Sooner or later, most RV owners will head south to the sunny shores of Florida for a visit or the winter. You will better enjoy your RV time when you know the RV laws. The research is ready for you to learn about RVing in the Sunshine State.
The RV laws in Florida vary by town and county. Here are six key statutes that are true across most of this state:
- RVs must be 45 feet or less in length.
- You will need reflective signs, a breakaway switch, and a safety chain for any towing.
- Towing speed is 30 MPH in towns. You may tow at the posted speed limit on all other roads and highways.
- You do not need a special driver's license if your RV weighs less than 26,000 pounds.
- You cannot park your RV overnight on most streets and roads.
- You have rights when you park in registered RV parks or campgrounds.
Keep reading for more information about these six RV laws. Following these statutes will allow you to enjoy your RV time without worry.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is not legal advice, nor does it replace legal counsel. Always consult with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles [FDHSMV] for updates or consult with a local lawyer specializing in motor vehicle law.
Florida RV Definitions
Florida law requires that your RV be:
- 102 inches / 8.5 ft or less in width
- 45 ft or less in length
- 40 ft or less in trailer length
- 13.6 ft or less
- 65 ft or less in the length of truck/SUV and your trailer
Your RV comes in one of three classes A, B, and C. Class A motorhomes are the largest RVs. The Class B RVs are smaller and built on a van chassis. Class C RVs stand in between A and B. They often have an overhang above the cab for storage or sleeping.
Many people use an RV that comes as a camper trailer. These are often called a 5th wheel camper or a popup camper. Florida RV rules apply to camper trailers.
Your trailer or Class A, B, or C RV needs to have reflective signs on its body to make it more visible. These reflectors will be on each corner and attached to any exterior bike rack or cargo carrier.
See these reflectors on Amazon.com.
Brake and Headlights
You must connect your trailer to your vehicle's electrical system. Use a trailer wire plug to connect the trailer's lights with your vehicle's electrical system. Confirm the trailer brake lights work when you press the brake when driving.
The trailer's weight on the back of your truck or SUV can tilt the front of the vehicle. Make sure you adjust your front headlights, so they are not at eye level for oncoming traffic.
Click here to see a trailer wire plug from Amazon.com.
When you connect the trailer to your vehicle's electric system, you will have working turn signals on the trailer. Confirm these are working when you switch on the turn signal. Test this before driving in traffic.
You must have two safety chains connecting your camper trailer to the tow hitch assembly on your vehicle. These chains will secure the trailer to you in case the tow ball breaks.
Click here to see these safety chains at Amazon.com.
Breakaway Switch Lanyard
The breakaway switch lanyard will trigger your trailer's brakes if the tow ball breaks and your trailer is only connected by the safety chains. This safety feature will protect your trailer from excessive damage.
See this breakaway switch on Amazon.com.
Do I Need Trailer Brakes in Florida?
All trailers over 3,000 pounds must have trailer brakes. You connect the trailer brakes when you attach the electronic cord to your hitch assembly. The trailer brakes will make it easier and safer to slow down when you are towing.
What is the Florida Towing Speed?
Florida law requires a towing speed of 30 MPH or the posted speed limit if less in all towns and municipalities. On all other roads and highways, Florida does not have a separate towing speed law. Here you may pull your trailer up to the posted speed limit.
Can I Tow My Boat or Jetski Too?
You can tow a boat or jetski off of a Class A motorhome. Confirm the total length with Florida law. You cannot triple tow your Class B RV and another trailer in Florida.
Do I Need a Special Driver's License for my RV in Florida?
You do not need a Commerical Driver's License to drive your RV or pull your camper trailer if it weighs less than 26,000 lbs. in Florida. If your RV is 26,001 lbs., you will need a CML.
Do I Need to Go to RV Driving School?
Florida law does not require you to go to RV driving school. You may want to do a four-hour class to learn and master the special skills for RV safe driving. You could learn how to turn your motorhome around, park correctly in an RV campground, and drive in heavy traffic.
Where Can I Park my RV in Florida?
Florida parking ordinances are usually locally determined. Each municipality will have rules. Before traveling, begin with each town's website to see where they want RVs to park. There are often separate lots for RV parking for the day and overnight parking.
Where to Park When Florida Sightseeing
The key to parking when sightseeing read the signs. Check the website for that amusement park, beach, or landmark. Many places will have designated lots for RVs and charter buses. These lots are usually not for overnight parking.
Can I Park my RV on City Streets in Florida?
Most towns have spots near landmarks and separate overnight lots. Here are some links for Florida locations that have designated spots and lots for during the day with separate overnight RV/charter bus lots:
- St. Augustine: Use Designated Spots for Buses; overnight parking only in the designated lot.
- Orlando: Use Designated Spots for Buses; overnight parking only in the designated lot.
- Miami/Dade County: Use Designated Spots for Buses; overnight parking only in the designated lot.
- Tampa: Use Designated Spots for Buses; overnight parking only in the designated lot.
RV Parks and Campgrounds in Florida
You have a large selection of RV lots and campgrounds in Florida. You will need reservations for most of these. Long terms lots usually require reservations with a minimum number of weeks or months.
Can I Park my RV at Walmart in Florida?
Walmart offers large parking lots for shopping parking. Each Walmart location sets its own policy regarding overnight RV parking in these lots. Local ordinances often determine this policy.
Learn more here "Can I Park My RV at Walmart?"
Can I Park my RV near my Home in Florida?
Florida state laws allow each homeowner to park one RV or trailered boat near their home within certain offsets with the street. Each local municipality and Home Owner's Association may have its own additional rules. Check these to avoid any tickets or towing.
Can I Live in my RV in Florida?
Yes, you can live in your RV in Florida. There are many RV parks that are living communities for their resident RVers. These RV parks often have amenities to make your life easier.
Can I Have Pets in Florida RV Parks?
Many RV parks and campgrounds allow you to have your furry friends with you. Some have pet size requirements or restrictions on the number of pets you can have staying with you in your RV. Check the RV park's rules before making a reservation.
You Have Rights at Florida RV Parks and Campgrounds
Staying at an RV park or campground is a great way to enjoy RVing in Florida. State ordinances ensure a safe and clean stay. Parks and campgrounds will have the hookups they advertise so that you know what you are getting.
Florida will be a great place for your RV adventures. With their generous tow speed rules and many RV parks, you can get where you are going and enjoy a relaxing stay.
We hope this post gives you fun ideas for a future RV trip. Check out these other articles on RV life:
Eight 7-Passenger SUVs You Can Flat Tow Behind An RV