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You’ve been traveling for six hours and just finished setting up next to your RV park neighbor. Your campfire is started, and you settled into your camping chair with your favorite cocktail. Finally, your stress-free, long-anticipated camping experience in the great outdoors has begun.
The juicy steaks are cooking over the campfire. Your family is laughing at a story your son shared from school that week and you think, “what a perfect night!” – then it happens. Your RV park neighbor decides to choose that exact moment to dump his black tank. The smell is horrendous, and you all immediately lose your appetites. That peaceful camping experience you were longing for has disappeared in an instant.
Don’t be that guy – be a good RV park neighbor by following these 8 simple “unwritten” rules
1. Monitor your noise levels to be a good RV park neighbor
For most RVers, the peace and quiet of nature is a welcome escape from the noise of city living. If you want to be kinder towards your fellow campers, avoid blaring your music at nightclub levels while others try to relax or get their beauty sleep. TVs can also be too loud and annoy your RV park neighbor.
RV parks and campgrounds enforce quiet time rules to ensure a pleasant camping experience for everyone. You have the opportunity to be louder during the day and then are asked to quiet down in the evening. How would you feel if you had to get up early for a long travel day and your neighbors are partying into the wee hours of the morning right next to your RV bedroom window?
If you check-in after hours, it would be appreciated if you try to keep the noise to a minimum.
2. Respect everyone’s space
Most RV park neighbors are not too fond of people walking through their campsite. It’s important to respect your neighbor’s space just like you would in your neighborhood at home.
Just as you would respect the curb appeal of your neighborhood at home, think of your campsite the same way. Keep your yard looking nice, free of too much stuff and trash. Also, avoid filling every space under and around the RV with stuff. There is no need to bring everything you own
And like you would keep your yard looking nice and free of junk at home, remember to do this at your RV site. Also, refrain from using ALL the space under and around your RV as a place to store everything you own.
3. Be considerate when dumping the tanks
Poop and pee. It’s not the most exciting part of RV life, but we’ve all gotta do it. Dump the tanks! But when is it a good time to empty the tanks?
Did your neighbor cook a meal over the campfire, and now they are eating on the picnic table right near your blank tank hose? If so, you would NOT be a good RV park neighbor if you dumped your tanks at this exact moment. If they are sitting outside, I would still advise asking them if they mind you doing it. And if you have no choice but to do it then because you are leaving, make your apologies before doing so.
4. Control your pets to be a good RV park neighbor
Pets are an integral part of any RV trip because they love being outdoors just like we do! However, there can oftentimes come tension between RV park neighbors, which is why I have three easy tips on how not only to keep pets safe but also help make sure everybody has a good time while out in nature together too:
- Always keep your pets on a leash or in some enclosure (our cat enclosure pictured above) if outside. Make sure the leash is at least six feet long! A good tip will also be to bring an extra one if something happens to ruin yours during the trip.
- Don’t allow your pet to travel to another site.
- Make sure they don’t dig holes anywhere.
- Always clean up their business and dispose of it properly.
- Keep your pet’s noise levels down as much as possible.
- Have a collar on them and/or a microchip in case they get lost.
We all know pets are unpredictable at times. In fact, our cats have escaped on several occasions. We have a hard time catching them because cats like to bolt when they don’t want to be picked up. We keep an eye on them and let neighbors know they have escaped. Many times the RV park neighbors help us keep an eye on them. Once they run around for about 15 minutes, they get tired and walk right back into the RV. No harm is done because we make sure they don’t bother anyone, and they know it’s only temporary.
5. If you have children, keep an eye on them and update them on the campground rules and etiquette from this post
Parents need to understand and share the rules of an RV park with their children. Rules such as walking through other campsites, keeping pets under control, riding bikes and how fast, noise levels, and any other set campground rules.
Some campgrounds have special age-appropriate guidelines, too; in some pools, you need a teenager or adult with your child at all times if they’re under 12 years old, while others only require them when using certain equipment like slides or water features. Hence, it’s best not to rely on assumptions!
Always know where your children are and check on them occasionally when not in your eyesight. This is for their safety and to respect the space of your RV park neighbors.
6. Practice safe driving and parking
If you’re an avid camper, you know vehicle parking can be haphazard. When someone parks in a spot they shouldn’t be parked in and blocks other campers from getting to their site, this is annoying! Here are some tips for parking your RV at any campsite.
- Never park in grassy areas unless it’s customary at that particular park.
- If there isn’t enough space for your vehicle at your campsite, use designated overflow parking (often found near entrances).
- If you don’t know where to park, ask where you should go.
- Don’t block others with your vehicle.
Being a good RV park neighbor also means honoring set speed limits. They are set to keep everyone safe, especially those walking and children who may not be paying attention.
7. Be courteous when it comes to lighting
Most people who camp are trying to escape the big city lights. The last thing you want your RV park neighbor to do is to turn on all their outside lights when you are trying to gaze at the stars while enjoying your campfire. Some even keep their outside lights on all night, making it hard to sleep if you don’t have blackout blinds. Alternative ways to use light would be a string of dim lights or other soft accent lights that come with your RV.
If you have to arrive after hours, be respectful of where your headlights are shining. For example, when you are backing up your RV, you might only need your parking lights.
8. Smoke only at your site or in a designated area
Smoking is one of those bad habits that will affect others negatively, so please be courteous and ask yourself some questions when choosing to light up. Is your neighbor eating at their picnic table right next to your smoke? Are you smoking outside their open RV window? Are you walking around the park with your cigarette? Are children nearby? Which direction is the wind blowing?
I’m not here to judge that you smoke; I want to give some perspective on how this behavior may bother others. You can be a better RV park neighbor by respecting everyone’s space and looking around before you decide to smoke. It’s very much appreciated.
The best overall advice I can give to be a good RV park neighbor is as simple as having empathy. When in doubt if your behavior might bother another camper, Imagine how you would feel if the same thing was done to you.