If I’m a Full Time RV’er where’s home

Jun 2, 2022

Last year, when I went rogue and went home to Iowa for 3 months in my RV, there were several things I had to do to prepare for the length of time I would be gone.  I had short term rentals that I personally managed and I had other real estate dealings that needed my attention while I was gone

I hope to one day, be a true nomad and out on the road in my RV full time. But how am I going to do that?

Going to Iowa for a short time, while it still required lots of planning, it was relatively easy for me to make that decision.  I was already living in my RV, I just needed to transplant myself and continue working in another location.  It was also easy for me because I had a homebase that I could return to as I wasn’t quite ready to call myself a minimalist. 

But what about those of you that have sold everything and now your only home is where you park your RV?  I’ve known several of my friends who have done just that!  However, before you back yourself into a corner, here are 7 things to consider before becoming a nomad.

What state are you going to file your income taxes?  You no longer have an address.

Where is your truck and camper registered and insured? You no longer have an address!

What state is your driver’s license in?  What if it expires while you’re out traveling around the US?  Where do you get it renewed? You no longer have an address!

If you’re a registered voter, where will you now vote? You no longer have an address!

What about health insurance?  Can I get treated in another state?  You no longer have an address!

Where will you get your mail?  You no longer have an address!

Where will my Social Security check be deposited?  You no longer have an address?

To avoid all those questions, you’ll need a domicile.  What’s a domicile? The short answer is it’s a State that you consider your permanent home.  You could also consider that it’s the state you do all of your business out of.  The government requires that you have a domicile. Let’s not confuse this with your residence.  A residence is where you’re at for the moment.

My mom and dad’s domicile was their home in Iowa, but in the winter their winter residence was Florida.

What if I’ve sold everything and I can’t call my state home anymore?  You may consider asking a friend or family member to use their address, but now they will have to manage your life so to speak by retrieving your mail and helping you conduct your life.

You could do what I did, and house hack your personal residency and make it a short-term rental?  That’s probably a tough pill to swallow for most because you either move everything out of your house or allow strangers to be in your home when you’re not.

What if I don’t want to use a friend or family member?  Then you may consider researching the best states to live in as a full time RV’er. 

The 3 best states are Florida, South Dakota, and Texas.

All 3 states are income tax-free which means you’ll save a ton a money right there, they will accept mail-forwarding addresses, these states generally have lower vehicle registrations, insurance options and don’t pay taxes on personal property, like your RV.

Basically, it depends on your situation so you can pick any state you want, but just know you do have options.  There are also other states like Alaska, Nevada, Washington, and Wyoming that have no state income tax.

To establish a domicile in Florida here are a few of the steps

  • Move to Florida
  • Perhaps buy an Upscale RV Lot that is deeded in your name
  • Get a Florida driver’s license
  • File a Florida Declaration of Domicile in the office of the circuit court in your county
  • Update your will and estate plan to reflect your new Florida residency
  • Open one or more bank accounts in Florida
  • Register to vote in Florida elections
  • Register and insure your vehicles in Florida

For me, because I already live in a desired location, selling my home is not an option but I’m still afforded the opportunity to be a nomad when I want and you can too, you just need to plan ahead! 

I’m Mechiel Kopaska of the Fearless Innovator Podcast, thank you for listening and I hope you found this information helpful.