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Can you use the microwave in an RV while driving? The short answer is yes. If you have a built-in generator or inverter, you can power most anything while you are moving. But, even if you can run the microwave, the question is, it is safe to do so?
In most states, all passengers in a Class A, B, or C should be seated and buckled in while the vehicle is in motion. In general, the most common amenities used while driving a motorhome are the bathroom, the beds, the air conditioner, the generator, and the convection microwave.
In this article, I cover the use of the microwave. See the Related Reading articles below, (and the RVBlogger youTube Video) for more information about what you can and cannot do while your RV is in motion.
Can you Run Your Generator While Driving to Power Your RV Microwave?
Some larger RVs come with built-in generators which you can use while traveling. Any generators that are not built in have gasses such as carbon monoxide that are vented outside of the unit and can’t be used in an enclosed space. They also can heat up without adequate air circulation.
Some are also loud enough to require hearing protection and you should consider others if you are parked at a rest stop or other public places and turn on the generator. An inverter can run continuously while you drive and takes 12-volt DC power from your RV batteries and converts it to 120-volt AC. You can power the microwave, coffee pot, or other large appliances with an inverter.
Is it Safe to Use My Microwave while Driving?
There should not be any safety issue using the microwave while driving if you have the built-in generator or inverter. But there could be a safety issue for the passenger to be up and moving around in the moving vehicle. If the driver makes a sudden stop, or if there is an accident, the passenger could be thrown to the floor and injured. Also, removing hot food from the microwave could be a spill or burn hazard.
Our Best Tip for Your Microwave While Driving an RV
Use a piece of a pool noodle cut to fit vertically to hold the microwave glass plate in place. Removing the glass plate during travel is also an option. I use the microwave for storage while traveling which holds everything in place as well.
Can I Use My Convection Microwave While Traveling?
I could not find anything definitive about using a convection microwave while traveling. I would assume all of the safety factors above would apply in regard to its use while in motion. The convection mode does generate heat which I would think would normally be dissipated outside of the RV. It will warm up the inside of the RV when in use and will take more attention from the user than the conventional microwave setting.
What Other RV Appliances Work While Driving?
A built-in generator or inverter can power any RV appliance while driving, including the refrigerator, coffee pot, electric stove, etc. Outlets will also work to charge phones or laptops. The generator works just like shore power, whereas the inverter converts power to 120-volt AC.
Can You Cook in an RV While Driving?
If you have an electric oven in your RV, I don’t see why it can’t be used during travel. You do need to take into consideration the amount of heat it will generate. If your stovetop and oven are propane, do not use them while the coach is in motion.
Can I Use Propane While Driving?
You can use propane while driving to keep your refrigerator cold, but it would be dangerous to try and cook while moving. The chance of hot pans being bounced off the stove is possible, causing harm to the cook and a big mess to clean up.
Also, the propane must be vented while in use. If you keep your propane on, you will need to be aware of the quality of your lines and tank. A leak or crack or an improperly secured propane tank can ignite and cause a fire or explosion. Make sure you have those lines inspected on a regular basis. If you smell propane, turn off the system until the leak is found and it is properly repaired.
Most states require you to turn off all gas appliances and sources of flame when you are refueling. Some states also may require you to turn off propane when entering tunnels.
Yes, you can use your microwave and other appliances while the motorcoach is moving but RV safety really is the key. Ask yourself if it is really worth the potential trouble and harm you can get into. A motorhome is a great way to travel and you can have access to food, the bathroom, and relaxation nearby while you are moving.
As discussed in a recent article, a quick trip to the bathroom can be done and it does keep you from frequent stops while traveling, particularly if you have kids. Doing any more than that is an accident waiting to happen.
If you want to eat in your RV without stopping, prepare sandwiches, chips, and fruit, possibly, that you can grab from the refrigerator and cabinets and quickly return to your seats. Always keep small children buckled into their car seats and older children buckled into their seats. It certainly can be tempting to let them have free reign when they get bored and tired of riding.
About the Author…
Terri Nighswonger – Author and Full Time RVer
Terri Nighswonger and her husband Todd have been RVing and work camping for six years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Minnie Australian Shepherd, Remi.
In Addition to the RVBlogger team, Terri has written for RV Life and RV Camping Magazine and is always excited to talk about her passion for RVing and her knowledge and experience in work camping.
Writing is Terri’s passion, but she also loves hiking, kayaking, walking her dogs, and anything she can do outdoors.
They originate from the Midwest but plan to enjoy the West for a few years, wintering in Arizona and summering wherever the road may lead.