The 7 Deadly Sins of RV Camping

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

The 7 Deadly Sins of RV Camping

RV camping is one of the most fun and relaxing pastimes. 

Believe it or not, there are unwritten rules when it comes to RVing. These unwritten rules are often referred to as RV etiquette, although we think it’s all just common sense.

If you’ve spent much time camping, chances are you’ve either seen RVers do these things or maybe you’ve been this RVer yourself.

Here are the 7 deadly sins of RV camping.

1. Dumping Black Water on the Ground

Dumping black water anywhere other than a legally approved dump site is the biggest RV camping sin of all. 

Blackwater is raw sewage, and besides the fact that it’s really gross, it’s a biohazard. When your black tank is full, never dump anywhere other than an approved RV dump station. 

Pro tip: if you don’t want to break camp to go dump your tanks, get a portable waste tank to make the job easier. 

2. Being a Bad RV Dog Owner

Bringing your dog camping with you is an excellent experience for the whole family. Don’t be a bad RV dog owner!

There are a few traits of bad RV dog owners.

First, bad RV dog owners let their pets run around off-leash. Even if you know and believe that your dog is the most friendly, sociable dog ever, that doesn’t mean other people will think that or be accepting of them.

Also, even if your dog isn’t aggressive towards other dogs, that doesn’t mean that other dogs won’t be aggressive towards your pet. Keeping your dog on a leash is for everyone’s safety. 

The second trait of a bad RV dog owner is an obvious one: not cleaning up after your pet. It’s common courtesy. Pack your doggie bags!

Lastly, bad RV dog owners leave their anxious, barking dog alone for hours at a time. This is not only stressful for your pet; it’s a major nuisance for your camp neighbors who came to relax and unwind. 

3. Using a Loud Generator

People go RV camping to escape, unwind, and relax, not to listen to your loud generator all day long! 

If you’re going camping at a place without electricity and you need power, running your generator is not only inefficient, it’s a nuisance to everyone around you. 

Invest in a solar setup to power your RV and appliances instead of running your generator all day. You’ll be glad you did! 

4. Walking Through Someone Else’s Campsite

Have you ever cut through another campsite at the campground on your way to or from yours? This is a big no-no. Just like you don’t want strangers cutting through the living room of your house, nobody wants strangers cutting through their campsite. 

Respect other campers’ personal space and privacy when you’re out camping. Take the long way around to and from your campsite, and teach your kids to do the same. 

5.  Parking Too Close To Someone Else While Boondocking

Boondocking is dry camping on public lands at non-established campsites. A common mistake many new boondockers make is parking closely to other boondockers, even when there is plenty of room to have your own private camp. 

Boondockers usually like their personal space and privacy. Never park closely to another boondocker if you can avoid it, and never block their view! If someone has their camp-side facing a fantastic view, one of the biggest jerk moves you can make is to block it with your rig.

Don’t be that person!

Pro Tip: If you want a crash-course in boondocking, take a look at Boondocking 101 by RV Masterclass.

6. Leaving Outdoor Lights on All Night

Leaving outdoor lights on all night is a significant nuisance for other RV campers, especially if you’re boondocking. You might not realize it, but your lights may be shining right into another RVers bedroom or polluting their view of the night sky. 

One of the biggest complaints in RV camping groups and forums is about neighbors leaving on bright lights all night. When you’re done hanging out outside, turn them off. 

7. Trashing Your Site

Lastly, one of the worst sins of RV camping is trashing your site. Whether you’re at an established campground or boondocking, trashing your site is a major jerk move. 

New boondocking sites get shut down every year due to RV campers not cleaning up after themselves. This puts a significant strain on local resources and, as a result, causes problems for RVers looking for free camping. 

Always leave a campsite better than you found it. If you see trash, pick it up! Whether you left the garbage or not, it is our responsibility as public land users to help keep them clean. And if you’re at a developed campsite, practice the same mentality. It’s good RVer etiquette! 

Practice Good RV Etiquette

Practicing good RVer etiquette is as simple as being respectful and using common sense.

Clean up after yourself and your pets, be mindful of the experience of those around you, and properly maintain your RV.

It may seem crazy that some of these things have to be said, but every one of these 7 deadly sins has been committed by many unaware campers. Don’t let the next one be you!

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4 comments

  1. Good article. I would only add that generators are not only noisy but smelly as well. Who wants to go out to hear and smell nature and wind up smelling gas or diesel fumes. Do people really need to run their generator every morning and afternoon? Is their battery bank undersized for their needs?

  2. Thank you for touching on two of my biggest camping/trailer/RV pet peeves: boondocking too closely and leaving lights on at night. I, as most others, camp to get away from the urban life where I have neighbors. I do my best to get out and away, and find seclusion, enjoy nature, and the beautiful stars in the night sky. The way I camp, most people do my even know I’m there. Sure wish everyone camped that way…

  3. Hard to comprehend anyone would dump black or gray tanks on the ground, but apparently there are idiots out there. Everybody has a dog, most are good pet owners, but always a few that ruin it. Smokers!!! Pick up your butts, keep camp spot tidy. We all enjoy music, keep it low. Lithium battery portable AC units available so running generator to cool not necessary.
    Safe travels!
    RTinAZ

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