Anne and I have been together for over 11 years and have lived full-time in an RV for 4 years. Thankfully we are very compatible and have grown even closer while RVing. We manage to cohabit in 180 square feet of living space. How do we manage it without killing each other? Here are some tips.
- Test out the Lifestyle – Just because you are terrific together in a regular sticks and bricks house in no way means your happy in an RV. The best advice is to rent or borrow an RV and travel for a few weeks and see how it works out. Anne and I took my camper van on several trips of 2-4 weeks and got along well. We knew that if we were OK in a small camper van, we would be great together in a 30-foot fifth wheel.
- Division of Labor – When RVing, many chores and mundane day-to-day tasks are needing to be done. Try and sort out who is responsible for what. When each person has a clear idea of their responsibilities, the smoother things will go. Some couples like to refer to these as pink and blue jobs, with more dirty outside tasks like sewer dumping being an example of a blue job and washing the bedding and sheets being pink.
- Food – Living in an RV means coping with restricted cupboard and fridge space. We spit up space into combined and separate areas for each of us to have our own food. Also, I do the bulk of the cooking. This is helpful when it comes to organizing and purchasing groceries.
- Personal Space – Since space is such an issue in an RV, you need to have some personal space. We assign different drawers, cupboards, and closets to each other, along with some common areas. We also have separate areas for using our computers. Even on an RV, it’s still nice to have a little area for yourself.
- Noise and Movement – Two things that can drive the other spouse crazy! Because of the small area, any noise is magnified, and you need to be very considerate of the other person. IE. When Anne is writing, she likes quiet, so if watching TV, I use headphones. The RV being on wheels and springs is prone to shaking as you move around, so we respect if each other is trying to sleep and reduce our movements in the rig.
- Away Time – Occupying the same space 24/7 can be taxing on a relationship, so plan to give each other some time to be off on their own. Even if it’s only a trip by yourself shopping for supplies, to the pool, or getting the oil changed on the truck, a little away time is beneficial.
- Don’t Stay Angry – We get angry with each other from time to time, but the trick is to resolve the issue quickly. It’s one nice thing about the tight quarters; it forces you to talk it out and settle a disagreement. There is no place to run and hide. Nip it in the bud, and don’t let things fester.
- Do Nothing Day – Just because you’re traveling and having the time of your life doesn’t mean you don’t need a break once in a while. Every few weeks, we have ourselves a do-nothing day and chill out with no plans or chores. This helps reduce the stress that can come from being on the go so much and helps us get along a little better.
- Happy Hour! – Each day at around 4-5 pm, we sit down, usually outside, and discuss the day’s events and our plans for the coming ones. This is a great way to relax and stay on page with each other.
There you go, a few Tips for RVing full-time with your spouse. We have made it work for 4 years now and love each other even more. It’s a great lifestyle where you share so many adventures. It’s the sharing of the adventures that make them meaningful.