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At the Campsite: 4 Tips to be a Considerate Camper

Manners matter, especially when you are in a confined space like an RV campground.

That’s why it’s important to think about how your arrival, departure and time onsite may affect others. With that in mind, here are four quick tips to keep you from becoming one of “those campers”!

Monitor Your Sounds and Lights

Be sensitive to others when playing music, having get-togethers or watching your big-screen TV. While your camper neighbors may be able to block out light, they can’t block out sound. That being said, make sure any outside security lights you’ve set up don’t shine into nearby RVs or campsites. If you’re not sure if it’s a problem, ask your neighbors and then adjust your lights accordingly.

If you’ve brought motorized “toys” (four-wheelers, motorcycles, etc.), skip the pre-ride rev-up. If the sound doesn’t irritate your RV neighbors, the engine smell certainly will!

Speaking of sounds and smells, know the campground rules for when and where to use your generator, said Do It Yourself RV in this post. Not sure? Then run it during the day and only long enough to charge your RV batteries. Note: at most campgrounds, contractor-style portable generators are banned.

Control Your Kids and Pets

  • Hard as it is to believe, not everyone loves pets. Some people may even be allergic to animal fur or dander. And no one enjoys stepping into doggie doo-doo. Keep your pet leashed and off neighboring campsites, and pick up any “left-behinds.” And if your four-footed companion is a “yapper,” realize that what you may have become accustomed to can be a real irritant to others who want to enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature, not the barking of an overly reactive pet.
  • If you’re traveling with children, teach them basic campsite etiquette. If they are playing outside, explain why they should stay within the borders of your campsite, and that they should never run across the campground roadways or play around or behind other RVs. Even the best RV driver can miss a small child hiding behind a camper.
  • Equally important is to make sure you know where your kids are at all times. Campgrounds are unfamiliar territories, and many are close to either highways or nature. It’s easy for children to get lost in the woods or pose a danger to other RVers driving big campers or tow-behinds.

Be Discreet

  • Campers are entitled to their privacy. While the geographic space between campsites may be small, that doesn’t mean that you should treat it as non-existent. While RVers are, by and large, a friendly bunch, don’t automatically assume they are up for company. A wave and a simple “Hi, neighbor!” is a good start, then judge whether your neighbor is in the mood for a visit by the response you get.
  • By the same token, take care to keep your “private” behavior secure from other eyes. Given the close proximity to other campers, it can be easy to accidentally put more on view than you had intended if you forget to close your blinds!

Avoid “Campsite-Creep” (aka “Camp Sprawl”)

  • Know the boundaries of your campsite and keep all your RV equipment, possessions and vehicles within those borders. Even if your campground neighbors aren’t using all their outside space, it doesn’t mean it’s up for grabs!
  • Park your motorized RV or towing vehicle within your campsite so it doesn’t intrude into the campground roadway. Otherwise it can impede visibility, making it more difficult for others to safely navigate through the campground.
  • Check with the campground owner or manager if there are designated areas where certain items should be parked, recommended KOA in RV Etiquette 101. “If there’s not enough room at your campsite for tow vehicles, trailers, etc., check with the camp host about overflow parking. Encroaching on campground roads creates a safety hazard for other campers.”

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