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7 tips for keeping a happy marriage while RVing

Imagine that you and your partner just got married. You dated for three years, got married, and have now decided to buy an RV and travel the country. Wonderful, right? Absolutely! Until you’re three months in and 300 square feet suddenly seems small… very small.

Do most marriages survive RV living? Well, of course it depends on the couple, but once couples learn how to maneuver around the small space, and the country, together, married RV life is a wonderful life!

Here are seven things to do for a happy marriage in an RV.

1. Be flexible

Things aren’t always going to go as planned. Sometimes the RV park will have lost your reservation, sometimes there’s an accident up ahead on the highway that may delay you for hours, sometimes the place you drove two hours to will be closed, sometimes it will rain, pour… and sometimes the roof may leak… the list goes on. Remember, you’re in this together. If both partners remain flexible, if you can come up with a good backup plan together, you’ll have smooth travels ahead.

2. Respect personal space

Folks, 300 square feet is small. What happens when your partner is watching TV in the “living room” and you’re trying to read in the bedroom? Well, you’ll probably give up reading and go join them because you can’t concentrate on your book with the noise.

What happens if you’re trying to sleep in but your partner is up at 5 a.m., the coffee pot is gurgling, the bacon is sizzling, the microwave is beeping… yeah. Good luck.

The point being, respect each other’s personal space. Maybe the TV volume can be a bit lower, maybe the bacon can wait… If someone needs some alone time, make sure they have it.

3. Don’t eat beans…

On the subject of personal space, have you ever shared 300 square feet with someone who ate a can of baked beans for dinner? Or Brussels sprouts? Broccoli? Folks, if you want your marriage to last your RV trip, know what magical fruits make you… well, you know… and hold off on those.

4. Packing light… or not…

If you know your wife wants to bring her favorite pair of slippers even though she’s already bringing seven other pairs of shoes… let her. You’re going to have to pick your battles. If she says, “No, no, honey, you’re right. I should leave them behind.” Do her a favor and sneak them into her bag. She’ll be so happy when she learns you’ve brought them along anyway. Just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean doing special things for one another stops.

5. Backing up

If you’ve never gotten into an argument while backing up the rig, you’ve never been RVing with a significant other. It’s bound to happen. Practice your techniques when your RV is parked (whatever those techniques are) and know exactly what your partner is doing back there when they’re waving their arms one way or the other. If you know exactly what your partner means when they’re yelling at you to turn the wheel right but back up left (and watch out for that tree!), you’ll avoid the arguments. You can thank us later.

6. Listen to the GPS

You know how they say men don’t ask for directions? Well, sometimes men don’t listen to the GPS either. Men, if your partner tells you to go one way, just listen and go that darn way. “Backseat drivers” may be annoying, but they’re the ones studying the map, aren’t they? Not to mention the fact that the GPS could be wrong.

7. Watch the gas tank

One sure way to get into an argument? Run out of gas. Again, that “backseat” or “passenger” driver knows if you’re leaving town soon and the next town isn’t for 100 miles (they’ve got the map, remember?). If they say, “How’s the gas tank? The next gas station isn’t for a while,” you’d be smart to fill up if you want to keep the peace.

There are, of course, a hundred and one other things you can do to help your marriage survive your RV trip, or, if you’re extremely brave, full-time RV life. Do you have any suggestions for those just getting started with their partner in an RV? Leave them in the comments below.

Related:

Marriage advice from a hand-signalin’, RV backer-upper

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travelingjw
2 months ago

Our key is to recognize that we are on an adventure, and when you are on an adventure, different things happen. Have to give credit to my Mother for this one. She never felt we were lost, she just said, this is another adventure. Best piece of knowledge she ever gave me.

CeeCee
2 months ago

We aren’t FT and those suggestions still apply for a lasting relationship no matter where you are! Patience! The DH likes to keep the water tank minimally filled, which became a problem when we ran out of water dry camping in a desert area. He was sure there was enough for that night. DW had a hard time biting her tongue. Not that DW doesn’t have her own foibles…

Ellie
2 months ago

I don’t agree with #5 Backing. My husband and I have never gotten into an argument about backing. I have been backing up this trailer for 14 years and I am pretty good at it. He is helpful if I am backing up into a tight spot (though I always go out to check things out a couple times) but most of the time I let him make hand motions and I do what I see needs to be done. But it makes him feel good to think he is helping!

BillyBogey
2 months ago

Wear Your Earphones 24/7!!

Theodora Baker
2 months ago

Hi, put things back where you got them, not just anywhere and don’t blow by the restrooms when I just said I needed one and then say I’ll stop at the next one which is over an hour down the road. Ask me do you need a rest room? especially as I am older and you just bought me a coffee. Always have your sense of humor ready, ask don’t assume, take turns cleaning the kitty litter, making the dinner, share, 24/7 is too much, give space by one sitting outside to have coffee, go in the bedroom to watch your show with a headset on while the other one reads. Treat your spouse the same way you treat your best friend, with respect, be forgiving, have fun together. Give more than you take, there is always a new tomorrow.

Maurita
1 year ago

I think neatness or lack thereof is also a source of irritation when RVing. Since space is so limited, knowing you can find things in their assigned spot, especially in the kitchen, plays a significant role in avoiding arguments…

Gordy B
1 year ago

If you are worried about close quarters, how about the standard sleeper with closets on a Peterbilt Tractor. My wife and I spent the first 5&1/2 yrs of marriage and nearly a million miles in one. We had only one argument and I will be the first to admit it was my fault. We also after 26 yrs of marriage spent 27 mo and 220,000 mi delivering RV units. The working yrs in between we were on the road every vacation we could. Our biggest deterrent to a disagreement was “don’t sweat the small stuff”. “I love you” was an everyday occurrence and still is after 31+years. We are retired now and travel is limited due to health. We are proof that travel can be done with a lot of fun. Happy trails!

Betty Danet
1 year ago

Headphones! Either for the TV or Bose for the reader.

Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Betty Danet

In our 25′ Sprinter Class C, the TV sound, not just volume, is critical. We use a Sony remote transmitter plugged into the TV with a pair of receiver headphones. I can watch the local news and weather on TV while my wife watches a movie on her tablet and both be sitting side-by-side in the theater seats. Works great for us!

Now, if I could just replace the 120v AC TV with a 12v TV, we wouldn’t even need to use the inverter at night while boondocking-Wallydocking. But there is no convenient 12v outlet anywhere near the TV. Why isn’t there one, Winnebago?

Thom
1 year ago

No finger pointing if there is a problem!
We concentrate on the solution instead.

CAREN KELLY
1 year ago

As the co-pilot, I can get mixed up with the right or left when on multi-lane freeways (I panic) – why I don’t have the foggiest. We decided to say turn my-side or your-side. If we missed the turn or exit, we keep going until we can go back. And Yes, GPS is not always right – I use my cell google maps as backup. Backing up is getting much better as we watched YOUTube videos on parking signals. Being level is my tipping point – has be level. We have learned to get over it and don’t hold a grudge! Can hardly wait to get on the road again when it’s safe and the border opens!

Chic Sanders
1 year ago

#8 Remember what you pack and where you put it in the coach.

Bob P
1 year ago

I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but my copilot is a passenger only. She doesn’t read maps, look for landmarks unless I ask her to watch for a road name. And yes I do listen to that natural blonde inside the GPS and make wrong turns down roads to nowhere, and then try to figure out how to turn around and go back, at which time she comes alive a tells me I shouldn’t listen to everything she says. But I love her and wouldn’t trade her in for the world and that’s my only complaint about her. I should go back to using what I used for years, a commercial drivers atlas. That tells about low clearances, narrow roads, and bridge weight limits and a bunch of other things to keep you out of trouble.

Beth
1 year ago

Could we all please just get over the national farting phobia?!? It’s a normal body function – we all do it. Beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage are all very healthy foods, that we should all be eating more of and regularly.

Bob P
1 year ago
Reply to  Beth

Yes you’re right it is a natural occurrence and we all do it, however I try my best to excuse myself for a couple of minutes for relief. I will never forget the time I was standing in line at the grocery store behind this woman dressed in her many layers of head scarfs draped around her and she dropped gas that an elephant would’ve been proud of(loud). I don’t know what her diet consisted of but it had to have been dead for a week, luckily I wasn’t the only person affected by the smell and the line broke up allowing me to escape. After she was gone the cashier said that happens regularly with people like her, so I guess in their society that’s routine to fart when it wants to come out.

Tim
1 year ago

If you rely on Google Maps like we do, always use the ‘download offline maps’ mode. Typical google design, this can be hard to find, but you can google for instructions (how to download offline maps).

Anyway, you can navigate, find new routes, get unlost, even with no cell signal. Another nail in the Rand McNally coffin…

Also, remember, keep the phone charged and have 3 methods just in case (engine battery, house battery, usb battery, solar usb battery…).

Dogs and Horses
1 year ago

We have one additional, unbreakable rule. Whomever the cat is sitting on has a free pass until the cat chooses to remove himself. Dishes need washing…”Cat”. Time to vacuum….”Cat”.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago

😆 —Diane at RVtravel.com

George
1 year ago

The only time we got really lost was when the maps on the iPhone went blank. (No signal for several miles). Without a paper map we had the turn by turn directions to go by. Little did we know that the road we were looking for was a loop with two entrances on the hwy. of course we took the wrong one. After several miles I turned left on a road that I thought went to the RV park. Wrong again, got instructions from a pair of hunters in a very off road keep. They told us where to turn around ( did I say that the road became 1 lane). The best part is that we found a working radio telescope in the middle of nowhere. I guess that explains why there was no cell coverage. After our return we got an RV specific GPS. So now the GPS and the iPhone argue with each other as we go down the road.

Ron T.
1 year ago

We don’t have a GPS, but a cell phone & Google maps do come in handy at times. Yes, sometimes there are no bars but I do carry paper maps and generally know where I’m headed anyway. That phone also allows us to arrange a space for the evening. Only a few times have we had to just continue driving for a while before finding a place.

Al and May
1 year ago

We are firm believers in three magic words: the three magic words are in addition to and definitely do not replace the ever popular and very meaningful “I love you” which we use multiple times a day. But the three truly magic words are: “you’re right, dear”….whether said begrudgingly, ruefully, reluctantly, or happily, these three words work magically in making everything all better for us. BTW we travel in a 22ft Class B, so I get lots of practice in using magic words in tight quarters (chuckle…).

Abe Loughin
1 year ago

The gas guage one struck a nerve. I drove many miles for 36 years without ever running out of gas. That came to an end about 8 miles from our first workcamping job when a combination of fatigue, anxiety and just wanting to get to our destination, I never thought to check the guage. 3 plus years later the wife will ask what the fuel situation is when we’ve been on the road for a while.

Gene Bjerke
1 year ago

It appears that the main thing that recommended me to my wife is that I had a motorhome and she loved to travel. We’ve never looked back.

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