RV Rentals for Beginners: Rules of the Road

 / By Lazydays - On the Road RV Tips Road Trip Ideas
Renting an RV and enjoying the lifestyle means you have the freedom of the open road at your fingertips.

However, there are a few rules when it comes to driving an RV. RV traffic laws can be extensive, covering everything from weight limits to parking, and vary from state to state. Here are a few general tips about RV traffic laws and rules of the road every first-time RV renter should know:

The Basics

Just like normal vehicles, all RVs must follow posted signs and speed limits. Each class of RV or motorhome is legally classified as an RV. This means that the same RV traffic laws apply if you’re driving a pick-up truck with a pop-up camper or a Class A motorhome.

Depending on if your RV is a towable or motorized, speed limits will vary from state to state whether you’re driving on the interstate or in a city/residential area. We recommend checking the RV speed limits in every state your RV vacation will take you.

Towing

No matter if you have a towable fifth wheel or travel trailer, or you will be towing a car, boat or other vehicles, you should be well informed on RV towing laws. Like all traffic laws, these vary from state to state, so we recommend doing some research prior to renting an RV for your trip.

Each state has specific requirements that apply to trailer length, weight and safety equipment required. For example, Iowa requires brakes, sway control and equalizing hitches on trailers over 3,000 lbs. The allowability of your towable RV being able to have passengers is another critical law that varies on a state by state basis. Some states like Alaska, Louisiana and New Mexico only allow passengers in pickup campers. Others like New Jersey, Montana and North Carolina allow passengers to ride in all towable trailers.

Parking and Other Rules of the Road

Parking your RV outside of a campground or RV resort is another thing all first-time RVers should be mindful of. Laws regarding where it’s allowable to park your RV will vary on a city by city level, so make sure to check before stopping for the day or night. Overnight parking laws must be considered. These laws depend on what kind of area you’ll be parking in, whether it’s a residential neighborhood, rest area or other location.

Other laws to consider include open container laws if you will be transporting alcohol in your RV. Even if it is in your RV’s refrigerator, some states have very strict laws on carrying any open alcohol in a moving vehicle.

Distracted driving laws are becoming more prevalent across the country as well. You should never drive an RV while using a cell phone or while distracted in any capacity. We recommend researching the distracted driving laws in the states you will be traveling in to understand the full extent of any present law.

For first-time RVers looking to shore up their RV driving skills, enroll in the Lazydays RV driver confidence course to get comfortable behind the wheel. Feel free to check out these frequently asked questions many RV renters have or contact Lazydays RV Rentals to get started on your next RV vacation!

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