Friday, December 9, 2022


Our readers share about their rudest campground neighbors. Yikes!


In a question last week, we gave you the chance to rant about the rudest campground neighbors you have encountered in commercial campgrounds. And rant you did!

Judging from all the responses we got, rude campground neighbors are obviously not isolated incidents.

Dogs and drunks were the most popular answers by far, with most of the complaints centering around these two issues. Although problems with smoke and campfires and late arrivals noisily setting up camp while others were trying to sleep were also well represented.

I was surprised nobody complained about my personal campground pet peeve of late, and that is leaving bright LED lights blazing all night long. Maybe it’s just me on that one.

However, true to form, not everyone agreed that rude campground neighbors were a problem.

Here’s what you said

William F. said:

“I may be a Pollyanna, but I don’t remember ever having a rude neighbor. Unfriendly, yes, but not outright rude.”

Lucky you, William. I have certainly experienced problems with barking dogs and rude, noisy late-night neighbors, like most of our readers have at one time or another. Thankfully, not all campground neighbors are rude.

One campground host agreed with William, though, and claims that rude neighbors are really not the problem we are making them out to be. Paul W. shares:

“I camp host for State Parks and have not found that campers are a bad lot. This summer was even better than past seasons. Once the rules were explained I got cooperation and no further problems. Maybe it’s the type of campground one chooses that you find unruly people. I also think it may help that State Parks do not allow full-time residents. The campground staff sets the tone and has to be on top of what goes on in their campground.”

Maybe so, Paul, and we are glad you do such a great job. But bad campground management was a gripe that also came up in many of the answers we received. 

In fact, most of the complaints readers had could have been easily handled by a decent campground manager, but in the cases you shared with us, there sadly was no such thing.

For instance, Robert J. wrote:

“We were in a campground where the camper next to us was building a truck. Pounding, welding, grinding, screaming, all day. I talked to the campground manager and got nowhere.  So I talked to the builder and found out he was a relative of the manager. We left.”

Going to the dogs

Problems with dogs were without a doubt THE most frequent theme of the answers we received.

Julie L. writes:

“While staying in a beautiful, peaceful riverfront spot in the Smokies, our new neighbors arrived. They left for the day and left their dogs in their camper with the blinds open. Every time we were outside in our patio area, those dogs (not big dogs—just crazy) would constantly attack the window through the blinds and bark. We couldn’t cook, sit, eat or anything without that noise in the background. I left a note saying their dogs were not happy when we were outside and that they might close their blinds so they didn’t get damaged. I tried to be nice as possible. It didn’t matter. The guy was so rude after that.”

Kenneth P. had a similar issue with dogs. He writes:

“I love when next door RV occupants own a dog. Leave for the day, 4-8 hours, Fido barking/yelping the entire time. Upon arrival home on three different occasions I have informed the neighbors their dog never stopped barking. All three times, their answer? ‘No, our dog never barks when we’re gone.’ Only once did I reply, ‘How would you know? You weren’t here.'”

Bob S. concurred:

“While wintering in AZ, the sites were very close together. Our next door neighbors would take motorcycle day trips with their little dog locked in the RV. He barked every minute until they returned. I had to close up my RV and turn the A/C on so I could get my work done.”

Frank S. had a problem with a dog or, should I say, the dog’s owner, but it wasn’t barking.  Frank shared this experience:

“This happened at the ‘top RV resort’ in Indio, CA. After our second day, the owner of the lot next door came over, introduced himself, and proceeded to tell us he had an agreement with the owner of the lot we were renting that his large dog could relieve himself on our grass. He said he would clean it up, of course. Well, I watched the dog do his business that afternoon, the owner peered over the hedge, saw it and walked off. The next morning it was still there and the dog had added to it. I guess this is what $140 a night gets you these days…self-entitled jerks.”

Dan B. had a unique negative experience that was kind of about a dog … sort of? Dan says:

“We came back to our campsite after a day of camping to be met by a nasty note on the door, ‘Keep your damned dog on your site instead of leaving it roaming and crapping on ours.’ Whoa! We ignored it. The next day, the same song with added expletives and a warning that if this continued we would be reported to park management. True to form, day three was an even worse note plus a visit by the park manager to evict us due to the complaints. We don’t own a dog!”

Richard H. had a hair-raising experience over a rude neighbor’s dog. He writes:

“I think the worst was the guy whose dog was running loose and charged my dogs. He screamed at me and threatened to shoot me and my dogs. He was soon talking to the police and ordered to leave. At the same campground, a very obnoxious guy was cleaning his AR 15-style rifles, about 15 of them on the picnic table. The campground asked him to not display weapons and he threatened the host. He too was leaving before his scheduled departure and a Sheriff’s deputy patrolled the area for several days.”

Where there’s smoke…

Another theme that came up again and again about rude campground neighbors was campfire smoke.

Thomas E. had neighbors that were not only loud and partying all night, they almost set the place ablaze! He says:

“Three families (with seven children) showed up, turned the radio on with outdoor speakers running full blast. After their dinner, they threw all their Styrofoam plates into the fire pit, loaded it with wood, squirted it with a quart of lighter fluid and poof. The smell of Styrofoam and lighter fluid was overwhelming. A Canadian snow birder directly downwind came over with his fire extinguisher and put their fire out then walked up to the office to complain. Not sure what came of that.”

Mike O. writes:

“Someone pulled into the site next to us and assembled a large awning Then they moved their wood firepit to a place that wasn’t near their awning, but WAS right under our RVs window. Because of the smoke, we could not leave our windows open.”

Late arrivals, big problems

People arriving at their campsites and loudly setting up while others were trying to sleep was another common thread, and one I have experienced myself on several occasions.  These rude campground neighbors seem to think they are the only people who exist. Or at least the only ones who matter… We had a number of experiences shared that were similar to Keith D’s, who wrote:

“While camping at a campground in Georgia, we were awakened at 1 AM when the young couple that rented the site next to us arrived and used a battery-operated impact driver to lower the 4 leveling/stabilizing lacks on their travel trailer. It was obvious that nothing had ever been lubricated as the impact driver was struggling to do its job. It went on for about 30 minutes and when I finally had enough and went out to speak to them about it they couldn’t have cared less about ‘disturbing the peace.’ No apology, they just turned and walked away from me.”

Rude newbies… UGGGGHHHH!

Darla V. had an unusual and disgusting encounter with a newbie RVer:

“Once while entertaining ourselves watching a newbie break camp, it started not to be funny. He was working on the sewer hose and proceeded to put it on OUR picnic table to drain after disconnecting. When we pointed out his error he said it was okay because he rinsed it well!”

Sweet revenge

Sometimes things are so bad, you just have to leave. But sometimes you can have the last laugh. Hank D. shared his sweet revenge tactic on noisy campground neighbors:

“Drunk campers showed up at 1AM, set up their tent next door and partied another hour. We took our tent down shortly after dawn. Those drunks were still sleeping. We tossed a couple of loaves of bread right on top of their tents and around their camp and tons of noisy seagulls swooped in on their campsite and woke those drunk campers up for good.”

Good one, Hank! Plus, you made some birds very happy.

And unfortunately, when it comes to aggressive, rude neighbors, that’s about all we can do.  Rude campground neighbors are certainly not worth being shot over.

At the end of the day, rude people are everywhere and that includes campgrounds. Anyone who has been on the road any length of time has encountered at least a few. Keeping a good sense of humor is sometimes our best defense.


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1 month ago

I LOVE one of the poster’s idea of throwing bird food on top of the tent or rv of jerks who were obnoxious all night. Hahah

(But, please don’t throw bread- bad for the birds- throw seeds or nuts…or fishing worms. )

Gary Bate
1 month ago

Parents that let their kids run thru your site constantly, people that leave their dogs in their rigs barking while they’re gone, people that leave those blue led lights on all night long, people that show up at 1a.m. and start setting up camp, people that fly Trump flags like anybody cares who you voted for? People that are loud drunks until they pass out. Yeah, seen it all. Still love being on the road and seeing this great country we live in together.

Rusty Clapp
1 month ago

Rude behavior or obnoxious behavior the difference is minuscule. We are fire pit burners and we try to keep the smoke at a minimum which doesn’t always work but we try. Camping down in the Gunnison area (Colorado) couple weeks ago a Rver watching his outdoor television must have though we all wanted to hear his ranting and raving while watching the University of Colorado loose once again.

Kevin C
1 month ago

The most we run into is just overall rude or snooty folks along the way. This summer we only ran into one couple that fit the bill. They were in a Dodge Van, keep in mind their big cummins engine that powered it. They were outwardly rude about folks that would run their generators with in the camp ground, keep in mind this was dry camping only, so naturally folks with M.H. and or trailers/5th wheels would run their generators, usually in the morning and maybe a bit in the evening. Everyone was great about not running them during the quiet hours. The fits these people would have when they would here a generator start up, became comical. I loved hitting that start button just to see the reaction. Yes Californians, at Oh’ Ridge camp ground. It was fun to watch the childish fits they would have. Oh these are the same folks that would take their cat on a walk!!

Gary Bate
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin C

Hi Kevin I’m not sure of or why the reference to “Californians”? I don’t own a cat but I see lots of people on the road who do and walk them on a leash as they are traveling and what’s good for dogs is good for cats also. So you intentionally run your your generator to upset your neighbors? I think your the child here. Maybe you should try to look for the good in folks when traveling. Not everybody is an experienced 5th wheel hauler, antagonizing those who are newbies doesn’t make life less stressful.

1 month ago

At a beautiful county park our new neighborhood’s put at least 7 tents up. There was at least a dozen campers on the site. They asked if they could run an extension cord from our pole. We agreed. Their partying lasted till 1am with loud music and singing. Complained to park ranger and they were polite after. We still stupidly did not cut their power.

David V
1 month ago

I hope J.Thomas doesn’t see THIS article and associated comments!

Larry Lucas
1 month ago

We are probably in the minority of RV’ers in that we get up early and head out for hiking, rock hunting, fishing and other activities. When we get back to camp, we’re quiet, mostly stay to ourselves and are in bed, asleep by 10pm. From time to time we’ve had camp neighbors who have forgotten about “quiet hours” including a group of bikers last year. When this happens, I get up, get dressed, walk outside and ask the folks to hold it down a bit as we’re trying to sleep. Never had resistance to our request, problem solved!

However, I do have ONE pet peeve. Those darn LED chain lights and other outside RV lights that some folks want to leave on all night for SOME reason that I just can’t fathom. TURN THEM OFF before you go to bed folks!!! They are NOT cool!

Larry Nelson
1 month ago
Reply to  Larry Lucas

In the last couple of model year the manufacturer have been installing LED string lights on the awning, along the roof and under the rig. I do not think it is cool to leave them on all night. We have night shades, but does not block out completely. Quiet and dark should be conclusive.

Judy S
1 month ago
Reply to  Larry Lucas

Some years ago we were camping in a state park in our truck camper. Across the road was a new 5th wheel with a complex paint job in gold, orange and bronze. They were parked tight up against the forested hillside.
I awoke in the middle of the night to find the forest ablaze and the ground on fire underneath the 5th wheel. I pulled on my sweat pants, yelled at my husband to wake up and come help and dashed outside to alert the campground and get our neighbors out of their burning rig. (Not sure how I, an elderly woman, was going to accomplish this. I was working on pure adrenaline.)
But as I stepped out into the night, I realized what was happening. The owners of the rig had set up a sort of electric, multi-colored light wheel that was rotating and reflecting off their very colorful RV. It made quite a show and I felt a bit foolish.
In short, I hate any kind of decorative or unnecessary lighting in campgrounds and I never pass up an opportunity to answer a survey and encourage campers to turn off their lights at night.
1 month ago

We were walking our two dogs in the campground and another dog charged at us. One of our dogs is very protective. Ours (Corgies), were on leashes and the other dog was not. The dogs owner who I will call Karen came up and told us how awful dog owners we are because we didn’t let our dogs “socialize” with her little Fifi. The tiny dog kept it up. I finally told Karen off and told her to get the dog away from us. Some people!

David Needham
1 month ago

We have had a few experiences.
A couple parked next us in a KOA in Needles, Ca.
They had 5 dogs, no leash’s so they ran loose, pooping under our rig and when I told mgmt. I suddenly was the Bad neighbor, {bleeped}?
Camp host at Lyman lake, NE AZ. STATE PARK.
Loose dogs everywhere!
Talked to the people, talked to Rangers to no avail.
Had a neighbor at a KOA Hurricane KOA.
They had a tent trailer ( tent on top of trailer thing) his ladder , to get to the tent was put up the next morning 3 ft from our front door, {bleeped}?
Just crap like that pisses me off.
Dummy head newbie crap!
That kinda stuff!
So we stay at 55+ now. Lol

1 month ago

It has gotten totally out of hand since 2016. It is ok to do as you please with no consequences. It is sad what society has become.

Joseph Eafrati
1 month ago

I stayed in a park in Texas and there were oil field workers in it. I really feel for these guys because they have to still work, I’m retired. Well at 5 am every morning he starts his diesel truck to warm it up. It runs for 20 minutes then he takes off. Loud, oh yes. I never complained because when I worked, I had to get up early also, but I never had a loud truck so close to my neighbors. But then again what was he going to do? He had to work and that was a company truck. I would like to see the manager put us way in the back of the park and the workers he should have kept up front. It would have been a lot quieter. My wife never heard it (heavy sleeper).

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago
Reply to  Joseph Eafrati

Besides, you don’t ‘warm’ a diesel by idling. You warm them up by driving.

Tom H.
1 month ago

As a workkamper my biggest complaint is guest who blatantly break the rules and when they are pointed out they use the “I’ve been coming here for years” excuse. For me it’s disrespectful of the campground owners and you would think a long time guest would be more respectful but their not.
As a RVer my top complaint is outside lighting after quiet hours and especially front cap lights. I don’t know why the industry ever went with front cap lights but I can’t wait for that trend to die. Full disclosure, my current rig has front cap lights but I never turn them on.

Glen Cowgill
1 month ago

We all encounter problems along the way. My wife and I try to turn these, bumps in the road, into a learning session. I am 81 and my wife is 76 so we decided we don’t want another dog, we do take short walks and love speaking with people. Being a retired teacher and retired military, I try to help my neighbors when they are willing to accept help. Sometimes it is just a hello.
People camp to get away, some to be with friends and then there are those who live in their RV. Everyone is different. Unruly dogs may well be my complaint but then again I love dogs as long as they are on a leash. Friendly dogs may even get a treat from us if the owner is OK with it.
Our outlook on life, helps shape others in our presence. Stay friendly and happy in your travels.