VIDEO: RVs & Marriage

Posted In: Rough Cuts, Video

I have a friend in the RV business. He studies the industry and the people who buy RVs. He’s privy to a lot of “inside information” about RV travel, the results of some sophisticated market research. Well, this fellow insists that RV travel promotes healthy marriage. As evidence supporting his claim, he says that the divorce rate amongst camping couples is much lower than that of the general public.

We do meet a lot of happily married couples in campgrounds. Whenever we meet a couple whose marriage has lasted for decades, I always ask them about the “secret” to a successful marriage. We get a lot of joking answers (often regarding the magic phrase, “Yes, dear.”), but there are a few consistent themes. Sure, there are many intangible factors. But my conclusion is that a successful marriage is built upon the pillars of communication and compromise.

Communication is obviously vital. Without healthy and open lines of communication, relationships break down faster than a motorhome without oil. RV travel certainly promotes communication because an RV is close quarters. Having a disagreement? There’s no stomping off to the basement to sulk and brood. You can’t go hide in your private corner of the house. In an RV, for better and for worse, your spouse is always nearby. You better work it out.

Communication is inevitable. And it’s also necessary, because RV travel require teamwork. You have to work with your travel partner to arrange all sorts of details: campground reservations, hitching and unhitching, monitoring the water tanks, leveling the rig, etc. The list is endless, and teamwork is what it’s all about. When we travel, I handle most of the outside stuff, while Kristy handles most of the inside stuff. We do the hitching and backing together.

What about compromise? In modern society it sounds like a dirty word, but compromise is essential to ANY healthy relationship. In a marriage, both parties must compromise in order to achieve mutual goals and happiness. If you aren’t willing to compromise with others, you’ll eventually find yourself all alone in a spider hole, surviving off a diet of Snickers and Doritos. Just ask Saddam Hussein.

People who RV are by definition accepting of compromise, because camping demands compromise. Heck, that’s why we camp. It’s an opportunity to “rough it” while maintaining our primary comforts. We actually enjoy and value the compromises, and the enhanced sense of perspective they bring to our lives.

So, does RV travel promote a healthy marriage? It’s a complex question. While I accept that RVing couples probably boast lower divorce rates than the general public, this may be because happy couples are more likely to RV.

If you are the type of person who frequently argues with your spouse, then RV travel may pose a risky gambit. There are some challenges involved with RV travel, and everything’s not always going to go the way you want it. Of course, there’s stress involved with all travel; the real question concerns how you choose to handle it. People don’t magically change personalities the moment they step aboard an RV. If you fight in a house, you may be inclined to fight in a camper. Perhaps even more so!

But if you are the type of person who enjoys spending time with your spouse, and if you can laugh when your best laid plans go awry, then RV travel just might strengthen your marriage. It’s a unique shared adventure that demands cooperation and teamwork. The phrase “bonding experience” comes to mind. RVing is all about spending quality time with your loved ones.

Yes, RV travel will probably be great for your marriage — assuming, of course, that your first BIG camping trip doesn’t end it. :-)

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