What Is The Cheapest State To Buy An RV?

RVs are a great idea for people who enjoy the outdoors and crave a camping experience. One of the best things about RVing is that you can park right next to a lake or stream, or you can take it into the desert and explore the dry expanses of nature. The renting fees can quickly add up if you are an avid adventurer. The best solution is to purchase one. But which is the cheapest state to buy an RV?

If you’re thinking about making the giant leap, one thing you’ll have to consider is the best place to buy an RV. It’s an important financial decision and is probably one of the most expensive properties in your life. Won’t it be great if you could save a considerable amount on this purchase?

The Cheapest State to Buy an RV: The Factors to Consider

Many variables work in figuring out the cheapest state to buy a camper. But with a bit of research, you can figure out what factors are most important to you.

You have to always consider the final price, including registration, insurance, and all kinds of tax fees. Even if the trailer itself is cheap in a state, it may not remain cheap anymore when other fees are added.

Where is the cheapest place to buy an RV? If you are looking for the best state to buy used RV, search in Texas, Florida, and other areas that become extremely hot in summer.

Similarly, camper prices drop really low just before the winter in states like South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota. These places get so cold in winter that it’s a struggle to keep the RVs warm in that weather.

However, even if you buy the trailer at a low price, it may not stay cheap after adding all costs. The factors you should consider when sorting out the best states to buy an RV are:

Registration Fees

RV registration is not cheap. Each state charges a different fee to give you the license plate for your new home on wheels. It’s a one-time fee in most states, and the amount varies from one place to another. For example, the registration fee of a trailer is relatively high in California. Still, you can save a lot by changing your residency to states like South Dakota and Montana.

You need to register the vehicle in your home state. But you can change the residency to another state to lower that fee. If you plan to buy an RV, it is essential to understand these fees to plan your purchase accordingly.

Montana is the best state to register an RV because it charges lower fees. You don’t have to have a domicile there to complete the registration.

best state to register an rv
Register in a place that has less fees and taxes. Photo: bluejayphoto / Getty Images

Sales Tax

The sales tax of a trailer could be quite high depending on where you live. Whether you purchase a new or used trailer, you must pay this tax. And this could be up to 10% of the RV’s price, based on your domicile.

For example, Tennessee demands a 10% sales tax on new or used campers. Even if you buy a cheap one from Florida or Texas at $50,000, you need to pay $5,000 in sales tax at the time of registration.

Insurance Fees

If you are looking for the cheapest state to buy an RV, you must be aware of the insurance costs of the trailer. Some states like Maine have low insurance costs, but you cannot reap the benefits because of the high sales and property taxes.

The cheapest place to buy campers would be the place that has lower insurance fees in addition to no or minimal personal property and sales taxes.

The Cheapest State to Buy an RV: The Winner is…

South Dakota could be a place to buy and register an RV because of no personal property tax, low sales tax, and affordable insurance costs. However, suppose you are not a resident there already. In that case, you need to get a permanent address in that state for the registration. The various processes of registration can add up to the final price.

The same thing goes for registering your trailer in Oregon, Delaware, Alaska, or New Hampshire. These states don’t demand any sales tax, which means you can save a hefty amount. However, you cannot register in any of these places without permanent residency there.

Considering all factors, Montana is the best state to register RV. If you choose this state for buying and registering the trailer, you can save loads of money compared to other states.

With no sales, city or county tax, low registration fees, and many other advantages, this state is definitely a healthy choice for your pocket. You don’t even need to have a permanent residency there to buy and register a vehicle. Just create an LLC for the registration, and the whole procedure costs around $300. You can also exempt the registration fees once the trailer turns 11 years old.

So, roll that beautiful Montana sunset across the slopes of a valley, up the ridge tops, and into the campgrounds, parks, and forests where you will pitch your campsite soon.

Is Changing the Domicile Worth It?

It must be clear by now that the state you currently live in plays a significant role in determining the final price of a camper. Living in a state like California can be insanely expensive if you purchase an RV.

Should you be bothered about where your permanent residency is when you decide to become a full-time RVer? You will live on the road anyway, traveling from one place to another. In that case, saving thousands of dollars by changing residency seems reasonably practical.

If you don’t want to settle in Montana, don’t worry. South Dakota, Florida, and Texas are the next best places as the cheapest state to buy an RV. The taxes and other fees in these states are pretty low, and you can shift your domicile there without much hassle.

Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson is a seasoned RV traveler and professional mountain biker with a great sense of humor. After earning a Master's degree in Automotive Engineering from Columbia University, Scott spent years working as an RV technician at Camping World and Outdoorsy. Today, he enjoys exploring the US in his fifth wheel and truck with his wife. With over 15 years of RV living and road tripping experience, Scott now shares his knowledge and expertise as a travel blogger, helping others make the most of their RV adventures.

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  1. Does this mean you buy the RV in Montana or have the LLC in Montana and then buy the RV in x state and still get the benefits? Thanks

  2. I already have an older RV, a 1988 Fleetwood Bounder. It’s titled and registered in Maryland. Right now I have it in storage because my Historic plates have expired and I can’t renew them due to a lapsed insurance issue. I’m planning to head out west again next summer.

    Any helpful hints? I really like the Old Girl even though the titled back here say it’s a “deer”. When I bought it the title said “john”. The RV is one of the Fleetwoods put on the John Deer chassis vs Ford.


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