New License Plates; South Dakota Air & Space Museum (Ellsworth AFB FamCamp, Box Elder SD)

Monday –  my new favorite day of the week since retirement; was another good day in our new hometown of Box Elder, SD 🙂  But, man – is it ever hot here… it’s only ~80 degrees here but it feels like what would be 95 to 100 degrees in Colorado.

I decided to go ahead and register the Silverado and the Harley with SD plates today.  The Silverado isn’t due for renewal until November, but that’s right around the corner when you think about it… and it will cost $30 for each registration that Americas Mailbox does on my behalf when I’m out of the state.  The Harley isn’t due for renewal until May, but I figured it was a minimal cost to register here and therefore nothing would be gained by waiting… as a matter of fact, it would just cost me an additional $30 if I waited.  I’ll still leave the Urban Escape Vehicle with CO plates for now since it’s not due until May of next year.  Besides, the Coach has the disabled veteran plates that are free in CO.  I wrote about this and changing domicile in a previous post (click HERE).

So I gathered up my paperwork for both the Silverado and Harley, and headed into town.  First, we stopped by Americas Mailbox to tell them of my change in plans, and the ever-so-helpful representative ‘Carla’ went over the paperwork I would need and gave us directions to the Rapid City administration building.


We found the License Plate section in the administration building without any problem.  I saw blank forms hanging in the entryway for title registration and personalized plates.  I grabbed them to start filling out.  There was a line of people (probably 10) in front of us, but it went quickly – and before I even had time to fill out the “new vehicle/title registration” forms – we were called to the desk.  The clerk said; “don’t worry about the forms, just give me your titles and SD license”.  She typed the pertinent information into her computer, and printed out the same form ready for my signature.  I asked about personalized plates, and she even typed that information into the computer and printed out another copy for signature.

Voila!  Not even 30 minutes in the building and I was done!  Colorado could sure use some tips from these folks in South Dakota!  I’ve never had a more pleasant experience or shorter wait-time in my life.  I paid less than $130 for the Silverado and less than $50 for the Harley AND that’s with personalized plates!  I received a paper temporary permit to put in the windshield until my new plates are mailed.  I can just leave the current CO plates on the vehicles until then.  Oh, and the title fee was only $5 for each vehicle… “Take that – Colorado”.

And BTW – Our new personalized plates will be ‘UEV 1’ for the Silverado and ‘UEV 2’ for the Harley.  And if you don’t already get it – ‘UEV’ stands for ‘Urban Escape Vehicle’ 🙂  I hope to get ‘URBNSKP’ on the plates for the Coach when the time comes in April or May of next year.

Afterwards, we stopped by Cabela’s which is right next to I-90 at the same exit (61) as Americas Mailbox.  Cabela’s is always fun to browse, especially if you don’t spend too much money there.  They don’t allow dogs in this store, but they offered a kennel for little “Coach” behind the customer service desk… that was nice of them.  It was too hot to leave him in the Silverado.  We often have to take turns visiting places, while one of us stays outside with little Coach.

Cabela’s in Rapid City
Giant buffalo and grandson Kaan in front of the Cabela’s in Rapid City.
Our Grandson Kaan in front of the wildlife display at Cabela’s in Rapid City.

After looking through Cabela’s we stopped at an RV service & sales place (I-90 RV & Auto Supercenter) across from Americas Mailbox to ask if they could repair the dash A/C on the Coach.  It stopped working a while ago and we’ve just been dealing with it by turning on the generator and roof A/C when it gets too hot while traveling.  I was hoping to be told something like; “Sure, bring the Coach by tomorrow on your way through and we’ll take care of you”, but they didn’t have any openings for service until Friday.  So we moved on.

And then we visited Camping World (sorry no pics).  I forgot how far it was past Rapid City going north.  It’s actually in Summerset, SD.  Anyway, we found a few small items to buy, which we always seem to do at a Camping World.  I also got some tips from their service center on places in the area that might be able to repair our dash A/C.  I was told they don’t service air conditioners here.

After supporting the local Camping World, we headed back to Ellsworth AFB and visited the South Dakota Air & Space Museum located just outside the main gate:





This is a pretty cool museum that is free to visit.  They also offer tours on small air-conditioned buses that take you through the AFB but they don’t allow dogs.  Cost is $8 per person and $5 for children.  Maybe we can come back later for the bus tour if we leave little “Coach” in the Coach with the A/C on.

Here’s some pictures of the planes and other static displays outside the museum:










Stilla and I took turns walking through the museum building while one of us stayed with little “Coach” outside:















And here’s a few more pics outside the museum:








This is a really nice museum and you can’t beat the cost (free)… it’s always cool to see aircraft and I think Kaan was impressed by the huge jets.

We might be moving on soon, still not sure… I received a message last night from a fellow Alpine Coach owner that just arrived in the area, who suggested we get together.  Maybe we can do just that…

Stay tuned…