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11 RV Park Etiquette Rules We Wish Everyone Knew

11 RV Park Etiquette Rules We Wish Everyone Knew

In today’s post, we’re broaching the subject of RV park etiquette. Why? Because not everyone understands how to maintain good etiquette while staying in an RV park, and with the increasing number of people just getting into RVing, the more RVers who have a clear understanding of the matter, the better the RV park experiences we’ll all have will be!

So, grab your cup of coffee/tea (pinkies out!), and let’s get right into it.

What Is RV Park Etiquette?

RV park etiquette is simply a respectful manner of conducting ourselves when we’re staying at RV parks.

It’s really that simple.

Camping next to each other in tight quarters, it’s helpful if we all abide by the same basic set of rules, so we all have the best time, without annoying our neighbors.

RVs parked at campground

RV parks and campgrounds are shared spaces. Respecting good RV park etiquette makes a better experience for everyone.

What Are the RV Park Etiquette Rules We Want Everyone to Know (AND FOLLOW)?

Here are 11 of the most important things we can all do to be respectful to our fellow RVers and to our RV park owner hosts.

Observe Quiet Hours

RV parks have quiet hours for a reason – actually, for many reasons. But the most important reason is that many people are trying to rest during quiet hours.

Running generators, being annoyingly noisy around the campsite, allowing your children to be noisy during quiet hours, running ATVs and motorcycles – these are all examples of things we should never do during quiet hours.

Portable generator at RV park

There are times for running your generator when necessary, but there are also times when generator noise is particularly unwelcome. If we all observe quiet hours, everyone has a better camping experience.

We all pay to stay at the RV park together. Campers should understand that “quiet hours” means it’s time for all of us to be quiet and respectful of others.

Observe Dog-Related Rules

There’s nothing like the family pet to bring joy, comfort, fun, exercise, and unconditional love to those of us who own them (or, allow them to own us, LOL!). Still, observing RV park rules pertaining to pets – dogs in particular – is very important.

Most RV parks have rules about dogs being on leashes, picking up after dogs, controlling barking dogs, and some even have rules related to breeds.

Picking up after dog

It’s important to observe park rules regarding dogs so that those of us whose family includes dogs will continue to be able to enjoy traveling with them.

RVers who travel with dogs should consult the RV park’s rules about dogs before they decide to stay there… and make a commitment to follow those rules during their stay.

It’s possible that a camper may not like a park’s rules regarding dogs, but knowing the rules in advance of making a reservation allows us to decide whether or not we want to stay at any given campground.

Once we’re there, though, observing the rules is important, because other RVers have made their reservations with an understanding of, and appreciation for, the same set of rules.

Keep a Clean Campsite and Leave a Clean Campsite

This should go without saying (actually, most of these RV park etiquette rules should go without saying, but we digress!), but keeping a clean campsite while you’re there and leaving a clean campsite when you depart is an important piece of RV etiquette.

We need to remember that we’re sharing a space with others. Leaving garbage around the campsite is not only horribly unappealing (we’re being generous here), but it attracts bugs, rodents, and other critters that no one wants to deal with.

Beer cans and various other remnants of a fun evening shouldn’t be strewn around a campsite for other RVers to pass by on a peaceful morning stroll the following day.

You get the idea. It’s all about respect for our fellow RVers.

Don’t Leave Bright Exterior Lights on All Night

Leaving bright lights on all night is a nuisance to your neighbors and may prevent someone from being able to sleep. There’s no reason for bright lights to remain on throughout the night.

However, if you use exterior lights at night for safety, consider using a motion light instead. There are many available on Amazon, and they’re not terribly expensive. Some are battery operated, and others are solar powered.

Here are a few ideas:

HVIKOV Motion Sensor Light Outdoor, 60 Led Solar, 5 Modes Remote Control,1300LM Waterproof Wide Angle, Wireless Super Bright Security Wall Lights for Driveway, Wall, Patio, Yard, Garden(Black)
  • LED Solar Light 60 SMD2835 , 1300lm Super Bright for 80 Square Meters.
  • High Quality Heatproof ABS + PC plastic Steel Materials,IP65 Waterproof.
Solar Lights Outdoor [140 LED/2 Pack], Solar Lights with 3 Optional Modes, 270° Wide Angle Solar Motion Light, Motion Deck Lights, IP65 Waterproof Solar Powered Wall Lights for Garden, Patio, Yard
  • ✅【3 Adjustable Modes Motion Activated Solar Security Light:】- The upgraded solar lights has 3 working modes with wide lighting angle of 270° to...
  • ✅【2022 Update & 140 LED Ultra Bright Solar Lights】- The outdoor solar lights upgraded 140 pieces of high power LED beads with unique wide angle...
MOTION-GUARD, MG1000-450B, RV Exterior Mounted Bright LED Motion Sensor Porch Flood Light, RATED IP65 with INTELA-SENSOR, POLARITY GUARD, Adjustable Sensitivity and EMI Suppression
  • PLEASE watch our SHORT VIDEO that covers everything you need to know about the following topics that are concerns of our customers, (LENS GASKET and...
  • Please NOTE that for those who DO NOT WANT to Drill NEW HOLES there are ADAPTOR PLATES Available for this Fixture that will EXACTLY Match the Hole...

Having enough light to see and feel safe is important, but so is ensuring that your neighbors can enjoy their stay without being blinded by your lights. It’s all a part of proper RV park etiquette.

Tend to the Behavior of Your Children

We love children. Most people love children. They’re truly magic in the world.

That said, children go through various stages as they grow, all part of the process of growing up. And they can be unruly at times. They’re energetic. And they’re learning.

It’s the job of parents to teach children how to be good campers, and that includes being respectful of their neighbors.

Don’t Bring Firewood in From Other Places

Firewood can destroy a campground. Sound a little too dramatic? It’s not. It’s a fact.

Firewood can carry bugs into a campground or park that can kill trees by infesting them with diseases that may ultimately be difficult to control. In the end, diseases can spread throughout campgrounds, state and national parks, and forests – and cause tremendous destruction.

Wood infested with bugs

Most campgrounds and RV parks sell wood that you can purchase to enjoy a nice campfire. Bringing wood from outside into any campground can create lasting problems if your wood happens to hold harmful insects.

We all love RVing and camping because we enjoy nature… which is why it’s so important to respect the land where we camp. Always check before assuming it’s OK to bring your own firewood with you!

Tend to Your Campfire

Ah, the campfire. Great conversations, laughter, music, marshmallows, s’mores, and some of the greatest ambiance in existence.

Respecting the power of fire is an important part of campground etiquette. Tending to your campfire keeps everyone safe.

A thoroughly extinguished campfire.

Properly extinguishing your campfire leaves everyone safer, including you and your family.

Extinguish your fire (to keep everyone safe, and to prevent your neighbors from getting a nose full of smoke all night long as your embers smolder away), never leave a campfire unattended, and clean up the campfire when you’re done. Don’t burn trash that cannot be completely turned to ash. And never burn plastics, oils, or aluminum foil.

Leave Pull-Through Sites For Campers Who NEED Pull-Through Sites

Pull-through sites are designated as such to indicate that larger rigs are able to pull through these sites instead of backing in. Large Class A motorhomes and 5th wheels, in particular, may have difficulty backing into many sites throughout an RV park. Pull-through sites exist for them.

If you arrive at a first-come, first-served campground and you’re traveling in a Class B campervan or any other rig that doesn’t require a pull-through site, please don’t take a pull-through site (if there are other sites available for your size RV) no matter how much you like the location. These sites were created for, and (ideally) should be left for, your fellow RVers who need them because they can’t fit anywhere else.

Aerial view of RV park.

If you look closely, you can see that some sites must be backed into, while others are available to pull through. Leaving the pull-through sites for larger rigs whenever possible is part of good RV park etiquette.

Note: If you arrive at a campground in your small RV and find that there are ONLY pull-through sites left, of course you should go ahead and take it.

Keep Your Sewer Hose, Gate Valves, and Holding Tanks Well Maintained and Leak-Free

There’s probably not a whole lot we have to say about this one. Leaky sewer hoses, gate valves, and holding tanks can ruin the ambiance of a nice campsite… not only for you, but for all of your neighbors.

We all know that RVs require ongoing maintenance, and the various parts of the sewer system are no exception. It’s good RV park etiquette NOT to have a leaky sewer system!

Don’t Leave Behind Food Scraps or Anything That Might Attract Critters

We touched on this earlier in the “keep a clean campsite” section, but when you leave a campsite after having enjoyed your stay, it’s good RV park etiquette to make sure there are no food scraps left around the site. Be sure to check around the fire pit and the picnic table in particular. Anything that might attract critters should be disposed of with the garbage.

Man cooking at a campsite

Cleaning food scraps from campsites ensures that you and the campers who follow you at that site aren’t visited by critters, some of which can make their way into your rig!

Don’t Cut Through Someone Else’s Campsite

This is an important piece of RV park etiquette that all RVers would appreciate being observed.

When someone pays for a spot in an RV park or campground, they’re essentially “renting” that space temporarily. For the duration of their stay, that space belongs to them and is supposed to be their private spec of land on which to camp.

It’s never okay to walk through someone else’s campsite (except in a dire emergency). Respecting every RVers campsite as their personal space is a great piece of RV park etiquette to respect.

Help to Make Camping Experiences Great for You and Everyone Around You

Cooking at side-by-side campsites with friends.

When everyone observes good RV park etiquette (like John and our friend Tom Morton are doing here), RVing is a better experience for everyone.

These 11 RV park etiquette rules will make everyone’s camping experiences better, including yours!

A little respect goes a long way. If we all respect our fellow campers and park owners by following good campground/RV park etiquette, everyone wins.

Did we miss something? Is there an RV park etiquette rule YOU wish everyone followed? If so, leave a comment below!

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Elle Jones

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

Thank you for bringing up the fact that food leftovers should be disposed of with the trash since they could attract pests. We'll remember this since my husband and I are going to an RV park on the ocean in two weeks. We will keep in mind your advice since we want to be responsible campers.

Lauri

Monday 9th of January 2023

2,4, and 11 hit a sore spot with me. I’m extremely conscious about bright lights shining from Rv unto others. I mentioned that here once about how someone had undercarriage lights, outside lights and walkway lamp lights, and did I get negative answers back. Question is why ’ all night’, and ‘why’ when you’re gone? I’d like to enjoy a dark sky with stars. I also can’t figure out why people think their dog is special. Off leash dogs ‘could’ decide to investigate my dog on leash. Leash length should be ‘within’ perimeters. That brings me to using someone’s campsite as a go through because it’s a shorter route. I had a family reunion that were camped on both sides of us.I was polite at first until adults and children were disrespectful. Finally, firmly and respectfully I asked them not too. They obliged.

George

Saturday 7th of January 2023

You forgot a couple. Don't use the picnic table for working on your rv. Especially toilet related and your neighbors table is also not to be used by you. No open frame gennys. And as far as pull thru sites go, the campground assigns where you park your camper no one else.

Dennis

Friday 6th of January 2023

No smoking or vaping in camp sites. The smoke does not stay within your site, it travel to adjoining sites and is unhealthy and disturbing.

TheRVgeeks

Friday 6th of January 2023

Being non-smokers ourselves, we can't say we disagree with you, Dennis! (though we doubt we'll get any traction on this one) In general, we think the non-smoking rules are a bit backward. Instead of making smokers go outside (where now they're unhappy and huddling just outside the door and now everyone else entering/leaving has to "run the gauntlet" of smoke, LOL!), we think buildings should have dedicated smoking rooms. They could be properly ventilated, so they're not a nasty ashtray (and so the smoke doesn't bother others in the building)... but then the outdoors would still have clean, fresh air for us non-smokers! ???? The way it should be! ????

And if a smoker doesn't want the nasty smell of smoke stinking up the inside of their RV... why do they think their (very close to them) neighbors want it blowing in their open windows? ????

Carol

Friday 6th of January 2023

Late arrivals should be as quiet as possible when parking their rig and setting up. Very disturbing to have a 1am arrival backing in with all the accompanying noise and lights. Unhooking, fully leveling and putting out the awnings can usually wait until the morning.

TheRVgeeks

Friday 6th of January 2023

Very true, Carol!

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