Thursday, November 30, 2023


Do RV campsites come with rights?


Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
We love birding all over the country. The RV lifestyle has made it possible for our life list to grow substantially. We move into an area and we don’t leave until we’ve found every species we came looking for.

Elegant Trogon,

I’m not as obsessed as my husband. He doesn’t know when to quit. Last week he was looking for an Elegant Trogon at Patagonia State Park in Arizona. He could hear it over in a secluded site at the end of a cul-de-sac. He went sneaking through the bushes and surprised a lady out sunning herself. She screamed and he bolted. I had to go over and try to explain what actually happened. She was not a happy camper. 

I don’t think my husband understands yet that another camper’s site should be respected. Don’t you think paying for a camping site is similar to a short-term lease? —Embarrassed in Arizona

Dear Embarrassed:
I am no lawyer, but personally I do agree that when I pay for a space it does come with some rights. Semi-privacy should be one. It doesn’t always work out that way. Often you are encroached upon by music, lights, generators, partying, and even trespass. 

We should all think about how we would want to be treated and act accordingly. Many campgrounds are designed with sites that are sardined together so tight it is impossible to be a perfect neighbor. This is just part of the lifestyle and you have to roll with the punches. 

I do have to say, your story reminds me of a poem. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

The Anatomy of a Birder
I heard it in the hedgerow, in the neighbor’s yard;
A bird I’d never heard before, I listened very hard.
I crouched so low and crept so soft, I traumatized the cat;
He, too, had heard this lovely bird, and knew where it was at.
I used the cat and all his skill to point me on my way;
Then with assumed seniority, convinced him not to stay.
Again, I moved toward the sound, whittling the gap;
Peering through the hedgerow, the sound my only map.
But then a silence filtered in, no longer any sound; 
A stillness overtook me, as I sat and glanced around.
Then movement through the tangled leaves, slight but just enough;
And eye contact in shocked surprise, with my neighbor in the buff.
I can’t explain, the bird had flown, the cat only assisted;
And now I can’t enjoy my birds, my neighbors think I’m twisted.
Dick E. Bird

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.




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Gerald (@guest_4492)
6 years ago

I agree with the writer. Other campers need to respect site rights of the person who has paid to occupy the space and walk around, not through an occupied space.

Rvgrandma (@guest_4484)
6 years ago

I have been told by parks I am responsible if anyone is injured on my site. Don’t know if this is true, but that is why I make sure I have liability insurance for this included on my policy. (most full time policy does). That said I do believe people should respect others space. If I know the kids and have given permission, then fine. If not I will speak up. Same with adults – they should know better anyway. I ask if possible. I get really ticked when people walk their dog through my site, let it to its duties and not clean up afterwards.

Wolfe (@guest_4478)
6 years ago

I absolutely consider sites to come with *reasonable* privacy rights… I tell my kids not to trespass/cross through others sites, and to ask permission to retrieve any balls that trespass others’. Im friendly if other kids wander in, but an adult coming through my wooded back line would alert me. There’s a reasonable expectation that no one is looking in my windows from that side.

Besides privacy, another issue is reasonable safety precautions. I always rent 80×30′ *minimum* sites to have room for toys and dogs, but I’ve still had idiots walk ankle-biter dogs right under my awning, and then get upset when my properly tied dogs growled at them. I’ve asked people not to approach my tied dogs with theirs, and had them bring theirs over to talk about it. I’ve had strangers actually clock themselves on the diagonal awning supports right outside my bedroom window. I’ve had people trip over my things and yell at me for prepping my toys in my own site… *I* know where my boat rigging cords are, and dont expect them to need to walk 30′ inside my site!

I don’t know if objectors are demanding strict property rights, but there sure is an absence of basic etiquette… If i can snuggle in bed and reach out the window to tap strangers on the shoulder at the same time, they’re too close!

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