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8 Ways You’re Probably Annoying Your RV Neighbor

8 Ways You’re Probably Annoying Your RV Neighbor

An RV camping trip is supposed to be fun. Unfortunately, an annoying RV neighbors’ inconsiderate behavior can turn a dream trip into a nightmare. We’ve all been guilty of it at one point. So let’s take a deep dive into campground rules, why they’re necessary, and what annoying behaviors you may be doing without realizing it. 

Campgrounds Have Rules, and You Should Follow Them

Campground owners and operators know that campers come to have a good time. However, ensuring things stay fun for everyone means following the rules. These rules can range from check-in and out times, and quiet hours to regulations on pets, fires, and the use of amenities. People rarely enjoy enforcing rules arbitrarily. They’re typically in place to help deal with common RV park issues. Part of camping in a public place means accepting these rules and doing your best to follow them whenever possible.

Being a GOOD RV Neighbor! | RV Campground Etiquette | Hanging with HappilyEverHanks!

Unspoken RV Rules

Beyond the written regulations of each RV park or campground, there are also some unspoken rules RVers should know. In most cases, they come down to simple etiquette or common sense. Things like not cleaning a public grill after use, burning trash in a fire ring, making a mess with garbage, or dumping your tanks, are some of the most common. There is no secret “RV rules” list out there–try to be aware of your impact on others and the environment, and you should be fine in most cases.

RVs parked amongst trees at campsites.
While RVing, there are many unspoken etiquette rules you do not want to break!

8 Ways You’re Probably Annoying Your RV Neighbor

Annoying neighbors at home are bad enough. It’s even worse when you’re on vacation trying to relax! You might be that annoying neighbor without even realizing it. Here are some of the most common habits that may be bothering your fellow RVers.

1. Running Your Generator During Quiet Hours

Generators are an invaluable RV tool that can help keep your rig powered no matter where you’re camping. Still, as anyone who’s ever used one knows, they can be pretty loud. Most of your fellow RVers and campers won’t mind too much during the daytime. At night, the rumble of a generator at a nearby campsite is enough to ruin an evening. Quiet hours aren’t just for restricting rowdy partying or loud music. You should do your best to minimize all noise outside your rig during quiet hours, and not using your generator is one of the easiest ways to do that.

2. Keeping Lights on All Night

Leaving exterior lights on all night can be annoying to your fellow campers. Many rigs may not have the best shades or curtains, meaning a bright external light could cast an annoying glow into your neighbor’s bedroom. In addition, some enjoy the darkness of an RV campground, which can provide excellent opportunities for stargazing or animal-watching. Leaving lights on after you’ve gone to bed disrupts these pursuits and leaves you with a drained battery.

RV parked at campsite amongst trees
Make sure to honor quiet hours by turning off loud generators and your external lights.

3. Leaving Your Dog Unattended at the Campsite

One of the best parts of RVing can be traveling with your four-legged friends. If you’re going to bring your pet with you to the campground, it’s crucial to be responsible for it. Don’t leave your dog unattended at the campsite for extended periods. Keep barking to a minimum, and pick up your pet’s waste. Consider your dog as another member of your camping party. You wouldn’t let your friend hassle or annoy nearby campers, so don’t let your dog do it, either. 

Pro Tip: Who wouldn’t want to take their furry friends on their adventures! Still, if you’re going to bring your pup along in your RV, make sure you follow these 5 Rules for RVing with Pets.

4. Blowing Smoke Into Another’s Campsite or RV

The fresh air from the great outdoors can turn unbreathable very quickly when smoke gets involved. Whether you have a campfire to relax and roast some marshmallows or smoke a cigarette or cigar, drifting smoke can significantly annoy those nearby. Be mindful of where your smoke is going and either move to another spot or wait for a time when the wind is blowing it away from fellow campers.

5. Leaving a Mess Behind

Have you ever heard the saying, “take only pictures, leave only footprints?” It’s good practice to follow when camping, and ignoring it can earn ire from your campground neighbors. Leaving a mess means someone else will have to pick it up for you unless they want to camp among your garbage. How would you feel if your campsite was full of someone else’s trash? Worse, debris or even organic items like food scraps can cause severe health or behavioral issues for local wildlife. Avoid all this by packing up everything you bring along and disposing of your trash in the proper containers. 

Pro Tip: Similarly to leaving garbage behind being dangerous for the wildlife by your campsite, so is feeding the animals! Check out these 5 Reasons to Not Feed the Wildlife While Camping.

Airstream parked at large RV campground
Regardless of if you are tent camping or RV adventuring, it is crucial to always leave no trace when camping.

6. Blocking the Road or Sticking Out of the Campsite

It may seem more straightforward to let your rig stick out rather than continue maneuvering it into your site. However, it would be best if you avoided this inconsiderate behavior for the sake of other campers. It could make navigating the campground more difficult for others or damage your rig or vehicle. You’re only entitled to the space of your site, not the common areas of the park or campground, which everyone can use equally. 

7. Cutting Through Campsites

By this same token, you should stay out of others’ campsites. While some people might not mind a shortcut, others could get annoyed or angry by strangers cutting through. Some may view it as a safety issue for them or their property. Others might prize their privacy. In any case, you should respect their rights to use their campsite without being bothered by passers-through.

RV with external campsite set up in campground.
Avoid annoying your RV neighbors by keeping to your campsite and not crossing into theirs!

8. Abusing Campground Amenities or Privileges

We all love to enjoy the amenities and features of campgrounds, making a fantastic destination even better. However, there are, unfortunately, those who abuse these privileges, which can lead to problems for others. If your campground offers free laundry or coffee, don’t bring your entire dirty wardrobe or fill up a jug for some iced coffee later. Don’t let your friends or family members cause problems or disruptions at the pool or other shared spaces. It all boils down to being respectful and using common sense.


Avoid Bad Manners to Keep Others Happy and Safe

There are many selfish reasons to follow the written and unspoken rules. After all, no one likes getting dirty looks or annoyed comments from other campers. Those who are particularly egregious in their rule-breaking may be kicked out of the campground, ruining vacation plans.

Beyond your reasons, it’s essential to remember that keeping others happy and safe is the main reason behind many of these regulations. Campground rules help ensure everyone has a good time, so do your part to not be the annoying RV neighbor, and you’ll have a blast too.

Have you experienced annoying neighbors on your camping adventures? Share your stories in the comments!

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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.
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Thursday 21st of September 2023

You didn’t mention keeping your music to a reasonable volume. Especially music with profanity or other offensive language. I recently had to ask neighbors to turn their speakers away from my site and lower the volume because I was on a conference call for work, and people on the call could hear it even though I was inside my trailer with the windows closed.

Kevin Mexo

Monday 16th of May 2022

Recently , we stayed Hickory Creek campground on lake Lewisville, Tx. We were next to the campground host who left their dog in the trailer unattended. The dog barked for over an hour non stop (windows were open) I mentioned it to them when they finally returned. He said nothing…