Is It Legal to Sleep in a Moving RV?

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Is It Legal to Sleep in a Moving RV?

One of the selling points of a drivable RV is that you can quickly and easily access your sleeping space. There’s nothing better than jumping into a comfy bed after a long day of driving.

However, what if you’re tag-teaming your drive with a partner and want to sleep while they take the wheel? Is it even legal? Is it safe?

There are so many aspects to consider, and today we’re taking a closer look.

Let’s get started!

Can You Sleep in a Pull-Behind RV While Moving?

In many states, you can sleep in a pull-behind RV while moving. Nineteen states allow individuals to be inside a fifth wheel, and 11 states allow travel trailers.

However, it’s important to note that pull-behind RVs can get bumpy when traveling down the road. It’s not uncommon for drawers or cabinets to open during transit.

Whether sleeping is legal depends on where you’re traveling.

However, even if it’s legal, it might not be a very restful experience.

Woman sleeping in RV on roadtrip.
It may be tempting for passengers to sleep while the RV is in motion, but it is not always legal.

Can You Sleep in a Motorhome While Moving?

When it comes to sleeping in a motorhome, it’s a bit of a yes and no answer. Yes, you can legally sleep in something such as a Class A RV while it’s moving. However, you must be wearing a seatbelt. So you won’t exactly be crawling back into bed.

There are a few exceptions. If it’s a commercial vehicle, it likely has a paid professional driver performing their duties under DOT regulations. However, most of us aren’t traveling around with professional drivers and therefore can’t catch a nap on the road.

Pro Tip: Different class sizes offer different benefits for RV travel, so we put together a list of The Pros and Cons of RV Class Types.

Older male passenger seated in RV motorhome.
It is best to stay seated when your RV is in motion and not move about the interior until you are parked.

Can You Sleep in a Camper Van While Moving?

While camper vans may feel like a hybrid between a commercial and consumer vehicle, they have the same sleeping restrictions as other RVs. All passengers inside a moving camper van must wear a seatbelt.

However, you can take a quick cat nap from any seat, except the driver’s seat, while a camper van is moving. What’s important is that you’re in a seat and wearing a seatbelt. You can sleep, but you’ll likely need to sleep in an upright position.

It may not be comfortable, but you can still get a quick nap.

Can You Sit in or Use the Bathroom in a Moving Motorhome?

If you’re traveling in a Class A, Class B, or Class C motorhome, you don’t have to pull over when nature calls. You can move around the interior of the motorhome. However, it’s a good reminder that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

As with sleeping, walking about the RV while it’s in motion, whether to go to the bathroom or grab a snack, can be dangerous. If the driver has to hit the brakes, it could cause falls and injuries.

Pro Tip: Avoid needing a day time nap altogether by getting a better night’s sleep. Here is How to Sleep Better in Your RV.

Child in RV van wearing seatbelt while falling asleep.
Passengers in RVs are still required to wear seatbelts in most states while the vehicle is moving.

Do You Have to Wear Your Seat Belt in a Motorhome? 

Most states require seat belts in all passenger vehicles. If you’re caught not wearing a seat belt, you risk getting a citation for each individual not wearing one. These fines can range from $10 to $200 but can be exponentially higher if a passenger is under 18.

Is It Safe to Sleep in a Moving RV? 

Watching the mile markers pass by can be hypnotizing, especially for passengers. As tempting as it may be to climb into bed while traveling down the road, it’s not safe. The safest place to take your nap is in your seat with your seat belt buckled.

If you’re not restrained, you risk severe injury from an accident. Are you able to sleep while someone else is driving?

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