Hi Everyone and welcome back to another exciting installment of Just One More! Today I wanted to talk about what it really takes to become full-time RV’ers. In mid-2020, when Jerry and I first decided we were going to sell our house and go full time, we started following a bunch of couples and families on YouTube. We wanted to learn about their experiences and see how they made their dreams become a reality. Now, we absolutely love following their vlogs but felt like many of them glossed over the process of getting started. These vloggers made it seem super easy to just sell your house and become full-time in their RV’s.
After much research and trial and error, we have found that this process is far from easy. Is it worth it? Hell yes! But we wanted to start our journey with you all by showing you exactly what it takes to follow your dream, hit the road, and become full-time RV’ers.
The first buzzword we learned from our extensive research was “domiciling”. The idea is that even though you are completely mobile in your RV, you have to have a home base where you legally live for tax purposes. You can have many residences, but only one domicile.
In our research, we found an amazing organization called Escapees RV Club, which is the largest RV club in the country. They have all of the resources and support we needed to understand and start the process of domiciling.
To start, we knew that once we left California, we did not want to move back. If you haven’t heard the news in a few decades, California has very high state income and sales taxes. Shocker, I know. Through Escapees, we discovered that there are three states that they recommend domiciling with: Texas, Florida, and South Dakota. All three have no state income taxes and have low sales tax. From there, it is up to you to do the research to figure out which state fits your needs best.
We compared all three on a variety of factors including cost of living, medical insurance, location, and vehicle registration. After doing a lot of research in all 3 states, we found that South Dakota was right for us. I spoke extensively with a medical insurance broker, who also happens to be a full-time RV’er. Kyle Hensen from Nomad Insurance Group is incredible and puts us at ease as I have had the same insurance my entire life. This is a HUGE change for me. He found health insurance through the state of South Dakota that is nationwide and very affordable for both of us. We also love the mountains and location. South Dakota, we are coming for you!
After you choose which state to domicile in, there is a lot of paperwork that is dependent on each state. For South Dakota, you can establish your residency in 24 hours. You need to have a physical address, (NOT a PO Box) register to vote, drivers license, residency and it’s a good idea to establish yourself by getting a library card for example. Confusing, right? Basically, you have to prove that you are a resident of the state. What’s a bit more confusing is that Escapees forwards all mail through Livingston, Texas. So, we also have a mailing address which is in Texas. See, not so easy! It’s amazing all you must learn before you “hit the road.”
So you do all of this paperwork, right? Then what? You actually have to go and make it happen! We are currently in the process of selling our house, which I will get into in another blog, and have ordered our RV and truck from Utah. Once the house is sold, and our RV and truck are ready, we will drive to South Dakota, establish residency, and then go to Utah to pick up our RV and truck and start THE BIG ADVENTURE!
It’s a lot, right? Luckily, with organizations like Escapees and your own personal research, you can make this happen! We are so excited to keep sharing our journey with you! Stay tuned for the next steps in the process: selling our house and downsizing from a 1,600 square foot house to a 400 house on wheels!
Just One More …. Piece of paperwork lol
Make sure to follow us on YouTube HERE for more from our journey!