April 15, 2024
RV rig camped at Wenachee campground in WA 5 29 18 by George Lamson is licensed under CC BY NC SA 2.0.750

RV rig camped at Wenachee campground in WA 5 29 18 by George Lamson is licensed under CC BY NC SA 2.0.750

Do you know the proper etiquette for using a campground? Do you enhance your RV camping experience by following the unwritten rules of RV campground etiquette? Read our guide to become an RVing pro!

The Ultimate Guide to RV Campground Etiquette – Navigating the World of RVing with Respect and Civility

To ensure that your RV camping experience is enjoyable for everyone, it’s important to understand and follow the basics of RV campground etiquette. This article will provide an introduction to RV Campground Etiquette, such as being a good neighbor, being a good Samaritan, leaving the campground as you were given, respecting your neighbor’s camp space, and following the campground rules. Following these guidelines will ensure that you and your fellow campers have a memorable camping experience.

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RV rig camped at Wenachee campground in WA 5 29 18 by George Lamson is licensed under CC BY NC SA 2.0.
RV rig camped at Wenachee campground in WA 5 29 18 by George Lamson is licensed under CC BY NC SA 2.0.

What Is RV Campground Etiquette?

RV camping is a popular way for families and friends to travel and explore new destinations. While the freedom and flexibility of RVing is a great advantage, it also comes with its own set of rules and etiquette to ensure a safe and harmonious experience for everyone.

RV campground etiquette is a respectful manner of conducting oneself when staying at a RV park or campground. It is important to follow the written rules of the RV park or campground, such as general campground rules, safety rules, guidelines for parking your RV, and utility hookup procedures.

It is also important to avoid crowding your neighbors with outdoor items and appliances such as grills, sports equipment, seating, and gear and to not block roadways with your vehicles. When checking in after hours, it is wise to avoid performing setup procedures that create excess noise.

RV campground etiquette also requires respect for the campground or RV park, your neighbors, surrounding wildlife, and yourself. This can be achieved by treating others as you’d like to be treated, checking for campground-specific rules, and respecting other campers’ sites.

It is helpful to keep outdoor items and appliances stored away when not in use, to not block roadways with your vehicles, and to avoid excessive noise during late check-ins. With these tips and a bit of practice, everyone can be a happy camper.

What Are Some Rules to Follow When Camping in a RV?

When camping in a RV, it is important to observe certain etiquette rules in order to ensure a pleasant and enjoyable experience for everyone. First and foremost, take the time to read over and familiarize yourself with the written rules of the campground you are staying at. These rules can be found by the entrance, at the front office, or in public areas. Be sure to also check the campground’s website for any additional rules that may not be posted.

Next, the following actions should be avoided: crowding your neighbors with outdoor items and appliances, blocking roadways with your vehicles, and performing set up procedures that create excess noise after hours. Additionally, be courteous to other campers and remember to treat another person’s RV just like their home by avoiding entering without invitation and not intruding on anyone’s space.

Finally, below is a quick list of commonsense tips to follow while camping in a RV:

  1. Follow posted campground rules
  2. Observe campground guidelines for parking your RV
  3. Follow the rules for utility hookups
  4. Avoid “campsite sprawl”
  5. Don’t block roadways
  6. Keep setup noise to a minimum if you check in after hours
  7. Consider each campsite private property
  8. Use campground roads and walkways to get around
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624619086

What Should You Do to Respect the Campground?

  1. Respect the fact that people are camping nearby and that other folks will be using the campsite after you leave.
  2. Don’t make any permanent changes to the site, such as moving boundary stones or fire rings, or cutting down branches.
  3. Return any items you moved before leaving, such as picnic tables.
  4. If you experience something negative during your stay, let the RV park staff or management know about it.
  5. Be mindful of your camping neighbors and don’t cut through their campsite when walking through the campground.
  6. Respect the campground’s quiet hours and don’t make loud noises late at night.
  7. Keep your campsite clean and free of debris.
  8. If you have a pet, clean up after them to keep the campground clean.
  9. Follow the campground rules and observe the guidelines for parking your RV and using utility hookups.
  10. Avoid “campsite sprawl” and don’t crowd the neighboring sites with grills, sports equipment, and vehicles.
  11. Don’t block roadways and check with the camp host about overflow parking if there is not enough room at your campsite for tow vehicles and trailers.

What Is the Proper Etiquette for Using a Campfire?

The guidelines for campfires and fire pits in an RV park are important to follow for safety and to maintain a pleasant camping experience.

  1. Always check with the local ranger or campground host to make sure there is no burn ban in the area.
  2. Make sure to build campfires and fire pits in designated campfire rings or pits and never leave a campfire unattended.
  3. Use only heat-treated, locally sourced firewood and never burn trash or items like glass, plastics, oils, or aluminum foil, as these can release toxic fumes when burned.
  4. Respect the power of the fire and extinguish it completely with water before leaving the campfire or retiring for the night.

Many RV parks and resorts now ban wood-burning campfires, which is why some RVers turn to propane fire pits instead. Lastly, always put safety first and never let children tend to the campfire.

How Should You Treat Your Pets While Camping in An RV?

Step 1: Book a pet-friendly campsite when making your RV reservation and plan ahead to take the things you need for your pet.

Step 2: When at the campsite, keep your pet on a leash when you’re wandering around the campground.

Step 3: Ask anyone already in the dog park if their dog plays nicely before entering with your pup.

Step 4: Introduce yourself to your campsite neighbors to foster community and security.

Step 7: Pick up after your pet and use special pet bags to dispose of properly.

Step 10: Don’t let your dog bark excessively and be aware that not everyone loves pets.

Wildlife Encounters

When practicing RV campground etiquette, one can expect to encounter various types of wildlife. Smaller critters such as rodents, birds, and raccoons may be attracted by food left unattended or improperly stored.

Bears may also be present in certain areas and, if so, it is important to use the installed bear boxes for storing food and scented products. To avoid any hungry visitors, it is best to pick up all food and store it inside the rig and to keep meals off the ground. It is also important to resist the temptation to feed any wildlife as it can lead to a number of serious problems, including disease transmission and pollution.

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71760559 L

What Is the Etiquette for Using a Generator in a Campground?

Check local regulations before using a generator. Many parks and campgrounds have rules about generator use, and some don’t allow them at all. Look for designated hours where you can run the generator freely, but once those hours are over, it must be turned off.

Even when there are no regulations, be aware of the times you are running the generator. Most people enjoy their quiet time late in the evening, so keep your generator usage to a minimum during this time.

Keep the generator noise to a minimum. Generator noise can vary between models, so be sure to look into each model’s specifications before using.

Be mindful of where your AC-generator’s exhaust is going. Try not to choke out your neighbors with stinky fumes.

Following these steps will help ensure that your generator usage is respectful to your campground neighbors and that you are following the etiquette for using a generator in a campground.

What Is the Proper Etiquette for Disposing of Trash in A Campground?

What is the proper etiquette for disposing of trash in a campground?

  1. Properly dispose of wastewater, food, and grease. Don’t burn trash in the fire ring.
  2. Pick up all trash around your site and dispose of it properly.
  3. Walk your site and inspect it before pulling out to go home.
  4. Keep your outdoor trash receptacles secured and closed.
  5. Clean out your fire pits prior to leaving.
  6. Throw out food wrappers and other loose items immediately to avoid the wind blowing them away.
  7. Clean up after meals to avoid attracting wildlife.
  8. Check with the park office or host about trash pickup.
  9. Don’t leave fruit peels and nut shells on the ground.
  10. Don’t put charcoal grills on the picnic table.
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637020010 L

What Is the Etiquette for Using a Campground’s Amenities?

When using shared bathrooms, treat them as you would the one in your RV. Don’t leave dropped toilet paper on the ground and turn off any sinks to conserve water.

If there are people waiting to use the showers, be courteous and don’t linger for too long. Also, be sure to clean up and remove anything you brought into the shower stall so it’s ready for the next person.

Pick up any trash you find at the campsite and understand the campground’s trash pickup or pack-out policy. Don’t throw trash like cans, bottles, or tinfoil in the fire pit.

Properly store food at night, especially in bear country. If you’re cooking outside, clean all your utensils and place all trash in approved waste bins. Keeping the food inside your RV or in bear-resistant food storage is generally safe.

  1. Ensure sewer hoses are correctly attached and not leaking.
  2. Don’t overload pedestals or hog access to shared water hydrants.
  3. Avoid campsite sprawl, crowding the neighbors with grills, sports equipment and vehicles.
  4. Don’t block roadways. Ask your camp host about overflow parking if necessary.
  5. Know when quiet hours are observed and respect them. Don’t have excessively loud guests.
  6. Consider each campsite private property. Use campground roads and walkways to get around.
  7. Be responsible for your pets. Keep them within your campsite unless they’re on a leash and clean up after them promptly.
  8. Be a courteous smoker.

Leave No Trace Principles

The Leave No Trace principles are a set of guidelines designed to help people enjoy and protect the outdoors responsibly. These principles can be applied to RV camping by following these steps:

  1. Respect wildlife: Be mindful of wildlife, and keep a safe distance. Don’t approach or harass wild animals, and don’t feed them.
  2. Dispose of waste properly: Pack out all your trash, including food scraps and other non-perishable items. Properly dispose of wastewater, food, and grease.
  3. Minimize your camping footprint: Keep your gear organized and at your site to minimize clutter. Don’t cut through occupied campsites and be respectful of your neighbor’s space.
  4. Leave your campsite clean: Pick up all trash around your site and dispose of it properly. Don’t leave trash behind to float in the wind. Don’t burn trash in the fire ring, and ensure the fire is out before leaving.
  5. Be a good steward: Take all your gear with you when you leave, and inspect your site for any remaining items before pulling out. Walk your site and inspect it before leaving.

By following these steps, RV campers can help protect and preserve the environment while still enjoying their camping experiences.

What Is the Etiquette for Leaving a Campground?

When leaving a campground, following these steps will ensure you leave the campground respectfully and properly:

  1. Check for any personal items or debris. Make a final sweep of your campsite and make sure nothing was left behind.
  2. Follow any posted campground rules. This includes returning the picnic table to its original spot, not cutting down any branches, and not putting any nails in trees for clotheslines or hammocks.
  3. Avoid leaving any trash behind that would float in the wind. This is considered very rude in a campground and can be a reason for visitors getting limited or shut down.
  4. Make sure to take all your gear and leave your neighbor’s campsite as you found it. Respect their space and do not let your gear overflow into their campsite.
  5. Respect quiet hours while packing up and make sure any guests you have with you follow the campground rules.
  6. Finally, check with the campground host or staff if you are unsure of any rules or have any questions.

Following these steps will help maintain a clean, respectful, and safe campground experience for everyone.

What Is the Etiquette for Interacting with Other Campers?

Respect your neighbors: RV campgrounds are like small communities, and everyone should have the right to peace and quiet. Be mindful of your noise levels, especially late at night, and avoid loud music or partying.

Interacting with other campers is an important part of the camping experience and one should always be respectful and courteous. Here are some steps to follow when engaging with fellow campers.

Step 1: Follow posted campground rules and observe campground guidelines for parking your rig. This will keep the camping experience safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Step 2: Follow the rules for utility hookups. Don’t overload pedestals or hog access to shared water hydrants.

Step 3: Avoid “campsite sprawl”. Try to keep your site neat and tidy, and don’t take up more space than you need.

Step 4: Be aware of your noise levels. Respect the peace and quiet of fellow campers.

Step 5: Be polite and courteous. Give your fellow campers their space and don’t intrude on their personal area.

Step 6: If you see an RV from your home state, it’s ok to say hi, but always be aware of social cues. Not everyone likes people as much as you might.

Step 7: Don’t enter another’s RV uninvited. Treat another person’s RV just like you would treat their home.

Step 8: Follow the golden rule. Do unto other campers what you would have them do unto you.

By following these steps, you can ensure that you and your fellow campers have a safe and enjoyable camping experience.

RVs at Fishing Bridge Campground by YellowstoneNPS is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.
RVs at Fishing Bridge Campground by YellowstoneNPS is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

Follow the RV Park’s Quiet Hours

At most RV campgrounds, noise levels are typically kept to a minimum during quiet hours. Quiet hours typically start around 10 PM and end at 7 AM. During these hours, it’s important to keep the volume on televisions, music, and voices lowered.

If you have a pet that can’t stop barking, bring it inside the RV until it’s calm. And if you arrive late, keep your volume low when parking and setting up. It’s also polite to refrain from using car horns or honking features, as well as to not use your vehicle key fob button to lock your vehicle, which often triggers a horn honk.

Abiding by generator quiet hours and other rules for the campground. Generators should only be used during non-quiet hours, which is typically 8 AM to 10:00 PM.

If you abide by these simple rules of RV campground etiquette, you can ensure that everyone at the campground is able to enjoy the peace and quiet of the great outdoors.

Final Thoughts

Adhering to RV campground etiquette is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable RVing experience. By being mindful of others and following the written (and unwritten rules) of RVing, you can help create a respectful and harmonious environment for everyone. Whether you are an experienced RVer or just starting out, familiarizing yourself with the basics of RV campground etiquette is an important part of the RVing lifestyle. With a little effort and consideration, you can help ensure that every RV camping trip is a memorable and positive experience.

Happy Trails,

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