What You Can and Can't Do While Driving an RV

Whether you’re an RV newbie or an experienced RVer, knowing RV rules while driving makes for a safe and stress-free trip. Here’s what you need to know.
rv rules while driving

Photo Credit: Instagram User @kristamayphotography


If you ask us, there’s nothing better than cruising down the open road in an RV, rolling towards the next great adventure. Turns out, RVers across the country agree! In fact, The RV Industry Association found that 90% of RV-owning households take at least three trips with their recreational vehicle or trailer every year. 

We hope you’re joining in on all the RV fun and staying safe while you’re on the road. That’s why we compiled this guide explaining RV rules while driving. Before you load up and head out, get answers to your questions, including:

  • Can you walk around in an RV while driving?
  • Can you use the bathroom in an RV while driving?
  • Can you run your generator while driving an RV?

RV Rules While Driving: What to Know

Since your RV is a home on wheels, you have access to amenities that other drivers don’t. But what are the RV driving rules that apply to your vehicle? Read on to find out!

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Can you sit in an RV while driving?

First up, can a passenger sit in the living area of the RV while the RV is on the road? The answer depends on the type of RV you are inside. Class A, Class B and Class C motorhomes offer passengers the ability to sit in the back while the vehicle is in motion. This is because these types of motorhomes are equipped to withstand driving accidents.

To be clear, travel trailers and campers do not fit the criteria for safe passenger transport; they lack safety features that motorhomes contain. First off, there are typically no seatbelts in trailers and campers. Secondly, these types of mobile homes are not designed to protect passengers in the event of a car crash. 

If you are in a Class A, B or C motorhome, sitting in the backseat is an option. Depending on the state, you may be required to remain seated and buckled in for the duration of the ride. We’ll dive into RV driving rules on seat belts in just a bit! 

Can you use the bathroom in an RV while driving?

Bathroom breaks are a necessary part of any road trip. But does the RV have to roll into a rest area before passengers can use the RV toilet? Nope. 

The good news is that you can use the RV bathroom while the vehicle is in motion. Because the electrical systems are in action while the car is on the road, you can use the bathroom and flush with the water pump as normal. This rule applies to Class A, B and C motorhomes.

However, some states require all passengers in an RV to remain seated the entire time that the vehicle is in motion. If this is the case in the state you’re traveling in, you’ll need to pull over to use the onboard bathroom. 

In states where moving in an RV is allowed, it’s still wise to stop the vehicle before using the RV bathroom. This way, there is no need to worry about how sudden stops, turns or a collision could injure someone in the RV bathroom.   

Can you sleep in an RV while driving?

This question might seem pretty straightforward at first. After all, the driver of an RV shouldn’t be asleep while they are driving the vehicle! But what about the passengers? 

Passenger safety is key when driving an RV. This is why it’s important to follow all RV seat belt laws. Seat belt laws are especially important when it comes to taking a quick nap in a moving RV. If you can sleep while sitting up in an RV passenger seat, then you’re free to sleep! Just make sure you’re properly buckled in for your safety.

Conversely, sleeping in an RV bed while someone is driving is not allowed. Even if you live in a state where all passengers aren’t required to wear a seatbelt, it isn’t safe. If your RV comes to a quick stop, your sleeping passenger may end up falling out of bed. Make sure you stay safe if you’re looking to get some shut-eye while out on the road! 

Can you walk around in an RV while driving?

It’s understandable that RV passengers will want to use their RV’s amenities while someone else is driving. However, this is not always possible. Your state’s seat belt laws will determine whether or not you can walk around in an RV while driving. 

Some states have stricter seat belt laws than others. For example, Georgia requires that all passengers wear a seat belt when a vehicle is in motion. This means that you can’t get up to walk around because you’ll have to unbuckle your seat belt. 

If you live in a state where the seat belt laws aren’t as strict, can you walk around your RV? In this scenario, you might be tempted to walk around your RV while it’s in motion. Standing up in an RV can be difficult to do. Additionally, if the RV makes a quick stop or shifts, you might become unbalanced. 

Can you run your generator while driving an RV?

The short answer to this question is yes. While some RVs don’t come with a generator, some models do. Typically, your RV’s generator is designed to provide 120-volt electrical power to RV amenities when outside power isn’t available. This allows you to use your RV when traveling where you can’t use an electrical hook-up. 

It is important to know that your generator uses a gallon of fuel each hour when in use. This fuel supply is shared with the engine of your RV. While using the generator isn’t going to drain your fuel tank, it will shut off if it reaches ¼ tank capacity. 

Because your generator powers several different amenities in your RV, you might wonder what else you can use while driving. 

Can you run an RV air conditioner while driving?

Your RV’s generator can power your RV’s rooftop air conditioner. So, you can run your air conditioner if your generator is on while you’re driving. Just keep your fuel tank’s capacity in mind and turn off your AC before turning your generator off. 

Is RV refrigerator operation allowed while driving?

Another appliance you can use with your generator is your refrigerator. When your refrigerator is on AC mode, the RV generator can supply power to it. So, you can operate an RV’s fridge while you’re driving. The same rule of thumb for using your air conditioner applies to your refrigerator as well. Remember that your generator uses the same fuel tank as your engine. Plus, make sure that you turn your electrical appliances off before turning your generator off. 

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