Is a motorcycle considered a recreational vehicle?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is a motorcycle considered a recreational vehicle? We will explain what is considered a recreational vehicle, what is considered a motorcycle. We will also discuss why there is confusion regarding the type of vehicle that a motorcycle is. 

Is a motorcycle considered a recreational vehicle?

As a term, the motorcycle is not considered a recreational vehicle. RVs refer only to vehicles that are used in camping. The confusion arises because most auto insurance companies classify motorcycles under the title of reactionary vehicles. This is merely to have fewer categories on the paper, but it does create a lot of confusion. 

We explain below what is a recreational vehicle, what is a motorcycle, and the process of insuring both vehicles. 

What is a recreational vehicle?

A recreational vehicle (RV) is a means of transport that can either be towed or has its own engine. An RV is mainly used for camping, but some people choose to live temporarily or even long term in them. 

There are two main categories of RVs: models that must be towed like the pop-up camper, the classic caravan, the fifth-wheel camper and the motorized RVs like the class A, B or C motorhomes. 

Recreational vehicles are divided into two main categories:

  1. Motorized vehicles: Also called motor homes, they are separated into three classes.
  • Class A (large motorized RV, built on a heavy or commercial truck chassis, or that of a bus)
  • Class B (built from an ordinary van with a raised roof added)
  • Class C (built from a sturdy truck chassis with a cabin that doubles as living quarters)
  1. Towable vehicles: Different models of trailers belong to this category.
  • The classic (or conventional) caravan
  • The fifth wheel
  • The pop-up camper (or tent trailer)
  • The classic hybrid trailer. 

The recreational vehicle includes a structure designed for temporary accommodation for the purpose of travelling, vacationing, or recreational use, and may be driven, pulled, parked or transported. Accommodation may include sleeping area, kitchen, bathroom, and fresh and wastewater piping systems, 110 A / 12 V power supply, propane gas, heating, air conditioning and entertainment system. 

The RV shall not exceed 13.2 meters (42 feet and 11 inches) in length and 2.6 meters (8 feet and 6 inches) in width, the latter being the sum of the distance from the centre of the vehicle to the at the side ends (including door handles, water connections, etc.) when the vehicle is closed or stowed for transport. Such structures include tent trailers, classic trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, separable motorhomes and motorhomes.

The process of insuring an RV

A recreational vehicle is both your means of transportation and your mobile home, and it is important not to insure it as a simple vehicle.

Specialized insurance for RVs allows personal items and the vehicle to be grouped together under the same insurance, which greatly simplifies the process in the event of a claim. They cover risks that are specific to caravans, and that other insurance policies created for automobiles do not include in their coverage:

They protect personal property for a greater value than traditional auto insurance. This meets a specific need since, unlike individuals who leave their personal belongings at home when using their car, camping-caravanning enthusiasts live in their RVs and travel with large quantities of personal belongings, with a value ranging from often up to $ 10,000.

They include protection for emergency costs, in the event of an accident or repatriation.

They offer coverage on fifth-wheel trailers or caravans, in the event of theft of the towed vehicle or tractor, which will repatriate the caravan at its expense to better meet the needs of the insured, everywhere in Canada and in the USA.

What are motorcycles classified as?

Motorcycles are classified as RVs by insurance brokers, but they are a different vehicle category whatsoever. A motorcycle is a vehicle with two (sometimes three) wheels and an engine greater than 150 cubic cm in size. 

Do I have to insure a motorcycle as an RV?

With the exception of four states (Florida, New Hampshire, Washington, and Montana) you must insure your motorcycle and scooter in the US. And yes, most insurance companies will classify your motorcycle as an RV. But as we have explained already, these are two types of vehicles entirely. 

Like a car, a two-wheeler must be insured even if it is left in the garage. Indeed, insurance is compulsory for any motor vehicle capable of travelling on public roads. Even for a non-rolling two-wheeler, that is to say, one which is no longer running and which remains in the garage, you are therefore obliged to take out an insurance contract. The minimum insurance required is liability coverage. 

The latter covers damages suffered by third parties, hence its name “third party insurance”. It must be taken out even for a motorized two-wheeler that does not circulate because even stored, the vehicle can cause damage (fire, scratches on other vehicles) or injury to a third party (fall of the vehicle on someone).

Some seasons, like winter, are less suitable for travelling on two wheels. Cold, rain, snow, fog: bad winter weather conditions can make traffic dangerous. It is better to leave motorized two-wheelers in the garage during this period. 

 Here is a scenario in which the owner is not required to insure his motorcycle: when the non-running vehicle is dismantled. Insurance is therefore no longer compulsory provided that:

  • remove the wheels from the vehicle
  • completely empty the fuel tank
  • bleed the crankcases
  • remove the battery.

In this case, you can turn to your insurer and terminate your motorcycle insurance contract by specifying this information.

What are non-recreational vehicles?

Non-recreational vehicles are boats, horse trailers, ATVs, utility trailers that are mostly used as storage. Motorcycles are not non-recreational vehicles.

Whether or not to insure a non-recreational vehicle depends on the type of vehicle and how you plan to use it.

  • Trailers – if you want property damage covered when the trailer is being pulled by your vehicle or if it is attached to your vehicle, you need to purchase property damage coverage.
  • ATVs and off-road vehicles travelling on private property – if the vehicle is only driven on private property that you own, you do not need to obtain a license plate or insure the vehicle. 

However, it is strongly recommended that you take out liability insurance in the event of unintentional material damage or bodily injury to others on private property. It is also important to confirm age restrictions and licensing requirements for ATVs and off-road vehicles.

  • ATVs and off-road vehicles travelling on public roads – in the US, if the vehicle is used on public roads (and crosses a freeway, when permitted), it must have a license plate and be covered by automobile liability insurance. As with ATVs and off-road vehicles that are purchased for use on private property, it is important to confirm age restrictions and licensing requirements.
  • Boats and personal watercraft – In the US, personal watercraft are not required by law to be covered by insurance. However, liability insurance is strongly recommended in the event of unintentional bodily injury or property damage to others.
  • Kayaks and Canoes – These boats are not considered recreational vehicles and are generally covered by your home insurance. Check with your insurance broker.

Conclusions

RVs are self-sufficient vehicles, able to travel alone and guarantee full independence during a trip with family or friends. In these models, the cabin and the camper trailer are integrated within the same structure, with a different configuration depending on the vehicle. 

We hope that now you are more clear about what an RV means, what a motorcycle means and why you have to insure both vehicle types. If you still have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Is a motorcycle considered a recreational vehicle?

What is considered a recreational vehicle?

A recreational vehicle (RV) is a means of transport that can either be towed or has its own engine. An RV is mainly used for camping, but some people choose to live temporarily or even long term in them. 

What are non-recreational vehicles?

Non-recreational vehicles are boats, horse trailers, ATVs, utility trailers that are mostly used as storage. Motorcycles are not non-recreational vehicles.

What are motorcycles classified as?

Motorcycles are classified as RVs by insurance brokers, but they are a different vehicle category whatsoever. A motorcycle is a vehicle with two (sometimes three) wheels and an engine greater than 150 cubic cm in size. 

Is a camper trailer considered an RV?

Yes, a camper trailer is considered an RV. More exactly, the term RV – recreational vehicle – includes:

  • Camper trailers;
  • Motorhomes;
  • And fifth wheels. 

What is a motorhome?

The concept of a motorhome applies to vehicles built with a special purpose for the transport and accommodation of people. This means that everything or that serves for autonomous transport – serves as a properly propelled vehicle – and accommodation is a motorhome.

What is covered under RV insurance?

The following are covered under RV insurance:

  • Collision and rollover risks”, which covers damage caused by a collision for which you are responsible or when you are the victim of a hit and run;
  • “All risks except collision or upset”, which covers damage such as fire, theft, vandalism and broken glass.
  • “Specific risks”, which is a less expensive alternative to the “All risks except collision or upset” coverage. The protections are however less extensive: they do not cover, among other things, vandalism and glass breakage.

References