Our 17 Unwritten Rules of Staying in An RV Park
There’re campground rules, and then there’re unwritten campground rules. See, outside the obvious stuff like driving slowly and don’t litter, there’re pet peeves every RVer should be aware of.
Camp Ground Rules vary but here are a few from our experience:
- Check-in/check-out times: Be sure to arrive during the designated check-in time and vacate your site by the check-out time.
- Site occupancy: Most RV parks have a limit on the number of people and vehicles allowed per site. Be sure to follow these rules to avoid overcrowding.
- Speed limit: Be mindful of the speed limit in the park and drive slowly to prevent accidents and noise.
- Quiet hours: Many RV parks have quiet hours during the evening and overnight to ensure a peaceful atmosphere. Be respectful of your neighbors and keep noise to a minimum during these times.
- Pet policies: If you have a pet, be sure to review the park’s pet policy and follow any rules regarding leashes and waste cleanup.
- Fire rules: Campfires may be prohibited during certain times of the year or in areas with high fire risk. Follow all fire rules and use designated fire rings or grills.
- Trash disposal: Keep your site clean and dispose of trash in designated areas to prevent litter and attract wildlife.
- Amenities: RV parks often offer amenities such as pools, laundry facilities, and playgrounds. Be sure to follow any rules posted for these areas.
- Smoking: Many RV parks have designated smoking areas or may be entirely smoke-free. Be sure to follow any posted rules regarding smoking.
- Safety rules: Follow any posted safety rules such as wearing helmets while biking or using caution around water sources.
So, I’d like to get ahead of the ball here and ensure you’re respectful of your fellow campers. In this guide, I’ll outline the unwritten rules of staying in an RV park.
Be Mindful of the Noise
I’ve been full-timing for more than six years, and a common issue I’ve noticed with most RVers is they’ve no idea of the noise they make. Of course, we all make some noise, but you must adjust the levels to the minimum or something bearable.
The way to check whether you’re a distraction to others is by turning up your RV or music and then walking around your RV. Ideally, it would be best to keep the noise mostly contained in your spot or, even better, inside your RV.
Keep Smoke Away from Others
I have a diesel rig, which requires some idle time of about 5 minutes before I can roll- it’s acceptable. What’s not acceptable is roaring your smoky diesel rig and letting it sit idle for 40 minutes. Or even worse, pulling in a campground with a rig with a depleted dpf, no muffler, sounds like a jet spooling.
Away from the diesel smoke, you must also be considerate of the personal fire pit smoke. If you think your fire, pit, and smoke will annoy your neighbor due to proximity (nature may take its course), consider talking to your neighbor.
You could also leave him a note. Something like, “Hey man, I know it’s tight quarters. We’re having a fire tonight; let me know whether it’s a problem. Also, feel free to stop by; we’ve beer and BBQ.” You get the idea; be aware, acknowledge and be friendly. Most RV community responds well.
Maintain your RV Generator to a Minimum
You must always keep your generator to the lowest levels. Of course, you can run it for a couple of hours during the day, but not at night. It’s a big no.
Remember, most folks at the campground are there to experience some serenity and want a life away from the noisy generators.
I suggest you consider other power generation methods like solar or batteries.
Walmart isn’t a Campsite
You can spend a night at Walmart and other retailers, but don’t take up more space than necessary.
It’s not an RV site, so I don’t think you could deploy your awning, do some grilling, or even bring out your chairs. You’re only there temporarily, remember.
Don’t Walk Across Other RVer’s Spots
Always treat other people’s spots like personal property. Your neighbor’s yard isn’t your play space; don’t invade their turf because some folks want to be left alone.
The same case applies to your kids and pets.
Watch your Kids
It amazes me how some parents can neglect their kids and let them run free across the campground. It’s so unreal. It’s rude towards other guests and portrays neglectful and carefree behavior towards the kids.
I don’t have an issue with adults roaming around because they seem to know better, but I have had a few times young kids running around and kept going through my site.
This is a nice one. RVers are used to pleasantries; we wave and acknowledge one another. After all, you never know when you’ll need to trade rations or require help from your neighbors.
Be Considerate when Dumping
Don’t be nasty when dumping your waste. Don’t do it on the ground. I shouldn’t be saying this, but we’re here.
You must also consider when to dump. For example, it’s insensitive to dump your black water tank during peak outdoor time or when your neighbors are outside and preparing some BBQ.
Leave your Aggressive Pets at Home
If your pet is mildly aggressive or haven’t trained to be around other people, it would be best if you leave them at home or keep them on a leash. It doesn’t matter if they’re the best pets in the world.
Don’t Run High Beams at Night
Use your RV fog lights when navigating the camp at night. Running your high beams is an annoyance and will wake up other folks. You must also pay attention to where you’re shining your lights at night when you leave your truck.
I see many RVers make the mistake of leaving their headlights shining right across other campers, sometimes during the entire duration of their stay. Very inconsiderate.
Don’t Knock on Neighbors’ Door
Don’t knock on people’s doors, even if it’s a friend. Consider texting or calling them first. I’ve been a full-timer for years, and whenever I hear a knock, I usually assume it’s the police, security, or some sketchy random guy.
If you must knock, consider stepping away so that you’re looking into their space with their door open.
Don’t Be Nosy
I won’t lie; I love watching newbies back in-it’s entertaining. However, there’s also an annoyance of it, especially to the newbies.
Most RVers will tell you they can’t stand the “veteran” RVers who think they’re master backers. Unless a newbie asks for help, you don’t have to provide unsolicited advice.
Rocking is Fine
Rocking is acceptable if you’re backpacking or hiking, but expect retaliation. “Rocking” is when you sneak a 10-20 pound rock into your fellow camper’s backpack when they’re not paying attention to how long they can carry it.
However, expect a similar treatment and don’t be mad about it.
If you’re camping as a group and it’s time to break camp, don’t be the guy that leaves after camp in the morning without helping to break camp. Remember breaking camp is equally as tiring as setting one. So, be patient and help your fellow campers to break camp.
Don’t Set Camp After 10 PM
This is a big one. It’s because it’s rude to arrive at a camp dead in the night, pop open adult beverages and start setting camp.
We’ve had this issue severally, especially on Friday nights when everyone leaves the city for camp.
It’s always good to remember the camp is a community, and you shouldn’t disturb your neighbors. If you’re late for camp, consider an alternative: renting an Airbnb or staying at Walmart until the sun is up.
Use common sense; Don’t be a jerk.
Don’t be an asshole in an RV park. Remember, your stay there isn’t any different in real life. Therefore, ask whether your decision will annoy other people.
For example, consider whether your stay is too loud, whether your smoke is blowing toward your neighbors, or whether you picked your trash.
Read RV or Camping Site Rules
Finally, you must always read the site rules; they might be different from what you’re used to.
Wrap-up; Don’t Expect Perfection
Overall, RVing can sometimes be tough between the clogs, bad weather, Karen’s, bad neighbors, and whatever else. It may also require you to learn a new set of skills. Therefore, don’t head out to a campground expecting perfection. You need a lot of patience and should also be able to manage your frustrations.
Overall, the lifestyle experience is worth it, and the quality of life is rewarding. Consider your neighbors and be considerate.