By Nanci Dixon
It’s no secret that RVing is exploding in popularity. It was recently ranked “the safest way to travel in 2021,” after all. So what should folks new to RVing know? What are all those “etiquette” things more experienced RVers are always talking about? Are there unspoken rules that everyone is judging the newbie RVers on?
Below is a list of some of those rules learned from experience by longtime RVers.
- Don’t walk, cut through or let your kids ride a bike through another campsite. Even if a campsite is empty, it is considered poor manners to cut through. If the campsite is occupied it is downright rude! Experienced campers know this; newbie RVers may not be aware of this.
- Pick up after your pets. Some of the major pet peeves about other campers involve pets. Especially dogs pooping and owners not cleaning up after them. And, of course, do not let your dog use another person’s campsite as a bathroom.
- Stop that barking! The next thing that other campers want you to know is please stop your dog from barking. Don’t leave them outside unattended. If your dog barks while you are away, take them with you. An RV is closer to a beer cooler than a well-insulated sticks and bricks house. Sound carries.
- Leash, leash, leash! Even the most well-mannered dog can become aggressive and highly excited in a new situation. You don’t want your dog to attack anyone or be attacked. Plus, many people are afraid of dogs and do not want an unleashed dog approaching them, friendly or not! Also, if you’re a newbie RVer, you may not know how your dog will react in this new environment.
Noise – Newbie RVers can be considerate RVers
- Sure, it is really cool to have an outside TV, BUT if you must use it in a crowded campground use headphones or keep the volume down low.
- The same goes for music – not everyone has the same taste in music nor do they want it blaring over the sounds of nature.
- Observe the quiet time rules. That goes for generator hours too.
Keep it clean
- Leave your campsite clean, or cleaner than when you arrived.
- Only burn firewood. Remember, plastic, bottles, cans and aluminum foil do not burn! They just leave a mess for someone to clean up.
- Don’t melt the picnic table! Keep your grill off the picnic table. Bring a stand or table with you.
Take care when dumping
- Getting rid of the nasties can be nasty! Wear gloves and make sure everything that comes out of the tanks goes down the sewer. Secure the hose before pulling the tank lever.
- Pull black water first, if needed. Black water should not be dumped until around 2/3 full. The water and amount in the tank help push it out and avoids “the stuff” hardening and clogging the tank. Pull gray water second to rinse the hose out.
- Be mindful of the lineup behind you and don’t hog the dump station. When people are waiting to dump their tanks, it is not the time to flush out your tanks.
- Rinse off the hose and any spillage in the area.
- Move out quickly.
- When at a full-hookup campsite, make sure the sewer hoses are secure. Be considerate of the next camper. Do NOT rinse hoses at the fresh water spigot. Do NOT put sewer hoses on the picnic table.
- Make sure the breaker is off before connecting the electric cord.
- Turn the breaker off before disconnecting.
Follow the rules! – Newbie RVers, become familiar with them
- Campgrounds usually pass out the rules when you register. If you’re a newbie RVer, be sure to read and follow them! They are there for a reason. As long as you follow these rules, you’ll most certainly keep other campers happy.
Newbie RVers should ask questions and talk to folks
- People love to share the wealth of their knowledge. Especially if you’re a newbie RVer, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Walk around and introduce yourself to your neighbors, especially if you’re staying for a length of time. Say “hi” and enjoy meeting some of the nicest people you will ever meet – including longtime and fellow newbie RVers.
Camp Etiquette tips from the National Park Service