GXV Patagonia on the Kenworth K370 chassis

gregmchugh

Observer
I had a stretch earthroamer and paid the same...appox $3500 from progressive.. btw progressive covers Mexico as well (and you need a special Mexico insurance on top of that from a Mexico carrier)

You can register your rig in Montana and pay no sales tax )
(check your state laws to see how long your vehie must remain out of state after purchase).. if you need the law firms name in Montana.. who sets up the LLC and rv reg...pm me..
A Montana LLC is an option and you will see many of the GXV vehicles with Montana plates. We were living in Michigan when we bought the truck and didn’t expect to get the house sold last year and go full time in the truck. We didn’t have the option of keeping the truck out of Michigan until we went full time and Michigan, along with several other states, notably California, have been aggressive in tracking down residents who register high cost vehicles with a Montana LLC and who have no other connection to Montana. So, we went ahead and registered the vehicle in Michigan at a high cost of 6.6% (6% sales tax and 0.6% registration). This year, we sold the house and moved our domicile to Florida and registered the truck there at a reasonable cost and no additional sales tax. Could we have gotten away with using a Montana LLC and avoided the high cost of registering in Michigan? Probably, but we decided to avoid any issues with Michigan.
 

Zybane

Member
What do you guys mean by tracking down? Like if you simply drive in CA with Montana plates they will pull you over and ask for your registration?
 

gregmchugh

Observer
What do you guys mean by tracking down? Like if you simply drive in CA with Montana plates they will pull you over and ask for your registration?
Here is some info on what states are doing to track down Montana LLC’s. Google “California Montana LLC RV” to see more...

http://www.rv-dreams.com/montana-llcs.html

https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog/2017/05/cant-outrun-sales-tax-wacky-tax-wednesday.html

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/can-i-avoid-state-sales-tax-using-montana-llc.html
 

waveslider

Outdoorsman
Reviving this thread to see if Greg, Daurie and Herk have any forehead slappers saying "I wish I had/hadn't gotten that!" now that they have some miles under their belt.
 

gregmchugh

Observer
Just saw your question. Have been at the Teklinika Camoground in Denali NP for a couple weeks with no cell connection. Will respond after I give it some thought.
 

gregmchugh

Observer
Reviving this thread to see if Greg, Daurie and Herk have any forehead slappers saying "I wish I had/hadn't gotten that!" now that they have some miles under their belt.
I gave it some thought and here is my response...

First, we have no major regrets on what we decided in terms of configuration and options on our Patagonia. Given what we knew at the time based on our past experiences we think we did the best we could to configure the truck for full time travel the way we wanted given our budget. Since then we have sold our house and are living full time in the truck and we headed to Alaska in early July after some delays and are planning to head back south sometime in Oct.

At this point we can see minor things that we could have done differently but nothing major. Four Kenworth Patagonias have been delivered since ours and with each one we can see options that we might have chosen which is the way it goes. With time and experience with the truck we will continue to see things that we could have done differently. There is no question that with actual experience traveling and living in the truck you will find things that you would do differently if you were doing a second build. We already have done several major upgrades that were not available or not considered when our truck was built: front bumper with winch and light bar, upgraded shocks, and upgraded seats. We also had the cabinet by the entry door reconfigured to add additional depth that better allows shoe storage (this was an item that we thought we specified adequately but it turned out the cabinet was slightly too small to handle shoe storage efficiently). The shock upgrades along with the new seats created a very smooth ride on the highway and off the highway the ride is much better also. The new seats have more adjustments and have internal heating/cooling which is nice. The only other major change we are planning is to have the cab roof rack with a light bar installed which is something that was not available when our truck was built.

There are only two items we would change or are planning to change:

The awning that was installed on our truck is a manual Carefree Freedom Wall Mount which got damaged due to a sudden unexpected wind gust when it wasn’t secured to the ground using the poles. It needs to be replaced and we will be looking for another option that is a little more rugged and resistant to the wind (all awnings are going to be damaged at some level of wind but this was not a strong gust that damaged our awning).

One of the decisions we had to make originally was whether to go with the Webasto Dual Top or a Webasto hydronic system for heat and hot water. The Dual Top works fine and is cheaper and simpler than the hydronic system. It is installed under the bench seat which prevents that area from being used for storage. The hydronic system is significantly more expensive and more complex in terms of components and while it does have more BTU capability that is not an issue for us since we don’t expect to get cold with the Dual Top at very low temperatures. The hydronic system would have been installed in the lower outside compartment where the grey tank is located and would have taken up most of the available storage space in that compartment (trade off of losing storage inside the truck or outside the truck). The hydronic system has the advantage that it can also be used to add a radiator / towel warmer in the bath which helps to keep it warm and reduces the humidity (with the Dual Top, you need to open the bathroom door to get heat into the bathroom). Given our budget we decided to go with Lithium batteries and the Dual Top rather than AGM batteries and the Hydronic heating, just one of the many trade offs we had to make to stay within budget. This is the only major decision we made that we would do differently if we had to do it over. We would have gone over budget but it would have probably been a better choice given the flexibility of the hydronic and the added storage space we would have gotten under the bench seat. So, we would have chosen the hydronic heat and the Lithium batteries and gone over budget it we had to do it over again.

There are other minor items that we would have done differently but most of those are things we can handle ourselves over time.

Each new truck that is delivered gives us ideas on things to do to improve ours but so far we have not seen anything that invalidates the two most critical decisions we had to make during the design process:

20 ft cabin (the last 3 delivered have 22 ft cabins and one of the earlier builds has an 18 ft cabin)
2 ft of full height storage in the rear with a garage door and spare tire inside the storage area (you can move the bed to the rear and trade the 2 ft of full height storage in the rear for 2 ft of added living space with the spare tire outside and more outside storage compartments on the rear)

Again, we live in the truck full time so we decided to have an increase in rear storage area to carry all the stuff we want to take. Adding the cab roof rack will allow us to move some of the rarely used items from the rear storage to the roof, freeing up more space for stuff in the back.

Hope that answers your question...

Greg
 

waveslider

Outdoorsman
Fantastic Greg. Thank you for the thoughtful response. Its great to get the perspective of full timers since your needs are different from part-timers or even "recreation users".

We struggled with the Hydronic vs Dual Top decision as well and saw the tradeoffs between complexity, storage and overall KISS-ability. So your comments there aren't surprising.

Your discussion about the awning is alarming. The ONE THING that we are so very much looking forward to is the awning. I made the right choice and didn't get an awning on our Sportsmobile (because everyone that did get it eventually had it rip out on rough roads due to poor attachment design) and its the one thing that we missed dearly. So we are going to have to look into that further.

I saw you spent some time in AK, and have at least been travelling on back roads, dirt, gravel and maybe even some forested lands. How do you find the drivability and turning radius of the KW? My experience is they turn like a Deere and quite nimble but curious to hear your thoughts.

Thanks again for the commentary.
 

gregmchugh

Observer
Fantastic Greg. Thank you for the thoughtful response. Its great to get the perspective of full timers since your needs are different from part-timers or even "recreation users".

We struggled with the Hydronic vs Dual Top decision as well and saw the tradeoffs between complexity, storage and overall KISS-ability. So your comments there aren't surprising.

Your discussion about the awning is alarming. The ONE THING that we are so very much looking forward to is the awning. I made the right choice and didn't get an awning on our Sportsmobile (because everyone that did get it eventually had it rip out on rough roads due to poor attachment design) and its the one thing that we missed dearly. So we are going to have to look into that further.

I saw you spent some time in AK, and have at least been travelling on back roads, dirt, gravel and maybe even some forested lands. How do you find the drivability and turning radius of the KW? My experience is they turn like a Deere and quite nimble but curious to hear your thoughts.

Thanks again for the commentary.
I notice that one of the latest 3 Kenworth builds has a different awning or at least a different awning mounting system which seems to be more rugged than the standard Freedom mounting brackets that were used on our truck. I haven’t had a chance yet to check with GXV to see what they did on that one but we will be getting a replacement of some sort. Needs to be painted to match the truck so we will probably have GXV handle doing it probably at the same time we get the cab roof rack installed after our trip to Florida a the end of the year.

We have been on lot’s of gravel roads with various levels of washboard and potholes with no issues. Not much more rugged than that so far but we did do a tour around Lake Superior last fall and did some more rugged trails without any trouble. Given the size of the vehicle you are clearly limited and we reached that limit a couple times and didn’t go further. We have plenty of scrapes from tree branches along the sides but that just comes with the territory. I am not sure of the exact number but the front wheel cut on the modified K370 is probably not as good as the standard K370 front suspension. It takes some room to maneuver it in tight spaces but we have managed fine so far. We have done the Nebesna road in Wrangell-St Elias but as with most roads in Alaska when you think you are going down something rugged you find the locals are going down the same roads in their cars without any trouble. We are planning to do the McCarthy road and go up the Dalton Highway and do the Dempster up to Tuktoyaktuk before we leave.
 
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