About Us
What's New
 From the Driver's Seat
Thoughts from Barb
Our House 
Old What's New
Main Menu
Message Board
E-Mail us
Chosing the "best" state for domicile

Posted by Ed and Sue on May 02, 1999 at 23:34:41:
         We plan to begin full-timing in one year and I have a question about choosing a
         home state. Is it possible to have one state for all of your business, licenses,
         taxes and such and another state for your mail service. Doesn't your address
         (which would be the address of your mail service) have to the the address you
         use for your financial business? And if so how can you license your vihicles in a
         different state? Thanks. Ed and Sue 

Posted by Chuck Mercer on May 07, 1999 at 11:36:06:
        In Reply to: Choosing a home state posted by Ed and Sue on May 02, 1999
         First, if you haven't read the Escapees article on "How to become a Texan",
         you should. Next, Donna Yeaw has tons of good info and cross references on
         her site. Finally, I've been researching this for quite awhile, and here's what
         we're doing: establishing residency in South Dakota, and using Escapees as our
         mail forwarding service. Nothing illegal, immoral, or fattening in there that I can

Posted by Suzanne on March 04, 1999 at 05:03:12:
         If I travel to another state to buy an RV (it seems they are cheaper outside of
         CA, is that true?) how do I register it where I want to (new York) as that is my
         domicile. By the way, where is the best place to buy an RV as far as price? I
         am a woman planning on traveling alone. I want to winter in the North; can an
         RV be winterized to the point that you can live in -30 degree wind chill? I am
         new to this idea and I'm not sure if I will like it. The only thing I know for sure is
         that I have spent my life on the move in one way or another. also, is it usually
         okay to park and sleep in one of those big grocery store parking lots in an
         emergency or if you are sleepy? When I was driving across the us last year I
         didn't like the looks of some of those camp grounds. No trees and they look
         like parking lots. Thanks for any help. 

Posted by Dan on March 30, 1999 at 20:49:58:
        In Reply to: Registration posted by Suzanne on March 04, 1999 at 05:03:12:
         Hi, You said you want to travel up north ? in the winter? I live in ND and I'm
         sure you don't want to camp in fridgid weather. Up here we winterize our
         campers (drain & blow out water lines & water heaters and fill lines & drains
         with potable antifreeze) in the fall and they sit unused till spring (May). It would
         be difficult if not impossible to live in a camper up here or any where else that
         temps fall below 0 degrees thru the winter. I hope to live in my camper full time
         when I retire in 7-9 years (depending how the market goes) - but I plan on
         spending my winters in CA,FL or anyplace its warm. Few of our campgrounds
         are open in the winter, but I'm sure there would be plenty of sites available for
         anyone so brave. Dan

Posted by Bill Firestone on March 31, 1999 at 13:40:05:
        In Reply to: Winterizing posted by Dan on March 30, 1999 at 20:49:58:
         O'contraire, I lived in a motorhome in Anchorge, Alaska for 6 years. So it can
         be done if you take special steps to winterise the RV. It is not easy, but with
         heat tape and insulation on water and sewer hoses and extra insulation on
         windows. An RV just like a house will do fine as long as it has heat inside and
         steps are taken to keep the the cold outside. In everyone of those 6 winters the
         temp got down to 20 below several times, and sometimes for a week or more
         at a time.  Web site- http://fp2.centuryinter.net/billfire/

Posted by Barb Hofmeister on March 14, 1999 at 16:18:31:
        In Reply to: Registration posted by Suzanne on March 04, 1999 at 05:03:12:
         Suzanne, Any RV dealers that we have encountered (the big ones), will do the
         paperwork to get your registration taken care of in any state. We bought two
         RVs in Florida and they did all the work to have us registered in Texas. We
         have heard that many dealers in California drive the RV to the border to
         delivery is not taken in California. There are good buys everywhere and most
         dealers welcome taking your phone call and dealing over the phone. If you
         know exactly what you want this is a good way to compare prices. Then you
         can fly or drive to that dealer to pick it up. We met many who drove from
         California to Florida, for example, because they made the deal over the phone
         and it was the best deal. Let your fingers do the walking. I agree that some of
         the campgrounds (usually in commercial areas) look like parking lots, but most
         Federal and State campgrounds and many other commercial campgrounds in
         scenic areas are beautiful. If I traveled as a single woman, I would NOT stay in
         grocery parking lots etc. I'd prefer the security of a campground with other
         campers nearby. Barb 

Posted by FRANKGINGER on April 05, 1999 at 21:38:56:
         My husband and I are becoming full-timers. We are interested in finding
         the best state to (in the west) establish residency. Interested in low taxes, no
        income tax and low registration fees. Any suggestions?

Posted by Chuck Mercer on April 07, 1999 at 11:20:15:
        In Reply to: STATE RESIDENCY posted by FRANKGINGER on April 05,1999
         Trailer Life publishes a guide - State Residency Requirements listing each states
         tax rates, licensing requirements, etc. A friend of mine used that guide to create
         a speadsheet comparing first year costs for a typical RVer for taxes, licensing,
         etc. Using his numbers, total costs in WA = $10,450, OR = $2,821, TX =
         $5,185, SD = $3,108. There are other things, such as the need for periodic
         safety/emission inspections, to consider. If you'd like a copy of the speadsheet
         by snail mail, send a dollar (US) to Chuck Mercer, 22641 102nd Pl SE, Kent
         WA 98031. If you want it by fax, e-mail your fax number and I'll send it. This
         offer is only good until the end of April, 'cause then we turn the phone line off
         and go FTing - as residents of South Dakota. 

Posted by George on April 06, 1999 at 06:46:46:
        In Reply to: STATE RESIDENCY posted by FRANKGINGER on April 05, 1999
         I think the Hofmeisters cover some of this in the latest book as I remember,
         however several sites are available with some useful information. try
         www.suite101.com and www.escapees.com. As a personal opinion, we plan
         on using South Dakota, it has no income tax, low state sales tax, and very low
         insurance costs. This will be our primary thought but Texas and Florida and
         some others are also options. happy motoring, George 

Posted by Bob Phelps on May 14, 1999 at 04:17:40:
         No, this isn't about football. We're about to embark on our full-time ramble in a
         couple of months, soon as we sell our house. We live in Florida, which has no
         income tax. I was Wondering, since Ron and Barb chose to make Texas their
         home address, whether that has any advantage over Florida as a place to
         locate our mail-forwarding address? Of course we have relatives and a church
         family here in Florida and no relatives in Texas. Does that make any difference?
         I read something in Ron & Barb's book on this subject but didn't fully grasp it
         as to why Texas. Is there any other state that's more advantageous? Thanks for
         this great service, Ron and Barb! Bob Phelps 

Posted by Ed Richmond on May 14, 1999 at 06:18:52:
        In Reply to: Fla vs Tex posted by Bob Phelps on May 14, 1999 at 04:17:40:
          One of the advantages of TX is that it is an RV friendly state. In Polk county
          especially, they bend over backwards to make it easy for RVers to regester
          vehicles, etc.

Posted by Barb Hofmeister on May 14, 1999 at 13:03:26:
        In Reply to: Fla vs Tex posted by Bob Phelps on May 14, 1999
         There is no one perfect state. Each has its own shortcomings. For instance, if
         you have investments, Florida will want a chunk of that at tax time. We suggest
         that each individual weigh the benefits and disadvantages and choose the one
         that will fit them best taking everything into consideration. Barb  

Posted by Dennis on March 28, 1999 at 12:59:51:
         We are thinking (seriously) about full timing. We are considering picking Texas
         as our domicile. Does anyone have an idea about how much vehicle registration
         for a 1997 Dodge 3/4 ton diesel pickup and a 1997 29 foot Alpenlite 5th
         wheel would cost us in Texas? Any help is appreciated. Thanks. 

Posted by Patrick on March 31, 1999 at 20:06:08:
        In Reply to: vehicle registration posted by Dennis on March 28, 1999
         Texas charges by weigh and not value which provides advantages. My Motor
         Home weighs 16K and costs $154.00 annual. My toad weighs 3500lbs and
         costs about $35.00. Hope this estimate helps. 

Posted by Ebs on March 29, 1999 at 20:30:58:
        In Reply to: vehicle registration posted by Dennis on March 28, 1999
          Go to www.suite101.com for info on cost to register for most favored states
          Also, Escapees.com will give you exact info on costs for Texas f

Posted by Rio Beckwith on February 28, 1999 at 17:32:43:
         I have a Jimmy with California plates and I plan on keeping my California
         mailing address but I want to buy my travel trailer in Arizona. It would be
         convenient to license it there. Am I asking for hassle by having California plates
         on the Jimmy and Arizona plates on the trailer? Am I going to be constantly
         explaining this to various Highway Patrol officers? Thanx. 

Posted by Chuck Mercer on March 15, 1999 at 10:38:59:
        In Reply to: Licenses posted by Rio Beckwith on February 28, 1999
         Read the Escapees discussion on Residency. Might help you decide to set up
         another state as "home" and still keep Calif mailing address. Also see Donna
         Yeaw's two-part article on home bases. 

Posted by Donna Yeaw on March 10, 1999 at 11:24:29:
        In Reply to: Licenses posted by Rio Beckwith on February 28, 1999
         Most folks advise that you choose your homebase state and keep your vehicle
         registrations, drivers license, etc. in the same state. Some folks do split them up
         but it can cause some issues. Some states are getting very picky about their
         residents purchasing & registering vehicles in other states (they lose sales tax &
         licensing revenue). You might want to read my two part article on choosing a
         home base state.          http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/rv_lifestyle

Posted by Barb Hofmeister on March 14, 1999 at 18:10:06:
        In Reply to: Re: Licenses posted by Donna Yeaw on March 10, 1999
         We agree with Donna. It is a "red flag" to have two different licenses. Pick one
         and state for both vehicles. Barb