5 Campsite Etiquette Tips – Parking, Privacy, Patience, Pets, and Poop

 5 Campsite Etiquette Tips – Parking, Privacy, Patience, Pets, and Poop

Parking, privacy, patience, pets and even poop are only a few popular “P” topics that come up when mentioning campsite etiquette. 

After some passionate discussions in the RV Lifestyle Facebook Group, we thought it's a good time to dive even further into a few of these RV parks and campsite unwritten rules and more!  

Campsite Etiquette: Parking

5 Campsite Etiquette Tips - Parking, Privacy, Patience, Pets, and Poop 1
Considerate parking, please.

Each campsite is completely different. 

Parking your camper, RV, or tent is only the first step as a vehicle or two often follows after that. 

Usually, the hookups, slides, and camper size dictate how and where you should park. 

But should your neighbor also play a factor in this as well?  Yes!  Please be considerate of how close you park to the site, any site, near you. 

Make sure to leave your neighbor room for space around their picnic area, slides, vehicles, and such.

If you are unsure of how much room they need, simply ask.  

Asking ahead will lead to a better stay and camping experience for you all. 

If you are going to use a pet fence or pen, make sure you park with enough space for that and away from your neighbors as much as possible in case they have dogs or anything that may need to be away from your pets.  

With more and more people camping, smaller sites to fit more in, cramped state and national park sites, tricky sites worth the view, and so on, parking may seem impossible when you arrive. 

If your neighbor is not available to help, do not hesitate to ask the campground host, owner, office employee or whoever is available to assist you with parking. 

The perfect parking job also significantly helps with the next topic of privacy!

Campsite Etiquette: Privacy

5 Campsite Etiquette Tips - Parking, Privacy, Patience, Pets, and Poop 2
How private do you want to be?

How private can a full campground be? 

The answer is as private as you and your fellow neighbors can possibly make it. 

Many campers are full-timers, living the RV lifestyle, and, therefore, treat their campsite as their home. 

Recently, a member of our Facebook Group, Joyce, reminded our Facebook group to “always meet your neighbor camper”. 

This simple step will affect many of the etiquette topics we will discuss but will also give you your first clue to how private you need to be. 

If your neighbor is friendly and wants to continue in conversation, they may not need a Fort Knox approach to privacy.  If the fellow camper is short and not engaging, please understand that privacy may be very important to them. 

Seasonal campers see many others come and go so we can most likely determine that privacy is important to them especially.  

Many factors affect one’s sense of privacy including proximity–give your neighbors space as we discussed earlier.

Keep your pets away from others and quiet as much as possible (will go into more detail on this hot topic!) 

A quiet environment also increases campsite exclusiveness. 

Tina reminded us on the RV Lifestyle Facebook Group that loud music may be enjoyable to some but not others.

Really any loud noise, such as doors slamming, trucks running, and dogs barking, may quickly shred one’s privacy and sense of “home sweet home.” 

These sounds are often unavoidable which is understandable and showing grace is important, especially when living so close to one another. 

However, unavoidable should not mean repeated, constant, or without swift attempts to alter or stop altogether. 

Work to be respectful of quiet times and outdoor lighting that may keep your neighbors awake at night.

And remember that the”powers-to-be” make the rules! 

No matter if you are full-timers, seasonal, or on a one-night stop, all campsites are “rented” spots that have owners and/or authorities that own the land, make the rules, and have the right to enforce these rules. Therefore, please work with your campground community to help deliver the most privacy possible for everyone.  

Campsite Etiquette: Pets, pens, and poop–

Mike and Jennifer Wendland and "Bo"
Mike and Jennifer Wendland and “Bo” in the Adirondacks

And probably more p’s I'm skipping when we talk about our furry family members! 

RV LIfestyle members have had many detailed conversations regarding pets in campgrounds so let’s delve into a few of these major issues. 

Following a recent thread, most campers focus on barking, waste pickup, and leaving pets outside as the top concerns regarding pets. 

Barking sounds to be a huge issue. We have all experienced that one dog that will just not stop barking or the one that barks at every passerby or the one that barks only at midnight and so on. 

We love to travel with our pets but at what cost to those who may not appreciate man’s best friend as much as others? 

Again, please be aware of campground rules (leash, pets left out, etc), your neighbors’ pets and privacy, and practice good pet-owner practices.  

Full-timer, “Lazy Snoozin,” shared with Facebook friends that many campgrounds do not allow any pets to be left out unattended, tied up or not. 

She and many others in the RV lifestyle group kindly emphasized the need to pick up after your dogs, at your site and throughout the campground. No one likes to step in poop! 

If you don’t have a baggie on the walk, run back later and grab the goodies left behind. 

For more pet protocols, our Facebook Group members advised campers to keep your pet as behaved as possible—try to minimize barking, keep a tight leash when passing other dogs so no one gets hurt, always ask if a dog is friendly before approaching, and respect quiet times in regards to walking and letting your dog out.  

Much campsite etiquette comes down to just being polite but even that seems difficult at times for some. 

We all must try to put our best foot forward with our neighbors and campsites. 

Here are a few more campsite etiquette pleasantries to recall when enjoying the RV lifestyle.  

5 Campsite Etiquette Tips - Parking, Privacy, Patience, Pets, and Poop 3
Enjoy your RV Lifestyle.

Be Punctual-

Try to arrive at your campground close to check-in time.  If running late, which happens, please call ahead and be respectful of your sleeping neighbors when you pull in late at night.   

Be Patient

A dog may bark, someone may need to vacuum sand or a spilled plant before they head out in the early morning, or someone might have parked too close because it is their first time camping! 

Whatever the issue, we all have been there at least once and showing grace during such situations will ease the pain and suffering for all. 

Instead, lend a helping hand, share advice and the reward will come.  

Be Polite

5 Campsite Etiquette Tips - Parking, Privacy, Patience, Pets, and Poop 4
These Texans were our neighbors who practiced morning steer roping on the beach.

Yes smile, wave, say “Good morning!” 

Our community needs to step up and out to show campers like Heather on our Facebook page, who learned much from her parents but wanted to confirm that polite gestures still were important to campers, that we are a warm, inviting group who welcomes all with open arms! 

From pop-ups to pull-behinds, the RV Lifestyle can lead to years of positively perfect memories filled with play, perks, and more especially when following a few plain protocols!  

And thanks to our Facebook Group members for so freely sharing all they have learned through the years!

Want to find new places to put your campsite etiquette to the test?

Or just want to read more about this topic? Here are a few more posts for you to explore:

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5 Campsite Etiquette Tips - Parking, Privacy, Patience, Pets, and Poop

Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.


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