Summertime is here and people everywhere are looking forward to getting out in their RVs. To make sure everyone has fun on their trip, campgrounds have some basic rules for things like check-in and check-out times, quiet hours, campfires, and pets to name a few. Campground rules exist to keep people safe and hopefully ensure everyone is a “happy camper.”
In addition to written regulations, there are also some campground etiquette guidelines to know so that you are not unknowingly annoying your fellow campers. Most of these unspoken rules simply involve common sense and consideration of others. You can’t go wrong with the Golden Rule of treating others as you want to be treated—in camping or just in everyday life. That said, if you haven’t done a lot of camping then these basic tips for good campground etiquette might help you as you hit the road for summer fun.
Guest Post by Robin Buck
Keep Noise Levels Down
One of the biggest issues at a campground is noise level. After all, there can be hundreds of campers parked in a relatively small area with limited space between units. Additionally, most RVs and campers are not as well insulated as a house so noise can quickly become bothersome. Most campgrounds have posted quiet hours, but it is still nice to be considerate of others all day long.
You can enjoy a late-night campfire, but just remember to keep your voices quiet and music turned way down. Teach kids to behave during quiet hours and avoid running and screaming. If you find that you must arrive at a campground late at night, it is considerate to wait until the next day to do most of your camp setup. Also, if you need to leave very early, getting the majority of your packing done the night before will help you to leave quickly in the morning without a lot of noise.
Take Care Of Pets
Another pet peeve (pun intended) at campgrounds is people not cleaning up after their pets. Even if you are lucky enough to have a dog park at your campground, scooping is still required. Besides keeping things more sanitary for everyone, it’s just part of being a responsible pet owner to pick up after your dog. You can buy a poop bag dispenser that attaches to your dog’s leash so that bags are always handy. Remember, no one wants to smell or step in pet waste around the campground!
Also with pets, it is a campground no-no for your pet to be off leash unless they are in a designated dog park. This is for the safety of other people and pets. Please also be sure not to leave your pet unattended outside. Typically, dogs that are tied up will bark for attention causing unwanted noise. Teaching your pet to follow proper campground etiquette will ensure that both you and your furry companion have a great stay.
Respect Campsite Space
Given that individual campsite space is limited in a campground, it is important that personal space be respected. A key tip involves not cutting through someone else’s site as a short cut to getting around. Follow roads or pathways in the campground when you need to walk to the office, laundry, or bathhouse. Please make sure kids understand this rule as well.
Speaking of your campsite, taking pride in its appearance will be appreciated by everyone. Our motto is to always try to leave a place looking better than we found it. While you can’t control the landscaping or amenities, picking up after your family will go a long way in making things look neat and tidy. No one wants to look at your belongings or trash strewn about all over your site. Keep your hoses and hookups in good working order and watch for any leaking faucets. Also be especially careful that your vehicles don’t block the roadways.
Turn Off Lights At Night
One great thing about camping is enjoying the chance to get away from our everyday lives. People look forward to sitting outside to relax and observe the night sky. While it is ok to leave a porch light or other lights on when you are outside, please turn off your lights when you are finished. Camper lights that are on all night can disturb others either trying to sleep in their RV or wanting to do some stargazing.
Campgrounds are places where couples stroll, kids ride bikes, and pets are walked so it’s important to take care when driving through the roads. Most places have slow speed limits of 5 or 10 mph to make sure you don’t accidentally hit someone who steps out unexpectedly from behind a vehicle or RV. Driving slowly also keeps dust levels and noise levels down.
Don’t Move Firewood
It’s fun to sit around a campfire where you can relax, roast some marshmallows, or visit with others. One thing many don’t know is that you should not bring firewood in from another area. Wood can spread disease to local plant life with non-native pests or fungus. If you can’t find wood around your campsite, you can always purchase it from the campground store. If you have leftover wood, be nice and leave it for the next campers to use.
Campgrounds are a great place to meet new friends. We enjoy being neighborly with others who are outside and interested in sharing RV stories or even good local places to eat. Recognize social cues on whether someone is in the mood to chat, though, and be sure not to distract them while setting up camp or packing to leave. Also, the same goes for dumping tanks when it’s important to follow your routine to avoid a mess or damage to equipment.
Enjoy Your Stay
Following campground rules and learning campground etiquette will start your summer RV trips off on the right foot. Besides seeing new places and making new friends, you will be doing your part to keep campgrounds in good shape for those who come after you. Practicing good camping behavior will ensure everyone’s enjoyment and foster respect for all. Now that you are “in the know” you can look forward to enjoying family time and making wonderful camping memories.
Robin and her husband, Mike, are Air Force veterans and empty nesters who travel full-time in their Entegra Anthem motorhome. Always ready to explore, they love nature and wildlife, meeting new friends, and discovering America’s many hidden gems. Robin chronicles their adventures and experiences on her travel blog RVing with Robin.