RVs are a major investment. With some rigs costing $500k+, Even if you don’t plan to buy a half-million dollar rig, the chances are strong that even a small used RV will cost you north of $10,000.

It’s little wonder that people often ask: where is the cheapest state to buy an RV?

The best states to buy an RV are Arizona, Texas, and Florida at the start of summer.

That’s because many people RV for a bit and then move to houses in these states to retire, creating a large supply of RVs for sale when it starts getting hot. 

But even if these states have the cheapest prices to buy an RV, the ultimate price you pay for an RV depends on the state you register it in.

The cheapest state to register an RV in is Montana because they have no sales taxes or personal property taxes to increase the price of your RV.

This article will show you all the different things like taxes, purchase state, and registration state, that you need to consider when figuring out the cheapest state for you to buy an RV.

When Is the Best Time of Year to Find Cheap RVs

When Is the Best Time of Year to Find Cheap RVs?

Generally speaking, the winter months are the best time of year to find cheap RVs in any state.

The only states that are exceptions are states like Arizona, Texas, and Florida which are very popular RV destinations in the winter, meaning that demand for RVs results in higher prices in these states.

In any other state, you can usually find great deals on RVs by seeing what your local RV dealer has left over from the summer. 

You could also jump on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to see the used RVs that people are selling. 

Where is the Cheapest State to Buy an RV?

If purchase price were the only consideration, then states like Arizona, Texas, and Florida have the cheapest RVs in the U.S. ahead of summer.

That’s because RVs are hard to keep cool and these states get hot, so some people would rather sell their RV than try to store it.

States like Minnesota and the Dakotas can be great states to find RV deals just before winter sets in and people try to sell hard-to-keep-warm RVs.

But even if the RV prices in these states can be lower at certain times of the year, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be the cheapest state for you.

If, for example, you live in Maine and are thinking of driving to Arizona to buy a cheap RV, you will probably find that the price savings will quickly disappear in the price you pay in gas or flights for the trip. 

Also, if you’re buying a travel trailer, you’ll have to figure out how to get a tow vehicle to the state where you’re buying the RV, which can be an expensive ordeal. 

That’s why – more than the cheapest state to buy an RV – you need to consider all the ingredients that will go into helping you find the best deal on your new RV.

Should You Really Travel to a Different State to Buy an RV

Should You Really Travel to a Different State to Buy an RV?

It might seem enticing to travel a long distance to a state where you noticed a great deal on an RV.

But before you commit to a cross-country trek, you should consider a few things…

For one, how much will you spend on fuel to get to the RV you plan to buy?

Once you get there, how will you get the RV back? 

Also, is it really a good idea to commit to buy an RV that you haven’t seen in person? 

Let’s say, for example, you found a $20,000 RV on sale in a different state for $15,000. 

On the surface, that might seem like a great savings. 

But what about the $1,000 in gas you might spend getting there?

And what will you do if you find an issue that might cost you thousands to repair when you get there? 

For these reasons, we think there are other factors you should consider when deciding the cheapest way to buy an RV. 

What Taxes Do You Need to Consider When Buying an RV

What Taxes Do You Need to Consider When Buying an RV?

Taxes can dramatically increase the cost of buying an RV. For example, let’s say you buy a $100,000 RV in Texas, but you live in Tennessee.

Tennessee has almost a 10% sales tax, meaning you’ll pay an additional $10,000 when you register your RV in Tennessee!

On top of this state sales tax, you might find that your county charges an extra wheel tax which will only add to the price of buying your RV.

In addition to sales taxes, all states charge registration fees when you buy a new RV and need to get a license plate for it.

And if that were not enough for you, many states charge a personal property tax – meaning that you’ll have a yearly tax you will have to pay on your RV.

All these taxes for the simple joy of owning an RV.  

You can see how buying your RV in the cheapest state might not really be the answer you’re looking for when it comes to getting a good deal on an RV. 

Why the State You Live in Matters for The Price of Your RV

Why the State You Live in Matters for The Price of Your RV

As you probably see by now, the state you live in can have a significant impact on the price you’ll pay for your RV.

That’s why you should consider changing your state of residence if you plan to RV full-time.

For example, if you’re originally from California, but no longer have a home there and plan to live full-time on the road, there is virtually no reason to keep your residency there.

You’ll pay hefty California state income taxes, higher registration fees and sales taxes, and you might even pay an income tax to the city you’re from.

That’s why it makes sense for full-time RVers to seek out a state of residency that treats you right.

The good news is that enough full-time RVers have this issue that sites like escapees.com have made it super easy for you to change residency to Texas, Florida, or South Dakota

By changing your state residency to a state like South Dakota, you’ll benefit from lower sales taxes when you register your RV.

You also won’t have to pay personal property taxes, meaning that you’ll simply have to pay a small annual registration fee to keep your RV up to date, nothing more. 

Consider Insurance Costs 

Depending on which state you plan to reside, your insurance costs can go up or down.

For example, Maine is the cheapest state to get insurance for your RV, but their sales and property taxes might limit the benefit of low insurance costs. 

South Dakota, on the other hand, is a state with lower insurance costs, low sales taxes, and no personal property taxes.

So, if you’re a full-time RVer who is flexible about the state in which you reside, South Dakota could be a great all around option to keep your costs of RV ownership low.

This is The Cheapest State to Register an RV After You Buy It

By now, we’ve hopefully convinced you that it’s more important to consider the state where you register your RV than the state where you buy your RV.

Given that, you’re probably wondering now: where is the cheapest state to register an RV after you buy it?

Because, after all, finding the cheapest state to register your RV can be the ticket to getting the best deal on your RV. 

And that state is Montana. With no sales tax, no wheel tax, no personal property tax, and low registration fees, Montana is by far the cheapest state in which to register an RV.

Even if you are not a resident of Montana, there are several companies out there that will help you get a Montana LLC to register your RV and eliminate sales taxes.

But, there are risks that you need to weigh when deciding to do this.

For one, your home state might not like the idea of you registering your RV in Montana to avoid paying sales taxes in the state where you reside.

Your insurance company also will likely frown on the idea of you trying to insure a vehicle in a state where you don’t live. 

In fact, you will either have to insure the RV in Montana or add your Montana LLC as additional insured on your policy. 

Even then, you might run into more trouble than it’s worth if you ever have to make an insurance claim.

That’s why we leave the decision up to you. Many people register RVs through a Montana LLC to get their RV at the cheapest price possible. 

It is up to you to decide if a Montana LLC is right for you.

No matter which direction you choose to go, we hope we’ve convinced you that it’s not just about finding the cheapest state to buy your RV.

Rather, there are a number of factors that contribute to keeping your overall costs of RV ownership down to a manageable level. 

Factors like the state where you register your RV, taxes you might pay, and insurance rates are the most important things to consider when looking for the cheapest state to buy an RV.