Tips for Surviving Long-Term RV Travel with a Spouse

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married for 25 years or are newlyweds – heading out on the open road in a small RV can sometimes be stressful on even the strongest of couples. After a while of being alone in the RV with your spouse or partner, you may start to feel cramped and crowded.

Don’t let the stress of RV travel get the best of your relationship. Work together and find a way to enjoy your time together and make your road trip the best it can possibly be. Here are some tips to ensure you both make it back home in one piece:

While planning your RV trip, you will probably make a list of campsites to stay at, places you want to see, and things you want to do. But make sure you leave room in your schedule for relaxation. Try leaving a day where you plan on doing nothing for the entire day – no chores, no plans. Make this day your day to just sit back and relax.

Before you leave, determine who will be responsible for what while traveling. RV chores include cleaning, cooking, maintenance, and sewer dumping. Knowing who is responsible for what before leaving will reduce any arguments when it comes time to take care of your RV.

If for some reason there is stress between the two of you, try not to stay angry. The longer you stay angry, the less likely you are to enjoy your time together on the road.

An RV does not offer up a lot of room for each spouse to have his and her own personal space while traveling. However, just like at home, you will likely want a space to call your own. This may be a drawer or cabinet for your own items, or even a designated area that you can spend time in – some place that’s just for you.

While traveling in your RV, make plans for the two of you to get away from the unit. This includes going for a walk, visiting local monuments, or heading out for a nice dinner away from your tiny kitchen.

You may also want to plan time away from each other. Just like having your own personal space inside the unit, you might want some personal time away. This could include going for a walk on your own, going for a swim, or shopping for supplies.

Be friendly with other RVers at your campsite and try to make new friends. This will give you another couple to spend time with, enjoying a night around the picnic table or campfire, or exploring the surrounding area.

Getting away long-term with your spouse or partner and hitting the open road in your RV is an amazing experience the two of you will cherish forever. You will return home with plans of your next RV road trip already started in your head. Just remember to relax and enjoy your time together.

Discussion
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44 Responses to “Tips for Surviving Long-Term RV Travel with a Spouse”
  1. Tom D

    Thanks for the tips. We are planning our first cross country trip and your recommendations are helpful. We both like sightseeing so that will get us out and about.

    Reply
  2. rick rybak

    married 44 years always been my best friend cept in a rv. great,sound advice..rick and barb bay city,mi

    Reply
  3. John

    RV Make: Fleetwood, RV Model: Niagra, RV Year: 2008

    The true test to living long term in an RV with your spouse, as the late RV writer Gaylord Maxwell once told us, is that you have to ” like” each other. Not love…that comes from other things, but like…You will be together, most of the time, in a very small space. Any cute little habits or quirks that your spouse has can quickly magnify to annoying if you’re not careful. Do things together, but also have your own interests, as well. It’s not a bad thing to give each other some space from time to time. My wife and I have been RVing for over 20 years, and still “like” each other, so I expect we’ll continuing this lifestyle for some time…..

    Reply
  4. Terry Johnson

    RV Make: Fleetwood , RV Model: Bounder , RV Year: 2008

    Has anybody had trouble with the kitchen sink drain hose leaking? What is the best way to replace it?

    Reply
  5. Bill warmington

    RV Make: Fleetwoof, RV Model: Excursion, RV Year: 2008

    Preparing for travel before trip ! Dry foods etc

    Reply
  6. Charlie Hilton

    RV Make: Holiday Rambler, RV Model: Imperial 5000, RV Year: 1976

    Recently acquired the 1976 HR Imperial 5000, but it doesn’t have a manual or booklet to find information on how to operate it. Is there any information available on this older model RV? I contacted HR, and they could only send a copy of a 1977 Class A model.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Charlie. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your HR Manual search. There was very little document archiving in the 70’s as the Motor Home industry was very new. About the only thing you can do is look through the used RV sales sites and see if you can find a similar model for sale and contact the owner to buy a copy of the manual? You should be able to find individual manuals on the OEM equipment like the Onan generator, Norcold Ref, and others.

      Reply
  7. John M Jones

    RV Make: Forest 🌳 River , RV Model: R pod, RV Year: 2016

    Amazing the number of people who want to rent a travel trailer for the

    Reply
  8. Juan Pablo Castillo

    RV Make: Rockwood, RV Model: Roo 21SS, RV Year: 2011

    Tkanks for the article, very interest

    Reply
  9. Sam L. Brown

    RV Make: Winnebago Itisca, RV Model: Ellipse, RV Year: 2013

    We constantly experience annoying squeaking sounds from the passenger side slide out when traveling. The dealers tell me there is no way to adjust the slide out in order to eliminate this problem. Has anyone have any simple suggestions to correct or eliminate this problem during travel. The other two slide outs do not have this problem. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Sam. We would be happy to assist you; we just need some more information. What is the make/model/year of your RV?

      Reply
  10. Vince & Barb Mee

    RV Make: Tiffin, RV Model: Phaeton, RV Year: 2016

    We learned on our 1st trip in 1998. All RV’s get tight when caught in a BIG rain storm. We were in our rig for 3 days. Make sure you have rain gear and get out of your rig!

    Reply
  11. Dennis

    RV Make: Grand Design, RV Model: 369RSL, RV Year: 2014

    I strongly recommend practice parking the RV. I personally have found that the teamwork required to park the RV in tight spaces is an exceptional exercise in teamwork that tests even the most seasoned relationships. Establish a routine and agreed-upon terms and signals (“my left or your left?”). I know it probably hasn’t been studied, but I suspect that more couples have spent and hour or two in angry silence over this experience than anything else during a trip.

    Reply
    • DEMPSEY

      RV Make: Tiffin, RV Model: 40dp allegro Bus, RV Year: 2006

      Perhaps everyone should adopt the military way of directing aircraft as a way to direct drivers. Simplified way that all understands.

      Reply
  12. Bob Portiss

    RV Make: Travel Trailer, RV Model: Keystone Bullet, RV Year: 2015

    Good advice on traveling with Spouse. Lynda and I have enjoyed our many trips across country. Your thoughts are superb.

    Reply
  13. Rob

    RV Make: Jayco, RV Model: Designer, RV Year: 2006

    I have found slipping a few Valiums in my wife’s coffee in the morning helps make for a pleasant day !!

    Reply
    • Dennis

      RV Make: Thor, RV Model: 26 footer, RV Year: 2017

      Great idea much better than holding a grudge for 300 mikes—works for the dogs as well.

      Reply
    • Guy Voltz

      RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: Sunseeker, RV Year: 2013

      Rob, thanks a lot buddy! I was laughing about your recommendation and got hit by my sweet loving kind serene beautiful best friend and wife! I will take your advice however 🙂

      Reply
  14. Janet

    I don’t have a RV yet..however, my plans include traveling with my adult son and his wife until I am comfortable driving and maintaining my rv. Even as a Sr. Blonde, I know it is hard for two women to ‘keep house’ under one roof, especially one being a mother-in-law, therefore, my plans include stopping periodically at a hotel for private R&R time giving them the privacy and amenities not found in a RV. Sometimes a walk just doesn’t give one enough ‘air-space’ where a spa and in closed pool might. How ‘long term’ turns out to be will be seen.

    Reply
  15. Brozek

    RV Make: Airstream, RV Model: Sprinter, RV Year: 2017, Brand: Mercedes

    How to make bed each night. I have a small 24′ Sprinter, so put the bed up after waking in order to have room to do things in the RV. Thanks!

    Reply
  16. Gustavo

    RV Make: Gray Wolfe, RV Model: travel trailer, RV Year: 2014

    how to light the furnace

    Reply
  17. earl lofton

    RV Make: newmar, RV Model: kountry air, RV Year: 1995

    where to stay at in mobile al

    Reply
    • Vincent

      RV Make: Tiffin, RV Model: Phaeton, RV Year: 2016

      Join Passport of America 50% camping. There are several parks in and around Mobile. When you join they will send you a book with parks in all 50 states, Canada and Mexico. It cost about $44 and you will save that on your 1st trip. Happy Travels.

      Reply
  18. Richard

    RV Make: Fleetwood, RV Model: Bounder w31, RV Year: 2001

    Hardest thing for me to learn is to slow down. I am working on it and my wife is helping by reminding me subtly.
    I took the second 1/2 of an s curve and dropped the front tire off the payment onto the gravel. Was able to recover with no damage, except to my ego. That sure reinforces that slowing down not only is best but a must in a class A.

    Reply
  19. Manni

    RV Make: Heartland 5th Wheel, RV Model: Bighorn 3750FL, RV Year: 2016

    Is it a good idea to lower the hydraulic 6-Point levelers during a longer storage stay for avoiding “Pads” on the tyres?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Manni. We would be happy to assist you; we just need some more information. What is the make/model/year of your motorcycle?

      Reply
  20. John

    RV Make: Forest river, RV Model: Georgetown 360, RV Year: 2012

    I’ve been married for 40 years and this is our first rig and your info is like a breath of fresh air I totally think I will be using this stuff on my next trip. Thanks

    Reply
  21. Roger

    RV Make: Damon, RV Model: 3274, RV Year: 2006

    where is the motor for my bedroom accuslide slide out located I have looked on top and cannot locate it I need to find in the event my slide out fails in the open position

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Roger. Thank you for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your question regarding the slide motor for the Accuslide. The BAL Accuslide is typically a cable slide used for smaller bedroom slideout rooms and is located above the slide in the inside. You should be able to identify the location by the noise of the motor during operation? Many owners confuse the the Accuslide with the Schwintek mechanism that has the motors on each side of the room hidden in the sidewall. This slide can be identified by the horizontal rail on the side of the room that has teeth. To provide more specific information on your system we need the make, model and year of your rig and what slide such as bedroom or larger living room.

      Reply
  22. Jim & Nina Fields

    RV Make: Alfa, RV Model: Gold, RV Year: 2004

    We are over 70 years old, and only I drive, so we limit ourselves between 250 and 300 miles per day. And I always say “Yes Dear” after every command. We have been married forty years and eight days, and she’s my fourth wife. They say I’m either a slow learner, or I finally quick running.

    Reply
  23. ROBERT

    RV Make: Newmar, RV Model: Baystar, RV Year: 2011

    All of the tips are right on. We have been RV’ing for only 3 years but after touring the US Last year in a 1990 220 foot Damon class C, we decided to go full time in a bigger rig.
    Important to do more things together like walks and touring, even if some are not your thing. Food shopping becomes an outing. 2 TV’s are a must . I like the Walking Dead while she prefers HGTV.
    My biggest problem is dealing with clutter (sometimes my own) but it takes extra effort to find a place for everything after living in a 5 bedroom house and now living in 230 square feet.
    Disagreements are normal but avoid long arguments. In our case after 53 years of marriage no one is going anywhere.
    Most important is to remember why you love the person you are traveling with and consider all the mishaps part of the adventure. Merry Christmas & happy holidays…….. Bob & Pat “living the dream”

    Reply
  24. DEMPSEY

    RV Make: Tiffin, RV Model: Allegro Bus, RV Year: 2006

    We’ve been traveling for four years now and love it. We spend @70% of our time away from home and are planning on going full time. Thus far we have been to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Alaska, Arizona and all over America.

    Reply
  25. Dennis

    RV Make: Thor, RV Model: 26 foot, RV Year: 2017

    Agree that parking with a partner can be a problem especially for hand directions and mis communications. We use the cell phones for communication in addition to the misunderstood hand signals. Cannot trust the backup camera for exact length yet.

    Reply
  26. Sylvie Poulin-Lien

    RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: Cougar XL, RV Year: 2010

    Great tips. My husband and I have been married for 30 years and have been RVing for 10+ years and 20 years of tent camping! What I find is the best help in getting along, is to have a great sense of humour and keep things light and not take each other too seriously. Let little things slip by and don’t hold grudges. I am disabled so there are a lot of things I can’t do with my husband so I encourage him to go ahead and do things without me while I rest. Works great!

    Reply
  27. Mary Lund

    Thank you for the tips. We are doing a 4 corner across USA. My husband did all the planning and he will do all the driving. I am getting anxious thinking about it, because we are doing this trip next month. We give ourselves up to 3 months to do this trip. We are in our 50’s and celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary next month.

    Reply