How To Maintain A Strong Relationship While Traveling In An RV with Asobo Life

Published on June 13th, 2022

Getting in an RV and traveling the open road with a significant other is fast becoming one of America’s most popular pastimes. What better way to spend quality time with your partner than to be out exploring and camping alongside stunning nature views.

But it might come as a surprise to many that RV life can provide a multitude of unique challenges to those currently in relationships. And for complete transparency, we admit that this traveling lifestyle hasn’t been a cake walk for our own relationship either.

In our three years on the road, we’ve learned and used several key strategies to help keep our relationship healthy and strong. And in this post, we want to share five of our most important lessons.

Man and woman embrace outside their camper van

1. Learn To Breathe When Tension Builds

No matter how spacious your RV might be, it will never be as large as your house (or even your apartment). And over time, the limited space of your camper can begin to feel cramped and restricting.

In reality, your partner will be stuck by your side 24/7. And under this constant feeling of claustrophobia, it’s easy to feel like everything your partner does and says just gets on your nerves.

Sometimes something so innocent as simply trying to get around each other in a cramped space is enough to set off tempers.

But no matter the cause of your flare-up, before you say something to your partner that you might regret later, it’s important to breathe in, exhale, and wash away that initial upwelling of frustration. Get control of your emotions and simply let the moment pass.

Not only does breathing in and out help keep your emotions in check, but it also gives you the time and mental space to observe and understand your emotions.

This is an important first step before you can communicate your feelings to your partner.

Man and woman sit at the table of their camper van and smile at each other

2. Learn To Communicate

Although good communication is critical to any relationship (regardless of whether there is an RV involved), we’d argue that being able to talk about an issue is even more important when living in a mobile home because of the compact living environment and space limitations.

Unlike in an actual home, you can’t just shut yourself in a separate room to get away from your partner. In an RV, if there are bad vibes swirling around you and your partner, you’re stuck with them for the rest of the day, and finding alone time isn’t as easy.

That’s why if something is bothering you, it’s important to learn how to communicate your feelings to your partner. What is it that you feel, and why? Did your partner do something intentionally (or unintentionally) to make you feel a certain way?

Laying out your thoughts and emotions in a mature and constructive way is the perfect way to nip the problem in the bud before the issue spreads deeper and becomes harder to repair.

Man and woman sit inside the open side door of their camper van

3. Give Each Other Space

One of the things that agitates my partner, Yuko, to no end is when I’m standing right next to her while she’s cooking. But in our small camper van, it’s actually hard to be anywhere EXCEPT right next to her when we’re both in the vehicle.

It took us some time to realize it, but having our own individual space is important to the health of our relationship. Sure we love our partners, but having space to breathe and time to be by yourself is critical for mental sanity, especially during RV life!

These days, we try to ensure that each of us has some alone time every day. If Yuko is making a meal in the van, I’ll try to stay outside, usually playing with our cat! Or if I’m inside working on my laptop, Yuko might head off into town to hangout at a cafe for a few hours.

Being conscientious of each other’s space has really helped to give our relationship a breath of fresh air. As sobering as it might be to admit it, constantly being around your partner gets old really fast. But by separating for even a short amount of time, you learn to appreciate when you’re actually with your partner, instead of just taking it for granted.

Man and woman cook in the kitchen of their camper van

4. Help Each Other Out

RV life might feel like you’re going on a long, enjoyable vacation, but it’s also a lot of work! Just like when living in a house, the daily chores still need to be done. This includes cooking, cleaning, sweeping, washing, and more.

In our van, sometimes it can feel like as much as half our day is dedicated to taking care of daily responsibilities. 

Inevitably, some chores take considerably longer than others. For example, cooking and cleaning up after a meal is more time intensive than taking out the garbage and filling (and dumping) the RV water tanks.

As a result, we’ve made it a habit to help each other out when we have free time but our partner is still working. Not only does this help to speed up the chores process, but your partner ends up appreciating the support, which in turn strengthens the overall relationship.

I also know from personal experience that just standing around doing nothing while your partner is hard at work is usually a recipe for getting into an argument later on in the day.

Man and woman stand side by side outside their camper van

5. Be Social At Your Campsite

When traveling in an RV with just your partner, it can be too easy to live in your “bubble for two”. You eat together, hang out together, and go out exploring together.

But we’ve learned that being around each other 24/7 doesn’t always strengthen a relationship. Sometimes it can even strain it.

Neither of us are natural extroverts, but we do try to be social and meet our neighbors when we arrive at new campgrounds. Not only do we genuinely like to meet and get to know other RV travelers, but being able to meet and socialize with other people actually helps to keep our relationship strong and fresh.

Sometimes we’ll organize a group campfire, pot luck dinner, or even invite another couple into our van for game night!

And at the end of the day, Yuko and I love to recap our new experiences together. Being active and social throughout the day has given us new topics to talk about and experiences to bond over.

Man and woman smile at each other in front of the ocean

Conclusion: Remember To Love Your Partner

No matter what you do, there will always be low points in a relationship. This is true in any space, whether living in a home or when traveling in a RV.

But if you and your partner do find yourself at odds with each other, it’s important to remember that both of you are on the same team throughout your RV travels. Love each other, support each other, and give each other space when needed.

If you follow some of our hard-learned advice and improve from your mistakes, we’re confident you and your partner will thrive throughout your RV travels.

For more: Check out our post for more RV relationship tips

How To Contact Us

For more campervan living & building tips, check out our blog:

We also love getting mail! For any questions or comments, please send us an email at [email protected] Or for more on our current Pan-American road trip to Argentina visit us on Instagram: @asobolife.

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