You do what you’ve got to do in some situations, even if it requires you to break RV etiquette. Traveling requires you to be flexible and adapt to constantly changing conditions.
A famous RVing YouTube couple recently was guilty of bending some rules. They even recorded themselves doing their dirty deeds.
So what did they do, and how did they get away with it? Let’s look and see!
RV Couple Breaks Overnight Parking Etiquette at Cracker Barrel
Kyle and Renee Hanks are the content creators behind HappilyEverHanks. During a long travel day, the couple encountered a problem. They discovered the spot they wanted to stay in was unavailable. The Hanks scrambled to find a place to get some rest.
Luckily, they found a nearby Cracker Barrel to call home temporarily. Unfortunately, this required them to break some standard RV etiquette. They opened their slides, extended awnings, and weren’t properly in spaces.
Thankfully, the store told them where to park, and there was plenty of room to spread out safely. Despite defying some basic camper customs, they were mindful and respectful of others.
Pro Tip: Will Cracker Barrel End Overnight Parking This Year?
What Is Cracker Docking?
Cracker docking involves staying in a Cracker Barrel parking lot. While this is most common for motorhomes, it’s possible in many types of vehicles. Due to its southern hospitality and more than 600 locations, this restaurant chain has become a popular stop for travelers. However, to ensure a smooth experience, everyone must follow some basic code.
If you don’t want to break RV etiquette, always get permission before getting too comfortable. Local regulations can prohibit guests from staying overnight. The establishment may also request that you set up in a particular area to be out of the way or leave by a specific time.
Talk to a manager for permission to avoid issues and sticky situations.
These spots can be relatively easy to find. Some of our favorite resources to use are All Stays, Campendium, and RV Trip Wizard. These tools can search your current location or allow you to enter a future destination for your search. You can then read reviews from other users and find the best place for your needs.
Many people in the nomad community use these lots. As a result, you must always be mindful and considerate of others. We’ve seen far too many places change their rules regarding overnight guests. One of the biggest causes tends to be users not following basic etiquette. Don’t be the bad apple that ruins it for everyone!
Top RV Etiquette Rules Not to Break for Overnight Parking
The RV community has established specific customs for overnight parking. First of all, limit the stop to a single night. You don’t want to overstay your welcome or take advantage of their hospitality. It’s a good idea to arrive late and leave early whenever possible.
Remember, you’re not camping. It’s not the time or place to set up chairs, pull out the grill, or play yard games. Avoid getting unnecessary gear or equipment out of storage that could clutter the area or attract attention.
Don’t run a generator, especially if others are around. Book a campsite if you’re expecting a more traditional experience.
Another piece of code you should follow is to support the establishment. In this case, grab a bite to eat, a cup of coffee, or a present from the gift shop for a loved one. It doesn’t have to be a large purchase, but they’ll appreciate your monetary support.
Finally, the last bit of manners is always to leave the area cleaner than you found it. Unfortunately, some people don’t know how to clean up after themselves. Don’t leave anything behind; pick up any trash you see, even if it isn’t yours. Garbage is one of the leading reasons for creating regulations prohibiting overnight parking.
Why You Should Not Break RV Etiquette Rules
It’s essential to remember that parking is a privilege and not a right. Establishments are under no obligation to offer up their empty lots. When you break RV etiquette, it’s only a matter of time before they change their rules. Unfortunately, some of our favorite locations have changed policies in recent years or are no longer available.
Following the rules helps promote a positive reputation for the community. Some people already don’t like seeing large vehicles and trailers outside their favorite stores. They often feel these vehicles are aesthetically unappealing. While you can’t please everyone, don’t give them any excuses to complain.
Additionally, following the regulations helps everyone to have a good time.
How you conduct yourself could impact the experience of others. You don’t want to be “that person” everyone dreads seeing when they roll into a location. Good neighbors are essential, whether in a campground or a Cracker Barrel.
Breaking RV Etiquette Leads to Public Land Closures
Over the last several years, we’ve reported multiple public land closures. Schreiner City Park, Coconino and Kaibab National Forests, and Mann Creek Campground are just a few examples. Sadly, we could list a dozen or so more that have experienced policy changes.
Boondocking on public lands has become incredibly popular in recent years. The massive boom in the industry in recent years has resulted in crowds.
If you want to spread out and enjoy a bit more privacy, you’ll have a tougher time finding it.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) manage millions of acres. Their primary goal is to preserve and protect the land and its natural resources. While they often allow recreational use of the land, including camping, that can change.
Officials take action when they notice negative impacts on the land. Temporary or permanent restrictions are often the result. Alabama Hills Recreation Center is one prime example. A large chunk of the area used for recreation is now day-use only, and a mandatory permit system is in the works.
Here are the 7 Deadly Sins of Overnight RV Parking.
Don’t Give RVers a Bad Name
We never recommend disobeying etiquette at Cracker Barrel, while boondocking, or in a campground. Thankfully, the famous YouTubers didn’t inconvenience anyone. They demonstrated the importance of knowing and following the policies.
If you’re lot docking, do so responsibly. Brush up on the proper manners and be mindful of local rules. You don’t want to break the RV etiquette accidentally.
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