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.