Thursday, September 21, 2023


Butt-to-nose RV sites. How close is close enough?

How close is close enough?! We are currently butt-to-nose with our RV neighbor next door. While we could easily find campsites all along our trip from Arizona to Minnesota, now in Minnesota, it has become a challenge. We have ended up for seventeen l-o-n-g days at a full-hookup site at an RV park near the metropolitan area.

It is a fine RV park with concrete sites, full hookups, picnic tables, and fire pits, but it’s the tight sites that bother me. 29 of the sites are back-in and 94 are pull-through butt-to-nose. And tight, I might add! The RV park is completely filled. Seasonal folks are mainly on the perimeter and weekly/nightly on the pull-throughs.

I am finding that my preferred state and regional parks are putting strict limits on the number of days camped in a month and in a season. We have exhausted the number of days in those parks. Don’t get me wrong, I think that is absolutely the right thing to do, but it has unfortunately left us here.

Trying not to complain

I am trying not to complain, but in the photo below you can see our neighbor’s window through our window. There are 12 inches between us. Needless to say, the shade is permanently down.

I kept asking my husband about the periodic “booms” we could hear. He didn’t know. No pattern, just sometimes boom, boom, boom, and sometimes nothing. We discovered this morning that it is a kid running back and forth in our too-close neighbor’s RV! Reminds me of an apartment without the insulated walls.

There was a discussion in RV Travel about the difference between campgrounds and RV parks. I have always used the terms interchangeably, but if there was a fire pit it was a campground. Nope, this place has a fire pit but this is definitely an RV park!

Would we stay here again? Probably, but selectively. I would want to know where the site was before booking and preferably a spacious (by RV park standards) back-in. I found out today the sites are released on September 1 and just like with the state and regional campgrounds, my dialing finger better be in shape.


Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.


  1. Has the fire marshal been by? How in the world could you (or your neighbor) get out that escape window if you had to escape from a fire in your RV? And how long do you think it would take for a fire to catch the next RV on fire? Fire codes generally require some degree of separation depending on the type of construction, and I can’t believe it wouldn’t apply here.

  2. Code in Minnesota is every trailer must have a 10′ distance between them. The campground where we keep our trailer when not traveling, just got inspected and had to inform owners each slide must be 10′ from a neighbor’s slide and is advising them they must move their trailers 5′ from the line. There were about 16 trailers involved and all have moved their trailers and decks.

  3. This is NOT CAMPING and we avoid parking lot for State and National Parks. What’s the point of this? You might as well be in a hotel. Hell, I have more privacy at home than this ridiculous situation.

    The whole reason we purchased an RV is to go out and experience natural settings, this is a great argument for turning people OFF on the idea of getting into camping.

  4. The last 3 years have been increased prices with less amenities and way less space. And apparently now we’re required to mow our own sites.

  5. That’s rather funny that people go to such places. That’s parking, not camping. I even live where neighbors are a mile away.

  6. Minnesota has a rule that there must be 10 foot spacing between rvs. Look in the office for the state licence and send that dept an email.

    • Joe, you are correct MN does have the 10 foot rule between rvs and other structures that maybe on a neighboring lot. The MN Dept. of Health is the enforcer. All campgrounds go through this inspection on a yearly basis to keep their license. There appears to be a loop hole that they are capitalizing on. These parking pads may be considered to belong to one lot, as the hookups appear to be common for the two pads. Then, they may be able to park rvs as shown in the photos. Still is worth an email with pictures to MDH.

      From MDH: There must be 10 feet of open space between the sides of adjacent RCVs and their attachments.

  7. Just think what will happen if a rig next door catches fire, maybe from their fridge. Domino effect with the nearby rigs.

  8. What’s the Big Deal?

    Many people with RV’s will go right back home to their new or old home or apartment that sits 10 feet or less from their next door neighbors. They paid Hundreds or Thousands of Dollars for that privilege everyday so why is camping as shown above any different.

    Makes them feel right at home!

  9. Sitting under my awning in the shade today. D.P. pulls in next to me with his generator running, and the exhaust pipe pointing right at me. Left it running the whole time until he was almost done setting up .

  10. I pay for “premium”, “deluxe” or patio sites for the extra space. That was lesson #1 when we took our first trip after we bought our first TT – do not reserve “standard”. If the website has a map, I will look at the locations of the sites, that was lesson #2, lesson #3 was read reviews on multiple websites about the campground/resort/park, then I don’t have to “try not to complain”.

  11. Almost for this reason alone, is why I opted for a truck camper for my most recent “RV” purchase. I can boondock just about anywhere, I’m not towing anything, not paying extra tolls, etc., etc. This is what works for me, ymmv. I wouldn’t even entertain, for a millisecond, the idea of going to one of theses RV “resorts”; in no way, shape, or form, is that “camping”..

  12. I think RV owners today must expect these tight conditions in some campgrounds and RV parks. It was not that long ago in my lifetime; the behemoth land yachts folks travel in today did not exist. RV’s were much smaller without slides on one or both sides with some rigs almost 70 feet long, nearly 14 feet high and 14 feet wide with all slide rooms deployed and wider with awnings out. We have stayed at one RV park that combined two sites into one to accommodate the modern RV’s of today and doubled their fees to accommodate the revenue loss. RV camping and travel almost never used to be about how outrageously big one could go and then complain about it.

  13. Good luck getting a better site next year, Nanci! Yikes! That is TIGHT. We were in a campground outside Austin that seemed tight to us; nothing like this. We later were in a commercial campground north of Denali National Park and it was almost as tight as this. Our next-door-neighbor had a picnic table on his/her site and our full-wall slide extended over the bench on one side of the picnic table. I had to reposition the table to open the wet-bay door to connect water and sewer, or maybe it was the electric bay to connect to power. Whichever, I did have to move the table. It wasn’t such a big deal because almost no one did more than sleep (eat?) in the campground, given the proximity of Denali. I certainly hope we can stay in the nearest campground in Denali the next time, given that we have a short (36′) DP now. The extreme length (43′) of our RV at the time is why we were in the commercial campground.

  14. snow canyon is like that. It was built before slide outs were invented had to place a piece of insulation between our slide out and the water tap, as it was so close it touched the slideout wall. Then on the other side the door could only open about 3/4 of the way before hitting the shade roof in the median. Leaving was an also unexpected cause there wasn’t enough room to pull forward and around, so I backed it out of the site. But it was a fun stay.

  15. This is exactly why my husband and I gave ourselves options and have made our RV self reliant. We have been able to enjoy the most beautiful places simply because we don’t rely on hookups. As Jim stated this kind of park is about hookups not the experience.

    • Actually it is nose to butt. One rig is parked N to S and next door one is S to N with the utilities space shared on a single island between the rigs. Zoom in on the pic. 👍

  16. Looks like Dakota Meadows. We have stayed there and are returning this august. In that section they use shared power, water sewer feeds for 2 sites. On the other side is a grass area and a couple of trees with reasonable space between sites. If you’re outside, that’s where you would spend your time.
    this facility is the best “city” base location we have found in our travels. Most cities you are over a hour away. The campground is clean and isn’t full of full time residents.
    I agree the side with connections is close but overall the facility is very nice and highly rated. It’s a nice place to stay while visiting the cities, not intended to be a place to hang out all day.

    • Mark…that was my thought exactly, having stayed at Dakotah Meadows numerous times (a native casino campground in Pryor Lake, for those not familiar.) While close on the hookup side, there is a decent, though not overly generous, patio side with grass. It’s a great place to stay when Shakopee is hosting the Renaissance Festival or for those who enjoy casinos.

      A picture of the patio side would have made the article much more accurate.

    • Definitely looks like Dakotah Meadows. Their back-in sites offer more privacy than their pull-thrus, which is why they charge more for a back-in.

  17. Seems these sites are for folks who want a site with full hook ups and then pretty much stay inside the RV. Not interested in campfires, picnic tables or setting out lawn chairs.

  18. It is interesting that the RV parks have REGULATIONS that prohibit RVs from being closer that 10 feet from the site behind, but have NO standards for how close from side to side. I’ve seen sites that were so close one picnic table was almost on top of the neighbors sewer connection. And we have had a 5th wheel back in next to us and deploy their slide in the void created by our slide. Fortunately, this was only an over night site for us.

        • Chicken Shack in the office has closed down. Bought out by a corporate firm. No need to stop at the Butte KOA anymore.

          They had good chicken and Fish.

      • At the casino campground in Pocatello, ID my sewer connection was under the awning of the RV beside me. I only dumped the morning we were leaving and apologized profusely to my neighbor as I hooked the “stinky slinky” to the connection just a few feet from him as he “enjoyed” his morning coffee!!! 🙂

  19. I once stayed in a campground, over the Fourth of July weekend, in Galveston, TX.
    We were traveling through and ended up staying three nights squeezed in between two
    other RV’s inches apart. Fortunately the people on one side were very nice. The people
    on the other side we never saw. Never again.

  20. We visited, but didn’t stay in, the most popular RV park in Haines, Alaska. Yeah, they had a view of the Lynn Canal (fjord). But, like Nanci, the motorhomes were so close together that no one could even squeeze between the slideouts. We will NEVER be desperate enough to stay in a park like that. Rather dry camp at a Flying J!

  21. FMCA rally parking sites are 45′ x 20′. Anything smaller is definitely unsafe. All those flammable fuels, and add an unstable cheap LiPo battery equals disaster.
    Where is the fire marshal. Find another place, your writing would be missed.

  22. Privacy aside, I always worry about the safety of being packed in like this. At a dog show in Tampa in June, one of the motorhomes caught fire. All the dogs in the motorhome were lost. Neighboring rigs were damaged by the fire and dogs in these motorhomes were affected by the fumes that were sucked in by the AC units. This may have been a fluke but the risk of fire spreading through tightly packed motorhomes has always been a worry.

    • The only way fumes could be sucked in would be through the dash A/C as normal RV A/C’s only recirculate inside air.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.