Archive for the “Live” Category

Here’s another quick RV maintenance tutorial for those who like to save a few bucks on simple repair projects. Complete with photos, detailed steps, and a little history…

We first wrote about the broken retention cap for our fifthe wheel trailer umbilical cord—and how we fixed it on the cheap—back in 2008. I finally decided to replace the 7-pin trailer cord socket in the bed of our Dodge Ram 2500 pickup after finding one amongst the many bargain bins at Quartzsite.

If you are even the slightest bit handy with a screwdriver, you can replace the socket for your trailer tow lights/brake wiring harness by following these simple steps.

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If you’re a seasonal snowbird or full-time RVer and work from your rig, you’ve probably heard that you can enjoy a nice tax break by writing off your rig as a second home and business expense.

I’ve heard the same thing and always wondered what full-timing expenses were justifiable write-offs in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service. Thankfully there’s a new book that clears up this confusion, called Can I Write Off My RV?: What Every RVer Should Know About Taxes.

Learning about income taxes isn’t as boring as you might think. Written by former full-timer and income tax expert George Montgomery, “Can I Write Off My RV?” does an excellent job clearly answering all of the tax questions that arise when you begin to live and work on the road.

Because Montgomery was a working-age full-timer for 16 years, he has a comprehensive understanding of the nature of working while living this vagabondish lifestyle. As a certified Enrolled Agent for the IRS, he possesses a wealth of knowledge about both sides of the coin, which makes him a rarity among highly-skilled tax experts. This also explains why he’s earned the title of “RV Tax Master” for Workamper University.

With these qualifications, you know the advice in this book is solid. In addition to basic information about choosing a domicile, you’ll also learn about topics like:

  • Tax implications for seasonal RVers with a sticks and bricks home versus full-timers who don’t have one
  • The ins and outs of filing multi-state tax returns
  • If and how volunteering can offset your tax liabilities
  • Which records to keep and for how long
  • And of course, how to know if your RV is a tax deduction

Includes Helpful Workamper Information

The book is written in easily understood language that demystifies all of the intricacies about claiming tax deductions while full-timing.

A helpful section covers a common scenario that many workampers wonder about, which is the tax liability of their campsite while workamping. He writes:

Deductability of An RV Site

If you are paid in full for all of the hours that you work and then have to pay for your campsite, the cost of the campsite may be deducted if it is a job requirement that you stay at the campground.

Some RVers, such as those defined as itinerant workers, are not always eligible to deduct these items. Because of this, the IRS prompts employers to issue a W-2 or 1099 for this benefit. I feel this is done to encourage uninformed employers to report this as income even though it is a non-taxable benefit if it is for the convenience of the employer . . .

When you are interviewing for a job, ask if you are required to live onsite and make sure the value of that site will not be included on your W-2 or 1099 since it is a job requirement for the benefit of the employer . . .  If the value of the campsite is included in your income . . . . then you may deduct the items on your Schedule A (if on a W-2), or on a Schedule C (if on a 1099) as a requirement of the job whether you are away-from-home or an itinerant worker.”

Montgomery emphasizes the importance of keeping accurate records in the event that you have to prove the value of the campsite to the IRS, so that you may deduct that segment of workamping income that was added into your W-2 or 1099.

Don’t Leave Home Without It

Reading this book also provides an understanding of how oftentimes the IRS considers the viability of deductions on a case-by-case basis, so Montgomery includes several different scenarios that clearly illustrate how tax laws can be applied in different ways depending on the unique living and working situation of the taxpayer.

If you’re about to hit the road and see some type of work or volunteering in your future, this book is indispensable for your full-timer education and will provide you with the information you need to discuss your specific tax situation with your own tax preparer.

Get your copy of “Can I Write off My RV?”

Disclaimer: George Montgomery has been our own tax preparer since 2010 and we can’t say enough great things about him!

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Here’s a handy tip for anyone who has ever lost the cap to the freshwater supply inlet on their RV or trailer.

How to Fix Broken or Missing Freshwater Inlet Cap

  1. The cap from a Gatorade sport drink bottle will fit!

Lost your cap somehow? Grab a Gatorade and drink it down. Then screw the cap onto your freshwater supply to keep out debris and bugs.

This is a frugal fix, or temporary solution to keep your water fresh until you can replace the freshwater inlet cap on your RV.

Do you have any quick RV maintenance tips to share?

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We’ve had such positive feedback on our three part series about How To Prepare and Pay for the full-time RVing Lifestyle, that we’ve decided to make it available as a free download for convenient reading offline.

Download Free Fulltime RVing Planning Report

We hope you enjoy it and share this link with other full-timers to be who are still in the research and planning phase before hitting the road. But we believe even seasoned RVers can benefit from what we have to share.

Download Your Free Full-time RVing Planning Report Here.

If you have not yet read this series of blog posts, you can read it online here or download the PDF.

How To Prepare for Full-Time RVing Lifestyle, Part I

How to Plan for the Full-Time RVing Lifestyle, Part II

How to Pay for the Full-Time RV Lifestyle, Part III

Be sure to save the PDF to your hard drive! You can then read it offline anywhere, anytime. Click the links throughout the document for more helpful information online.

For complete details about how we’ve been making a living on the road for the past 7± years to support our nomadic lifestyle, consider downloading our popular remote home based business e-book, Income Anywhere!

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I don’t know why we didn’t do this sooner.

We’ve enjoyed boondocking for as long as we can ever since we hit the road in 2007. Early on, we discovered we can nearly double our freshwater capacity with collapsible water jugs. Getting that water into our freshwater tank, however, has always been a major hassle. Until now.

Watch this quick video and learn how to easily modify your RV plumbing system to use the water pump for filling the freshwater tank from any external source.

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How To Modify RV Water Pump to Fill Freshwater Tank

Filling our freshwater tank from collapsible 5 gallon jugs was always a two-person job—we would both get wet, tired and frustrated. Never again.

By adding a few tee valve connectors to our water supply lines in the compartment with our pump, I am now able to easily and quickly add fresh water to our tank from any container, by myself, without getting in a fight.

The hardest part was figuring out where those valves should go. So here, I’ve done that for you.

NOTE: Our fifth wheel came with a tee-valve and tube intended for use when winterizing the rig. By turning the switch, the attached hose could be inserted into a jug of antifreeze. We never used that, though we sure should have at least once. But it was the inspiration for this mod I made!

1. Fill Tube

If your RV does not have a winterization bypass hose, you can easily insert a tee valve in between the the input side of the pump and the freshwater tank, and attach a short length of flexible hose.

2. Bypass Valve

Insert another tee valve into the output hose coming from the pump to the pressurized water lines.

3. Redirect Valve

Finally, add a valve to redirect water back into the tank via the pressure relief hose on top.

4. Power Supply

Run wire from the nearest DC power source and splice it into the positive side of the pump’s power supply. Add a rocker switch so you can turn the pump on and off without shouting at to someone inside the RV.

Tips for Modifying RV Water Pump to Fill Freshwater Tank

Measure carefully! Be sure to match your existing hose diameter to the new tee valve fittings and any extra hose you purchase.

Always use braided hose or Pex tubing for the pressurized side of your RV freshwater system. Clear PVC hose may be used for the input side, and is easier to curl and stow when not in use.

Spend a few extra cents and invest in high quality hose clamps.

WARNING: One of the weaker clamps I first used popped off a connection with a loud “pop” noise and instant running of the water pump. Luckily we were home! I immediately realized what had happened, shut off the pump and ran outside to clean up the mess that could have been much worse. Another reason to always shut off your RV water supply when you’re not home.

Secure hose clamps tightly using a wrench rather than screwdriver.

Turn off water pump at inside switch before operating new switch installed at pump.

Always open the freshwater supply inlet cap to prevent pressure build-up when filling tank.

Turn off switch at pump and remember to return tee valves to proper position for default functioning of freshwater system after filling tank.

Any questions?

Manual Alternative for filling RV Freshwater Tank from Jugs

If you want to get a workout and don’t mind getting a little wet, or you don’t feel like cutting into your RV’s freshwater plumbing, here is everything you’ll need to make a gadget like we used for years. Place the Water Bandit on a large mouth funnel and attach a fill tube. Have someone hold the funnel, hoist the collapsible 5 gallon jugs, and be patient!

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