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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:

Sale
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(White)
  • 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...
Sale
MOTION-GUARD, MG1000-450B, RV Motion Sensor Light, 12 Volt, Exterior Mounted Motion Sensor Bright LED Porch Utility IP65 Flood Light with Battery Monitoring Sensor and EMI Suppression, USA Designed
  • 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...
  • Without the use of the Cost Saving BUNDLES the MG1000-450B is like every other fixture in the RV Industry, as It has Its own unique Hole Pattern of...

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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Shammy Peterson

Friday 20th of May 2022

Thanks for pointing out that food scraps could attract critters, so they must be disposed of with the garbage. My husband and I will take note of this because we are planning to visit a beachside RV park two weeks from now. We want to be responsible campers, so we will remember your tips

Amy Saunders

Monday 4th of April 2022

After watching Nomadland recently, my step-aunt was inspired to live her life on the road for a few months starting next week. Thanks a bunch for telling us that we must be mindful of motorhome parks with strict no-pets policy. I'll remind her to keep this information in mind when she books a place later.

Judy

Saturday 19th of March 2022

I’m in agreement with other comments concerning noise. I wish parks had rules forbidding outdoor tv and music sounds that travel further than a designated spot. RC and toy cars are a BIG big problem at the privately owned park I stay at. The park roads are no place to be operating toys, and their repeated high pitch shrill is so disturbing especially inside of the rv. It is so important to be a kind and conscientious rv guest and be thoughtful of others.

TheRVgeeks

Saturday 19th of March 2022

We're all about peace and quiet, so we're with you, Judy!

Scott Hall Hall

Sunday 9th of January 2022

Disagree 100 percent on the pull thru large rig rule. If you pay the same amount and arrive at a first come first served site you do not have to leave a prime spot for the guy in the 45 foot Newell super coach. 99.999 percent of these Bozos are inconsiderate and rude and totally stuck up. So if you have a million dollar rig you get the lake view spot? The fuel saving family in a 22 foot class C has to bunk in the low rent district?? Last week at Laughlin we were offered a pull thru up top spot, only 6 dollars more but declined due to the Foretravel-Newell group that was up there. We took a small back in spot in the lower portion and had wonderful neighbors. Iam bigger I get the spot is simply not RV Geek quality information!!

TheRVgeeks

Sunday 9th of January 2022

Hey Scott. Sorry to hear you've had issues with owners of larger RVs. But don't let that sour you on ALL of us! Our point wasn't that smaller RVs should be relegated to the worst spots in the park while the "million dollar rigs" should get all of the BEST spots... or that being "bigger" somehow grants you priority for a spot at all! It was more an issue of availability of larger spaces... which are often limited in smaller campgrounds. If those spaces are taken up by small RVs that would fit just as comfortably in smaller (more available) spaces, it means larger RVs (which includes many large travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers that fall well below the million dollar price point) are out of luck and may not be able to stay at all. It's not a hard-and-fast rule, and (as we mentioned) may be unavoidable if the larger spaces are all that's left when a smaller RV arrives at a first-come, first-served campground. We get it. First come. First served. We're just pointing out that it's a consideration (part of being considerate) that, as the owners of a large RV that can't fit in every campsite, we appreciate.

Steve

Sunday 9th of January 2022

Hi, I totally agree with everything that you just wrote. There is a great number of people that just care about themselves having a good time and don't care at all about others having a good time. Unfortunately this kind of of behavior is very common, and no one ever does anything about it. Those kind of people always get defensive, even though they know that their in the wrong. Makes a lot of us not even want to go camping, Thank you

TheRVgeeks

Sunday 9th of January 2022

It's true, Steve... inconsiderate people can truly ruin everyone else's ability to enjoy their camping trip. It's unfortunate, and hopefully won't keep getting worse. 🤞🤞

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