“Rules and responsibilities: these are the ties that bind us. We do what we do, because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves. I will do what I have to do. And I will do what I must.” —Neil Gaiman, “The Sandman: Book of Dreams”
By Nanci Dixon
In addition to weird RV park rules, there are some rules that are just downright irritating to campers. Sometimes they just don’t make sense to anyone except those in the campground office. Many of you left comments on last week’s article, 12 weirdest campground rules, and said that sometimes these weird rules are made because one weird person does one weird thing.
Readers’ speak out…
Laurie left a comment and said, “I work at an RV park in Ranch Country and I have to tell guests more than you would believe, ‘No, we don’t allow livestock in the park.’”
Another reader, Leslie, posted about a rule I hadn’t heard of before: “We set up at a campground south of Louisville. Our two grandchildren were with us. Our grandson wanted to dribble his basketball, so joined us on our walk up and down the road. My husband stayed at the RV. When we returned, a man was leaving our site and grumpily told my grandson, ‘No ball bouncing.’ He had just informed my husband that ball bouncing was against the rules. My husband apologized and asked why. The man said it was too loud, and it was stated in the rules. ‘Where are the rules posted?’ my husband asked. ‘On the back of the map,’ answered the man. My husband held up the map with a blank backside. My husband even pointed out the ball bouncing wasn’t in the park. The man said it could be heard in the park, either follow the rules or leave. So much for the child-friendly grandma and grandpa campground.”
Reader Jesse added, “I agree about being wacky. But some of them were probably in response to someone doing the stupid and disgusting behavior mentioned in the rule.”
Everyone agreed that spitting chewing tobacco was disgusting and a valid rule, but my question is still, why would you even need that rule? Shouldn’t it be obvious? Guess that takes us back to Jesse’s comment about someone actually doing something that required a rule…
Here are the top 10 most irritating campground rules:
Again, thanks to Desert Valley RV (now apparently permanently closed, BTW), KOA, and a number of RV parks and campgrounds we have stayed at for providing us these rules.
1. Fees, fees and more fees!
There are an assortment of add-on fees: a visitor fee, a fee for getting packages, a fee for the gate remote, a fee for kids, a fee for required vests to walk at night, a guest fee for the swimming poll, an arm band fee and a $25 dumping fee upon entering the park even if camping there! I am sure the list of fees goes on and on…
2. No tents allowed on RV site
Our kids and grandkids were visiting and we actually would have had to rent a tent site for them because the campground did not allow their tent on our x-large RV site.
3. No hanging of laundry or beach towels outside of the RV
I do understand that perhaps airing dirty or even clean underwear might not be the most appealing site for neighboring RVers, but prohibiting hanging swimming towels outside the RV even when at a beach campground or one with pools and hot tubs? Come on…
4. No RVer can have more than two guests at one time without permission from management
Well, there goes July 4th, Memorial Day and Labor day get-togethers. Kinda limits those spur-of-the-moment festivities too. And it’ll be awkward to tell family friends that they have to leave the kids at home in order to come over for dinner…
5. All RVs will be escorted to their site by campground staff and staff will direct all parking maneuvers
By now my husband and I have a system to find our site. Sure, an escort saves time finding it, especially in large parks. BUT we have also worked out our own backing up system and someone else flailing their arms around just adds to the confusion. I know exactly how far our slides go out and where our utility connections are. I can direct my husband where to go. Okay, I admit, in the beginning he was telling me where to go… but we are doing better now.
This was at a state park in Minnesota and we had purchased certified, kiln-dried and wrapped firewood from the RV park literally across the road. The park ranger demanded we leave it with him or not camp at the park. We trudged up the hill and returned it to the RV park, got a refund and bought the SAME certified kiln-dried firewood from the park ranger. Was he stockpiling the confiscated wood?
7. Back end of RV cannot extend over the grass
This is not about parking on the grass. This irritating rule irritated us when our RV was on the gravel pad and the rear end hung over the grass. After a complete setup we needed to take everything down and move forward three feet. Guess I should have read the rules more closely on that one…
8. Weight restrictions on dogs
My guess is that the temperament of the dog is more important than the weight or size. Don’t three small dogs equal one big dog? And aren’t small dogs usually louder anyway…?
9. Walk dogs outside of park grounds
So a dog is allowed in but can’t walk in the park? Did they say they were pet friendly or just pet tolerant? In addition to not walking in the park, one reader told us about an RV park that had a dog walk area BUT the dog couldn’t walk in the park, so he needed to drive the dog to the dog walk area in his car.
10. For protection of deck furniture, please place towels over chairs when using suntan oil, creams, or lotions.
This was from the same place that requires everyone to be fully clothed in the clubhouse. I have been trying NOT to ponder what does fully and not fully clothed actually mean in a 55-and-up RV park…
I am sure that everyone has a downright irritating rule that they’ve come across at a campground or RV park. If you can remember one, please leave it in the comments below.