youtubeWhile it is not my intent to dictate how adults should behave, I would like to take the opportunity here to remind my fellow RVers how to be good neighbors at campsites and RV parks. For those of you who may be new to RV camping, this article may serve as a good reference.

Campground Rules - First and foremost, review the campground rules that are sure to be listed on the check-in paperwork and/or posted on a sign near the office. These rules may be repeated on signage throughout the park as well. Rules will vary from park to park, although many will be common among most parks. It is important to follow these rules, as they exist to keep all guests safe and comfortable. There are also non-written rules that most RV owners eventually learn. In this article I will outline the most important and common rules so you may be reminded of them. This list is in no particular order.

Check the Campground Rules as They Can Differ at Individual Parks

Pets - If you travel with pets like we do, be respectful of the campground and other guests in regard to your four-legged family members. Keep your dogs on leash, except in designated off-leash areas. Clean up after them, try to avoid allowing them to defecate in other guests’ sites, and do not allow them to bark excessively. These pet rules should be fairly well known to most people, but there is one final regulation that many people don’t know about. Some parks do not allow guests to leave pets unattended in their units. This is for the safety of your four-legged friends, as well as the comfort of your neighbors. You would not want your beloved pets to wind up in distress if your Air Conditioning system fails in the summer, and if your dogs happen to bark, cry, or howl when their humans leave them, it is not pleasant for your fellow RVers. I realize this rule can be problematic for those of us who venture out of our coaches without our dogs, so be aware this rule is mostly for animals with separation anxiety. Just make sure to leave water out for them at all times and open some windows/vents on a hot day. Check with the park office regarding this rule, especially if you have a dog that may be noisy or disruptive. Most times, quiet dogs will be fine. Finally, do NOT leave dogs tied up (or loose) outside your rig unattended. This is an especially important rule.

Are pets allowed to be left unattended?

Noise Rules - Speaking of barking dogs, loud humans can also be a problem. One of the fastest ways to get ejected from an RV park, or at least shunned by your fellow campers, is to break the noise rules. These are largely based on common sense, but somehow many irresponsible campers manage to find themselves on the noisy neighbor list. Adhere to the posted quiet hours, and if you are socializing outside your RV, move inside when evening quiet hours start. Refrain from running generators during prohibited hours and keep outside radios and televisions at low volume.

Watch Noise Levels, Especially in the Evening Hours

Children - Quiet hours don’t just apply to noisy adults. Although we all appreciate happy children, try to keep them from making too much noise, especially when away from your campsite. Keep your children from wandering or running through occupied sites. This is often a problem for us, as we often encounter kids running or cycling through our RV site. This is not only disrespectful, but also can be hazardous, as we have tethered dogs. Many dogs are very protective of their campsite, so it is important to train children where campsite boundaries are.

Educate Children on Rules and Safety

Other Campers’ Sites - The rule about staying out of neighboring sites applies to the adults as well as the kids and pets. This is actually one of the main cardinal rules of camping, and it is one that is usually not written anywhere. Of all the rules listed here, this is one of the most important. Sometimes campsite boundaries are not well defined, in which case be sure to keep a respectful distance. Refrain from traipsing across occupied RV sites unless invited. This is not to say you shouldn’t become friendly with your RV neighbors, as meeting new people as we travel is one of the true joys of the lifestyle!

Respect Other Camper's RV Sites & Boundaries

Parking on the Grass - Another little-known rule that many parks (but not all) have is to avoid parking vehicles or trailers on the grass. Many RV parks and campgrounds have grass surrounding the pad and it may be tempting to use some of this space to park vehicles. Unless it is specifically permitted, please refrain from doing this. Also, don’t park vehicles in front of your RV such that they stick out into the roadway. This makes it difficult, or even impossible, to maneuver large vehicles in and out of RV sites. Make sure all extra vehicles are parked entirely off the roadway or in provided extra parking stalls.

Parking on the Grass May Be Prohibited

Cleanliness - Finally, keep your site as clean as possible. This can be difficult, especially if you are travelling with young children. You may have a tendency to accumulate toys, lawn chairs, and barbeques around the RV. Just keep your stuff neat and tidy.

Keep Your Campsite Neat and Tidy

Following these simple but important rules will keep you in good stead with the rest of the RVing community while you continue to enjoy the RV lifestyle.

Editor’s Note – Camping etiquette is an important component for fun adventures. For more considerations, visit our previous article here.

Steve Froese
Author: Steve FroeseEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Steve Froese is a Licensed Professional Engineer in British Columbia, as well as an Interprovincial Red Seal RV Technician, which is equivalent to a Master Certified RV Technician in the USA. Steve was a personal friend and colleague of the late Gary Bunzer (“the RV Doctor”), and works closely with FMCA as the monthly “Tech Talk” columnist, as well as being a member of the Technical Advisory and Education Committees. Steve and his family are lifelong and avid RVers, mostly in the Pacific Northwest.


+2 #3 David W Kannas 2021-02-28 21:35
Great article; one that ought to be required reading to all RVers. There is nothing like escaping the "hustle and bustle" of the city to relax at an RV park, only to find that you're parked next to a load of poorly behaved and very loud folks.Some seem to believe that renting a space at a park comes with permission to revert to caveman status. It makes RVing a crap shoot at times. We tend to camp at a nationally known RV park where rules are enforced and people who can't seem to follow them are asked to leave.
+1 #2 Rick Anderson 2021-02-28 17:54
Please add to your "noise" recommendations that those with portable generators should place them on the door side of their RV.....not on the opposite side for their neighbors to "enjoy". I don't care how quiet your generator is, sitting outside listening you your neighbor's generator droning on is annoying and contrary to a peaceful camping experience.
+1 #1 George 2021-02-28 16:46
With respect to pets, the most common violation I have noted is the leash length. While those retractable leashes may allow your dog to have a little more freedom on its walk, the do not meet the often posted 6 or 8 foot leash restriction. I have noted many campers that use them do so with out regard for control of their animal. If you use those retractable leashes, keep them to the length permitted by the park, please.

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