7 Traits of Bad RVers Who Think They’re Good RVers

By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

7 Traits of Bad RVers Who Think They’re Good RVers

Traveling around in your RV can be a very rewarding experience.

But all it takes to ruin the experience is having bad RVer neighbors, and we’ve all had them.

You settle into your chair around the campfire and your neighbor’s dog comes running over to steal your hot dogs. Or you are about to go to sleep and your neighbors’ lights are piercing through your window all night.

The point of being out is to have a feeling of freedom and away from everyday distractions. So, having bad etiquette, even the smallest thing, it could ruin a trip.

The golden rule applies when it comes to RV etiquette, if you don’t want it done to you then don’t do it to others.

Hopefully you’re not the person causing the issue, but if you want to know if it’s you here is how you can tell.

What is RVing Etiquette? 

There are situations in life where unspoken rules apply. Like in sports, there are rules that people uphold out of respect for each other even though it’s not an official rule.

In RVing, this etiquette applies. This is just out of respect for those around you. It’s like saying you and I both appreciate traveling around in our RV and to show my appreciation, I will treat you with respect. It’s also part of just being a good person.

So, here are the 7 things that make someone a bad RVer.

7 Traits of Bad RVers Who Think They’re Good RVers

#1: Letting Pets Run Off Leash

First trait of a bad RVer is letting your pets run off the leash.

If you do this you are probably wondering what the big deal is. Unless you have a very well-trained dog that will only sit by your side at all times, you should never just let your dog off the leash. This isn’t your backyard or home. And let’s just admit your dog could use more training.

No one wants or feels safe when a dog runs up to them possibly barking that they don’t know. Or maybe your dog smells something and wants to explore someone’s campsite or RV while they are eating. The excuse is always, he won’t bite or he’s super friendly. No one cares.

If your dog wants to meet people and your neighbors are ok with it, walk your dog over to them with the leash on.

#2: Walking Through Other People’s Campsites as a Shortcut

Another very annoying thing that bad RVers do is walk through other people’s campsites.

We all understand that it’s a shortcut. But you wouldn’t walk through your neighbor’s backyard because it’s a shortcut. Even though it’s a campground and it’s all open, this is still an invasion of privacy.

People leave out their personal belongings and it doesn’t feel comfortable having a stranger walking around their stuff. So, take the extra steps and walk around. 

#3: Bad RVers Use Blinding Outdoor Lights

This is the modern annoyance of the LED lights. We get it, we don’t always remember to turn off the outside light. Maybe you went inside and settled in but were planning to come back out.

Make it a routine to check everything before you go to sleep. Blinding outdoor lights shine right into neighbors’ RVs because they tend to be close to each other. Or maybe you have some people in tents next to you. Those lights will seem like it’s day time and make it hard to sleep.

If you’re not out there to enjoy them turn them off. They don’t need to be on since you’re not using them.

#4: Leaving Dogs Alone That Bark All Day Long

If you have a dog that tends to bark when you’re around, I guarantee you they bark when you’re gone and probably more. We know you don’t like your own dog barking, and others definitely don’t!

Bad RVers leave their anxious barking dogs at camp while they’re gone for the day. This means everyone in the campground has to listen to it… and the dog has to be upset!

Think about taking the dog with you or figuring out how to keep the dog calm like putting it inside. Sometimes neighbors still have to work or just like relaxing and reading a book outside their RV. You don’t like barking dogs and neither does anyone else.

#5: Putting Trash in The Fire Ring

When it comes to the fire ring it’s just that. It’s not a trash can. Do not burn trash and do not leave trash in your fire ring. Burning trash whether it seems like it or not usually has some chemicals like plastic.

Bad RVers throw all their trash in the fire ring, not thinking about the people who will have to clean up after them.

Even paper plates have plastic chemicals that coat the plates. These smell bad and it’s not safe to inhale. Also, no one wants to clean your trash.

So, when you leave take your fire ring trash along with all your other trash to the trash can where it belongs. 

Pro Tip: Have you thought about dumping your grey water on the ground? Here’s the legality of it.

#6: Setting Up Camp While Using Free Overnight Parking Locations Like Walmart

This one isn’t so much of an annoyance for your neighbors as it is the store itself. When it comes to free overnight parking at places like Walmart, the etiquette is not to set up your whole campsite. This is still a parking lot so it should be treated as such.

It’s ok to put a slide to walk around. But maybe consider not putting the slide out all the way. It’s first a parking lot for the patrons of the store and second a place for free overnight parking. If you break this etiquette they have every right to come out and ask you to leave.

Here are some tips for free overnight camping at Walmart.

#7: Bad RVers Don’t Follow Quiet Hours

Last on our list is to observe quiet hours. This is to be respected regardless of boondocking or at a campground. Just because you want to be super loud and party outside doesn’t mean everyone else does. Unless they all do want to join, you this might be ok.

Or if you are boondocking and there is absolutely no one else around you.

Bad RVers don’t take into account everyone else around them.

But be a courteous neighbor and at least take it inside. No one likes it when they are trying to sleep and the people next to them are having a loud party. 

We All Just Want To Have a Good Time

At the end of the day we all just want to be out having a good time. RVing is about getting away, exploring new places, and getting to meet new people.

It’s all an adventure and the more courteous we can be to those around us the more fun we all will have. Instead of pissing your neighbors off, be kind to them and invite them over.

Get out there and swap stories, make memories and new friends. That’s what it’s all about.

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

10 comments

  1. Don’t forget # 8
    Power Hoggs
    RVer with a 30 amp rigg that plug into 50 amp site when there 30 amp sites available.

  2. You should add that RV’er that has to “get an early start” and starts the diesel, bangs and slams the doors while packing up…all before dawn.

  3. The 7 Rules, that you have in your article, are great! So are the additional comments that have been posted…all great things to remember. Sometimes, if a camper is on vacay or camps a couple of times a year, they are not accustomed to obeying these obvious RULES. These are all good things to remember to help make your neighbor, remember his/her neighbor with kind and gracious thoughts..

  4. Everything you mentioned in this article, I have experienced at every campground I have been too! Some people just don’t care about anyone else, other then themselves!! They could care less that their dog(s) are barking non-stop, that their kids are running through every campsite around, that they pile up trash for everyone to see rather then take it to the dumpster, that they are loud, obnoxious and lots of times…drunk. And it’s been my experience, that tent campers are by far, the worst when it comes campground etiquette. It’s unfortunate that there are so people out there that have no regard/respect for others at campgrounds.

  5. Thank goodness you brought this up. The lights thing has really become a problem as RV manufacturers feel the need to put ropes of lights everywhere. That and barking dogs…crazy. I just left a note on an TV that had a barking dog left in it. It was a nice reminder note but, really, that adults have to be told no one wants to hear their dog bark all day.

  6. Interesting. I have not been to a campground yet where they don’t hand you their rules. Some of these are on them others are not. I follow the campground rules.

  7. Okay, what about some of us that don’t want company. We like parks for the hook ups, but I don’t want to be everyone’s friend. Sometime I just want to be left alone. Why people act like welcome wagon, I just don’t understand….

  8. Hey I want to add a caveat to the light thing. I work third shift and need a a light on when I return. I usually handle this by just asking my neighbor if the light is disturbing them. That way I still have light at o’dark thirty if not, and just deal with it if it does. People still can work together and come up with solutions. Also since I day sleep I always ask for a more remote spot.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: