Do you always read the campground paperwork? That was the question posed during a recent night around the campfire. What followed was a conversation about surprising campground rules that folks around the campfire had experienced.
Bob began, “Usually when you arrive at a campground, you’re given your site assignment, map, and a list of campground rules. Do you read those rules? Every time?”
I admitted that we’re usually so excited about finding our campsite and getting set up that we sometimes fail to read all the CG’s paperwork (e.g., rules).
Joe said, “We’ve been surprised by a few campground rules over the years. If you’re new to camping or haven’t camped extensively, some rules might catch folks off guard.”
Surprising campground rules
What followed was a lively discussion about campground rules. The “fairness” of some rules was questioned. Many folks around the campfire wondered about the rationale behind some regulations. Other restrictions were criticized as “overreach” or “silly.” However, it was argued campgrounds have a right to make their own rules. Here are the campground rules folks around the campfire mentioned. Read the rules and decide for yourself.
- Number of persons allowed. Even if your RV can sleep eight or more, the CG may limit the number of persons per site. Or you may be required to pay for extra guests, like in hotel situations.
- RV age. More and more campgrounds are adopting what’s called a ten-year rule. This means that if your RV is more than ten years old you are not allowed. This restriction hopes to prevent unsightly or rundown RVs from staying in the park. (If your rig doesn’t meet the age requirement but is in good condition, you still might be able to reserve a spot. Try sending a photo of your well-kept RV to the CG management for prior approval.)
- Additional charges for electricity. When you’re camping in an area where you’ll use excess electricity (e.g., for air conditioning) you may receive a bill at checkout time that reflects your electricity use. We’ve learned to ask about this when making reservations. It’s also a good idea to take a photo of your electric meter upon arrival. You can use the photo to dispute any overcharges.
- Guests. Some campgrounds restrict the number of day guests that visit you. Other CGs charge a fee for outside guests that enter the CG. During peak season, some CGs will issue no guest passes at all.
- Restricted breeds/pets. Certain breeds or size of dogs may be restricted. Exotic pets are usually not allowed.
- Pet enclosures. Fences, kennels, and other pet enclosures are sometimes disallowed.
- Drying clothes. Many campgrounds restrict campers from hanging clothes outside to dry.
- No glass. In some CGs you may not have glass bottles or containers anywhere outside your RV. (Hmmm. Guess you’ll have to enjoy that cold one inside your rig?)
What do you think? Does a campground have a right to make and enforce rules? Can you add any surprising CG regulations to this list? Please respond in the comments below.
Last week’s Around the Campfire