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Sculptor

HDT owner, choosing between FL and TX

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We have  a month before we move into the fifth wheel. I have been researching and have most of my questions answered.  PLUS I found a good post that compares the choices we are facing.

I am still undecided, and I'm asking anyone who has arrived at their domicile decision, what are one or two smaller discoveries do you wish you had known beforehand?

My decisions are between Florida, Texas, and Tennessee.  SD is a distant fourth.  I read Health care cost completely overshadows all other costs.  I think I agree, that is for 2 years at least.

I know the big points, income taxes, health insurance, RV insurance, new vehicle purchase taxes, sales tax rate.  (the sales tax rate in TN is high but we have no plans to be there for long stays)

I would want to bring an already converted HDT "house car" into the state.  Would it be very tough to do or easy if already converted?

We have relatives in TN and FL but no plans to stay with them.

Thank you.

This was posted 3 years ago:

A great topic with a good comparison chart:  https://www.rvnetwork.com/topic/125374-domicile-analysis/

Comment by Lockmup specific to HDT owners:  https://www.rvnetwork.com/topic/125374-domicile-analysis/?do=findComment&comment=879709

Chart:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gMs0eSHxYDoc6ff_DTcj8eqwlo4Z7YCG28D2IhkLS6Q/edit#gid=0

 

 

 

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The HDT and 5th wheel combo is a no in Florida with registration. Think the only way around is registered elsewhere. Reach out to Henry, Mr. et hitch. He is now in florida with his rv hdt. But it was registerd in another state prior

Edited by GlennWest

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South Dakota was easy. Mailed title and the forms to register and change title to motor home with a picture,they called me when they got it we paid the taxes and registration over the phone and they mailed them the next day. 

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TN depends on the County. But got it done relatively painlessly. Mr. SuiteSuccess :) is in Eastern TN and can comment on his probably less painful way than Middle TN.

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registration of an HDT as a motorhome is really easy in Texas.

You con get it done  quickly in Polk Couny if you have the required appliances in the  truck.

My 2003 VNL 610 ,which is still  tandem costs less than $250.00/year.

 

ShortyO

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Re-read what Glenn wrote about registering an HDT in FL.  Then read it again.  Then call insurance companies in FL about insuring an HDT as an RV.  Next call the DMV and ask about registering an HDT as an RV.  When I looked into this several years ago, there was no way to legally do it.  

A few have been successful, though there is no rhyme or reason to how it was done.  In the HDT forum there are several threads about FL HDT registration. 

BTW, the 2 insurance companies that would insure an HDT as an RV (one was in Calif), both stated the truck would only be covered if towing the 5er.  In other words, no grocery getting in an HDT regardless of it's RV registration.

My insurance carrier at the time I was researching kept telling me I needed "commercial exposure" to insure an HDT, whether as an RV or a "private truck".  Though the agent NEVER defined what commercial exposure meant.  At least never defined it in a way I understood.

Good luck, but I think FL is a dead end if HDT registration is needed.

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There are multiple members here who are registered in FL.  I wish they'd stop by and explain how they did it.  Jeff and Cindy Brett (bandbuds) for sure, and I believe Raymond and Janet Church are registered FL too.

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      If you have any health concerns and need to purchase your own health insurance I would search all options.

  That was our biggest problem. But we started to full time in 2005. Health insurance has changed a lot since then.

 

   We are now on Medicare. My wife does the medical research. But there maybe differences in the plans in different states that could affect your decision. Whether it is regular health insurance or your move to some Medicare plan.

 

   The other decisions for us was after we figured out the insurance situation.

 

  Just my pennies worth of thoughts,    Vern

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17 hours ago, lockmup68 said:

TN depends on the County. But got it done relatively painlessly. Mr. SuiteSuccess :) is in Eastern TN and can comment on his probably less painful way than Middle TN.

Since I was one of the first in East Tennessee it wasn’t painless.  It took several calls to Nashville and some hand holding of my county clerk.  After all that finally walked in and told them I was registering as a Motorhome and that’s what they did.  Since your truck is already converted I think it would be relatively easy.  Just be sure registration says MH before you walk out of their office.  I know other factors may influence your decision but I love TN.  No special license required.  Tennesseans like limited government.  Sales tax is high, but offset by no income tax, relatively low property taxes, good access to medical care, and just a beautiful part of the country.  People are friendly and outside major urban areas political discord is limited.  The Appalachian subculture does exist in East Tennessee but it is educational not racial.  

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Following... I see no way to do an HDT legally in FL. I get around their restrictions by staying commercial, plated in Ohio and leased to a company in PA. I don't yet have a plan for the day when I can no longer work. Maybe "move" to TX?? Pragmatically, we're likely to sell to move to a MH. Jay

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23 hours ago, GlennWest said:

The HDT and 5th wheel combo is a no in Florida with registration. Think the only way around is registered elsewhere. Reach out to Henry, Mr. et hitch. He is now in florida with his rv hdt. But it was registerd in another state prior

Yes Henry was the first person I thought of.  You are correct about another state.

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23 hours ago, Danandfreda said:

South Dakota was easy. Mailed title and the forms to register and change title to motor home with a picture,they called me when they got it we paid the taxes and registration over the phone and they mailed them the next day. 

I have thought a lot about South Dakota.  It seems very good in many ways, but so far I think the health care cost is higher there than any of the top 4.  We have 2 years to go until Medicare.

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5 hours ago, remoandiris said:

Re-read what Glenn wrote about registering an HDT in FL.  Then read it again.  Then call insurance companies in FL about insuring an HDT as an RV.  Next call the DMV and ask about registering an HDT as an RV.  When I looked into this several years ago, there was no way to legally do it.  

A few have been successful, though there is no rhyme or reason to how it was done.  In the HDT forum there are several threads about FL HDT registration. 

I would want to bring an already converted HDT "house car" into the state.  Would it be very tough to do or easy if already converted?

RemoandIris, I had been hearing and reading similar comments elsewhere.  I called my RV insurance agent and got some lower quotes for Texas and Florida.  I thought, possibly, the discussions were more about changing title in FL, NOT bringing an RV into the state.  By all accounts, what you say is still true.  I have not made the calls you suggest just yet.  Thanks.

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4 hours ago, Wrknrvr said:

      If you have any health concerns and need to purchase your own health insurance I would search all options.

  That was our biggest problem. But we started to full time in 2005. Health insurance has changed a lot since then.

   We are now on Medicare. My wife does the medical research. But there maybe differences in the plans in different states that could affect your decision. Whether it is regular health insurance or your move to some Medicare plan.

   The other decisions for us was after we figured out the insurance situation.

  Just my pennies worth of thoughts,    Vern

I have not signed up yet, but I am told by a health care department professional, that Florida is The Best for health care.  It would seem that I can't have my HDT plus cheaper health care.  More research on FL to come.  Maybe we will just pay more for 2 years.  I hope not.

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4 hours ago, SuiteSuccess said:

Since I was one of the first in East Tennessee it wasn’t painless.  It took several calls to Nashville and some hand holding of my county clerk.  After all that finally walked in and told them I was registering as a Motorhome and that’s what they did.  Since your truck is already converted I think it would be relatively easy.  Just be sure registration says MH before you walk out of their office.  I know other factors may influence your decision but I love TN.  No special license required.  Tennesseans like limited government.  Sales tax is high, but offset by no income tax, relatively low property taxes, good access to medical care, and just a beautiful part of the country.  People are friendly and outside major urban areas political discord is limited.  The Appalachian subculture does exist in East Tennessee but it is educational not racial. 

Thanks Carl,  I was sorry to see the ECR was canceled this year.  The first time since we bought our HDT that we had reservations to stay in the campground.

Since we don't plan to be in TN much, (ie sales tax) I think TN is a great option.  We have been there many times and our son and daughter in law live in Nashville.  Your traffic is way worse than NC in my opinion.  :) 

We have mostly heard wonderful things about TX but we don't know anyone and have never been there.  I'm not against it and would like to explore soon.

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We are Texas residents. Dear wife is on Medicare. I have a couple of years yet but I have insurance with my jobs. So cost is small. Right now due to cornavirus I not working and no insurance. Have had Medi share and liked it. May go back on it.But I have no medical isues.

Edited by GlennWest

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One more option for you to consider...you say you're moving into the 5er.  Does that mean you're becoming a fulltimer?  Are you going to travel or be stationary?  Based on you having an HDT, I'll ASSume you're going to travel.

South Dakota does not care if you domicile in another state.  You can STILL register your HDT as an RV (if it meets their RV requirements) and 5er there, without having to travel to SD.  You can get a FL drivers license and SD reg/ins.  There is virtually no way for FL to find out, especially if you're not living there.

I looked at this real hard, but we found our dually serves our needs better than an HDT.

BTW, I do not think "house car" is a recognized registration in FL.  It will either be an RV or private truck.

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South Dakota health insurance is not terrible but we have a high deductible. Car and truck insurance is not high either have 2021 hdt,2011 drv,and 2014 smart little over 2500 yr. registration for smart and drv we’re done in the spring mail in forms and done

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40 minutes ago, remoandiris said:

One more option for you to consider...you say you're moving into the 5er.  Does that mean you're becoming a fulltimer?  Are you going to travel or be stationary?  Based on you having an HDT, I'll ASSume you're going to travel.

South Dakota does not care if you domicile in another state.  You can STILL register your HDT as an RV (if it meets their RV requirements) and 5er there, without having to travel to SD.  You can get a FL drivers license and SD reg/ins.  There is virtually no way for FL to find out, especially if you're not living there.

I looked at this real hard, but we found our dually serves our needs better than an HDT.

BTW, I do not think "house car" is a recognized registration in FL.  It will either be an RV or private truck.

Thank you RemoandIris.  This is something I had not thought of.  It makes perfect sense.   In NC the house car designation is the same as a custom home built bus or any motorized vehicle that can be lived in.  I think other states have something similar?  I could imagine it translates to "RV" in other states.  I could hope it would be exactly equal when transferring.  I will look harder at SD for registration.  I was considering SD once before, and from what I remember it IS very easy to do.

Yes we are going full time in ONE MONTH.  Traveling as much as possible.  

Edited by Sculptor

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11 hours ago, rickeieio said:

There are multiple members here who are registered in FL.  I wish they'd stop by and explain how they did it.  Jeff and Cindy Brett (bandbuds) for sure, and I believe Raymond and Janet Church are registered FL too.

I'm not saying that either of the ones you mentioned did this, but I know that some in Florida just lie about having a hitch on their truck and hope they don't get caught.

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2 hours ago, Big5er said:

I'm not saying that either of the ones you mentioned did this, but I know that some in Florida just lie about having a hitch on their truck and hope they don't get caught.

That's the only way I can see to do it and I'm not real crazy about that method. "Load bearing" is kinda hard to get around. Jay

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Mine was already a motor home in Michigan when I moved to Texas. I found it was easy to do in Michigan and when I went to Texas they did not even look at the truck they just transferred it. They know how to do this stuff in Livingston (Polk county).

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You can register your truck in Florida as a private truck but not as a motorhome if you are using a fifth wheel hitch. Getting insurance is a different issue and you need to do your research for that.

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On 7/26/2020 at 8:34 AM, Brad & Jacolyn said:

Mine was already a motor home in Michigan when I moved to Texas. I found it was easy to do in Michigan and when I went to Texas they did not even look at the truck they just transferred it. They know how to do this stuff in Livingston (Polk county).

I suspect this would also work in FL.

They will not convert a title from Commercial too Motor Home with a load bearing hitch, but with a MH title from another state, I suspect they would just do it.

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16 minutes ago, GeorgiaHybrid said:

You can register your truck in Florida as a private truck but not as a motorhome if you are using a fifth wheel hitch. Getting insurance is a different issue and you need to do your research for that.

But wouldn't you need a cdl is registered as private truck. It is a commercial truck.

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