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Avoid These 5 Terrible RVer Traits (That Are All Too Common)

If you’re a newbie to the camping lifestyle, there are a few little secrets you need to know about. Otherwise, you could be cast-off as an annoying RVer if you don’t follow specific rules.

Our secret isn’t about finding the most excellent sites or places with the best views. Instead, it’s the secret code of campsite etiquette.

Other campers will get angry with you; some may share their frustrations, while others will give you silent stares of annoyance. We don’t want you to be that kind of neighbor.

So we’re looking at tips to help you stay in good graces with your fellow campers!

What Is Campsite Etiquette? 

Etiquette is the unwritten rules for appropriate behavior. It’s like a code to follow. There’s proper etiquette when attending a wedding and proper etiquette when going to an interview. Camping is no different.

There’s a polite way to behave, and if you don’t know the proper etiquette, you may be scolded by other campers or just avoided because no one likes you at the campground.

What’s Annoying in an RV Park? 

Sometimes things happen. Your dog gets loose, and you have to chase it down. You’re not worried about whether or not you’re walking around campsites rather than through them. You’re just trying to catch your dog. However, there are certain unwritten rules to camping that you need to follow.

One of them is don’t walk through other campsites. This is their home at the moment. Don’t traipse through because it’s a short-cut to the swimming pool.

Another rule to campsite etiquette is cleaning up after yourself. Don’t leave trash, whether it’s in a trash bag or just littered on the ground. This includes your pets. Clean up after your pet. No one wants to step in dog poop.

Obey the quiet hours too. Just because you’re up at midnight doesn’t mean everyone else is.

And obey the other campground rules. If your child isn’t supposed to be unattended, don’t be that parent. If bringing your own wood isn’t permitted, there’s a reason why. It’s not a rule for other campers; it’s a rule for you.

Mom and two daughters walking through other peoples RV campsite.
Remember campsite rules, spoken and unspoken, are designed to make sure everyone has the best camping experience possible.

5 Most Terrible Traits of RVers

Even though there’s a set of unwritten rules campers should follow, there are still those annoying things that RVers do. It’s like some people think they don’t have to follow the rules. Or they think a rule is ridiculous, so they ignore it.

Please don’t do the things below and ruin camping experiences for others.

1. Walking Through Someone Else’s Campsite

One of the most annoying things RVers do is take short-cuts through other campers’ sites. Some campgrounds aren’t set up well for walking among amenities. For example, the laundry facility is on one end of the campground while the playground is two roads over.

Instead of walking down the road to get to the playground, campers will walk through the two rows of campsites for a shorter route. No one wants strangers walking through their yard. It’s annoying! It’s also lazy. Just take the longer route and follow proper campsite etiquette.

This isn’t just for private campground sites, though. This is true for boondocking locations, too. If you’re at a Harvest Host vineyard for an overnight stay, don’t walk through the owner’s property just to take a short-cut to the winery.

If you’re out on BLM land, stay in your area. Don’t spread out all of your things where you encroach on the next boondocker’s space.

2. Blowing Smoke Into Your RV

Although you may try really hard to keep smoke out of your own RV, you should try equally as hard to keep smoke from blowing into your neighbors’ RVs.

Smoke smells don’t easily go away. No one wants the inside of their RV smelling like a campfire. Keep watch over your campfire. Try to keep smoke from blowing into your RV as well as everyone else’s.

This is true for people who smoke as well. Be aware of where you’re smoking whether it’s a cigarette or a cigar. Lots of campers love the outdoors but don’t love the smell of smoke.

Don’t ruin their camping experience by standing outside and blowing smoke into your neighbor’s windows. It’s rude even if you aren’t intentionally being annoying.

Quick Solution: Never worry about smoke again with a portable propane fire pit.

Couple cooking hot dogs over a campfire with minimal smoke.
Sing kumbaya around the campfire by avoiding blowing smoke into your neighbors campsites.

3. Speeding in Campgrounds

Another common annoying thing RVers do is speed in campgrounds. You can’t be in a hurry. There are speed bumps usually to prevent this, but lots of trucks can glide over those without any issues. It’s like speeding through someone’s driveway.

Also, lots of children are at campgrounds. It’s dangerous to be in a hurry because children are out playing. If their ball rolls into the road, they shouldn’t be afraid they’ll be run over by a speeding truck. Lots of campers bike, so you want to be aware of them on the road as well.

4. Not Picking Up After Themselves

The trash left behind on BLM land and other free camping locations is causing these areas to be shut down. When RVers don’t “leave no trace,” they’re hurting the camping experience for other campers who won’t get a chance to enjoy scenic locations.

They’re also ruining the natural beauty of camping. No one wants to pull up to a site that’s trashed with beer bottles, cigarette butts, and plastic snack wrappers.

This particular habit certainly affects other campers, but it also affects the environment. When RVers don’t clean up their trash, animals come out.

This is dangerous depending on the wildlife in the area. It’s also dangerous for the animals themselves. They shouldn’t be eating trash. RVers not picking up trash isn’t just annoying; it’s harmful.

Pro Tip: One persons junk does not always turn out to be another persons treasure. We uncovered What’s the Worst Thing You’ve Found at a Campsite?

Kids cleaning up campsite.
Always remember to clean up after yourself and leave no trace!

5. Being A Bad Pet Parent

This annoying habit may be the worst of all, especially for people who aren’t pet owners. Most campground rules state that pets always have to be on a leash, should never be left unattended outside, and must be picked up after.

And yet, there are pet parents who completely ignore these rules. Maybe they think their precious pet is better behaved than others, or they’ve taken their pet to extensive training sessions. Don’t be a bad pet parent.

Keep your dog on a leash, preferably a shorter one rather than a longer one. Pick up poop just like it’s trash. No one wants to ride their bike through a dog’s poop pile.

Finally, maintain control over your pet. If you have a small dog that yaps constantly, you’re going to annoy your neighbors. Perhaps choose a site away from other campers if this is a consistent problem.

If your dog barks the entire time you’re gone, it’s annoying to your neighbors. You should figure out the best way to reduce the barking or not leave your RV for extended periods of time. Incessant barking is very annoying.

Pro Tip: Want to bring your furry friend along on your adventures? Find out Are Dogs Allowed in National Parks?

How Can I Avoid Being an Annoying RVer? 

Being a respectable RVer means obeying campground rules and following campsite etiquette. The unwritten rules are just as important as the written ones if you want to make friends while traveling. And campground rules change from location to location, so always pay attention.

Don’t be the annoying RVer no one wants to hang out with and receives evil stares from passersby. Do your part to make camping enjoyable for everyone else and not just yourself.

Have you ever broken one of the unwritten rules of camping etiquette? Drop a comment below!

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  1. Q says:

    I agree with the majority of your “5 Most Annoying Things”. But I whole heartedly do not with one of them; because we absolutely, are always looking to get the best view. Doesn’t always work out but, we’re always looking for it.

    Thanks, Lol…Keep on Vibin!
    Q & Meachie

  2. Maureen H says:

    One. Of the things that truly is difficult is the bright lights on the RV’s nowadays. I can see turning them in when going in or out of the camper, but some people leave them on and they are SO bright. One of the things we love about camping is looking at the stars and it makes it tough with such bright lights on. I imagine other campers must feel the same.

  3. Vickie says:

    Playing loud music in camp. I go camping for the quiet sounds of nature. Stop playing loud music.

  4. Gene Gregory says:

    I’m a former sailboat live-aboard sailor. Much of the systems and rules apply to the anchorage as well.
    I just follow the golden rule. It seems to cover most circumstances on land and at sea.

  5. Danny says:

    We agree with all 5 of your campground etiquette rules, we love picking up the dog poop in and around our campsite before we can relax, and cleaning the trash out of the fire pit before it blows everywhere, but we both know there are more…I love it when you pull in late…2 am, and spend an hour yelling orders at each other, at the dog, at the kids…etc…like you are the only one there. And how about starting that diesel at 4am, because you want that early start, maybe pack up the night before??? As a full timer, we have met you all, and it is annoying.

  6. Kmcn says:

    I’ve been a camper since I was little, some 70 years ago. I understand that people love their pets. I choose not to have one. We raised 2 children and I am not inclined to be a pet owner.
    My biggest peeve are the owners who walk their pets and allow them to pee on the posts, etc around the camp site. There is always plenty of room away from campsites.
    Also, if cigars were smoked way away from camp, that would make many people happy.

  7. D.B. says:

    The not cleaning up after pet is one of my “pet peeves” a major reason why I moved from a long-term RV park… The person who was next to me got a d### dog then “trained it to defecate next to my hook-ups, she never cleaned it up then to add to that the dog barking all day while she was gone. I worked night shift.
    My fix was to buy some land then the jack###’s that moved in next to my land has 3-5 damn dogs running loose barking and defecating all over my yard.
    Oh to agree with Danny’s post too.

  8. Ed martinek says:

    Pulling in forward so there space is in your space. Slide outs in your space, garbage in fire pits bothering you when making or breaking camp. Watching you back in.

  9. Bobshoe says:

    Playing a boom box or other noise and loud music will is awful to other campers.

  10. Georgia says:

    The smoke issue can also affect other people’s health – especially asthma or COPD. We try to avoid parks that allow campfires for this reason. It’s even worse in tight campgrounds (awning to awning and slide to slide) when people sit outside to smoke; we can’t leave our windows open then if we want to breathe.

  11. Karin clark says:

    cigarette smoke wafts into neighbours windows. While in Moab Utah our back door neighbour chain smoked and smoke continually poured into our open windows. So of course we shut them. But it bothered us. We love to let the breeze in.

  12. Sally Kerr says:

    I find loud music annoying. There should be a rule that it should only be heard at your own campsite.