RV park owner laments crowding, rookie RVers

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By Andy Zipser
Owner, Walnut Hills Campground and RV park
cover storyHere it is, mid-March as I write this, and Memorial Day weekend is all but booked up. Small is beautiful: Of the handful of sites we still have available, none is longer than 30 feet and all are back-ins. Of course, when the phone rings it’s from someone with a 36-foot motorhome or 40-foot fifth-wheel. No one wants to back in. Everyone wants a full hook-up, even when we offer them the possibility of reserving a honey wagon pump-out at $15 a pop – but the full hook-ups were the first to go. Two months out, and we’re turning away business. 

You’re probably thinking that for a campground owner, that’s a nice problem to have. Let me assure you it’s not.

Andy in his KOA garb, now gone along with the KOA franchise.

Sure, it’s great to have reservation money rolling in, especially after the fallow months of December, January and February. And it’s reassuring to know we won’t be penalized for dropping our KOA franchise, with any loss of KOA-driven business offset by our reputation and Good Sam affiliation. But wall-to-wall campers diminish the overall experience for everyone, stress out our staff, and discourage those campers who have been coming to our park for years and all of a sudden find themselves squeezed out because they waited too long to make a reservation.

“We’ve been trying to get in there for the past two years and decided to really call ahead this time,” a caller seeking Memorial Day reservations told me on St. Patrick’s Day. I’m sorry, I replied – you’re already so very late to the table. . . .


DON’T GET ME WRONG: On May 29, all kinds of sites will open up, as they will every Monday except July 2 and September 3. But weekends generally, and holiday weekends especially, can be problematic. As Chuck Woodbury and others have noted many times, the era when they could simply roll into a campground without advance notice and score a spot for the night is pretty much over. Gone with it, too, is a simpler, less hectic age of spontaneity, an age when the romance of the road still plucked at the heart strings. Now it’s all about planning and booking and frustrated wheedling: “But I always stay with you when we’re passing through your area,” as if we have a hidden reservoir of sites available only to the faithful.

But there’s another, perhaps bigger problem: A lot of those RVers filling up the pipeline are … well … new. They don’t know what they’re doing, they don’t know their equipment, and when you get right down to it, they don’t know how to camp. Which is to say, they don’t know campground etiquette, they don’t know how to relate to other campers and they most certainly don’t know a campground’s “rules of the road.”

Walnut Hills Campground

Start with the guy – or gal – driving into our park. Most will never have steered anything larger than a minivan – until the day they get behind the wheel of an F-350 towing a 40-foot fifth wheel. No additional training required! No special license needed! How much harder can it be to haul a 16,000-pound Big Horn than a carload of groceries? Except, of course, when it comes to backing up. Or navigating one of our narrow one-way roads on a hill, with tire tracks scoring the grassy uphill side of the curve. We’ve lost fences, had our trees clipped – in one memorable instance had a motorcoach drop off the side of a culvert.

Toy haulers are the worst, their novice drivers oblivious to the amount of overhang behind the rear axle. One such driver camping with us last year was so gun-shy – after hitting one of our trees on a too-wide turn – that he dispatched his teenage son and wife with walkie-talkies, fore and aft, to talk him through the park. I quail at thinking that he’s out on our highways, tooling along at a nervous 65 mph or trying to navigate city streets somewhere without a walkie-talkie escort.

BUT IT’S NOT JUST THE DRIVING THAT’S A CHALLENGE. With each passing year we get more and more RVers who have little to no idea of how to make things work. They don’t know how to flip on the breakers at our pedestals – or they flip everything in sight, no matter how explicitly marked, including breakers servicing our driveway lights, aerator pumps and WiFi towers, prompting us to get locks for those individual switches.

They don’t know about their unit’s internal GFCI outlets and how to reset them. They don’t know how to operate their propane space heaters, fail to heed our warnings to disconnect water hoses at night when the temperature is plunging into the teens and 20s, are clueless about turning off their antenna boosters when connecting to our digital cable system.

It’s as though these folks had bought an RV and been promptly showed the door with no more than a handshake and a hearty “good luck!” Yet at least new RV owners have a vested interest in learning what they don’t know; not so the growing legions of RV renters who sally forth with only the vaguest idea of what they need to do. Dump the holding tanks? Sure – and won’t any PVC pipe sticking out of the ground do the job? Which is why we’ve had hapless RV renters sticking their hoses into water valve housings, clean-out valves and anything else that looks remotely like it’ll accept 50 gallons of sewage.

Then there’s the whole intangible business of campground culture and what is or isn’t acceptable behavior. Experienced RVers have their own set of beefs: novice or oblivious campers who walk across others’ sites, play their TVs or music too loudly, ignore their dogs’ constant barking. We try to patrol for those kinds of transgressions and call out the obvious insults to proper decorum, but then there’s another whole universe of offenses that matter more to us than to our campers.

That would include the campers who drive across our grass, oblivious to the ruts their rigs are creating, because the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The campers who disregard our many posted 10 mph signs, barreling along at twice or more that speed despite the abundant presence of ducks, children, folks on bikes and old folks out for a stroll, because 10 mph just seems so slow. The campers who park on an adjacent site simply because “well, there was no one there.” The campers who use their fire rings as trash pits, or who dump their ash trays on the ground, or who stand six feet from our propane station and its prominent “No Smoking” signs while, yes, lighting up a cigarette.

Most of the campers we confront about these missteps are apologetic; sometimes they even mean it. But there’s always the excuses and even straight-out denials: They were tired and not thinking clearly, or they simply didn’t know better, or there’s no way they could have been driving that fast – and of course they had been looking at their speedometers all along. Most of the time we don’t mention that we have two radar guns and usually know what we’re talking about, because that’s not really the issue anyway. The issue simply is that campers need to understand that there is a right way to do things and a wrong way; and while there will always be that small percentage of people who will never care about the distinction, most will. If they’re educated.

So that’s what we end up doing, a lot: educating the waves of new RVers who are washing over campgrounds everywhere. Helping them back into sites when all they want is to have a pull-thru. Showing them how to set their TVs on scan for our cable stations. Explaining yet again that we don’t want them parking on our grass. It’s an exhausting and sometimes stomach-churning business, and often leaves us yearning also for a simpler, more capable and aware age – if one ever existed.

Andy’s family-operated Walnut Hills Campground and RV Park is located in Staunton, Virginia, a short drive off I-81. Learn more at its website. The park receives a five-star rating from the staff of RVtravel.com.

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Louisa Born
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Louisa Born

We were all newbies before we weren’t. You have to learn from your mistakes. Please try to be patient with folks just learning the camping “rules”.

It sounds like either the campground owner needs to retire or go on a camping vacation.

He is correct in that some folks are just rude campers. Those are the ones you put on the no list and not let them back in.

MadMike
Guest
MadMike

BRAVO AND WELL SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Long overdue that someone called these fools out on their lack of civility and downright buffoonish behavior.

Fred
Guest
Fred

I think Andy brings up some very valid points and sounds like a campground owner that needs to retire all in the same article. Are there too few campgrounds? Absolutely. Do the RV dealerships send new owners out into the world without the proper training? Certainly. Should there be a special RV driver’s license? Probably. Are there new AND experienced owners that violate proper campground etiquette? EVERY DAY! I appreciate those conversations. As for his lack of pull-through sites, tight spaces, narrow roads, lack of tree trimming, and at capacity days, I have no sympathy for Andy. Those are his… Read more »

Sharon N.
Guest
Sharon N.

Reading all the comments, I’m really disturbed by the number of people who feel it is the duty of someone else to teach them how to use their RVs and what proper RVing etiquette consists of. I suspect these are the “special people”, the ones to whom the rules do not apply. If you are one of those people, do us all a favor and find a different way to travel. If you are someone who sincerely wants to learn the ropes, take classes, watch well-made videos, talk with experts, and read, read, read. Do that before plunking down money… Read more »

ted
Guest
ted

First of all, I have been a full time RVer for the past eight years, no home , only my 2010 Sunseeker 2300. Having spent the better part of eight years (and still learning) about my RV, I have never taken for granted that I know too much. Before I began full time RVing, I attended many RV shows and read RV travel.com as much as I could, I finally realized I just might be ready for my very first RV and settled on my present RV. Before I turned the key and drove away into the sunset, I had… Read more »

Deb Kainauskas
Guest
Deb Kainauskas

I am a new RVer. I just came back from my second overnighter. Yes, we needed help backing in. The camp we stayed in for one night was filled with experienced seasonal Rvers. One had their dog poop next to our site and didn’t pick it up. Another’s dog barked all morning. One guy revved his motorcycle at 9am for 10 minutes. Please don’t blame the rookies for all the problems

Les
Guest
Les

Deb, you are so right, dogs and their owners are becoming a real problem total disregard for other campers, along with the large cost that campground owners incur something has to be done, all campgrounds should have pet free areas to alleviate some of the dog problems caused by irresponsible pet owners.

nick
Guest
nick

great idea, put dog owners together, away from the non-owners

Electrojake
Guest
Electrojake

Dog owners & tobacco addicts. They’re absolutely fine… but not in a crowded public place like a busy campground.

LabradoodleMom
Guest
LabradoodleMom

I’m sure I will not change your mind, but we travel with our 2 labradoodles who do not bark incessantly and are very well mannered in any crowded place such as a busy campground. We go for numerous walks and a fenced in off leash dog area is great for getting some exercise, tired puppies make great camping neighbors. We have never once not picked up our dog waste and find ourselves picking up others just so we maintain the right to camp with our dogs. It is very rare that we run into dogs that are a nuisance, other… Read more »

Electrojake
Guest
Electrojake

This could be the start of a difficult discussion between a Left-leaning good citizen and a Right leaning good citizen. A discussion that history shows is un-resolvable.
One thing we both can agree on is that a small percentage of bad campers ruin it for all the rest of us.
And thank you for being a good pet owner.

brent
Guest
brent

Andy, very good insight on the situations you face. If we ever get back that way I would love to stay at your park (we are way out west). People who can’t drive still believe they are good drivers, so sometimes helping out is difficult.
(just an observation: my 5th wheel toyhauler has less overhang than a regular 5th wheel.)
Love your thought process, and thanks Chuck for getting him to write, even though it may be just to the choir!

Mary Ihla
Guest
Mary Ihla

My husband and I are newbies. We purchased our 2002 Class C three years ago, but we didn’t camp with it the first year. That was our learning time. A guy at the dealership went through the operation of our rig, and not only did I ask hundreds of questions, but I took videos of it all. He said I was the first one who had ever done that. We also relied on my son-in-law, an experienced camper, for answers to some of our questions and to give us tips. The neighbor across the street has also been helpful. Before… Read more »

JMCherry
Guest
JMCherry

Go to You Tube and you learn a lot. I learned to drive my 43’ MH watching the Lazy Days RV Sales out of Florida. Looks for the 45 minute video. Also, if you live in TX, anything that weighs over 26,001 lbs., you have to have a non-commercial class B license. Whether it’s a MH, or a combination of truck/trailer/5th wheel, or you are pulling two trailers. Read chapter 14 of the TX DPS book. Go get your permit and then you have 90 days to take your driving test. No one tells you you have to have this… Read more »

Joel Vinson
Guest
Joel Vinson

The one thing I know is that RV dealers don’t give a dang about what they sell you, what you’ve overloaded your truck with, or show how to use what you drove off with. We don’t run into that many newbies, but I try to help everyone I can. Our frustration is our local campgrounds are on the Redneck Riviera (FL., AL., MS. coast) and are FLOODED with snowbirds. The times of practically having parks to yourself ARE OVER. If we’re spontaneous, we’re out of luck, most of the time. I’m getting a quiet generator to try and change some… Read more »

Rob
Guest
Rob

Interesting comment “disease Ridden Cruise Ships” We are campers with a 5th wheel and have been using our RV for 3 years. I also have a Class A license so pulling my RV isn’t a problem. We just have come back from a non RV trip on a cruise ship and also stayed in hotels. I honestly don’t want to travel again where I stay in hotels and especially a cruise ship. Both of us got really sick 2 days into the cruise. The only tough part going forward camping is finding decent places to camp in the years to… Read more »

Mainer
Guest
Mainer

We have a 30′ trailer and leave it at a FL campground during the summer while up north. The cost of a vehicle large enough to tow our rig is not within the budget.
Many of the comments/complaints written here are all-to-familiar to us. At the top of the list are dog owners who allow barking without attempting to quiet them. Most of the objectionable things we experience can be laid at the feet of the owners, who we feel are money-grubbers who do not want enforce the rules or employ sorely-needed hosts.

Karen Pfundtner
Guest
Karen Pfundtner

Being an RVer all my life, and a camp host the last six, I would say excessive speed in the campground is my biggest gripe. My best Camp Host story is when an irate camper came barreling into my campsite reciting off a full shopping list of groceries. He was expecting the park to reimburse him for everything that was in his cooler! Why? Because it was one of *our raccoons* that had gotten into his cooler in ate all their food!! All campers, upon registration, we’re given a slip of paper and told verbal warnings, plus signs up on… Read more »

Brad
Guest
Brad

One overlooked issue is how very user-friendly most of our human-machine interactions have become. Remember choke levers? We now have ABS and plug-and-play hardware. Our son (BS in Computer Science) says that if you have to read the operators manual for anything, it is poorly designed. RVs aren’t there yet.

Harry
Guest
Harry

Good comment! This is one of the challenges our sons, daughters, and grand-kids are faced with. In many cases, they have not learned how to effectively communicate.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Being an IT person and knowing my way around technology, the electronics on some of the new rigs are insane. Like when you visit a store and the computers are down and the person can’t figure out your change or even serve you because the system is down. Something happens on the computer board of the new rigs and you can’t get anything to work. I have an in great shape 1993 5th wheel and love the simplicity of it.

DANNY
Guest
DANNY

This is why there should be a recreational vehicle specific driver’s license, very similar to the commercial driver’s license for professional tractor trailer drivers. There should be extensive training, and testing. For many people, as the article says, have ever driven anything larger than a minivan when they go out and buy these big long wide units. And another very good idea when someone comes into a campsite the owners if not themselves then a person well-versed should be hired to escort these people back to their space and assist those people into backing into their space and walk them… Read more »

Bill Patterson
Guest
Bill Patterson

i agree that if you buy anything over 24 feet you have to get a “RV” license and prove you know how to drive it and back it up. Especially if it is a trailer. Also if you are pulling a car you need to understand how all that works and that you can not back up. We bought a class C 28′ and did many small trips to learn the feel of driving it before we went on an 8000 mile trip across the country. We pulled a small jeep. Had no problems except the cost of gas! We… Read more »

Lee
Guest
Lee

All good points here. Newbies are usually OK folks if they just have common sense. You can be new at Rving but also know how to behave like adults. We are work camping this winter and enjoy helping newbies. We have seen quite a few and most are very polite. Of course, most are you 50 plus in age so they have better manners at that age.

rvgrandma
Guest
rvgrandma

I like the article. Having been a workamper for years, I have seen most all. One park I worked we had underground irrigation so people did not have to worry about water hitting their rigs. Problem: people, usually big MH, would cut the corner running over the grass breaking the irrigation even though we warned them. Every week the maintenance guy was fixing broken lines. Another park many times people would drop their sewer hose down the pipe where the shutoff faucet was even though the sewer was painted and we told them that when checking in. Horrible job for… Read more »

Bob Warfel
Guest
Bob Warfel

My wife and I have only been camping for 38 years. The campground etiquette has gotten bad with people leaving their dogs run lose or they bark all the time. We have had people sit 2′ from our camper get drunk and be loud till 3 in the morning, and that was during the week. This is why I like to boon-dock.

Stewbie
Guest
Stewbie

I guess I’m in the senior category of RV people although my new one is arriving next month. Andy is spot on target with “practice at home.” I believe it was Caesar Augustus that wrote “experience is the best teacher”, but where you get that experience is critical. Furthermore, learning is incremental. It’s not a one time reading of ‘RV for Dummies’ and suddenly you’re a knowledgeable professional, any more than reading about Elon Musk will make you qualified to fly his space ship to Mars. If you take your rig on the road and haven’t filled, emptied, AND cleaned… Read more »

Linda
Guest
Linda

We are just starting out with high hopes of finding guidance and support .My husband and I are hoping for a wonderful trip to Co.Thank you all in advance for all the input hoping we don’t make any big mistakes as we take our first trip.

Peter
Guest
Peter

We have stayed at Walnut Hills a couple of times recently and have put it on our list Best Campgrounds. We will continue to stay there if we can get in. We have taken a few trips to Alaska and cross country across the US in the past 8 or 10 years. We usually do not make reservations as we like to go when and where we want to at that mommentt. This past Summer was the first time we were ever turned away from a campground. In Canada we almost always were accommodated even if it was only a… Read more »

Erin
Guest
Erin

As a “newbie” RVer, I am a little saddened by this article. How are we supposed to learn how to RV if we don’t get out there and do it? The only way to become an experienced RVer is after years of learning…right? On top of that, this article is lamenting the rising popularity of RVing. But the other option seems much worse. We could be witnessing the slow (or rapid) decline in popularity of RVing, which would leave RV owners in a much worse place. To me, this article seems like a complaint about growing pains, and although I… Read more »

Scott
Guest
Scott

Take the time at your home with the RV, Learn how to set ut up at home, learn how to back it up in an empty parking lot, learn how much space it takes to make 90 degree turns, learn all of the electronic stuff at home, learn how to full and empty the water at home, learn how to deal with the gray and black tanks at home, learn how to use hand signals with person guiding you back into a tight place. There are so many thing you can do while at home so you learning curve while… Read more »

Morag
Guest
Morag

Agreed and been there done that and still doing it ! We are avid researchers, readers, communicate with other experienced RVers. We also have joined several RV clubs and have learned a lot from the fellow club members. We are going full time next year and will also boondock. I am a little concerned with some of the content of this article in regards to new RV’ers and their practical knowledge base and experience. We have to learn just like the old timers did. When we are old timers, we can pass along our knowledge with others. That’s what life… Read more »

Lizzy
Guest
Lizzy

Escapees offers Bootcamp for newbies as do other organizations. The driving courses alone will pay for themselves in no time. Conferences and conventions frequently have Maintenance courses to learn about your rig.
Think “Pack it in Pack it Out” leave every campsite cleaner than when you parked your rig. When you go to a campground, be respectful of others and the park or natural setting in the area and you’ll make lots of friends. Making noise or letting kids run wild that extends beyond your campsite gets in the way of others’ enjoyment.

Julie
Guest
Julie

Totally agree with you. It sounds as if this campground owner is a bit grumpy. Well, I’ll be one less person trying to get into their campground. I’ll go where I (and all others) are welcomed.

robert
Guest
robert

julie,
i don’t think that the campground owner was being grumpy. i think he was just exasperated at the almost complete loss of what we used to call common sense and, worse, the ability or willingness to follow the rules.

Electrojake
Guest
Electrojake

Julie, you are exactly right!
Good point.

Kris
Guest
Kris

I’m a newbie too. I would be horrified at myself for looking like an idiot in front of strangers, or for disturbing others by driving too fast or having my music too loud. So I think it’s a good reminder for all newbies that we gotta learn to take instruction from others and practice, practice, practice. I KNOW I’m doing it all wrong, so when my more experienced RVers correct me, I’m so grateful (I hate looking stupid!)

Tina D.
Guest
Tina D.

Maybe learn to deal with reality and not expect the world to accomodate YOU Marc M. I believe YOU would whine the loudest as nd possibly know the least. Can I get an Amen.

jrw
Guest
jrw

I have been pulling since the 1970s. I have noticed an attitude change for the worse in many newbies. I also have noted their children often run wild with no supervision and it is evident some parenting skills were lost on many. We never hitch the 5er June/July/August any longer. I hope to get 5 more years in before it is just no longer worth going. The last 5 years snowbirding in the east has become tough. I’m looking forward to higher fuel prices, interest rate hikes, and anything that impacts the cost of new RVs. CGs should start increasing… Read more »

Carol
Guest
Carol

They are increasing prices for spaces. A lot of we seniors like to camp but can’t afford $100 a night. We are not well-to-do retirees. My favorite KOA was $55 a night in 2008. It is now $80-$119 a night.

Marmot
Guest
Marmot

Really well written article, and, amazingly, no misuse of quotation marks. We don’t seem to have many of the named problems at the central Texas RV park where I spend the winter. It’s a beautiful, relaxing place with polite campers.

Stephen Mulcare
Guest
Stephen Mulcare

Interesting article . In my experience as a host I would like to add “seasoned” campers and rv’ers to the mix. The ones who have been coming to a park for years yet can’t seem to remember or follow the rules. While some parks are not good venues for tents and pop ups the same holds true for trailers , toy haulers and motorhome. People insist on fudging with respect to the length of their unit and when they don’t fit it’s not their fault.

Drew
Guest
Drew

I’m really impressed with the number of comments. I think almost every one of them rings some truth. I just want all of you to know that I’m happy to help out anyone at almost any time if they get into a bind and I think that’s the way we should conduct ourselves…I think to an extent we are all good custodians and ambassadors of the rv’ing and camping lifestyles. I believe Andy is a caring campground owner and makes an honest attempt at keeping his place orderly and serviceable. Like most places I’ll bet he could use extra help,… Read more »

Linda
Guest
Linda

I second that Drew. Most everyone we have come across in Campgrounds/RV Parks have been more than willing to help and offer sage advice when we were newbies. We choose to pass that knowledge along now as well. You will meet very interesting people along the way when you do.

Denise
Guest
Denise

I, myself and hubby are campground hosts. Our biggest concern comes, when were “FULL”. That actually means, we are full! We do encourage our campers, to ask, even when a “Full” sign is clearly posted, but sometimes sites, do open up and then we accommodate. But if you do ask? Please understand us, when we say “I’m sorry we are full”. Don’t beg us to do anything more, but to offer our campers alternative places to go. Please take “no” and our advice and move on. We can’t offer more, than what we have! Take no gracefully and accept it.… Read more »

Quint
Guest
Quint

Sounds like it’s time for Andy to retire!

Denise
Guest
Denise

Sorry you feel this way, Quint. I agree with Andy. People who don’t get their way? Are the worst.

ken
Guest
ken

I applaud Andy for his comments, and learned alot from reading his about campground issues from an owner’s perspective.
I need only think about my neighbors who drive 40 mph down my residential street (25mph limit) before slowing to 15 when coming to their street.
Speed limits, like campground rules, are for the other folks to follow, not them.

Paul Goldberg
Guest
Paul Goldberg

Handling the rig is one issue that can be dealt with through training and experience. I know that after 18 years some object is likely to jump into my path even with my wife as ground guide. Dealing with campground etiquette is something that has to have started with toilet training. We took our kids and grandkids on an RV camping trip, their families were in rental rigs. When we got to the first campground I sat everyone down for an “etiquette talk” We never had an issue after that in 2 weeks or impinging on another camper’s enjoyment of… Read more »

Terry
Guest
Terry

We had rented a pop up camper once, where taken thru the steps to use it… arrived at the camping area Where the people around us not only didn’t offer suggestions, much less assistance, while we struggled in the dusk—then dark— they pulled up chairs, lit a fire, got beers and pointed & laughed …. don’t worry, we remembered your faces for years, and when a few of you came into our ER/UC for help bc you were a newbie at first aid … but we didn’t laugh, point, ignore, pull up a chair or grab a beer

Leonard Szymkowiak
Guest
Leonard Szymkowiak

Did you ever go think to get familiar with your camper before you needed to use it?

Lee Ensminger
Guest
Lee Ensminger

Well, Leonard, it was a rental. So I’m pretty sure they didn’t let him take it home for a week to try and figure everything out at his leisure. Yes, if he owned it, that would be a different story, but that wasn’t the case here, was it?

Electrojake
Guest
Electrojake

Hmm…
Good thing it wasn’t an aircraft they rented, eh?

Louisa
Guest
Louisa

Again, the smugness of some “seasoned “ campers astounds me! Electrojake, you were probably in the pointing and laughing group.

Carol
Guest
Carol

We weren’t exactly new,but really appreciated the camper next to us turned on their outside flood light. We did not ask for this kindness, but it was much appreciated… We arrived late and a storm coming made the sky dark early. Even with Sturgis SD motor cycle week,folks were curtious and helpful.

Karen Bazinet
Guest
Karen Bazinet

My biggest complaint is people who back in to a pull in site and the campground that doesn’t enforce the pull in. When you pull in wrong you put your door facing our door. Your now sitting on our side with all your family and pets. When you have to buy an extra long sewer line to run under your rv to get to the hookup it tells me you do this all the time. Be respectful of others.

Terry
Guest
Terry

There is no requirement that rig must face a certain way … and some camps are set up so every other site must run their utilities under the rig…. just bc a site CAN be pulled thru isn’t an indication it CANNOT be backed into …..unless the camp rules say so …. best use of own camp space is important when spaces are so tiny.

Rick
Guest
Rick

Everyplace we have stayed with always had power/sewer on the drivers side….which dictates how you position your rig

Guy
Guest
Guy

I agree. there are sometimes when our “Picture Window”, front windshield makes for a nice view, we will pull in to take advantage of it. When we pull in, we run a couple of strings across the road so we can pull our sewer and electric lines over to the hook ups. The issue is being respectful of your neighbors, and I rarely find rude or disrespectful “neighbors” while camping. We generally make new friends.

Jim Bagby
Guest
Jim Bagby

I started in the 50’s with a tent , Made rookie mistakes with it, Tent Camper next. But i went to a parking lot & practiced backing into the lines Over & over Then 18 foot trailer. & yes i ripped off the TV antenna with a low limb in a cemetery. I have left the steps down several times. My 5th wheel I hated, I got blocked in several times in Restaurant parking lots. Have had to park a block away & walk. I guess i have made all the stupid mistakes that i know better. I have been… Read more »

watchingwolf
Guest
watchingwolf

This was a joy to read. I have been camping since my first job with the YMCA, over nights for youth groups. On my own into the mountains and deserts. All through the years since 1960 camping has been my choice of joy, education and spirit. Now days it is to the off grid most of the time. Disperse camping appears to be the last frontier for getting away from the discourtesy of people who behave as though their joy is acceptable to all others in the campgrounds or RV parks, etc. It is well worth the money to purchase… Read more »

Sam
Guest
Sam

I think Andy’s frustration is very understandable. This article was written to voice complaints. I’m sure he could write another article to voice the things he’s happy with, but that’s not the purpose of this article. There are many things that new rvers need to learn and most people are happy to tolerate that and help them. It’s when they demonstrate lack of basic common sense or respect for other’s possessions or rights, that things get frustrating. No one in his business should have to babysit.

Tim Amrstrong
Guest
Tim Amrstrong

Liked the article. I teach RV Driving and try my best to cover most that is mentioned here. One thought I have always had is why do the dealers not offer the schooling (more than a short test drive) when they sell a unit? I work with a dealer in Lewisville and they are quick to tell people about the schools offered. Only 14 states currently require a license for large units. Perhaps more should follow this lead.

peggy coffey
Guest
peggy coffey

We took a full year of research and reading about RVs, before we bought our class A. We had been tenters and pop up owners before we bought it, so I guess we had a head start on others. But we have seen both clueless owners and moron campground owners. We were traveling to Florida from Arizona this winter and pulled into a lovely campground. We were escorted to our site and got the usual explanation of electrical, sewer and water. The next day, husband notices our black tank would not drain and started backing up. The office sent the… Read more »

Julie
Guest
Julie

I haven’t read any other comments here so it may be that someone else has said somethig, but myself, as a new RV owner with lots to learn found this article very negative and condesending. All of us, in any job, have to deal with new people who don’t know as much as we do. It is called experience and is meant to be shared and I am absolutely sure someone complained about you at one time about your lack of knowledge when you were new at something. I must say, as good as it may be, I won’t be… Read more »

CaptainBC
Guest
CaptainBC

I’m sure that if an RV’er trying to pull into the spot next to you and took out the front of your legally parked toad, you would be ranting about it a lot more than this park owner who has to spend time and money repairing damage on a regular basis. I don’t see him as condescending at all.

SkiSwami
Guest
SkiSwami

HE’s right, and I’m a novice. Don’t be so sensitive. I appreciate the “How to’s” and did not find it condescending at all. Sometimes the truth hurts a bit.

Eric Eltinge
Guest
Eric Eltinge

Often times I stay at a Best Western motel for the same price as a private campground. They permit dogs and include breakfast. Just use the motorhome in transit. CA state beach parks already booked up. You’ll have 25% of the nation’s homeless and still no Wall illegal aliens as guests. We have 65,000 marijuana farms in CA. San Francisco spends $30 million a year removing needles and feces from the streets. Your best bets are military and Good Sam 10/10/10 campgrounds. Be careful where you camp!

Tom
Guest
Tom

Why don’t campground owners save some spots for week or longer sites. Would not 7 or 11 days fees be better than 3 day weekend fees. If not full booking the open the sites up several days before weekend.

Ken
Guest
Ken

We all pick what occupation we want to follow. If you pick being an RV Park owner, you’re going to have to deal with the problems. That’s just a fact of life. Now on the other side, can you imagine the RV’r who tries to hook up to the blue painted water spigot 3 feet from the sewer dump and the electrical box and gets no water. When he finally gets the office to send someone out to fix the problem, he’s told that that is the irrigation spigot, the potable water spigot is the one painted red and at… Read more »

Rusty
Guest
Rusty

Not all new to the world of rving are idiots. Just as many “experienced and experts” make silly errors. Stop blaming new rvers for camp grd miscues. Last Summer while staying at Steamboat Springs, Co we watched an “experienced and all knowing “ 5th wheel owner backing up into a camp site. After backing over sewer pipe, hitting elec post, pulling forward again and again to straighten out his 5th wheel he finally managed to park the rig with one side of tires on grass while the other tires rested on the gravel. Yes sir rving issues aren’t only for… Read more »

Rod
Guest
Rod

Camping, RVing, Getting Away…it all seems so simple and yet, as with everything in life has its complexities. EVERYONE was a newbie at some point. It is understood (perhaps not?) everyone does not possess the same level of insight, aptitude, or common sense that the rest of us have been gifted with. What this article and most commenting shows is a cultural shift to arrogance. I see it everywhere, from scuba diving to ordering a coffee and everywhere in between. How dare you not know what a latte is. How dare you not be able to back your trailer into… Read more »

Robbie
Guest
Robbie

We’ve been on the road for 12 years as full timers. We’ve seen all of the above, twice. Skills, courtesy and attitude of other campers are our major complaints. RV parks are expensive too. Our solution 12 years ago was to pay the extra cost for equipment to live off the grid and stay as far away from RV parks and cities as possible. We’re happy.

Lydia
Guest
Lydia

I hosted at a USFS campground east of Everett, WA one summer and I experienced many of the things you discussed! Being a “low rent” campground I saw it ALL the summer of 2015! Big rigs trying to fit in a space intended for a minivan and a tent, rude rowdy out of control people, out of control dogs, and rental RVs filled with very polite Europeans on their grand tours of North America.

rvmeister
Guest
rvmeister

I appreciate this article in that it provides a perspective of a campground owner and the joys and challenges they face operating a RV campground. But it also shows the overall “growing pains” of a recreational industry and the influx of the huge boomer generation retiring and looking for a fun and adventurous retirement hobby. I agree with tighter industry regulation and required training and certification for RV owners. I do believe that will come with time. Yet as a 40-something RV’er for the last 6 years however, I am growing increasingly concerned with RVtravel’s negative and divise tone of… Read more »

Gilly
Guest
Gilly

I believe you missed the point. Take it to heart, so we can all enjoy the pleasures and memories of camping, be it a tent, trailer, fifth wheel or oversized motorhome.
Just remember, if you were the owner, how would you feel, re-act, to your campground being “disrespected”? RV travel or the owner are not trying to divide and conquer, just educate. Right or wrong, agree or disagree, it’s the USA.
You simply missed the point!
RV Travel, keep sharing all the stories and insight. I’m new and I’m educating myself so I can minimize my “I’m sorry or didn’t know”. Thanks!

squeakytiki
Guest
squeakytiki

I’ve noticed (and commented on) this tone as well. It’s a little discouraging to newer RV owners, that’s for sure. From a few of the comments here I gather we’re not the only ones to notice.

Terri n Joe
Guest
Terri n Joe

Great article … have only been camping in our TT since 2013 but was very happy that DH knew quite a bit from a few years with a fifth wheel & then a truck camper. He knew so many of these things that I would have had no idea. I like to read & there is plenty of newbie info sites that I spent days on (trying to prevent the near divorce every time he backed our TT in during the first 2 years). Although far from expert we both find ourselves helping someone with something probably every other trip… Read more »

Bob Godfrey
Guest
Bob Godfrey

I believe I caught a message in this excellent article and from the comments section as well and that is about responsibility. No one else is responsible for your behavior or education but you. You, as the purchaser need to learn as much about your vehicle as possible. You, as part of the RV world, need to learn what constitutes good behavior in a campground and what is courteous behavior as well. You, as a driver of one of these very large rigs, need to learn what is safe and what is not, but the overall message is that it… Read more »

Scott Gitlin
Guest
Scott Gitlin

Your comment is the key – very simple.

Terry
Guest
Terry

Well, true, but there are those little things… I didn’t know there was an extra tiny compartment in my Chry 200, … but the Canadian border patrol agent did … we get comfy doing things over and over… which is why people go back to the same places over and over . But we tend to slip in memory/skills for that which we do not often/regularly or have never, used.

Deb Adams
Guest
Deb Adams

We are new RVers in the past 2 years (but campers for many years) with a small travel trailer (23′). There’s definitely a learning curve to backing in, but my husband has gotten good at it with some sign language from me standing behind. We’ve noticed a lot of the people who seem to not know how to drive or how to be courteous campers are in rental RVs. Since we’re new, I can’t say for sure, but I bet the RV rental business has ballooned in recent years. Thus there are many people who have no clue what they’re… Read more »

Terry
Guest
Terry

Yep, esp the idiots on the road who cut you off with only 2 feet in between the rig and their tin can … then hit the brakes …. well, 10000# vs. tin can—- you lose baby, and likely not just your car….we left 5 car lengths space for a reason

Karen Carter
Guest
Karen Carter

RVSAFETY.com Great training my husband and I received last year at this week course. I wish three years back when we bought our airstream we would have had this course. Our first years on the road would have been less stressful. We rented for years prior to purchase but many different types of rigs. And they all have certain things to learn rig specific. Educate yourself. RVsafety.com has a time for weighing rigs, a driving and backing portion and classes over a wide variety of topic. It is a small group of passionate people who care about teaching safety in… Read more »

Kris
Guest
Kris

Thank you.

John Goodell
Guest
John Goodell

LOL! I always thought it was nice to escorted by golf cart to my site in an unfamiliar RV park, but I guess this explains why Captain Obvious takes the time when we get there to explain “this is your water”, “this is your electric”, and …. “this is your sewer”! I always let them talk and thought to myself “well… duh”! So there’s a purpose to their method! Working in the service industry you will meet all kinds of people. Experts and novices, know-it-alls and those who want to learn and are willing to listen. Every once in a… Read more »

Terry
Guest
Terry

Every camp we’ve been to has provided written rules, lists/maps of amenities, etc. absolutely no excuse to walk/drive/run/bike through Ir encroach upon another site unless it’s to run away from your burning rig…..I give leeway when you are setting up/taking down —-so you can use your site space to the max — but if you have to use my routinely in order to empty, fill, get into your storage —that’s where the line is drawn. To the woman who decided our picnic table top was the place fir her dog ‘s ass to sit on, and get on our bench,… Read more »