Skip to Content

Don’t Do THAT! Be the GOOD Camping Neighbor! 15 UNWRITTEN Rules…

A good camping neighbor follows campground rules, but that’s not all! Don’t be THAT camper that breaks these unwritten rules… 

When it comes to camping, there are a set of rules that are posted and enforced by the park or campground. However, there are also a set of unwritten rules that good camping neighbors follow to ensure everyone has a positive experience. 

Breaking these rules can make you “THAT” camper no one wants to camp next to. Here are 15 unwritten rules of a good camping neighbor to follow on your next camping trip.

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases at no added cost to you. Thank you for your support. You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Rule #1: Don’t Setup Camp Too Late

Arriving late to the campground can make setting up camp difficult, but it’s important to do so quietly and quickly without disturbing your neighbors. If it’s too dark or too late, it’s better to wait until the next day to set up camp.

(BTW, here’s an RV Setup Checklist: 15 Tips on How to Setup Your RV)

Rule #2: Don’t Teardown Camp Noisily If Leaving Early

If you’re leaving the campground early, make sure to teardown camp as quietly as possible. No one wants to be woken up by the sound of camping chairs slamming shut or couples arguing over duties.

(We have an RV Breakdown Checklist, too.)

Rule #3: Don’t Encroach on Your Neighbor’s Campsite

Respect your neighbor’s personal space by keeping your belongings and camping activities within the boundaries of your own campsite. 

During setup, make sure you do not park on their campsite or leave your hoses or cords strewn on their side. Also, make sure your awning does not extend over their space. 

Rule #4: Keep Initial Greetings Short

It's common to exchange greetings with your camping neighbors, but make sure to keep it short and sweet. Let them set up camp before engaging in conversation, as they may be tired or have important tasks to complete.

It’s nice to offer help during setup, but don’t be pushy. Some campers appreciate the help, while others like to do it their own way. A quick, “Hi neighbor, I’m ____. Let me know if you need my help with anything, ad I’d be glad to.” 

Rule #5: Respect Your Neighbor’s Privacy (Not Everyone is Social)

Make Friends While Camping

Not everyone wants to make new friends on their camping trip. Respect your neighbor’s privacy by avoiding unsolicited conversations or visits unless they’re open to it.

That’s another reason you should keep initial greetings short. Use it as a gauge to determine how social they are, and don’t mistake their politeness for a desire to make friends. Let them initiate the next conversation if they so desire.

If you want to make new friends, we recommend reading How to Make Friends While Camping (14 Icebreakers). If you like your privacy, then you may want to check out 5 RV Privacy Products to Make Your Campsite More Private.

Rule #6: Respect Quiet Hours (Even If You’re Having a Great Time)

Quiet hours are there for a reason – to allow everyone to get some rest and relaxation. Keep your noise level to a minimum during these hours, even if you’re having a great time.

If you disrespect quiet hours, you’ll usually encounter two problems. The first is a too-polite or too-shy neighbor that suffers in silence in their RV. The second is a disrguntled RVer that’ll give you a rue reminder. 

Of course, there are always those who politely remind you of quiet hours, but they really shouldn’t have to ask at all. 

Mike and Jennifer's Summer T-Shirts for your next adventure

Don’t Do THAT! Be the GOOD Camping Neighbor! 15 UNWRITTEN Rules... 1
Your Adventure Awaits! New colors and designs are waiting for you.

Rule #7: Don’t Play Music or Watch TV for All to Hear

While music and tv are enjoyable, it’s important to keep it at a reasonable volume and limit it to your own campsite, even outside of quiet hours. Not everyone shares your taste in music and tv shows, and they may not want to listen to it.

The most polite thing to do is listen with headphones or earbuds. After all, many people are trying to get away from the noise and enjoy the quiet of nature. 

If you do play music or watch TV outside, the courteous thing to do is to tell your neighbor to let you know if the music disturbs them at any point. That opens the door for friendly requests to lower the volume without tension building to the point they ‘can’t take it anymore.’

Rule #8: Don't Forget that RV Walls are Thin!

If you're camping in an RV, remember that the walls are thin and sound travels easily through them. Keep your voices down, and avoid loud music or television after quiet hours. 

This is especially true if your neighbors are tent-camping. That means you only have one thin RV wall and tent fabric between you.

The same goes for amorous activities. Assume your neighbors don’t want to know about your success in the bedroom, even if you proudly display an upside-down pineapple

Rule #9: Don’t Let Your Dog Bark Incessantly

7 UNWRITTEN Rules of Camping with a Dog

Dogs can be great companions on a camping trip, but they can also be a nuisance if they’re barking incessantly. Keep your dog under control and try to limit barking.

That’s really only one unwritten rule of being a good camping neighbor with a dog. We recommend you also read 7 UNWRITTEN Rules of Camping with a Dog.

Rule #10: Don't Place Dog Poop Bags on the Picnic Table

A WRITTEN rule is to always clean up after your dog. But don’t place dog poop bags on the picnic table! Even if you clean it after, we’re sure the campers after you would much prefer you didn’t in the first place. 

The same goes for dirty shoes. Try to avoid placing these items on any shared surfaces, including picnic tables.

Rule #11: Lock Up Your Food Correctly (Especially in Bear Country)

It’s important to lock up your food correctly and clean any food debris every day, especially before you go to bed. You don’t want to attract unwanted critters or, worse, a bear.

It’s not fair to your neighbors for them to clean and food-proof their campsite properly, only for you not to. Raccoons and other vermin won’t keep their mess contained to your campsite. And bears, of course, could endanger all your camping neighbors. 

Rule #12: Don’t Let Your Kids Run Through Others’ Campsites

running kids good camping neighbor

This is one of RVers' biggest pet peeves! Don’t let your kids (or pets) run through others’ campsites. That is the personal space they paid for, and it’s considered rude to enter it uninvited.

Rule #13: Turn Off Outdoor Lights at Bedtime

Don’t forget to turn out your outdoor lights at bedtime! This is especially important if your neighbors are tent-camping. Even a relatively dim porchlight can keep them awake. 

Not to mention that outdoor lights obscure the night sky. Stargazing is one of the highlights of camping, and you don’t want to take that enjoyment from others. 

Speaking of which, check out this Stargazing for Campers Kit (10 Must-Have Items).

Rule #14: Be Forgiving

Camping can be stressful, and sometimes people make mistakes. Try to be forgiving and understanding of your neighbor’s mistakes or misunderstandings.

Give them the benefit of the doubt, especially since there are a lot more newbie campers than ever before. They really might not realize they’re doing something wrong. Be patient and offer friendly advice if needed. 

If that doesn’t work…

Rule #15: Know How to Deal with a Bad Camping Neighbor

How to Deal with Bad Camping Neighbors

It’s happened to all of us. You get all settled into a campsite only to realize your camping neighbor is less than ideal. Or just downright terrible. (Which is why we’ve written another complete article on it.)

Your first thought is they’re going to ruin your enjoyment and spoil your fun. Their music is too loud. Their campsite is too messy. Their dog is chained when not pooping on your campsite.

Do you just have to suck it up and take it? Well, there is a chance that yes, you might have to put up with some of it. However! There are some things you can do to improve the situation…

Keep reading How to Deal with Bad Camping Neighbors…

10 Unwritten Rules of Camping (In General)

Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

We made this video a few years back, and it's been a helpful resource for RVers. There is some overlap with the unwritten rules we listed above for being a good camping neighbor, but we cover other important rules, too. It's worth the watch if you haven't seen it already!

Finally! Mike and Jennifer's Michigan Bundle
(Michigan's Lower Peninsula AND Michigan's Upper Peninsula)

Don’t Do THAT! Be the GOOD Camping Neighbor! 15 UNWRITTEN Rules... 2

This Michigan Bundle contains our ever-popular Guide to the Upper Peninsula PLUS our newest Guide on the LOWER Peninsula! Here's a little on both ebooks (not a printed book):

Michigan's Upper Peninsula Adventure Guide: This ebook is a seven stop guided exploration of the Michigan UP. We provide a suggested route and itinerary, links to multiple campgrounds and boondocking spots, and the best spots to see along the way. Don’t plan your trip to the Upper Peninsula without it!

Michigan's Lower Peninsula Adventure Guide: This guide explores the Lower Peninsula, also known as ‘the Mitten.” You can easily spot its mitten shape on the map. Most of this guide follows the coast of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, with a little bit of Lake Erie down near Detroit.

You are in for a HUGE adventure with this ebook bundle of the best of Michigan for RVers!

Official RV Lifestyle QUICK Links to the Destination eBooks

You can see ALL our eBooks here, or use the following Quick Links to go straight to what you need!

●    Adirondacks

●    Arizona

●    Colorado

●    Florida’s Atlantic Coast

●    Florida’s Gulf Coast

●    Florida Keys

●    Great Lakes Shoreline

●    Natchez Trace

●    Southern Utah

●    Upper Peninsula

●    Yellowstone

And MANY of these are BUNDLED together: 

Ultimate Michigan and Great Lakes Bundle – 3 ebooks –
Upper Peninsula, Lower Peninsula, and the Great Lakes Tour

Michigan Bundle
Upper Peninsula, Lower Peninsula

The Great Lakes Adventure Guide Bundle
The Great Lake Shoreline Tour & JUST the Upper Peninsula Guide

Florida Adventure Guide Bundle
Gulf Coast, Atlantic Coast, Keys 

Southwest Adventure Guide Bundle
Arizona, Colorado, Southern Utah) 

Ultimate 7-Day RV Adventure Guide Bundle
Collection 1- our first 10 ebooks (does NOT contain Great Lakes Shoreline or Natchez Trace)

We also have a nice collection of ebooks that will help you navigate the RV Lifestyle. 

Like these:

RV Buying Secrets

The Beginner's Guide to Boondocking 

The Ultimate Guide to Cheap or FREE RV Camping Sites

Boondocking and Free RV Camping EBOOK Bundle

The Beginner’s Guide to Boondocking ebook and Ultimate Guide to Free Camping Sites

And ONE PRINT book 🙂 and yes, before you ask, we have plans for MANY more print books.

The Complete Guide to Boondocking – PRINT VERSION
This is the same as the ebook titled The Beginner's Guide to Boondocking but in print.

And while you are exploring all our ebooks – check out the hoodies, T-shirts, Stickers, and mugs in our MERCH Store! You can get to it directly by just going here – SHOP!

Rate this post

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-05-05

Mike Wendland is an Emmy award-winning journalist, traveler, and producer of RV Podcast, the RV Lifestyle travel blog, and the RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. Mike, traveling with his wife Jennifer and their Norwegian Elkhound, Bo, has vast experience and a great passion for exploring North America, previously working as a long-time NBC-TV News Channel Technology Correspondent and now sharing his love for the RV lifestyle with millions. Mike is not only an adept RV life enthusiast but also a skillful storyteller, bringing to his channels stories from the road that perfectly capture the magic and hardships of this lifestyle.

4 Responses to “Don’t Do THAT! Be the GOOD Camping Neighbor! 15 UNWRITTEN Rules…”

May 08, 2023at8:32 pm, Jeff Parker said:

Along with the quiet while packing up early. Don’t play corn hole at 7 am. If you do not have enough room for all your cars take a couple to designated parking areas. Worst campers I ever stayed next too had an rv and 2 tents of families at one spot. 6 cars. They were beeding out into the road. Everytime someone came through they had to move cars to let rvs through. Then they would get up at 6 am have breakfast and being bored immediately start playing corn hole. I would hear this thump. Thump thump thump at 7 am.


May 11, 2023at7:13 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Oh No! They sound like some neighbors! Team RV Lifestyle


May 05, 2023at6:04 pm, Stanley R Clemence said:

You forgot one rule. Don’t have a campfire that smokes all day and all night.


May 06, 2023at12:54 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks, Stanley! Team RV Lifestyle


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top