Dear RV Shrink:
We 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
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