RVillage members share their stories of campground life and what it means to be a good neighbor.

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An important safety note

Do your neighbors a HUGE favor and hold off on your enthusiastic “welcome” until AFTER they have finished backing in, unhitching, leveling, setting up hoses, etc. Even a minor friendly distraction can cause someone to forget a crucial step—or worse—create an accident. Same for good-byes: wait until all their take-down tasks are completed, don't interrupt or you may watch them drive off with their antenna up, or hoses still attached! See RVillagers comments about the importance of this protocol.

The basic rules of campground tenancy

Your yard or mine? Whether in an RV park, state or national park campground—or even sprawled out in the boondocks, respect your neighbor's turf. RV neighborhoods are significantly tighter than stick 'n bricks neighborhoods. With a little careful observation, it will be clear what those boundaries are—where your “yard” ends and your neighbor's “yard” begins. If you have children, take a few moments to point out those boundaries to them, too, for a happier neighborhood.

Pets. Believe it or not, not everyone is going to love your dog as much as you do. Please respect other's choices, and don't expect your neighbors to be ok with your dog running all over their campsite, or listening to Fido bark all day while you're off sight-seeing. Lots of great ideas here for scooping up after your four-footed family members.

Drive slowly through the grounds. Observe all posted speed limits—you never know who or what is around the bend.

Trash. It should go without saying, if there is no trash collection where you camp, take your trash with you—don't leave it in the fire pit (or tucked behind some tree). The next person isn't going to burn your empty beer cans. Did you know that throwing food scraps around will attract rodents who will then setup camp in the next rig that comes along—which could be yours! Here's why leaving trash behind is a bad idea—even organic food scraps, especially in the desert. In the wilderness, misplaced food and garbage can be life-threatening to both you and the wildlife, by attracting bears and other large animals into camp.

Never leave a campfire unattended. Put it completely out. Be aware of local burn bans, and forgo that campfire when necessary. Far too many acres, homes, and habitats are lost each year to human-caused fires. If the local municipality has a no-fires policy, please heed it.

Outside lights. Many campers like to enjoy the stars in the night sky, especially out in the boondocks and also in state and national park campgrounds. When you are not outside your rig, please don't leave the porch light on all night (or that flashing fluorescent light show).

Observe quiet hours. It can vary by locale, but generally speaking, it's most considerate to not have loud parties or generators going between the hours of 10 pm - 8 am. If you're going to be up later hanging around a campfire, or early in the morning for a quick departure, be considerate of the noise levels—talking, engines running etc. Some humorous comments about door SLAMMING in campgrounds.

View responses to a question about running a generator when overnight parking at Walmart, Cracker Barrel, or other retail locations.

Additional resources

See more etiquette guidelines for boondocking.

Here is a list of camping etiquette (pdf) and things to be mindful of, compiled from suggestions made by RVillagers at a Get-Together named "Mind Your Manners."

For basic courtesy when overnight parking, check out the RVer's Good Neighbor's Policy.

Be a friendly neighbor!

Say hello to your neighbors, introduce yourself, see what you have in common besides RVing. Set your location and check the Explorer map on the RVillage home page to see who else is around you in the park, campground or general area. Make some new friends and have fun!

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Disclaimer: The information gathered here is compiled from the posts and opinions of RVillagers, and not of RVillage itself. RVillage assumes no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions.

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