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5 Signs You’ve Stayed Too Long at a Campground

5 Signs You’ve Stayed Too Long at a Campground

Some campgrounds are so good that you never want to leave. However, if you’re not careful, you can stay too long at a campground. Some apparent signs appear when you’ve outstayed your welcome. So how long can you stay at a campground? 

Today, we’re looking at a handful of signs, so you know what to watch for while camping. Let’s get started!

How Long Can You Stay at a Campground?

The longest you can stay at most public (state or national) campgrounds is 14 days. 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.

Pros and cons to long term full time living in an rv park || Stationary RV living tips from families

5 Signs You’ve Stayed Too Long at a Campground

At public campgrounds and boondocking spots its 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.  

Older woman standing in front of RV
If you become a source of knowledge for other RVers at a campsite, you may have overstayed your welcome.

#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.

Man playing guitar while sitting in camper van at campsite
It is nice to feel at home at a campsite, but you want to avoid getting too comfortable that you forget it is temporary.

#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.

stuff outside RV

#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!

Two people sitting in comfortable chairs looking at sunset in RV campground
When you find a cozy spot to stay, you may want to stay as long as possible. But don’t stay so long that you get asked to leave!

#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 in 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.

Friends enjoying a picnic in front of RV at campground
Some campgrounds allow fulltime RVers to stay year-round.

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. 

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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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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