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RV for business and traveling


colomtns

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Hi All,

 

Just joined the forum and just wanted to say hi and introduce myself. I have been visiting the forum off and on for about the last two years or so. I am looking to buy a used class A RV in the 26'to 32' range to use as a mobile business office and to travel in Colorado and the surrounding states. Planning on short trips of a week or two at first to see how it all shakes out.

 

I am 66 years old and tent camped extensively when I was younger. Owned a truck camper for a few years and really liked the ability to go just about anywhere, to be honest if I was not planning to use the motorhome for business I would look at getting one again.

 

I am looking forward to getting to know the folks on the forum.

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First welcome. Not trying to throw any water on the fire but using the RV as a business may require a CDL (commercial driver's license) to drive with appropriate record keeping Etc. Might want to check your state requirements.

No problem at all, one of the reason I joined the forum is to learn so I appreciate the feedback. I did check and as far as I can tell a CDL is not required to operate a RV in Colorado.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to have you with us.

I did check and as far as I can tell a CDL is not required to operate a RV in Colorado.

When it comes to both the CDL issue and that of tax deductibility, both of them could be effected by how the RV is configured and just how it is used. If the RV is used only for business and never as an RV, it may well be legal to deduct the operating expenses from taxes and to depreciate it on taxes as well, but if you live in it for pleasure at all, that all gets very touchy and could be an audit trigger for the computers at IRS. Business travel is one of the more closely watched areas so I'd get some advice on that from a tax professional. I don't think that you will need the CDL, but that could happen if the RV is marked on the outside to advertise business or somehow looks like a business vehicle, but state law would be the issue if it does. At one time I drove a commercial vehicle in Colorado & Wyoming that was registered and licensed to a business and no CDL was required so I doubt that you would need one, but just check to make sure.

 

One other thing about making the RV and advertisement for your business is that some RV parks will not allow commercially marked vehicles to stay there due to objections by other regular customers, so that could be an issue. On the other hand, if you only plant to live in the RV in place of motels and leave it configured as an RV and looking like one, then you should have little problem in either of those areas, but the tax deduction is probably nil.

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Again I don't pretend to be an expert on this but over on the HDT forum this discussion has been raised multiple times. Again from what I can glean weight has no bearing, it is the intended use of the vehicle. For example, a dually pickup pulling a race car to a race where money is involved is a commercial vehicle especially noticeable if it has XYZ racing team on the side. Colomtns, you are absolutely right, like my state and multiple others you are not required to have a CDL to drive an RV. My Volvo is registered as a Motorhome and my class D license allows me to do what I do. Stick a trailer with a race car behind it and I'm commercial DESPITE the registration. One of the HDT forum members is a DOT officer and has posted multiple pictures of RVs, pickups, etc. that he has stopped and ticketed as commercial even though registered otherwise because they were involved in commerce.

Now in all fairness as above posters said, without signage you probably wouldn't have an issue. Just call your local DMV or visit their office and tell them your intentions and get their advice. I would go by that advice before believing me or anyone else. You will find the beauty of these forums is there are multiple opinions but remember they are opinions rarely fact. We are able to civilly discuss these opinions without offense but it is the person asking the questions responsibility to verify the opinion they choose.

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@ Duffman the only thing I am going to write off is my business miles. I asked an accountant about this and was told I could.

 

@ Kirk I plan to use a removal banner that will only be displayed when I want to advertise my business. After hours, the banner will be taken down.

 

I saw an article on the internet where a couple got into a lot of trouble by claiming there RV as a business office and the IRS nailed them. As stated above I am only going to deduct legitimate mileage expenses.

 

I am really looking forward to traveling through the western part of Colorado as well as other neighboring states enjoying the magnificent scenery and hopefully expanding my business at the same time.

 

Thanks for all the great input.

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Interesting. We write off traveling miles since our second hpme, have official residence elsewhere, although very humble. Good enough to settle IRS. As I understand one cannot write off miles on primary residence even if mobile. The IRS wording states "second home" that is necessary for employment. This is why our humble home in Huntsville TX.

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@ Duffman the only thing I am going to write off is my business miles. I asked an accountant about this and was told I could.

 

@ Kirk I plan to use a removal banner that will only be displayed when I want to advertise my business. After hours, the banner will be taken down.

 

I saw an article on the internet where a couple got into a lot of trouble by claiming there RV as a business office and the IRS nailed them. As stated above I am only going to deduct legitimate mileage expenses.

 

I am really looking forward to traveling through the western part of Colorado as well as other neighboring states enjoying the magnificent scenery and hopefully expanding my business at the same time.

 

Thanks for all the great input.

 

Good luck with that . I wouldn't put up with anything of the sort . It's not like you're a kid selling lemonade in the neighborhood .

 

Once , I saw a business banner in a park we were in . That didn't last long before the park owner had a little talk with the fellow . No more banner .

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@ Glen West As of this time I am not planning to sell my primary residence in Colorado but from the feedback I am getting I will be talking with another accountant.

 

@ Pat & Pete I will only advertise my business when I am at a specific location that I have chosen for that purpose. When I am at a park or campground the banner will not be displayed. I will just be a person that is enjoying their stay at the park/campground.

 

Will I be able to grow my business? Who knows but in my mind, it is worth a try.

 

Thanks for the feedback.

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Be careful with the mileage. If you do sightseeing while traveling from one campsite to another you might not be able to write off those miles. I had a friend who kept a notebook in her car. She recorded beginning and ending mileage every time she got in her car along with the purpose for that trip. The way she had a clear record of what was for business, what was for volunteering, and what was for pleasure. The volunteering miles were calculated as part of her charitable contributions.

 

Linda Sand

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Be careful with the mileage. If you do sightseeing while traveling from one campsite to another you might not be able to write off those miles. I had a friend who kept a notebook in her car. She recorded beginning and ending mileage every time she got in her car along with the purpose for that trip. The way she had a clear record of what was for business, what was for volunteering, and what was for pleasure. The volunteering miles were calculated as part of her charitable contributions.

 

Linda Sand

Good idea. Thanks Linda.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Be careful with the mileage. If you do sightseeing while traveling from one campsite to another you might not be able to write off those miles. I had a friend who kept a notebook in her car. She recorded beginning and ending mileage every time she got in her car along with the purpose for that trip. The way she had a clear record of what was for business, what was for volunteering, and what was for pleasure. The volunteering miles were calculated as part of her charitable contributions.

 

Linda Sand

Great advice!

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