Non-Motorized Campers Purchased by Nonresidents of Wisconsin

Sales by Dealers & Other Retailers:

A Wisconsin retailer is required to collect the Wisconsin 5% state sales tax if the nonresident takes possession of the camper in Wisconsin. There is no Wisconsin sales tax exemption that applies to an individual's purchase of the non-motorized camper.

The retailer is also required to collect the 0.5% county, 0.5% football stadium, and 0.1% baseball stadium taxes as follows:

Note: The nonresident purchaser owes county or stadium use tax if, after taking possession from the retailer, the camper is transported and used/stored by the nonresident in a taxable county. In this case, the retailer may voluntarily collect the county or stadium use tax due by the nonresident.

Sales by a Private Party:

An individual is not required to collect the Wisconsin state, county or stadium taxes when selling his/her personal camper.

The nonresident owes the applicable Wisconsin state, county, or stadium use taxes if the camper is first stored or used in Wisconsin.

Exception: If the nonresident does not register or title the camper with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WDOT) and is not required to register or title the camper with the WDOT, the nonresident does not owe Wisconsin state, county, or stadium use tax when purchasing from a seller who does not have and is not required to have a Wisconsin seller's permit.

Example (1): Individual, a resident of Minnesota, purchases a "recreational vehicle" from Dealer in La Crosse, Wisconsin for $22,000. Individual will use the camper for personal use in Minnesota. Individual picks up the camper at Dealer's La Crosse location. Dealer is required to charge and collect the 5% Wisconsin state sales tax of $1,100. No county or stadium district sales or use tax applies since the camper will not customarily be kept at a location in Wisconsin.

Example (2): Same facts as Example (1), except that Dealer will deliver the camper to Individual at Individual's residence in La Crescent, Minnesota. In this case, the sale occurs in Minnesota and Wisconsin state and local sales taxes do not apply to the sale.

Example (3): Individual A, a resident of Minnesota, purchases a "camping trailer" from Individual B, a Wisconsin resident, for $15,000. Individual B used the camper for personal use and is not a dealer in campers. Individual B is not required to charge and collect Wisconsin sales tax on the sale of the camper. Individual A takes possession of the camper in Vernon County, Wisconsin. Individual A will keep the camper at a campground in La Crosse County, Wisconsin and will register the camper in Wisconsin at the La Crosse WDOT service center. Individual A must pay Wisconsin use tax of $750 and Vernon County use tax of $75 to the WDOT at the time of registration of the camper. Vernon County use tax applies since Individual A took possession of the "camper trailer" in Vernon County.

Example (4): Individual C, an Iowa resident, purchases a "camping trailer" from Individual D, a Wisconsin resident, for $8,000. Individual C is required to register the camper with the WDOT. Individual D used the camper for personal use and is not a dealer in non-motorized campers. Individual D is not required to charge and collect Wisconsin sales tax on the sale of the camper. Individual C takes possession of the camper in Crawford County, Wisconsin. Individual C transports the camper back to Iowa where Individual C will keep the camper. Individual C owes Wisconsin state and Crawford County sales or use tax on its purchase of the camper. Crawford County use tax applies since Individual C took possession of the "camping trailer" in Crawford County.

Example (5): Same facts as Example (4), except Individual C does not, and is not required to, register the "camping trailer" with the WDOT. In this case, Individual C does not owe any Wisconsin state or county sales or use tax.

1 "Recreational vehicle" as defined in sec. 340.01(48r), Wis. Stats., means a vehicle that is designed to be towed upon a highway by a motor vehicle, that is equipped and used, or intended to be used, primarily for temporary or recreational human habitation, that has walls of rigid construction, and that does not exceed 45 feet in length.
2 "Camping trailer" means a vehicle with a collapsible or folding structure designed for human habitation and towed upon a highway by a motor vehicle.

Last updated August 2, 2013