As you prepare to change your lifestyle and become a full time RV-er you should consider what paperwork should travel with you and what paperwork should be very close by.
The records you must keep for the IRS will still be necessary if you are not exempt from filing taxes. Those important tax forms, legal papers and receipts will be just as important to you on the road. The IRS requires you to keep forms for 7 years and anything you based your figures upon for filing. Some of us keep much more than is necessary. Try to go through this pile of papers to eliminate anything you must not keep. If you are keeping the physical papers with you, there are lots of reasons to lighten the load. You need to find a place to hold and store these important papers. Keep in mind some of this may be safe in a bank safe deposit box. If you are at least a little computer savvy you can copy all this to your hard drive or thumb drive. It takes no real amount of room and can be printed out whenever needed.
Of course one of the things you will already have with you in your wallet or purse will be your driver’s license and vehicle insurance proof. Also in your wallet will most likely be Social Security and Medicare cards if you are a senior. In addition, any other insurance cards such as one for supplemental health insurance will also be close by for easy access. Remember also that now you must have a passport to cross the borders between Canada and Mexico.
One of the most important things to have with you fairly close is any medical records such as laboratory results, summaries of your physicians’ visits and even copies off x-rays which will be of tremendous help if you have a chronic condition such as a bad back. Dental records may also be valuable. You may think this is going overboard, but it could be vital and save your life in case of an emergency. Keep in mind if a serious accident occurs, there is always a possibility both of you or even the whole family could be hurt. Knowing your history, any important health issues, allergies to medication, previous conditions, surgeries etc. might save your life. When you presume that you could be unconscious and no-one would be available to fill in paramedics or hospital employees on your condition. On the same note, a bracelet that announces you are diabetic or notes some other condition would be vital info when making health decisions. Your advanced medical directive or living will should be included with the medical records close by. A copy of your living will should be with a legal representative or family member. Your final decisions and instructions about what should happen in the event of a death or incapacitation is important for a family member to keep.
So after making sure you have safely stored all the medical stuff for everyone traveling in the RV, remember to keep vital records for the furry kids traveling with you. You may be asked for proof of immunizations and vaccines. The rabies tags should be on their collars wherever you go. These records should be easily accessible.
Of course you will keep any financial records for your bank accounts or investments. Safely store any info on checking or savings accounts, blank checks, credit card info and passwords to do your online banking. It goes without saying that you should safeguard any debit or credit cards, travelers’ checks or money orders. Even your cash should be divided and never all stored in one place in case of theft or emergency. In fact, use as little cash as possible, though surely you will need some for those events where credit cards or checks are not accepted.
Also make sure a family member or your legal representative have any copy of wills, life insurance policies and final arrangements instructions.