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How Far Can You Drive an RV In a Day?

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Last Updated on September 17, 2022 by Jessica Lauren Vine

It is 1651 miles from Savannah, Georgia, to Denver, Colorado, but I did it in one sitting. I did it in 25 hours. Consider that my speed was a little north of the limit, and we rushed out gas-up/snacks/coffee and potty breaks.

No hotels or restaurants. Lots of Funyuns, Cheetos, and Yoo-hoo. Would I advise anyone to perform this stunt? Probably Not. However, you can cover some distance and be safe if you plan your trip with plenty of potty stops and places where you and your passengers can stretch their legs and enjoy the local scenery. 

The RV world varies in recommendations for how far you can drive your RV. After surfing the WWW, it appears that according to the American Automobile Association, the consensus of RV enthusiasts believes that it is 500 miles a day.

It comes into that 8-hour day, making sense when traveling between 50 and 75 MPH. It’s like starting from Denver at 6:00 am and arriving in Topeka Ks, on I-70, after 4:00 pm. You’ve covered much ground and probably need a rest and a swim in the motel pool. 

Figure 1: The Author's Rig facing Rocky Mountain National Park.
The author’s rig facing Rocky Mountain National Park.

What Does the Law Say?

Suppose you like to play “by the book”. In that case, you can review the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association’s website for all the regulations they have put on drivers carrying property and passengers. These people regulate Commercial Motor Vehicles and probably have done quite a bit of research on how long or how far you can drive. 

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The FMCSA uses hours of Service (HOS) to ensure drivers are awake and alert. Of course, there are exceptions for adverse weather and other factors, but the main takeaway is that it is regulated that no driver of passengers is required to drive more than ten consecutive hours. 

It is what we see in the carrier industry, where most vehicles are oversized, just like your RV. At 10 hours at US Interstate speed (75 mph), your rig would be 750 miles down the road, minus potty breaks and gassing up. That’s not bad. If you left Denver in the morning, you’d be through Kansas City and Heading to St. Louis.

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Think before you back out of your driveway with your rig. Know its limits, and know your limits. Get plenty of sleep and rest before heading out. According to American Automobile Association, sleepy or tired drivers are the third leading cause of RV accidents. Remember, you’re not in your compact car. You are in a heavy vehicle that can cause some serious damage.

Figure 2: Author's rig snuggled safely in Branson, MO RV Park.
The author’s rig snuggled safely in Branson, MO RV Park.

Parting Thoughts

Having two capable RV drivers is a good scenario if you want to get somewhere with minimal stops. My friend Marcus and I wanted to attend a conference in Branson, Mo. Branson is 810 miles from the Denver city line and the expected travel time, mostly on Interstate and Highway, was about 12 hours.

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We only stopped for gas and snacks and switched roles—driver and passenger. Marcus pulled us into Branson safe and happy. We did 810 miles that day but could have gone farther. You can get there but be safe. Stay alert and awake. 

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Edward Kipfinger
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