Friday, December 9, 2022


Safe to move about a motorhome while it’s moving?


Dear RV Shrink:
rvshrinkWe have just sold our trailer and purchased a motorhome. Our main motivation for this move has always been access. We found the thought of being inside our living quarters when we stopped very appealing. Also, being able to access the kitchen and bathroom while traveling down the road.

On our maiden voyage I fell going from the cockpit to the bathroom when my husband had to touch the brakes a bit. Now, after spending all this money, he says I shouldn’t get out of my seat while we are driving. It has caused quite a stir. I think I just needed to learn from the first experience and now I have my sea legs.

Can you shed some light on what other motor coach owners do? Am I the only one who thinks going to the bathroom while we continue to drive is safe? —Tripping in Telluride

Dear Tripping:
The reality of this situation would be that many people move around in their coach while it is moving. Even on a commercial touring bus people get out of their seats and use the facilities. It would be safer to stay buckled into your seat, but most people do, on occasion, find the need to get up and do something.

The least you can do is communicate. Plan for a smooth, straight stretch of road, take your time, and if the driver thinks he will have to brake, bark out a warning.

You are breaking all the safety rules if you are cooking or baking while driving, yet I know dozens of people that do just that.

One couple told me they put baked beans in the oven an hour before they were to meet friends for a potluck. Minutes later they found themselves on a 8 percent grade and the beans sloshed out of the pan into the hot oven. You can imagine the mess, the smell and the panic.

You have to decide between the two of you what is safe, and where your comfort level begins to crest. You will still enjoy the fact that when you stop, you are in your living space. It is already warm on cold days and cool on hot days. You do not have to ferry your belongings or pets between tow vehicle and living space anymore.

Remember when you had to grab your gear and make a run for the trailer at every pit stop, dealing with wind, rain or worse?

Moving around, cooking, leaving your refrigerator running, are all things that most safety experts would warn against. But, if I had to bet real money on what the majority of people actually do, it would be all of the above. —Keep Smilin’, RV Shrink


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6 years ago

Ever hear of seatbelt laws??? Don’t be such a dumba** IF you need to use the facilities PULL OVER AND STOP

6 years ago

We used to do that for just a second to use the bathroom or shut that drawer that slid out, etc. Until, we were hit by a car who had looked down at her feet while driving, looked back up, hit the rumble strips at side, over corrected (she was doing 80+ to our 69) and slammed into us. It felt like a locomotive was pushing us off the freeway, we finally stopped out in the field after rolling over once. We got out of our Sprinter quickly and turned around to look at our beloved motorhome. It was a flatbed with only the couch attached and the seats up front. We were lucky to be alive, but the health consequences of this accident have probably shortened our lives and made life extremely difficult in many ways. Its not worth it!!!!!!

6 years ago

The funniest thing the motorhome salesman said to us when we were looking to buy one was, “One of you can be making a sandwich while the other one is driving.” Yeah, right. I can barely open the fridge door without something landing on the floor 🙂 But the Shrink is right — getting up to grab something, visit the bathroom, or otherwise move freely is pretty common for us, we just remember “three points of contact.”

6 years ago

Just use common sense.
We do all the above, but if we cook it’s in a crock pot placed in the sink and well secured….our fridge is always on but runs off batteries, not propane…..we move around but check out what’s ahead first and make sure the driver is well aware of what we’re doing. We feel that being able to move around is definitely one of the advantages of travelling in a motorhome.

6 years ago

Communication between the driver and passengers is key. The driver needs to be especially vigilant as to traffic and give warnings as needed.

6 years ago

One thing to think about is that it is illegal in most states because of seat belt laws.

David Ozanne
6 years ago

You can always pull over and stop while you take care of your needs.

Betty Bergfalk
6 years ago
Reply to  David Ozanne

Most major highways and Interstates do not have a pull-out lane. Getting to the bathroom quickly was very essential when my husband had a bladder infection. I drive the motor home. When necessary on long trips I get off at a wide Exit ramp, quickly go potty and get right back on the highway. Stopping along the side of the road is even more difficult in small towns that have narrow two lane roads and shoppers park at the curb. No place to stop with a 36 ft RV, towing a car.