Full-time RVing: Compatible with partner?

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By Russ and Tiña De Maris

At some point in many RVers’ lifetime, there comes a time when they consider going full-time. And when they do, it can be a long process as there’s much to think about: finances, communications, bill paying, getting rid of “stuff” — the list goes on. One little “item” that’s often forgotten, however, is whether they will find happiness together on the road.

The RV lifestyle, particularly the full-time lifestyle, has its own blessings — and curses.

Imagine sinking a huge amount of money into that perfect full-timing rig, liquidating the “stix and brix” house, heading out on the road, and within a few weeks find you drive each other to distraction. Some have done so. So before you set off on a full-time adventure, it’s best to sit down and take stock on a personal level.

Why do you want to full-time — both of you? Is one really interested in the full-time lifestyle and the other just humoring the partner? You may want to see the country, but how do you want to see it — in a relaxed, “If we like it here we’ll stay for a few weeks” manner; or does one want to do a “If this is Tuesday, this must be Cheboygan” method? Does he like snow country travel while she would rather bask on a Florida beach?

Frank, open discussions are something every couple needs to undertake, before undertaking the full-time lifestyle — else you may wish you’d seen the undertaker. You may well have different interests, but do you have enough common interests to make it work?

Another point to give real thought to is the matter of personal space. There isn’t much room in an RV, even a BIG one. When you full-time, you’re underfoot of one another a great deal. If you have problems getting along now, when you can walk out and go someplace or retire to the den at the other end of the house, the full-time lifestyle may not be your best choice. Remember the old maxim: A good marriage is made up of two good forgivers. If you have problems getting along now, you can be assured the potential pressure-cooker environment may really cause you to blow your safety valve.

We aren’t trying to scare you away from what can be a wonderfully fulfilling time together. But close, mutual evaluation may show that compromises will be needed to make full-timing your truly happy lifestyle together.

##rvt 9-19-11; ##RVT800 ##RVDT1340

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squaredancer
4 months ago

There’s usually the option of going to sit outside if one needs to destress!

Mark B
4 months ago

Whoa (woah and woe). Slam on the RV brakes. Before you sell the house and buy the big rig (or fancy schmancy whatever), try the stress test. Buy or rent an affordable used RV. Plan a 1 month winter stay in warmer (or your ideal) climate. A month before and a month after do the type of road-trip touring that you expect to be representative of your future lifestyle, at the type of campgrounds you expect you’d be able to afford once you are full-time. Then, you will have tried your proposed life change under pretty much the best conditions.

The privacy, cooking, privacy, laundry, privacy, sleeping, regular traveling, limited storage, time away from family, friends, healthcare providers, your own mailbox, familiar stores and roads, coupled with the day-to-day-to-day-to-day-to-week-to-month issues will only be slightly less when you go from 24′ to 40′ or used to new. The slightly larger frig, cabinet finish and stainless steel sink won’t impact the core issues.

PS Those smiley couples with YouTube channels are supporting themselves off the blogging, vlogging, social media/YouTube following. Some, are probably genuinely happy. For some, it’s lights, camera, “smile you jerk we’re almost broke and I always thought this was a bad idea and when you said work camper, I thought you’d work, not waste your time and our money on more video production gear and drones with cameras”.

Donald N Wright
4 months ago

Over the past couple of years, I have met half couples several times. One of them still likes to RV, and one of them didn’t, so he/she moved back home.

TnT Travel
3 years ago

If you don’t get along at home, you won’t get along on the road.

We’ve been full-timing for 2 years and have recently traded our diesel pusher motorhome for a fifth wheel to have more living area/kitchen space.

When we met four years ago, he said “if you want to see me in the summer you should think about taking up golf.” To which I responded that it was my dream of living full-time in an rv.

As suggested in the story, we discussed everything. There were adjustments, we made a few mistakes which were learning experiences and all part of it.

No regrets.