There are many “rules of behavior” that apply to RVers and campers while traveling. Some are written on almost every park sign, while some are inferred. Ignoring them is likely to have a range of results, from being shunned by your camping neighbors to being asked to leave the park.
Let’s start with arguably the most important, yet frequently poorly enforced rule, that of quiet hours. This rule is displayed prominently on the signage and literature of every RV park I’ve ever visited, yet it is often ignored. My family is a quiet bunch; We set up camp, explore the area, walk the dog, and ride our bikes. We eat outside but do so while engaged in quiet family conversation. We like to retire to the RV early and usually enjoy a movie and/or game before going to bed. These evening activities generally last until ten o’clock or later. There is always a wide array of family groups staying at RV parks and campgrounds in everything from tents to large Class A coaches, and I find that more than a few of them have young children. When it’s lights out time in our motorhome, it’s after a long day of travel or activity and nothing would be better than to fall asleep to the sounds of only crickets, frogs, or…. nothing. Unfortunately, the serenity of the great outdoors is all too often interrupted by neighboring campers listening to music or talking loudly. This often lasts until the wee hours of the morning, with 2 or 3 am seeming to be the norm. While some RV parks do a good job of curbing this behavior, others, even those with 24hr. patrols, do not. When you are camping with your family or other groups, please be courteous to your neighbors and move the conversation, music, or other socializing inside after the posted quiet hour, which generally starts at 10 pm. Even conversation that may seem quiet to you in your own campsite can carry across the park, especially to those close to you. Note that a tarp is not an effective sound barrier.
RV parks have rules regarding pets. Please be aware of these rules, such as not leaving your pet unattended, keeping it leashed, and cleaning up after it does its “business”. We tend to know when a family has left their pet behind due to the telltale barking, whining, or howling. Even the best-behaved pooch will miss its humans and want to enjoy the sights with them.
In terms of unwritten rules, the one that I most often find causes the most problem, and generally involves children, is crossing a campsite occupied by somebody else. While it is understood that people are inclined to short-cut to lessen travel time, it is considered very rude to cross through another person’s campsite. This is especially true when the offender is running or on a bicycle or other form of transportation. Please educate your family on the importance of privacy and urge them not to travel through campsites that are occupied by others. Stick to the roadway or campsites that are unoccupied. This is not only an annoyance to those occupying the site, but may also be a security concern.
Please make yourself aware of all the rules published by the RV parks you visit and be aware that these are for the safety and comfort of all visitors. Many of the rules are just common sense, so always apply an ample dose.
For additional RV etiquette tips, please read Proper RV Etiquette.
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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