Before And After

Happy Canada Day!

A blast from the past. Literally. Just six months ago, we were freezing in Kingston. The weather was colder than the North Pole.

And now, we are warmer than Miami:

43 Celsius means that the temperature feels like 109 Fahrenheit. That is really, really hot.

An RVer told me that one of the most important things that he learned while traveling in his coach was to follow the weather. Avoid the extremes in heat and cold.

For the past 61 years, I’ve lived in a country of extreme weather patterns. I have found the past few winters to be much harder now that I am older.

Although Canadians are not as overtly patriotic as some other nations, I am very blessed to live in such a wonderful country.

As great a country as Canada may be, we still plan on escaping the harsh winters. In just four months, we will begin our travels through the southern U.S. in our motor coach.

Prevost Buses Everywhere

Even parked outside my office window.

We live in a tourist town and during the summer months, a steady stream of Prevost tour buses drop off thousands of visitors every day.

Kingston is not a destination location where tourists stay for a week or longer. For the most part, the visitors are day-trippers. They arrive in the morning and they are gone by evening. The Prevost buses come in, and the Prevost buses go out.

We also see a lot of headline entertainers come into town like Sting, Elton John, Chicago, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, Bob Dylan. And they bring some really, really nice Prevost buses.

I’m not sure about the one pictured above though. It is a bus for an unnamed band. It is a really old rig and, walking around it over lunch today, there was a lot of physical damage to the coach and obvious wear and tear to the body panels. License plates were from Montana. And the trailer is pretty small for hauling concert-level gear. The bus is aluminum making me wonder if they had to pay a tariff when they crossed the border into Canada.

The Canada Day week-end brings a lot of smaller acts to Kingston and perhaps that is the case for this tour bus.

So close to being retired now that seeing all of these buses makes me anxious to get out there in our own coach.

Soon now.

Soon.

Team Sky Motorhome For Sale

Team Sky. Chris Froome being one of the leading cyclists on that team and in the world of professional cycling. Not without some controversy however. Froome had returned an adverse analytical finding for salbutamol at the 2017 Vuelta a Espana. This might be a breach in the anti-doping rules and may impact his victory at the Vuelta a Espana. The case is still under review.

I hope Froome will be able to race the Tour de France which starts soon, July 7th.

Wait a minute now. I have become distracted by the original point of this post. Being a bit of a cycling enthusiast, I can hardly wait for the Tour de France, but back to Team Sky’s Motorhome.

Team Sky has a motorhome that was just posted for sale on eBay for about $90,000 CAD.

The listing is (was?) here.

A few shots of the motorhome. And note the second photo where the names of the team members are painted on the coach.

I wonder if I bought the coach and added my name to the list would that make me a member of Team Sky?

Mountain Modern Life

I was doing some research on how to inspect RV tires and the web led me down a number of different paths including one that brought up this video from Mountain Modern Life:

I had not come across Eric and Katie before. A young couple that has opted to travel through life in an RV until they can find their perfect home in the mountains surrounded by evergreens.

I have to say that they have an incredible eye for design and some awesome photography skills.

This is a video tour of their Tiffin Allegro motorhome:

More details about the before and after transformation of their motorhome can be found here.

I spent far more time on their website than I expected. Great content and I can appreciate how much time and effort they have been putting into their website and YouTube channel.

Luxury Taxes on RVs

Preserving capital is a rallying cry when thinking about our retirement years. We’ve done well but the shift into retirement means a bit more focus on the expense side.

I’m not concerned about the expenses we can control. I am more concerned about the expenses that we do not control. And most of those expenses are influenced by government either in the form of taxes or monetary policy.

With monetary policy, the Bank of Canada loves to devalue the Canadian currency when the economy is bumpy although some pundits like to draw a close linkage between the value of CAD and the price of oil.

With the recent battle over trade with the U.S., CAD has fallen.

Since February, CAD has gone from a high of .82 against the USD to a low of .75.

With various fees, it means that $1,000 CAD gets us about 715 USD. We lose about 28 percent due to currency valuation compared to parity. Thankfully, costs and taxes are somewhat lower in the U.S. however, whenever CAD falls below about .88, we pay a premium.

We will be paying more in real terms for our trip south. Those currency expenses I cannot control.

I came across this article in Australia. The Queensland government is putting a two-percent tax on vehicles worth more than $100,000 and weighing less than 4.5 tonnes. This impacts people who might want to purchase mid-range motorhomes in retirement.

In British Columbia, Canada, we have such a luxury tax on vehicles. Being Canadians, though, we like bigger taxes then those issued by the Queensland government. We get them to kick in at a lower price — $55k is a luxury car in British Columbia — and make them really bite when the price of the vehicle gets up there. $125k will net an 8% luxury tax. $150k will net a 13% luxury tax. Ouch!

From the British Columbia government:

Luxury surtax applies to passenger vehicles when the value for tax exceeds:

$55,000 to $55,999.99 — 7% PST plus 1% Luxury tax
$56,000 to $56,999.99 — 7% PST plus 2% Luxury tax
$57,000 to $124,999.99 — 7% PST plus 3% Luxury tax
$125,000 to $149,999.99 — 7% PST plus 8% Luxury tax (effective April 1, 2018)
$150,000 and over — 7% PST plus 13% Luxury Tax (effective April 1, 2018)

Reading the tax material further, I find that seniors wishing to purchase an RV in retirement in British Columbia will not be impacted by this luxury surtax:

For tax purposes, a passenger vehicle is defined as a motor vehicle designed primarily as a means of transport for individuals. For example, trucks and vans larger than three-quarter ton, camperized vans, motor homes, buses and motorcycles with engines of 250 cc or less are not passenger vehicles.

In Ontario, the province where I live, the NDP party, running on a platform that included high taxes, wanted to introduce a similar vehicle luxury tax to British Columbia. They did not indicate a percentage, only that, if elected, they would put a surcharge on all vehicles over $100,000. I suspect that all vehicles would also include RVs.

Fortunately, the NDP was not elected. Voters in Ontario were tired of 15 plus years of tax and spend government.

Taxes. Another expense that I cannot control.

Taxes and monetary policy will, no doubt, continue to impact our finances during our retirement years.

A 13% luxury tax on our motorcoach would have been a significant financial challenge. Bad enough that we had to battle with the dealer on hedging our currency risk — we had our coach custom built and CAD was volatile during the 9 months from when we placed our order until we received our motorhome.

We were able to fix the price on order as opposed to on delivery.

CAD did fall further during that time so we wound up not losing money due to currency fluctuation.