Friday, March 24, 2023


RVing-with-kids rules, and should-be rules, discussed

A recent topic around the campfire began when Stan asked, “Remember back when TV news anchors would announce: ‘It’s ten o’clock. Do you know where your children are?’ Well, I wish RVers with kids would think about that and keep track of their children.”

Corralling the kids

“What do you expect parents to do?” Marie wanted to know. “Kids want to have fun RVing, just like the rest of us.”

Stan insisted, “Kids also need to follow the campground rules, just like the rest of us. They shouldn’t get a pass simply because they are young. Like the family that left this morning? I caught their little boy riding his bike over my sewer hose. That’s unacceptable!”

Talk about rules

If you’re RVing with kids, folks around the campfire agreed that the first step for parents is to make sure their children know the campground rules. Some suggestions included:

  • Read through the campground rules together as an integral part of setting up your campsite. (No one goes anywhere until the rules have been fully discussed.)
  • Explain the rationale behind the CG rules. (For example, rules keep everyone safe. Rules help ensure that everyone enjoys their camping experience. Rules help us show respect to others.)

Family rules

You may decide to add your own family rules to the list. Perhaps rules like:

  • Site boundaries. Set specific CG site boundaries and teach children to respect these boundaries. Show younger campers the perimeter of your RV site. Set up cones or use a garden hose, sticks or rocks to mark your RV’s site boundaries. Explain that children are not to walk, play, ride, or chase through other campsites.
  • Safe movement. Demonstrate how to walk on the CG roadway, facing traffic, and walking on the far-left side to stay safe. Large motorhomes and trucks may not see small children until it’s too late.
  • Togetherness. Stay together. Do not wander off by yourself. Always stick with your brother/sister. Remind teens to stay on the marked trails and to never wander off on their own.
  • Fire/heat safety. Train children to stay well away from grills and campfires. Some camping lanterns can burn skin, as well. Teach older children how to safely douse a campfire before retiring for the night.
  • Bikes and more. Carefully explain safe riding rules if your child rides a bike or scooter. Practice riding on the right side of the roadway, keeping to a safe speed, and staying within the parent-determined distance from your RV site.
  • Footwear. Always wear footwear when outdoors.
  • Edibles. Only eat food that is parent-approved. Berries and nuts you may see in the woods may be poisonous or harm you.
  • Animals. Teach children to stay away from wild animals—even “cute” ones can be dangerous. If you RV with a pet, make sure children know that it must stay inside or always be on a leash when outside.

The parent’s job

  • Monitor children. Correct them promptly as needed. Sure, RVing is a time to unwind and relax, but you’re still a parent, even when you’re camping. So, accompany the kids to the CG pool. Go with the child who walks the dog. As children get older, only give them the degree of independence they can handle.
  • Lead by example. Follow the campground rules for yourself. Set an example for your children. You can be sure they are watching to see how you respond to CG and family rules. They will most likely follow your lead.

Extra hints

Folks around the campsite shared a few additional tips about camping with children. These included:

  • Give each child a whistle and a flashlight. Explain that the whistle is to be used only when the child feels afraid or endangered. The flashlight is for nighttime exploring (with parents) or for emergencies.
  • Provide walkie talkies. This is a surefire way to stay connected to older children. Clearly explain that when contacted by a parent, the child is to respond immediately.
  • Stay hydrated. It’s a good idea for each child to have their own water bottle or hydration pack. Encourage kids to drink plenty of water while camping.
  • Plan activities. Go fishing, hiking, or sightseeing together. Put together a jigsaw puzzle, make s’mores, or play cornhole together. (Here’s a camping game that we love that’s similar to cornhole.) Children who are busy doing family activities are seldom in trouble. Before your RV trip begins, plan things to DO together. Sharing experiences as a family strengthens the love between you and makes for lifelong memories.

RVing is a pastime that may well extend into adulthood for some children. Train them well today and we’ll all enjoy RVing, and RVing with kids, that much more in the years to come.



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1 month ago

I have to say we have never had an issue with young kids. It’s the older “kids”, I mean 20+, drinking into the wee hours getting louder and louder.

1 month ago

It’s not the kids, it’s the parents. I’m a retired teacher and I can’t tell you how much things have changed the last 30 years. Use to be if a teacher called home the kid would get in big trouble and there would be consequences for their actions. Now if I call home the parents ask me what I did to make their child misbehave. Or they think I’m making things up. I’ve been told countless times “My baby says he didn’t do it and my baby doesn’t lie!” You’re just picking on her!” I attribute it to absent parents or selfish parents who don’t want to set boundaries or be the bad guy. They refuse to take the time to teach their kids how to behave. They want to have children, but they don’t want to make the sacrifice or take on the responsibility and parent. Unfortunately, I don’t see it getting any better in the future.

1 month ago

Well, I wish. I’ve probably seen it all. They might be told it isn’t necessary to scream and holler constantly. They don’t just ride bicycles. They ride and scream after dark where bicycles aren’t allowed, as well as daylight. They play football and miss it so that it hits vehicles–even when there’s a playground they could use. When the signs say ride bicycles in the direction of traffic, they don’t, and that includes skateboards and scooters. I’m not sure what those have to do with camping. But considering the behavior of adults, I don’t expect it to change. I heard an adult say the kids need to unwind, but the kids are doing the same things they do at home, ride and scream, run and scream, etc. And perhaps if children and adults would figure out that their dog does not have a need to “meet” mine, I wouldn’t have to carry a big stick. It’s everywhere.

1 month ago

I wouldn’t recommend marking the borders of your campsite with rocks. The guys mowing will either have to move them or will run over them chipping the mower blades and/or hurling the rocks potentially causing other damage or injury.

Up to you if you want a water hose run over and chewed up by a mower.

Jim Johnson
1 month ago

We have new owners for the park where we (and and many other retirees) winter year after year. It’s an annual seasonal rally without any of the formalities. We keep in touch throughout the year. The new owners want to see more kids in this RV park and have some trepidations about our winter group’s reactions.

Most of us have grandkids and love to have them visit. Having kids in the park is not the issue per se. What we cringe at are UNSUPERVISED kids. We are not YOUR babysitting (or young teen sitting) service. They are still YOUR responsibility to monitor for behavior pretty much all of you would find unacceptable in and around your own property.

1 month ago

I also try to remember when I see unruly kids; it’s the parents almost 100% of the time allowing this behavior. Can anyone contradict this statement?

Calvin Wing
1 month ago

I agree with everything that’s been stated above, however, my wife and I both have observed that what would seem to be common sense rules fly out the window because to the majority of people under 40
1) Everything is all about me. You don’t count so get out of my way. (This shows up in manners, driving, etc.
2) nothing of anything significance happened before the year 2000.

1 month ago

And please, if your kids take a pet for a walk, be sure they take along a bag for waste disposal and USE it.

1 month ago
Reply to  Judy

And that they can actually control the size of dog they are walking.

1 month ago

This is a great article and I have a feeling that most if not all of us who RV/camp with kids also read this newsletter.
I remember a couple of times where parents let their kids run loose. One was where girls were running through our campsite – our dog had just done his business and we hadn’t picked it up yet. You guessed it – and boy did we laugh!
We also stayed at a Good Sam campground in IN. Kids were all over the place which is ok, but driving golf carts and having races? Sadly one ended up with a broken leg.
We do our best to keep the kids in line – things happen tho so the best advice is go over the rules, keep an eye on the kids, follow the great hints given above. And have fun.

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