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