When it comes to determining the most RV friendly states, the typical criteria includes weather, attractions and accommodation for maintenance.  Each individual RV traveler may have some additional criteria, but generally, these are the big concerns.  However, a state can be friendly to RV owners without those owners ever having to set foot, or in this case put wheel to gravel, in them.  How can this be?  Well some states have designed tax policies that should appeal to the full time travelers.  There are a lot of benefits of being a full time traveler.  The open road is your address.  However, the United States government does not recognize the open road as a street address.  Now, having the government not know where you are certainly has its benefits.  But when it comes to your taxes, not having a listed place of residency starts to be a little tricky.  When you’re using your golden years to tour America’s interstate system, you may be free of your 9-5 schedule, but you’re still not free of Uncle Sam.  Thankfully, as a full time traveler, you can list any state as your place of permanent residence.  So what states are the most advantageous for RV travelers looking to catch a break during tax season?

It’s not as hard to figure this out as it sounds.  There are only nine states in the union that don’t have an income tax.  You’ve just eliminated 82% of the field right there!  Those nine states are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.   We can even eliminate a couple more on top of this.  New Hampshire and Tennessee don’t have an income tax, but both states do tax interest income and dividends.  Without breaking a sweat, the list has been whittled down to seven options.

Alaska, like the other states, does meet the initial criteria of tax havens for the full time RV traveler, but apart from the issue of taxes, Alaska has one big problem: It’s Alaska!  RV travelers, just like anyone else, is going to have to go through the process of renewing drivers licenses and vehicle registrations.  Whatever state you list as your place of residency on your taxes is a state you are going to have to at least visit, probably annually.  Alaska, although a beautiful state, is a little too far removed from the contiguous states to make such a trek plausible. 

So that minimizes the list to six potential states.  The next natural step would be to look at the respective sales tax rates for these states, but unfortunately this measure comes to be of no use, due to the fact that the rates in each state are fairly similar.  Most people not in the know would probably say that RV travelers are exempt from property taxes, and they are not necessarily wrong, but that’s just for houses.  A personal property tax will affect the RV and possessions within it.  Florida and Washington each have such a tax, so it’s best to take them off the list of candidates.  All of a sudden, we’re left with a final four of Nevada, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. 

We didn’t even need an NCAA bracket to come up with that final four.  Statistics suggest, that most full time travelers list South Dakota and Texas, but Nevada and Wyoming are states that will prove to be tax friendly as well.  Texas provides other benefits for RV travelers, including the fact that it Texas absentee voting laws are some of the most lenient in the country.  But these are the four states that accommodate RV owners the most on tax issues.  You will never be able to fully shake Uncle Sam on the open road, but you don’t have to invite him in to your vehicle.  He can hang onto the tailpipe.  If you’re interested in camping or outdoors check these out.

Bill Weston is a freelance writer for LakeShore RV.