Can Passengers Ride In A Travel Trailer?

A travel trailer is a primarily safe vehicle for different categories of passengers who love to discover unexplored places. However, some American states banned using five-wheel motorhomes for traveling purposes because of high risks for passengers. Nevertheless, this transportation option is worth being chosen for incredible emotions and memories.

So, what could be more exciting than to welcome a new day in a cozy family travel trailer near the lakes or the middle of the Kansas desert? Perhaps, no one could refuse such a lovely idea. Riding in a camper van, new or used, is an excellent alternative for budgetary family vacations, extreme trips for friends, or a single outdoor journey for traveling enthusiasts.

Before you go in for a new adventure, you need to know some rules about passengers’ security, pets’ riding, and other driving restrictions accessible to travel trailers. In particular, every camper van driver should compile a brief traveling preparation checklist to eliminate any risk:

  • learn local laws and regulations of the state you are going to arrive;
  • follow the operation and maintenance instructions provided by towed trailer manufacturers;
  • prepare safety devices and first aid tools for secured trips;
  • ask for specific advice from experienced RV users to fill any practical or skilled gap.

What Are the Laws and Regulations for Transporting Passengers in a Travel Trailer?

Technical parameters of towed vehicles force drivers to obey specific laws and regulations. Only a few states dictate strict rules for fifth-wheel trucks used for traveling purposes. Such restrictions do not refer to the federal level. However, legislation proceedings are changeable, and every RV fan should keep in mind all amendments to laws on riding a camper with passengers.

Here you may find a brief description of the main points of legislative norms regarding transporting passengers in a towed trailer. In particular, local regulations include the following criteria which distinguish access or rejection to some models of motor homes:

  • Speed limits. This is the essential point, which depends on the in-force law territory;
  • Physical dimensions. The RV’s width and length limits are based on the sizes of parking lots or traffic stripes. For instance, a vast majority of states accept camping vans of 8 feet 5.5 inches in width and 40 feet in length;
  • Security options. Safety glass windows, car windshields, or additional protection facilities are adjusted in particular states.

Local Riding in Camper Laws

To understand the regional or local regulatory norms concerning motor homes used by travelers or outdoor journey enthusiasts, you need to differentiate between travel trailers, fifth wheels, and truck campers:

  • Travel trailers are commonly umbrella term for the RV towed vehicles dedicated to road trips due to their high mobility and flexibility qualities;
  • Fifth wheels are large and expensive alternatives to towed campers with 28` and more in height that allows them to compete per amenity and accessibility criteria;
  • Truck campers are independent gears that represent complete motor house facilities.

Find what towed trailer specifications are permitted per the US state in the table below.

StateTravel TrailersFifth WheelTruck Camper
AlabamaNot permittedNot permittedPermitted with 8-feet width and 40-feet length limits 
AlaskaNot permittedNot permittedPermitted 
Arizona (1)PermittedPermittedPermitted
ArkansasNot permittedNot permittedNot permitted
California (2)PermittedNot permittedPermitted
ColoradoNot permittedNot permittedPermitted with speed limits up to 75 mph
ConnecticutNot permittedNot permittedPermitted with gear limits up to 7.5 feet (width), 8 feet high and 24 feet in length
District of ColumbiaNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
DelawareNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
FloridaNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
GeorgiaNot permittedNot permittedPermitted with width limits up to 8 feet
HawaiiNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
IdahoNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
IllinoisNot permittedNot permittedPermitted with width limits up to 8 feet
Iowa (3)PermittedPermittedPermitted
KentuckyNot permittedNot permittedPermitted  with width limits up to 8 feet
LouisianaNot permittedNot permittedPermitted with width limits up to 8 feet
MaineNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
Maryland (4)PermittedPermittedPermitted
MassachusettsNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
MontanaPermittedNot permittedPermitted
NevadaNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
New Hampshire Not permittedNot permittedNot permitted
New Jersey PermittedNot permittedPermitted
New MexicoNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
New York (5)PermittedNot permittedPermitted
North Carolina (6)PermittedPermittedPermitted
North DakotaPermittedNot permittedPermitted
OhioNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
OklahomaNot permittedNot permittedPermitted with width limits up to 8 feet
OregonPermittedNot permittedPermitted
PennsylvaniaPermittedNot permittedNot permitted
Rhode IslandNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
South CarolinaPermittedNot permittedNot permitted
South DakotaPermittedNot permittedNot permitted
TennesseePermitted with width limits up to 8 feetNot permittedPermitted with width limits up to 8 feet
TexasNot permittedNot permittedPermitted with speed limits up to 70 mph during the day and 65 mph at night
UtahNot permittedNot permittedPermitted for trailers over 3000 points with breakaway braking system
VermontNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
VirginiaNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
WashingtonNot permittedNot permittedPermitted
West VirginiaPermittedNot permittedPermitted
Wisconsin PermittedNot permittedNot permitted
WyomingNot permittedNot permittedPermitted

1 –  Any trailer should not exceed 8 feet in width. Also, riding to Arizona lake with a towed camper and a boat, you need to follow specific restrictions;

2 –  California proclaims speed limits for cars with trailers up to 55 mph on freeways, and drivers are not entitled to tow more than one vehicle to their car;

3 – All trailers over 3 000 ponds are required to have equalizing hitches, sway control and brakes;

4 – Be careful with some tunnel roads, which are not allowed for towed trailers;

5 – In New York state, you may face troubles with parkways, riding or staying in a camper, due to respective local laws;

6 – North Carolina laws foresee an independent brake system for house trailers over 1 000 pounds.

How Can You Stay Safe While Driving With Passengers in a Travel Trailer or Camper?

In line with local legislative regulations, riding in a camper requires specific rules to protect your passengers inside the motor house while driving. Due to the complicated towed vehicle technical options like bedroom or kitchen space, people inside this traveling truck are risky to receive accidental damages even if they are in little emergencies.

You hardly find universal instructions for safe traveling in a travel trailer or camper. Indeed, you may split passenger protection measures into several precautions per vulnerable groups or vehicle in-danger parts:

  • safety glasses;
  • emergency access;
  • kids’ protection items;
  • pet zone;
  • communication.

Safety Glasses

RV engineers do not foresee safety window glasses for any towed or separated trailer model. However, install laminated or tempered glasses in your travel van to enhance inside protection for your passengers. For instance, safety layers protect people from bunches of glasses if your towed trailer is in an accident or other emergency.

Emergency Accesses

Two different entry doors in RV design impact the urgency of the first aid provision in case of an accident. Do not leave doors locked inside when riding in a towed camper with children or pets. Once your traveling van is crushed, and the main entrance is blocked, passengers could use an additional door to save their lives.

Kids’ Protection Items

Never leave kids or teenagers alone in a towed trailer without adult supervision. Playing activities could reduce careful attention and lead to accidental traumas. Luckily, cutting-edge gears provide extra protection items assembled to eliminate highly injury-provided situations and make a trip for the family safer. 

Pet Zone

Pets are categorically banned from traveling inside a towed camper without travel boxes. Small animals could be transported in their well-fixed travel boxes. However, dogs or cats may walk inside under strict supervision to reduce injury risks.


Communication is essential to providing a safe journey in a towed trailer. Do not forget to leave cell phones in a trailer separated from the leading car. This precautionary action keeps passengers in touch with a driver and saves them in case of emergencies inside or outside a van.

Discover More Local Regulations for RV Travels with Passengers

RV traveling has a range of precautions and local legislative restrictions. However, these traveling vehicles open new horizons and fabulous landscapes, which are worth adjusting to any obstacle or regulation. If you still have questions or assumptions about RV trips, you are free to contact us and receive all the required information.


Can You Ride in a Travel Trailer while Being Towed?

Riding in a camper while towed is a safe activity full of exciting adventures and specific rules justified by local laws. Do not refuse RV traveling if some states provide particular limits to speed or physical limits to van dimensions.

Can You Ride in a Fifth-Wheel Trailer while Being Towed?

In general, due to considerable outer limitations, 5th wheel trailers are not allowed for passenger transportation. Some states are permitted to use this camper alternative if you do not use a towed model.

What States Allow to Ride in a Travel Trailer with Passengers?

Twenty-two states, including New York, Kansas, California, and Pennsylvania, welcome travelers in towed trailers despite slight rules regarding parking, speed limits, engineering features, or physical dimensions.

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