How to Enjoy RVing if You Get Car Sick

How Tos & Tips

Think You Can’t RV if You Get Car Sick? Think Again!

In our opinion, RVing is the best way to travel by far. Driving an RV gives you the freedom to roam off the beaten path and take adventures on a whim. Not only that, but since you have a bed, a kitchen, and a bathroom on board, you can take those adventures in complete comfort, even if you end up staying the night.

In fact, one of the only downfalls of RV travel is the motion sickness it can give some people. If you’re the kind of person who tends to get car sick, you might feel hesitant to go out on an RV road trip. We don’t blame you. Nobody wants to spend their whole vacation feeling woozy.

Fortunately, many people who suffer from car sickness aren’t actually bothered when riding in an RV. This is likely because RVs are bigger than most vehicles, putting you higher up off the ground. The large windshields on class A motorhomes are also helpful, as they give passengers a better view.

All that said, it is totally possible to get motion sickness from riding in an RV. For this reason, we highly recommend going in with a plan for how you will handle the car sickness so it doesn’t ruin your getaway. Luckily, there are several great options!

Nauseous person

— What Causes Motion Sickness? —

Before we discuss the various remedies, let’s talk a bit about what actually causes motion sickness. Essentially, car sicknesses are a conflict of the senses, meaning your eyes and inner ears disagree on what your body is experiencing.

You see, your inner ears contain fluid that moves around in relation to your body, sending signals to the brain, and helping you keep your balance. Usually, your eyes see the motion that your inner ears are sensing and your brain puts that information together to make sense of it. However, if your eyes can’t see that you’re moving, or if you’re moving so quickly that the signals can’t be processed correctly, you will end up dizzy and nauseous.

Driving an RV

— How to Enjoy RVing if You Get Car Sick —

As we said before, there are a number of things you can do to make sure your RV trip is fun and nausea-free. The tips and tricks below are great for RVers who tend to get car sick while on the road. Put them to use before the motion sickness can even begin and you’ll likely have a very pleasant trip. 

Up Your Supplement Intake

Oddly, there are certain vitamins and supplements that can help with nausea and motion sickness. Consult your doctor to find out if any of the following supplements might help with your car sickness and make travel more pleasant:

  • Vitamin B6
  • 5-HTP and Magnesium
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint

Stay Seated

For those of you with a motorhome, walking around the RV while it is in motion gives your brain even more signals to sort through, and will likely make your sickness even worse. Not only that, moving around the rig while on the road is dangerous. Therefore, you should always stay seated and buckled in. 

Sit Facing Forward

Believe it or not, where you are buckled in matters too. Sitting sideways or backwards can make things confusing for your brain to process, especially if you don’t have a window to look out of. For this reason, we recommend sitting in a forward facing seat, preferably in the cab area where you can see out the windshield. 

Remain in Front of the Back Axle

Even if you can’t sit in the front seat, you should still be buckled in somewhere. In the vast majority of cases, being buckled will put you in front of the back axle, but it should be mentioned that hanging out behind the back axle of a motorhome is sure to result in more sway and movement.

Avoid Reading and Screens

Having a window to look out of is great, but it isn’t very helpful if you’re staring at a book or a screen. Put the tablet or story down and enjoy the view out your window. This will ensure your eyes are taking in the motion, helping with motion sickness. Of course, it will also give you a chance to see all the beautiful things you’re passing by. 

Make Frequent Stops

When you’re in a motorhome with everything you need, it can be tempting to use the restroom and grab food while on the road, avoiding stopping until you need gas. Don’t do this. Super long stints of driving are bound to make your motion sickness worse—and as mentioned before, moving around the RV while it’s in motion is not safe. 

Get Rid of Bad Smells

Stinky smells can make car sickness worse and might even be the thing that triggers it. Considering you’ll be doing your everyday living in your RV during your trip, you might end up with some unpleasant smells inside. Be sure to get rid of those before you move by dumping and cleaning the waste tanks, making sure the toilet seal is in good working condition, taking out the trash, and washing the dishes. 

Drive the Rig Yourself

We know not everyone is able to drive an RV. However, if you are able to, you might try driving for a while. Because driving requires you to be constantly looking at the road, it can really help rebalance you and get rid of car sickness.

RV driving on the road

— How to Get Rid of Motion Sickness: More Remedies —

If you find the suggestions above aren’t doing the trick, there are more things you can try. These options are best when used after the sickness has already set in. Be sure to keep the things needed to employ these tactics close at hand so you can tackle that motion sickness quickly if it does decide to make a showing. 

Look at the Horizon

As soon as you feel motion sickness coming on, look out the front of the RV at the horizon. Stare for several minutes, allowing your eyes and inner ears to get their signals straight. This should help get rid of the nausea. If it doesn’t, move on to the options below. 

Turn On the Air

If you’re too hot, that can make motion sickness worse. Turn on the A/C or a fan and get the air moving around you. This should offer some relief, but likely won’t be enough to chase the nausea away completely. 

Nibble on Crackers

While you’re sitting in that moving air and staring at the horizon, try nibbling on some saltine crackers. This can be especially helpful if you haven’t eaten anything in a while. You might even consider pairing your crackers with a bit of ginger ale, which will help you get rid of any built-up gas that could be making things extra uncomfortable. 

Grab Some Glasses or Bands

Acupressure wristbands such as Sea-Bands apply pressure to the nei-kuan (also written as neiguan) point continuously, and can work wonders for those who get car sick. Glasses such as these allow the eyes to see the movement of fluid that the inner ear is feeling and are also a fantastic addition to your car sickness toolbox. 

Take Medicine

Of course, there is also the option of taking some motion sickness medicine. We recommend keeping some dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) in your RV medicine cabinet in case you do find yourself needing it. For those with severe motion sickness, prescription medications are available as well.

Motion sickness can be a real pain, and left untreated it could definitely ruin an RV vacation. That said, there is absolutely no reason you need to let it ruin yours. Just take the right steps to avoid car sicknesses and make sure you’re prepared should it come up, and you are sure to beat the nausea and have a great time exploring the world in your little home-on-wheels. 

Post may contain affiliate links.