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Campground Etiquette; 7 Unwritten Rules Of RV Camping

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At one point in time, every single RVer out there was a newbie. We have all made mistakes and hopefully, learned from them. As weekend warriors, the best way to spend a weekend relaxing is at your favorite campground or RV resort. However, while it is a way to escape the demands of the work week and let off some steam, there are a few “unwritten” rules when it comes to RV camping.

following the unwritten rules of RV camping

Every campground or RV park will give you a list of rules that you must follow while spending your weekend at their establishment. You know, things like speed limits through the park, dogs must be on a leash, and quiet hours. One thing they don’t give you are other courtesies to consider when enjoying your weekend away from home.

The idea of unwritten rules when it comes to RV camping is a touchy subject for some. Some folks might see these as petty, or absurd. While it can be a controversial subject, these unwritten rules of RV camping need to be discussed. So, with that said, here we go…

Top Unwritten Rules Of RV Camping

When you show up at the campground for the weekend you probably have tons of things planned for the family, or you have other activities planned that involve some grilling, yard games, and adult beverages. Hey, I get it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with letting your hair down and celebrating the end of another work week. Heck, we do it all the time.

The main thing to keep in mind is some of your fellow RVers are full-timers and are not there to party. They are there because that’s where they live, for now. So, these unwritten rules are mainly common courtesies for your fellow campers in the area.

Don’t Cut Through An Occupied Site

This unwritten rule of RV camping gets the most comments on social media. Many people do not see what the big deal is about cutting through someone else’s “front yard”. If you wouldn’t cut through a yard at home, don’t do it at the campground.

In addition, many RVers have dogs, and not all dogs are friendly when it comes to strangers. A startled dog may not react the way you think it will.

Take the time to walk around occupied sites and only cut through those that nobody is camping in.

Ask Permission Before Petting Or Feeding Someone’s Pet

yellow labrador

This unwritten rule of RV camping is huge for us. Our dog, House, is diabetic and as a result, has gone blind. We are very protective of him especially when it comes to food. There are only certain foods and snacks that he can have to avoid complications with his diabetes. We know it’s a friendly gesture to toss a dog a snack, but the wrong snack could have severe consequences for some pets.

Before petting or giving snacks to a pet, always ask permission before doing so. You never know what might be going on with the overall health of the animal.

Be Mindful When Dumping Waste Tanks

dump station sign

The most down and dirty part of RVing is dumping your waste tanks. There is just no getting around it, unless you ONLY use the campground bathrooms. Whether you are at a full-hook up site or if you need to use your portable RV waste tank, be mindful of when you dump.

For example, you wouldn’t want to dump your waste tanks while your camping neighbor is enjoying lunch outside or a fresh cup of hot coffee. While dumping your waste tanks is an unavoidable part of RVing, nothing ruins a ham sandwich quite like the smell of sewage.

Unwritten Rules For Quiet Hours

This rule is both written as well as unwritten. Most RV campgrounds have quiet hours posted or written in your check-in package. However, the unwritten part of the rule applies to midday. Listening to your favorite playlist and cooking on the grill just go hand-in-hand. It’s hard to imagine spending the weekend cooking with the family without jamming the tunes. Try to keep your music at a reasonable volume. Remember, some full-timers work at night and are trying to sleep during the day.

This unwritten rule of RV camping will also depend on the campground you’re at. We have stayed at several places that were party central all weekend, and others that were like a ghost town all weekend. Not because there was nobody there, because nobody was outside. Read the crowd…

Don’t Approach Others That Are Setting Up Or Breaking Down

This unwritten rule may be hard for some folks. As much as you would like to help your fellow RVer, resist the urge to approach them unless they specifically ask for your help. Most RVers have a system in place or a checklist that they follow when setting up or breaking down their rig. By distracting them you may cause them to miss something crucial which could cause serious damage in the end.

For example, we were staying at a campground last summer and when it came time to go, a fellow RVer decided he would help us, without me knowing. This gentleman was using an impact drill on one of our stabilizers, but he had the drill going in the wrong direction. As a result, the threads were completely stripped out and the only option we had was to remove it so we could leave. Needless to say, when the damage was done, the gentleman was nowhere to be found.

Clean Up After Your Pet

I think this unwritten rule of RV camping goes without saying, however, there are many folks who simply don’t do it. As a pet owner, you have an obligation to those sharing the campground to clean up your pet’s poop. As dog owners ourselves, the thought and feeling of picking up a big, warm pile of fresh “business” is not high on our list of favorite things to do. Instead of using the plastic bags, we use a pooper scooper like this one and it works very well.

Don’t Burn Trash In Your Campfire

a teepee fire makes the perfect campfire

I hate to say it, but there is a certain campground etiquette when it comes to campfires. If you love camping, chances are high that you love a good campfire as well. The only issue is when folks throw anything that CAN burn into the fire. For example…

Last year Kellie and I were doing a little bit of cabin camping at Oak Thicket Park. Just outside the cabins were individual fire rings for cabin guests. As we were enjoying our campfire by the lake, our neighbor decided to use his campfire as a trash burning receptacle. It only took a few minutes to smoke us out with what he was burning. This guy wasn’t just burning wood. No, he was burning plastic, Styrofoam, and anything else he could find that would burn.

Conclusion To Unwritten Rules Of RV Camping

RV camping is quickly becoming a favorite past-time for many. Don’t let these few unwritten rules sway you from getting out and enjoying time with your family. It’s all about having common respect for your fellow RVer and the campground.

What are your thoughts on these unwritten rules of RV camping? Do you agree or disagree. Either way, please leave us a comment below and let us know what you think or if you have anything to add…

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