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Do You Need A CDL To Drive An RV?

Are you finding that you have fulfilled your need to find a CDL to drive an RV? Riding on wheels takes on a whole new meaning when one is in a recreational vehicle. You have the option to live in your car in addition to using it for transportation purposes.

RVs are large cars that require a specific license to operate. The license certifies that you are capable of operating a vehicle of any size and weight on public roads without becoming an annoyance or trouble. The term “commercial driver’s license” (CDL) refers to the license in the US. I’ll explain in this essay why driving an RV may require a CDL.

Why are CDLs required at all?

To be honest, operating a huge automobile is very different from operating a tiny car or even a large SUV. Driving a vehicle beyond a specific weight limit Typically, weighing 26,000 pounds requires an understanding of the various ways it differs from driving a regular car. By requiring a CDL, the state can verify that you have received some training and are regarded as a knowledgeable and safe driver for both you and other drivers on the road.

Why do I need a CDL to drive my RV?

Generally speaking, commercial vehicles need CDLs. However, CDLs are required to guarantee that the driver is qualified because of the size and weight of some recreational vehicles. While some nations just require passing the exam to allow you to drive, others demand extra licenses known as non-commercial driver’s licenses. Certain states grant licenses with greater latitude to recreational vehicles used as temporary residences.

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How many pounds would make a CDL mandatory for my RV?

The weight of a vehicle or its combinations is typically used to calculate license requirements, and automobiles are categorized based on their weight rating.

When a car has a gross combined weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds, whether or not it is being towed by a unit with a GCWR of more than 10,000 pounds, both federal and state requirements require the CDL. Cars carrying more than fifteen people or dangerous materials are likewise subject to the restrictions.

Recreational vehicles are exempt from some laws since most regulations say that personal property that is occasionally transported and has minimal connection to a business is not subject to the restrictions. Stated differently, recreational vehicles that do not participate in commercial activities or have corporate support are not required to get a license.

Certain states have relatively lax laws governing recreational vehicles used exclusively for private purposes. Some states, like Oklahoma, have stricter guidelines for RV drivers seeking a waiver from obtaining a CDL.

Do you need a CDL to drive an RV class A?

RVs are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. For ease of evaluation, these sizes are divided into three classes: Class A, B, and C. From A through C, the capacity and size grow, with C having the biggest dimensions.

Class A RVs are located far from the GCWR value needed to obtain a CDL. Most can only hold three or four people and cannot tow more than 5,000 pounds. As a result, they may function without a CDL.

Certain class C RVs do not even need a CDL since their weight does not exceed 26,000 pounds. Only when they are used for towing, transport more people than is permitted, or have objects in them that add to their weight does the CDL become required.

Can I drive an RV without a CDL?

If an RV does not meet the standards for a mandatory CDL license, you are able to drive it without one. Its weight cannot exceed 26,000 pounds, and it cannot be utilized for commercial reasons. These are the two primary requirements.


That being said, understanding the various driving restrictions when crossing state lines is one of the obstacles that come with RV travel. States have different traffic laws, particularly when it comes to drivers of bigger cars like recreational vehicles. Depending on the size of your RV, you could require a CDL in some jurisdictions. While some jurisdictions have no limitations on who may operate an RV, others do require a specific license. I hope some of it has been clarified by this article.

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Nyra Abigail

My Name is Nyra Abigail and in 2016, I made the decision to leave my traditional living situation and hit the road in a Dodge Ram Van. Since then, I've had the opportunity to camp in 48 states and hike in many of the United States' National Parks. My mission is to inspire and assist others in living an adventurous lifestyle, whether that be through van life or RV living. We provide a comprehensive resource to help guide and support individuals on their own journeys of discovery.

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