Camping is supposed to be relaxing and fun, right? For us, it usually is. Over the years, we have stayed at hundreds of campgrounds, met countless new friends and made amazing memories.
We tell everyone we know that RVers are a friendly and polite group of people and, for the most part, it’s true. But there are always exceptions to the rule. Every once in a while, a camper doesn’t follow the traditional guidelines, and a peaceful retreat turns into a stressful experience we’d rather forget.
Before diving into the 5 ways to become a better rver, it’s worth remembering that, if we want campgrounds to be well-mannered communities, we should start by making sure we are well-mannered campers.
Number 1: Leave your Site better than you found it. Leave the campsite as you found it OR better. Remember that the campsite is on loan to you, and it’s important not to make any permanent changes. Don’t move boundary stones or fire rings, and if you move the picnic table, return it before you leave. Never cut down branches, and don’t put nails in trees for clotheslines or hammocks. Before departing, make a quick sweep of the site to check for personal items or debris. There are times that other RVers don’t believe in this motto and we have to pick up their pet deposits OR all the trash they left behind. Be a good RVer and clean this up and make sure when you leave you don’t leave anything behind.
Number 2: RV Sewer Placement. When you are hooking up your sewer hose OR picking up for your next destination, be careful where you put it. We’ve seen people placing their sewer hose on the picnic table! Ewwwwe.
When rinsing your hose. Do NOT put it up to the water spicket. Use a separate hose that is just used for this purpose.
Do not hang your sewer hose over an electrical pedestal for cleaning or prepping to store away.
If the sewer hookup is close to another camper’s site, be considerate and empty the tanks when they are not relaxing nearby, and particularly not when they are enjoying a meal at the picnic table.
Number 3: Be considerate with noise. Be conscious of noise. Heavy metal might be your jam at the campground, but not everybody shares your taste in music. With the abundance of outdoor speakers and televisions on RVs, it’s important to remember that noise shouldn’t travel far beyond your own slice of real estate. Test the volume by taking a walk to a neighboring site. If you can still hear Def Leppard or ESPN, it’s time to turn it down a few notches. In addition, quiet hours are observed religiously at many campgrounds. Know the policy where you are camping and keep it down during that time.
We travel with 2 dogs so we try to be sure that they are not barking from inside the RV while we are gone OR we do not allow them to bark repeatedly at other dogs or people. We go more into this on Number 5.
Number 4: Respect shared spaces. Playgrounds and pools can be hot spots for controversy at the campground. Don’t reserve tables or chairs for the entire day if you are not physically present at the pool. If you’re camping with a group, make sure your cannonball contest doesn’t keep others from enjoying a nice swim.
Observe campsite boundaries. One of the most common complaints on RV forums and social media is people cutting through campsites. Never use a campsite as a shortcut, and stay on clearly marked paths and roads whenever walking around the campground. Make sure you pass this wisdom on to your children as well. OR don’t do like we saw at a campground. We watched a couple sit down on a picnic table on someone else’s site. No No No.
Number 5: Take good care of animals. Be a responsible dog owner. We love traveling with our dogs, but irresponsible pet owners are another one of the most common campground-etiquette complaints. Always keep dogs on a 6-foot or shorter leash when walking, and make sure they are properly restrained at the campsite via a tether or expandable pen. Carry bags to dispose of pet waste properly or use ones provided by the campground. Perhaps most importantly, no one — not even the biggest dog lover — appreciates constant barking. If your pups yap nonstop at the campground, you might consider other alternatives for them.
Dora & Ed