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Proper RV Etiquette

My family and I were recently relaxing around our RV after a long day in Southern California when a child ran directly through our campsite. The kid didn’t just wander through the periphery of our site, but actually ran directly between our motorhome and picnic table. He was also shouting, which didn’t help our serenity. I watched the kid return to his site where his parents sat outside their RV, seemingly oblivious to the behavior of their youngster. This event reminded me of the importance of being a good neighbor while traveling by RV.

  • RV campgroundAs I alluded to above, one important rule is never to encroach on another camper’s site. Entering another person’s site without being invited is basically trespassing on somebody else’s property. Always use roadways, sidewalks, or empty sites when traversing through an RV park.
  • While dry camping, never run a generator outside permitted hours, and never use a generator in a full-service park unless there is a power failure, and in that case, always ask permission first.
  • If you are parking in a Wal-Mart, always ask management for permission to stay overnight, as state, provincial, and municipal laws, as well as store policy, vary greatly.
  • If you want to stay overnight at a state or provincial rest area, read the posted rules regarding time limits and adhere to them.
  • Whether you are parking at a Wal-Mart or rest area, do not extend jacks, awnings, or slide-outs, and refrain from putting door mats or other items outside the RV. Remember you are parking, not camping, so be respectful, even if other RVers around you aren’t.
  • Follow all rules posted by the RV park or campground. Some rules should be common sense, while others will be more specific to certain parks. Remember that some rules may seem random or obtuse, but in many cases, they came about in response to some specific bad behavior.follow the rules
  • Most importantly, respect the quiet hours posted at every park, campground, and resort. Quiet hours exist for everybody’s comfort. This comes from somebody who has had to endure non-compliance in this regard. It makes for a restless evening and is probably the single biggest cause of park dissatisfaction for my family and me.

If you do find yourself on the receiving end of an RVer who is not conforming to the rules, please tell somebody. If you are not comfortable discussing the issue with the person being disrespectful, be sure to communicate with park management or staff. They are there to ensure a comfortable stay for you and your family and want your return business. It is also our duty as members of the RV community to prevent fellow campers from disrespecting people and property. Remember these rules of etiquette apply whether you are traveling in a luxury RV or tent camping. Don’t be that RVing family that everybody can’t wait to leave. Be a good neighbor and make a positive contribution to the RV lifestyle.

About the Author: 

Steve Froese, an avid RV owner, traveler, and Coach-Net member since 2013, is the principal of “A Word to the Wise Technical Communications”, a published RV author, certified RV technician, and licensed Professional Engineer. He frequently collaborates with the “RV Doctor”, Gary Bunzer, and has worked with the RVIA/RVDA as a technical and training writer and consultant. Professionally, he works as a quality engineer and musician. Watch for more of Steve’s work in upcoming Coach-Net publications.
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