Traveling in an R.V. truly gives you a comfortable feeling on the road, unlike when traveling with your everyday vehicle. But, most RVers didn’t know that, aside from the existing laws we have, there are separate rules to follow when driving an R.V., like can your passengers sleep inside while it’s moving, can they cook, can they move while you’re going, etc. This article will talk about the rules you must know for a happy and hassle-free trip.
1.No Sleeping While The RV Is Moving!
As the title says, sleeping inside your R.V. is illegal while it is in motion. If you are traveling with your travel trailer, fifth wheel, or pull-behind campers, the law is more strict and implemented that you should stay in the towing vehicle. However, if you are driving a Class A, Class B, or Class C, the law clearly says (which will be shown below) the passengers can stay inside the R.V. but should be buckled up safely.
Experts say that sleeping while the R.V. is moving is very dangerous. If the passenger is sleeping in the R.V. ‘s bedroom, he might fall out of the bed, or worse, it can cause fatal damage to the sleeping person if the R.V. got involved in an accident.
So what are you going to do? The safest and most straightforward would be to sleep on the sofa of your R.V. with your seat belts on. No excuses. Most Class A, Class B, Class C motorhome models, especially the newer ones, are designed with a seat belt on each sofa to provide more protection to the passengers. In addition, if you are the driver or even the passenger who is sleepy, look for a campsite or truck stop so you can pull over and sleep.
2.Do Not Roam Around The RV While On The Road
Some people are risky enough to roam inside the R.V. while it is moving. Still, as much as possible, especially if you own a fifth-wheeler, travel trailer, or any towing vehicle, it is for sure illegal to roam inside while the R.V. is in motion. Even though it is possible with your Class A- Class B motorhome, don’t be stubborn and obey every state’s law about wearing seatbelts.
Stay on the sofas of your motorhomes or towing vehicles and buckle yourself up. However, if you need to do something, pull over or stop and do what needs to be done.
3.Pull Over To Prepare Your Food
When traveling, one of the moments passengers always look forward to is the great and hot meals you will prepare for them while on your trip. Of course, you can cook food inside your R.V. because it is not just a vehicle but a motorhome with the amenities of a typical home. But, the big question is, can you cook inside your R.V. while it is moving?
We’ve discussed above why it is illegal to roam or walk inside the moving R.V. or towable vehicle. Since roaming inside the R.V. is prohibited while it is in motion, then so is cooking.
Your R.V. uses a propane gas that can be very dangerous if you use it while the R.V. is moving. You may not know if there’s a leak on it. And it’s not just that; it can also be uncertain when you are chopping or slicing ingredients, for it could be hard for you to keep things steady, and worst, you might cut yourself if you continue to take the risk.
What’s best to do is pull over first, and from there, you can cook your favorite meals.
4.Keep Yourself Buckled Up
When traveling with your R.V., such as the Class A, Class B, and Class C kinds, passengers should be safely buckled up on their seats for safety purposes. But when you have an airstream, pop-up trailers, or pull-behind campers, be sure that there are no passengers inside it. Especially when it is in motion, for it can be perilous.
To give you an overview regarding the seatbelt laws of every state, let us start in Alabama; their seatbelt law said that passengers at the back are not necessary to use a seatbelt. However, they still believe that it is better to be safe.
On the contrary, in the states that RVers usually visit, such as Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, ALL passengers are required to wear a seatbelt. But there are also some states that require passengers who are under the age of 18 to wear seatbelts, like Illinois, Arizona, Florida, and Georgia. According to CDC, there are thirty-two (32) states to be exact that require passengers to be buckled in. For the complete table, check the CDC guidelines and RVshare’s article regarding the R.V. seatbelt laws.
5.Enjoy Watching TV While The RV Is Moving
Bored while on the road? Go ahead and watch your favorite movie. I know it can be too dull for the passengers to do nothing but munch on your favorite snack while on the trip.
As long as the generator is running, most probably, T.V.s in the R.V. will work except the one placed in front of the driver. It is because it keeps the driver from distractions. If on a tight budget, I suggest using an inverter and solar panels to be more practical when using appliances in your R.V. such as the television. But what is more valuable is to enjoy the view outside your R.V.’s window instead. After all, the reason why one person wants to live nomadically is to escape the city’s bustle and hustle.
6.Have Fun Inside The RV While On The Road
When we say fun, don’t deny that one thing that enters your mind is your favorite alcoholic beverages. When in motion, and if you are a passenger, you can have your favorite beer. But remember that although passengers can drink inside as long as they sit still on their seats, it still depends on their location. For example, in some states in the U.S., like in Florida, passengers can only drink if their vehicle is longer than 21 ft long. They also state that the driver should not have access to alcoholic beverages for a safe trip.
If you are sitting next to the driver, the answer is no. But if you are aching to have one bottle or shot, you better stop and pull over to truck stops before having your drink. Be responsible! The two of you cannot have your drink because you two are the ones who will handle the safety in your travel.
For more relevant R.V. alcohol facts, visit Cruise America’s site to learn more about the rules regarding drinking inside your moving R.V.
7.Can’t Hold It Anymore? Use The Bathroom
Bathroom breaks are also part of the trip, but can you use the bathroom while the Rv is in motion? Yes, you can. If you cannot hold it anymore, then use the bathroom. You don’t have to pull over to the nearest Rv stops or gasoline station to pee. You can use the bathroom while the R.V. is in motion because the electrical system makes the water pump work normally even when the vehicle is in motion. And as Cruise America says, this applies to the Class A, Class B, and Class R.V.s.
But when traveling with your towable R.V., you will need to stop or pull over because it is illegal to stay inside the towable vehicle while it is in motion.
To be safer, it is advisable to pull over before using the bathroom. Although it is legal to use your R.V.’s bathroom even when it is in motion, accidents can happen if you take the risk, such as bumping to walls when the vehicle suddenly stops.
8.Let Your Generator Run
Many are also asking if you can run the generator while it is in motion. And the answer would be, Yes. Yes, you can run the generator while the R.V. is moving but be informed that the generator uses one (1) gallon of fuel every hour, which can be too pricey.
The generator won’t drain your tank, but it will automatically shut off as it reaches ¼ of the tank capacity.
When traveling in summer, some people cannot stand hot days, which is normal. That can be too stressful for sure, but the good news is, you can run your R.V. ‘s air conditioner even when driving as long as the R.V.’s generator is on. But keep in mind that if you are not using it or you are about to turn it off, it is essential to turn the A.C. off first before turning the generator off.
9.Slow Down For A Safer Travel
RVers must know that they are not driving a regular vehicle. They are going heavier, bigger, and longer vehicles, so they should not treat highways like a race track. If they slow down and drive carefully, they are not just keeping themselves away from any harm but also protecting their engine and tires so they can last long.
Practicing driving slowly but surely also helps if bad weather hits while on the road. Also, in some states, there is an ideal speed limit between 70-75 mph, and in some, they require R.V. drivers to drive at a speed no more than 55 mph for towable vehicles.
10.Don’t Be Shy To Ask For Help
Many RVers, especially the new ones living nomadically, are unaware of the challenges and rules they might encounter on the road. So to be informed, it will not hurt if you ask someone for help if you ever get stuck in a situation you are not familiar with.
It will be beneficial to have your wife, friends, or anyone with you as your co-pilot. They will be the ones to alert and warn you about the surrounding traffic, and it is also his job to let you know if there is a danger or potential accident on the road, so you are aware. Having a co-pilot can keep the driver from getting distracted, especially if many passengers are at the back.
If you don’t have a co-pilot with you, you can ask a spotter to help you find a spot and maneuver.
11.Learn How To Use Brakes
Yes, you already know how to drive. But do you know how to use your brakes? Some drivers are using their brakes not so carefully that they make a sudden stop. When learning how to drive, you should know that the first thing the driver should know is to use his brake without nervousness, mainly since you use an R.V. , understand how your R.V.’s brakes work and drive safely.
12.Use The Stops Made For You
Because some types of the R.V. are enormous, it will be harder for you to find a spot where you can rest for a while. Some gasoline stations often do not accept vehicles to park on their property, especially if you are too big. There are truck stops or a gasoline station that is designed to accommodate R.V.s and other large vehicles. You can stay there overnight if you need to rest.
13.Be Aware Of Your RVs Size
I have often mentioned how big an R.V. is, and obviously, it will not fit into all kinds of roads. Please check the streets before to know if you can fit into it. In addition, know the exact measurement of your R.V. and weigh things out.
RV Traffic Rules You Should Know In The U.S
Aside from the rules you have to know regarding the thing you can and can’t do while the R.V. is in motion, you also should know the general traffic rules, and these are:
Check Your Trailer Lights
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Checking your trailer lights is essential before hitting the road, which applies to all types of towable vehicles. The trailer lights of your pull-behind vehicle must be working correctly so the cars behind you can sense your signals, such as if you want to turn, brake, etc. One more thing is to aim the headlights upward because it can be dangerous if your headlights are directly in the other driver’s sight. Before you hit the road, check your headlights carefully and adjust them if needed.
Know The RVers RIGHT LANE
When on the road, keep in mind that R.V.s must stay at the RIGHT LANE every time, and if you ever get confused on the highways with four or more lanes, remain on either right lanes or the lanes for slow vehicles. In that case, you can avoid accidents on the road.
Check Parking Sites
Are you already tired from driving for too long? If that’s the case, you can pull over to the parking site near you to rest for a bit but check the areas first if it is okay to park in their parking space. Don’t forget to ask the personnel watching over in that place and do not decide on your own.
If you are still hesitant, get your phone, go to your google maps app and look for a campsite or business parking lot near you.
State Laws when riding in an RV
States have different rules and laws regarding how you should use your R.V. when you are on their property, and the good thing is you can check those out on Mobile RVing’s site.
RV Traffic Rules You Should Know In Canada
This section will discuss the R.V. traffic rules you should know in Canada because that is very important if you opt to travel to Canada. It is better to be prepared than to go on to something without even knowing a thing.
No Need For Another License
In Canada, you can drive most R.V.s with your regular license. So that means you can roam in most parts of the country using your regular license. However, there is a specific license that you must have to go to some provinces, but there is no need to meet the requirements of each place.
Wearing your seatbelt when you are in your Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhome is required, but some provinces let you enjoy RVing without your seatbelt on. Although they allow this no seatbelt, no problem policy, always go on to the safer side and wear your seatbelts every time your R.V. is in motion. It would be best if you practiced this thing, especially when you are traveling with kids.
Don’t Drink Your Alcohol Just Yet
If you remember, in the first section, we talked about if you are allowed to drink your favorite alcohol while the R.V. is in motion. To excite you up, that is okay as long as the passenger sitting next to the driver and the driver won’t have their drink because they are the ones that will have to ensure every passenger’s safety. However, it is illegal to have an open container in Canada once the R.V. is in motion, whether you’re the driver or just the passenger.
Run Your Generator
Since an R.V. is also a home, surely there will be a refrigerator and other appliances that need electricity. If you have your food stock in the fridge, you probably need to run your generator. The good news is it is okay to run your generator in most municipalities in Canada.
Caution: Propane On Board
When you have flammable materials such as propane gas, it is essential to secure them, ensure that they do not leak, and handle them cautiously. Ensure that it is away from doorsteps and stairs, and remember that bringing more than five (5) tanks is not allowed in Canada.
Now You Are Ready To Hit The Road!
Great! You’ve read all the things that this article has. To sum those up, remember that you are not allowed to sleep in your R.V.’s bedroom while it is in motion. Also, when traveling, always buckle yourself up and do not risk roaming inside the R.V. even if you want to get something. If you’re going to eat, it would be better if you already have a snack beside you so once the R.V. is moving, you don’t have to get up and walk inside. Do not forget to also check every state’s laws about driving R.V.s, propane gas, generator, air conditioner, and television. And if you are not sure about what to do while on the road, don’t be shy to ask for someone’s help.
It is also essential to check your propane gas, generator, solar panels, and headlights to work properly before your trip.
Now that you know the R.V. rules while driving, I believe you are ready to hit the road and go to the places you always wanted to visit. I hope this article helped you and informed you of what you can and can’t do while your R.V. is in motion.