My husband and I have been traveling and living full-time in our RV for just over 15 months now. In that time, we have had a lot of RV Park neighbors.
It’s a lot like being neighbors with someone in your typical neighborhood. We have even lent out a cooking supply or two. Being a good RV neighbor really just takes some basic common sense. However, there are some unspoken RV Park rules to abide by. Sometimes, I wish there was a guide handed out with each RV rental or new RV purchase! Hopefully, you can learn from my personal experience and not have to find out for yourself. The following tips will help you be a good RV park neighbor from set up to tear down.
Parking Your Rig
General campground etiquette is to stay on your side of the electric, water, and sewer hook-ups. Many RV parks, especially in areas near big cities, will really “pack ‘em in there”, so it is important to be sure your awnings and slide-outs will not be encroaching on the site next door.
Take a quick look around you to see how other rigs are angled, such as if they are centered on sites or close to the utility hook up. You and your neighbors will get the most out of the space if you are all situated the same way. The idea is to park in a way that gets everyone their fair share of privacy and room under their respective awnings.
The other thing to be aware of is the volume of your voice. I look back now and shudder to think of how disruptive we were to other campers when we first started RVing. I would get out and attempt to direct my husband into a spot, yelling from behind the back of the trailer. From hearing our own neighbors, I now know how disruptive these voices can be.
It’s the worst having to hear other people yelling back and forth while we are trying to work in the middle of the afternoon, or while we are still in bed. A better option is to use your cell phones or walkie talkies along with hand signals to communicate while getting the rig situated in the spot.
Spending Time Outside Your RV
Part of the fun of RVing is spending time outside. However, the walls of RVs are not as well insulated as a house. As I mentioned above, sounds from outside really carry into the inside of your neighbor’s RV. So, just be aware of that while talking outside, as well as playing music or watching your fancy outdoor television. Always assume that someone in the RV next to you can hear you. Be sure to obey the campground’s quiet hours, which are typically from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m.
If you have kids, make sure they also are aware of how their voices carry and are respectful of the people around them by not screaming unnecessarily. Also, it is understandable that dogs bark occasionally, but please do all that you can to keep your pup quiet.
Strolling Around the Park
The number one rule of RV park etiquette, besides keeping noise levels down, is do not walk through an occupied campsite. Think about living in a standard suburban neighborhood. Strangers did not normally just walk through your property, right up close to your house. Walking through an RV Park is no different, except on a much smaller scale. It can be tempting to cut through someone’s site to get to the dumpster faster or whatever, but please walk-around. It’s unnerving to have someone walking right past your windows.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always curious about the layout of other RVs. However, do not peer into people’s RV windows. It should go without saying, but I have heard more than one story about it happening to other RVers (luckily, never to us), especially if it appears from the outside that they are not home. Don’t be that RV Park neighbor. Instead, I encourage you to strike up a conversation with your neighbor.
If it seems appropriate, you can ask about their rig, and maybe they’ll invite you to have a look inside. Once, we were having a happy hour with some other RVers. We got to talking about our different RV layouts, which turned into an impromptu RV open house. It was so much fun!
Leaving Your Site
Basically, the same guidelines as when you set up apply when taking down your site. Try to not be super loud and just be courteous to the people around you. Take a moment before you pull away to check the area for trash and debris. Always leave the campsite cleaner than when you first arrived.
RVers are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Most will go out of their way to help you and appreciate it when you do the same. We’ve had an RV Park neighbor offer us a beer after a long day of travel. We even once woke up to a thank you card and little trinket box on our door step from some neighbors that we had offered help to the night before.
And, we always enjoy the smiles and hellos we receive while taking a walk or driving through RV parks. Seeing all the sights while RVing is amazing, but the people you meet along the way can really enhance the experience. So, as you are traveling around in your RV, I encourage you get the most out of the experience and make it the best for the people around you by being a good RV Park neighbor.