Posted on 02/08/22

Rules On The Road How Do Vanlife Safely

Rules On The Road How Do Vanlife Safely

You have found the ideal recreational vehicle to fulfill your #vanlife dreams. You can live anywhere you want, whether you're driving an RV or hauling a trailer. It doesn't matter if you are looking for a short-term vacation or a permanent living arrangement, it is always a good idea to learn the rules of driving before you take the wheel.

Although you may not have an HOA, there are still things to think about when you take your home with you on the road. These include where you can park overnight and what type of licensing is required. There are also safety rules that differ from one state to another. It is important to be familiar with the laws of your RV class before you travel. This will ensure that your trip is smooth and enjoyable.

This blog post provides a basic overview. It is a good idea, especially when it comes to towing larger vehicles, to check the laws in your state and city before you go. Each area will have its own regulations. These rules may only be applicable to the state where your vehicle is registered, like licensing.


You're now on your journey. It's wonderful and liberating to be on the road. It's clear that you have a great spot at your next destination. But it will take several days to reach there. Then you start to wonder "Where can I park overnight?"

Here are some safe options for those who need to park overnight in a spot near your camper or car.


Most states have laws that prohibit you from spending the night in rest areas. You can go to the toilet, have a snack, or take a nap but you shouldn't stay overnight. Each state has its own limits on how long you can spend at a rest area before you get into trouble. We wouldn't recommend that you stay at a rest site for more than 4hours in Minnesota or 10hours in Nebraska. Don't worry, there are still many options.


Most casinos offer overnight RV or trailer parking. While some casinos won't charge a penny, others might require you to pay a fee. You have the option to find one on your route, but it doesn't matter what.

Other overnight-RV parking honorable mentions include Cracker Barrel and Costco, Walmart, Flying J Truck Stops, and Costco. More information about safe to park spots can be found here.


Let's suppose you just bought your dream RV/camper van and it's now sitting in your driveway. Is it legal to drive it? You don't need additional licensing to drive it in some states like Arizona, Ohio, and Washington.

However, some states require a Locate your state to find out what licensing is required to get your RV on the road.

Another excellent place to find out about RV licensing requirements is the state-by-state breakdown by Campanda Magazine.


If RVs don't appeal to you and you prefer to attach a fifth-wheel or trailer to your truck or SUV, you might be able to add additional safety features such as mirrors and brake systems. This is a guideline only. Each state has its own requirements.


Federal law requires that trailers weighing over 3,000 lbs and being used commercially must be registered. GVWR trailers must have brakes. It can be difficult to define what "commercial purposes" means, and different laws in different states may have different rules.

The 3,000 lb. The rule is fairly standard across most states with some exceptions. Massachusetts, for example, requires that trailers with a gross weight greater than 10,000 lbs have either air or electric brakes. Michigan requires independent brakes when a trailer weighs more than 15,000 pounds.

Be sure to check your state's weight requirements and 3k rule before you transport your travel trailer.


All cars, vans, and RVs require rear-vision mirrors. This is a common requirement across the country. Each state has its own rules about when and where rear-view mirrors are required for longer vehicles or trailers.

If your standard mirrors cannot see beyond your vehicle or trailer ( particularly if you have an interior mirror that is blocked), then extended trailer mirrors may be worth the cost. You'll be allowed to drive in the country as long as your standard mirrors can see 200 feet beyond the end of the vehicle or trailer you are driving.


All vehicles must have the same combination of reflectors and lights. But how can you tell which ones are right for your trailer? These features will be present in RVs and campervans, but trailers have different requirements.

The federal law states that trailers must comply with:

  • Redtail lamps
  • Red stop lamps
  • Reflectors for front, side, and rear
  • A license plate lamp
  • Rear turn signals
  • Rear hazard signals.

Always verify the state that your vehicle is registered to.


It is important to understand which class of vehicle your vehicle falls within when it is on the road.

It is a good idea to know the weight, height, and length of your vehicle, or trailer before you travel from one state to another.

Have you found the perfect #vanlife vehicle, but aren't sure how to ship it? We can help! We can help you realize your dream of living on the road. Get instant quotes for RV and camper van or travel trailer shipping at Move Car.