Telltale Heart of the Matter: What Traits Make Full-Time Camper Living Work for a Couple?

Shane and I embarked on the wanderful life without researching whether we had the personality traits to live full-time in a camper. For a very long time, he dreamed of a nomadic life, where he could work and travel at the same time. He knew he could live in a tiny space and could adapt to any situation. His life experiences taught him such. But, when he asked me to join him, he had to dangle the most delicious carrot (“you can write your novel and hike”–ummm, yes please!) for me to consider this as a lifestyle. Living full-time in a camper was the polar opposite of my desire to settle down as a homesteader. I wanted to buy land, build my off-grid sustainable house, plant a garden, raise chickens and bees, and maybe have kids, the kind that bleat and devour grass, hats, and anything they can chew. 🙂 OMG I ❤ this baby goat:

Why did I agree then? The carrot and the person holding the stick.

The person holding the stick. 🙂 Steampunk Assassins for friends’ Halloween party.

Home is where the heart is, and Shane has my heart. ❤ Not to mention, my heart sings in nature, while hiking and exploring new places, while writing. He simply had found a way for our dreams to collide.

On Halloween 2020, I plan on getting Mauied with him (aka married in Maui). I’ll definitely find out if we’re truly meant for each other, as my friend Missy pointed out. My friend Alex posted this funny meme on my Facebook page:

Even people who don’t live full-time in a camper recognized the challenge. But, as individuals can we overcome the challenges? What about as a couple?

I found an internet guru on the topic.

Nikki Cleveland ( )  listed the top ten traits for a full-time RVer:

  1. Adventurous (—we backpack, kayak, and snorkel. He skydives, while I hang-glide.)
  2. Adaptable (√—the fact we’ve both not only lived through potentially life-shattering situations but thrived regardless attests to our adaptability. We have good coping strategies, albeit I’ve needed to enlist new ones when I lost my tried and true ones.)
  3. Independent (√—we’re both very happy on our own, doing our own thing)
  4. Resourceful (√—we’re absolutely handy and ingenious. We’re good monkeys! Have you seen what we did to our toy trailer?
  5. Self-sufficient (√—off-grid is the dream! Our Geo Pro has solar panels and batteries, fresh/grey/black water tanks, and propane tanks. It also has an off-road package.)
  6. Patient (√—this attribute may not perfectly describe us, but we’re managing. We’ve handled a few difficulties already: broken water heater, frozen water pipes.
  7. Organized (√—the first blog illustrated this. Now, we deal with getting in each other’s way with humor. Case in point: he told me to get my sh*t out his way. I told him his way was in my sh*t. We had a good laugh.)
  8. Dedicated (√—I’m so dedicated I started a blog to chronicle this wanderful life!)
  9. Open-minded (√—we’re willing to go anywhere)
  10. Frugal (√—this is why he chose to do this. We’ll save money! We certainly can’t buy anything because nothing else will fit. LOL In the end, our goal is to save enough money to buy a larger plot of land or more goats.).
Adventuring in the Florida Keys
Paddling Duckies on the Lower Yough in Ohiopyle, PA. Shane’s so adventurous he’s going backwards down the rapids. 😛

Those personality traits will bring two people together on the full-time camper/RV path, but they may not keep them together. Living in a small, cramped space alone has its frustrations; living in a small cramped space with another person always invading your space will double frustrations and might cause division in ways other than “the cabinets on this side are mine, the other yours.”

We agree with It’s a Necessity ( To succeed in a long-term committed relationship, whether in a small space or not, couples need healthy ongoing communication, respect, praise, gratitude, laughter, and a life outside the small space. All the wide open spaces are yours when you live in a camper!! That’s why it’s the WANDERful life. 🙂

To all the above, we would add three other significant characteristics you cannot do without:

  1. Cooperation—couples who work as a team will accomplish more, and their camper will run like a much larger efficient house. Settle into a routine; assign specific responsibilities between the two of you (or to everyone in the family); tackle problems and brainstorm solutions together; do what needs to be done for the other person, for the team.
  2. Goofiness—life’s too serious to take seriously. Couples who play together stay together, and we fully intend on goofing off. Pretty sure our camper neighbors think we’re nutball. LOL We expect things to go wrong; we expect to butt heads (like goats) and step on toes (probably more literally than figuratively). However, we expect the fun times to outweigh the un-fun times. We love this wanderful life thus far and feel eager about where we will wander into wonder.
My mom’s embarrassed to call me her grown daughter, I’m sure. LOL
So pretty. 😀 ❤ *snicker snort* The things he’ll do for me!!! His mom will be shocked, but probably not surprised. He’s her wild child. ❤

3. Most importantly…When I asked Shane what traits you need as a couple, all he simply said was “Love.”

Backpacking Tinker Cliffs in VA.

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