Estimating Your RV Registration Fees and Expenses

By: Staff Writer July 21, 2012
Share This Page
Share Pin It Email Print

When in the market for a recreational vehicle (RV), be sure to factor in RV registration fees and other registration-related expenses once it's time to estimate the overall cost.

How to Estimate Motorhome Registration Fees

You'll register your motor home through your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. Each DMV governs differently, using one, some, or all of the following criteria for determining registration fees for motor homes:

  • Age of mobile home.
  • Weight of mobile home.
  • Length of mobile home.
  • Market value of mobile home .

Depending on your state, the calculation process can be complicated. Idaho, for example, determines the fee by using a valuation factor based on one of the following motorhome chassis types: mini motor home, motor home, front engine diesel, rear engine diesel, or van conversions. Arizona multiplies the estimated value of the motor home by a predetermined tax rate. Oregon employs an easier fee system based on the RV's length.

Fortunately, many DMV websites provide registration fee calculators to help estimate the expected cost.

Other Fees for Mobile Homes

When estimating your total costs, don't forget to consider the costs of:

  • Motorhome Insurance: A simple car policy leaves too many coverage gaps. Depending on your needs you should also  consider specialized RV insurance protection. These plans provide higher liability limits and, in addition, cover replacement costs of personal belongings, emergency expenses, and towing costs for heavy-duty RVs weighing over a ton. There are several insurance providers that specialize in motor home coverage.
  • Inspections and Smog Tests: This will depend on your place of residence. In most instances, an emissions test is required every two years. If your RV fails, you will be required to pay for the needed repair costs.
  • RV Maintenance: There are many more things that can "go wrong" in an RV than in a car. Plus, towing fees, if needed, can be extremely costly depending on the size of your recreational vehicle.
  • Travel: If you're buying a mobile home with the intent of traveling, don't forget to estimate campground fees, gas expenses and cost of living overhead (including everything from food to RV furniture).

Have you ever registered a motorhome? What about stocked one? Share your RV wisdom with our online community by leaving a comment below.

Recent Articles