By definition, an RV vehicle is a van that is generally used for camping or traveling longer distances. RV stands for a recreational vehicle, usually equipped with beds, a kitchen area, and a bathroom.
The difficulty of driving an RV largely depends on the driver’s comfort level and driving experience. Some RVs are relatively the same size as cars, so most will find it easy to maneuver the vehicle without prior experience.
However, if the RV is more significant, you may need to learn how it moves and practice before driving on the open road. But can you drive RV with regular license? Let’s see!
Requirements for Driving an RV
Can you drive RV with regular license? In most states, if the RVs are under 26,000 pounds, you can drive RV them with a regular driver’s license. However, the best way to ensure what type of license you need is to contact your state’s DMV, which will provide you with their exact requirements.
Some states may even require you to have a special license based on the vehicle’s length. If your drive RV exceeds your state’s required maximum weight or length, you must apply for a special license. Commercial (CDL) and Class B are the most often required drive RV licenses.
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
Commercial driver licenses are often used when driving a vehicle for commercial purposes, such as buses, delivery vehicles, and trucks. Some states require you to have a commercial driver’s license for your RV if it passes its maximum weight requirement.
If your RV is over 26,000 pounds, you will need a Class B CDL, or if you are driving more than one vehicle over 26,000 pounds, you will need a Class A CDL.
However, some states do not distinguish CDLs into different categories. For a CDL, you will need to take a vision test, a written exam, and a road skills exam.
Non-Commercial Driver’s License
While a regular driver’s license is in this category, you might need a specialized non-commercial license when driving an RV. In some states, non-commercial driver’s licenses can have different variations that meet specific requirements.
Requirements for a specialized non-commercial driver’s license for an RV usually depend on the vehicle’s weight class. For a non-commercial license, you need to make an appointment with the DMV for a vision exam, written test, and driving test.
Do You Need A Special License To Drive RV?
Differences Between an RV and a Standard Vehicle
The bigger your RV is, the bigger the difference between it and a standard vehicle like your car. However, if you are driving an RV under 26,000 pounds, you may find it easier and faster to adjust to driving it on the road.
You must be even more careful when driving an RV, especially while turning. If you plan on driving an RV, you will also need to get acquainted with the roads you will drive RV on, as only some are RV friendly, especially if they have low bridges.
Another difference between RVs and standard vehicles is in their tires. Most RV tires have way lower speed ratings than tires on standard vehicles. Also, tire blowouts are common in RVs, which can severely damage your vehicle, so avoid adding improper pressure on the tires and excessive speeding.
RVs also have larger blind spots than standard vehicles due to their size, so you will need to adjust your side mirrors properly and regularly check them.
Factors to Consider When Driving an RV
Size and Weight of the RV
The RV’s size and weight are the main factors in knowing if you need a special driver’s license or if your regular one is sufficient. As I mentioned, if your vehicle is below 26,000 pounds, most states will allow you to drive RV with a regular driver’s license.
However, you must also see if there are any length requirements because some states, besides having a maximum weight limit, also have a maximum length. The biggest RVs are between 26 to 45 feet in length and can weigh up to 30,000 pounds.
Special Licenses and Insurance Requirements
If your RV weighs over 26,000 pounds in the following states, you will need the following:
- California: Class B non-commercial license.
- Michigan: recreational double “R” endorsement, besides a regular operator license, if you tow a fifth wheel and a trailer.
- Maryland: Class B non-commercial license.
- North Carolina: Class B for a single vehicle, Class A for a combination of vehicles.
- New Mexico: Class B for a single vehicle, Class A for a combination of vehicles.
- Nevada: Class B for a single vehicle, Class A for a combination of vehicles.
- Pennsylvania: Class A non-commercial license for an RV with a trailer. Class B non-commercial without a trailer.
- Texas: Class B non-commercial license.
- Washington: Class B for a single vehicle, Class A for a combination of vehicles.
- Wyoming: Class A non-commercial for RVs towing over 10,000 pounds. Class B non-commercial license for towing under 10,000 pounds.
Commercial Drivers license for over 26,000 is needed in:
- Connecticut: CDL
- Hawaii: CDL
- Kansas: Class A CDL
- New York: Class B CDL
- South Carolina: Class B CDL for a single vehicle, Class A CDL for a combination of vehicles.
- Indiana: CDL
- Wisconsin: CDL
These plans provide liability protection for losses or damages associated with parking or using an RV as your primary residence, much like homeowner’s insurance does.
Campsite liability insurance is designed for drive RV owners who only live in their vehicles part-time. This kind of insurance is intended for people who use their RVs occasionally for camping.
It offers many advantages as full-timers insurance, such as coverage for accident-related medical costs for spectators or drive RV occupants.
RV Emergency Expense Coverage
Some RV insurers reimburse owners for costs incurred while the RV is being repaired if two requirements are met:
- The losses happened within a predetermined radius of the RV.
- The RV owners suffered the losses while the car was being fixed.
So, can you drive RV with regular license? If you are still wondering, the answer is yes, if the vehicle is under 26,000 pounds. For RVs over that weight limit, you will need a special license that meets the requirements set by each state.