So, you’ve decided you want to live the full-time RVer lifestyle? There are many decisions to make that come with living this lifestyle. What will your new home be? A motor home such as the Class A’s, B’s and C’s. A towable camper such as a pop-up camper, a teardrop camper, travel trailer or a fifth wheeler. Read my post on my six favorite travel trailers. Are you going to boondock? (Make sure to check out Boondockers Welcome if you need a short overnight stay at a host home.) Or stay at campgrounds? How are you going to support yourself while living on the road? One of the ways I earn a living is my online Amazon Shop. Check it out! It has my favorite items found on Amazon. What material possessions do you need to downsize to live that tiny home lifestyle? And last, but not least, what are the best states to establish residency for full-time RVer’s.
This last item is a big one. Of course, you can choose to establish your residency anywhere. Your own home state is usually a preferred choice because it’s familiar. But, there are certain states that are in fact the best states to establish residency for full-time RVer’s. They have benefits that most states don’t offer those living the road warrior RV lifestyle. The top three states are:
- South Dakota
Why these states? Well, for one, they don’t have state income taxes. There are seven total states that don’t charge income tax. The other four are Wyoming, Nevada, Washington, and Alaska. So, how to narrow this down? Well, we can eliminate one right off the bat.
You should be able to have easy access to the state you’re registered in for legal reasons, and as pretty and RV friendly as Alaska is? It’s not easily accessible. So, that leaves, Wyoming, Nevada, Washington, Florida, Texas and South Dakota. Still a tough decision! Let’s narrow it down more.
As a full-time RVer, you don’t have to worry about property tax on houses and land of course. However, there are some states that charge a personal property tax. This, of course, will affect your RV, car, and even furniture & household possessions. The states that charge this tax is Florida and Washington. So, this now leaves Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming for our list of best states to establish residency for full-time RVer’s.
So, in my extensive research on the best states to establish residence. And going to my RV groups on Facebook, I’ve narrowed it down to three states. Texas, South Dakota, and Florida. Read on for why!
# 1 Texas
Texas came out on top primarily because of the group Escapees RV Club. The Escapees group is based out of Livingston, TX. They are a community of 15,000 plus RVers. This whole community declares Texas as their home state. Even though a vast majority of them do not live there full-time. The obvious choice in picking a state. is taxes. But, you do have to look at other little things such as registering your car and renewing your license. Texas allows you to do this all via mail. Texas does require that you have your car inspected annually, however, they allow it whenever you return to your home state. If you choose to return there that is!
Our civic responsibility is something we need to consider. For voting, Texas allows you to mail in your vote up to a month in advance of the election. And, as an Escapees member, you may have an easier exemption from jury duty.
Health insurance rates are another thing that you must factor in. If you are working for yourself and do not have company-sponsored insurance, rates can be quite expensive! Texas does offer multiple RVer friendly health insurance options for you to choose from.
A disadvantage for Texas is that they require an annual vehicle inspection (exempt until you re-enter the state of Texas). And for RVs over a certain weight, you will need a special driver’s license class that requires an exam.
#2 South Dakota
There is no income tax, and they have low vehicle excise taxes of 3-4%. There are no vehicle state inspections. Car insurance costs are lower, and you can renew your driver’s license (every 5 years) one time remotely.
They do offer easy exemptions from Jury Duty if you choose to exercise that right.
RVer friendly medical insurance policies are of very limited availability. Essentially, only those who qualify for Medicare can get affordable coverage with an ACA compatible plan that covers you outside of South Dakota for anything other than emergency care. Visit RVerHealthInsurance.com for the latest health insurance information.
Annual vehicle registrations are charged by weight. And for those that live in motorhomes, that can add up! As proof of living the road warrior lifestyle, you must present a campground or motel receipt when obtaining your driver’s license. You must return in 5 years to renew your license. Beyond that, it can be renewed online every other 5 years.
There is no income tax. However, there is personal property tax for your car, RV, and furniture. There are no vehicle state inspections, and you can renew driver’s license remotely once every 8 years. But, they do have typically higher car insurance rates. They require a VIN inspection of your vehicle for the initial registration.
Even with their higher snowbird population, jury duty exemption is NOT guaranteed.
Florida also offers multiple RVer-friendly health insurance options.
The annual vehicle registration is a flat per vehicle rate. And all vehicles registered as an RV are covered by your basic driver’s license class. There are also great Florida residency discounts at theme attractions and for seniors, and state park campgrounds.
Why Wyoming, Alaska, Nevada, and Washington did not make the top three on my list of best states to establish residency for full-time RVer’s:
- Wyoming: You must have a physical address when registering & insuring vehicles, driving licenses, or voter registration. They do not allow a mail forwarding service address. So, you would need to use the address of a family member or friend.
- Alaska: As mentioned above, Alaska is not really accessible. And the mail forwarding may not be as reliable because their mail is sometimes received by barge.
- Nevada: To vote as a Nevada resident. you must have a physical address.
- Washington: For a Washington drivers license, you must have a physical address.
So, here is my list of best states to establish residency for full-time RVer’s. If you are a full-time RVer, what would you add to this list? Can you make a case for the states that did not make it? Comment below or share on my Facebook page!
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