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Many people choose to travel in an RV for its flexibility and freedom. As such, it’s common for people to wonder if they can claim their RV as a primary residence for various purposes, such as tax breaks.
You can claim an RV as a primary residence if it meets the requirements for a dwelling unit. The IRS requires that your RV have basic living accommodations, such as sleeping, cooking, and bathroom facilities. You must also prove that you live in your RV full-time and use it as your main home.
The rest of this article will provide more information on how to claim your RV as a primary residence, the requirements you’ll need to meet, and the benefits you can receive.
How To Claim Your RV as a Primary Residence
To claim your RV as a primary residence, you must show that you use it as your main home and have the necessary utilities to maintain it as a livable space. According to the IRS, a home is all of the following:
- Cooperative apartment
- Mobile home
- Similar properties with essential sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities.
In addition to meeting the IRS definition of a home, you must show that you are a full-time resident of the RV to qualify your RV as a primary residence. This means that you live in the RV for at least six months out of the year and use it as your main home.
There are several ways you can prove your residency.
Register a Mailing Address To Your RV
Having a mailing address registered to your RV will show the IRS that you use it as your primary residence. You can do this through the US Postal Service or a private company like Escapees.
You can only identify one mailing address with the US Postal Service, so if you have a permanent residence and an RV, you will need to choose which one you want to use as your mailing address.
You must live at that address for at least six months out of the year to qualify.
Send Utility Bills In Your Name To Your RV
The IRS may also require that you have utility bills in your name sent to your RV. If you’re paying for utilities like electricity, water, or sewer, you can have the bills sent to your RV if you are hooked up to a permanent RV site, or you can have them sent to your mailing address.
Utility bills will show the IRS that you are using your RV as your primary residence.
Provide Proof Of Residency To the DMV
The DMV requires proof of residency if you’re changing your driver’s license or vehicle registration to reflect your RV as your primary residence. You can use a utility bill, a mortgage or lease agreement, or a letter from your employer as proof of residency. The DMV needs this to see that you are using your RV as your primary residence.
Pay Property Taxes on Your RV If Applicable
If you’re paying property taxes on your RV, you can use that as proof to the IRS that your RV is your primary residence.
Many states require that you pay property taxes on your vehicle if it’s your primary residence, so this shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you aren’t paying property taxes on your RV, you may need to provide other proof to the IRS.
Ensure Your RV Is Properly Insured
One way to show the IRS that your RV is your primary residence is to insure it. Full-time RV insurance is a good idea since it covers your vehicle in case of accidents or theft. But it can also prove to the IRS that your RV is your primary residence.
After you’ve gathered all the necessary documentation, you should have no problem proving to the IRS that your RV is your primary residence, letting you claim it on your taxes.
Benefits Of Claiming Your RV As a Primary Residence
When you claim your RV as a primary residence, you have several benefits, including tax breaks, allowing you to save money on your tax bill. You can also take advantage of the Homestead Exemption if you live in certain areas.
Let’s look at some other benefits of claiming your RV as a primary residence.
Saving Money On Taxes
Lowering taxes is one of the main reasons people choose to claim their RV as a primary residence. If your RV is considered a second home, you must pay taxes on any income you earn from renting it out, but you won’t need to pay taxes if it is your primary residence.
Avoiding Capital Gains Taxes
Capital gains tax is calculated on the difference between what you paid for acquiring an asset and what you sold it for.
If you’ve owned your RV for a long time and it has increased in value, there will be capital gains taxes based on your gains upon sale. But if your RV is considered your primary residence, you won’t need to pay capital gains taxes on the sale.
Qualifying For the Homestead Exemption
The homestead exemption is a tax break available in some states for homeowners, and it can reduce the amount of property taxes you pay each year. In some states, it can also protect your home from creditors in the event of a financial default.
Access To RV Parks and Campgrounds
RV parks and campgrounds sometimes have residency requirements. Some parks only allow people living in RVs to stay for limited periods, while others have no residency requirements. But if you want to be sure you can stay in an RV park or campground, it’s best to have proof that your RV is your primary residence.
Peace of Mind
Knowing that you can legally live in your RV can give you peace of mind. It can also make getting insurance and financing for your RV easier. And if you ever have any legal problems, having proof that your RV is your primary residence can help you avoid any penalties.
Proving that your RV is your primary residence can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s worth it if you want to save money on taxes or take advantage of the benefits of claiming your RV as a primary residence. So gather your proof and get ready to claim your RV as your home.
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