What States Can You Ride in a Travel Trailer or Fifth-Wheel? 3939

One of the best parts of owning an RV is that you get to take your home or second home with you on the road. It’s a place to relax and a way to enjoy new destinations and the open road. With that said, you or your loved ones may be wondering if they can ride in the travel trailer or fifth-wheel when it’s moving down the road.

Let’s take a closer look because this is a question I’ve seen pop up before.

Can You and Should You?

RV seating

This is a tricky situation because every state is different, and the rules even change depending on the type of RV you have. Many states have different rules for travel trailers and fifth-wheels. Then there’s the question of if it’s safe. Even if something is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe or smart to do.

Most towable RVs lack safety belts, meaning if you were to get in an accident with a passenger, they could be horribly injured or even killed. I would suggest you never ride in a travel trailer or a fifth-wheel unless it’s equipped with the proper safety belts, and even then, I would be somewhat hesitant due to the lack of airbags and other safety features.

With that said, I understand the appeal. One person could be driving and the rest of the family could lounge in the RV with more space and access to the kitchen or bathroom. It’s an enticing idea. While I don’t recommend it, I will say that several states allow it.

Where Can You Ride in a Travel Trailer or Fifth-Wheel?

travel trailer

According to AAA, multiple states allow passengers to ride in a travel trailer or fifth-wheel while it’s traveling down the road. I’ll list the states below.

However, double check with your state’s laws. These laws can change, and that would mean you’re no longer legal. Also, keep in mind that if you cross state lines, you now have to abide by the laws in that state.

States That Allow Riding in a Travel Trailer or Fifth-Wheel

The following states do allow you to ride in a travel trailer. However, each one has a different description of what kind of RV qualifies, so check your local laws.

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi 
  • Missouri
  • Montana (fifth-wheel only)
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania (fifth-wheel only)
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin (fifth-wheel only)

It’s important to note that most fifth-wheel only states only allow use if there’s a two-way communication device between the driver and the passenger in the fifth-wheel. Also, always double check the laws in your area or the areas you’ll be traveling to and through. As I said above, the laws can change, and what used to be legal may not always be.


Do you know the laws in your state? Leave a comment below!

What states can you ride in a travel trailer or fifth wheel

7 Comments

  1. Interesting article, first off, I have NEVER heard of any state allowing anyone to ride in the back of a travel trailer ( rear reciever ball hitch, bumper hitch) actually last I heard it was strictly prohibited. The ONLY RV that I have ever heard it was legal was in 5th wheel RVs. And it is specifically due to the hitching mechanism being mounted directly above the rear axle of the truck. I can only say it is legal in California to ride in a 5th wheel with conditions, 2-way communication between driver and inside RV, safety glass windows, unblocked doorway, and more. Further more I would never do it if I wasn’t meeting vehicle weight limits to the letter of the law. Finally, if everything else was a go, I would definitely use common sense while driving, reduced speed, (55 mph, Ca speed limit when towing ANYTHING.) I would also stay in communication with the occupants of the RV. Making sure all is good. Safe Travels

    1. Hey Gregg,
      I was surprised to find that there are states that allow it you to travel in a travel trailer. I assumed it would be prohibited everywhere, but according to AAA and some other resources I found, that’s not the case. Definitely, an interesting topic.

  2. Surprising! Having worked for Camping World for a number of years now, I always tell clients to check their local laws, but that I would never be comfortable having my family in a towable (FW or TT). Then again, I’m the kind of nervous mama who gets worried when my children go on school trips in those buses without seat belts! This is good info though. I’ll be sure to pass it on to clients who inquire from now on.

  3. Have you ever seen a travel trailer or fifth wheel that has been involved in an accident while being on a speedy highway? They splinter into thousands of pieces. It is absolutely a totally stupid idea to allow passengers to ride in these RVs, and I’m just guessing that few, if any, even have seatbelts. This article implying that it might be okay to ride in one of these vehicles when it’s moving should never have been posted..

    1. Hi, as I stated in the article I don’t think you should ever ride in a towable RV. With that said, I don’t see any problem educating people on the laws. I would never tell someone to ride in a towable RV, but it is ultimately up to them. If it is legal in their state, then they have the right to make that decision.

    2. I am a retired trooper from Arkansas. Riding in a 5th wheel is a fatal accident waiting to happen. I know, I investigated a few of them over the years. Believe me it is not worth the possible end result.

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