Carry Passengers in Your Fifth Wheel?
When we pop this question around the campfire, the typical response is: "Are you crazy? Of course not!" Whoa! Actually, some states do allow passengers to travel in a fifth wheel trailer, provided certain conditions are met. Others don't allow passengers in any sort of trailer, under any condition. This is one of those sad cases where there's no universal answer. For example, in California you may lawfully carry passengers, provided there's a "signaling device" between the trailer and the tow vehicle. A set of walkie talkies will cover this requirement. Up in Manitoba, on the other hand, the law doesn't allow carrying of passengers in any trailer.
How do you find out whether transporting passengers in your fiver is legal in a given locality? Ah, there's the tough one. Perhaps the best (and quickest) way is to call the home office of the state's highway patrol. The off-the-cuff answer you receive may just be a guess, so persist--perhaps even asking for the specific 'chapter and verse,' of that state's law that codifies the requirement. In that way you can be sure of the answer, and if stopped in a state that does allow passenger hauling, you'll be able to help 'uninformed uniforms' learn the law a little better.
Keep in mind, just because hauling passengers in your fiver is legal, doesn't necessarily equate to a "good idea." Ever seen a fifth wheel with seat belts? Trailers aren't designed for passenger safety in the event of an accident. Even where carrying passengers in a trailer is legal, you'll have to make your own choice as to whether you'll want to.