You thought the walls were thin in your apartment—try getting physical in an RV. As they say, if the camper’s a-rockin’, don’t come a-knockin’.
Yes, it’s true that when you live in a RV and you don’t like your neighbors, you can move, but here’s the thing, no matter where you move, you’ll always be within ten feet of another neighbor unless you’re camped out in the middle of a desert, in which case the coyotes are the only ones who will howl along with your mating calls.
Still, if you’re a private person, RV living can get a little sexually awkward, and you might hear noises reminiscent of a college dorm coming from the house on wheels next door. It’s even worse when it’s coming from a couple of gray hairs, though I haven’t run into any frisky grannies just yet.
But, maybe the problem isn’t too much seismic activity in your camper—it’s a lack thereof. How do you keep your love life steamy while on the road with your significant other?
Choose an RV with a good bed
It’s not just about a comfortable mattress. When you are RV shopping, be aware of space as well. Some beds are incredibly cramped, which leaves little space for romance; not to mention, having a ceiling that is only a foot from your face is really quite claustrophobic. When you see a bed that looks like a tight fit, just imagine you and your significant other trying to get it on in that sardine can square footage. Maybe hop on and try it out, fully clothed of course. I mean, at least until you drive her off the lot.
Use the space (and the toys) you’re given
That’s right, I’m talking tables, walls, recliners (none of my friends will ever visit again). Hey, space is not a luxury in most RVs, so you have to make the most of what you have. Speaking of recliners, check out the electric-powered ones that fully recline. Now we’re talking. But, it’s not all about sex (or is it?) Our home on wheels has an electric fireplace, perfect for cuddling up in front of with an indoor picnic and wine on one of those chilly, blustery nights. Lay a blanket down—or bearskin rug—and listen to El Niño unleash his fury on the roof. It sounds a lot like a helicopter is landing on your home on wheels, but not much matters when you’re holding your baby.
Explore your current town for a date night
As a nomad, one of the best ways to explore your newest neighborhood is by researching top restaurants, wine bars and breweries online then making a date of it. I used to eat to live and order whatever was the best bang for my buck, but traveling, by default, has made me a foodie, so my husband and I now both get a lot of joy from finding a restaurant that can rival our favorite bread pudding or a brewery that boasts well-crafted IPAs, browns and live music. If you want to save your cash and your waistband, find a local hiking trail or scan Groupon for deals on nearby paddle boarding and kayaking excursions instead. Best yet, do all of the above. Sometimes you only have to look as far as the trailer park for a date night idea. Grill up some marbled steaks, pop open a bottle of red, grab a bouquet of fresh flowers and enjoy dinner outside on the picnic table. If you’re lucky, your RV park will have a hot tub where you can soak après steak. If you’re really lucky—well, you know.
Take romantic getaways
I’m all about getting away— even more so because I live on the road. The beauty is that the money you save on not paying for cable, water, Wifi and property taxes affords you a little more wiggle room (OK, physically less wiggle room, but financially more). Take advantage of that savings by taking weekend road trips and testing out area B&Bs and hotels. Use your RV park as a leaping off spot then unhitch and ditch the rolling sleeping quarters for a little change, maybe even a little luxury. Chances are your hotel room will even be bigger than your entire home on wheels.
If you don’t live in a RV full-time but dream of roaming the gypsy way, a camper getaway might be just the ticket to rekindling your love life. Even if you have a foundation and four walls, you can live and love like a romad—go ahead, give her a shot, or at least try a one-night stand of camper living.
Rent a van and head for the beach
Surprise your honey with a beach getaway, but instead of reserving a room or sleeping in the sand, rent a campervan for the weekend. “Escape,” or make it a “Jucy” weekend with the little green shaggin’ wagon that could spice things up. Pack the essentials and go. It’s bound to be a weekend neither of you will forget.
Dream about living in a tiny house
Even just dreaming with your significant other can put you in a state of lustful enthusiasm. Watch documentaries together and draw up plans. Fantasize about where you might park it and how you will live off the land. Just don’t talk about the toilet situation until you get really serious; it’s not worth the imagery and fight that might ensue. When the time is right, stop dreaming and start building, but don’t wait too long or the puppy love stage of tiny living might wear off before it has even begun.
Buy a travel trailer and plan your summer getaways
This requires more of a cash investment, but it will pay off in the future. You don’t have to get the most luxurious recreational vehicle, just something in which you can “recreate” (and possibly even procreate, if you so choose) during your downtime. If you are handy types, buy a vintage camper and re-furb it together. If that’s a recipe for disaster—as it would be with my husband and I—just buy a pre-made camper and get lost. You might like it so much that you decide you want to do it full-time.
Take a road trip for your honeymoon
While staying in Eureka, Calif. I met a couple that got married, bought a teardrop camper then decided to sell their house in West Virginia and travel the country in search of a new hometown. With the cans still jangling behind their tires, they hit many of the national parks and finally landed in Portland, Ore., where the newlyweds decided to re-locate. What a way to celebrate new love—with the wind in your hair and the future at your fingertips.
Keep up with Sarah Reijonen’s nomadic lifestyle in her column called “Home on the Road.” If there’s a topic you’d like her to cover, please comment below or email her at email@example.com. Twitter: @spankyandsarah. Instagram: @countrygrlswrld. Happy Trails!