When it comes to vanlife women v men emptying the portaloo, there is a definite role pattern! The way in which we participate in the glorious world of vanlife chores is rater strange. There seems to be a bit of a gender chore gap between us and our male partners!
Ok, so the lid on the can of worms has just been lifted!! Before we all get a little flustered, about this, not so equality based observation, spiralling off into the stratosphere. In words more at home to an episode of “Through the Keyhole”……let’s just look at the evidence!
So, what exactly are we looking at here? Come on Vanlife women!
It’s not just those dirty jobs, yes you know which ones those are! From those toilet emptying duties, to the awful task, of practically crawling underneath to open the waste outlet. Yes, you’ve done it, quickly darting out of the way, to avoid getting a soaking in dirty washing water! Have these Motorhome manufacturers ever had to empty their own waste tanks?!
Leaving waste products aside. It’s also the more leisurely side of vanlife, typically, the driving and those other little incidentals, that all need attending to.
Such as getting out the awning, for some desperate shade or putting it away, for that matter. Levelling up on those rather clumsy looking ramps, or in our, case the more economical, but equally effective product….wood!!
Not to mention, if your Motorhome or van has a garage……well, how often do you see a woman messing around with all the bits and bobs in there?! I take one look in our garage and immediately turn the other way for a sharp exit!
While I’m at it, what about changing those gas bottles? Blimey, now we are getting a bit close to home, surely?!
There just seems to be certain jobs on the road, that the men in our lives automatically take charge over.
Quite frankly, I’m definitely happy for Nige to carry on and do the dirty work for me. But am I the exception to the rule? Or do other women out there take charge in this equally liberal world?
Are any female Motorhome and vanlife hobbyists taking over and doing the typical, male only jobs of the past, now themselves?
Now, you may think I’m being harsh here on us women and the female exploits. But, when it comes to mucking-in on the mucky stuff, the facts are there for all to see.
We’ve covered a staggering distance of around 150,000 miles on our travels in a Motorhome or Campervan over many years. We’ve used countless Aires, Stellplatz’s, Sosta’s and campsites and travelled too many routes to mention in one blog piece.
In all those years, the amount of times we’ve seen women driving the Motorhome, or emptying the cassette toilet, whilst their male partner occupies the passenger seat, is really rare!
I say hat’s off to those women who go it alone. We’ve seen a few of those and they are fab! But in a male/female couple relationship, it does usually see the male at the helm for those big Motorhome chores. Including, the more leisurely scene of driving, isn’t that what vanlife and campervan’s are all about?
I love driving, don’t you? Isn’t this why’s we do this in the first place? Do other vanlife women feel the same?
I’m really hoping the answer is yes here, or else, I’m not quite sure why you’re reading this blog!
Here’s the crunch, the reason I don’t drive as much as Nige, yes it’s that I’m quite happy to leave it to him,! Especially in years gone by, when we had some pretty big Motorhome’s, I remember, not being able to get the handbrake off, on one van, with my tiny hands!
For us though, in the days before google maps and using our phones as navigation devices, (yes all that’s fairly recent, since the onset of no roaming charges on our mobile contracts), I was always better in the role of navigator than Nige, (don’t tell him that!!). I would sort out directions, paper maps, sat nav co-ordinates and route-finding, giving instructions as we went.
The difference is that Nige loves driving, whilst I like driving! Having said that, in certain places and now that navigation is such a breeze through technology, I certainly love to take to the wheel.
Confession time though!! One thing I’ve never done and have no intention of doing at any time soon, unless I have to, is emptying the cassette toilet!!!
While Nige is still keen to carry on the role of loo content disposer, he’s welcome to it! But in reverse role, it’s me who cleans the loo inside the van. So, we both have our fair share of crap jobs to do, (pardon the pun!).
On the plus side, I most definitely do help with any uneven ground, I’ll happily position the pieces of sawn off wood under our chunky Sprinter tyres!
We do, also share the water filling up chores. Although, it does tend to turn into a joint exercise at some point! One stands near the tap to do a quick turn off, whilst the other makes sure the end of our hose, keeps from falling to the ground!
Then there’s the waste emptying, our Carthago had the luxury of internal valves to release the contents from the tanks. This was just great for both of us.
We do still muck in on our Sprinter waste, with the valve under the van, it’s a sort of whoever gets to it first type of approach!
Gas bottles have always been a job for Nige. Although, nowadays, we rarely use gas with our diesel system. In times past, we’ve had some pretty big bottles, too heavy for me to shift and so it was over to Nige and his bigger muscles!
When it comes to the awning, hubby is taller, so he does the harder to reach bits, whilst the rest we share together. Usually, to avoid the whole thing flopping onto the side of the van.
One big male dominance, does seem to be the satellite dish! A man does love fiddling with his signal! It’s one of the first things to make an appearance and it never seems to be the women, who make the first move, to get that TV picture perfect!
We don’t have a TV, so it’s not something that’s on our list of chores. However, it’s quite comical watching those that do and how it takes up so much of their time. It’s almost enjoyable, a bit like a new toy!
When it comes to inside the van, call us stereotypical, but I love to make it homely. Am I typical of vanlife women the world over? The bedding, cushions, most of the supplies are all down to me. This is my domain on behalf of both of us and it has to be, just so!
I guess, so long as we’re happy in our Motorhome and vanlife roles, then it doesn’t really matter who does what. It’s all about the sharing, enjoying and getting the jobs done.
That leaves us all with the best possible outcome…..the purpose of life on the road. Exploring and learning as we go and having more time to see the most amazing new places and experience the surroundings, of the next destination.
Here’s to campervan men and vanlife women everywhere, cheers to chores, whatever they may be!!
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