time for any elections you want to participate in.

RV Voters' Rights
If you are like many RVers, traveling away from your state of domicile, you will need to get an understanding of the procedures for absentee voting. There are hard deadlines that you must observe if your circumstances warrant voting absentee. At a minimum, state governments reserve the power to set guidelines for absentee voting to promote the efficient administration of their elections. You need to know the procedures in your state and county if you want your county officials to count your vote. (To get an absentee ballot, visit Vote.org at www.vote.org/absentee-ballot.)

Which Are The Best RV Mail Forwarding Services?
There are many of things to consider when choosing a permanent (legal) address that you will use while traveling full-time in an RV.

Once you decide on the state that's best for you, you need to pick an RV mail forwarding service to handle all of the correspondence you receive while you're traveling.

Following are some of the most popular mail forwarding companies that cater to RVers.

RV Mail Forwarding Companies*
*Mail forwarding companies act as both a legal address for use on driver's license, federal & local taxes, vehicle registration, voting, insurance and more.

The most important detail around this time of year is to make sure that all the necessary items are taken care of so you can ensure that you will be able to vote and your vote will count. Laws may vary from state to state and if you will not be in the state that you  are a domiciled resident of, then it is important to make sure that you are eligible to vote so that you can cast your ballot.

You can trust our knowledgeable crew members who are available to assist you with your RV buying and RV service needs. Our RV dealerships are stocked with new RVs from the top name and rated brands, complemented by high-quality pre-owned RVs. With a vast inventory of models and floor plans, La Mesa RV has an RV for every lifestyle!

Stop by one of our locations for more sales info, parts or service today: http://lamesarv.com/locations-motorhome-dealer

Here are some great resources to help stay up to date on voting:

The Powerful Impact of RV Culture for College Football's Growth

How the Power and Influence of RV Culture is perfect for College Football

College football fans take note: the RV industry has been for showcasing the "Ultimate Tailgate Experience" throughout the country with fan-accessible RVs. A 2013 tour sponsored by Go RVing, had two stops and featured the Winnebago Brave motorhome and the Lance 2612 toy hauler. Having thousands of people attend these events, it showcased RVs as an ideal tailgate vehicle as well as provided fans an opportunity to tour units. It featured cooking demonstrations with Celebrity Chefs, fan games, and giveaways, autograph and photo opportunities with Sports Illustrated personalities and college football alumni. All combined for exciting events.

Some cool things occurred from this marketing campaign such as:
  • An online sweepstakes was part of the tour with the grand prize winner awarded a 2014 Keystone travel trailer featuring an outdoor kitchen that is perfect for tailgating and camping. 
  • Go RVing teamed with Sports Illustrated to provide the magazine's lead NFL writer Peter King with a Jayco Precept Class A motorhome for his Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQB) Training Camp Tour for the summer.
  • King, along with other Sports Illustrated writers and staffers, embarked from New York for a three-week RV odyssey that visited 19 cities. 
  • The SI on Campus Tailgate Tour presented by Go RVing visited six NCAA football games throughout the country to give fans an interactive, hands-on introduction to RVing.
King is one of America's premier pro football writers and his MMQB column on SI.com, which began in 1997, has become a must-read for fans, league insiders and anyone who loves the NFL. The column regularly draws more than 12 million page views and based on its popularity, Sports Illustrated and King expanded the column to a stand-along microsite on SI.com. He has over one million Twitter followers and he will be tweeting constantly during the tour as well.

Battle at Bristol officially brings in biggest crowd in American football history

There's a new sheriff in town when it comes to American football attendance records. On Saturday evening sept. 20, after three years of anticipation, the Battle at Bristol between No. 9 Tennessee and Virginia Tech officially reigned in the highest attendance for an American football game in history: a record 156,990 fans were on hand to watch the game.

These are all the campgrounds surrounding the speedway. An estimated 100,000 RVers using the campgrounds at Gametime.
Fast Facts 1:
The former NCAA-recognized record for attendance is 115,109, from the Notre Dame-Michigan game in 2013. The previous record was 114,804, set by Michigan in 2013. Bristol, which holds approximately 160,000 people, was expected to bring in close to that figure.
One of the highest, yet unofficial, records for attendance at a college football game was all the way back in 1927 when 120,000 people gathered at Soldier Field to watch Notre Dame-USC.
The highest record for an NFL regular season game is 105,121 — set in 2011 during the Cowboys-Giants game from Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The largest crowd to watch any NFL game was 112,376 in a preseason matchup between the Cowboys and Houston Oilers in Mexico City in 1994.
Fast Facts 2:
The Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol set a record for the biggest crowd to see a college football game. Guinness confirms the record, but they came up with a different attendance number than the 156,990 announced at the game.
"They had a confirmed total of ticketed attendees at 130,045 people," said Kim Patrick, head of records management for the United States and Canada. "In many cases, announced attendance is actually higher than the real ticketed attendance. For this reason, from a Guinness World Records attendance standpoint, we've decided that globally the way that we count attendance records so that it can be compared from place to place, is just for that barcoded, ticketed attendance."
Guinness does not count players, the two bands, staff, and media members. They only count people there to watch the game.
The RV culture is something that is important to the college football fan who is serious about supporting their team and The RV Lifestyle is very conducive to the fan who likes to tailgate. Looking at Bristol(as is the case for many NASCAR Speedways), the amount of campgrounds available produced up to an additional 100,000 visitors who may not have attended the game but still were able to capture the game while RVing.

The game was convenient for both Virgina Tech and Tennessee fans

Being that campgrounds and RVing are important NASCAR, it's easy to understand why in "the age of the college football playoff" how important it is to provide the ultimate fan experience for fans and alumni  alike who may travel cross-country to catch their favorite team. It could very well be an important factor in their travel as well when we come upon bowl season. As it becomes tougher to fly last minute or book hotel rooms the solution seems obvious; buy an RV. Unlike a hotel, there is a size and budget for everyone and it will actually provide more opportunities for additional family vacations.

You can trust our knowledgeable crew members who are available to assist you with your RV buying and RV service needs. Our RV dealerships are stocked with new RVs from the top name and rated brands, complemented by high-quality pre-owned RVs. With a vast inventory of models and floor plans, La Mesa RV has an RV for every lifestyle!

The Purpose & Power of Celebrating our National Park Centennial

ICYMI( In Case You Missed It): We're Celebrating our Centennial

The National Park Service celebrated its centennial recently and this represents a unique time for RVers, campers, backpackers and the youth of the United States.

This has been celebrated from the marble steps of the White House to the granite peaks of the North Cascades. The National Park Service has turned 100. When it was created back in 1916, there were just 35 national parks and monuments for the Park Service to oversee. Today, the National Park Service system manages more than 400 sites, everything from battlefields like Gettysburg to the historic Oregon Trail, and of course the national parks themselves.

From 1872 when the first national park called Yellowstone (named after a mighty river) was created to the present day, there have been naysayers to oppose the creation of national parks and monuments. But America has taken the longer view and protected our natural, historic and cultural resources for future generations.

One hundred years ago, President Woodrow Wilson and Congress created the National Park Service to conserve areas of natural, cultural and historic importance and leave them "unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."

Places like Yellowstone and Yosemite were already in federal protection, but in the next 100 years, America's "best idea" would include 413 areas and more than 84 million acres of vast wilderness, scenic rivers, military battlefields, presidential homes and more. It was a radical idea to put large tracts of land into federal custody on the heels of the Industrial Age when almost nothing was untouched by development.

Americans on this centennial anniversary are encouraged to "find your park" and enjoy these wonders that are the collective conscious of our nation. And with President Obama's expansion of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument from 50 to 200 miles out from the Northern Hawaiian Islands, it is now the world's largest marine protected area. History will remember this anniversary and next century as the "blue centennial"—the time when the national park idea was brought to the ocean. It couldn't come at a more important time.

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is now the world's largest marine protected area.

Most of the 307 million annual visitors to the National Parks today draw from the same segments of the population that started visiting them during their revitalization in the 1950s and 60s. Visitors' demographics have not kept up with the country's increasingly diverse population, or with the younger generations. So because of the times there's been new initiatives launched such as the Find Your Park and Every Kid in a Park campaigns for increasing engagement among diverse audiences and committed her department to growing such outreach efforts.

Stamps Celebrate National Parks on Agency's Centennial

Recently issued U.S. postage stamps provide a snapshot of the beauty and diversity of the vast system of national parks managed and maintained by the U.S. National Park Service, which celebrates its 100th birthday today.

A 16-stamp sheet, issued on 2 June by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), includes stunning photographs and paintings of National Park Service lands, wildlife, and more across the country. The sheet features imagery from some of the park system's most iconic treasures, including Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks.

In consultation with the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), the postal service also included lesser known gems such as Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota and the small, urban Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D. C., to highlight the variety of park system locales, according to William Gicker, creative director, and manager of the USPS stamp program. "We think of stamps as miniature works of art that showcase the best of our country," Gicker said.

A heron at the Gulf Islands National Seashore, which includes barrier islands in Florida and Mississippi. Photo by John Funderburk. Credit: © 2016 USPS

The centennial is celebrating the achievements of the past 100 years, but it is really about the future. It's about kicking off the second century of stewardship for America's national parks and for communities across the nation. Most importantly, it's about inviting you to join the National Park Community. We all have a role to play in ensuring that future generations of Americans will be able to enjoy the thrilling experiences of nature and wildlife, history and culture, and the spirit of adventure that is waiting at every national park.

What is your favorite national park?

The centennial is celebrating the achievements of the past 100 years, but it is really about the future. It's about kicking off the second century of stewardship for America's national parks and for communities across the nation. Most importantly, it's about inviting you to join the National Park Community. We all have a role to play in ensuring that future generations of Americans will be able to enjoy the thrilling experiences of nature and wildlife, history and culture, and the spirit of adventure that is waiting at every national park.

Ways to Celebrate:
Join the national park community
Join the national park community and get access to park guides, travel tips, news, and more! Together we can celebrate our national parks and begin looking forward to the next 100 years of the National Park Service.
Support the National Park Foundation
Support the National Park Foundation and local park Friends Groups to ensure that the legacy of our national parks continues into the next century. The parks cannot thrive without your support and now is the time for all of us to come together in our efforts. Donate to NPF »
Enjoy free admission
Did you know you can visit these wonderful parks for free for the centennial celebration? Enjoy free admission to all 413 national parks from August 25-28 and find your park during the centennial year. Learn more »

Fast facts on the History of National Parks:
  • Gettysburg National Military Park was the turning point of the Civil War and the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" was often referred to as the "High Water Mark of the Rebellion"
  • Before Yellowstone became America's first national park in 1872, Congress sent a group of surveyors led by geologist Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden to explore and document the prospective park.
  • Hawaii National Park became the 11th park in 1916, just weeks before the Park Service was formed.
  • In 1961, the park was split into Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island and Haleakalā National Park on Maui. 
  • Today the National Parks Service has 59 national parks in its charge, as well as 82 national monuments, 78 national historic sites, 11 national battlefields, 15 national rivers, 19 national preserves, and 147 other units of various types.
Other Ways to Get Involved

There are so many ways to get involved and enjoy America's 413 national parks and even more ways to support these special places and their programs.
  • Find a park to visit and explore.
  • Learn about events at a park near you.
  • Celebrate the centennial in style with official centennial and Find Your Park gear.
  • Volunteer and give back to our national parks.
  • Collect National Park Service commemorative coins, available through the United States Mint. 

US National Park Availability, Amenities and Fees Vary and Can Change Often
We hope you enjoy this article because it's written specifically for RV travelers who are looking for basic travel information about the US National Parks.
Although all  parks all belong to the same system, they differ significantly in type, amenities, and pricing. Also, availability and fees can change in certain parks from one season and year to the next, so you want to plan your trips in advance.

 Make Sure You Know Before You Go
Because these parks are located all throughout the country, it is likely that most RV travelers will not get to see all of them during one trip unless they are willing to drive great distances to do so. Each is beautiful and unique in its own way, and all are well worth visiting. Happy Centennial and make sure you take the time to enjoy these parks.

Other Resources: