When you live in a house or apartment, being a good neighbor requires common sense and compassion. Having RV etiquette is not much different. People spend a good amount of time outside while parked, so it’s not just your vacation once you’re on the campground. Not intruding on someone else’s good time should be your first and last thought, especially if you’re planning on consuming alcohol which can impair judgment. With that said, you may end up getting a lousy neighbor who breaks every rule we’ve listed below, but don’t despair! Most RVers are a great and friendly bunch and you’ve likely had a rare experience. Before you become “that guy,” however, we’ve compiled a list of general rules so that you and everyone else around you can have a nice vacation at the campsite you’re visiting. Plus, these tips will ensure that you will be allowed back for a reunion with the new friends you make.
20 Golden Rules of RVing
- Read the rules at each campsite. Each location is different and it’s important that you abide by the specific rules that apply to the one you’re currently staying at. You certainly don’t want to get kicked out or banned from visiting again.
- Keep music and other noise levels down according to the campsite’s set quiet hours. This includes voices and laughter (take it inside after 10 pm).
- Turn off outdoor lights and generators during quiet hours.
- Avoid arriving during quiet hours. If you can’t avoid it, keep your set-up to a minimum until the morning and be as quiet as possible.
- Drive slowly on campground roads. There are often children running around as well as pets.
- Pick up after your pets and don’t let them roam into other people’s campsites. You never know when someone has an unfriendly pet or just wants privacy.
- Keep your pets quiet. If you can’t get them to stop barking or howling, you will quickly make your neighbor miserable.
- Stay on your side of the campsite and hook-up. Don’t let your slide-outs and other belongings take over your neighbor’s space. Yes, even a little bit counts.
- There is usually a preferred orientation for parking your RV. Check the campground map or see how everyone else is angled and do the same. This is not the place to stand out in a crowd.
- Make sure you know what you’re doing at the dump station. Get in and out as quickly as possible without making a mess.However, do make sure to secure your connections so you don’t spill. If you’re new to RVing, practice at a dump station close to home before visiting a campground. Before leaving for your trip you should make sure your hoses are in good shape. A torn hose will create a huge mess and some angry RVers.
- Don’t start washing your RV at the campground, especially if it’s explicitly forbidden in the campsite’s written rules. Most places do not allow you to use the water for washing, but if they do take care not to spray into your neighbor’s site and RV.
- Don’t trespass into your neighbor’s space. No one wants to have an uninvited guest so avoid bothering your neighbors unless it’s an emergency. Don’t cut through your neighbor’s site to get to where you’re going either. Make sure to explain this rule to children as well.
- Only build campfires in designated areas and keep the area as clean as you found it.
- Do not burn trash in your campfire. The smell will upset people and it’s generally against the rules of most campgrounds not to do so. It is also a fire hazard.
- Make sure your campfire is completely out before you leave the area. Never leave a burning fire unattended, even if it is only smoldering. Visit our other pages for more on how to build a proper fire and how to put it out.
- Don’t leave your trash around in any areas along or on the campsite. Make sure that the items you brought with you will not blow away with the wind either. Yes, trash includes empty bottles, cans and cigarette butts and cartridges.
- If you’re boondocking and there is another group nearby, make sure to keep your distance. There’s a reason you both chose to avoid the RV park. Chances are the other group wants privacy so give it to them. If you’re running the AC, make sure to create some space due to the fumes and carbon monoxide your generator will be exuding.
- When using the restrooms in the campground, don’t leave a huge mess. Clean up after yourself and leave the area in good shape.
- Leave your campsite looking exactly as it did before you showed up. This is a good rule to set into practice before you get yourself banned from what may very well become your favorite place to unwind.
- Don’t be late for check out. Others are waiting to get set up in your site so be courteous.
Whether you’re a privacy-seeking boondocker or a newbie who wants to become a part of an RV community, these 20 golden rules are the basics you should always follow when RVing. There’s nothing worse than a confrontation when you’re just trying to have a good time, but just a little consideration generally goes a long way.
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The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.