Things to know before setting out in a RV

Tips & how-to, Travel

Vacations look a lot different in the COVID era. We’ve swapped international travel for local adventures and airplanes for SUVs.


The hotel room also appears to be on the way out, with travelers instead opting for RVs. These moving accommodations deliver both increased convenience and much-needed peace of mind. They allow vacationers to bypass hotel check-in and other potential sources of contact. 


RVs are far from risk-free. The very travelers who take every effort to wear masks and use hand sanitizer often expose themselves to a variety of road-based hazards. If all occupants behave responsibly, however, the RV can provide a safe and valuable alternative to traditional travel.


If you’re like many cautious vacationers, you’ve pondered the question, “Should I buy or rent an RV?” Keep the following hazards in mind as you determine whether you’re willing to take on the unique risks associated with these increasingly popular vehicles.


Alcohol And RVs

After months of being stuck inside, you might be ready for a strong drink outside of your home. If somebody else is in charge of driving, you might be tempted to enjoy a cold beer on the road. 


Think again. While no federal mandates currently prohibit alcohol consumption among RV passengers, it’s technically banned in several states.


Open container laws vary significantly from one region to the next. California and Maine, for example, allow RV passengers to drink. In Florida, however, legality depends on the size of the RV. In Wisconsin, open containers are out of the question. 


Given the complications of these local laws, it’s generally advisable to play it safe and reserve the booze for the campfire.


Walking Inside a Traveling RV


As with alcohol regulations, seat belt laws — especially as they pertain to RVs — differ between states. Some states require all occupants to keep their seat belts buckled at all times. In other states, however, seat belt laws only apply to drivers and front passengers. Regardless of local legislation, it’s safest for passengers to stay seated until the vehicle comes to a full stop.


What Happens If I Get in an Accident?

No matter how responsible the driver, the potential for accidents always exists. The unique size and shape of RVs can make them vulnerable to rollovers, side-swipes, and head-on collisions. These accidents are even more likely when RV drivers suffer from exhaustion or sleep deprivation after logging long hours on the road.


When crashes occur, it’s important to seek medical attention and legal assistance right away, as intervention can play a huge role in ensuing personal injury cases. 


As you embark on your RV adventure, take care to follow the rules of the road. Be prepared for emergencies — both physical and legal. A little advanced planning can save you a world of trouble.

Additional Resources

Do I need a special license to drive an RV?

Buying an RV? Here’s what to look for to avoid RV fraud

Car Lemon Law vs. RV Lemon Law