If you’ve just started your full-time RVing adventure with the love of your life, you’ll spare yourself repeated bickering sessions if you divvy up your camping chores into two distinct types: blue duties and pink duties.
Not too long after Jim and I first hit the road, we met a wise old camper who watched with amusement as we pulled into a campground after a long day driving. We were tired, hungry and cranky as we stumbled around untangling a heaping mess of cords and hoses. The friendly RVer took pity on our Keystone Cops comedy hour and sauntered over to offer a tip that would make our set-up and tear-down process exponentially easier from that day forward.
“You gotta split up the duties,” he said to us. “You got blue duties, and you got pink duties. The blue duties are for you,” he said to Jim, “and the pink duties are for you,” he turned to look at me. He proceeded to explain his theory about why gender-specific camping duties make sense.
Pink duties happen inside the RV and are best done by the domestic goddess in the relationship. From closing all the windows and vents to clearing countertops of clutter, these chores are usually overseen by the feminine force in the relationship. Only one well-organized person needs to take charge of ensuring things don’t fall out of cabinets, dumping the trash and setting everything back up again upon arrival at the next destination. “These chores are best left to the lady,” he said as he looked at me and I spun around to see who he was talking about.
Then he advised Jim that blue duties unfold outside the rig, away from the lady. “Don’t mix them up!” he said. The blue duties are best left to the burly half of the couple, usually a man who can wrangle hoses and cords, level and hitch, perform the unpleasant duties of dumping sewer waste, manage the toad and oversee general maintenance tasks that require the use of grease, oil and duct tape. “You know, guy stuff,” our new friend explained.
I laughed when this kind stranger offered his sexist advice for getting along on the road. After all, I’ve always been a motorcycle-riding, mountain biking dirt queen who doesn’t squirm when I get grime under my fingernails. Was he saying I should become a helpless shrinking violet now that we were on the road? We kindly thanked him for his advice and returned to our set-up chores. But much later, we thought about his suggestions and laughed. How could color-coding RVing duties make our life easier? Wasn’t this a one-for-all and all-for-one adventure?
Not quite, we discovered.
The 24/7 togetherness of full-timing can present co-habitation challenges for even the most experienced full-timers. When you pull into a campsite after a long day on the road, dividing up your set-up chores into outdoor blue duties and indoor pink ones is like a “time-out” when your emotions are running high and you just want to settle in. That little bit of space as you go about your chores is often all a couple needs to avoid earning the title of Campground Bickersons.
Now, where’s my pink frilly apron? I need to go play house.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.