Can Couples Really Live Happily Ever After in an RV?
For many couples, living together in an RV for extended periods of time is their favorite way to travel. The attraction of exploring the wonders of this beautiful country with their favorite person by their side can be irresistible, and happy RVing couples will tell you the journey together is the number one reason they chose this lifestyle in the first place.
For others? Well… it can be a challenge to live together all day every day inside a rolling box of never-ending depreciation no matter how much you love the other person. Open, honest communication is the key, but have you ever tried having a heart-to-heart talk about your dreams for the future over the rattling and rumbling of an RV going down a bumpy road? Good luck with that.
The most successful RV couples I know have set realistic expectations for themselves, their partners and for the journey itself before they begin to travel. There will always be the unexpected to deal with, but having a plan is the surest method for overcoming unforeseen obstacles.
To that end, I’ve compiled some ideas I think will help you up and over the biggest bumps in the road and in your relationships on the road.
Amazon Prime is an RV couple’s best friend.
It’s not unusual for RVing couples to experience some level of stress that can spill out all over the relationship, especially in the beginning when neither of you know what you’re doing. A lot of that stress can be traced back to how different RV living is from your old stix-n-brix, especially when it comes to shopping for food and supplies.
Amazon Prime can help alleviate a lot of the stress by giving you a first-choice option of where to find everything from household goods and supplies, RV parts and accessories, personal care items and even durable food items in Amazon Prime Pantry.
If you’re not already an Amazon Prime member, then click here to try Prime free for 30 days! If you don’t, you’re missing out on some of the best and most convenient deals anywhere… especially for RVers. Prime Video and Amazon Fire TV alone are worth the price of membership, but those services are just the tip of the iceberg. Amazon's prices might not always be the absolute lowest, but they’re usually pretty close and it’s hard to beat free shipping to wherever you are and the simplest return policies on the internet.
Hitting the open road, not each other.
Let’s face it - men are notorious for not asking for directions whether they’re driving or not, so an RV-specific GPS is an invaluable tool on the road, whether you’re the one driving or not. My current favorite is the Garmin RV 760LMT, which I prefer over Garmin’s newerRV 770 NA LMT-S. Yes, the 770 integrates with your smartphone, its screen is a bit sharper and its processor is much faster, but the 760 includes a powered mount and utilizes BaseCamp, Garmin’s excellent proprietary trip routing software. Either model will tell you right where to go, so if you’re already using external trip planning options - or you’re inputting your trip directly into the unit itself - then the 770 would likely be the better option.
Since you never want to rely solely on electronic navigation (or on a co-pilot who naps through half the trip) I strongly encourage you to invest in good set of maps and/or atlases. I’m a huge fan of individual state maps from Benchmark Maps for their quality and accuracy, but I also suggest you carry an atlas for easier multi-state access. Couples in smaller RVs can save a little money (yay!) on standard road atlases like those from Rand McNally, but larger RVers would benefit greatly from using the Motor Carriers' Road Atlas. It includes better information on restricted roads, low clearances and especially rest areas, which your sleepy co-pilot will really appreciate.
Living with someone in an RV for months at a time? Are you nuts?
Some couples are better suited to living together in an RV than others; they’re accustomed to spending every moment in each other’s company, and - believe it or not - they actually enjoy it! But even if you’re not one of “those” couples, there are ways to optimize your time together without sacrificing your essential alone-time.
Games are a fun way to pass the to pass the time when you’re trapped inside on a rainy day. They also come in pretty handy for those impromptu get-togethers with new friends.
When tensions do flare up - and they will - that would be the perfect time to escape into a favorite hobby of your own. Reading andscrapbooking are two of my wife’s favorite escapes when she’s had enough of my company; she often reads books about scrapbooking just as an excuse to get away from me. I, on the other hand, never ever tire of her constant, unrelenting presence wherever I go, but the RV does need some mechanical maintenance or remodeling from time to time so I’ll often grab my tools and climb up on the roof. There’s not a lot that needs fixing up there, but… you know… alone-time.
The right tools for the worst jobs.
Nothing brings out the worst in a couple than having to do mundane chores, except maybe having to pick who does which chore. The confined space inside an RV means it’s going to get dirty faster - I have to sweep the floorsat least once a day - but it also means there’s less room to work around each other so there’ll be lots of bumping and bouncing, which can either be annoying or appealing depending on your level ofphysical attraction for one another.
I know a lot of you enjoy washing the outside of your rigs, but for me it’s the most irritating waste of time. “It’s just going to get dirty again!” - which is the same complaint my wife makes when it’s her turn to polishthe furniture. Don’t even get me started on dumping the tanks - it’s arguably the worst job of them all. I showed my wife how to do it once; that was enough to convince her to permanently assign the task to me. At least it gets me out of polishing the furniture… usually.
Healthy mind and body = healthy relationship.
It’s tempting for couples to eat like they’re on spring break while traveling in an RV, but it’s really important to maintain healthy eating habits while on the road. I know it’s easier said than done in smaller RVs, but even on many bigger rigs the standard cooking appliances leave a lot to be desired. You know what they say; where there’s a will there’s a way.
Our absolute favorite cooking appliance is our Instant Pot; if you don’t already have one on your RV, click here to order one right away… you won’t be sorry. There’s almost nothing it can’t do in much less time using much less energy than conventional cooking. Stews and soups are a staple in our RV, but it’s equally brilliant at preparing pot roasts, pulled pork and chili. Great… now I’m hungry for chili.
Eating right is important, but traveling long distances in an RV means you’ll be sitting pretty much stationary for long periods of time, so regular exercise is even more important to our physical and mental health than usual. Outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking are great, but portable exercise equipment can make it easier to get active and stay active even during the shortest rest stops. The equipment is typically small, lightweight and easy to store - unlike me after my wife’s chili.
When all else fails, bribe them with gifts!
It’s inevitable - you’re going to get on each other’s nerves at some point; I practically camp out on my wife’s last nerve. When arguments do happen we don’t always have the luxury of going to our separate corners until things cool off, so what do we do?
What says “I’m sorry” better than chocolate? Sure, you could take the easy way out and spring for some See’s Candy, but why not go that extra mile and surprise him or her with a Godiva Gift Box delivered right to your RVs front door? That’s very possible in many RV parks across the country, but even if it’s not there’s probably a general delivery post office or postal annex of some kind near by.
Wow, you mean you really screwed up? Well, Amazon could still bail you out - maybe - but you might have to lay it on a little thicker depending on how mad they are. If chocolates are the traditional “I’m sorry” confection, then FRESH LOBSTER would have to be perfect apology dinner. There’s no need to scour the internet to find a local seafood restaurant, Lobster Anywhere will deliver it fresh to just about… well... anywhere! Who can stay mad when there’s fresh lobster on the table?!?
The Bottom Line
My wife and I know a lot of couples who live in RVs, and we know a lot of couples who have never even been in an RV. The RVing couples we know are by far the happiest, most content, most at-peace people we have ever met. And we can tell you from personal experience that once you start to RV as a couple, you’ll probably never want to travel any other way.
Travel safe. Travel well. Travel often.