With the entire family living in 300 square feet how do you parents get “alone time”?
It’s funny how often this comes up. Parents of families considering ditching the suburbs for the smaller confines of RV, boats or tiny houses fear the move is going to kill their sex lives.
- ...as a human race we’ve always had 7000 square-foot McMansions to sequester ourselves away in while a nanny looks after the kids.
- ...the early settlers had something besides covered wagons or small log cabins to work with.
- ...the other hundreds of families who’ve chosen lives of travel have hung up their sexuality and the opportunity to enjoy marital relations with their spouse while doing so.
Yea, not happening.
My first thought when this question came up is “you must not want it bad enough!” But the question persists so let’s just address it head-on. We’re all adults here, right?
RVs come in a gadjillion sizes, shapes and floorplans. I grew up traveling in a Class A Motorhome - basically what most people think of when you say “RV”. Maybe it’s due to movies like RV but there is something more romantic and cinematic about driving a motorhome down the road vs. towing a trailer.
After touring a couple of “bunkhouse” Class As however we ruled them out. The kids’ beds were on the side of the rig towards the rear at a right-angle to the master bed. If we were all in our beds we could just about play footsies with the kids.
Like most traveling familes we instead chose a fifth wheel bunkhouse where the kids room is at the rear of the trailer and the master bedroom is at the front.
Maximum separation = good.
Our current rig has a bathroom configuration that allows us to access the bathroom directly from the master bedroom - also handy considering the topic at hand.
Travel trailers and RVs are inherently unstable. Things wiggle and bounce easily. We call it the “youthquake” when our kids move around. We joke that we can geolocate them by how the trailer is bouncing.
Part of setting up camp is stabilizing the rig for daily living. Front legs go down. Rear legs go down.
But there’s more you can do.
We’ve added JT Strongarms to all of our legs. By triangulating (I hope I can claim credit for first use of that word in a sex-related article) the legs they add stability.
We also use X-Chocks in between our tires to minimize the side to side shimmy.
Stabilty = good.
We weren’t ever a “co-sleeping” family. Our suburban house master bedroom was for us. It wasn’t a play option. We taught the kids to knock before entering.
Eventually we put a lock on the door, not because anyone walked in at the wrong moment but just for peace of mind that it wouldn’t happen.
We’ve kept the same approach in the RV. Even though our first trailer only had a curtain to close off the master bedroom, we required the kids to ask before entering.
Our current rig has an entry door and a slider door into the bathroom. If those doors are closed we are in our private space and shouldn’t be interrupted.
Boundaries = good.
Logistics & Schedule
We jumped into this lifestyle when the kids were 12 and 13. They were “young” for their ages because one of our homeschooling goals was to let them enjoy a childhood and not grow up too fast.
At this point the kids still had an earlier bedtime than we did. We’d look for times during the day when they were both engaged in something (preferably out of the RV):
- Local friends
- Ranger programs (bet the Rangers didn’t know that!)
- Bike rides or hikes they could do on their own
- We weren’t above putting in a movie for them then excusing ourselves for a “nap”.
They are now 16 and 18, go to bed after us, and sleep in later. This opens up some different opportunities for us to be alone - but it doesn’t always work out because one of us is an afternooner while the other is a morning person. TMI?
We’ve become less guarded about our sex lives with the kids as they’ve gotten older and less naive. We aren’t graphic but are affectionate with each other in front of them. We no longer mask the true purpose of our afternoon “naps”.
We’ve joked about what they might see if they forget to knock - and try to help them understand it’s not something they probably want to see. Much eye-rolling commences but the point gets across.
Showing affection = good.