The Big Truck ClusterTr**k

Don’t buy a vehicle out of state, but if you do, handle the registration yourself.

Back in July I bought a new 5th wheel RV and a 2012 Ford F350 diesel truck to tow it. I was in Bend Oregon and my legal residence at the time was Arizona, though I don’t really live anywhere in particular. Over the years I’ve bought, well I don’t even know how many vehicles, but I do know registration was never a thing I needed to worry about, until now.

Both the RV dealer and the Ford dealer told me they’d process the registration for me. Four weeks later I got a letter from each with a refund of my sales tax and registration fee and a note that said they decided not to do the registration. WTF!? I’m driving around with no registration.

At least the RV dealer sent me the title so I could register the 5th wheel. When I got to South Dakota I changed my residence and registered the 5th wheel.

Not so with the Ford. The dealer said they sent the title to the DMV. Looking back, that should have been a clue, since Arizona has a MVD not a DMV, but of course I didn’t pick up on that. I tried to register the truck in Arizona by mail (can’t do new registration online) and after 7 weeks, MVD sent me a letter saying they don’t have my title. It took the Ford dealer another 2 weeks to figure out that they’d sent the title to an auto title agency in Phoenix and I’d have to go there in person to get it. At this point I’ve driven through Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah and Nevada with no plates on the truck. 14 weeks stressing out over driving, thinking I’m going to wind up with the truck impounded.

Off to Phoenix. The title agency is only a block from the UPS store that handles my mail. They would have given me the title and I could have sent it in to South Dakota saving some money on sales tax and registration, but I couldn’t take it any more so I registered the truck in Arizona and walked out with a license plate. Now I get to tell the story of the vehicle registration clustertr**k to everyone who wanders up wondering why my plates are from different states :).

Catch Up

This stop in Phoenix was a lot of catch up. Great lunch with Bob and Ray. Got to the dentist, the doctor, and the bank.  Got my RV registration renewed. Had Palacios give me an estimate on refurbishing the dog related damages (about $5k).

Speaking of the dog, Keira has been doing better. She travels much better, relaxing in her hutch while we’re rolling down the road. For a while, about a month or so, she was basically perfect when I left her alone in the RV. Lately, however, she’s reverted – we’re back to panic barking, dash surfing and soiling when she’s left alone.  Back to remedial dog training.

I’ll be spending the next few days in Flagstaff visiting Kylee at NAU, but may be back to Phoenix soon to have at least some of the refurb done.


It’s the Little Things

Cake.  Just drive 2,100 miles, spending $800 on diesel, get two emissions tests and whoomp there it is!


Rattling Drive from Tucson

The short drive from Tucson to the Valley was a little tense. I’d just had Roamward Bound washed and waxed so naturally there was light rain and blowing dust all the way. I’d just bought new wipers and they were in the storage bay, safe from the rain. Add to that, there seemed to be a saturation patrol going on with county and DPS cruisers every two miles, and I have a suspended registration. Of course they weren’t really looking for me, they had plenty of speeding cars and trucks to pull over.

When I went to the emission testing station in Phoenix on Saturday, the techs had a hard time – the computer showed I’d already gotten a passing test. I explained that I couldn’t register the vehicle because the test was done in Tucson (manager’s comment – “…that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard…”). After some fiddling and a manager override, they were able to retest and got the exact same result. I avoided the MVD wait this time by going to one of the contractor offices and got my precious sticker.

I’m heading to Flagstaff later in the week to see Kylee at NAU.