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Old 01-16-2017, 12:24 AM   #1
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Thinking about Life on the road with my husband

Hello!
My husband and I are still researching the fulltime life in an rv or fifth wheel/travel trailer. We're going to our first RV show tomorrow. Pretty excited to look around and see what's out there (not going to buy anything yet!)
We were thinking of getting a fifth wheel but have decided to start small with a used travel trailer that will suit our pick-up until we decide if we really can do this full time or not. I think we can...... We can do some small trips, etc. for practice before we put out big bucks on something bigger.

So, my real question of the day is: How do you couples get along living full time in a small space with your spouse? Are there any tips or problems we might not foresee at this point? We have been married for 30 years and have 4 kids and held out this long but... Just want to be prepared for the road life. We are both looking forward to the adventure-just like to be prepared for all things. Thanks so much!
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:18 AM   #2
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...So, my real question of the day is: How do you couples get along living full time in a small space with your spouse? Are there any tips or problems we might not foresee at this point?...
You have to really like your spouse - not just love him, but LIKE him. You have to like spending time together. My wife and I are best friends. I can't think of anyone in the world I would rather spend time with.

When we first started full-timing, we made a commitment to do it for at least 2 years (barring anything short of a major catastrophe). That way, if one of us was unhappy about something having to do with full-timing or traveling, we could complain without the other feeling the lifestyle was being threatened. That was 11 years ago, and although our travels have slowed somewhat, we have no plans to hang up the keys.

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Old 01-16-2017, 05:47 AM   #3
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You have to really like your spouse - not just love him, but LIKE him. You have to like spending time together. My wife and I are best friends. I can't think of anyone in the world I would rather spend time with.

When we first started full-timing, we made a commitment to do it for at least 2 years (barring anything short of a major catastrophe). That way, if one of us was unhappy about something having to do with full-timing or traveling, we could complain without the other feeling the lifestyle was being threatened. That was 11 years ago, and although our travels have slowed somewhat, we have no plans to hang up the keys.

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I agree with the first paragraph. My wife is my best friend, and vice versa, (or so I think anyway). We both had the same goal of full-timing, so we both try hard to make it work. In spite of that, I had to learn early to make sure she got her "alone time" occasionally. Sometimes she just needed to take off in the toad and "shop" by herself for a couple hours. When she returns she seems to be more tolerant of my bad jokes etc.
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:56 AM   #4
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we actually got along with each other much BETTER when we went full time.... no more 'going to your own room' and doing your 'own thing' as much, therefore requiring each other to give a little, compromise, and actually try harder to please each other... even watching Hallmark channel movies with the wife, and bringing her coffee in bed every morning! : /
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:57 AM   #5
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We don't have a lot of experience with that yet! We just started full timing last August but didn't retire until early November. We've been married 37 years and we are opposites in so many ways and we continue to be amazed that we can't seem to hear each other and communicate well!! That has been challenging our whole married life. BUT we LOVE being with each other and share many of the same interests, values, goals, etc. So far it is forcing us to work harder to grow and accept that we're different (and that's ok!) and bridge our communication gap and different levels of comfort when we deal with the challenges (the fun things never seem to be a problem!). I'm not sure how much of that is a result of retiring vs. full-timing but there is a huge learning curve to full-timing and many things to figure out together so that forces you to work through it! I initially thought the biggest challenge would be being together 24/7 in a small box but it's mostly the gazillion decisions you need to make along the way and making sure we're on the same page and ok with the decisions we're making.

So far, so great!!

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Old 01-16-2017, 09:11 AM   #6
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After 10+ years it helps TREMENDOUSLY if you are best friends, because no matter how much you love them, it will be a strain at times, especially when something goes wrong or you face days and days in the rain. It also helps if you share some common interests. We've been married 50 yrs, and we still hold hands as we are walking because it just feels right.

Each of you needs to learn the other's jobs. Most RVers tend to group things into inside (Pink) and outside (Blue) jobs, but you never, ever, know when something (sprained ankle) might mean only one can do the jobs necessary to move you down the road. That means that BOTH need to be able to drive the rig, park it, do all hookups/unhookups, dump tanks, level the rig, get the drinks iced down, etc.
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:04 AM   #7
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Each of you needs to learn the other's jobs. Most RVers tend to group things into inside (Pink) and outside (Blue) jobs, but you never, ever, know when something (sprained ankle) might mean only one can do the jobs necessary to move you down the road. That means that BOTH need to be able to drive the rig, park it, do all hookups/unhookups, dump tanks, level the rig, get the drinks iced down, etc.
I also think the above is very important. Sharing the duties makes you more of a team in this very different lifestyle.

It sounds like you don't have a RV now or even perhaps that you've never RVd and your statement that you are buying a small trailer to see if you like it concerns me. Your plan really isn't a good test. You could find it difficult in a small trailer but would have quite a different feeling in a larger one. Granted, many full-timers travel in small units but most likely, they've RVd previously in a small one and know what's in store for them.

My point being.... if you're 'trying this out' zero in on other aspects of full-timing rather than the size of the RV you'll be living in - which might be temporarily - that can always change. Will you like the driving/traveling aspects? Breakdowns? Bad weather? Will you like the campground atmosphere? What kind of RVing will you do? RV parks, public campgrounds, boondocking? Each is different and some have challenges like not having electric and having to monitor your water use.

Having outside interests is necessary, in my opinion. If you're just going to a campground and sitting on the patio or watching television you will soon get very bored. Interests that both of you can do together and interests for each of you is good. You both need your own 'space'. You don't have to do everything together.


It takes about 1-2 years of full-timing to really work out the kinks and to get on a good, relaxing schedule. Therefore, give yourself time. I like to hear folks saying 'we're going to full-time' rather than 'we're going to try it out'. I truly believe some don't give it enough time. This is a major change. It's not going to be comfortable and without problems at the very beginning.

Go back and read these forums to get an ideas of issues along the way. Also, Google 'full-timing RVers' blogs and read about what they do every day. Good luck!
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:33 PM   #8
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Here's a different twist for you. We too are getting ready to jump into the full time RV life. It's just me and my wife, no kids, no pets.


But, last May in 2016, we sold everything we owned (house, cars, almost all belongings) and took off for South America and Mexico with just carry-on size backpacks and a tight budget. Talk about living together in tight quarters!


We went through an earthquake in Ecuador, got stranded for almost a week by Hurricane Matthew in a very remote Wayuu Indian village in Colombia, got sick in Peru. and had our credit card number stolen in Mexico. We solved all those problems, but talk about stress!


Oh, we had our arguments and such, but after nine months of jungle camps and cheap hotels we're still married and the stronger for it think. For us, moving into RVing full time in a comfortable 5th wheel and a big pickup truck seems luxurious to us.


As others have said, your partner needs to be your best friend and someone you trust above all.
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Old 01-17-2017, 07:48 AM   #9
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I am envious of all you folks out there who have found and married your best friend.
Marriage is not easy and kudos to you all for working at making it work.
As long as you can deal with adversity and not let it get in the way there is a good chance a good marriage in a S&B will be a good marriage in and RV. There WILL be adversity. Probably more than in a S&B but it will vary. If you are unhappy together in a S&B chances are you are going to be more unhappy in the close proximity of an RV.
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:30 PM   #10
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I must agree. The different size of RV will generate a completely different environment.

My wife and I went full time 7 months ago. Sold our home and all the belongings and bought a brand new 42' MH. We did our research of course and went to several RV shows. Must have looked at over 50 different rigs and floor plans.

The only real camping we had done was with our kids when they were young. But we knew this was what we wanted to do so we jumped in the pool with both feet hand in hand.

Now after 7 months our only regret is that we waited so long to do this lifestyle.

Sure we had our "bugs" to work out with a new rig and learning curve of driving, parking and lifestyle with this size Rig and to always have an exit strategy in place before committing to campsite or situation. But we love it.

Good luck on your adventure. Each day is always a beginning of a new one.
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:38 AM   #11
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We're not full timers - but are slowly but steadily moving in that direction. After years and years of us both pursuing our individual careers, having to "divide and conquer" to take care of our collective responsibilities (raising our children, taking care of aging parents and relatives, etc.) - we're rediscovering ourselves and each other as we spend more and more time in the coach.

We're falling into our groove in this regard. We got the split of daily chores worked out pretty early on. I handle everything related to the coach and the toad (hooking up to utilities, dumping tanks, hooking/unhooking the toad, etc.). I also handle loading/unloading of anything in the basement. My DW takes care of most of the stuff on the interior. She set up where everything gets stored inside, she does most of the cleaning (i.e., vacuuming, dusting, washing countertops, etc.). She also took care of all the interior decorating.

What we have discovered is that we work together on things far more than we ever did at home. Dinners tend to be a joint effort ... both in terms of preparation as well as cleanup afterwards (she puts away any leftovers ... I wash the dishes). We're finding that we actually enjoy the day to day chores now that we've got the time to do so in a relaxed manner. We're BOTH far more patient and helpful with each other when we're in the coach than we ever were at home.

The more we do travel - the better we get in terms of giving each other space. I spend a couple of hours a day out riding my bicycle, kayaking, playing my piano or simply wandering around whatever park we happen to be in. I'm far more gregarious than my DW ... so she doesn't mind if I wander off and play. She reads, hangs out at the pool (if there's one available), works on her crafts, burns minutes on the cell phone talking to her sister and her circle of friends, etc. She doesn't mind me doing my thing ... and I'm happy to see her doing her thing.

We make time for doing "tourist" stuff ... several days a week. It doesn't have to be much nor does it have to cost much (if anything) ... a walk in a nearby park, a drive by whatever water happens to be around. A visit to a "touristy" shopping area.

We make an effort to visit people we know when we're traveling. Seems like every trip, we're meeting up with long time friends from some facet of our lives. We both enjoy doing that.

When it comes to trip planning - we've found a groove in that regard as well. Deciding where we're going (i.e., picking destinations) is a joint effort. Once we've made that decision - I go off and do the research on routes, parks, etc. - and lay out a proposed itinerary. Then we sit down and review it. Anything that's an we could do this OR that - gets discussed. To the extent possible - I defer to whatever she thinks she'll be happiest with. The little stuff seems to matter more to her than it does to me ... I'm just happy to moving!
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Old 01-20-2017, 05:37 AM   #12
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We are 2 weeks into full timing. We are slowly getting some things worked out. It started out rough as we both came down with bad colds just before we left.

We are in a 31ft class C. We have owned it since new and decided to start full timing in it. We thought about going and buying a bigger class A but figured we would learn what we want in our next couch by using this one. We are both already finding that we will need a class A. Me more for the weight limitations of a class C and my wife for the space inside. She is not happy with the clothing storage areas in out current bedroom. Even though she doesn't have that many clothes, the design of the bedroom is more for a weekend camper with an occasional week camping.

As other have said we are best friends and like to spend time together. We are active and like to hike. I can see the value in doing some things separate occasionally. We have only been at it for 2 weeks so we aren't completely in a groove yet.
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Old 01-20-2017, 05:48 AM   #13
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So, my real question of the day is: How do you couples get along living full time in a small space with your spouse? Are there any tips or problems we might not foresee at this point? We have been married for 30 years and have 4 kids and held out this long but... Just want to be prepared for the road life. We are both looking forward to the adventure-just like to be prepared for all things. Thanks so much!

My wife and I have also been married for just over 30 years. When we are camping or travelling our relationship seems to prosper. My wife collects/buys things and our home is bursting at the seems. The simplicity of the RV lifestyle is something we both look forward to. I'm just about ready to let the kids have whatever they want and then have an estate sale and get rid of everything. Simple is better IMO ......... but than again they don't say, " If daddy is happy, everyone is happy!"
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:16 PM   #14
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I think we're in the same boat :-) I have been getting rid of things and looking forward to nithing. My husband and I also do well camping together with almost nothing. I'm all for the simpler life!
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