So you got your camper, tent, or RV…. and it’s vacation time!
You should be able to have a blast, do what you want… but in reality, you’re on vacation about 5 feet away from someone else on vacation, and he’s 5 feet away from someone else also trying to enjoy their time!
What I’m saying is, it’s important to remember that the nature of RVing and camping sometimes includes being in close contact with others, which can be so awesome because it’s an easy way to connect and have something to talk about.
However, you’ll also encounter those people that couldn’t care less – dogs barking away, lights on all hours of the night, speeding through the campground on their 4 wheeler… BLEH!
We tend to stay away from RV parks and bigger campgrounds for that reason (we have 3 little kids, and sometimes it’s easier for everyone if we camp somewhere with more space!) but I DEFINITELY think these are possibly the most annoying things you can do at an RV Park!
I actually saw this even asked on a RV thread on Facebook somewhere, and it was unreal the amount of people that agreed on these things!
Anyways, here are some things to avoid… Don’t be “that guy!”
P.S. If you don’t have time to read all of this, get the PDF form!
It’s good to be a good campground neighbor, so if you don’t have time to read this (or you have the memory of a gnat like me!) download it all here!
Don’t leave your dog to bark all day while you’re gone
To be fair, I know alot of National Parks don’t allow dogs (for good reason, it’s disturbing to the wildlife, other hikers, and the terrain!) so I get why sometimes dogs are left behind all day.
However, if you’re dog is tied up inside the RV, or tied to a pole nearby, perhaps the dog should have been left home this trip.
Naturally, dogs will bark because they get bored or tired of being stuck in one place. And HOLY HECK is it annoying to be at camp during the day, and to constantly hear the dog yapping right next to you.
Again, I know things come up and it sometimes can’t be avoided, but please try to be considerate of others if you know you’ll be gone for a long time during a trip!
Speaking of dogs… keep them on a leash and pick up that poop!
Yes, we are “outside” but the same rules apply here as any other park… pick up the poop! Even in the green play areas RV parks often have, it was pretty rude to leave it there for a child or someone else to step in.
Wandering dogs are another big deal – while you might swear up and down that your dog is a sweetheart, it still isn’t helpful to have him trying to eat our food, or pee and poop with no one around to pick it up.
Even if your dog is nice, it’s considerate to keep him on a leash as no one likes a random dog in their space!
Avoid taking “short cuts” and walking through someone else’s campsite!
Each person’s campsite is like an extension of their camper/tent! Imagine someone random walking through your backyard!
Even if there are no rugs or anything out, it is still considered polite to just use the paths and roads to get where you need to go!
Follow generator hours!
Most campgrounds have pretty strict rules on if generators are allowed, and if so, what the hours of operation are.
That means you can’t keep your generator running till 11 at night, or start it super early at 6 am whenever you get up and wake up the rest of the campground.
Even in RVs, we all do still like to enjoy nature, and hearing noisy generators when we’re trying to sleep and enjoy our trip is the worst!
This is especially true if you’re camping in a shared campground, meaning there are tent campers in the area as well!
Make sure to look at the information board (usually at the entrance of the campground), or if it’s a bigger campground, read up online or ask a camp host if you’re unsure what the generator hours are!
If you smoke, try to do so away from other people – and DO NOT throw your butts on the ground!
Alright, there’s no rule saying you have to move away from people (I think?
) if you’re smoking.. but it’s pretty rude if it’s a particularly cramped campground!
I have 3 kids, and while I don’t expect people to move away from us to smoke, I am always very thankful when they see us, and decide to walk a little ways away.
And if you choose not to move away, atleast pick up your butts!
It is not the campground hosts job (though he still has to do it for everyone elses experience) to pick up your trash.
It’s also pretty disgusting when a child finds it and tries to play with it!
A simple empty water bottle or can is an easy solution to store all your butts, and easy to dispose of when you leave!
Try to empty your black tank during less busy hours at the campground
If you don’t know, you’re black tank is where everything from the toilet goes.
It’s fairly common for people to opt for putting it into a transportable tank and dumping it offsite as opposed to having to pack up and move the whole RV/ camper to dump the black tank when it’s full.
So, if you find yourself needing to drain your black tank while in the campground, try to be courteous to people and wait for a time your neighbor isn’t around, if possible.
Again, not a rule or anything, just thoughtful etiquette!
Turn off your outer lights (or use red lights) after 10 PM!
Most campgrounds have a “quiet hours” rule that starts at 10 – that covers music and generators and such, however it isn’t always clear what the rule is about lights.
Most people will turn the lights off on their own to allow people to sleep easier – so unless it’s an emergency, transition to your red lights (most newish RVs and campers have night time lights) or just turn them off and use a headlamp or lantern!
Keep the music volume reasonable
While you might feel like reggae is the sound of summer (I do!) not everyone feels that way, so make sure to keep your music, TV, etc low enough so that it can’t be heard past your campsite.
A good test is to go to the edges of your campsite and see how loud it is!
Even if there is no one outside of their RV or camper hanging out, they might still be inside sleeping, and alot of times they aren’t good at blocking out noise!
Related: Check out 13+ indoor RV items that will take you from “camping” to “GLAMPING”!
Follow speed limits (even on your 4 wheelers and non motorized devices!)
Part of the campground life is sort of like being in a small village – the kids can play, you can take a walk around the campground etc.. but all that becomes much more stressful if 4 wheelers are speeding through, kicking up dust, and reneacting Tokyo Drift!
It’s pretty common to see 4 wheelers in campgrounds (they are pretty fun after all!) but keep in mind there are many people who find them loud and disruptive in the campground.
Those same people might not get too upset, but if you speed by them, or narrowly miss their kids, it becomes an issue.
Bikes have the same rules – ride at a reasonable speed that allows you to be on the lookout for kids or animals jumping out in the campground roads!
Don’t let your kids wander everywhere in the campground!
While one of the best things about camping is letting your kids basically do what they want (much less stuff to break or hurt themselves on!) you need to do the responsible thing in close quarter campgrounds and monitor them more!
This is one of the big reasons we don’t camp at RV parks and such anymore – it’s very hard to keep track of multiple young kids, and make sure they don’t cross the imaginary border between you and your neighbor.
The “borders” are never marked, but everyone knows the sort of rectangle (or hoewver you campsite is set up) is “yours” even if you don’t have anything currently set up on it.
I have been on both sides of this – while it sucks to have to constantly remind your kids to not touch others things, not go in others “yard”, it is equally frustrating to have random kids attempt to play with your kids toys, ask for food etc with no parent in sight.
I don’t mind sharing, but I always like making contact with a parent first before interacting with a child (some people are really particular about who talks to their kid!) and that becomes annoying when you can’t even find where that kid came from!
Related: If you’re camping with kids, find out these 11 cheap and easy activities to keep them kids in your campsite (and not wander!)
Help park if you can
I’m super thankful that my husband is really good at parking our camper, but if it was me, I would definitely need help!
So if you see someone struggling with something, offer to help if you can!
Not only is this just courteous (think opening the door for someone with their hands full!) but it’s an easy way to meet someone new!
Keep your space as tidy as possible
Not only is this usually required anyways, but it just makes the campground as a whole more enjoyable!
Imagine the RV park as a nice neighborhood!
So don’t leave bags of trash, random utensils everywhere, boxes opened and such when you leave for the day.
Not only will it look nicer, but there’s less of a chance that birds or other animal will come and pick at it making it even messier!
If the shades are closed, don’t knock unless you need to!
Most RVers who have their shades down are either sleeping or occupied (it’s sort of a signal) so don’t disturb them unless it’s an emergency!
I know that I often nap during my kids nap while camping, so even though it would seem I’m awake because their are recently used camp chairs or cooking things drying outside, I’m actually sleeping… so don’t wake me!
What’s your pet peeve when it comes to campground etiquette?
Everyone has something! For me, I think it’s the people speeding through the area (because my kids love to play around our campsite!) that really bother me the most!