Most people who travel in an RV aren’t full-time travelers. They’re looking to get to their next location as quickly as possible because they have a short time to enjoy a vacation. But when planning a road trip or a short route for a weekend camping trip, it’s important to keep in mind how long you’ll be driving and if there may be RV legal restrictions.
Long drive days can be exhausting. Kids get restless. Parents get annoyed. Things happen to delay your arrival. So we recommend following a general rule for how long you’ll drive in a day.
Although there aren’t legal restrictions, you should follow some suggestions to make a drive day more enjoyable. Let’s dive in!
How Far Can You Drive an RV in One Day?
How far you can drive an RV in one day depends on your comfort level and experience. New RVers shouldn’t drive longer than a few hours.
RVers with small children also shouldn’t drive longer than a few hours. But seasoned RVers who are used to the grind that travel days bring can typically go longer.
Most people have limited vacation days from work. So to get the most out of your road trip, you’ll probably have to drive longer distances than someone traveling around the country for months. But again, this varies from traveler to traveler.
Are There RV Legal Restrictions for How Long You Drive in a Day?
There are no legal restrictions on how long you can drive an RV per day. If you want to pull an all-nighter while the kids sleep, go ahead and drive through the night.
We don’t recommend it, but it’s not illegal. If you have to get back to work in two days and need to travel 600 miles, then start early and drive all day to get back home.
Again, we don’t recommend it, but it’s necessary for some RVers to enjoy shorter vacations.
Pro Tip: Avoid committing any of these 7 Deadly Sins of Road Trips.
What Is the 2-2-2 Rule for RVing?
Many RVers follow the 2-2-2 Rule or 3-3-3 Rule for RVing. These aren’t set in stone but rather guidelines to help travelers make good, safe decisions while traveling.
RVers who follow the 2-2-2 Rule won’t travel as long in one day as RVers who follow the 3-3-3 Rule.
These travelers choose to drive no more than 200 miles a day, stop every two hours, and stay two nights in each location.
In addition, you can apply a fourth “2” by arriving no later than 2 p.m. By following this rule, you ensure you remain alert while driving.
It also gives you enough daylight hours to deal with problems like construction, traffic, tire blowouts, or other surprises during the drive.
Plus, you arrive with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the afternoon before needing to figure out what’s for dinner.
What Is the 3-3-3 Rule for RVing?
Like the other, the 3-3-3 Rule sets guidelines on the length of driving on a travel day. Travelers who follow this rule go no more than 300 miles a day, stop every three hours, and stay three nights or more in each location.
They may also choose to arrive no later than 3 p.m. These guidelines work the same way as the 2-2-2 Rule but for people who want to travel a bit farther than 200 miles. Thus, they may set the 3-3-3 Rule as their standard.
Pro Tip: Take a closer look to uncover Is The 3/3/3 Roadtrip Rule Unrealistic?
Can You Sleep in an RV on the Side of the Road?
While you can sleep in an RV on the side of the road, there are some RV legal restrictions around what roads you can actually sleep on. You can’t pull off on the shoulder of an interstate and sleep for the night. Plus, that’s just not safe.
But some rest areas and travel centers will allow overnight parking. Call ahead to find out the rules since every location is different.
Another option for sleeping overnight is becoming a member of Harvest Hosts or Boondockers Welcome.
With this membership, RVers can stay overnight in beautiful locations, usually near interstates, like golf courses, wineries, breweries, museums, churches, and even people’s driveways. These are much safer options, and some even provide hookups.
Cracker Barrel, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Walmart, and casinos can also provide quick overnight stays.
Again, like rest areas and travel centers, you’ll want to ensure the locations allow overnight stays as they vary from place to place. Always follow proper etiquette for boondocking.
Can Passengers Move Around in an RV While Driving?
If you have a motorized RV, passengers may get up to use the bathroom or to make a sandwich. No legal restriction prevents this, but it’s not very safe.
So if you need to get up and move around, always do so carefully. Or you may need to pull over for a couple of minutes. Furthermore, children need to remain in car seats and safely buckled throughout the drive if possible.
Is It Safe to Drive an RV at Night?
Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. You may have a long drive to get back to work or to reach a family member in the hospital. Or you’ll have a short drive that turns into a long one because of problems along the way.
Either way, sometimes you can’t follow the 2-2-2 or 3-3-3 Rule of RVing. But when you can, it’s always the safer bet.
You don’t stress yourself out and get exhausted with a long drive day. You arrive with plenty of daylight to get set up. And you allow for flexibility.
Travel days don’t always go smoothly. So to prepare for the unexpected, leave early and don’t plan on traveling too far.
What’s your general rule for traveling in an RV? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
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