Skip to Content

The Top 10 Worst Things About Camping

| Updated May 31, 2023

Hold on a minute . . . the top 10 worst things about camping? I thought the love of camping was the ultimate goal here? 

Ok, we can be realistic and understand that no way of living, even the RV lifestyle, is perfect. 

Thank you to our amazing Facebook followers for their help to point out a few of the rough things regarding camping. 

Actually, so many of you, almost 700 camping fans, commented on the recent post asking for the worst things about camping. 

With 400 comments in less than 3 hours, the post had to be turned off with too much to monitor.  Wow! 

We knew we just had to dive into this more with all the interesting comments from you all! Maybe identifying some of these downfalls will help our fellow campers plan better and tackle the camping world with much more ease.  

Number 1 worst thing? Coming Home.

rv in driveway
Coming home 🙁

However, we call them the “worst” things but hundreds of followers stated that coming home from a great trip in the outdoors was definitely the most tragic part of camping.  

Kathie, a fellow camping fan, referred to this downside as returning to “normal” life. As sad as it is, we did not count this obvious problem in our top 10 but appreciate that the majority of campers love being out as much as possible!  

We will, though, start with the most obvious difficulty of leaving and returning home—packing and unpacking! Yuck! 

Are you one to leave everything fully stocked in your camper so there is not much packing and unpacking? What about for our tent campers out there without that option? Organization, helping hands, and correct supplies can make life easier for all campers. 

Plastic tubs and carts with wheels are wonderful tools to store supplies and allow for easier transport to and from. 

Having enough items to leave in your camper at all times is, of course, ideal but starts with even more investment in the beginning. Even with the basics as a constant; clothes, food, and seasonal items must be moved at some point. 

Closet organizers help greatly with transporting wardrobes. 

For fridge and pantry items, plastic containers that items can stay in work wonders. 

Extra hands will make a huge difference as well! Assigning a specific room or item to each family member will get the packing and unpacking done more quickly and efficiently. 

Or just go full-time and never unpack again!  

Number 2 worst thing is an extension of the first issue as you must set up when arriving at camp and break down when time to leave. 

camping set up
Setting up and tearing down.

Set up includes fitting in spots that seem to be dwindling in size every year. Teresa best summed it up as having “no space.” Teddi informed the Facebook group that backing in was his least favorite thing about camping. Many married couples would agree to the struggle with the often-difficult feat of parking the camper just right. 

However, if you are lucky to back-in smoothly into a nice, large spot, the set up will still require several steps. 

A checklist and all hands-on-deck are key to keeping the peace! 

Then what goes up, must come down! Breaking down camp may include drying out the tent after a rainy night, stabilizing all the interior loose objects, airing out the fire smell, and dumping the tanks, of course. While ending the trip is bad enough, a dump job gone wrong is the worst!  

This leads us the 3rd worst thing about camping—poop! 

Photo of RV Dump Stations
Long lines at dump stations?

This topic keeps coming up on many posts and particularly this one on our Facebook page. 

Dog poop is definitely the most problematic of them all. Despite dog parks and bag/trash stations being much more popular at many RV parks, many dog owners refuse to follow the simple rule of “please pick up after your pet.” 

One RV Lifestyle follower, Vic, commented that he is a dog lover but not of their poop all over the park.  No one likes the smell, look, or mess on your shoes! 

Dumping is another lovely inconvenience of camping that can be a bit stinky! 

Joining the hundreds of you that commented on this post, Jeffrey added that waiting in line at the dump station is one of the worst things about camping. He included that we often have to rush to dump quickly due to the long line. 

Some campers suggest hitting the station as early as possible or right before checkout to help alleviate the crowd. 

A few other unpleasant, poop-related drawbacks are the RV toilet paper, as Brenda reminded us on Facebook, public and pit toilets, and the poorly-designed sewer connections. 

A camper fan, Nancy, shared with the group that uphill sewer connections are not ideal–bad flow and even worse smell!   

Our poor furry friends are also a hot topic of the 4th worst thing about camping—noise! 

The Top 10 Worst Things About Camping 1
Bo is never noisy. 🙂

A barking dog seems to send many campers over the edge. 

But what can be even louder and more annoying than that? Well, Scott from Facebook summed it up well with his comment of “other campers.” 

Many of you agreed that noisy neighbors can be a pitfall to a pleasant camping experience. 

Campers’ children were also mentioned by many RV Lifestyle fans. Furthermore, keep the kids calm without screaming at them as one follower, Greg, described as a major shortcoming. 

Isabel and others added generators to the noisy list. Even leaf blowers were mentioned a few times by campers such as Marie on this post. 

Overall, our commenters begged others to control their kids, dogs, music, and more to help everyone have a relaxing time.  

Number 5 falls in the middle of this list but at the top of our budgets. Camping costs!

Fuel is an obvious expense but often hard to accurately plan for when prices vary from location to location. 

Campground costs seem to also be increasing. More people camping means we will have to spend more money as RV parks have quickly figured out that they can raise prices and still fill spots.

Patricia shared on Facebook that expensive campgrounds are the worst in her opinion and many others agreed. Not only are the site costs rising, but many amenities and necessities are also increasing as well. 

James reminded our group that many campgrounds allow only their firewood to be burned which is often higher-priced than off-site options. Campers must definitely consider these costs before your next adventure!

Cleaning comes in at number 6 of the worst things about camping. 

Washing is important

Most of our Facebook followers felt laundry is the most awful. 

Damp, dingy clothes smell, take up space quickly, and require a visit to the dreaded laundromat.

Patrice, from our Facebook group, purposely goes to the laundromat to wash all the sand-filled items after a trip to the beach to save her own home washer and dryer the agony. 

Full-timers must frequent laundromats or purchase a washer and dryer for their trailer if possible. Whatever the solution may be, the clothes, rugs, sheets and so on must be cleaned! 

Tents and trailers must also be cleaned and cared for.  While camping comes with more time for play, some work is not avoidable. 

Weather, the 7th worst thing on our list, is also unavoidable, uncontrollable and often makes the mess even worse! 

drive weather app
Use the Drive Weather App

Both Sandy and Jenelle shared with other Facebook fans that loading and unloading in the rain can make for a miserable time.

Another fan, Paige, summed it up as “wetness is the enemy.” 

Rain makes a mess and can keep us locked inside instead of enjoying the beautiful outdoors. 

Many other commenters included weather phenomena such as lightning, cyclones, and snow as nasty things when camping. 

Winterizing is the 8th

Wintertime brings another downfall—winterizing your trailer and often storing it until the warmth revisits again. We created a whole playlist for you to learn how to winterize your RV. Or just have it done for you (see worst thing number 5).

However, with more full-timers and four-season RVs, maybe weather will be less of an issue for some! 

BUGS! are the 9th

The Top 10 Worst Things About Camping 2
Stink bugs are horrible, but ants or mice might be first as worst.

The weather and season changes bring extra visitors to many campgrounds. But not the kind we like! 

Bugs can be one of the worst things about camping. 

On this Facebook post all kinds of creepy, crawling creatures were mentioned. 

Shari listed mosquitoes, Donna brought up bugs in the bathrooms, Kim hates the black flies that bite, and Dennis reminded us of the blood-sucking ticks. And what about all those stink bugs we just went through?

We love the great outdoors but sharing it with bugs is such a nuisance. Many campers have found tricks to keep some bugs at bay but having a few straggling visitors is inevitable.  

Number 10 on our list is also inevitable for any RV owner. Trailers of every type require maintenance. 

The Top 10 Worst Things About Camping 3
fixing fixing fixing

Some of us have a worse time than others. 

Jim commented that taking his trailer back to the dealer has severely dulled his camping time. 

Even if you do not have major maintenance issues, you will require some work at some time. 

Tires need to be replaced, equipment will fail, blowouts will occur as Cathryn reminded us, and more. 

Big or small, any repair takes time, money, and patience. Keep your focus on the camping and understand the upkeep involved.  

While we identified the top ten worst things about camping, going home was still the number one comment on this post…

Photo of Mike and Jennifer, hosts of the RV Podcast
Mike and Jennifer

Agreeing with you all, Fraun affirmed that her camping time is “never long enough”. 

Rich added that “not camping” is the worst thing. 

For those of us that love camping, we understand the few downfalls but that the camping experience outweighs them all! Focus on the fun and enjoy your next adventure!  

Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-11-06

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

9 Responses to “The Top 10 Worst Things About Camping”

January 19, 2022at10:03 am, What we LOVE/HATE about RV Travel and Camping said:

[…] The Top 10 Worst Things About Camping […]


January 19, 2022at6:15 am, What We LOVE/HATE About RV Travel And Camping | RV Lifestyle said:

[…] The Top 10 Worst Things About Camping […]


November 27, 2021at5:36 pm, Karen Mayer said:

Packing, set up and break down, and clean up afterwards


November 22, 2021at9:56 am, AnneMary Schram said:



November 22, 2021at9:45 am, Rob Cleeton said:

I would say dealing with sewage issues as listed in the blog from lines at the dump station to rv toilet paper.


November 22, 2021at9:38 am, Pam Hynes said:

I can’t quite respond from experience, however I think I have to agree that packing up and going home is one of the worst things about camping. I am one of those folks who are waiting in line for my LTV Wonder AWD Rear Twin Bed build. I can’t wait!


November 22, 2021at7:47 am, Barb Mitchelson said:

The worst thing is being sad cuz you are going home! Of course cleaning after an extended trip is a close second worst thing!


November 06, 2021at7:41 am, Stephen Albers said:

Of your listed “10 worst things about camping”, nearly all of them can be avoided by an appropriately designed, built and equipped trailer and the camper inside it!


November 06, 2021at10:32 am, Randal Weber said:

Pet hair,,,dusting and cleaning floors everyday! Manditory.


Leave a Reply

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

Back to top