By Ray Burr, loveyourrv.com
Thinking about full-time RVing with your significant other? If not full-timing, how about extended RVing? Anne and I have been together over 16 years and lived full-time in an RV for over nine. Thankfully, we’re 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?
Test out the lifestyle: If you don’t have a rig, 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 good. We knew at that point if we were OK in a small camper van, then we would be great together in a 30-foot fifth wheel.
Division of labor: RVing brings plenty of chores and mundane day-to-day tasks. Sort out who is responsible for what. When each has a clear idea of their responsibilities, the smoother things will go. Some 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: RV living means coping with restricted cupboard and fridge space. We split up the space into combined and separate areas for each of us to have our own foods. I do the bulk of the cooking — this is helpful when it comes to organizing and purchasing the groceries.
Personal space: With space at a premium, it’s very important for you 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.
Noise and movement: Two things that can drive the other spouse crazy! In an RV, any type of noise is magnified. You need to be very considerate of the other person. 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 when the 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. That’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: Even when traveling and having fun you still need a break once in a while. Every few weeks we have a do-nothing day and just 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 p.m. we sit down and discuss the day’s events and our plans for the coming ones. This is a great way to relax and stay on the same page.