Relationships in an RV
Going on a road trip with your partner in an RV? Confined quarters can be a challenge for even the most committed relationship! Here are some tips that may help.
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be on the road for months at a time in an RV?
We have actually done it, and survived to tell the tale - though it's true we had people ("friends") betting that we wouldn't be able to stand it and would be back within six weeks, let alone six months! Needless to say we took great satisfaction in proving them wrong.
You will find people tend to fall into two categories as you prepare for your Big Trip.
- They'll either be admiring, and tell you how much they want to take the plunge too, eventually.
- Or, they'll think you're completely mad and wasting both your time and money.
However - both responses will be tinged with jealousy! Smile, be gracious, and don't let anybody put you off. Only you know what is best for your relationship or family.
Be prepared for some teething problems in your relationship with your significant other, especially if one or both of you normally has a full-time job.
I think my husband and I found the first month the most difficult; after being at home with my children for over seven years, I was used to organising myself, the children, and my time to suit myself.
All of a sudden, my husband was always there, and it meant having to consider a completely new person's needs and wants - which didn't always fall in with mine!
Remember too that at the start of your holiday you will probably find you are both still a bit tense and irritable from all the build-up, and more impatient than usual. Remember, all change is stressful - even if it's "good" change, as in the case of your Big Trip or holiday in your RV.
Husband Driving You Mad?
I now understand why women say their husbands drive them crazy when they've retired. That's because people who've worked primarily in the home have learnt to be self-motivated and disciplined, and have plenty of interests and activities to fill their days.
Those who have been in the paid workforce however, may find the Big Trip (or retirement) is the first chance they've ever had to sit down, relax, and really think about what they like, or want to do with their spare time - because they've probably never had spare time before!
For example, I very rarely get bored. Give me a book, a magazine, pen and paper, a crossword or similar and I'm happy for hours. When we were camped in the middle of nowhere in our RV, I ran out of reading material and finished my puzzle book - so I began designing my own crossword puzzles! My husband became a little irritated, I think because he was at a wit's end but I wasn't - and therefore wasn't much company for him (you know the saying, misery loves company!).
Ideally both of you will have the chance to explore new interests and hobbies during your trip.
When Arguments Occur
People may try to tell you it is impossible to fight when you're living in the close confines of a caravan or RV, but I'm here to tell you that it's not true!
After the only real argument of our Trip, I went for a walk outside to cry and calm down - and once I realised that it was good ol' PMT, I settled down. You'll get the odd snappy remarks and niggles but that's pretty normal no matter where you're living, or who you're living with.
On the up side, you and your partner will discover a new closeness and enjoyment in each other's company. I learnt more about my husband in that six months, than in over a decade of marriage beforehand!
Romps in the RV?!
What about your sex life in a caravan?! It's the question everybody wonders about, but nobody is quite game to ask!
This will depend on a number of things - whether you've got children, their ages, the type of RV you have, how spontaneous you are.
We particularly missed being able to have a hot shower together - unfortunately our RV, although equipped with a portable camping toilet, didn't have a shower. Still, if the caravan park is quiet (for example, late at night), you can probably both sneak into a shower together. Or, book an ensuite site!
Sharing an RV with your children may also cramp your style. We were fortunate that our children had bunks in their own "room" at the back of the van, and after we'd put them to bed we could close the accordion door and watch TV, chat, read, and enjoy a late night snack in peace and privacy, without bothering or waking them.
If we felt the need for extra privacy at bed time, we would hook up our "pegless" clothesline and drape a sheet over it. Made our sleeping space feel very intimate and cosy - reminded me of a four poster bed! Leave a TV or radio on for background noise.
There are other possibilities ... why not go for a "walk" on a deserted beach after dinner (put the kids to bed or leave them watching TV). During daylight hours, you could send the munchkins to the caravan park kiosk for a sweet treat or maybe they will spend hours in the playground with their new little friends, allowed you to snatch the opportunity.