As you cruise around on your adventures with family and friends, it’s important to know what specific traffic laws apply to your RV. There is nothing more discouraging than having to pay a traffic ticket or fine while on vacation when it could have been prevented! "Hakuna Matata" though! We’ll help you go through some RV traffic laws so you can keep an eye out the next time you travel!
Your RV Isn’t A Car
Alright, so your RV has four or more tires … that still doesn’t mean you can drive it like you drive your car. While driving an RV can be easy, it’s important to be a defensive driver. It may take some getting used to because it’s heavier, higher off the ground, and is weighted down. With all of these factors taken into consideration, make sure that while you’re driving you are aware of everything and everyone around you.
Lanes And Signs
While driving, be aware of where you drive. The driving rule of staying in the right lane except when passing is universal in most states. Stopping at red lights can differ from state to state. Some states you’re allowed to turn right on red, while in others, a sign will state that you cannot. Along with other road signs, keep your eyes peeled so while you’re driving your RV you can be aware of what the traffic laws are. It also helps to do a little pre-trip research. If you know you’ll be driving through several states in one day, take the time to look up their traffic laws and make a note of it. It never hurts to do your homework before traveling.
Having properly working RV lights is very important while driving, especially if you happen to come upon bad weather. You want people to see you! Before each trip and before leaving a place you’ve stopped, always do a quick light check! Test the brakes, turn signals, hazards, parking lights, and headlights to make sure all are functioning properly. Having a light out gives police a simple reason to pull you over. Also, because your RV is weighted down, it will force lights to point at a different angle, usually glaring into oncoming traffic. Be aware of this because it’s illegal. Have your lights aligned properly so that no one is being blinded as your drive down the road.
If you have traveled from state to state before, you’ll know that speed limits change. One minute you’ll be cruising at the designated 70mph speed limit, the next minute you're getting pulled over for speeding because you crossed state lines and are now in a 65mph zone. It’s important to be aware of speed limit changes in order to avoid traffic tickets and to keep others on the road safe.
Depending on the size of your RV, you may be required to carry specific things. Typically for larger RVs, you’ll be required to have safety chains, a breakaway switch, or trailer brakes. Be sure to check in your RV manual or online for specific weight requirements for such things. Some states will require your RV to have them depending on the weight, and other states won’t.
RV Hitches And Brakes
Again, depending on your RV, some states have different hitch requirements. Equalizing hitch, sway control, breakaway brakes,or independent brake system. Check the states you’ll be traveling through for their requirements and regulations.
Driving in your RV gives you the freedom for family and friends to sit wherever they please. Though some states don’t require back seat riders to be buckled up, it is better to be safe than sorry. As a driver especially, it is in your best interest and safety to be buckled at all times. Whether you're traveling to the Michigan Renaissance Fest for some 16th century entertainment or to see the awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis in Alaska, be informed of each state's rules for seat belts.
Listed below are the states that require the front seat only to be buckled while the vehicle is being operated: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
These are the states that require all passengers in RVs to be buckled at all times: Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming.
After purchasing an RV, check with your state’s Department of Licensing and see if you need to obtain a special driving license for your RV. Needing a special license will also be determined by the size of your RV.
Even though each state goes by different laws and regulations, it’s very important to research and check out which laws pertain to you and your RV. By doing so it will make for a fun, relaxed trip with no worries as you travel from state to state!