Whether you just bought your first RV or you are a seasoned camper, it’s always a good idea to review proper campground and RV park etiquette to help ensure that you and your camp neighbors have a great experience. Read on for nine helpful etiquette tips—some are common sense while others are unspoken rules that may not be obvious to newbies.
1. Be friendly and respectful
First and foremost, it’s important to enter a campground or RV park with a good attitude and a friendly smile. Simple things like offering a wave to your neighbors or helping someone back in their fifth wheel can go a long way toward creating a welcoming, harmonious campground atmosphere. Most campers will understand that parking a big rig can be challenging, but try to get your RV and other vehicles clear of the main road and settled into your campsite as quickly as possible so you don’t block the flow of traffic. Be respectful of common spaces and ensure that you aren’t using more than your fair share of the amenities. Finally, respect the boundaries of other campers’ sites—don’t cut through another site just because it’s a shortcut to the bathroom, and keep all of your vehicles and belongings within the bounds of your own campsite.
2. Keep daytime noise at a reasonable level
Going on vacation is always exciting and it can be easy to become boisterous and loud, especially with a big group. However, RV park etiquette includes keeping your volume to a reasonable level throughout the day. Many people go camping to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, which can be hard to do when there’s a generator roaring 10 feet away and loud music blasting out of outdoor speakers. No one is expecting absolute silence, of course, but just be mindful of your generator use (especially if you have close neighbors), your outdoor music and TV volume, barking dogs, and kids (or adults) who yell and scream excitedly. Finally, avoid idling your RV’s engine in your campsite for too long, especially if it’s early in the morning or late at night. If you want to be able to make tons of noise without getting glares from RV park neighbors, you may want to consider boondocking instead.
3. Observe quiet hours
In a similar vein, keep noise to a minimum during quiet hours. Most campgrounds and RV parks have posted quiet hours, often from 10pm to 7am or thereabouts. While you don’t need to be completely silent, remember that noise carries quite a bit, especially if you are camping near water. Keeping quiet during nighttime hours helps ensure that everyone gets a good night’s sleep, which often means better attitudes all around the next day.
4. Turn your lights off at night
It’s perfectly acceptable to use your RV’s outdoor lights when you are hanging out outside for the evening, but be sure to turn them off once you head inside for the night. Bright lights can make it hard to sleep for those in tents, and can interfere with another classic camping activity: stargazing. If you must have an outdoor light on all night, consider using an amber-colored or low-wattage light that won’t be disruptive.
5. Supervise children
Camping with kids is a great way to get outside, explore new places, and spend time together as a family. However, it’s essential to teach children proper campground and RV park etiquette before letting them run wild. Talk to them about respecting the boundaries of other campsites, sticking to designated paths and walkways, keeping their toys and gear confined to your own campsite, and keeping the noise level reasonable. Discuss what types of behaviors are and are not acceptable, both in terms of general campground etiquette and your own family rules. Finally, supervise your children in shared spaces, around water, and anywhere else in the RV park that requires parental supervision.
6. Manage your pets
If you bring your pets along for the trip, keep them on a line or penned so they are confined to your campsite at all times, unless you are taking them for a (leashed) walk. Take steps to ensure that your pets are quiet, both when you are there with them and if you have to leave them alone at the campsite for any reason—no one wants to listen to a barking dog for hours on end. And, as you would anywhere else, be sure to clean up after your pet.
7. Keep a clean and tidy campsite
Maintaining a clean campsite that’s free of trash and debris is not only respectful to the owners of the campground or RV park and your fellow campers, but it’s also respectful of the land you are camping on. Follow Leave No Trace principles and ensure that any gray and black water from your RV is disposed of properly.
8. Keep fires under control
Campfires are a fun part of camping, but there are several considerations to keep in mind regarding fires. First, ensure that there isn’t a burn ban in effect at the campground or RV park. If there isn’t a ban, remember to build fires only within designated fire pits, source local firewood (don’t forage for wood or use wood from out of state), try to keep smoke to a minimum, keep the fire at a reasonable size, and avoid burning things like plastic that may be stinky or even toxic. Finally, always put out your fire completely—with water—before going to sleep or leaving the area.
9. Follow all other posted campground rules
Lastly, be sure to read and follow any additional posted rules and regulations at the campground or RV park. Remember that by staying in a managed camping area, you are agreeing to follow all the rules as well as display common courtesy and proper campground or RV park etiquette.
By following these campground and RV park etiquette tips, you can help ensure that you have an excellent vacation and can contribute to a positive, enjoyable atmosphere for all your fellow campers.
Renting an RV trailer provides an opportunity to enjoy camping and explore campgrounds and RV parks while adhering to proper etiquette. By following the nine helpful tips outlined in the ultimate guide, renters can maintain a friendly and respectful attitude, keep noise levels reasonable, observe quiet hours, be mindful of outdoor lights, supervise children and pets, maintain a clean campsite, handle campfires responsibly, and follow all posted campground rules. Rental RV trailer and practicing campground and RV park etiquette contributes to a positive camping experience for everyone involved, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable vacation.