By Nanci Dixon
In June of 2019, we published an article titled “Campground pet peeves – specifically, campground jerks.” At the end of the article, writer Liz Wilcox asked readers to vent about their campground pet peeves and “campground jerk” story in the comments.
I read all 91 comments left by readers in search of finding out: What are the most common things you all are complaining about? As we RVers know, there’s quite a bit to complain about…
Dogs topped the list of “pet” peeves (literally). Almost everyone loves a well-mannered, leashed dog that is quiet and picked up after. They are, after all, man’s and woman’s best friend. That said, though, there were lots of complaints about dogs.
Here are the top 10 campground pet peeves from RVtravel.com readers:
10. “Quit yer drinkin’!”
Everybody agreed that having a good time is why people camp, but nobody wants a drunken brawl, drunken slurs, falling down or loud people disturbing their or their family’s peace.
Reader Craig Seitz wrote, “My favorite type of jerk is the one, or several, who believe that camping is for getting drunk and acting like a fool ’til all hours of the night. I had an idiot, drunk of course, at 4 a.m., stumble into my campsite and attempt to pee on the bumper of my truck. I am a police officer and had no problem putting him into an arm bar and escorting him off my site… It’s a funny story now that my wife and I enjoy recounting, but no one wants a jerk like that around.”
9. “Hey, that’s my site!”
RVers that think a site is available and will set up even if the site has been reserved. Just because someone isn’t there yet, doesn’t mean they won’t show up to claim their site later, Buddy! This can turn into a major hassle for both parties.
Reader Robin Howard encountered this problem and didn’t know what to do! “What do you do when you pull in after-hours to a campground where you have made a reservation, pick up your registration packet from the late registration area and find someone in a motorhome has taken your site? Also, the remainder of the park is completely full and there is no phone number available to reach management in-person after hours. This happened to me at the Portal RV Resort in Moab, Utah, and police had to get involved due to a lack of cooperation from the man who had wrongfully taken my site.”
8. “Don’t forget to flush!”
While the campground is responsible for daily cleaning, lots of campers recognize that everyone is responsible for keeping the restrooms clean. Toilet paper, clothes, used band-aids… pick up after yourself! And please, don’t forget to flush the darned toilet!
7. “No, please don’t add another log!”
Huge out-of-control campfires with lots of smoke going in neighbors’ windows was mentioned quite a bit. Some campfire rings are also set up way too close to other people’s rigs and just shouldn’t be used.
6. “Get your kids and your dog out of my campsite!”
An unwritten rule of campground etiquette (and sometimes written in campground rules) is not to cut through others’ campsites. That’s just a no-no for personal space!
5. “The raccoons don’t need a candle-lit dinner! Turn those lights off!”
Another common complaint? Lights! Any kind, you name it… rope lights, porch lights, string lights, disco and solar lights. These are a particular annoyance when they’re left on all night.
Charles Ketchum says, “The morons that are afraid of the dark or thieves. Or the people who just think lighting up the wilderness is cool. These people tend to put up so many strings of lights that when they flip on the switch the campground main breaker trips. It is especially annoying when you are in a place where the stars show brightly due to lack of city light pollution. What gives with this? I bet they sleep with the TV on too? Hey, while we’re at it…get the heck off my lawn.”
4. “Pass the earplugs, please”
Kids screaming, loud music playing, loud outside TVs, parties and generators running all day and past quiet hours made number 4.
Mike has a point: “I don’t mind kids playing and having fun, but the ones that scream drive me crazy.”
3. “If that #$&% dog barks one more time…”
Dogs barking at other dogs, walkers, or even at campers as a dog is walked is bad enough. But dogs that are left to bark all day chained outside or left in the RV was a big issue for a lot of folks.
Yes, yes, perhaps your little Fido isn’t the problem. But lots of smaller, “yappy” dogs are. Thomas writes, “Does one really need an Iditarod when camping? I understand these multiple dogs are not animals to you, but really little people with fur coats. Primarily I see older folks with multiple little yappers. They want to bring them all camping/RVing yet apparently do not want to bother with them when they leave the campground for the day. We have to listen to them bark and bark and bark all day. Of course, as soon as their ‘mommy and daddy’ pull back into their campsite the dogs stop barking. If you try to politely tell the dog parents that their dogs barked the whole time they were gone, they become your enemies.”
2. “Dogs must be kept on-leash at all times… NOT”
Many readers had literally horror stories of dogs off leash that attacked their dogs, themselves or their children.
1. “Honey, did you step in something outside?”
The number one complaint about dogs is, you guessed it, dog poop. Dogs that do their thing without an owner picking up after them and leaving it made number one. Worse yet is when “their thing” is left on the campsite.
And lastly, one more comment that I guarantee will make you say “ewwww” out loud! Bob Godfrey says, “We have seen so many ugly things over the years (but many beautiful places). But besides the folks who shortcut through our site, I hate the folks who spread out way beyond their site, cars, tents, lean-to’s etc. Then there was the girl in Idaho who was trimming her toenails with her foot up on the picnic tabletop. Or the guy in PA who laid his sewer hose across the picnic table while he put something away in his coach. I actually have a myriad more but that should suffice for now!”
While these are the top 10 campground pet peeves of RVtravel.com readers, they certainly reflect the complaints most campers have.
Here are the top 5 complaints to the RV park office
Top 10 complaints RV park managers have about campers
Campground crowding: “I might as well stay home!” and other complaints
I can’t understand why people like to bring their concert sized speakers camping with them and turn the music up so loud that they’re yelling at each other to talk over it. Do they seriously think everyone in the campground want to listen to THEIR music? And the LED lights on the front caps of fifth wheels and trailers…..Why do they have to be left on while parked in a campground. When camped facing their direction, it’s like looking into laser lights. Am I just missing something? I’ve owned 9 different RVs over the past 40 years so I’m not new to this. Please, someone educate me.
It seems that my Pet Peeve is different from others.
Not in any order are;
Sky’s too dark and the stars too bright.
The birds and other animals are too loud, howling, chirping, whistles, etc.
Too many rocks and branches on the ground.
A lot of times, it’s either too hot, too cold, too windy, rainy or snowing and icy.
The people are way too friendly and mostly want to wave or say hi.
These are my main gripes, but give me time and I’m sure I can think of more.
Have a great day and keep this news letter as a source of great information!
BTW, in case it’s not too obvious, the pet peeves above are opposite of the reasons we go camping/traveling. We love being out among fellow campers and for the most part, don’t have any issues! My real issues are due to not enough memory of my cameras’ cards and rude people.
Thanks for your list of “pet peeves,” Mike! Sounds like me and my “pet peeves” regarding my 18+ acres of gorgeous, semi-remote mountain property: Mother Nature’s never-ending and ever-changing display (she’s such a show-off!), the never-ending sound of the river that runs through my property, the sound of the wind in the trees, the constant bird chirping (oh, they’re sooo noisy!), the paw prints of bears, deer, mountain lions, etc., on the path through my property (the nerve!), the lack of humans, the lack of so-called “modern technology.” Yeah, I could go on and on. But, enough daydreaming. Gotta get back to work or y’all won’t have a complete newsletter tomorrow. Take care. 😀 –Diane aka Mountain Mama
Good lord, what a bunch of fun suckers. I can understand some of the frustration out there. To complain about somebody’s L.E.D rope lights that are far from tripping any breaker. Come on man, life is to short to be worried about “someone else’s camp” and how they enjoy their outdoor experience. Welcome to the post Covid 19 camping era. It has been stated thousands of times on this site, how there are so many new campers. How about helping them out instead of bitching about them. Maybe they just don’t know, however on the flip side, they may not want your 2 cents. I am a moron with rope lights, because the bring a smile to my wife’s face. I have been camping in a RV since childhood, now a 51 yo man who enjoys some to the new technologies out there. Quit worrying about the small stuff. Shake your head and move on, don’t let it ruin your camping or outlook. Tomorrow is not a promise!! Keep it in perspective. Safe travels and happy camping!
Ones where they have one site and try and put a 40’ fifth wheel in, then 4 tents, a boat, 4 wheeler trailer and then 6 vehicles crammed in there blocking the road and access to my site. Weekend warriors. Usually COE parks. Though restrictions against half the time they’re understaffed and won’t say anything to them
Some people are peevish.
I am one of those “Morons” that run a light rope around the base of my unit. Coming from the outskirts of Tucson where rodents wreak havoc on anything with wiring or a place to hide in the winter, I found lighting the only solution to keeping rodents out of my trucks, 5th wheel, and tractor. Yes, I’ve tried most of the other ideas, mothballs, soap bars, fabric softener sheets, etc. Bait stations work well, but have to be monitored frequently and traveling for a week can leave you with a broken vehicle upon return.
I got the light idea from an off road adventure company located nearby who leaves a light on under their vehicles and one in the engine compartment. They told me since they started using the lights they’ve not had a single instance of rodent damage. They have a fleet of 8 parked out in the desert. Since using lighting I can make the same claim. I started using lights nearly 5 years ago.
I agree with you. The “morons” are the ones who are not aware of the tremendous damage rodents cause in certain areas and who do not take steps to prevent it. Instead, they wallow in their own ignorance and complain about those who do know what they’re doing.
For those who want to know where this link goes, it’s to “Do LED Rope Lights Protect Vehicles From Mice & Rats? Mousetrap Monday.” It has more than 88,000 views since 2018. 🙂 –Diane
I wish there were more campgrounds that didn’t allow pets. Not everyone likes to camp where dogs pee and poop everywhere especially grassy areas between campsites.
Just curious what the Top Ten would have looked like a few years ago? The issues seem to be much more prevalent than they used to be.
Gawd i must be one lucky SOB!! I’ve got no complaints. Camping in our travel trailer has been and is so great. I love traveling around, our dogs love it to!! Yep NO complaints.
Me too. Love all the noise of kids running around, parents yelling at them, people partying and having a good time. Within reason, of course. We try and set our chairs up so we can see the campfire and still snoop at everybody walking by. And, my wife strings out lights. But we turn them off when we go to bed.
Yes! I also have no complaints! I love to watch and hear the kids at play, people having a good time, love walking our dogs. Music wafting through the air, all has been great camping. When we want to be very alone, we boondock on the beautiful BLM.
David and John, totally agree. I’d rather see kids and dogs running around having fun, then seeing devices in their hands any day. The smell of campfires and or bacon cooking in the morning. All great stuff, camp on I say!
Maybe it’s been asked before,, do string light around a camper really keep rodents out??? Never known light to be barrier.. An attractant yes, barrier no.
I found out the hard way why some people leave rope lights on all night under their rigs [I complained to the desk clerk about that and it turned out it was his rig]. It’s one way to keep rodents etc out of the rigs, so he said. Seems like a nice kitty would be better.
For all of above mentioned reasons, we sold our motorhome and bought a cabin in the mountains
Some people use white rope lights to encircle their rig. It is a proven way to keep mice out. If we’re in a mousey area, normally boondocking, we always use ours. It works! It’s especially useful against desert pack rats of Arizona an New Mexico.
We have been camping for many, many years with very few problems. Lights are a problem when we sit outside and campsites are lit up like ball stadiums but the worse offender was at a Dark campground, no outside lights allowed. We were enjoying the stars when a late arrival showed up. He had lights hanging from his rear view mirrors, extra lights on the back of his truck and lights on the back of his trailer to help him back in at night. Trouble was it took him about 30 minutes to get into the site and another 30 to set up camp with all the lights on. No sense complaining when a ranger is there helping him.
Can’t stand the lights, and now the string lights all around the RV. What to do? I’d like to cut them apart.
The whole point of camping is ostensibly to “get back to nature” and to “get away from it all”. I don’t see how you can expect to achieve that by picking an organized campground, especially a privately owned one that is trying to maximize income by cramming in as many sites as possible onto the land available. You just can’t realistically expect to “get away from it all” if you go where everyone else goes while bringing everything with them. After all, it’s really THEM you’re trying to get away from…
Number one, not picking up after your dog is my biggest concern. I consider it a privilege to bring my pet not a right. Several times I have ‘offered a bag to a pet owner’ since I am sure they forgot theirs. Had one situation where the guy said no he didn’t think it necessary so I said, ‘ no problem’ and I picked it up right in front of him. Think he was embarrassed or at least I hope so. I want to be able to travel with my pet and being a good dog parent will help all of us feel welcome.
You know we are some of those old people with a fur baby and he does bark every time someone comes to the door, he does it at home or in the RV, We have trained him not to bark since he was a baby but have never been able to break that habit. He firmly believes that he is doing his job of alerting us to danger and were ok with it as it does not last long and as I said we cant stop it plus he is the best person that I have ever known.
I sit here writing this as the neighbors dog has been barking very loud since 4:00am and has been doing that for all the 2 years that we have lived in this house. We live in a new development in the country on an acre of land and even though there are not many homes yet, we have experienced all of the complaints mentioned in this article except the toilet flush and plunger issue.
The moral of the story is this is called life so just behave, love your neighbor and enjoy the ride! Or just shoot them if they shovel snow onto your property, your choice!
OH MY!!! I love dogs and camping but I hope I never end up in the same CG as you
I sit outside a lot while camping and from what I’ve seen it’s the ones that have spent too much time at an all you can eat restaurant refuse or can’t bend over and pick up after their dogs and don’t care either. The lights? close your blinds.
Have to agree with everyone one of these!
We are veteran fulltime RVers and have seen these top 10 everywhere in the lower 48.
We try to not ever be guilty of any of them.
Someone did not vacate my assigned space so the park manager assigned me a big beautiful pull through for my pickup and Aliner popup trailer. Afterwards I met lots of grumpy people with motorhomes and fifth wheelers complaining these sites are for them only.
pick it up and throw it against their rig, so they can take it with them
place it on their steps of the rv so they can enjoy the experience. Had to do this for a neighbor who was constantly having their elephant sized dog leave presents in our yard and not pick it up since it was natural