You have all this extra seating space and a cozy bed while you’re traveling. Many people would love to be able to use these amenities on the road for passenger space. You know it’s perfectly legal to ride in the back of a motorhome but, is it legal to ride in an RV while it’s being towed? The answer to that isn’t cut and dry so you have to take a look at the kind of RV you’re towing, and where you are!
The laws regarding towing handed down by the federal government are pretty vague and mostly have to do with the construction of the RV, and how they are towed. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything in there about passengers riding in them. This is because it’s left up to the states. Each state governs their own laws on what RVs can be ridden in and any special laws that go along with this. We’ve put together a table with each state, what they allow, and any specific notes or rules that have been added. We've even added info for Canada in case you plan to travel north! Regardless of if it’s legal or not, you want to make sure to take some safety precautions when riding in a towed RV.
Only some of the states require these safety precautions, but we feel it would be good to follow them in any instance. Always be prepared for what may come and keep yourself and your passengers safe. The best way to stay safe is not to ride in a towed vehicle, but if you plan to do so, check out the following.
If your RV did not come with safety glass windows, don’t ride in it until you can get them switched out. Safety glass windows have a layer of material in between two pieces of glass that is bonded to them. This layer helps hold the glass together in the event that it breaks. This is the same way that car windshields are made. If you get into an accident, a rock kicks up, or the widow is broken for whatever reason, safety glass helps make sure the passengers are not pelted with shards of glass.
Ensure those riding in the RV and those in the tow vehicle have a means of communication between one another. This could be cell phones, 2-way radios, being able to visual signal one another. This way if anything happens in either vehicle the information can be relayed to the other vehicle. If an injury occurs in the RV, you want to be able to tell the driver to stop or seek medical treatment. If something is going on out on the road, you want the driver to be able to tell the passengers in the RV to brace themselves or hold on if things are going to get bumpy.
This may seem like a no brainer, but don’t allow young children to ride in the RV without adult supervision. There is a lot to get into in the RV and they can end up in a hazardous situation. You also want someone in there to ensure they stay seated the entire time. As you may remember from the school bus, you never want to walk around a moving vehicle.
Ensure either side can gain access! Don’t lock the door and then tow the vehicle down the road with someone in it. If you were to get in an accident with the doors locked, emergency responders would be delayed in getting into the RV to administer medical treatment. You want to ensure that the door can be opened from the inside as well. This would allow able passengers to escape a dangerous situation before emergency workers even arrive.
Riding in a towed RV is legal in some states, however, that does not make it safe. Our first suggestion will always be not to do it! If you are going to do it, plan your route and ensure that you will not be traveling through any areas where it’s not allowed, and then ensure you take safety precautions. Please note that while we have done the research on what is allowed in what states and provinces, we cannot guarantee when/if these laws will change. Always double-check the current law to ensure you’re not breaking any rules.