Living in a small space with another person, oftentimes no larger than some peopleís closets, can be tricky. Many people say they couldnít do it because itís too much togetherness. Others think they can do it, but find out once they hit the road that they arenít as compatible in small spaces as they previously assumed. When my husband and I took our first extended RV trip, we learned pretty quickly that there were certain attributes that RV couples had to have; otherwise, RVing could be a miserable experience. After meeting and spending time with hundreds of other RV couples, Iíve compiled a list of the top 10 traits that happy and successful RVing couples share.
1. Work as a team
Both members of the couple realize and respect the fact that they are part of a team. They divvy up tasks equally and pitch in where needed. When one person is driving, the other assumes the role of navigator. Ever notice other RVing couples while backing into their site? One person usually jumps out of the rig to guide the driver safely into the site. Thatís a perfect example of teamwork. In fact, Iíve rarely seen an RVing couple not set up camp as a team effort.
2. Give each other space
Personal space. Everybody needs it. Sometimes itís hard to come by in an RV. Letting your sweetheart take her morning walks solo, or encouraging your hubby to sit outside while he updates his blog will give each of you some extra breathing room. So she wants to visit that flea market up the road but you have no interest. Tell her to have fun without you and use that time to practice your trumpet while sheís gone.
3. Genuinely like hanging out with each other
Happy RV couples really enjoy each otherís company. They are each otherís best friends and the thought of spending that much quality time together appeals to them. Happy RV couples donít just tolerate each other. If you have longstanding issues within your relationship, itís probably best to take care of them before embarking on any long-term RV road trip. You want to have fun on your trip, not rehash old wounds that tend to surface on rough driving days.
4. Have their own hobbies
If you love to knit and he loves to watch Ultimate Fighting, the next time a fight is on would be a great time for you to escape the rig and go join a group of fellow knitting RVers. Each member of the couple should have access to several of their own hobbies. Better yet, discover a few new ones along the way.
5. Have shared hobbies
Thereís nothing more fun than bringing along your shared hobbies as well. On my first big RV trip, my husband and I brought our guitars along. We spent time every day learning new songs together and played in several music jams with other RVers. Many of my favorite memories of the trip revolve around this quality time shared together.
6. Share a vision of the future
Both members of the RV couple have a shared vision of your future together. One couple I know didnít really talk about their retirement plans until the last year of the husbandís retirement. The husband found out that his wife had no travel plans in her future and wanted to stay put in her home. This caused a rift with this couple because the husband was under the impression that they would sell the house and travel full-time. Check in with one another on a regular basis and make sure that youíre on the same page.
7. Get enough sleep
This may seem simple, but we all know that sleep deprivation causes plenty of arguments--especially on long and grueling travel days. If you know you are spending the night in a rest area and thereís going to be a lot of noisy activity around you, find a white noise app on your cell phone and sleep with it next to you.
8. Plan wisely
Spending a half hour each morning over coffee, double checking your trip route and managing the finances can do wonders for stress relief. And stress-free RVers are happy RVers!
9. Enjoy traveling by RV
This one may seem obvious, but Iíve heard too many stories where one person is RVing just to appease the other person, and that doesnít work. If your wife prefers hobnobbing at Club Med, and you like boondocking with other desert rats, eventually, youíre going to run into some issues. The best way around this is compromise.
10. Learn the art of compromise
All year long you planned to visit the Grand Canyon in May so you could hike down to Phantom Ranch before it got too hot, and then you found out about your nephewís wedding taking place in Washington State that month. Your husband is determined to be there. Rather than arguing about it, or missing out on your original plans, figure out a way to fit them both in! You might be in for an even better adventure than you first thought.