Campground pet peeves – specifically, campground jerks


By Liz Wilcox
Honestly, I don’t think this post needs any introduction. Let’s just get into it.

People who leave their mess in the shower

Every. Single. Time.

Every single time I go take a shower some nasty person has left a big glob of their hair in the drain, on the wall of the shower, or, you know, in a big ole pile right by the door for me to step on.

My personal favorite thing is when I walk into the shower stall and there’s a band-aid on the floor to accompany the hair. Yeah, that’s great.

Campground managers who lock up the plunger

So the other day I walked into the bathroom to see someone had left a big ole STANK in one of the stalls.

Now, this has happened several times in the last few weeks and my first reaction is that there are a bunch of insanely gross people in the park. But, I am an optimist by nature, so then I thought, “There just can’t be that many NASTIES in this park! I refuse to believe this!”

Upon further inspection, I realized there was no darn plunger in the bathroom. These poor souls can’t help it that the campground installed low-flow toilets and then gave them no plunger!

Campground owners! Please stop locking up the plungers! I beg of you!

The neighbor who over-shares

Now, I love RV parks because I love meeting new people. I’m naturally an extrovert and have never met a stranger.

All that aside, sometimes I pull into a site and find someone that blows me outta the water! You know what I’m talking about…

The neighbor that within 24 hours of camping by him you know enough about him to write his resume, fix his marriage, and run all his errands three counties away.

Sir, please. Backing away is not your cue to step forward. And no, I don’t want to see that funny picture on your phone while I’m trying to grill.

The people that cut through your site

I understand that I’m just a visitor and my site isn’t technically private property, but come on! It’s just weird and intrusive. Go around!

P.S. It’s especially odd when we both know dang well I’m sitting here watching you do this.

Readers – Do you have a “campground jerk” story? Feel free to vent (as politely as possible) in the comments below.

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  1. Nothing beats boondocking when compared to PAYING for the “privilege” of camping in cramped, close quarters with rude, self-indulgent boors in a quasi-natural setting… Thankfully, government run campgrounds offer more space, more greenery, and lower fees than for-profit private campgrounds with sardine-like accommodations, but boondocking offers the best opportunity to keep a healthy quarter mile or more between yourself and your nearest neighbor, if that’s what it takes to secure a little peace and quiet.

  2. Campgrounds that have no Quiet Time! I don’t know how many times that we have been woken up by people sitting around a camp fire till all times of the night talking way too loud! From many sites away.
    Then the campgrounds that have Quiet times and do not enforce them!

  3. I haven’t seen this one so I may be treading on sacred ground.
    The people (not handicapped) who feel inclined to ride around and around in their golf carts parading like it’s the Villages in FL. I don’t care about your 10K Club Car lifted, bored, stroked, and decked out in its finery.

    Smoldering fires. When you are finished put them out. Don’t scrape your leftover baked beans in the fire creating a stench.

    LED Lights making the night site looking like a landing zone.

    Dogs, dogs, dogs, keep them to yourself, under control and clean up after them. I could care less about your furry friend so keep them leashed up tight while walking. I don’t want to meet them.

    Watching loud TV outside with your back to the smoldering garbage fire.
    Loud Music. Keep it to yourself, put on the headphones.

    Leave me alone. I didn’t come to (blank) national park to meet you. I have plenty of friends. I don’t need any more.

  4. I do not want to listen to my neighbor’s music playing loudly that you can hear it several trailers away.
    Also last weekend some jerk flushed his winterizer (antifreeze )all over on the pavement where you fill your drinking water and it drained towards our site. We warned everyone who walked by especially the dog walkers. Park officials had to clean it up.

  5. The large Black Lab that runs loose only to drop a big one just feet from my awning. Park host had to convince the owner to clean it up. I love dogs! Many dog owners not so much.

  6. The yappy ankle biters and purse dogs are annoying, but worse than that was the couple that was beside us for a week that sat outside and smoked……alot. Started at about 7 in the morning. We couldn’t have any windows open the entire time they were there. They were nice enough people; it was too bad we were the daily recipients of their filthy second hand smoke.

  7. Having been a campground host really opened my eyes to those individuals that camped and had NO respect for the environment or campsite. Some of the items my wife and I found while cleaning I won’t mention. Have you ever tried to pick up sunflower seeds or shells from pistachios? Instead of throwing the shells into the fire ring, they would threw them onto the ground beside their chairs. We were expected to pick up any and all trash/debris left by past campers. Aside from nut shells, cig butts, we would occasionally be left with a 55 gallon trash bag of trash. Apparently they were too lazy to place into dumpsters which were placed through-out the park. People also thought it was okay to throw watermelon pieces or egg shells into the weeds next to their site. Apparently those items would disappear over time. Personally, I believe there’s a percentage of individuals that leave their brain home when they go camping.

  8. We have been RVing for over 20 years in motor homes and travel with 2-3 Dalmatians at a time. We are not full timers and never will be. I guess we have been lucky to never have encountered dog issues or people that allow dogs to roam free. Depending on the RV resort or park we try very hard not that infringe on others space, if ever feel uncomfortable in a RV park or resort we don’t go back. Sometimes when we are “ just trying to get home” or “ passing through “ and end up at a crappy place to land for the night we are silent and keep moving. We have stories that could make a new RV movie!! And I’m not kidding !!

  9. My peeve is the people who string those LED rope lights all over the ground around and under (yes, both) their RV/rig and leave them on all night! I would like to see the starry sky that I cannot see in the big city we live in!

    • Yep, you and me both, Scott. Lots of venting going on. Unfortunately, the “campground jerks” probably won’t read the comments. (I’m sure the vast majority of our readers are thoughtful and considerate campers.) If any of the inconsiderate folks do read them, they won’t heed them because they’ll think these complaints couldn’t possibly apply to them. OY! 🙄 —Diane at

  10. Dogs, dogs, how many dogs does one need to feel well dogged? I am a septuagenarian and have shared my life with beloved dogs during my life, but one beloved dog at a time. Perhaps two dogs traveling along would be OK. Does one really need an iditarod when camping? I understand these multiple dogs are not animals to you, but really little people with fur coats. Primarily I see older folks with multiple little yappers. They want to bring them all camping/Rving yet apparently do not want to bother with them when they leave the campground for the day in their toad or tow vehicle. We have to listen to them bark and bark and bark all day. Of course, as soon as their “mommy and daddy” pull back into their campsite the dogs stop barking. If you try to politely tell the dog parents that their dogs barked the whole time they were gone, they become your enemies. We have found the solution is to immediately find the Ranger or person with authority and explain the problem. On many occasions they have called the barkers “parents”on their cell phone and told them to immediately return to their campsite to silence their dogs. Now, all you multiple dog campers can respond and tell me how YOUR little babies are so well behaved. At least the older dog owners only give us dirty looks when we politely inform them of their dogs incessant barking, instead of unleashing a string of profanity/threats like some younger owners do. If you love your dogs take them with you when leaving your campsite!

    • last campground we stayed at people next door had a big dog cage fence out side their camper, SHE opened their door to the camper and 7, I`ll say it again in case someone missed it 7——-Seven …….dogs came out barking, now I understand why the spot on both sides of them was vacant, we moved the next day.

    • I travel with 2 Newfoundlands and try not to leave them in the camper but sometimes have to. I would appreciate knowing if they bark all day as then I’d make other plans in the future. But am hoping they do what they do at home – just sleep all day.

    • Sure agree with you. Campgrounds and my own neighborhood. Multiple dogs barking day and night for hours on end…I actually have 2 big dogs and took time to train them not to bark. I’d feel terrible if they bothered someone. I’ve stopped asking folks in a friendly way to quiet their pups because of the anger, hostility and foul language. I call ranger, PD or leave…

  11. The guys that can’t help but step in giving “you girls” the benefit of their wisdom in setting up camp, backing up the rig, or anything else. They think that since we’re man-less, we must be clue-less. Dear sir: it’s just the opposite. Man-splainers. ugh.

  12. I think our “pet” RV peeve might be the fact that if you’re not in love with the dog you’re so much crap under the dog mom or dads feet. We don’t sleep with animals, we don’t eat with them, and dam it they’re animals and we treat them as such, – when we had a pet. Ya that’s you the guy/gal who thinks your drooling fur pal, should be able to drool me up and down and I should love ya both for it. Nope, and every time I see someone kissing their dog,….well I just hope it doesn’t happen just after a fine meal. Ya I know I’m intolerant, unloving bigoted, you name it – probably healthier too, for not sharing your fur friends parasites.

  13. One major benefit of owning an RV is never having to use public bathrooms/showers. Tent campers of course have no choice. Having hosted at several campgrounds over the years, I have noticed quite a few RVers with beautiful rigs using the facilities. Never had the nerve to ask why.

    • We actually know RVers who do not use their rig’s bathroom. It’s the weirdest thing. Either they don’t want to drain the tanks or they have some strange aversion to using their own toilet. I don’t get it.

      • You’re on the right track. While living in Tucson, AZ at an RV Park, there were several RVers that did not use their facilities in their RV’s because they didn’t want to clean them! So, they figured it was just easier to use the provided facilities. BOTTOM LINE: Just Lazy People.

        • When I pay my money to stay in a campground, I will use ANY and ALL of the facilities and services available as much as I want.

          • Agreed….especially if there are no hookups – with three kids, sometimes it’s better to use the campground facilities than have to breakdown to fill or drain tanks.

      • Twenty years ago, my first RV was a Class B, and I was thrilled with it. However, I had no clue as to how to use all the systems and didn’t know then how to find out. Since I didn’t know how to empty tanks, I opted for parks’ restrooms and used a bucket to wash dishes. Honest!!! Thanks to taking a few RV courses, at that time taught by Gaylord, I could actually then USE those systems since I then knew how they worked. Amazing.

  14. One of my peeves is people with pets who walk them and refuse to clean up after their pet! We travel with 4 Australian Shepherds & 2 Chihuahuas and no one can tell we have ever been there! I’m sorry but no one wants to see, or worse yet, step in a “landmine” left by your pet! Carry baggies and clean up after your animals!!!

    • As a dog owner I think any other dog owner is making us all look bad by not picking up after their dog. I’ve been known to offer bags and say “looks like you missed something” when some “blind” dog walker starts to walk away.

      • I say “oops, did you forget your bag?” And give them one with a smile. If they are rude I’ve been known to pick up the pop and leave the tied bag on their car hood or steps…

  15. People that leave cigarette butts all over their campsite. People that leave a mess (garbage, plastic plates, dinnerware beverage cans) in the firepit for the next user to clean up. Diesel owners that think they have to run their engine for 1/2 an hour before pulling away. Yapping dogs – especially with absent owners. Pet owners that don’t pick up after their pets. People with pets that don’t understand that just because you’re in love with your pet does mean I want it around me.

  16. There will always be discourteous people wherever you go. I think most of the time they just don’t think of their actions before they do them. If people cut through you site ask them kindly to “Please don’t cut through our campsite.” Most people will honor your wishes. Most kids will too.

    The upkeep of the shower building and bathrooms is difficult. People expect that the money they spent for their site covers maintenance. But the park cannot constantly clean up behind campers.
    We are adults, we know how to clean up after ourselves, or should. If everyone would do this it will keep prices down.

    I think the campground could be more proactive by supplying toilet plungers, mops, brooms, and dust pans. These items could be painted a odd color so if someone takes them everyone will know where they came from. I think it is worth a try.

    We always talk about “Leave only footprints” when going out in nature. Why not at a campground as well.

    • Marty maybe you’re right, just be kind and ask them not to cut through your site, or to put a lid on their yappy dog, or gain some mastery over their ADD kid(s) whatever, just don’t expect to sit beside them at the ice cream social that night and expect to exchange pleasant RV experiences – It ain’t gonna happen my friend.
      Being nice to inconsiderate people never once worked for me in over 50 years of R”V’ing

  17. In regards to those who complain about gross or nasty park showers/toilets…. don’t you have both of those in your rv?

    • Why no, my own shower is NOT gross or nasty 🙂 That’s the point. I didn’t tow a shower so I could use a fungus-incubator covered in mystery hair. 🙂 (So yes, I had the same thought as you when I read that particular complaint…)

    • Yes we do but do you think everyone was born to police up after you, be a dammed adult and take responsibility for your actions. quit being a HOG.

    • Ron, if they keep their RV toilet like they keep the inside of their vehicles, I can plainly see why they might like the choice of a fresh cleaned public park Restroom. I worked as a tech and quality control person in a high volume GM dealership for 40 plus years, and could write a sad sad book about the way SOME people live. Pretty dam disgusting.

  18. People who don’t have ANY respect for you or campground rules. Those who know that quiet time is usually around 10 or 11 o’clock at night but insist on partying til all hours of the morning with loud music and loud voices.

    • That would be MY biggest “jerk” complaint… I don’t mind generators, don’t use public baths, and don’t mind if people walk throught the BOUNDARY of my site as a shortcut to the next row (straight through the middle isn’t smart with my habit of leaving trip and tangle hazards).

      If you’re smoking weed at 2AM and yelling because you’re SO hilarious to yourself, too drunk to walk without falling over, blasting your cRap music or blinding me with your lovely 7′ projection of some inane movie, THAT peeves me.

  19. As a workamper I can tell you that gross showers, toilets and lavatory sinks are the norm. But the absolute worst is the person that has explosive diarrhea and couldn’t quite get seated when the explosion happens. Or, maybe it’s the nasty person that wiped boogers on the shower walls? Or, a bloody bandage on the shower floor.

    People, people, people (using my Drago Voice from the John Wayne movie McClintock). You don’t do this at home. Grow up!

    Also the morons that are afraid of the dark or thieves. Or just think lighting up the wilderness is cool. These people tend to put up so many strings of lights that when they flip on the switch the campground main breaker trips. It is especially annoying when you are in place where the stars show brightly due to lack of city light pollution. What gives with this? I bet they sleep with the TV on too? Hey, while were are at it…get the heck off my lawn.

  20. What do you do when you pull in after hours to a campground where you have made a reservation, pick up your registration packet from the late registration area and find someone in an expensive motor home has taken your site? Also, the remainder of the park is completely full and there is no phone number available to reach management in person after hours. This happened to me at the Portal RV Resort in Moab, Utah and police had to get involved due to lack of cooperation from the man who had wrongfully taken my site. Although I was comped by management the next day for my one-night stay, I will never stay there again.

    • Robin, I think the best thing to do would be to pull into a quiet area of the park, go to sleep and take up the situation with management in the morning.

    • So, only “someone in an expensive motor home” would take your site???? I’m glad no one in a inexpensive rig would do such a thing. What dollar amount do you use to determine this? And do you check bluebook value of the other rig?

      No mater WHAT rig someone drives, that would be wrong – if they are aware the site is reserved that is. But if the site is not marked – how are they to know?

      Arrive during business hours and daylight.

    • Just park in the drive in front of the offender, turn on any outside lights that will shine in their rig and go to sleep. Hopefully they thought they would pull in for a free night and leave early before anyone caught them. The park should then charge them 5 times the nightly rate before you move your rig to let them out.
      On second thought that wouldn’t work for a pull through except you could use your tow or toad for the other side and shine the light in!

      • Very bad idea. You don’t want to tangle with someone who intentionally breaks rules, and you don’t want to harass someone who made a genuine mistake.

    • I often arrive late, and have dealt with this. At 8pm, “Sorry, I think you accidentally parked in the wrong site.” At 3am, I just parked by camp office and resolved in the morning.

      I HAVE seen a lot of REALLY badly marked sites, where campers had to count clearings vs signs to collate which site belonged to each sign. I got one site where the sign itself was cemented into the middle of the clearing (carefully squeeze trailer one side, truck on other?). Often numbers are on trees between sites, without arrows. Stenciled pavement is clear, but doesn’t work for gravel. My point is the problem is most often created by the campground, not “expensive motor home.”

  21. I’m seeing most of these complaints are ones exhibited in RV parks…one of the very reasons we prefer to boondock away.

  22. I wouldn’t be the person plunging out a public toilet. I think it would go further to fixing the problem by getting the management involved. An idea is to have them follow you after you’ve told them “I’d like to show you something.”

    • Agreed. But, hopefully, if the plunger was there, you would take care of your own stopage and not leave it for the next person to deal with.

  23. We have seen it all, good/bad/ugly. These are the ones that we really fear having nearby. The outdoor TV = watching sporting events, etc. at full volume and full party mode as if no one else exists; Generators running all day (for TVs and AC) as the people never go outside and have no respect for the quiet we all go camping to enjoy; The loud, overly loud gatherings at the evening campfires – it’s like listening to overly loud phone conversations at the grocery store – there always seems to be that one person that cannot take the verbal volume below 10; Camp hosts and/or camp managers that will not address problems/issues. This is a huge problem; Bright outdoor lights on all night (flashing string lights = horror) that shine right in our windows. The worst, that encompasses most of these and more. The RVer who brings ‘home’ with them – the clutter, the noise, kids running wild over everyone’s space, the lack of recognizing anyone else exists, the lack of recognizing they are ‘camping’ and this is not ‘home’ away from home. Apologies to full timers that live respectfully – this is not referring to you.

    That said – we have had some absolutely wonderful experiences RVing with regard to location, hosts, campground, neighbors, etc. The good outweighs the bad but as they say, ‘one bad experience’ can taint all experiences’ and the good are too easily forgotten.

  24. This just happened to me. Tent campers were in the site next to me. During the night, one of them got up, walked over to the picnic table in my site, set his beer down on the table, and proceeded to relieve himself there. I guess the park bathroom across the road was just too far to walk.

  25. We have seen so many ugly things over the years (but many beautiful places) but besides the folks who shortcut through our site I hate the folks who spread out way beyond their site, cars, tents, lean-to’s etc. Then there was the girl in Idaho who was trimming her toenails with her foot up on the picnic table top. Or the guy in PA who laid his sewer hose across the picnic table while he put something away in his coach. I actually have a myriad more but that should suffice for now!

  26. motorcycles lapping the campground. i do not mind them just do not want here them . we are camping for the peaceful great outdoors. then motorcycle riders seem to think that they need to ride around revving their engines.

    • Oh then you’d love Yellowstone after Sturgis lets out……..rolling thunder throughout the park for days. And you thought you’d get back to nature!

    • Norm, I understand where you’re coming from. I used to ride bikes then when I got older and my knees couldn’t hold up a two wheel, I went to a trike{three wheeler}. I still love bikes and trikes BUT I don’t like those bikers who like to ride around the campground, as you said, reving thier engines and making all that noise. It’s uncalled for and disrespectful.

    • I’m happy that so far, no one said “Loud pipes save lives” in response to your post. Because those people are inconsiderate JERKS.

      My biker buddies tell me louder is unquestionably safer, so I removed the muffler from my generator so no one would trip over it, and then removed the muffler from my truck so that you can hear my 140db roar a full mile in advance. For the safety of pedestrians, I sometimes drive around the campground blasting my airhorns (130db on the label) because I’d hate for them to not know I’m driving by and get run over. I’ve ridden motorcycles myself, and my 1200cc purred like a kitten 99% of the time. If drivers aren’t awake enough to LOOK for you, being louder will NOT get through their foggy heads either. Don’t do it, Hogs… you’re NOT being manly, and no one else is impressed by your inconsiderateness.

  27. This just happened to me a couple of months ago, while visiting Pigeon Forge, TN. We stayed in a Very nice RV Park, close to downtown and on a Large Circular Space. The neighbors next to us, had a similar setup and a DOG! While sitting in the RV one morning the person next door, decided to take their pet for a walk to do the morning business. Walking through my lot and another RVers next to us, the DOG does the morning DOOO! and she keeps on walking. I yelled out the door and asked if she had any DOOO BAGS! She said she would go get one, (now you know she won’t be back), so I grabbed one from my closet and gave to her and she promptly picked up the MESS!

    This is my biggest PET PEEVE (no pun intended).

    Please pick up your PETS Droppings and try to have your animals do their business in your own space or in a DOGGY RUN!

    Common Courtesy Goes a Long Ways!

  28. People that leave their bright outside lights on all night.
    People with flashing light displays, bar/disco lights, neon lights, etc.

  29. My favorite type of jerk is the one, or several, who believe that camping is for getting drunk and acting like a fool til all hours of the night. I had an idiot, drunk of course, at 4AM, stumble into my campsite and attempt to pee on the bumper of my truck. I am a police officer and had no problem putting him into an arm bar and escorting him off my site…. its a funny story now that my wife and i enjoy recounting, but no one wants a jerk like that around.

  30. When you pay the fee for a campsite you are essentially renting the site. It is really no different than living in a rented home. Anyone who walks within the boundaries of your rented campsite without your permission is technically trespassing and violating your property rights. While rudeness seems to be rampant in modern society, in many cases, campground owners are the root cause of this particular problem. Many want to squeeze in an extra space for revenue purposes when they should have designed “public” walkways allowing those in rows not adjacent to a bathhouse a more direct route to it.

    That being said, my pet peeves are RVers who feel they have to “light up the sky” ALL night long, and parents who send their screaming children out to “play” at 6:00 AM.

    • I have to agree… almost NO campgrounds I’ve stayed in (in many) have any provisions for walking between sometimes insanely long rows. When I see someone walking the road with a towel, I’ll often tell them to “feel free to walk through my boundary, just don’t trip on XYZ out front…” It’s often easier to guide what you will accept than spend your day stewing over what you won’t.

  31. People who light up a campfire immediately upwind of your camper and make it unlivable. And people who decide to entertain the whole campground with their outdoor speakers or TV..

    • Best way to avoid “campfires” is to not stay in “campgrounds” that allow “campfires”. Why are you complaining about campfires in a campground? Stay in a resort that doesn’t allow campfires.

    • I don’t agree with a commenter who says don’t stay in campgrounds if you don’t like campfires. He didn’t actually read the comment. It is incredibly rude in close-to-each-other campgrounds to start a fire and watch the smoke blow directly into your nearby neighbor’s window. How can anyone think that’s okay???

      • Yes I did read the comment, but you didn’t get my point about the the word “camp” vs RESORT. Oh and by the way, ever heard that wind direction changes? My point still stands, if you don’t like “camping” then don’t stay in “campgrounds” stay in RESORTS that do allow “campfires”

    • Don, I’d add to your comment – any camp ground operator today who still allows campfires, without ridged restrictions – ie the flames can’t be 12 feet high. Better yet in this time of environmental sensitivities, no fire at all. We have progressed from man cooking bison over campfire – nothing to celebrate in 2019.

  32. My pet peeve is about pets. People who walk their dogs and don’t pick up after them. Besides a matter of courtesy, it’s unhealthy not only for my pet but everyone in the park.

    • My dogs are literally trained to NOT poo unless given permission (yes, really… part of ADA training) so normally pee is the only “oops” outside my site. That said, like humans, sometimes nature calls insistently at bad times, you’ve forgotten bags or they’ve used up several on a walk. At those times, I’ll appologize and then DO return ASAP. I don’t get bent if dogs poo on the edge of my site, but I do expect folks to clean it up the same as I do.

  33. The pet owner , usually the one with small yipper dogs, often more than one. Who has no problem listenng to their pets bark incessently. Seriously you enjoy that noise? If you love those creatures that much stay home with them and let the rest of us enjoy our RV without the constant barking from the “yippers”

  34. The most likely reason campgrounds don’t leave a plunger in the bathrooms is because, when they did, it kept getting stolen.

    • We own a campground, and you are exactly right, Jeannie. Someone will steal the plunger every time. Plus, they steal the toilet paper. And garden decorations. And once, someone stole our iron (after ironing something on the dining table in our lounge and then trying to scrub out the burn with toothpaste and a brush!!)

  35. People who let their dogs run off-leash despite the rules stating all must be leashed. Because, you know, that charge across the campground at your dog wasn’t aggression, it’s just being friendly. Closely followed by those that let their dogs bark for hours.

    • I had this happen Memorial day weekend. My dog was happily biking with me when a dog from a site several ahead of us charged my dog in full ears-back/bristle tail mode. I gave my dog her command to plant on the ground (she did, good dog), hit her leash release and jumped off my bike at speed towards the attacking dog. I intercepted Cujo and stuffed it into the ground without getting bitten (my legs didn’t fair so well, shorts and gravel). As I’m laying ON Cujo, legs bleeding, the owner bawls me out for tackling his dog. Safe to say, ALL the other campers around didn’t share his opinion of his “innocent” dog, and he left the next day.


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