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Art&Gardening
(@Art&Gardening)
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June 17, 2016 7:49 pm  

Will the lovely people of this board kindly humor my silly questions? I have a few...

I've read here that a vehicle is absolutely necessary on the islands, would this little guy cut it?

and if that little guy doesn't look tough enough, how about his brother?

These are popular in some countries as food and retail trucks as well (I think they're cute, and sensible, if the roads allow).

and

How difficult is it to get a license to run a food or retail truck? Are there so many restrictions that it is a discouraging prospect?

Also how in demand is photography on the island? I imagine tourists and locals are willing to spend a few bucks for fun snaps that aren't selfies. I'm trained, but I'm not above having a little photo booth if it allows me to independently make a little money while I see if the islands are a place I'd want to stay long term. Are licenses for small businesses like this difficult to get?

Lastly, has anyone actually done work at Ridge2Reef? It seems absolutely lovely, but I've seen some negative comments on this board, so if anyone has volunteered or interned there, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks in advance for your responses!

*(ETA photos of the retail/food trucks!)


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Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
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June 17, 2016 8:23 pm  

Some got one of these registered on STT.

They look like cute coffins to me. Just my opinion
http://www.polaris.com/en-us/rzr-side-by-side/sport


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Art&Gardening
(@Art&Gardening)
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June 17, 2016 8:39 pm  

Reckless drivers or potholes? Which is likely to get me first?


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Spartygrad95
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June 17, 2016 8:44 pm  

We have potholes on STT the size of those vehicles but more likely the horrible drivers


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OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
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June 17, 2016 8:49 pm  

That's a toss-up. On those little tiny tires you have next to no ground clearance and the undercarriage will fall apart in no time. Bad idea. Food truck business and "photo booth" business - contact the Department of Consumer and Licensing Affairs.


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singlefin
(@singlefin)
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June 18, 2016 1:21 am  

A lot of places you'll need to go, involve traveling over dirt roads and up and down serious grades. The amount of that kind of driving will depend upon where you choose to live, work, ect... but you will be required at times to do so.
You'd never make it on the dirt road through the rain forest to the Ridge2 Reef farm on STX.

Consider an SUV with all wheel drive, at the very least.


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specialk
(@specialk)
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June 18, 2016 1:39 am  

And you should consider the availability of parts.


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Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
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June 18, 2016 3:09 am  

A lot of places you'll need to go, involve traveling over dirt roads and up and down serious grades. The amount of that kind of driving will depend upon where you choose to live, work, ect... but you will be required at times to do so.
You'd never make it on the dirt road through the rain forest to the Ridge2 Reef farm on STX.

Consider an SUV with all wheel drive, at the very least.

On STT and STJ. STX you only need an SUV if you're driving off the paved roads.

I imagine brakes would be the first to go on those tiny cars on STT or STJ. Plan on buying them in bulk. Check the specifications on those things, they may even have disclaimers against driving on steep terrain.


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Alana33
(@Alana33)
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June 18, 2016 3:18 am  

For a vehicle, you need good ground clearance for potholes, a good engine for steep, curvy, hills and excellent brakes. For the crazy drivers, you'll need to pay attention and have excellent defensive driving skills.
You should check BMV to see if they license them for road use as well.


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TommySTX
(@TommySTX)
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June 18, 2016 3:31 am  

A lot of places you'll need to go, involve traveling over dirt roads and up and down serious grades. The amount of that kind of driving will depend upon where you choose to live, work, ect... but you will be required at times to do so.
You'd never make it on the dirt road through the rain forest to the Ridge2 Reef farm on STX.

Consider an SUV with all wheel drive, at the very least.

While an SUV with AWD is nice, It is not necessary. I have a RWD SUV that gets around just fine and my wife drives a FWD small sedan with no issues. We do have to drive about a 1/4 mile on a dirt road everyday as well. Only speaking for STX but you can get around fine with a small sedan.


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Scubadoo
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June 18, 2016 4:42 pm  

Only speaking for STX but you can get around fine with a small sedan.

Unless you spend most of your time at Home Depot like I seem to do, then a pickup comes in handy:D


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Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
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June 18, 2016 5:18 pm  

I am constantly torn between a P/U or a top down 2 seater for a spare vehicle -- usefulness VS late life crisis material.


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Scubadoo
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June 18, 2016 8:38 pm  

There was a day when you could have both in one. It was called an SUV before they turned them into soccer mom taxis. I still have my old one, never have taken off the top though. Need to one day, the rubber seals need to be replaced.


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Pdmargie
(@Pdmargie)
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June 18, 2016 9:44 pm  

Here is a US made electric "Tuk Tuk". At around $20,000 a good used SUV would be better

http://etukusa.com


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singlefin
(@singlefin)
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June 18, 2016 10:24 pm  

On a nice, dry day maybe.
On a stormy, windy day, with rain soaked dirt roads, up and down steep hills?
No thanks...


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OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
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June 18, 2016 10:59 pm  

None of these vehicles are suitable for island transportation period.


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LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
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June 19, 2016 5:45 am  

we have an airforce major on STX with a Ranger converted to road legal.. at least that has 4 tires & is stable... I priced them, the 4 seater with a full "road conversion" was 16,000 for the 2016 model when it was new..

I'm sure you'd be fine in these, the metal tube cage they are made of is pretty sturdy. 0

I'm sure you could get a used one and the "road legal" kit for much much cheaper.


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Afriend
(@afriend)
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June 19, 2016 11:33 am  

Count me among those who say the vehicles suggested by Art&Gardening are totally impractical for transportation on any of the USVI's let along for use as a "food truck".

It's interesting, though, how other than asking another question (about potholes and drivers) an hour after his/her initial post Art&Gardening hasn't come back to comment on the advice he/she has received. Makes me wonder if he/she is really serious about perhaps relocating to and starting up a business somewhere in the USVI's or just another dreamer trying to figure out if they can live in the Caribbean on a shoestring.

As an aside, since the photos depict used vehicles that are possibly in Europe I'm guessing it may cost way more to ship one of those vehicles to the USVI's and pay the customs duty than the vehicle itself may be worth. Even if the vehicle was already on the US mainland the shipping costs will still be a major factor in the start-up economics for a food truck business.


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Art&Gardening
(@Art&Gardening)
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Joined: 4 years ago
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June 19, 2016 12:46 pm  

(I'm here, just had a busy day yesterday)

I appreciate all the responses, I think the consensus is "don't die."

This board has a wealth of information and every polite (and not so polite) response to the misguided (raises hand) helps.

Also what's wrong with dreaming? Some of the appeal from the outside of living on a small island is a slower pace and simpler way of life. Being creative and thinking of ways to keep costs down seems to be looked down on by some :/

Adding road conditions to the list of considerations in my research.... I've always wanted to drive a pickup though so... not a deal breaker.


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SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
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June 19, 2016 12:58 pm  

Keep the dream alive!


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Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
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June 19, 2016 1:20 pm  

here is a small island car ---- wrong island - but a dream of his come true and a vintage collectible these days.


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OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
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June 19, 2016 3:27 pm  

Some of the appeal from the outside of living on a small island is a slower pace and simpler way of life.

Which in itself is a real "dream on" fallacy. 😀


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Afriend
(@afriend)
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June 19, 2016 3:28 pm  

Also what's wrong with dreaming? Some of the appeal from the outside of living on a small island is a slower pace and simpler way of life. Being creative and thinking of ways to keep costs down seems to be looked down on by some :/

No offense, but it's a common misconception that "living on a small island is a slower pace and simpler way of life". Life is far from simple (island life has lots of challenges) and that "slower pace" people dream of usually translate into things like standing in long lines while some bureaucrat with a "little bit of power" moves at a snails pace or when after telling you he'll be there later the repairman finally show up at your house 3 days later to fix your refrigerator that isn't cooling (and your food is spoiled) only to find out you need a $25 part that has to be shipped in from Florida and will get here in 2 more weeks unless you are willing to have it sent by Fed-EX at an additional cost of $100. In the islands, "Later, mon!" means not now rather than "this afternoon".

Sorry, but we've all learned the hard way that it is very difficult to "keep costs down" in the Caribbean.

Keep dreaming though, most of us did just that but heeding many of the comments on this forum even if at first they may seem a bit harsh will go a long way from preventing that dream from turning into a nightmare.

Food trucks, or a photo business can potentially be a good business, just not in those vehicles. Good luck in your planning.


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Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
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June 19, 2016 4:28 pm  

The slower way of life sometimes assumes you are living in a grass hut in the woods with no utilities, no job needed of had, you catch your own fish or iguanas for sustenance, you have a cave to crawl into when the hurricane comes, and if you have a tooth-ache you pull your own tooth using the blade from an ice skate. Oh wait, that was a movie. Never mind. Well, simple and slower can also be in the eyes of the beholder, all relative to something else, since there is no absolute measurement.


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Pdmargie
(@Pdmargie)
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Posts: 288
June 19, 2016 4:38 pm  

Simpler for me would be doing all the things I love to do (SCUBA diving, snorkeling, sailing, star gazing without loads of light pollution, getting sand between my toes, watching sunrises and sunsets, meeting new people from different places) without having to get on a plane! Heck, for the cost of a couple of vacations, I could set myself up pretty well for a while on island! Lol! Now, just to find the perfect Critical Care Nursing job.....


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