If you’ve ever dreamed about traveling the country or maybe even the world, you’ve probably dreamed of doing so in a motorhome. A motorhome gives you the freedom to travel anywhere at any time and all at your own speed.
But what about fast lanes and carpool lanes?
Are motorhomes allowed in fast lanes?
Motorhomes are allowed in fast lanes but there can be some restrictions on some roads. In most cases, these restrictions will apply to large class A motorhomes as they’re considered trucks rather than standard automobiles.
The rules are different in the UK. In the UK, large motorhomes are never permitted to use the outside lane.
This is dictated by the weight of the motorhome. Let’s take a further look at the different rules for driving in the fast lanes of different countries.
Using The Fast Lane in The United States
Some highways will force trucks to use the right lane and others will impose maximum speed limits. If you’re driving a large class A motorhome, you might find that you aren’t allowed to drive fast enough to realistically use the fast lane.
Additionally, the fast lane in the United States is often only allowed to be used for passing.
If your motorhome isn’t fast enough to pass smaller vehicles on the road then you might end up having to pull out of it shortly after you’ve pulled into it.
On some roads, you’ll see signs that say trucks must use the right lane only. If you’re driving a class A, you’d be wise to follow this advice. For those of you with smaller motorhomes, you might want to use the fast lane but only when appropriate.
Here are some rules to consider when using the fast lane with your motorhome:
- Always yield to drivers trying to overtake you in speed.
- Be careful not to confuse the passing lane with a fast lane.
- Never go slower than the speed limit while driving in the fast lane.
It’s common courtesy to allow faster drivers to go by while driving in the fast lane.
This helps traffic from building up behind you and reduces the chances that you’ll be tailgated. Always yield to drivers trying to overtake you in speed and you’ll have a safer trip.
Sometimes the left lane is only to be used for passing. In this case, you’ll see signs indicating this and you’ll run the risk of getting fined should you ignore these signs.
When you are in the fast lane, always make sure you’re going over the minimum speed limit. Driving too slowly can actually result in you being fined and it creates a dangerous situation for faster traffic trying to overtake you.
Using The Fast Lane in The United Kingdom
The UK has similar laws to the United States in that it does not want slow-moving vehicles traveling in the fast lane, otherwise known as the passing lane. On most motorways, a motorhome cannot use the passing lane because its vehicle speed is restricted.
62 miles per hour is the common speed limit for motorhomes traveling in the UK.
If you are in a position to use the fast lane in the United Kingdom, follow the same practices that they use in the United States. For example, let faster drivers pass you and make sure you do not travel too slowly.
The fast lane is meant for passing only so do not intend to stay in it for the duration of your trip.
What About Towable Trailers?
The UK and the United States both have rules in place to keep people with towable RVs outside of the fast lane.
For example in the United States, people towing trailers are not permitted to travel faster than 55 miles per hour in some states.
Here is a breakdown of how fast you can drive while pulling a trailer by each state.
|State||Miles Per Hour|
The United Kingdom has its own set of rules for towing.
These are based on the weight of the motorhome or trailer. You can find this information at https://www.gov.uk/speed-limits
Traveling with a Motorhome in a Car Pool Lane
The carpool lane, otherwise known as the HOV or high occupancy vehicle lane is very useful for people driving motorhomes. In most states, you won’t have any trouble driving in a carpool lane.
The main issue to consider in this case is whether or not you have enough people in your vehicle to warrant using this lane.
In most states, you’ll only need to have a total of two people and you will be allowed to use the carpool lane.
Here are the rules for each state:
|State||Carpool Rules For RVs & Campers|
|Alabama||Must have two people. Children and infants do count. Trailers and RVs are not permitted in the carpool lane.|
|Alaska||Most lanes only require two people but some require three. Trailers are not allowed but motorhomes that can go the speed limit are allowed.|
|California||Most lanes only require two people but some require three. Trailers are not allowed but motorhomes that can go the speed limit are allowed.|
|Colorado||Must have two people. Children and infants do count. Trailers and RVs are not permitted in the carpool lane. Some carpool lanes require three people and some require you to pay an express lane fee.|
|Connecticut||Must have two people. Children and infants do count. Trailers and RVs are not permitted in the carpool lane.|
|Delaware||Must have two people but will need three people in some areas. Trailers are not allowed but motorhomes that can go the speed limit are allowed.|
|Florida||Must have two people and carpool lanes open and close depending on the time of day. Trailers are not allowed but motorhomes that can go the speed limit are allowed.|
|Georgia||Must have two people. Trailers are not allowed but motorhomes that can go the speed limit are allowed.|
|Hawaii||Must have two people. Trailers are not allowed but motorhomes that can go the speed limit are allowed.|
|Idaho||Must have two people. Trailers are not allowed but motorhomes that can go the speed limit are allowed.|
|Indiana||Most only require two people but some require three. Trailers are not allowed but motorhomes that can safely go the speed limit are permitted.|
|Iowa||The number of people required varies by road. See posted signs for details. Trailers are not allowed but motorhomes are.|
|Kansas||Two occupant minimum. No trailers but some motorhomes are allowed.|
|Kentucky||Must have two people and must be able to drive the speed limit in safety.|
|Louisiana||Minimum of two occupants and trailers are not permitted.|
|Maryland||Minimum of two occupants and trailers and large motorhomes are not permitted.|
|Massachusetts||Minimum of two occupants and trailers and large motorhomes are not permitted.|
|Minnesota||Minimum of two people unless a toll is paid then one person is permitted. Trailers and large motorhomes are not permitted.|
|Nevada||Minimum of two occupants. All vehicles must be able to safely travel at highway speeds.|
|New Hampshire||Not applicable.|
|New Jersey||Not applicable.|
|New Mexico||Not applicable.|
|New York||Some lanes have a minimum of two people while others have a minimum of three people. Trailers and slow-moving motorhomes are not permitted.|
|North Carolina||Minimum of two occupants.|
|North Dakota||Not applicable.|
|Ohio||Minimum of two people and the vehicle must be able to safely keep up with highway speeds.|
|Oklahoma||Minimum of two people but some lanes require three or even four people.|
|Oregon||Minimum of two people and the vehicle must be able to safely keep up with highway speeds.|
|Pennsylvania||Minimum of two people.|
|Rhode Island||Not applicable.|
|South Carolina||Not applicable.|
|South Dakota||Not applicable.|
|Tennessee||Minimum of two people and the vehicle must be able to safely keep up with highway speeds.|
|Texas||Minimum of two people but some lanes require three people.|
|Utah||Minimum of two people unless a toll is paid then one person is permitted.|
|Virginia||Minimum of two people on most but sometimes three are required.|
|Washington||Minimum of two people on most but sometimes three are required. A toll can be paid if only one person is in the vehicle.|
|West Virginia||Not applicable.|
|Wisconsin||Minimum of two people but sometimes three or even four are required.|
As you can see, each state has its own rules.
Luckily, you don’t have to memorize these rules as each state should have signs posted letting you know what the rules are for each lane you intend to travel on.
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Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.