Article Contributed By: Darla Preston
It’s that wonderful time of year again. It’s the time when RVers across the country are gearing up to take their rigs out on the road to enjoy a new season of memorable and inspiring travels.
As the warmer weather continues, RV parks are filling up rapidly with eager travelers. If you’ve been RVing for any significant amount of time, you’ve probably experienced a moment at a campground where your stay was dampened by inconsiderate neighbors. Because everyone’s travels mean just as much to them as yours do to you, it’s important to put your most mindful foot forward, as this will ensure all parties involved have the most enjoyable time possible.
RV park etiquette is fairly simple and straightforward, and the following pointers should help illustrate what being a good campground neighbor looks like:
Many RVers take to traveling because they like to get away from it all. In fact, many journey far and wide in order to find the perfect destination for ultimate solitude. Because of this, it’s best to avoid parking your rig right next to other campers, as this will interrupt their sought-after privacy.
Or course, this isn’t always possible, as popular RV parks can get completely booked, and you won’t have a choice in whether or not you take the campsite right next to someone else. If this is the case, there are still ways you can respect your neighbor’s space, such as:
•Avoid running through your neighbor’s campsite. Even if it takes a few more minutes, walk around the campsite instead of waltzing right through someone else’s space. Similarly, keep pets and children out of other occupied campsites as well.
•Try not to position your rig in a way that allows your RV awning to hang over someone else’s campsite. Basically, just don’t take up more than your fair share of the campground in any way.
•If you strike up a conversation, pay attention to body language. There is nothing wrong with instigating a friendly chat with your neighbors, but try to use tact and pay attention to their body language. Some people will be completely receptive to making new friends, while others may give you short answers, indicating that they want to be left alone. If the latter seems to be the case, respect that.
Be Mindful With Fire
Gathering around a fire pit with your loved ones while having a great conversation is a timeless, well-loved pastime, so it’s no wonder why it’s still a favorite activity for many outdoor lovers. If you can’t imagine what an RV trip would be like without the crackling, flickering flames, it’s important to manage your fire in a way that doesn’t bother others. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
•Don’t burn trash. This releases harmful pollutants in the air, and it also creates an awful odor that your neighbors won’t appreciate.
•Try to keep the smoke down. No one wants to be bombarded with thick smoke, and while fires inevitably produce some smoke, there are ways to help reduce it, such as by only burning dry wood (wet wood produces more).
•Be protective of RV awnings. The last thing you want to do is damage your neighbor’s RV (or yours, for that matter), but RV awnings can easily be harmed by the campfire. If the awning is too close to the fire, it can damage and discolor the awning fabric, and in the worst-case scenario, embers can spark onto the fabric, increasing the fire risk. For safety purposes, keep your fire pit a safe distance from all awnings in the area, and always keep a good eye on the fire and your surroundings.
•Use designated firepits. Not all campgrounds allow fires and the ones that do tend to provide designated pits. Respect the lay of the land, and use only what the campground staff supplies.
Keep It Down
Don’t be the impolite person at the campground who stays up late talking loudly, blasts the stereo or TV at full volume, etc. Most campgrounds list designated quiet hours, so do your best to keep it down during that time. It’s important to have fun, but don’t be inconsiderate about the well-being of your fellow campers. Whispers and headphones work wonders in situations where you’ll be in close quarters with other people.
While it’s best for everyone involved if you avoid getting into an RV park after hours, sometimes arriving late just can’t be helped. When this happens, try your best to set up as quickly, quietly, and efficiently as possible.
Cleanliness Is Courteous
Show respect to your neighbors, the staff at the campground, and the people who will be using your campsite after you’re done by keeping it in just as good of condition as you found it. Pick up after yourself, your kids, and your pets, and place all waste in the designated areas. If the campground is cluttered with litter and trash, the peaceful feeling of being in the beautiful outdoors is greatly diminished, so do your best to keep things neat and tidy.
Play By the Rules
Remember that when you’re staying at a campground, you are a guest, so be mindful of the rules of each RV park you visit. Whether the rule is to keep your dogs on leash, follow a certain speed limit in the park, or keep alcohol away from common areas, respecting the property means following the guidelines set forth. Most rules are in place for a reason, and it will be easier to keep the peace if all occupants of a campground are operating on the same page.
As you can see, campground manners are basically common sense. They really boil down to treating others with the same courtesy and kindness that you’d want in return. When all parties hold mutual respect for one another, happy times can seamlessly unfold. That being said, here’s to safe and happy travels!