Financing an RV as a Primary Residence? Read These Important Details First.

No time to read now? Click here to download as a PDF.

Have you ever dreamed of leaving your life as you know it behind and financing an RV as a primary residence? It’s very doable. (Plus, who wouldn’t want a care-free lifestyle, especially if you’re empty-nesting?)

But before you take the plunge, read these important details about your financing options, legalities, and the benefits you’ll enjoy when you can finally call your RV your home.

woman reading in chair beside RV
RV living can offer a care-free lifestyle and a place to call home.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an affiliate, I earn a small commission every time you make a qualifying purchase through one of my affiliate links (if applicable) at no additional cost to you.

CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn the important details about financing an RV as a primary residence, and more, including:

The RV Living Trend is On the Rise!

RVs are becoming increasingly more popular in the US.

In fact, over 1 million Americans were reported to have converted their RVs into their primary residence.

You’ll find many of those living in an RV are either empty-nesters or from the new generation, making the trend especially popular nowadays. 

Know that if you are considering living in an RV you are not alone!

But if you plan to acquire RV financing to fund your purchase, there are several important considerations.

Here’s what you should keep in mind before you rush in on financing your dream lifestyle.

RV Financing Options

If you are planning to make an RV your primary address, you’ll find various financing options available. Take a look at the most popular RV financing options, below.

1. Specialized RV Financing

It makes good sense to work with a company that specializes in RV financing.

One example is My Financing USA RV financing. They are experts who can help you secure the funding you need to make your RV purchase.

In fact, they’ll search nationwide to find you the best RV financing programs.

Plus, they offer RV financing plans for both good and bad credit, if that’s a concern.

An important benefit of financing through an independent company that specializes in RV financing for your loan is the flexibility. You can finance an RV regardless of whether it’s from a dealership or a private party.

This gives you the most freedom when it comes to financing an RV you have your heart set on.

2. Dealership Financing

When you buy an RV through a dealership, they can often help you finance your purchase as well.

You will be limited to buying an RV that they sell you, but that offers some measure of convenience.

Just be aware that it is not your only option.

3. Personal Loan from Financial Institutions

Another option is to apply for a personal loan through your local banking institution or credit union.

Depending on the size of the RV you want to purchase, you might obtain a secured or an unsecured RV financing.

And, if you already have a banking relationship, this may work in your favor.

4. Borrow from Your Home Equity

home with rv | Enjoy Travel Life
You might tap your home equity to defray the cost of an RV.

If you intend to keep your family property even though the RV will be your primary residence, or you have a summer house, you can apply for a home equity loan.

This means you’re borrowing against your home’s equity, or the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and your home’s current worth.

Provided you have enough equity in your home, an equity loan can help you purchase your residential RV.

However, keep in mind that these loans are usually capped at 10 years and are often granted only to the most creditworthy individuals.

5. Sale of Your Home

If you are selling your home to live your dream life in an RV, of course you can use the proceeds from the sale to invest in an RV as your new, primary residence.

This is not really financing your RV, but the money might help pay down the purchase price, netting a decrease in your RV loan amount.

Or, if your profit from the sale of your home is substantial, you might be able to buy your RV outright! (Woohoo!)

Which RV Financing Option is Best?

When it comes to financing an RV, you’ll find many are willing to provide financing assistance for your RV purchase.

But what is the “best” decision is ultimately up to you.

You must explore your options above and any others you’re considering to choose the one that provides the best scenario for you. Every circumstance is different.

Legalities and Regulations

You’ll also want to consider the legalities and regulations before financing your RV and claiming it as your primary residence.

Here are some key factors you must look into:

1. RV Size

Some states have specific requirements for an RV to be considered a residence.

Before purchasing an RV or applying for a financing option, it is best to know the required dwelling size imposed on your state. 

2. The Amenities and Capabilities of the RV

There may be similar requirements about the basic amenities and capabilities of your RV, such as a bathroom, cooking area, and sleeping quarters. 

3. Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows anyone to claim any dwellings as their primary residence.

This includes boats, condominiums, your home, and RVs, as long as it meets the basic amenities needed for a home.

This is worth noting, since one of the benefits of declaring your RV as your main residence is the tax deductions that will lessen your overall tax bills.

Please note that nomads often encounter unique tax situations and the declaration of an RV as your main residence is a good example. Arm yourself with a free tax calculator or consult with a tax professional (or even an experienced RV’er) to ensure a problem-free scenario.

Insurance for RVs

Don’t forget you’ll need to insure your RV.

The insurance cost of your RV residence will depend on numerous factors.

One of them is the location where you plan to park your RV.

Other factors that will affect the insurance costs for your RV include:

  • Value of the RV
  • RV size
  • Your experience driving an RV
  • Your driving record

You’ll find the ultimate cost varies significantly by carrier, so take some time to thoroughly investigate your choices.

You’ll want great protection on your investment, but at a competitive price.

How to Declare Your RV as Your Main Residence

motorhome mountain trip | Enjoy Travel Life
When you have a motorhome, you can bring with you your entire home while enjoying travel.

The first thing you should do if you want to claim the RV as your primary residence is to inform the lender providing you the financial help.

This is an important step so that the lender adds this information into the paperwork. 

The IRS only allows legal taxpayers to declare one primary home at any given time. Some cities do not allow residents to claim their RV as their primary residence, but there is a loophole in this regulation. 

You will only have to classify your RV as an ADU or Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU).

ADU is known as the main residential structure’s secondary housing structures and is usually used for renting out.

But you also need to keep in mind that not all cities accept RV as an Accessory Dwelling Unit, like in San Diego. 

Check on your city to learn the restrictions they impose regarding declaring an RV as the primary home or even as an ADU. 

It is important to do your research first before applying for RV financing as a primary residence.

Even if you meet your RV’s necessary amenities, your local law is still the first thing you should be wary about.

The Benefits of Residing in Your RV

Stating your RV as your main residence has many advantages. It’s no wonder it has become a trend nowadays.

Aside from the tax benefits, you’ll fin more advantaging to enjoy from claiming your RV as your main home.

Here are a few.

1. Dual Purpose

Having an RV is like having a house and a car in one. It can provide you with the comfort and accommodation a normal house can provide while also taking you to go places just like a car would. 

2. Mobility

Do you love traveling?

No problem.

You can bring with you your entire home while enjoying the different views from different states all around the country.

You’ll reach faraway places without worrying about accommodation and leaving your home vacant for extended periods. 

3. Savings

For wanderlusters, owning an RV is a huge opportunity to save on your constant travel.

You will only need to worry about the fuel and food during trips. You will save on airfare, hotels, and fees.

Plus, the safety and security it provides to you during your vacation is priceless. 

Additionally, there is low maintenance cost when you live in an RV compared to living in a house. You will be paying little to no electricity and water bills, and have low insurance costs.

You will have more leftover money every month if you live in an RV than when living in a traditional house. 

4. Best Home For Free-Spirited Individuals

When you’re young and free from responsibilities, or likewise, newly empty-nesting, you’ll enjoy being carefree and in control of your life.

Having an RV and living in it full-time will give your free spirit the satisfaction of fulfilling your needs and wants at the same time. 

5. Neighbors 

When you live in an RV, you won’t have to deal with toxic neighbors like in a permanent neighborhood.

If you do not like the neighborhood you are currently in, it will be easy for you to move to another place.

You can do this as many times as you like until you find the perfect place where you feel at peace. 

Final Thoughts on Financing an RV as Your Primary Residence

It’s true, there is no place like home.

But that doesn’t mean you need to stay in one place forever.

It is why so many travelers consider making their RV their primary home.

The benefits of living in an RV are undoubtedly promising, and having a space of your own, no matter how small, is travel lover’s paradise.

Are you ready to take the plunge to an RV lifestyle? Then you’ll want to hear about these “must have’s” for your RV. Read this next and start gearing up for your new motorhome!

Jackie Gately at the beach

About the Author: Jackie Gately

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

Follow my social channels for more inspiration.

Next Steps

Here are other helpful articles about the RV lifestyle you’ll enjoy reading next: