One of the best parts about traveling and camping in an RV is the space. It’s compact, functional, and reduces how many belongings you have. One of the worst parts about traveling and camping in an RV can be… the space.
Functionality and reducing your material belongings are advantages, but the compact footprint of an RV can spell trouble at times. There is little privacy in an RV, little chance to “escape” from the travel companions you love so much. And if tempers flare or personalities clash, it can be tough to find the space to cool off. So, it’s important to follow some simple guidance to keep the interior atmosphere of the RV as harmonious as nature itself.
Think of how you act around colleagues, coworkers, and friends. You put on your best face, your best foot forward, your best behavior (at least, really try hard to). We go out of our way or are more aware of how we can be considerate toward those around us. Now think about how you are around those you share a household with. It’s a little different. Guards come down, words spill out, behavior changes. Even though home is where you should be able to be yourself, it’s important to continue to be considerate of your fellow bunkmates. Just because you know somebody well doesn’t mean you can act however you want.
Kindness goes a long way. Make an effort to do little things for those around you, such as making coffee just the way they like it, packing the snack bag for the day’s outing, or taking care of one of “their jobs” just to give them a break. Kindness helps to sooth everyone’s moods and maintain a supportive relationship. It also takes a sense of kindness to smooth things out when you don’t want to, as conflicts are inevitable. Make sure to say you’re sorry when you’re wrong and be able to forgive readily if somebody else messes up; you don’t need any dark clouds hanging over your head.
We’ve discussed before how everyone in the RV should have chores or common jobs for which they are always responsible. Reliably contributing to the welfare of others and smooth running of the trip takes stress out of the equation, because you are dependable to complete your task appropriately. There’s no arguing or blame game or bad feelings; everyone is responsible and can cooperate to get everything done. Each person (adults) should have a sense of independence that allows them to go out and do an activity and return when they say they will and that they will do their jobs well without being nit-picked. It all boils down to reliability, and that trend starts the first time you go camping.
It’s important to not let problems, pet peeves, or feelings sit around until you reach the point of resentment. Have a rule of open communication, as long as it’s constructive, doesn’t attack, and helps everyone to get along better. If it drives you crazy that the remote control is always left in the kitchen, or the bag of chips gets left on the pull-out sofa, let the person know and ask calmly if the remote can always go back by its place by the TV and the chips stored back in the kitchen cabinet.
Clutter is your worst enemy, and it seems 10 times worse in a small space like an RV. With the exception of mealtimes, when everyone should have a job for cooking and cleanup, if you use a dish or cup, clean it out and put it away or throw it out if it’s disposable. Keep the counters free from clutter. The same goes for your clothing and gear. Keep these personal items in a designated space, pick up your laundry, and make sure laundry goes where it’s supposed to go. Everyone is responsible for doing this. Clutter tends to clutter the mind, and tripping over someone else’s stuff doesn’t not bode well for peace in the camper. Here are some ideas for keeping your RV organized.
It’s fine to have different interests and to do activities separately – it can be healthy – but getting outside and doing things together strengthens the bond you already share. Plus, exercise gets everyone’s minds and bodies in a better mood. Take your time to explore and have new experiences. If tensions run high, getting out of the RV temporarily gives everyone the space they need – and it gives you a little exercise while you clear your mind.
What are your tips for keeping peace in a small space like an RV? Share your thoughts in the comments!