RVs at a campground

Campground Etiquette RVers Need to Get Back to The “Good Ole Days”

We’ve all heard it. People miss the “good ole days”. The days where we knew our neighbors, kids could play in the streets, you could sleep peacefully at night, and so on. I’ve heard more and more complaints about other RVers being rude and breaking common campground etiquette. 

But maybe what we all need is a bit of a reminder of what is acceptable campground behavior. Following these tips will help us all have a more enjoyable experience. If you’re just getting started and need more tips, don’t forget to check out the beginner starter guide.

  • Experienced RVers, what is the biggest issue you see with campground etiquette violations? Let’s get the discussion going below once you finish reading the article. 

Don’t Cut Through Other People’s Sites

The first rule of campground etiquette is to respect other’s sites. Yes, you may get to the pool 3 seconds quicker if you cut through your neighbor’s site. However, cutting through campsites is rude and inconsiderate. Travel between sites on well-established or designated paths only. 

Observe Quiet Hours with Sound and Bright Lights 

There is a lot of discussion about quiet hours in the Cool RVers Facebook group. Even though you’re excited to get together with the family or the buddies, don’t be inconsiderate. Quiet hours are there for a reason.

Some people take advantage of monthly rates at RV parks and live at campgrounds full time. That means they have to get up for work the next day even though you’re on vacation. Others might have kids who will cry the entire day if they don’t get enough sleep. Your neighbor might also just like going to bed early and sleeping in peace. 

When other RVers are loud or leave bright LED lights on past quiet hours, it disrupts others. There is a time and a place to have fun and be boisterous. However, after quiet hours is not that time. 

Campground Etiquette if Arriving Late 

Joel and I are definitely guilty of arriving late to campgrounds from time to time. We try to arrive during the day to make the road trip more enjoyable and the setup less stressful. Unfortunately, our RV sometimes has other plans. 

Things happen, and sometimes you have to arrive late. That is okay, however, be mindful again of the quiet hours. Try to limit the slamming of doors and compartments. If you have noisy slides, wait until morning to put them out if possible. 

Keep Campsites Clean

Another way to observe campground etiquette is to keep your campsite clean. Having toys, bikes, trash, and so on strewn about is a major eyesore. Not only that, but it is an opportunity for pests to invade your RV and those of your neighbors. Be a cool RVer and keep your campsite tidy and leave it better than you found it.

Follow the Speed Limit

It’s easy to be in a hurry and speed out of the park, but you’re camping! You’re supposed to be relaxing and having a good time. Slow down and follow the speed limit rules. Many people like to walk around the RV park and don’t want to get run off the road by a crazy driver.

Not to mention most campgrounds have lots of kids running around. This about how horrible you would feel if you hit someone with your car because you were in too much of a hurry. Slow down, enjoy the good life.

Follow Campfire Etiquette  

Campfire safety is important, especially as wildfires become more and more prevalent thanks to climate change. Never leave a campfire unattended and always ensure it is dead out before leaving. 

Just last week there were wildfire warnings where we were camping. As we took a stroll around the park, we saw a clearly abandoned campfire still burning. This irresponsible behavior puts your fellow RVers property and lives at risk. 

Also Read:  13 Campers with Generators in 2023 

Another thing many RVers are guilty of is moving firewood. No one likes to spend extra money to buy firewood when you have some at home. However, moving firewood can move tree-killing insects that can destroy local forests.

campfire closeup

Keep Public Areas Clean

Taking care of public spaces doesn’t just help other campers, it helps you too. Everyone likes to have clean restrooms, laundry rooms, and other amenities. We can all do our part to keep these areas clean. 

Yes, campground staff will contribute, but sometimes they are swamped and might not get around to things as quickly as we might like. Keeping things cleaner in the first place makes their jobs easier and your stay more pleasant. 

Teach Your Kids Campground Etiquette 

Kids are smart and adaptable. There is no reason kids can’t follow all of these examples of campground etiquette too. Just because they are kids doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still be respectful of their fellow campers. Kids can still have tons of fun and ensure everyone else does too by following these rules. The trick is someone has to teach them. 

Be Considerate With Generator Use

Most of the time, using a generator isn’t necessary if you have a full hookup campsite. But if you need to use your RV generator, be considerate of your neighbors. Generators are extremely loud most of the time. It is good campground etiquette to turn your generator off at night or try to get a campsite off the beaten path and further from others if you have to use it. 

Consider Other Campers if Smoking 

If you’re out for a smoke, think about who is downwind of you. Sure you may be at your site, but everyone around you doesn’t necessarily want to smell cigarettes. Some people are also extremely sensitive to the smell. Just keep this in mind. And please don’t throw cigarette butts on the ground. 

cigarette butts

Take Care of and Be Responsible For Your Pets

Another major issue many RVers face is irresponsible pet owners. Follow simple campground etiquette by keeping pets on a leash no matter how well trained they are. Also remember that as much as you love your dog, everyone in the park might not want to say hi to them. Let people approach your dog to say hi (if they’re friendly) and not the other way around. 

Also, please pick up after your dog and keep them off of other people’s sites. The rule about not cutting through other people’s campsites applies to dogs as well. 

If your dog is a yapper, consider getting a dog sitter and leaving them at home for short trips. When this isn’t possible, pick a campsite off the beaten path so they don’t bark at every person who walks by. For dogs that bark nonstop as soon as you leave the RV, you really shouldn’t be leaving them unattended. No one wants to listen to your dog bark all day while they are trying to relax. 

Finally, don’t ever leave your pets unattended in extreme temperatures. If the air conditioning or heat were to fail, what would happen to your pet? Here are even more tips to make RVing more enjoyable for you and your pet

What Campground Etiquette Rules Are Most Commonly Broken?

  • What has your experience been with campground etiquette? Do most people follow the rules or are the “good ole days” really gone?

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Kathryn Mancewicz

Kathryn Mancewicz is an RV expert who has been a full time RVer since 2019. She has bylines for her RV related content on major publications including MSN, MSN Canada, and AOL. She has also been featured on Yahoo and quoted on KOA. Kathryn is also a regular RV content writer for Cheapism.