RV Campground Etiquette: 12 Ways to Be a Great Neighbor

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One of the joys of traveling in an RV is meeting new people from all over the country.  However, with the close proximity of campsites and lack of privacy at RV parks, there are bound to be some tensions.  Here are 12 simple RV Campground Etiquette Rules to follow.

If you are looking for a good laugh, check out our RV camping memes, some of which poke fun at bad RV campground etiquette.

Keep the Black Tank Closed

RV Campground Etiquette: Keep the Black Tank Closed
RV Campground Etiquette: Keep the Black Tank Closed

RV campground etiquette rule number 1 is never leave your black tank (or gray tanks) open.  Your neighbors are not interested in smelling everything every time you flush the toilet.  Leaving the tanks open is also just a bad idea in general, as your tanks are less likely to get clogged if you let them fill up and flush them out when dumping. (Learn more about proper holding tank care here).

Also, always try to dump your tanks when your neighbors are not outside. Plan to dump tanks either early in the morning or late at night, when other campers are less likely to be outside. If you absolutely have to dump your black tank while your neighbors are outside, walk over and give them a heads up before hitting them with a stink bomb.

Stay Away from Newcomers

RV Campground Etiquette: Let Neighbors Park in Peace
RV Campground Etiquette: Let Neighbors Park in Peace

I look forward to meeting neighbors at each new RV park, but often fellow campers will walk up and start asking questions before we have even finished backing in.  Give your newest neighbors an hour or so to get set-up before you come over to hear their story.

While an offer to help with parking is nice, it is not always welcome. Do not offer to help fellow campers park unless it is clear they are struggling. If you do want to offer help, ask if they need help instead of just jumping in. We have had so many fellow campers, just run over and start yelling instructions when we were all set to park without help.

Walk on the Road

RV Campground Etiquette: Walk and Bike on the Road
RV Campground Etiquette: Walk and Bike on the Road

While at the RV park, most campers see their campsite as their temporary backyard. With this in mind, most campers do not appreciate someone trampling through their backyard. When walking or biking around the campground, always stick to the roads and sidewalks and avoid cutting through campsites. Also, make sure your kids are aware that other people’s campsites are off limits.

Respect Pets’ Space

RV Campground Etiquette: Ask Before Petting
RV Campground Etiquette: Ask Before Petting

We often have our cat, Mr. Man, in a kennel on our site.  More than one dog owner has walked their dog right up to Mr. Man and informed us “My dog loves cats.”  Um. Okay….well our cat doesn’t really like your big dog.  With cats or dogs, if they’re not in group areas ask before introducing your furry friend. Our dog, Ted has made lots of friends on the road, but Mr. Man would prefer his own space. Before approaching any campground pet, ask permission from their owner.

Be a Good Pet Owner

RV Campground Etiquette: Be a Good Pet Owner
RV Campground Etiquette: Be a Good Pet Owner

On the flip side, pet owners should also practice good campground etiquette. Dogs should always be secured with a leash or a fence, and owners should always pick up after their pets. Only friendly dogs should be brought into campgrounds’ off-leash dog parks. Before entering a dog park with your friendly pup, ask anyone already inside if their dog plays nicely.

Respect Quiet Hours

RV Campground Etiquette: Turn Music Off During Quiet Hours
RV Campground Etiquette: Turn Music Off During Quiet Hours

Campers all keep different hours, so campgrounds set quiet hours to help everyone get a good night’s sleep. Quiet hours vary by campground, but typically start around 10 PM and end around 7 AM. During quiet hours, no outdoor speakers or TVs should be used. While it is fine to sit outside after quiet hours start, campers should be aware of their volume and avoid talking loudly. Generators and other loud equipment should also not be used during quiet hours. In addition to noise, campers should be aware of lights during quiet hours. Turn off all bright, outdoor lighting before quiet hours start.

Keep a Tidy Campsite

RV Campground Etiquette: Keep a Tidy Campsite
RV Campground Etiquette: Keep a Tidy Campsite

While your campsite is your temporary backyard, it is important to remember it is not a private space. All of your neighbors can and will see your campsite. Be respectful of neighbors by keeping your campsite organized and clean. While no one cares if you decorate your campsite or not, fellow campers will expect your site to be free of trash and excessive clutter.

Be Friendly

Friends at RV campground
RV Campground Etiquette: Make New Friends

Our last RV campground etiquette rule is simple: smile at your neighbors. Meeting new people is great part of RVing, so smile, wave to people and invite them over for a beer or a campfire. If you really don’t like meeting new people, head over to Campendium and search for some remote boondocking spots!

Boondocking Etiquette

Boondocking Etiquette is Different then Campground Etiquette
Boondocking Etiquette is Different than Campground Etiquette

Speaking of boondocking, there are additional RV etiquette rules to follow when you are staying in the great outdoors instead of a campground. Follow the below best practices to be the best boondocking neighbor:

  1. Get Permission: Before camping on any land, verify that RVs are permitted and check for any limitations on where camping is allowed.
  2. Keep your Distance: Many RVers choose to boondock in order to have more privacy. Do not park right on top of other campers if space further away is available.
  3. Limit Generator Time: If any other campers are nearby limit generator hours and never run your generator overnight.
  4. Respect the Land: To best protect our public lands, camp on areas where others have already camped instead of creating new campsites. Try to park close to the road and avoid driving over plants. Of course, nothing should be left behind at your campsite. Always pack out all of your trash.

Now that you know all the rules of RV campground etiquette, it is time to plan a trip and hit the road. See our list of the 10 best road trips in the USA for trip planning inspiration!

Do you agree with all of these RV camping rules? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.