RV Open Container Laws – Can You Drink Alcohol in an RV?

RV open container laws naturally confuse most RV users, because it’s not strictly a vehicle or a place of residence – it’s somewhere in between. That makes knowing what you can and can’t do with regards to drinking alcohol in your RV a little confusing.

But don’t worry, all the answers are contained within this post, so you don’t need to worry about breaking any RV open container laws when you’re out on the road again!

Moving RVs

So you’re about to head out on a long road trip, you’re the designated driver and your passenger has bought along a six-pack to keep them busy whilst you’re on the road. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? Actually, that’s not the case.

The same rules apply to an RV as they do with any other vehicle. RV open container laws mean that you, as the driver, can be cited for breaking the law if you allow passengers to consume an alcoholic beverage in your RV whilst you’re moving along.

In fact, even your passenger could be cited too. If you were driving in a regular vehicle, then both of you would be reported for the offense, and the same rules apply to driving an RV. So if you’re heading out on a road trip, bring a six-pack of water instead!

RV Open Container Laws

RVs At The Side Of The Road

Alright, so you can’t drink whilst moving, that’s OK. But surely pulling up along the side of the road is fine?

Your passenger has an open container of alcohol in the comfort of the RV, but the RV itself is stationary – that’s got to be alright? Unfortunately not. You are still legally considered to be in a moving RV if you are not yet at a designated camping spot.

If you just pull over at the side of the road or stop for a drink in a parking lot, you still haven’t made it to your final destination, and RV open container laws will still apply.

That means that yes, both you as the driver and your passengers can all be cited for the offense, regardless of whether or not you’ve touched a drop of alcohol. So, again, leave the beer on ice until later.

RVs At The Campsite

You can’t drink whilst the RV is moving, and you can’t drink whilst you’re pulled over at the side of the road, but surely you can drink in your RV when you eventually arrive at your campsite and you’re all settled in?

We have good news! Yes, you and your passengers can finally settle down for a nice cold beer or chilled glass of wine when you’re at the campsite.

Motor vehicle open container laws do not apply to an RV that is parked at a designated campsite, so there are no laws regarding this.

Yes, it can be a little frustrating for your passengers having to wait all day for a drink of alcohol when they’ve been on the road for so long, but it just isn’t worth the risk.

Wait until everybody is settled at the campsite so you can all have a drink together – it’s much more fun that way!

What About Storing Alcohol?

Some people might be concerned about storing alcohol in their RV whilst traveling to the campsite, but don’t worry, RV open container laws only apply to, well, open containers!

If you’ve got the beer chilling in the fridge and a bottle of wine in a cabinet, then you’re still absolutely fine so long as you don’t open it until you reach the final campsite.

A Final Word Of Warning

Just one final word of warning before you all head out on the road and wait patiently for that beer until you get to a campsite. Earlier, we said that there are no laws regarding drinking alcohol in your RV once you’ve arrived at a campsite, but there are often rules.

Campsites may have quite strict rules against intoxication on the site. It may be because it’s a family-friendly place, or simply because they don’t allow rowdiness.

Whatever the reason, these rules are in place and are enforceable. If they deem you to be intoxicated, then they can legally kick you off the campsite and ban you from returning.

We’re sure everybody reading this is sensible, and you weren’t planning a wild night at the RV park, but we thought we’d include it anyway.

A couple of cold ones and a glass of wine won’t get you kicked off the campsite, but if you want to get intoxicated, then consider a city break or beach holiday rather than an RV road trip.

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Stephanie Lynne