What state has the most RV owners?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: What state has the most RV owners? We will talk about the states where RV travelling and living is quite popular. We will also discuss how much Americans spend on their RVs and what state is the best for living full-time in an RV. 

What state has the most RV owners?

According to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), the states with the most RV owners are Indiana ($6.8 billion), California ($2.2 billion) and Texas ($1.8 billion).

The results come as no surprise since more than 11% of households in these states own a type of RV. Indiana is also the largest producer of RVs in the States, as 80% of the nation’s recreational vehicles are produced there (notably ​​from Elkhart County). 

What cities have the most RV owners?

Below is a list of 15 cities in the US that have the most RV owners: 

LocationAnnual sales per capitaAnnual sales at RV dealers
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL$377$290,554,000
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL$256$818,394,000
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI$253$272,869,000
Salt Lake City, UT$215$264,572,000
Tucson, AZ$210$220,123,000
Albuquerque, NM$199$181,655,000
Knoxville, TN$186$161,989,000
Jacksonville, FL$160$249,257,000
Tulsa, OK$154$154,280,000
Oklahoma City, OK$153$216,145,000
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA$152$379,560,000
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA$146$345,659,000
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL$144$374,513,000
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL$129$108,316,000
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY$127$111,374,000

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Economic Census, released in 2020, as well as the RV Industry Association

How much do Americans spend on their RVs?

The price for a new or used RV will vary widely by size, age, manufacturer, features and trim level of the recreational vehicle. In the table below you can see the MSRP for new RVs, as well as the average minimum and average maximum price for used RVs. 

Type of RVPrice for new (MSRP)Price for used 
Class A RV$50,000 – $200,000 $25,000 – $150,000
Class B RV$80,000 – $140,000$35,000 – $90,000
Class C RV$50,000 and $100,000$25,000 – $70,000
Super C RV$100,000 – $250,000$40,000 – $150,000
Truck Campers$8,000 – $40,000$1,000 – $25,000 
Travel Trailers$11,000 – $35,000$3,000 – $17,000
Fifth-wheel trailers$75,000 – $100,000$30,000 – $50,000
Pop-up campers10,000  – $20,000 $5,000 – $15,000

What states have no sales tax on RVs?

The following five states have no sales tax* on RVs:

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon.

And the states with the lowest sales tax for an RV are:

  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming.

*If you register your RV in a different state, you would still have to pay sales tax!

What state is the best for RV full-time living?

Living full time in an RV is not for everyone. However, according to the latest RV statistics (2020-2021), approximately 1 million Americans live in recreational vehicles full-time.

And the states where it is the best to live in your RV are:

  1. Florida – Chosen for the pleasant weather all year round and a handful of high-quality RV parks. Florida is also an income tax-free state, and the government entities will accept mail-forwarding addresses and they are headquarters for mail-forwarding services.
  1. Texas – Preferred for being a no income tax as well, and for the low vehicle registration fees. A big perk is that the driver’s licenses can be renewed by mail and it’s easy to register to vote by mail as well. 
  1. South Dakota – There is only a 4% tax involved in the purchase of a new RV. What’s unique about SD is that there’s no vehicle inspection required, and insurance and registration fees are far lower than they are in other states. Moreover, South Dakota is another state with no income tax.

Tips to buy an RV in the United States

To guide you through the process, here are tips for buying an RV in the United States:

  1. Used RVs are generally cheaper than dealer motorhomes and maybe a good place to start.
  1. Look for deals on websites dedicated to the sale of RVs in the United States. You can use the different selection filters and thus search specifically in the State where you are going to reside, the make, the model, mileage travelled, etc.
  1. Remember that prices may vary depending on the city where the RV will be purchased, the year of the vehicle and the miles travelled. You can generally get better prices by buying RVs in big cities than in small towns; so you might consider buying in a nearby state or city if the price is much lower.
  1. Look in addition to the internet, in used RVs dealerships. It is very likely that some used car publications on the web pages will lead you to visit a dealer, so you should take into account that many times the prices advertised online may be cheaper.
  1. Check if the RV has been involved in an accident and the severity of it. For this, ask for the “carfax”, which is a document where you can have all the necessary information about accidents, hail damage, number of owners that the car has had, how many miles each owner travelled, etc.

 If by chance, the vehicle owner does not provide you with this information, you can search the “Carfax” website for approximately $35 and print the information.

  1. If it is within your financial means, try to buy an RV that is not more than five years old and has less than 50 thousand miles, so that you can have some of the manufacturer’s warranties still in effect. If you are going to buy from a dealer, ask for some additional warranty package, you could get good deals.
  1. Try to evaluate the mechanical condition of the RV; look for a mechanic referred by an acquaintance or relative located in the United States who can provide this service.
  1. Before driving with the newly purchased vehicle, make sure you have the minimum insurance required by the state regarding civil liability against third parties (persons) and against the property. In the United States, the law is severe, and if you were to have an accident without the minimum insurance required by law, you could be sued.

The bottom line

As a final piece of advice, keep in mind that while in the US there is no federal road tax, you will still have to pay sales tax and city tax when purchasing an RV. Make sure you know the rules of your state and that you comply with them. 

If you have any comments or questions on the content, please let us know.

FAQ on What state has the most RV owners?

How much does an RV cost?

RV costs depend on whether they are pre-owned, new, large, luxurious, simple, etc. However, an estimate (from a used one to a new luxury one) is between $ 15,000 USD to $ 100,000 USD.

What states have no sales tax on RVs?

The following five states have no sales tax on RVs:

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon.

Should I buy a new or used RV?

Whether you should buy a new or used RV will depend on several factors, such as your budget and your main purpose. Price is the main advantage of buying a used unit. With a used RV, you get more for your money. A new RV, on the other hand, offers the best and newest in terms of design, it will not have been previously manned and there will be no mileage carried out.

What is the dealer markup on RVs?

The dealer markup on RVs is usually between 20% and 40%, depending on whether the RV is brand new or second-hand, but also on your negotiating skills.  Many sellers earn commissions of 20% to 30% of the profit on an RV, although this amount varies by dealership and area. The profit on a new RV is not substantial due to negotiations and a buyer’s ability to review the manufacturer’s suggested retail price and invoice amounts online. 

References

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