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.
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.