Ask the Fit RV: How Can I Make My Spouse Like RVing?

Hi gang! Here’s an interesting dilemma that seems to come up every so often with RVing couples. See if you can relate:

Dear Stef,

I always had it in my head that once my spouse and I retired, we’d hit the road. Even though we are a few years from retirement, we ended up buying our first rig almost a year ago now so we’d be all set once we finally decided to retire. Problem is, my spouse hasn’t taken to the RV at all. It’s actually gotten worse over this past year, and at this point she’s completely uninterested in doing any road trips. Any suggestions on how to convince her to like RVing?


Desperately Seeking Adventure (with my wife!)


Dear Desperately Seeking Adventure,

The root of your spouse’s distaste for RVing most likely stems from her aversion to The Discomfort Zone. I wrote about that recently and its impact on our life choices. I’m sure if I could ask her what specifically she dislikes about RVing, all her reasons would boil right down to comfort, or lack thereof. Since I don’t have any specifics, I’ll try my best on this one!

Talk to her.  If you want to convince your spouse to like RVing, start with an open and honest and non-judgmental conversation so you can learn what she dislikes. Once you have a clear understanding of her reasons for disliking RV trips, you’ll be better equipped to find solutions to the things that are causing her negative feelings towards RVing.

Create an environment in the RV that makes her more comfortable. This depends on her preferences but here are some examples of what I mean. Change the RV bedding or mattress so she’s excited to get to sleep in the RV each night. Have things like a portable fan or heated auto blanket handy to help her regulate her temperature. Does she have a favorite show she hates missing on the road? Get her an iPad with wifi so she never misses out. If she can take along many of her comforts she enjoys at home, she might be more amenable to time in the RV.

Analyze whether your rig meets your style of RVing. You didn’t say what type of RV you have, but perhaps a big part of the problem is the rig itself. So maybe you’re in a van and she hates the “cramped” feeling. Or you’re in a huge Class A and she dislikes driving along in such a big rig. Or a 5th wheel, and she dreads the stress of setting it up and breaking camp. If during your “talk”, she lets on anything about the rig itself, perhaps you both need to evaluate whether swapping your rig for one more appropriate for your style of RVing might be worth considering.

Plan the tempo and destinations of your trips around things that appeal to her. Do you have grandkids cross country? Does her sister live a few states over? Getting to see loved ones she doesn’t see often might make your spouse much more interested in taking a trip. As for the tempo, perhaps she prefers shorter stops and would enjoy moving along more frequently (or vice versa). Talk to her about her preferences, and brainstorm destinations that would excite her.


And finally, while I hope she’ll eventually grow to love RVing as much as you do, in reality she may never totally take to RVing. Even though we can encourage  and suggest, we can really never change another person…we can only adapt and change ourselves. And in this case, perhaps that means you should try a solo RV trip. It’s actually quite healthy to learn to love spending time alone with just ourselves for company. Who knows, once the pressure’s off her and you’re out on your own adventures, maybe she’ll meet you halfway. Maybe the next trip, she’ll be ready.

Health and Happiness,



Stefany Adinaro is an RVing fitness pro and is the self-proclaimed “better half” of the Fit RV website. While she loves her RV adventures, her favorite adventure is being “Mugga” to grandbabies Amelia and Eli. When she's not on the road, you can find her training clients in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    16 thoughts on “Ask the Fit RV: How Can I Make My Spouse Like RVing?

    1. Don Thompson

      Wife wants A. I want B. We agreed to do some of each. (I’m hoping for 50/50 on time, but don’t expect it.) We, and our relatives live in the east. I love things in the west, especially national parks. We took one trip where I drove out and back and she flew west and back home in the middle. We both liked being alone for a week. Too bad she missed the black hills including Mt. Rushmore on my way back home. Now, she no longer wants to fly.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Thanks, Nancy! I’ve had this conversation enough times and gathered enough tips from couples who’ve gone through it that it was an easy one for me to write!!!

    2. Karen

      Love the article. You actually pointed out some great ideas and suggestions on how to overcome obstacles. Great job. My only other suggestion to the couple is if they’ve been married long enough to each other to reach retirement age, they should be able to overcome how to rv together. Our biggest issue was and continues to be getting there. I get so nervous in heavy construction traffic so in order to overcome the issue, I just get up and move to a side couch and lie down until we get through the city traffic. The upshot, there is always something to work out if you try hard enough.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Karen thanks so much for this insight. You’re spot on. Even James and I, who both love RVing, have to make compromises. Take our current beach trip, James hates sand, I love it. Still, he’s here because he knows it’s my favorite RV destination. Give and take is inevitable with RV couples. Thanks for pointing that out!

    3. Eric Eltinge

      Just took my wife to KOA Mendocino CA. They had Father’s Day wine tasting, pancake breakfast, and 7th NBA game party. Wife enjoyed with daughter visiting. Now at Klamath River CA campground with DIRECTV and furnace blasting. Just had gin and tonics by fire pit. She seems happy, and bulldog curled up nearby. Just keep trying everything!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        So glad she’s enjoying your trip! Way to go Eric, sounds like you’ve identified her needs, incorporated tons of things that make her happy, and it worked! May you two have many many years of RV adventures ahead. So happy for you!

    4. Rocky

      I don’t know why but as I read your comments all I could hear in my head was Tammy Wynette singing “Our D-I-V-O-R-C-E becomes final today”

      1. Stefany - Post author

        LOL Rocky, I sing that to James all the time so you were probably just hearing me sing it. 😉

    5. Larry

      It may also be *how* you take your RV trips. My SO loves wilderness and would hate going from RV park to RV park. Yours may be the opposite. Some people like long drives, others hate them.

      More than anything, I think everyone hates to be left out when it comes to planning a vacation. RV or not, don’t plan a trip for her. Plan it with her.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Yes, Larry! Great points, thanks for bringing them up. The HOW is everything in RVing, most definitely. And including your spouse in the planning gives them a little ownership and responsibility in how the trip will go. That’s a great way to up the “like” factor!


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