It is really tempting to try to enjoy the amenities of your RV on long road trips, especially when the kids are bored, tired or really noisy.
The ONLY type of RV you can do anything in while driving is a motorhome (Class A, B and C) where the driver’s cab is connected to the rest of the RV interior AND there are seat belts in some of the seats. And while driving, you are only allowed to sit in the seats that have seatbelts. It is not legal for anyone to be inside of any type of pull behind RV while it is being towed, that includes trailers, 5th wheels, campers, camper trailers, tent trailers and others.
If you have a motorhome and you’re allowed in the RV while driving, you might be wondering what you’re allowed to do. You have options!
Can You Sit In An RV While Driving?
You can only sit in an RV if it is a motor home (Class A, B and C) AND there are seat belts in the seats. While the motor home is in motion you must remain seated and your seat belt must be done up properly, just like if you were sitting in a regular seat in any vehicle. The only exception is if you live in a state where seat belt laws don’t require all passengers to wear a seat belt.
Luckily, most motorhomes have seat belts in the bench seats that are around the table, which means you can play cards or a board game on the table.
If you’re going to play a board game I recommend getting one with a border so the pieces don’t slide off when the RV is cornering, or even better, use magnetic game boards.
Can You Use The Bathroom In An RV While Driving?
As far as the RV systems go, you can use the bathroom in an RV while driving and you can flush the toilet. But legally speaking, in most of the US and all of Canada, you are not allowed to undo your seatbelt and walk to the bathroom while the motor home is in motion.
But there are some states in the US with more lax seat belt laws. In those states, you can legally use the RV bathroom while driving. But if you are unbuckled or sitting on the toilet when the driver has to brake hard, it could turn into a big mess.
Can You Run The Generator While Driving An RV?
Yes, you can run the generator while driving an RV. If the generator comes built into your motorhome then it draws fuel from the same fuel tank as your engine. And most generators consume roughly 1 gallon (about 4 litres) of fuel every hour of run time. Check your owner’s manual for specific details about your generator’s fuel consumption.
As a fail safe, your generator will automatically turn off if the fuel tank is less than ¼ full.
So if you’re a long way from the nearest gas station maybe think twice about running your generator. But if you have lots of fuel, then flick the generator on and enjoy the electrical amenities in your RV. Just make sure to turn off the electrical appliances before you turn off your generator.
If you have a trailer with a built-in generator, then it will have its own fuel supply and you can run it as long as you need to or until the fuel runs out.
Can You Run The RV Refrigerator While Driving?
Yes, you can run an RV refrigerator while driving if you run your generator and set the fridge to A/C mode.
If you’re worried about your food spoiling, keep in mind that fridges are very well insulated. So before you leave, let your fridge run until its’ internal temperature is where it should be.
Then turn it off before you hit the road. The fridge contents will stay cool inside for many hours as long as you don’t open the fridge door.
Can You Use The RV Air Conditioning While Driving?
Yes, you can use the RV air conditioning while driving. If you are driving a motorhome, you probably have two kinds of A/C units: the one in the dashboard of your RV and the one on the roof.
The dashboard A/C can be turned on any time the engine is running. The rooftop unit requires that you run your generator in order to run the A/C.
Can You Use The Microwave In An RV While Driving?
Yes, you can use the microwave in an RV while driving as long as you are in a state where seat belt laws allow you to unbuckle while driving AND you have the generator running to power the microwave.
Can You Walk Around In A Motorhome While Driving?
Yes, you can walk around in a motorhome while driving if the seat belt laws where you are driving allow it.
In most US states and in all of Canada you must have your seat belt done up at all times while driving. However, there are some states in the US where seat belt laws are not as strict and you are allowed to unbuckle and walk around in your RV.
But use your common sense. If you are up and about in your RV and the driver has to brake hard to avoid hitting a deer or something, the RV will stop very quickly and you will keep on moving forward at the speed the RV was moving until you slam into something in the RV. That can lead to all kinds of injuries.
And that type of situation is the reason seat belt laws exist. So just because you can walk around in your motorhome while it’s driving doesn’t mean you should.
Can You Sleep In An RV While Driving?
Yes, you can sleep in a RV while driving, as long as you’re not the driver! As a passenger, you can only sleep while sitting up because in most places you have to have your seat belt fastened.
If you are in a state where you don’t need to have your seat belt fastened, you still have to sleep sitting up. Laying down in a bed and sleeping while the RV is in motion is not allowed anywhere that I know of.
Can You Cook In An RV While Driving?
Yes, you can cook in a moving RV as long as you’re in a state where seat belt laws allow you to have your seat belt unbuckled AND you are using the microwave to cook.
I do not recommend you use the oven or the stove to cook anything while driving. Imagine having pots of boiling water on the stove while you’re driving. If you can’t think of anything that could go wrong, you’re not thinking hard enough.
Can You Watch TV In An RV While Driving?
Yes, you can watch TV in an RV while driving. You can turn the generator on to power your TV or you can use an inverter. Do you research to determine which one would be best for you.
Once your TV has power, playing DVDs is easy enough, but what if you want regular TV channels or streaming services? With a solid antennae you can pick up regular TV channels while you drive. Or, if you have a new motorhome, you can have WIFI in your RV provided by subscriptions services, just like WIFI in cars.
Can You Pull An RV With The Propane On?
Yes, you can pull an RV with the propane on in most places. Some areas do have restrictions, so make sure you do your due diligence.
For example, when passing through most tunnels you are not allowed to have the propane on. Why you might ask? Well, if you’re in an accident and your propane tank explodes in the tunnel, it could cause the tunnel to collapse.
Now let’s talk common sense. If you’re not allowed to have the propane on while passing through a tunnel because it could explode, why would you want to expose yourself to explosion risk when you’re not in a tunnel? Being in an accident would be bad enough without propane tanks exploding.
My guess is you want to run your propane fridge while driving to keep the contents cool. There is a better way. Fridges are very well insulated, so the contents can stay cool in the fridge for hours as long as you don’t open the fridge.
If you make sure your fridge is cool when you start driving and you don’t open the fridge door during your trip, then everything should stay cool.
If you’re going on a REALLY long road trip, then you can turn the propane on and let the fridge cool whenever you make a pit stop. If you’re traveling with kids you’ll be making plenty of stops.