There always seems to be things that veteran campers just expect everyone to know and get all up in arms when “newbie” RVers don’t adhere to. It usually manifests itself as hushed whispers, Internet forum rantings or even shouts of “Get off mah lawn!” The veterans like to believe that their fears and angers are simply common sense (and some are), but truthfully – it helps to have a guide.
Please comment with other ideas that you have that I don’t cover here.
The Golden Rule
Most can be summarized by the general philosophy, “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.” (or the many variations that Wikipedia has amassed). Unless you’re off in the forest, out in the desert or otherwise boondocking where there is no one to hear you scream- you’re likely going to be in a campground or RV park that is fairly close quarters to your neighbor. Try to be mindful and think of others.
DOs and DON’Ts
Of course none of this is set in stone. There are exceptions to every rule and obviously these rules reflect my bias and personal preference.
- Cutting Through Sites: A camper’s reserved site is much like their “yard” and they’d likely prefer that you don’t cut across it when your on are passing through be it headed to the bathhouse, pool, friend’s site or elsewhere.
- Pet Poo: The same goes for your pets. As a non-pet owner, I’d prefer to not watch your pooch do its thang on my site. (Yes, I know the prior inhabitants possibly had pets that did their thing.)
- Noise: The noise from your site shouldn’t be a constant intrusion to the campers around you. Dogs bark, kids play & yell, adults laugh and sometimes shout – it’s a given but hopefully it isn’t a non-stop barrage to your neighbors.
- Radios: Radios should be given special consideration. A lot of folks have a lot of different preferences in music or when it is played. My personally opinion: if I’m in the woods, I do not like hearing a radio. If I’m in an RV park, I think a radio is OK. In both cases when it gets dark, I think it should go off.
- When we play our radio via the outside speakers, we’ll walk the perimeter of the site and make sure it can’t be heard from too far away. I’ll also usually talk to the neighbors who might be downstream and make sure they’re OK with the music selection.
- Keep It Tidy: Being a parent with 2 of my own kids and often another kid along with us, I know how hard it can be to keep a tidy site. But we try to keep on top of it – as the kids get one or two or three things out, we take a break and tidy up.
- In fact, after dark – all of those landmines become tripping hazards.
- Lights After Dark: Don’t be afraid of the dark! A couple of lights is alright. A shining beacon for the International Space Station is not. And please when you go in for the night, turn off your outside lights.
- Campfires: Camp fires seem to be one that causes more controversy than I ever expected. If you’re going to have one, try to keep it from being too smoky by using dry, seasoned wood.
- Flicking Boogers: Oh and specifically for The Crowded Camper’s Mom – flicking buggers at your neighbors should generally be discouraged. 🙂
So there you have my definitive list of DOs and DON’Ts to being a good neighbor. As I said before, please comment with ideas that you have to help be a good neighbor.
One of our DOs is to sweep the campsite before we leave to remove all trash, even if it was there before our arrival. This includes small items. We find it rude and disrespectful when folks leave behind cigarette butts, candy/gum wrappers, juice box straws, bottle caps, etc. Always leave the campsite cleaner than how it was when you arrived.
Rob, I wholeheartedly agree that trash left behind stinks! It's very cool that you pickup the site before you go. Too many people assume that someone else will.
I generally try to encourage my kids to pickup extra stuff when we are cleaning our own stuff.