Some campgrounds are so good that you never want to leave. However, just like overstaying your welcome at a friend’s house, it’s possible to linger a tad too long at a campground. Recognizing the signs is essential not just for your enjoyment but also to maintain the sanctity and health of these natural retreats. In this article, we delve into the five unmistakable signs and how long can you stay at a campground before it’s too long.
Let’s get started!
How Long Can You Stay at a Campground?
Fourteen days is the usual limit for staying at most public (state or national) campgrounds. However, some are more generous and allow stays up to 28 consecutive days. Frequently there is also a set time between visits for most campgrounds.
While many locations have policies limiting how long you can stay, that’s not always the case. Many private campgrounds and RV parks have sites they designate for long-term stays. These can last for several months or even a year.
Because stay limits vary considerably between campgrounds and RV parks, you’ll want to check with each location. Ensure you confirm the maximum consecutive days they allow and what they require once you reach the limit before revisiting the campground.
5 Signs You’ve Stayed Too Long at a Campground
At public campgrounds and boondocking spots, it’s common courtesy to move after your allotted time to allow others to use the park as well. However, at private parks, is there really too long a stay? Some don’t think so, and as long as the park owner is ok with it, we don’t think so either.
The following list is a bit of fun as sometimes, in our travels, we come across the long-termers that seem to be more a part of the park than a visitor.
#1 Weekenders Know Your Name (And Come to You for Answers)
If guests who only come on the weekend know your name and you have a reputation for understanding the campground, you might have stayed too long. The longer you stay in a campground, the more you learn about it.
Sharing helpful information with other campers can help ensure everyone has fun and makes the most of their time in the campground. There’s nothing wrong with being knowledgeable, but this could be a significant sign you need to pack it up and move on or maybe take a job with the park. Many parks will employ people who want to live there or camp host.
#2 Campground Staff Complain About Your Package Deliveries
Thanks to Amazon Prime and other online retailers, you can order almost anything online and ship it directly to you. Some campgrounds will allow RVers who spend most of their time on the road to send packages to the office. However, if you have an addiction to online shopping, it might become a bit annoying to the staff. You might have stayed too long if you’re starting to hear comments about your package deliveries.
Not all campgrounds or RV parks allow guests to receive packages at the campgrounds. We’ve heard of management ejecting RVers for having a package sent to the campground. You should always check the rules and get permission before sending any package or mail to a campground or RV park.
Pro Tip: Unsure how to get mail while RVing? We found The Best RV Mail Forwarding Services Available for you to use while on the go.
#3 You’ve Accumulated Too Much Stuff Outside Your RV
The longer your stay, the easier it is to accumulate stuff outside your RV. We’ve seen some long-term campers with potted plants and other decorations to make their campsite feel more comfortable. However, if you’re not careful, you can quickly clutter your spot and attract attention.
Many campgrounds and RV parks that allow extended stays will have strict guidelines on how you should maintain your campsite. The campground or park’s management doesn’t want a camp to be a distraction or ruin the environment they’re trying to create for all campers. Accumulating too much stuff outside your RV will quickly attract attention and is a reason for management to ask you to move on.
#4. You Get Offered a Job
Many campgrounds are looking for quality individuals to help out around the campground. They don’t want to risk hiring at random. Staying for an extended period can give the campground enough time to get to know you and develop trust. If you form a friendship with the management, don’t be surprised if they try to make you stay longer by offering you a job.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to occupations. Campgrounds often need help with administration, maintenance, and camp host positions. You may camp for free and still receive a paycheck if you come on board as an employee. These can be excellent opportunities if you’re looking to stay in an area for a while.
Learn more about workamping if this sounds appealing to you!
#5. You Get Asked to Leave
If you’ve overstayed your welcome, the campground’s management will likely ask you to leave or prohibit you from extending your stay. Many campgrounds limit how long you can visit a park to ensure other campers have an opportunity to camp. Stay limits also help them avoid campers setting up permanent residences on a site and creating a less-than-appealing environment for other campers.
Don’t get offended if the management tells you to leave when your reservation expires. There’s typically logical reasoning behind a campground asking you to leave. It may be inconvenient, but it’s often in the best interest of the management to enforce stay limits, especially if you’re not behaving yourself or causing issues for the campground.
Pro Tip: Save money by using these Best Boondocking Apps and Websites for Amazing Free Camping.
Can You Live Long Term in State Parks?
Most state parks have strict stay limits for camping. Typically, the only individuals who live long-term in state parks are employees like camp hosts and park rangers. However, some state parks allow long-term stays. If you’re hoping to stay for a few weeks or more, you’ll want to inquire with the state park regarding their policies for long-term stays.
Can You Live Year Round in a Campground?
It is possible to live year-round in many campgrounds. However, that’s not always the case. Stay limits often vary by location and can change due to the season. Some places reduce stay limits considerably during the busiest times of the year and are more generous during the off-season.
And while living year-round in a campground might sound like an eternal vacation to some, it comes with its unique challenges and considerations. While many campgrounds offer long-term stays, not all are equipped for year-round habitation due to seasonal weather constraints, limited amenities, or zoning regulations. Those who choose this lifestyle often embrace a minimalist and adaptable mindset, finding joy in the ever-changing scenery and close-knit camping community.
However, it’s essential to research and plan adequately, considering factors like access to necessities, weather preparedness, and campground rules to ensure a comfortable and sustainable living experience. We have many articles to help you lengthen your camp stays and ease into RV Living.
Pro Tip: For a more permanent solution, learn more about Destination Trailers: Differences Between Park Model RVs And Towables.
Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
The last thing you want to do when RVing is to overstay your welcome. If you’re not attracting attention to yourself or causing any issues, the campground may not mind you staying as long as you need. However, if you’re causing problems and being a pain for the staff, they may ask you to leave prematurely. Treat employees and your fellow campers with respect, and you’ll likely never have any issues with overstaying your welcome.
What’s the longest time you ever stayed in a campground? Tell us in the comments!
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