Can Passengers Ride In RV Trailer?

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If traveling on the road with others, you may be using an RV trailer to take along for camping and long-distance road trips. What if you have other people with you? Is it legal for passengers to ride in an RV trailer?

It is legal to ride in an RV trailer in the following states: Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North Carolina. However, there are some safety precautions that you need to follow to ensure that your passengers are riding safely.

Keep in mind that other states have different rules regarding travel trailers. These may specify size, hitch type, brakes, safety glass, and other requirements. If you live in a state where it is legal for passengers to ride in an RV trailer, we have some safety precaution tips that you should follow. Keep reading to learn more about these precautions and why it may not be legal for passengers to ride in RV trailers while the vehicle is in motion.

Safety Precautions For RV Trailer Traveling

In states where it is allowable for passengers to ride in an RV trailer, it is important to take the necessary safety precautions regardless if they are required by law or not. If you are traveling with other people to a campsite in your state, that is one thing. But if you are traveling across different states, passengers in a travel trailer are not recommended as you may travel through a state that prohibits such travel.

However, if you are staying in-state it is important to take note of the following safety precautions so you and your passengers can stay safe:

Safety Glass

If choosing a travel trailer, one of the things that may not be popping up in your mind is safety glass. Not all RV trailers will have this feature. Before passengers travel inside the trailer, make sure that the windows are replaced with safety glass (which can be laminated or tempered). This safety glass is much tougher compared to the original windows and will have a lesser chance of breaking.

In the event of an accident, there will be a lesser chance of glass being thrown at passengers. This, of course, means lesser glass-related injuries.

No Children Should Ride

This safety precaution should be standard practice to begin with. Young children may want to move around rather than sit in one place. For this reason, this can pose a safety hazard if they are riding in RV trailers.

Instead, they should ride in the vehicle that is towing the trailer. As always, use car seats or booster seats if necessary. If the children are older, you may want to use your better judgment here. Sure, they may have grown up, but that may not mean anything.

As a rule of thumb, anyone under the age of 16 should be traveling in a regular vehicle as opposed to riding in an RV trailer.

Neither Should Pets

Like children, pets may not stay in one place at a time. And they might act like you left them somewhere that is unfamiliar.  So they will need to ride in the vehicle with you.

Pets should be in travel crates if need be. Also, they should not travel with you if you are traveling solo. So have a group of people with you if you are planning on bringing pets with you on the trip.


Should an accident occur, you want the passengers to get out safely. This means that the travel trailers must be unlocked while the trailer is occupied. If your passengers are injured and unable to move, the ease of accessibility will be easier for emergency rescue personnel so they can administer treatment.

Depending on the severity of the accident, it is important for passengers that are uninjured and able to get out to escape as soon as possible. That’s because a vehicle may be leaking fuel, which can lead to an even greater disaster such as a fire.

Where Is It Legal To Travel In An RV Trailer?

It is legal to travel in an RV trailer in ten states. Those states are Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North Carolina. In the remaining states, it is prohibited to ride in a travel RV mainly due to safety reasons.

Specifically, the laws cite the lack of safety features that are found on RV trailers. However, in the states that are legal, you must comply with any safety rules and regulations that apply. To play it safe, you should ensure that the RV trailer is safe for passenger travel by installing safety glass and other additional features.

Even if there are no rules or safety regulations in your state, it would be smart to consider adding safety features as if the law requires them. It is better to make sure everyone is able to escape injury easily in the event of an accident rather than the exact opposite.

Failure to comply with certain safety procedures can result in fines.

What If I Am Riding In A Different Type Of RV?

Yes, there are laws that apply to different types of RVs. This includes 5th Wheel and Truck Campers. For example, if your RV is a 5th Wheel, it is legal to have passengers ride in it in 19 states. Riding as a passenger inside the camper area of a truck camper is legal in all except for the following states: Arkansas, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.

What Appliances Can Be Used While An RV Trailer Is In Motion?

For safety purposes, no appliances should be used while an RV trailer is moving. This includes using microwaves or stoves. While cooking something, you may hit a bump or uneven roadways, thus making it unsafe for any tasks to be performed. If you or any passengers want to use any appliances, please do so when the trailer is at a complete stop.

What To Do Next?

If you live in a state where it is legal for passengers to ride in an RV trailer, your next move is to check to see if it is compliant for safety purposes. For example, see if the windows need to be switched out for safety glass. 

Furthermore, make sure that passengers riding with you stay seated at all times while the vehicle is in motion. Check the lock mechanisms to ensure that the doors can be locked and unlocked. Also, make sure that the doors are easily accessible so passengers can escape in the event of an accident.

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