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How to follow campground etiquette

RVing is supposed to be fun. And some simple campground etiquette helps
to keep it that way for everyone. If you are starting out or need a
refresher, here are 10 tips on minding your camping manners to make your
stay enjoyable

    Follow the rules:
    Individual parks usually hand you a copy of their rules when you
    register. Adhering to these rules is one of the basics of campground
    etiquette. It makes things easier for everyone involved – you, your
    neighbors and the park operators. Typical guidelines include reduced
    speed limits on campground roads for the safety of all involved. You
    are typically expected to unhook a dinghy before driving to your site.
    There are usually defined quiet hours when you should keep the noise
    down, turn off outdoor lights, generators – basically, the party is
    over.

Eliminate pet peeves:
Literally. Pick up after your pets. Stop excessive or extended
barking. Don’t leave a howling dog unattended to bother the neighbors.
Use a leash. Even if Spot is friendly, not everyone is an animal lover.
Good pet-etiquette on your part helps ensure that the many RVers with
pets are welcome at campgrounds.

Parking the rig:
Sometimes it is very clear how to orient the rig on a site – you may
even have a cement pad. But in many cases, the only guidepost will be
the hookup for electric and sewer. General campground etiquette is to
stay on your side of that hook-up, and not have awnings or slide-outs
encroaching on the site next door. Look at the campground map for a
clue about preferred orientation. Or, look around you to see how other
rigs are angled, if they are centered on sites or close to the utility
hook up. You will get the most out of the space you have (and so will
your neighbors) if you are all situated the same way. There are bound
to be exceptions – we have been in many campgrounds with no uniformity
in the size, shape or orientation of sites. The main objective in these
cases is to just “guess the site” and fit the RV into it. But even
then, the idea is to park in a way that gets everyone their fair share
of privacy and room under their respective awnings. Common sense and
campground etiquette go hand in hand.

Late arrivals:
If you are arriving at a park after normal quiet hours, attempt some
degree of stealth behavior. Not that it is easy to be unobtrusive
pulling in an RV. But keep the set-up to the minimum required for the
night. Your neighbors will understand that you need to pull in and hook
up. They have probably been in the same situation. But they will lose
patience if they spend an hour listening to loud conversation, slamming
doors and arguments over how to level the rig. Do what is essential
and remember that tomorrow is another day. The same sort of courtesy
should be used if you are making an early morning departure. Don’t keep
the engine idling for an hour before you leave. Tidy up your campsite
the night before.

Sewer connections:
Do them right. Make them secure. No torn hoses. In most places, your
sewer connection faces the side where you neighbor has their “patio”
area. Another time where being discreet and careful is part of good
campground etiquette.

Washing the RV:
Most campgrounds will not allow washing to avoid wasting water, high
water bills, muddy sites, etc. Read the rules. You usually have to get
by with a small bucket and rag and/or waterless cleaner to just do
minimal spot cleaning. If you are lucky enough to find a place where
you can really wash the RV, use common sense. Don’t have the water
flowing when you aren’t actually using it. Watch the spray – your
neighbor may not be interested in having their rig washed. In fact, it
makes for friendly campground etiquette if you let you neighbor know
ahead of time that you plan to wash your rig. That way, they can close
any windows or put away articles that might inadvertently get wet.

No trespassing:
When we first started out, a fellow RVer came over and asked if he
could look around on “our property” for something he had lost, a paper
that had blown out of his car the night before. We appreciated his
asking first, and were somewhat amused by the term “our property”. But
in fact, one of the unspoken rules of campground etiquette is that you
stay off occupied sites. For the time a camper is on a site, it is
their space and their privacy should be respected. If you are taking a
stroll around the campground, the operative word is “around”. Stay on
roads and pathways – don’t cut through your neighbors’ turf.

Around the campfire:
Before you light it, make sure it is permitted, and follow any rules the
campground may have. Do not use your firepot as a garbage can. There
is sure to be a trash can available in your rig or on the park premises.
No one likes to pull into a site with a firepot full of beer cans or
the remains from someone else’s dinner the night before.

Keeping up the neighborhood:
In general, be tidy. RVing is an outdoor pastime and RVers are generally
an easy going lot. But there is a point where too much stuff laying
around outside the RV starts to look sloppy. Trash or anything loose
that can blow around is a definite no-no.

Do unto others:
When in doubt, follow the golden rule. If you aren’t sure of the proper
campground etiquette for something, think about how you would like to
be treated. If you are concerned that something might bother your
neighbor, your best bet is just to ask them. If you find yourself in a
situation where your neighbors or park operators are doing something
that you find intolerable, politely address the subject with them. If
that doesn’t work, consider moving to another site or another
campground. You are in an RV after all.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

I recently spent a weekend in a crowded campground where my neighbors obviously knew nothing about campground etiquette.

They stayed up late into the night yelling and hollering around the campfire, parked their second vehicle practically in our site, and let their dog do its business in our yard. It got me thinking, what does it take to be a good campground neighbor, and is it really that hard?

Turns out good campground etiquette is as easy as following a few common-sense rules.

Be conscious of noise.

Some campground layouts are noticeably tighter than others. (You know the kind where your awning touches the neighbor’s RV?) But even in a spacious park with vegetation between the sites, the sound still carries. For that reason, it’s important to keep your music and other noise to a reasonable level so everyone can enjoy the serenity of the great outdoors.

In addition to being part of basic campground etiquette, most campgrounds have quiet hours that every camper is expected to follow. Outside of those hours make an effort to keep voices, music, and laughter to a level that won’t disturb others. Having fun is fine—ruining someone’s vacation is not.

RV generators should be used sparingly.

No one likes the noise of an RV generator. Have you ever noticed that most people turn on their generator and then go inside and close all the windows? That’s because even they can’t stand the noise of their own generator.

Unfortunately, until a noise-free solar setup comes standard with every RV, generators will remain a fact of life in campgrounds without electric hookups. If you rely on a generator for power, follow these simple campground etiquette rules to keep the peace.

  • Contractor-style portable generators are NEVER okay in a campground. These noisy, smoke-spewing beasts belong on the job site, not in a campground. In fact, many campgrounds have specific rules against this style of generator.
  • Some campgrounds don’t allow generators at all, and others only allow them in certain sites. Respect these rules.
  • Use generators only as a means to recharge the RV batteries (which rarely takes more than a few hours) or to briefly run electric appliances. Don’t use them to watch an all-day marathon of Breaking Bad on your T.V.
  • If you use a portable generator, place it as far away from other campers as possible.
  • Never, ever leave your generator on all night. I don’t care if you need to run a fan, cook late-night microwave popcorn, or keep your electric toothbrush charged. The fact is that if you (and your RV) are in need of a constant supply of power, the most considerate thing to do would be to camp only in campgrounds with electric hookups.

Be courteous if you’re a late arrival or early departure.

If you arrive late or leave early, have a little courtesy for your neighbors. Try to keep set-up to a minimum at night, and if you know you will be leaving early, pack up as much as possible the night before.

Most people will understand that you can’t always arrive and depart at the ideal time, but if you are constantly opening and closing doors, loudly arguing about how to back in the RV, or leave your engine idling for an hour, even the most understanding people have a right to be annoyed.

Keep your pets under control.

Yes, I know you have a perfectly behaved dog who always responds to voice commands and simply doesn’t need to be on a leash. Well, guess what? Keeping your dog on a leash is not only about you. Unleashed dogs often create anxiety among others dogs, small kids, or people who simply don’t like dogs. Plus, it’s nearly always against campground rules to let your dog run around without a leash.

While we’re on the subject of pets and camping, please don’t leave your dog home alone in your RV or tied up outside unattended if it tends to bark incessantly. This practice is unpleasant for both the dog and the neighbors who have to listen to it bark for six hours.

Respect campsite boundaries.

Cutting through another site when you’re walking around the campground is the equivalent of walking across someone’s front porch at their house. It might mean walking a few extra steps, but have some respect and take the long way around.

Nighttime is supposed to be dark.

As someone who camps in a small trailer that is shorter in stature than most modern RVs, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been subjected to the neighbor’s brighter-than-the-sun outside light shining down into my bedroom window. I can imagine this annoying habit is even worse for tent campers.

If you’re sitting outside and need the light to see that’s fine, but please don’t leave your RV porch or awning light on all night!

Campfire safety is always a priority.

Campfires are often the best part of camping. They can also be dangerous and quickly cause issues if not treated with respect. Practice common sense safety procedures when having a campfire.

  • Campgrounds are for small, contained fires, not bonfires. Keep it under control.
  • Use the provided fire ring instead of making your own fire pit.
  • Follow the campground rules for wood collecting. If you are allowed to burn dead wood, take only what you need and chop it up with a small ax or hand saw, not a chainsaw. (You laugh, but we had a campground neighbor this summer who brought out his chainsaw every evening to cut up the firewood he had collected from around the campground. That is not good camping etiquette!)
  • Never leave your fire unattended and always put it out before you retire for the night.
  • If you’re traveling across state lines, leave the firewood behind. Moving firewood long distances transports insects and disease that may destroy trees and forests.
  • Don’t use your fire pit as a trash can. Paper plates and napkins are fine, but in case you hadn’t noticed things like glass bottles and tin cans do not burn and should never be thrown in the fire.
  • Be aware of current burn bans. Dry, hot summers are common in many areas of the country and campfires are often not permitted during these times. A handy alternative is a propane campfire like the Little Red Campfire.

Keep it clean.

Your campsite is your home. Keep it tidy and leave it as clean, or cleaner, than when you arrived. Also, don’t leave trash or food scraps outside at night where it could attract animals.

Be friendly.

Part of campground etiquette is getting along with the other campers. It’s generally not that hard because campers are naturally a friendly bunch. While you don’t need to make lifelong friends with everyone you encounter, make an effort to greet people when you pass by and don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation.

Part of the fun of camping is meeting people from all walks of life. After all, you know you already have love of camping in common.

Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors. It allows you to get in touch with Mother Nature once again, disconnect from your devices, and spend quality time with your family.

It is easy to forget that other people are camping alongside you when you enjoy the Great Outdoors. By following these proper campground etiquette rules, everyone can appreciate the beauty which surrounds.

Campground Etiquette Rules to Follow

#1. Leave No Trace

Pick up after yourself. Don’t leave litter behind at your campsite. If you take something with you while exploring, then make sure it comes back out with you too. When exploring the backcountry, that also means packing out your waste.

#2. Keep the Lights Down

Make sure any lights you use at your campsite are on a timer. If you are camping in your RV, then shut them off when you turn in for the night. Awning lights should be turned off on tents and trailers too. Be respectful of your neighbors, and they’ll appreciate the efforts.

#3. Fido and His Leash

Your dog loves to go camping. Take an adventure with your best friend. Keep a leash on your pet at all times because a visit from a strange canine is not a pleasant experience when camping. Barking is disruptive to the campground too. Then remember to pack out what they leave behind.

#4. Remember the Location Rules

Every campground offers specific rules to follow so that everyone has a good time. Review these expectations before you set up your campsite to ensure you comply with them. Accidentally breaking one could have rangers stopping by to ask you to leave – without a refund.

#5. Keep to Your Site

People hate it when someone cuts across their campsite. It’s an invasion of privacy. Don’t do it. Even though you’re all enjoying some shared space at a campground, you should think of someone’s campsite as their temporary property. If you must enter the site to retrieve something, then ask first.

#6. Enjoy the Quiet

Most campsites publish quiet hours, usually somewhere between 10pm and 6am. Avoid loud noises during this time, even if you’re in a tent, cabin, or RV. Disturbing others when they’re trying to sleep is an easy way to generate complaints.

#7. Respect the Fire

Your fire pit is not a trash can. Imagine if you pulled into a campsite to find burned beer cans, old leftover food, or even melted plastics in there. Don’t do that to someone else. There’s a safety reason for this also, as some items emit dangerous smoke when they burn. Try using recyclable plastics or reusable utensils when camping to reduce the amount of trash you generate.

These rules of etiquette for camping are often unwritten, but each one still deserves consideration. Following the Golden Rule will help everyone enjoy the outdoors with their friends and family without creating negative impacts on others. If you don’t appreciate certain behaviors, then don’t practice them yourself.

No catch – just pay a small fee

https://www.rvingfun.org/happycamperclub

Camping Etiquette for Dogs

1) Always keep your dog on a leash: –>

This sounds so trite and as a dog owner you have heard it time and time again. But, it is one of the most common problems. There are a number of issues associated with letting your dog off-leash in a campground. First, they could get lost while running after a rabbit, deer, or coyote. Second, there might be a bigger, dog-aggressive dog tied up in the next campsite that could eat your dog for lunch. Third, you are giving the rest of us a bad rap and the campground might decide to ban dogs. Enough said, I hope.

Even though campground guides may tell you that the campground accepts dogs. Be sure to call ahead, because many of them only accept dogs under 25 pounds or they charge per pet. Look in our guide to camping with dogs here or look in the Travel Life directory here.

3) Clean up after your dog: –>

We have found that the bags sold for doggie do do are very expensive in pet stores. Instead, we use simple food storage bags from the grocery store. Not the kind with zipper seals, but the plain old gallon size food storage bags with twist ties. These are slightly larger than the pet store bags at less than half the price. The only drawback is that they are clear instead of colored, but you’ll get used to it!

–> 4) Make sure your dogs don’t bark too much:

A lot of dog guides recommend that you stay home if you have a dog that barks too much. This is not fair, every dog should go camping. If you have a dog that barks his head off at the drop of a pin, you probably better spend some time training him. Try to give him treats whenever he stops barking upon command, eventually he will get the picture.

5) Dog aggressive or people aggressive dogs:

Again, everything I have read recommends that you keep these kinds of dogs at home. I disagree. Dog aggression and people aggression are often natural behaviors for dogs. The trick is to keep these dogs under ABSOLUTE control at all times. You must be diligent in this one, or someone or some dog could be seriously injured. Here is what I have learned from my dog that is afraid of strangers and weighs 130 pounds.

a) Get a restraining collar that provides total control of your dog.

b) If you leash them outdoors at the campsite, always be outside with them.

c) Don’t take them for hikes on trails, this is asking for trouble.

d) Find a campground with spacious sites; look in Fodor’s Best Campground Guide at http://www.fodors.com for the site spaciousness and privacy factor.

e) If you must take them in crowded situations, use a muzzle (but only use a muzzle sparingly).

f) Be vigilant at all times, I have camped full-time for two years now all across the country without incident. However, I am always with my dog and I have him under my complete control (not, always easy with such a large dog).

Following these five simple rules will allow you and your dogs to enjoy camping, while not creating any complaints from other campers. If you do receive a complaint for any reason, try to be bigger than the complainant – act calmly and address the problem. After all, you are going camping to enjoy life!

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

RV sales are soaring due to people seeking out a safe way to travel during the pandemic in their own controlled environment. As a newbie RVer there is a lot to learn; how to operate the RV, what to pack in the RV, where to go, etc? As you absorb all there is to know about this wonderful lifestyle please don’t forget there is also proper etiquette to be learned when camping in an RV park or campground.

These are the top six inconsiderate things you never should do while you’re at a campground:

1. Cut through occupied campsites

Many RVers believe when you rent a campsite it ought to be your little piece of real estate during the duration of your stay. It should be up to you on who enters your space with permission. Most RVers do not appreciate others taking a shortcut through their space on the way to somewhere else like the bathhouse, beach, playground or any other destination, especially when they are sitting outside enjoying a meal or the campfire. Please walk around and inform your children to do the same, the exercise is good for everyone.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette
Make sure children know not to run through other people’s campsites

2. Let you dog roam in other campsites

Over half of RVers bring their four-legged friends camping with them. However, just like above, other campers don’t always appreciate uninvited guests in their site and that includes unleashed dogs that come running into a campsite looking to steal a snack off the picnic table, redistribute sacked garbage, or are maybe wet from a swim at the beach. Please keep your dog on a leash as required in most campgrounds.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette
Pets are welcome in most campgrounds provided the rules are followed

3. Or let your dog bark excessively

This could be included with number 2 above but it is such an annoyance it deserves its own listing. If your dog barks at every stranger that passes by your campsite, please consider keeping it inside the RV, away from the road where it can’t see others passing by, or invest in a bark collar.

Another consideration is a dog that yips excessively when left alone in the RV. This is almost as annoying as listening to a smoke detector with a low battery chirping. Remember, other campers may have come to the campground to enjoy some quiet time, so please respect that and take your dog(s) with you if they are prone to endless yipping in your absence.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette
Being loud after hours—and leaving your dog unleashed—is not only annoying to other campers but it’s usually against campground rules

4. Being loud after hours

Let’s face it, most of us go camping to have an enjoyable time, but there comes a point when it is time for the party to end and go to bed. Nearly all campgrounds have posted quiet hours and most campers willingly abide by them. However, some inconsiderate campers seem to ramp up the volume after hours via alcohol consumption, the volume control on their sound system, or both. Please be considerate and keep the noise level confined to your campsite. If you want to be loud and party all night, please find yourself a campsite way out in the boondocks where there is no one to bother.

If you find yourself arriving at the campground after quite hours consider waiting to completely set up camp until the next morning. The noise of you lowering your jacks, deploying the awning, clunking around in your storage compartment retrieving your water hose out of storage, etc is likely to disturb your neighbors.

5. Leave trash in the fire ring

It’s amazing how many campers think the camp fire ring is a trash receptacle. Take the time to walk a couple hundred feet (or less) to the dumpster, dump your trash where it belongs and leave a clean campsite for the next RVer. It’s not the next camper’s job to clean up after you, nor does the campground host appreciate it either.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette
Don’t leave your trash in the fire

6. Lights at Night – Stargazing

Many RVers consider sitting around a campfire and gazing up at the stars the best part of camping. Bright outdoor lights burning on your RV all night is not a good way to make friends with your neighbors. Embrace the darkness and consider using softer light sources at night. If you find yourself arriving after sunset be considerate of where your headlights are shining when pulling into your campsite. Often parking lights and someone guiding you with a flashlight is all you need to safely navigate into the space especially if you are backing in.

Welcome to the RV lifestyle, just remember to be considerate of other campers.

By Jessica Sanders
ReserveAmerica.com

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

Camping is a chance to get away, but in most cases, you’re still surrounded by other people. And all those people are looking to enjoy their vacation time, as well. To ensure other campers enjoy their experience as much as you, it’s important to follow the unwritten camping rules. Here are 10 to remember on future trips.

Follow Standard Procedure

1. Clean your site: Don’t leave a dirty site for the next campers. Leaving trash in an otherwise pure, natural space is frowned upon, and most campgrounds will charge you for leaving garbage or other items behind. Remember the motto: take out what you bring in.

2. Put your fire out: Because you can endanger those around you, this is one of the most important camping rules, regardless of where you go. Be sure to put out your fire before bed, before heading out for the day, or when you leave the site at the end of your stay. The general rule of thumb is to make sure the coals or ashes are cold.

3. Clean up after your pets: Whether you’re at your campsite, walking through the campground or hiking on a nearby trail, always clean up after your pets. Be sure your pet doesn’t go to the bathroom on someone else’s campsite, either.

4. Don’t wash your dishes in the bathroom: Most campgrounds have specific rules about this. Not only does dishwashing take up the small space people have for bathroom use, but it’s unsanitary; dirty dishes should not be in the sink where people clean their face and hands.

Be a Good Neighbor

5. Don’t cut through campsites: Unless you know your neighbors, avoid cutting through anyone’s campsite. People pay to be at the campground, making the site their personal space for the duration of their stay. Don’t intrude just to save a few minutes on your walk to the bathrooms.

6. Respect quiet hours: Nearly every campground has quiet hours, usually from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. These are put in place for those who need to get a good night sleep or are camping with children. Voices carry in the still of night, so be respectful of this time. Be mindful of your early morning routine, as well, which can be just as disturbing.

7. Use lowlights: When driving through the campground or unloading your car in the dark, turn off your headlights and use your lowlights. For those around you, the bright lights can disturb sleep. Once you arrive at the campground, use lanterns and flashlights.

8. Keep your pet on a leash: Camping rules for pets differ at each campground, but with food, little kids and animal allergies most people will agree that they don’t want your pet wandering around their campsite. Keep your pet on a leash at the campsite, on the trails and around the campground.

Go Above and Beyond

9. Leave extra wood: If you have no use for it at home, leave your extra firewood. With fewer things to pack, this is one of the camping rules that benefit you and those who use your site after you.

10. Put everything back: If you moved the picnic table, or other items on the site, move them back. And, if you created holes or trenches fill these in, they can be dangerous for new campers.

While some of these camping rules are considered standard at most campgrounds, others simply come from experience. Be sure you follow these unwritten rules, and any others you learn along the way, if not for yourself, for your fellow campers who are looking to enjoy their time away, too.

Reserve a campsite.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

Are you new to RV camping? Learn early to be a good campground neighbor and you’ll find yourself making friends along the road. Our “RV Etiquette 101” advice will walk you through the basics of campground courtesy.

Rules for Courteous RV Camping

Knowing the rules for courteous camping begins with asking two questions: (1) “What are this campground’s rules?” and (2) “What would I like the other campers to do?”

Your answers will guide you to the best RV campground etiquette.

Here’s a quick list of commonsense tips for neighborly life at the campground:

  • Follow posted campground rules. Your hosts’ guidelines keep camping safe and fun for everyone. If you aren’t sure what’s allowed, ask.
  • Observe campground guidelines for parking your rig. If there are no clear guidelines, observe how other campers are parked within neighboring sites. Remember to leave room for your slide-outs, too.
  • Follow the rules for utility hookups. Don’t overload pedestals or hog access to shared water hydrants.
  • Avoid “campsite sprawl.” Crowding the neighbors with grills, sports equipment and vehicles won’t earn you much goodwill.
  • Don’t block roadways. If there’s not enough room at your campsite for tow vehicles, trailers, etc., check with the camp host about overflow parking. Encroaching on campground roads creates a safety hazard for other campers.
  • Keep setup noise to a minimum if you check in after hours.
  • Consider each campsite private property. Use campground roads and walkways to get around, and teach your kids to do the same. Walking through a site is bad manners.
  • Be responsible for your pets. Keep them within your campsite unless they’re on a leash and clean up after them promptly. Don’t leave pets unattended outdoors, let them roam free in the campground or allow them to bark excessively.
  • Know when quiet hours are observed and respect them. This goes for your guests, too. (And while we’re on the subject of guests, make sure they park where they’re allowed to and go home when they’re expected to. Check the campground rules if you’re not sure.)
  • Keep the campsite clean. Pick up trash around the campsite, don’t use fire rings to burn trash or food waste, and keep hookup hoses in good working order so that they won’t create a mess.
  • Be a courteous smoker. Cigarette smoke through a bedroom window can ruin a good night’s sleep, especially if your neighbor has a health condition.
  • Spray down the dump station when you’ve emptied your tanks. Don’t leave a smelly mess for the next camper.
  • Teach your kids to be good neighbors. It will help keep things friendly at the campground as well as helping your offspring develop lifelong courteous camping habits.
  • Check out promptly. The next camper will be eager to move in, so be ready to move on by the campground’s checkout time.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

Etiquette Tips for Remote RV Camping

  • When boondocking in remote areas, camp where others have camped before instead of creating new campsites.
  • Whether at the lake or in the middle of a national forest, don’t park on top of the neighbors. Generator noise and fumes, late-night conversations, and early-morning laughter carry farther than you might think, so give your camp a buffer zone.
  • Take your trash with you. Nothing ruins a trip into the wild like finding the garbage of previous campers.

When everyone at the campground takes the time to be courteous, RV camping makes for happy memories. These tips from RV Etiquette 101 will make you popular with your neighbors and someone the camp hosts will look forward to seeing again.

How to Follow Campground EtiquetteJoe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV, a nationwide RV rental company. Joe has been on the road working within the travel industry for over 20 years, and greatly enjoys exploring the outdoors. Joe has been camping across the United States, from coast-to-coast, and makes a point to stop at national landmarks along the way. He is also actively involved in numerous campground associations, including RVIA’s Go RV-ing committee, as well as travel industry associations.

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Picking up your trash, following quiet hours and adhering to fire bans are some of the golden rules

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

Thousands of British Columbians are expected to camp in provincial parks and private campsites over the long weekend.

With wildfires still raging and campers jostling for space, a level of decorum and some common sense can make everyone’s getaway more pleasant.

Joss Penny-Chair, chair of the B.C. Camping and RVing Coalition, shared some camping etiquette tips with host Shelley Joyce on CBC’s Daybreak Kamloops.

Respect fire bans

It might seem like a no-brainer, but the RCMP fined three campers last weekend after they were caught around a campfire near Vernon, B.C.

“There are unfortunately sometimes people that don’t get the message,” Penny-Chair said.

The B.C. Wildfire Service lists which campsites are under fire bans. If it’s permitted, make sure to extinguish the fire afterwards. That means no smoking or smouldering coals.

Test the fire by placing a corner piece of tissue on it. If it doesn’t ignite, you’re safe.

Penny-Chair also cautions against discarded cigarettes.

A number of private campgrounds are tackling the issue by allowing smoke-friendly areas with dispensers.

Leave no trace

Penny-Chair recalled camping several years ago near a group that went to bed after getting into a food fight.

“At 3 a.m., they were shrieking like crazy, because a pack of raccoons had descended on them and attacked one of their dogs,” he said.

“It was quite a funny event, but it’s something that could have been prevented, because it was bad behaviour.”

B.C. Parks encourages campers to “leave no trace.”

Small measures like hiking on designated trails, pitching a tent on tent pads and using a backpacking stove, rather than an open fire, can reduce disruptions in some delicate ecosystems.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

Adhere to quiet hours

Whether you like to fish at the crack of dawn or play cards late into the night, make sure to keep the noise levels down for your neighbours.

Most campsites post their quiet hours, which generally run between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Be neighbourly

If you’re getting to the campsite early or late, turn down your high beams. Avoid cutting through your neighbours’ campsite and inviting too many guests on your site. Voices can carry easily.

If your neighbours are a nuisance?

Penny-Chair says campers should avoid acting out against disruptive neighbours. Instead, collect evidence and report it to the campground staff or police.

“Safety is number one,” he said.

Don’t book last minute

Campsites are often booked months in advance, and space is even tighter this year with the B.C. wildfires shutting down a number of campsites.

But there might still be hope, Penny-Chair said.

“You should definitely be looking at travelling four hours away from a major urban centre,” he said. “You should also be checking the website for Discover Camping because often there are cancellations and they’re listed there.”

Try to camp on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in high-demand areas.

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RVing is supposed to be fun. And some simple campground etiquette helps
to keep it that way for everyone. If you are starting out or need a
refresher, here are 10 tips on minding your camping manners to make your
stay enjoyable

    Follow the rules:
    Individual parks usually hand you a copy of their rules when you
    register. Adhering to these rules is one of the basics of campground
    etiquette. It makes things easier for everyone involved – you, your
    neighbors and the park operators. Typical guidelines include reduced
    speed limits on campground roads for the safety of all involved. You
    are typically expected to unhook a dinghy before driving to your site.
    There are usually defined quiet hours when you should keep the noise
    down, turn off outdoor lights, generators – basically, the party is
    over.

Eliminate pet peeves:
Literally. Pick up after your pets. Stop excessive or extended
barking. Don’t leave a howling dog unattended to bother the neighbors.
Use a leash. Even if Spot is friendly, not everyone is an animal lover.
Good pet-etiquette on your part helps ensure that the many RVers with
pets are welcome at campgrounds.

Parking the rig:
Sometimes it is very clear how to orient the rig on a site – you may
even have a cement pad. But in many cases, the only guidepost will be
the hookup for electric and sewer. General campground etiquette is to
stay on your side of that hook-up, and not have awnings or slide-outs
encroaching on the site next door. Look at the campground map for a
clue about preferred orientation. Or, look around you to see how other
rigs are angled, if they are centered on sites or close to the utility
hook up. You will get the most out of the space you have (and so will
your neighbors) if you are all situated the same way. There are bound
to be exceptions – we have been in many campgrounds with no uniformity
in the size, shape or orientation of sites. The main objective in these
cases is to just “guess the site” and fit the RV into it. But even
then, the idea is to park in a way that gets everyone their fair share
of privacy and room under their respective awnings. Common sense and
campground etiquette go hand in hand.

Late arrivals:
If you are arriving at a park after normal quiet hours, attempt some
degree of stealth behavior. Not that it is easy to be unobtrusive
pulling in an RV. But keep the set-up to the minimum required for the
night. Your neighbors will understand that you need to pull in and hook
up. They have probably been in the same situation. But they will lose
patience if they spend an hour listening to loud conversation, slamming
doors and arguments over how to level the rig. Do what is essential
and remember that tomorrow is another day. The same sort of courtesy
should be used if you are making an early morning departure. Don’t keep
the engine idling for an hour before you leave. Tidy up your campsite
the night before.

Sewer connections:
Do them right. Make them secure. No torn hoses. In most places, your
sewer connection faces the side where you neighbor has their “patio”
area. Another time where being discreet and careful is part of good
campground etiquette.

Washing the RV:
Most campgrounds will not allow washing to avoid wasting water, high
water bills, muddy sites, etc. Read the rules. You usually have to get
by with a small bucket and rag and/or waterless cleaner to just do
minimal spot cleaning. If you are lucky enough to find a place where
you can really wash the RV, use common sense. Don’t have the water
flowing when you aren’t actually using it. Watch the spray – your
neighbor may not be interested in having their rig washed. In fact, it
makes for friendly campground etiquette if you let you neighbor know
ahead of time that you plan to wash your rig. That way, they can close
any windows or put away articles that might inadvertently get wet.

No trespassing:
When we first started out, a fellow RVer came over and asked if he
could look around on “our property” for something he had lost, a paper
that had blown out of his car the night before. We appreciated his
asking first, and were somewhat amused by the term “our property”. But
in fact, one of the unspoken rules of campground etiquette is that you
stay off occupied sites. For the time a camper is on a site, it is
their space and their privacy should be respected. If you are taking a
stroll around the campground, the operative word is “around”. Stay on
roads and pathways – don’t cut through your neighbors’ turf.

Around the campfire:
Before you light it, make sure it is permitted, and follow any rules the
campground may have. Do not use your firepot as a garbage can. There
is sure to be a trash can available in your rig or on the park premises.
No one likes to pull into a site with a firepot full of beer cans or
the remains from someone else’s dinner the night before.

Keeping up the neighborhood:
In general, be tidy. RVing is an outdoor pastime and RVers are generally
an easy going lot. But there is a point where too much stuff laying
around outside the RV starts to look sloppy. Trash or anything loose
that can blow around is a definite no-no.

Do unto others:
When in doubt, follow the golden rule. If you aren’t sure of the proper
campground etiquette for something, think about how you would like to
be treated. If you are concerned that something might bother your
neighbor, your best bet is just to ask them. If you find yourself in a
situation where your neighbors or park operators are doing something
that you find intolerable, politely address the subject with them. If
that doesn’t work, consider moving to another site or another
campground. You are in an RV after all.

Many people begin RV camping to spend more time with family; however, another main perk is the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends at the campgrounds you visit. The best way to make new friends at campgrounds is to make a good impression by being considerate and neighborly. However, if you are new to campground life, you may not know some of the unwritten rules of camping. Our team at S&H Campground in Greenfield, IN, has observed families coming together for over 50 years and we want to help you do the same. Read on for a few common etiquette rules you may not have thought of.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

Staying at a campground is much like living in a neighborhood except that everyone is constantly moving and your neighbors are always changing. There are common, considerate actions that most campers adhere to in order to live harmoniously in campgrounds all over the country. Here are just a few to consider:

  • Keep it quiet. The number one complaint people have about their fellow campers is the noise level. Most campgrounds have a set quiet time, so make sure to know the rules and adhere to them.
  • Don’t walk through campsites. It is OK to walk up and knock on the camper door to say hello, but don’t walk through campsites – just like you would not walk across your neighbor’s yard.
  • Go slow. Campgrounds are typically full of kids on bikes and people walking dogs. Be sure to adhere to the slow, posted speed limit. It’ll keep the dust down, too.
  • Share the WiFi. Many campgrounds provide WiFi; however, you need to be considerate about how you use it. A quick email or Facebook post is great, but this may not be the best place to stream movies 24/7. You’re outside. Go enjoy it!
  • Clean up after yourself. After you pack up, check around for garbage. Move back anything you’ve relocated, like rocks or logs. If anything is broken, like the picnic table, be sure to let the staff know. Recycle what you can.

Experienced RVers will agree that if you are considerate with your belongings and the noise level, and you treat others’ campsites and RVs like their homes, you will have a great time and make great friends. For more information on getting started on your next camping trip, contact S&H Campground today at (317) 326-3208. You can also make a reservation online anytime.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

Getting out in nature is a wonderful escape from your everyday routine. You likely go camping to unwind, enjoy the fresh air, explore and spend time relaxing with friends and family. But aside from the written campground rules (which you should know and abide by), what camping etiquette should you follow? Here are five ways you can be a good campground neighbor.

1. Respect Other Campers’ Private Spaces

If you have neighbors close by, be respectful. It’s OK to be friendly and say hello, but don’t invite yourself to their campsite or their cookout. If you have animals or kids with you, let them know the boundaries, too. Nobody likes a loose dog or a child roaming around their campsite without an invitation. When walking around, don’t cut through someone’s campsite. If you must cut through, most people won’t mind if you simply ask first. Just don’t presume. Treat others with the same respect and privacy you’d want while camping.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

2. Avoid Bright Lights at Night

You may need to start your vehicle to head into town at night, or maybe you’ve just arrived and are trying to locate your campsite. Make a conscious effort not to shine your bright headlights into someone’s campsite. As a general rule, use your low lights when you’re arriving or leaving the campground at night.

The same goes for flashlights. It’s OK to use lights in the dark — you do need to see where you’re going. Just be mindful of where those bright lights are shining. You can imagine how it would feel to be sound asleep in your tent when a bright light suddenly shines on your tent and wakes you up.

3. Don’t be a Mooch

You should arrive at your campsite prepared. It’s fine to borrow the occasional tool or camping essential from a neighbor if you’re really in need, but don’t overdo it. Make sure you have your essentials by creating a checklist before you leave and checking your gear. Think of how bothersome it could be if someone asked you to borrow multiple items throughout the weekend like firewood, a camp chair, an ax, a towel, dish soap or food. Don’t be “that guy.”

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

4. Avoid Washing Your Dishes in the Bathroom

Dirtying dishes while camping is unavoidable. You’ll most likely need to wash dishes. Although you may be tempted to wash them in the shared campground bathroom, it’s considered a camping faux pas. Not only does it impose on other campers, if food goes down the sink drain it could cause major plumbing problems for campground managers. So, bring a washing tub with you and be prepared to wash your dishes at camp.

5. Be Kind

As a general rule, you should be kind to other campers. Playing music loud late at night, leaving garbage around the campground and dominating all the picnic tables and playgrounds could make your neighbors wish they would’ve stayed home. Keep in mind that a campground is a shared community. If you’re celebrating or lighting off fireworks, be kind. Ask your neighbors if they mind first. A little communication goes a long way at the beginning of your camping experience.

Another way to be kind is to leave your unused campfire wood in a nice pile for the next camper. Think of how nice it is to pull up to a campsite with a dry pile of firewood next to the fire pit. When in doubt, pay kindness forward.

Suzanne Downing is an outdoor writer and photographer in Montana with an environmental science journalism background. Her work can be found in Outdoors Unlimited, Bugle Magazine, Missoulian, Byline Magazine, Communique, MTPR online, UM Native News, National Wildlife Federation campaigns and more.

Part of the fun of camping is the freedom that camping gives you. However, you do need to exercise some consideration for other campers and for the campsite itself.

Here is a campground etiquette list that features 13 simple camping etiquette tips that will help you and others enjoy your time at camp.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

Table of Contents

#1. Get to Your Campsite In Time To Set Up Before Quiet Time

It is not uncommon to arrive at the campground near dark or even after dark. But, if at all possible try to get to your campsite in time to be completely set up before quiet time, so that you don’t disturb any of the other people camping near you.

#2. Avoid Intruding on Other Campers Space

If camping in a campground with designated campsites, make sure not to go over the boundaries of other people’s campsite.

You wouldn’t put up shelters or other buildings on your neighbors property at home, so refrain from doing it when camping.

If camping in a wilderness area, make sure that you don’t establish your camp too close to camps already established by others.

Part of the enjoyment of wilderness camping is that campers have more privacy and space to spread out.

In addition, when traveling to and from restrooms, showers and other places in the campground avoid cutting through other people’s campsites.

#3. Get Your Firewood on Location

Trees from a location can spread disease to trees from another location, so please don’t transport firewood from one location to another.

Many camping areas (especially primitive campgrounds) allow you to collect dead fall to use for your campfires free of charge.

But, even if you need to purchase wood, do so in the area which you are camping. There are usually several places that sell campfire wood to local campers near every campground.

#4. Never Leave Your Campfire Unattended

Never leave your campfire unattended. If you are going fishing, swimming, hiking or sightseeing in town, then make sure that your fire is put completely out.

Leaving a campfire unattended puts both other campers and the entire campground or forest in danger. Even if you are only intending to be gone a few minutes, don’t leave your campfire burning.

#5. Don’t Feed the Wildlife

While observing the wildlife while camping is fun you should never feed them.

While it may delight you to feed the birds, squirrels and other small animals at your campsite, you will make beggars of these animals and then once you leave the next campers to the site may not appreciate the forward and aggressive actions of these animals to get food.

In addition, some wild animals carry diseases including rabies and you don’t want to risk getting bitten by one of these animals. So think of your family and other campers and observe the wild life from a reasonable distance.

#6. Control Your Pets and Your Children

People of all ages and dispositions may be camping in one campground. There may be people who don’t like children or don’t like animals or are even afraid of dogs camping.

While you may love camping with your children and pets you don’t want them to spoil others enjoyment of the campground.

So, make sure that children understand and obey all camp rules both those of the campgrounds and the ones established by you.

You should also control your pets at all times including walking them in the designated dog run if there is one.

#7. Properly Dispose of Waste

Most established campgrounds have a designated place for you to dispose of waste, so make sure that you do.

If camping in a primitive campground make sure to burn all paper waste and bury your bodily waste at least 6 inches deep.

Use biodegradable toilet paper. Any non burnable waste you should place in sturdy garbage bags and take it with you when you leave.

#8. Adhere to a Quiet Time

Many campgrounds post quiet times usually from 10 pm to 6 am. If your campground has a posted quiet time make sure that you adhere to it.

If no quiet time is posted, then try and be considerate of neighboring campers and keep those chats around the campfire down, and try not to disturb those who are trying to go sleep early.

#9. Be Friendly and Courteous to Other Campers

Remember that camping is not just about you and your family enjoying the outdoors, it’s about having new experiences and even meeting new people.

So, when meeting other campers in camp on the trails be friendly and courteous and even offer a helping hand.

It can create a real bond between you and a neighboring camper if you offer to help them set up their tent or start a fire for them if they arrive near dark.

It makes them feel less stressed while trying to set up and camp and makes for a friendlier camping experience for you and neighbors.

#10. If Hiking Stay on Designated Trails

Not only will staying on the designated trails when hiking help prevent you from picking up ticks that live in the taller grass, it will also protect the wild flowers and plants from being trampled leaving them to be enjoyed by the next group who uses the campground.

#11. Always Try and Leave Your Campsite Cleaner Than You Found It

I don’t know how many times we have arrived at a campsite near dusk and had to spend an hour or more cleaning up a campsite before we can pitch a tent.

It always amazes me that people feel it is okay to leave broken camp chairs, used bait containers and even dirty diapers in the fire pit or scattered around the campsite when they leave.

As a matter of pride we always try to leave our campsite cleaner than we found it and clean out the pit, often setting up a new fire ready to be lit when we leave.

Since we appreciate finding a campsite clean and ready to be set up we feel that other campers will appreciate it too and so does the environment as a whole.

#12. Leave Some Wood and Kindling for the Next Campers

When we leave our campsite at the end of our camping time, we always try and leave some wood and kindling for the next campers.

Normally we try and leave everything set up in the firepit or stacked neatly beside it.

There is nothing more welcoming to new arrivals than to find enough wood for their first fire all ready awaiting them.

#13. Why Not Leave a Note?

While we don’t do it every time there have been many times we have left a not for the next campers welcoming them to the campsite.

We would tell them what part of the lake we caught the most fish at what time of day, where they can find a good supply of deadfall, and even where the best place to eat is for when they want to dine out.

We have gotten a couple of such notes ourselves and always find them helpful and accurate making our stay feel even more fun and welcoming.

Hopefully these tips on camping etiquette will help to make your camping adventures more friendly and fun for both you and your campground neighbors.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

It’s important to be a good neighbor not just when you’re at home, but also when you’re on the road. If you’re spending your summer at campgrounds, there are some general rules of etiquette to follow if you want to be a good neighbor. Heeds these rules of campground etiquette and you’re sure to maintain good relations with those around you.

Respect others’ space

Especially during this season of coronavirus and social distancing, it is important to respect others’ space. This means that even if the shortest way to the lake or the bathroom is through someone’s occupied camping space, you take the long way around. This also means that you shouldn’t let your dogs or your kids wander through other people’s camping spots.

Leash your dogs

While many people do love furry friends, you need to keep your dog on a leash. In fact, this is a rule at most campgrounds. Even if you’re dog is extraordinarily friendly and wouldn’t harm a fly, you still need to keep him tied up. If you have a dog prone to barking, consider keeping him inside the RV where he won’t see passerby’s.

Keep the noise down

Most campgrounds have a set period of time for quiet hours. Be kind to those camping around you by respecting these hours. If you’re looking to party loud all night long, then you need to find a secluded campsite out in the boondocks where you won’t be bothering others. The surest way to anger parents of young kids is to keep those kids up all night long with your noise. Keeping the noise down also means not running your generator 24/7. People are camping to get away from noises like that.

Keep the lights down

Just like many our camping to escape the noise of the city, many are also trying to escape the lights of the city. When they’re camping they’re hoping for a soft glow of a campfire and thousands of stars. Be courteous and don’t flip on all the floodlights on your RV. Keep your light pollution to a minimum.

Clean up after yourself

Before you leave the campsite, ensure that you’ve cleaned up all trash and you’re leaving the place even neater than when you found it. Be conscious especially now of germs you may be leaving, and consider wiping high touch surfaces with disinfecting wipes before leaving. Picnic tables are great to have, but are also a hard surface to disinfect. Travel with a tablecloth and clips to put over the table so you can take your germs with you. If you’re using the restrooms, once again wipe down high touch surfaces after you’re done. Do your part to help keep others safe and healthy!

Universally, RVers are known for their friendliness. For some unknown reason, RVers will simply gather naturally and the conversation starts. Some joke that since you spend so much time in a confined space with your spouse, you can’t wait to get out and talk to someone/anyone else! Regardless, RVers are a friendly bunch. You will see, time and again, a $500,000 motorhome pull into a campsite next to a $25,000 travel trailer and even before hooking up, the conversation has started.

Rules of RV Etiquette

Because of the very nature of RVers—almost always traveling and therefore, almost always in new and different places—they are constantly faced with dealing with strangers. This is very different from living in one location (house, apartment, etc.) for several years where you learn about the habits of your neighbors. In an RV park/campground, you literally could have new neighbors every day and this would be considered common.

There are some “rules” of etiquette that are unique to RVing and staying or living in campgrounds. Here are a few common ones…

  • When in a campground, don’t walk through campsites. You are welcome to come on site to knock on our door. Think about the last neighborhood you lived in, strangers did not normally just walk through your property right up close to your house. The campsite is essentially “my property” since I’m renting it for the night. Granted, it’s not as big as a house lot but neither is our RV.
  • If my door shades are closed, please don’t knock unless it is an emergency or we have invited you over. This applies 24/7. I may want to sleep in. I really don’t care if you do or not.
  • You can hear outside sounds from inside virtually all RVs. I know you paid a lot for that big TV in your front storage compartment so you can sit in your lawn chair and watch it. But don’t assume we want to hear it if you are in the next site. Do assume we CAN hear it. I can close my shades to block the view but not the sound.
    Remember, that TV/DVD/whatever player in your storage compartment is usually right outside my living and dining room. The perfect solution is for you to get a set of headphones and wear them. Then, you can have the sound turned up as high as you want and you won’t bother us at all.
  • Don’t assume everyone likes your little pet. The classic “yappie” dog with the high-pitched bark, barking at every noise, bird, leaf, squirrel, and shadow is a real annoyance. I realize you are not bothered, but it is an annoyance for lots of people living in this smaller confined area called a campground.
  • Don’t assume everyone likes your big pet. I really don’t care when you say, “He’s just a big baby and won’t hurt anyone.” It’s a big dog with big teeth and totally foreign to me.
  • Don’t ever bring your pet into our coach unless we discussed it first. This applies whether you are carrying your pet or it is walking.
  • If you are a smoker, do not smoke in our RV. Even if you ask permission, we will say no. Don’t take it personally, we say no to everyone who asks.
  • If you are a smoker, please do not smoke near our RV. If we have our windows open and our ceiling fans on, we will suck the secondhand smoke into our coach. That’s not something we want to have happen. Go away if you want to smoke.
  • If you are a smoker and are in the lot next to us. We will just close our windows and deal with it.
  • We would appreciate it if you would not idle your RV (diesel pusher or tow vehicle) for very long when you prepare to pull out of the campground before the crack of dawn! From a mechanical standpoint, a diesel engine on normal idle will not heat up the engine—it’s designed not to do this. So, when you start the engine, it’s ready to drive as soon as you hear the air pressure pop off (about 90 seconds). Then, just go.
  • If you see something wrong with my RV or utility connections, please tell me. I will fix it if possible.
  • If we are going to sit outside, bring your chairs.
  • If we invite you over to visit/happy hour/snacks/dinner/whatever, we will tell you what we have to offer you to drink. If you want anything else, bring it with you. It’s perfectly okay to do this and you will not embarrass us at all. We live in this RV and have a relatively small, fixed amount of space. We cannot store various drinks and snacks to meet everyone’s taste. Yes, we had room to do this in our house but not in the RV.
    Oh yes, we will bring any special drinks to your place, too. We certainly don’t expect you to have everything for everyone with you in your RV.
  • Other than the chairs and grill sitting out, don’t store stuff outside by sticking it under your RV. It looks trashy. I see it from our RV. You cannot see it from inside your RV.
  • The same advice applies to those hanging “things” (kites, birds, balloons, wind chimes, etc.) that you hang from your RV mirrors or awning outside. The wind will blow and these items will rapidly twirl or float in the breeze often flashing colors or making noise. For the most part, you can’t see these from inside your RV. I don’t want to see them from ours. Think about this, it would almost make more sense for you to hang those outside “goodies” from our RV and that way, you could see them from yours!
  • If you are invited inside our RV and see shoes sitting near the door, we would prefer you take yours off, too. If you are an RVer, you are likely used to doing this in your RV. If you are not an RVer, we will make a comment that it’s certainly okay to leave your shoes on. We are sincere when we say that so just leave them on.
  • Don’t knock and ask to see inside. This is our home. If we want you to see it, first, we must be comfortable enough that we will ask you in. If we do invite you in, you will likely get the tour.
  • Do not to talk with someone while they are hooking up towed vehicles. Some incomplete tow hookups are a result of being interrupted by someone or something during the hookup procedure. For example, the person in the next campsite says “goodbye,” you look up to acknowledge the comment, and forget to attach something. It happens.

Harsh and Mean and Cold

What? You think these “rules” seem pretty harsh or cold-hearted? Do you assume we are not nice people? …grinchs? …mean and nasty?

We live in our RV. We have a relatively small, fixed amount of space. We cannot store every type of drink and snack to meet everyone’s taste. Even if we decided to rush out and purchase “special” goodies just for your consumption, the leftovers may even cause us a storage problem.

So, space is tight. Extra room is tight. It just makes sense for you to bring those things that are unique to you. And by the way, if you have brought things with you to the potluck, etc., please be prepared to take any leftover drinks and food back with you, too.

By staying much of our time in RV parks and campgrounds, we know that our space is small. Therefore, all of our actions and behavior must be a bit different to accommodate the physical limitations of the space. We need your help to do that.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

One of the biggest perks RVing offers is freedom. The freedom to leave everything behind (for some temporarily, for others permanently) and just hit the open road. And when you get to the campground, you find the joy of meeting other free-spirited souls like you. Unfortunately, some RVers mistake this freedom as the liberty to do as they please, even on the campground. But in all honesty, freedom is no reason to ignore campground etiquette. After all, without camping rules, written or not, there will be chaos on the campground.

5 Basic Camping Rules that Promote Campground Etiquette

Before you hit the road this summer, remember the 10 camping rules below so as to make your camping adventure a pleasant one. The best memories are pleasant ones after all and not those of an irate campground neighbor throwing your dog’s poop into your face (better than in the stew though). But more on that below.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

1. Rules are not Made to Be Broken

Every campground has a list of rules written down, in some campgrounds, they hand you the list, in others, you have to read it on the walls in the reception. Whatever the case, you have to familiarize yourself with the rules and abide by them, at all costs. Breaking a set of rules is not cool, no is it a way to have fun. It is downright rude and disrespectful. Besides, it destroys the family atmosphere that most campgrounds have. So, stick to the rules and enjoy your campground experience.

2. Take Care When Parking the Rig

Just because you are at a campground doesn’t mean all the space there is at your disposal. Most RV Parks have clearly marked out sites where you should park and how, although in some instances, the only clue to parking orientation is the hookups. But in any case, make sure to park in such a way that you won’t encroach on your neighbor’s space, even with just the awning. Treat your site the way you would treat your yard at home – respect the neighbor’s property and they will respect yours. This is where the biblical law of “do unto others as you would them do to you” applies. You wouldn’t be happy if someone disrespected your space, would you? So, when it comes to parking the rig, do so in a way that is best for you, your neighbor, and everyone else.

3. Take Care of Your Pets

Pets are family for most of us. But they can be disruptive members of the family if not controlled properly, and especially at campgrounds, as they tend to become over excited at the new sights and smells. When you first arrive at the campground, take your pet for a walk – leashed. This will help your pet stretch its legs after the long journey while at the same time get over the excitement of the new environment. Once your pet has settled in, be sure to constantly monitor its movements so as to make sure it doesn’t get itself and you in trouble – especially when it comes to dumping last night’s supper. Be sure to pick up after it whenever it does, and that as quickly as possible.

4. Maintain Your Space

Because of the minimalistic nature of camping, there are no garbage disposal units or trash cans that are as big as the ones you left at home. This is no excuse to be sloppy. No one likes litter, and the only thing worse than litter is a litterbug – don’t be the litterbug everyone will love to hate at the campground. Cleaning your space is a responsibility you should take seriously, and if you have kids, have them do the same. Whether it is their toys or leftovers, everything should be picked up and put in the right place. And the day you leave, make sure to leave the site the way you found it, or better if possible.

5. Watch Your Noise Levels – Especially at Night

Let’s be honest – human beings are noisy creatures when they are happy. And a campground is one of the happiest places on earth. But make sure to keep your noise levels moderately low so as not to disturb other campers, especially at night. Whether it is music, shrieks of joy, or Bingo reconnecting to nature, remember to respect your neighbors and keep everyone’s noise levels in check.

Campground Etiquette – The Key to a Pleasant Camping Experience

Although most campground etiquette is mainly unspoken, it is important to treat the campground and other users with great respect. Failure to do so will result in a terrible experience, defeating the whole purpose of the vacation. In those rare instances where you are not sure just what to do, follow this simple rule – do unto others as you would want them do unto you.

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How to Follow Campground EtiquetteWhen you’ve hit the road, traveled for miles, and finally reached your camping destination, you might find yourself at an RV campground or resort. These areas can be an excellent place to rest and relax, whether it’s for the night or for a week or even for months at a time. The campground will do its best to provide you with everything you need that your RV doesn’t already offer. In return, there are some basic etiquette rules you’ll want to follow. We’ve provided some of them below so you can be a good neighbor when you arrive at your campsite. If you’re looking for the RV to get you there, stop by Broadmoor RV in Pasco, Washington, serving the Tri-Cities, Yakima, and Seattle.

Be Mindful of Personal Space

When you arrive at your campground, you’ll be provided with your own campsite (unless you’ve made other arrangements). Figure out where your “property lines” are, or what all your campsite encompasses. Make sure all your activities and personal items stay within this boundary. Nothing is more irritating than someone who doesn’t understand personal space.

Even if the spot next to you is empty, a new camper could show up at any moment, so you don’t want to spread out and take up their space. They’ll probably be tired when they arrive and won’t want to wait for you to clear away your things. Make sure your kids understand the boundaries as well, as not everyone enjoys having little ones running around their camper.

Respect Quiet Hours

Most RV campgrounds have their own set of quiet hours. They’ll vary from campground to campground, so it’s something you’ll want to ask about when you first check in. “Quiet” can also mean different things for different campgrounds, so understanding these particular rules are important for avoiding penalties and being a courteous neighbor. It might be easier said than done, especially if you want to stay outside and enjoy the company of friends and family. You don’t have to stop the fun—just be mindful of your noise level.

Leash Your Pets

If your furry friend is part of your camping party, keep them leashed. No matter how calm or friendly you think your pet is, there are some who would rather keep their distance, for reasons like allergies, fear, or simple dislike of animals. Many campers will feel safer if you keep your animal leashed. In fact, there are many campgrounds that make it a rule.

Keep in mind other important pet-related concerns, like cleaning up after them. Try to avoid leaving them unattended unless otherwise secure. If you do a little research ahead of time, you can probably find a pet-friendly campground with a designated area where you can take your furry friend off their leash.

Follow the Rules

We’ve mentioned campground-specific rules a few times and that’s because each campground will have their own set of rules. You’ll probably see some similarities, but you don’t want to make assumptions going in. Remember that you’ll be part of a community, complete with people who live there full-time. You wouldn’t want someone coming into your neighborhood and wreaking havoc, so don’t ignore important regulations. There will probably be consequences, ranging from additional fees to even expulsion. At the end of the day, if you’re a respectful person, you’ll probably have no trouble following these rules.

When you’re a friendly camping neighbor, you’ll find life at your campsite will be more enjoyable and you might even make some new friends. But first, you’ll need the RV to get you there. Stop by Broadmoor RV and let one of our experienced staff show you our full selection of RVs for sale. We welcome all current and future RV owners from Spokane and Walla Walla, Washington.

The campground is much like any other public space, we are sharing it with other campers and should be considerate of everyone’s experience and enjoyment. Whether you are a novice or experienced camper, these common courtesies apply to all and will ensure you and your family have as fantastic a time as your campground neighbors. If you camp often enough and depending on where you camp, you’ll eventually find a group that doesn’t care much for many of these ideas, but we’re happy to say that in our experience it tends to be a rarity. In the end, it’s all common sense and quite simple to observe basic campground etiquette.

Here is a list of 8 campground etiquette tips to consider next time you head out camping.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

1. Noise

This one is obvious but when you’re traveling with a bunch of kids it becomes a bit more complicated! We constantly have to remind the kids that other campers are here for peace and quiet. They, like us, are looking to connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors. We still let them have fun but are mindful of when their volume might become a bit excessive.

2. Music

We occasionally like to play some chill music but are always careful that the sound doesn’t extend beyond our campsite. The next site might not love Graham Colton as much as we do! We have a small bluetooth speaker that we’ll play music through, nothing big but lets us set the mood when desired.

3. Observing quiet hours

This one is actually a rule at virtually all organized campgrounds. Each campground may vary but they’ll post their quiet hours so be sure to get familiar with them. If your campground has a camp host, they can also help clarify this rule. Generally, quiet hours are between 10pm and 6am so if you’re planning to stay up late around the campfire, which is always a great time, please be courteous of other campers that are looking to get a good night’s rest before setting out on an early hike.

Also, remember that sound travels much further in a campground, there are less barriers to block noise. The quieter it is around you, the less private your conversation will be.

4. Keep bathrooms clean

This one is easy and can make everyone’s experience far more pleasant if we’re all just a bit more thoughtful. Regardless if it’s pit toilets or flush bathrooms with showers, this is a shared space where hygiene matters. Don’t throw trash and dirty toilet paper on the floor, use the trash can or flush when appropriate.

5. Washing dishes

Many campgrounds have rules about where you can wash your dishes, pot and pans. Please observe those rules and also keep in mind that you shouldn’t leave food scraps in the basin as it attracts animals and can also clog the drain.

6. Walking around other campsites

Another simple one, everyone’s campsite is their home, for as long as they’re planning to stay. We generally don’t like people walking through our home as a shortcut to the bathroom or another site. It’s just a few extra steps, be sure to walk around other campsites and your fellow campers will appreciate it!

How to Follow Campground EtiquetteUse the road to walk through the campground to your destination!

7. Flashlights

After sunset, when the darkness begins to settle in, that’s when the flashlights, lanterns and headlamps come out. Today’s flashlights are very small and also very bright! A small LED flashlight can blind someone quite easily if shined directly in their eyes. It’s good practice to shine your light at the ground as you walk instead of at eye level. Also, it’s good to avoid shining them into others campsites as well. We love our headlamps that have a red and green LED color setting that still allows you to see in the dark but isn’t nearly as bright as the full strength white light.

8. Leave it better than you found it

We’ve all heard of ‘leave no trace’. Let’s do one better. Let’s leave it better than we found it. When packing up, pick up any trash you may have dropped as well as anything a previous camper may have left behind. It’s quite common to find bottle caps, lost tent stakes and other plastic trash from previous campers that are easy to dispose of, leaving the campsite cleaner than you found it.

How to Follow Campground EtiquetteA good Junior Ranger collects trash left behind by other campers!

Again, these are all just common sense campground etiquette practices that will ensure you and your campground neighbors have a fantastic experience. They also ensure the campers that follow you have a great time as well.

The campground is much like any other public space, we are sharing it with other campers and should be considerate of everyone’s experience and enjoyment. Whether you are a novice or experienced camper, these common courtesies apply to all and will ensure you and your family have as fantastic a time as your campground neighbors. If you camp often enough and depending on where you camp, you’ll eventually find a group that doesn’t care much for many of these ideas, but we’re happy to say that in our experience it tends to be a rarity. In the end, it’s all common sense and quite simple to observe basic campground etiquette.

Here is a list of 8 campground etiquette tips to consider next time you head out camping.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

1. Noise

This one is obvious but when you’re traveling with a bunch of kids it becomes a bit more complicated! We constantly have to remind the kids that other campers are here for peace and quiet. They, like us, are looking to connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors. We still let them have fun but are mindful of when their volume might become a bit excessive.

2. Music

We occasionally like to play some chill music but are always careful that the sound doesn’t extend beyond our campsite. The next site might not love Graham Colton as much as we do! We have a small bluetooth speaker that we’ll play music through, nothing big but lets us set the mood when desired.

3. Observing quiet hours

This one is actually a rule at virtually all organized campgrounds. Each campground may vary but they’ll post their quiet hours so be sure to get familiar with them. If your campground has a camp host, they can also help clarify this rule. Generally, quiet hours are between 10pm and 6am so if you’re planning to stay up late around the campfire, which is always a great time, please be courteous of other campers that are looking to get a good night’s rest before setting out on an early hike.

Also, remember that sound travels much further in a campground, there are less barriers to block noise. The quieter it is around you, the less private your conversation will be.

4. Keep bathrooms clean

This one is easy and can make everyone’s experience far more pleasant if we’re all just a bit more thoughtful. Regardless if it’s pit toilets or flush bathrooms with showers, this is a shared space where hygiene matters. Don’t throw trash and dirty toilet paper on the floor, use the trash can or flush when appropriate.

5. Washing dishes

Many campgrounds have rules about where you can wash your dishes, pot and pans. Please observe those rules and also keep in mind that you shouldn’t leave food scraps in the basin as it attracts animals and can also clog the drain.

6. Walking around other campsites

Another simple one, everyone’s campsite is their home, for as long as they’re planning to stay. We generally don’t like people walking through our home as a shortcut to the bathroom or another site. It’s just a few extra steps, be sure to walk around other campsites and your fellow campers will appreciate it!

How to Follow Campground EtiquetteUse the road to walk through the campground to your destination!

7. Flashlights

After sunset, when the darkness begins to settle in, that’s when the flashlights, lanterns and headlamps come out. Today’s flashlights are very small and also very bright! A small LED flashlight can blind someone quite easily if shined directly in their eyes. It’s good practice to shine your light at the ground as you walk instead of at eye level. Also, it’s good to avoid shining them into others campsites as well. We love our headlamps that have a red and green LED color setting that still allows you to see in the dark but isn’t nearly as bright as the full strength white light.

8. Leave it better than you found it

We’ve all heard of ‘leave no trace’. Let’s do one better. Let’s leave it better than we found it. When packing up, pick up any trash you may have dropped as well as anything a previous camper may have left behind. It’s quite common to find bottle caps, lost tent stakes and other plastic trash from previous campers that are easy to dispose of, leaving the campsite cleaner than you found it.

How to Follow Campground EtiquetteA good Junior Ranger collects trash left behind by other campers!

Again, these are all just common sense campground etiquette practices that will ensure you and your campground neighbors have a fantastic experience. They also ensure the campers that follow you have a great time as well.

Exercising proper etiquette at an RV campground means treating your space and the space of those around you with equal effort and decency. Anyone who’s traveled the country in an RV for a few years know how frustrating it can be to set up next to a camper who doesn’t understand campground etiquette. Sites overflowing with trash, excessive noise, and unruly dogs can make for an unpleasant stay.

With that image in mind, full-time RVer Lauren Grijalva teaches you some of her favorite advice for good campground etiquette so you ensure that you remain in the good graces of your neighbors and campground staff. Here are Lauren’s top ten tips:

  1. 1) Keep your campsite tidy, making sure to throw away all trash and cleaning up after parties and get-togethers.
  2. 2) Avoid walking through other campsites. Think of each site like a temporary home with a yard and surrounding sidewalks.
  3. 3) Look up each campground’s quiet hours and respect them. Shut the party down or lower the volume when the time approaches.
  4. 4) Drive slowly through the grounds. Observe all posted speed limits; you never know who or what’s around the bend.
  5. 5) Keep dogs on leashes whenever walking through the grounds, pick up after them, and be sure to put the barkers inside!
  6. 6) Always check out on time. Another RVers is expecting to have their reserved space available when they arrive; don’t make them wait!
  7. 7) Try not to disturb your neighbors by knocking if their door is closed and the shades are drawn. Wait until they’re out and about!
  8. 8) Don’t talk to someone when hooking/unhooking. Strike up conversation once they’ve gotten settled, not while they’re figuring out the parking situation.
  9. 9) Leave your campsite cleaner than you found it. You don’t like showing up to a dirty site, and neither does whoever arrives after you!
  10. 10) Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Be approachable, say hello, grow your community!

These are just some of the great ways to make America’s amazing campgrounds even better places to spend the night. If you have other suggestions for campground etiquette, feel free to fill us in!

#11 – Pull your truck and/or toad all the way into your campsite and don’t partially block the road like the minivan in your number 10 does.

Don’t feed the local wildlife, as animals will return looking for more handouts long after you leave.

#11. Don’t run your slide out out over your neighbor’s site. This has happened to me for several years with the same neighbor. When sites are already small this is very annoying!

Make sure your tow or toad vehicle isn’t blocking the camp roadway. RV’s coming and going shouldn’t have to wind their way around you. I’ve seen some rv bumps and bruises when trying to snake their way around.

Sound travels long distances outside. While you may enjoy “rocking out” to your favorite tunes while camping, your neighbors may not have the same tastes. Keep the volume down.

Is this article available in printed or pdf form? Would love to share with new campers that check into our campground.

That’s a great question!

From your keyboard on your computer, simply press “CTRL + P” to print the page and you’ll be good to go!

Jessica
RV Repair Club Video Membership

During set-up or tear down, don’t lay sewer hoses or sewer connections on the picnic table. Also, don’t put pet cages, crates on picnic tables. These is simply unsanitary, and disrespectful practices.

How to Follow Campground Etiquette

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How to Follow Campground Etiquette

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