“No, no, no! You’re doing that all wrong. Here, let me show you how to empty your tanks properly.” Have you ever been on the receiving end of a comment like this? If so, it can be hurtful, frustrating, and irritating.
No one wants to be out enjoying a weekend camping trip and have an RV neighbor stop what they’re doing, walk over, and point out what you’re doing wrong. Unfortunately, it happens.
Let’s make sure you aren’t on the distributing end of comments like these by taking a closer look at RV etiquette.
What Is RV Etiquette?
RV etiquette is how you conduct yourself as an RVer, whether at an RV park, campground, or while boondocking. It’s being respectful of the environment and other campers. This includes things like properly disposing of your trash and minding quiet hours at campgrounds. RV etiquette also means keeping your tongue in check and not overstepping boundaries with your RV neighbors.
Still, you want to use your best judgment. If someone is in danger, like incorrectly hooking a 50-amp plug into a 30-amp plug without an adapter, there’s cause for some polite interruption.
But for the most part, don’t bother your RV neighbor unless asked. It’s rude. It seems patronizing. And it can make RV newbies feel like they don’t have what it takes for this lifestyle. Don’t be that guy.
6 Things You Should Never Say to Your RV Neighbor
Let’s look at six specific things you should never say to your RV neighbor and explain what to say instead. By following these guidelines, you’ll ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience for you and your neighbor.
1. Never Say ‘Hello’ While Your RV Neighbor Is Parking and Setting Up Camp
Why: Setting up and tearing down are two of the most stressful times of the camping experience. There are checklists and safety protocols. You don’t want to forget anything during these two processes. If you interrupt your RV neighbor to say “hello” while they’re parking and setting up, you’re actually making the process more dangerous.
You could distract the driver and cause them to back up into a tree or picnic table. If you walk up to the driver’s window, they could run over your foot. Seriously, it happens.
Or the person outside guiding the driver could get distracted talking to you and not safely instruct the driver to avoid a low-lying limb. Thus, the roof gets damaged. Don’t talk to your RV neighbors when they’re parking or setting up.
What to Say Instead: Instead, just wait. You don’t have to avoid them forever. Just wait until they’re sitting outside enjoying a beverage.
Ask them where they’re from and how long they’ll be staying. Have a conversation once they’ve completed their setup process for their safety, the safety of their RV, and your own safety.
2. Never Say ‘Goodbye’ While Your RV Neighbor Is Packing Up to Leave
Why: As we mentioned earlier, talking to your RV neighbors while setting up and tearing down isn’t a good idea. When they’re packing up, they’re following a checklist, whether physical or mental. Don’t break that concentration.
They have a certain order to do things in and need to focus on the tasks at hand to make sure they leave safely and with everything (and everyone) they brought. Leave your RV neighbors alone when they’re packing up to leave.
What to Say Instead: Once they’ve finished their tasks, then feel free to go over and wish them safe travels. This is the time to say “goodbye,” not while they’re diligently packing up. Also, make sure the driver sees you as you approach.
Pro Tip: Stay respectful while RVing by following these 20 Golden Camping Rules.
3. Never Say ‘F#&% You!’ or Other Curse Words to Your RV Neighbor
Why: This language may be OK in your family, but not all families use curse words. Be respectful of other campers when you’re outside. This includes while you’re having a conversation with your own family and friends around the campfire.
Other campers can hear almost every word, especially at campgrounds and RV parks where sites are tight or close together. If you’re telling jokes around the campfire and using coarse language, your RV neighbors can hear you.
And if they have children, they may not appreciate the spicy language. Don’t have the attitude that you can say whatever you want at your campsite. Be mindful of others.
What to Say Instead: If you feel the need to use curse words and if it’s a regular part of your conversation, try to limit them to inside your RV. Keep your voice down when speaking outside.
If possible, use respectful language, especially around children. Wear a rubber band around your wrist and allow your kids to snap it if you say something you shouldn’t. Come up with a fun game if avoiding coarse language is something that will be difficult for you.
4. Never Tell Overly Personal Facts About Yourself or Ask Them Invasive Questions
Why: Some people love to have conversations with strangers. You might be one of those people. You love to learn their stories and know where they’ve been and where they’re going. Those stories are fun to tell and fun to hear. But don’t ask your RV neighbor to share personal information.
Don’t ask about their sex life, how many kids they want to have, or how much money they make. This goes for any location and not just at an RV park or campground. Conversations can sometimes move to more personal facts, so be cautious when that happens.
Also, don’t share your own personal information. Your RV neighbor doesn’t need to know everything. They don’t need to know that you and your wife had a freaky night last night.
What to Say Instead: Feel free to get to know your RV neighbor, but keep the conversation friendly and not too personal. Ask about their travels. Ask their kids about their favorite places. Share stories of funny camping experiences. Keep your conversation light and friendly.
5. Never Say, ‘You’re Doing That Wrong,’ or Give Unsolicited Advice
Why: Unless someone’s life is on the line, don’t tell another camper that they’re doing something wrong. Even if they are, it takes time to learn the ropes. They need to figure things out on their own.
If they ask you for help or advice, that’s a different situation. But don’t give unsolicited advice. This makes other campers feel inferior, not to mention angry.
What to Say Instead: Instead of telling someone they’re doing it wrong, ask if they need any help.
Maybe a man is outside trying to set up the sewer hose, and it just keeps popping off. You experienced the same problem when you arrived. So, you politely walk over and mention you had the same issue so he doesn’t feel incompetent. Ask if he needs any help. But if he says “no,” respect his answer and leave him alone.
Pro Tip: Keep your fur babies out of your neighbor’s campsite with these Best Portable Dog Fences for Camping with Your Canines.
6. Never Say Anything Too Loudly
Why: Going back to the coarse language, don’t just keep your voice down when using curse words. Keep your voice down always. Some campsites are very close together. Sometimes you can even hear your RV neighbors talking inside their own RV. Be respectful, and don’t say anything too loudly.
When you’re having a few drinks around the campfire, it can be difficult to remember this. When your kids are running around playing tag on a spring afternoon, it can be difficult for them to remember this. But try to keep your voices down so you don’t disturb your RV neighbors.
What to Say Instead: You can have conversations. Tell jokes. Share stories. Play games. Just do so at an appropriate volume.
Especially at night, remind your kids that others are camping nearby. Some people will get up early to go to work. Some families have babies. Don’t stop the fun. Just don’t enjoy your camping experience at the expense of others’ enjoyment.
How Do You Deal With Rude Campers?
Sometimes you’re on the receiving end of rude behavior at a campground. When this happens, you can try addressing your RV neighbor directly and calmly. If you feel you cannot resolve the issue or are uncomfortable doing so, contact the campground host or manager. And remember, your home is on wheels. You can always pack up and leave if needed.
Be Polite and Don’t Ruin Camping for Your RV Neighbors
Camping at an RV park or campground is loads of fun. There are so many amenities and ways to enjoy your experience. But there are also ways you can ruin the weekend for others. Again, don’t be that guy. Follow these guidelines to ensure you aren’t the RV neighbor everyone is talking negatively about.
Have you caught yourself saying one of these lines before? Drop a comment below!
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