Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: How to Be One of Those Couples in Restaurants Who Have Something To Say to Each Other

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August 24, 2011

You’ve seen them; couples in restaurants, glazed smiles applied carefully, trying to disguise the fact they have little in common and little to say to each other anymore.

While I can’t make any claims to degrees in marital counseling, I have learned something about RV relationships in these few months my hubby and I have been full-time RVing. This is what I’ve learned, based on observations of couples of all ages at RV parks and campgrounds: they tend to have pretty close relationships. I know…it’s not true of all RVing couples. No doubt there are generators blocking out the sounds of folks pecking each other to death inside RVs. However (and admittedly lacking statistical proof), I still think couples who RV or camp tend to stay together, have more in common with each other, and actually like each other more than most. Here’s why:

• If you are RVing or tent camping, as in moving around different parts of the country, planning new activities regularly, and constantly discovering new horizons, you will have something to say to each other. You almost have to! You’re involved with each other; you’re engaged with each other. You are a team.
• If you both see a little herd of deer pawing and snorting outside your RV window, you’re sharing something that creates a memory; a memory born of a shared experience between the two of you, and perhaps your children or grandchildren. Not that rolling over and looking at the wall you’ve seen 8, 487 times doesn’t create memories. Maybe for some…but I’m betting, not for most.
• RVing and camping require that you support and help each other. You often discover you truly need each other, as in “Will you help me carry these bags to the Laundromat?” or “Will you crank that thing while I raise the awning?” The same person who wouldn’t notice a spouse carrying loads of laundry though the house may see things differently, watching that spouse hump a ton of laundry down three RV steps, stagger to the RV Laundromat in the rain, with a shady character lurking near by. I think there’s something in everyone that responds when we know we are needed. RVing and camping allows you to need each other, just as you once did, perhaps long ago.
The couple relationship often takes a back burner to almost everything. However, when you’re barreling across the desert in your RV, trying to avoid a dust storm boiling your way, your spouse or partner might start to look exceedingly dear. He or she is the only partner and friend you have in those moments. RVing and camping create opportunities to realize that when push comes to shove, you’re part of a team. And you both matter. I don’t know why, but sometimes we can love people more and better by watching their faces light up across a campfire, or playing cards with them listening to the rain hammer bullets into the the RV roof.

We all know RVing provides opportunities for irritation as well as closeness (you should have heard the couple next to us today, as they backed their 5th wheel into a spot the size of my iPad). She made suggestions to him about what he could do with the side mirrors that left permanent scars in my image bank!
But I’ve run my theory past several people we’ve met, and here’s the consensus: couples who camp and RV seem to be close and have strong connections with each other. Perhaps it’s the making of shared memories that provides emotional cement for long-lasting, close marriages. You just don’t forget the deer outside your window and the desert dust storms; experiences that you shared only with each other.

Happy tales, and may you always have things to say to each other in restaurants.


Leave a Reply


  1. Patti Faustini

    Hello Reinita! It’s been awhile! Yes this is pretty much end of camping season for Michiganders! I’m from Ohio…same neck of the woods. I do hope you get to full-time some day….same for us! It will be interesting to see what the future holds for both of our families.

    Happy tales,


  2. Hi, Patty
    Been MIA with new job and just now catching up on your blog. Currently camping for the last time this season (it was 44 degrees earlier today in Michigan) sans the three kids and two dogs. Very quiet. Went for a couple of walks. Took a nap together and have been hanging out all evening.
    Great opportunity to re-connect. We do dream of full-timing some day. I suspect we’ll be one of those couples for whom it will be an adventure and not torture.
    Thanks for sharing your stories.
    Hope your Class C sells soon and for a fair price!

  3. Hey Butterbean, you wild child! I think my husband’s a looker, too! He LOVES your comments re: the good looking Italian actor!

    Happy tales,


  4. Thank you, Diane, and considering you are a marriage counselor, I’m honored by your feedback!

    Happy Tales,


  5. butterbean carpenter

    Howdy Patti,

    As Dr. Berry says, “You the gal, girl!” You make a lot of sense for someone who married that handsome
    Italian actor M.M… Some folks are friends and become couples and some get married !!! Most won’t
    gone on to become ‘full-time’ RVrs, tho… When you have 3K-4K sq. ft. of house it’s easy to stay out of
    each others space, BUT in even a 45 footer with 6 slides THERE AIN’T THAT MUCH ROOM AND IT GETS CROWDED !!!
    Man, he’s handsome, girl !!

    Smooth roads, clear skies & balmy breezes !!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Diane Berry

    Hey Patti–Great post! I AM a marriage counselor and I read a great deal of wisdom in your words. Interests in common (ie traveling and camping), time spent together doing things we enjoy (ie camping, RVing, etc) and supporting each other DO build strong and lasting relationships. As does friendship–and many of the qualities you describe speak of that friendship also. Really enjoyed this. Plan to share with some of my couples! Thanks!