Friday, December 1, 2023


What length RV should require a special driver’s license

A rather long RV!

Do you ever think that perhaps the drivers of bus-sized motorhomes or 60-foot fifth-wheeler/truck combinations should be required to obtain a special driver’s license? Or do you believe things are just fine as they are, with no special license?

Is there a certain length of RV that you think is just too long to not require a special license? Now’s your chance to voice your opinion.

The poll may take a few moments to load, so stand by.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Jillie (@guest_31328)
5 years ago

I am a school bus driver and do see how some struggle to drive these big rigs. Not just mine but the RV motor homes. I seriously know you do kneed to know how to drive one of these things. I am hearing several states are now requiring you to have a CDL. I was also told when insuring our TT what experience I had driving one of these things. That threw me. This was Progressive that asked me this question. So yes, please take a few lessons so I don’t worry when you pass me on the highway. Happy camping .

Rory (@guest_31299)
5 years ago

For me I think it should be a requirement before one is allowed to drive any RV, be it a towable or self-contained and any length. I see fellow rver’s driving in the #1 lane on a 8 lane interstate. I see everything from TT’s to Class A’s driving @ 80+ mph, and some are pulling toads. Not only is that dangerous, but it can be costly. It will eventually require repairs to the drive train of the toad and that is the good part. Every RVer should be required to take a safety course and a training course that will familize them with their particular rv and rv’s in general. Handling charistics, and accident avoidance, before being allowed to pull their RV out of the driveway or away from the curb. States must not use this as an unnecessary means to rake in income, it should not be about money, but safety…..

Joel Hagler (@guest_30373)
5 years ago

I think any RV driver should be required to have had an educational training course……and the partner (wife/husband,etc) should also have one. Very important on long drives not to be able to split the driving duties…or in case of old people (like us) having medical issues.

Dave Hagen (@guest_30378)
5 years ago
Reply to  Joel Hagler

Many of us ‘oldsters’ never had driver’s education and we turned out ok in all these years of driving.

Julie Earl (@guest_30654)
5 years ago
Reply to  Joel Hagler

Is there a training class available on driving/ towing an RV ????
I have experienced towing a travel trailer but it’s been 30+ years. I would not mind Going to a class on towing an RV.

Jillie (@guest_31332)
5 years ago
Reply to  Julie Earl

As a certifiable insane school bus driver hell bent on making sure you drive safe and live in Michigan I would be glad to teach you a few pointers. Otherwise, check a few drivers ed classes and see if they know. Good luck.

TexasRVer (@guest_30320)
5 years ago

I will start by saying I feel a license endorsement should be required to pull anything over 30 feet. It has always seemed odd to me that in Texas a CDL or a Class A license is required to operate a vehicle over 26,000 lbs or that it has air brakes. But a person that has never driven anything bigger than a Prius can crawl into a 43 foot Class A motorhome weighing over 26,000 lbs with air brakes. We workcamp in a RV park and the amount of RV’s in excess of 40 feet has doubled from last year along with damages caused to the park from inexperienced drivers.

david (@guest_30670)
5 years ago
Reply to  TexasRVer

If you are thinking that a drivers license is the same as driver training, then there is your error. I will then ask, when has Government ever improved any thing when it comes to personal freedoms? If drivers licensing where any thing other than a tax on our rights, please explain to me why most accidents are by teen-agers. They have only recently gotten their drivers license, so the training should be fresh in their minds. Drivers licenses started out as only for Chauffeurs. Once the idea was planted in the public minds, states created a new tax called drivers licensing. Enough already. If states wanted to make things safer, they might require a certificate of training. No money in that.

Tom (@guest_30283)
5 years ago

A special test for common sense would probably be better test. I see people driving 65-70 pulling trailer or tow vehicles and swaying back and forth with the driver not having a clue. I often wonder if these are people out for a long weekend or vacation trip and have to cover the miles in a hurry.

Lisa (@guest_30265)
5 years ago

My husband and I are seriously considering purchasing an RV for our future travels. We are currently in the homework/ research stage, but the one comment I did make was that maybe we should get our CDLs so we are prepared for driving these machines. If nothing else, we will have more knowledge about handling something bigger than a 25 ft fleet rental.

TravelingMan (@guest_30319)
5 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

You will thank yourself in the long run…

If you are interested in a great “RV Bootcamp”, the Escapees club offers an excellent training course.

Here is another:

You will feel more confident in your travels for sure.

John Yellowolf (@guest_30251)
5 years ago

My computer won’t load any of your polls – what am I doing wrong?

RV Staff
5 years ago
Reply to  John Yellowolf

Sorry, John. I’m sure you’re not doing anything “wrong.” I’m not the expert (I’m even worse than “computer illiterate”!), but the last I heard from our IT guy, he said what we’re using for our polls is not using HTTPS, so your security settings might be blocking them. We’re working on getting everything up to the HTTPS level in our newsletters, etc. In the meantime, you could click on your security options and choose “allow for this session,” or you could back off your security settings a notch (which you probably don’t want to do). I hope this helps. —Diane at

Kevin Coughlin (@guest_30232)
5 years ago

In the last several years I have driven in the 10 states that require their residents to demonstrate some knowledge and skill before driving a large RV. In 40+ years of driving I’ve seen my share of drivers towing badly. I feel it’s time to require a special endorsement for towing any length of trailer.
In Washington State the legal speed limit when towing is 60 mph. Earlier today I saw two trailers going at least 70 mph in a driving rainstorm (first rain in weeks) both trailers were swaying out of the lane. Knowledge might change some of those poor driving behaviors. Stats must keep the cost low. It shouldn’t be about money, it should be about education and traffic safety.

Denny wagamam (@guest_30220)
5 years ago

Yes one should have a license to drive an RV. Maybe all RV’s With a total length of over 30’. I have seen RV drivers that think they can drive just because they are. Some are too old at 50 or 60 or you pick an age number. Some can drive darn well at 80yrs Years, overall most drivers are good drivers or just plain lucky.

Goldie (@guest_30207)
5 years ago

There needs to be an endorsement, similar to a motorcycle endorsement. Then, again like motorcycles, you could have a safety foundation that establishes a driving education course that, with successful completion, waives any driving test. Those not willing to take the course could qualify via standard written and driving tests. You need a motorcycle endorsement regardless of size in most states. An RV should certainly carry at least that same requirement. If nothing else, just think how many marriages could be saved if newbies had a vague idea how to back up their unit!

Joe Schroeder (@guest_30201)
5 years ago

After pulling a 14,500 lb, 37 ft fifth wheel for several years with a long bed 4 door dodge I have always felt that an endorsement on the license would be a good idea. We were 53 ft bumper to bumper. This is similar to driving a semi so there should be at least a written test.

TravelingMan (@guest_30151)
5 years ago

And then it also makes us think about the RV Rental Companies…

Never owned one….Never drove one…”Sure, I can drive a 40′ Class A Motorhome”.

Did you ever see the movie “RV”?

Terry OKeefe (@guest_30133)
5 years ago

Having had a class A commercial license for years, I think that there ought to be at least an indorcement on your license that you take a simple test,like stopping distance,and back up into a space.
Nothing too difficult but just a little more than here ya go,hit the road!
Maybe it could save a life or two if everyone knew what they were doing

PeteD (@guest_30187)
5 years ago
Reply to  Terry OKeefe

I agree. I remember “learning” to drive a motor home. There are many basics that could be taught in parking lots of dealers such as how to make safe turns. Simple things like how to judge where you are in your lane would be helpful. I remember buying a little gauge I put on the windshield I could refer to so I knew if I was centered in my lane. I don’t think a separate license is necessary but an endorsement showing you learned some basic skills would be helpful.

Richard (@guest_30128)
5 years ago

Over in Europe they have had a requirement for a driving test for ANY trailer for a long time now. Why people think they can safely drive/ tow an RV or large trailer safely without any training is amazing. There are a lot of drivers who think that just because they can drive a car / SUV/ pickup truck while drinking a soda and talking on the phone must be good enough to enable them to drive an RV ?
America has some of the worst driving bad habits in the world which they carry over to driving their RV’s. DUI, ” hey don’t worry man, there isn’t a cop around here for miles” . Text messaging while driving, “yes this message IS a lot more important than your life”, Speed limits ” they are just a suggestion, aren’t they?” 75 mph in an RV ? ” they must be safe at that speed or they wouldn’t sell them, would they ?” Lets not forget about the pickup truck drivers with the 30 foot long goose neck trailers loaded with a 20,000 pound backhoes !
Driving tests for anything other than an auto should be mandatory and renewable at 65 year old, 70 and 75 then with a medical at 80. Just for information, I took my USA driving test 5 years ago (62 yo) and asked to take a non commercial CDI. Was told we don’t have that test. Go figure.

Peter Morgenstern (@guest_30121)
5 years ago

I think that it should initially be the responsiblity of the retailer selling the rv to evaluate the owners ability to drive or haul any rv . Have a road test required before they buy and a course that will explain the things needed to safely drive or haul a rv. For instance, many people I talk to don’t realise that rv tires are rated at 65 max mph and brag about how well their rv handles at 75. I have seen many drivers who pass me on the interstate going 70-75 with the trailer swaying behind them. Even the class A drivers drive like they are driving the family sedan!. There should be some form of licensing required so that the drivers understand what kind of weapon they are piloting down the road.

George (@guest_30205)
5 years ago

The Goodyear Endurance trailer tires have a speed rating of 87 mph. Hopefully they will serve me well as I travel between 58 & 62 mph.

Roy Ellithorpe (@guest_30117)
5 years ago

I’m super curious about the 30% who think no special license should ever be required.
Are they the ones who know how to drive, or the ones who know that they would never pass the test?

I think that the answer is that ALL RV parks should have ALL 100′ pull throughs, then anybody could do it.

Just so you don’t all fly off the handle at once, I am kidding.

Joyce R. (@guest_30229)
5 years ago
Reply to  Roy Ellithorpe

I think this is a great idea. After driving school buses for 29 years, a little pre-driving info would be nice and helpful.

Lyn (@guest_30305)
5 years ago
Reply to  Joyce R.

I was a school bus driver in the mid-1980s. Even back then, I had to complete an 80-hour certified driving instruction and safety course before a single child could board my bus. And, I totally agreed with the requirement.

Driving an SUV or a 1/2-ton pickup does not qualify anyone to operate or pull an RV. It’s a whole different world with different considerations, and we need to be armed with that knowledge before getting behind the wheel.

I absolutely think a special license should be required. Frankly, I’d feel a lot safer out there if I knew that everyone else had gone through the special license process, too!

BO (@guest_30116)
5 years ago

Perhaps we should be asking this question to those non-RV drivers who share the road with us?

Sherry (@guest_30108)
5 years ago

Length isn’t the only consideration. Driving a Class C is not as difficult as driving a Class A. Towing a trailer or fifth wheel takes different skills than driving a motorhome. Adding a tow vehicle to a motorhome changes the dynamic. And, as others have pointed out, weight matters. So there would need to be multiple classes of licenses.

Captn John (@guest_30107)
5 years ago

Just another money maker for states. Too much regulation on everything we do already. Dealers should have a form to sign stating they informed the buyer about safety items and items like braking, wide turns, and etc.

TravelingMan (@guest_30145)
5 years ago
Reply to  Captn John

That’s NEVER going to happen! It’s buyer beware!

I polled several RV Dealerships…Not 1 stated that they knew you had to have a Class A license. They stated that if that were true, then they would be out of business as no one would get a license. Then, I showed them in writing. They played stupid…Go figure. Have you ever met a car dealer you trust? RV dealers are worse.

J. Cherry (@guest_30098)
5 years ago

In Texas it’s not the length, but the weight. If your RV (combined, truck/trailer/tow vehicle, etc) weighs 26,001 lb then you need a non commercial class B license. You take the computerize permit test first and then you take the behind the wheel test, and no they don’t make you parallel park.

When you study for the test study Chapter 14. I would recommend studying chapters 1, 7, 9 and 11, if my memory serves me well. This is much more helpful about how to drive safely on the highways. Chapter 14 has nothing to do with driving an RV; and therefore, my husband found the test to be bogus.

You are right, the states don’t enforce the laws. However, if you are in an accident your insurance company does not have to cover you if you are not licensed properly for your vehicle for the state you are licensed in. So give that some serious thought. Check your states requirements. The RV sales person isn’t going to give you any of that information at your sale.

We are considering a dash cam too. A few idiots have pulled out in front of us and then slow down below the speed limit. I think they were hoping to get rear ended. I heard this is a new trend nowadays.

TravelingMan (@guest_30144)
5 years ago
Reply to  J. Cherry

One addition…If you have the RV over 10,000 lbs, you are required to obtain a Class A license. It’s either or…

TravelingMan (@guest_30147)
5 years ago
Reply to  TravelingMan

From the Texas CDL Book:

Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle or vehicles towed exceeds 10,000 pounds:

Who is exempt from a CDL? (Certification form CDL-2 required)

Persons operating the following vehicles are exempt from a Commercial Drivers License:

4. A recreational vehicle that is driven for personal use.

What that means is that a Class A is still required. It’s just not a Commercial CDL.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.