Flights of Fancy Mom

I'm a mom with dreams.  I want to live my life with no boundaries.  One day at a time.

The Best States To Establish Residency For Full-Time RVer’s

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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:

  • Florida
  • Texas
  • 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!

best states to establish residency for full-time RVer's. 

# 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.

best states to establish residency for full-time RVer's. 

#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 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.

best states to establish residency for full-time RVer's. 

#3 Florida

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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  1. candy

    I knew about Texas and Florida be a great RV state. But didn’t know about South Dakota, total shock over that one. We have been To South Dakota and there is so much to see and enjoy.

  2. Karen Morse

    This is very informative and helpful for people who are planning to live in an RV full time. I never thought about doing that but I’d love to recommend this to friends who are considering it.

  3. Emily

    I never knew about these benefits! I am not sure if we will RV full time but it is in our plan to get an RV and do a lot more travelling once our kids are out of the house. There is so much to see!

  4. robin rue

    Great information for RVers. It’s definitely not a life for me because I like my roots firmly planted, but I know a few people that would love this.

  5. valmg @ Mom Knows It All

    I didn’t realize people could choose any state to declare residency, that’s interesting. I remember New Hampshire didn’t have state tax years ago when we lived there.

  6. Kelly Reci

    I have heard great things about Florida being a great RVing state. We’re totally into travelling with our RV right now so I think we may check out different parts of Florida very soon!
    Kelly Reci recently posted…Easter Cake In A Jar RecipeMy Profile

  7. Alison Rost

    I never thought about living in an RV full time but this is really good information. It seems these states definitely make it easier for RVers to live there at least when they’re not traveling around the country.

  8. Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh

    I would have never even thought about having to establish residency to be a full time rver. Very informative article!

  9. Jeanettte

    I didn’t know that you could establish residency if you are full-time RVer. I can see Florida and Texas is a great place to be South Dakota might be a little bit more of a problem since I don’t like the cold LOL.

  10. Peter

    Great information for those who RV. I had friends growing up whose parents travelled North America this way. When my kids get a little older, I can totally see ya taking a massive road trip!

  11. Lisa

    This is a great post. I never thought about establishing residency as a full-time rv’er. I imagine it could be tricky.

  12. Amber

    I didn’t know any of this. I’m not sure if we could ever be full time RV people, but once in a while, maybe. I’m one of those people who likes her space and lots of things around me.

  13. Carol Cassara

    It would be awesome to know which states are perfect for residency when it comes to living in an RV full time. I have thought about it and I think this is really helpful.

  14. Sara Welch

    That would be a fun life to lead. Able to move when you want is pretty cool!

  15. Heather

    It’s actually a dream of mine to live in an RV someday. Maybe when my kids are all out of the house.

  16. Kita Bryant

    Once my life settles down I think I am going this route. I would love to just live the simpler life.

  17. Sandy N Vyjay

    Have never experienced the RV life, but know that it spells freedom with a capital F. These are some awesome states in the US to establish full residency. Pretty useful stuff for people looking to switch to this life style.

  18. Terri

    My dad is not a full-time RV’er and my stepmom. They worked hard and when they retired, they bought an RV so they could travel. I’m going to share your list with them if they ever decide to establish a full-time address.

  19. Debra

    We miss not having state income tax! Texas was so nice for that! made taxes easy!

  20. Tadej

    I find these tips useful, thank you Jacqui for sharing with us.

  21. GhostOfAndrewJackson

    I would be interested in your analysis of Tennessee, given the dreaded Hall Tax will be fully repealed in 2021, thus making TN totally income tax free.

    You also might look to look at the easy estate planning issue. For example SD allows for an out of state executor and a memorandum document (essentially your will points to a memorandum document which typically used to dispose of personal property…i.e my collection of teaspoons to my daughter Tabitha, my hunting knife to my friend Nick…). Texas does not allow for these two elements. Florida allows for the memorandum document and restrictions in an out of state executor(your children are fine)

    Another huge point for RVers is does the state allow for transfer on death vehicle titles ( which will keep you RV and other vehicles out of probate) and real estate. None of the three listed allow for transfer on death vehicle titles. SD, TX allow for transfer on death real estate titles but FL does not.
    FL and SD allow transfer on death for securities but TX does not.

    FYI, I am not a lawyer nor do I pretend to be one, just a 50 something itinerant renaissance wannabee. who is looking at changing his residency from FL for estate planning reasons.


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