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Buying an RV is similar to purchasing a car. While each model has a starting base price, that price is both negotiable and subject to all sorts of sales taxes. Because RVs tend to be on the costly end of things, many buyers seek out options to save on their RV purchase. For some RV buyers, that means not only buying an RV at the right time but traveling to the cheapest state to actually purchase one. 

Christian Arriola and Washington Post travel writer Andrea Sachs sit around a fire outside of their rented RV Saturday, September 19, 2020 at a KOA campground
An RV | The Washington Post via Getty Images

Understanding how much it costs to buy an RV

Buying an RV isn’t cheap, whether you choose to buy a new or used model. According to Camper Report, an RV can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $300,000 depending on its style and what features it has. That’s definitely not chump change. 

It’s important to understand how sales tax plays into purchasing an RV too. RV Talk reports that RV buyers can expect to pay sales tax on their newly purchased RV. That amount, RV Talk says, depends on the state where the RV is registered and not where you actually purchased it.

The cheapest state to buy an RV in 

According to RV Talk, the difference between states when it comes to the sales price of RVs, the associated sales tax, and other taxes often prompt buyers to investigate what the cheapest state to buy an RV in is. While there are several states to consider, RV Talk reports that Montana is the cheapest state to buy an RV in. Montana has 0% general sales tax, 0% county sales tax, and 0% city sales tax. And unlike other states, Montana allows out of state buyers to register a vehicle there.

Other cheap states to shop in

Montana isn’t the only state budget-conscious shoppers should look to when shopping for an RV either. Outdoor Fact also recommends taking a look at which states don’t require you to pay 0% income tax. RV Talk suggests purchasing an RV in a state with 0% tax on interest income and dividend income to minimize your tax expenses too. That means buying an RV in South Dakota, Wyoming, Florida, Washington, Texas, or Nevada.

Get a good deal by shopping at the right time

While buying an RV in a state like Montana will save you a few bucks, so will buying an RV at the right time of year. First off, Camper FAQS recommends avoiding purchasing an RV in the spring and summer. Instead, Camper FAQS reports that you’re likely to get the best deal on an RV when you buy in the fall or winter. Camper FAQS also recommends shopping on a weekday rather than on the weekend, so you don’t have to fight the crowds to get the best deal for your wallet.

Is buying an RV the right choice for you?

Purchasing an RV can be an expensive endeavor. It pays then to investigate how to get the most bang for your buck. Whether that means traveling to another state to buy one or choosing to buy in the winter months, there are several ways you can save a few bucks when purchasing an RV. But does that mean buying one is the right choice for you? There’s only one way to find out.


Here’s How to Buy an RV on a Budget