RV Etiquette And Manners – Things That Every RVer Needs To Know

RV etiquette and manners

RV etiquette and manners – the following is a podcast transcript:

Hello everyone and welcome to the RV inspection and care podcast.

This is podcast number three. And I want to invite everyone to subscribe to my podcast. That way you won’t miss anything.

Click here to subscribe to my podcast

Now today’s podcast is about RV manners and etiquette while we are camping.

And this is going to be especially good for some of you newer RVers. You know, those of you who don’t really have a lot of experience with it.

You’re going to learn a lot about the things that you can do to make camping more enjoyable. For yourself and for others.

And the truth is that most RVers do practice good manners. Especially long-time or experienced RVers.

However, I will say this. Even experienced RVers like myself still need to be reminded about the effect that we can have on others by our actions when we’re camping.

So we’re going to cover a lot of points today. Things that we should keep in mind while we’re camping to make sure we’re showing good manners to others.

Watch my video about RV etiquette

Table of Contents

RV Etiquette In RV Campgrounds

And we’re going to start first with campgrounds. Because campgrounds are where a lot of the issues come in.

That’s because of RVers being really close to one another. A lot of people in a small area.

And that’s when manners and etiquette really show up when they’re not being shown.

So let’s go ahead and get started on good manners in campgrounds. And afterward we’ll talk about boondocking.

Campground Rules

The first point of etiquette for RV campgrounds is when you come to a campground and you’re checking in.

Download my R V guidebooks

Usually they’re going to give you a list of guidelines and rules for that campground.

And a lot of folks will take that list and just sort of put it aside. They intend to get to it, but they never do.

Well, my encouragement is to read the campground rules right away. There’s a reason they’re given out.

And the truth is that with each campground, things can be a little bit different.

And a lot of times the things you really need to know are in those rules. So be sure to read the rules for each campground that you go to.

Now we’re going to get started on a section here that I’m going to call the noise section.

Because that’s one of the biggest irritations that folks have about campgrounds and being near to other RVers.

RV Etiquette – Loud Music

So our next point of etiquette is – no loud music! And this is a big one with me.

You know, it’s really amazing how many people love to play their music. But they kind of don’t realize that not everybody wants to listen to the artist they want to listen to.

Or even the kind of music they want to listen to. And so a lot of times they’ll turn their music up and everyone around them is hearing their music.

Well, here’s the thing. Music is a very subjective thing. And from one person to the next, it’s very different as far as what they want to listen to.

So if you force your music on someone else, they’re usually not going to be very happy about that.

Now here’s my recommendation. If you’re going to play your music outside, then go to the edge of your campsite.

And if you can hear your music out at the edge and beyond your site, it needs to be turned down.

But if you really don’t want to bother anybody, then wear headphones outside.

How To Avoid Buying An RV Money Pit

The point is to make sure that your music is not being played so loud that it’s going to affect others. And then cause them to not feel enjoyment of their camping experience.

So that’s number one – be careful with loud music!

Observe Quiet Hours

Number two is observe quiet hours. Almost every campground says that you need to be kind of dialing everything back on the noise level by 10 o’clock.

And that’s a good rule of thumb to follow. Because usually around that time people are starting to get ready for bed.

But if you aren’t careful, you’ll be out there at that campfire sitting around it. And you’re having a good time with your friends.

And the 10 o’clock curfew kind of comes and goes. The next thing you know, you’re still just having a great time.

Maybe laughing and telling jokes and enjoying one another’s company. And maybe one of you in the group has a really loud voice to begin with.

But your neighbors are getting upset because they want to go to bed.

So be careful and observe the quiet hours in a campground.

Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t be out there late at night around the campfire.

Because that’s certainly a great thing. But just be careful about the noise level after 10 o’clock.

Make sure that you dial it down so that it’s not going to create a problem for others.

RV Etiquette – Use Of Generators

Now the next point of etiquette about noise is – never use a construction generator!

In a campground these things are just too loud. I know they’re much cheaper than inverter generators.

But they really are loud and obnoxious. Especially when folks right next door are trying to enjoy their camping experience.

RV Gear

So if you need a generator for any reason, make sure that it’s an inverter generator.

And make sure you use it sparingly. You know, the truth is that you really don’t need a generator all the time.

Mostly you just need it to power up and charge up your batteries. Maybe use it for a short time in the morning.

And then a short time in the evening to get you through the night.

Otherwise, the generator really should sit quiet. Unless you’re going to use it for a really high electricity component.

Like maybe your microwave, or a hair dryer, or something like that. And really it should only be on for a short time then.

So make sure you’re careful about your generator noise. And never use a construction generator!

RV Etiquette – Don’t Leave Dogs Unattended

Now the next etiquette point on noise is – don’t leave dogs unattended!

When you’re away from your campsite, this can be an issue. Because when the owners are there, very often the dog is happy and content. And they can be more quiet.

But when the owner leaves, sometimes the dog gets very nervous. Because they’re in a place that they’re not used to with all these other people around.

And before you know it, they’re barking. Because they’re nervous. Maybe even whining or howling.

And this could go on for hours while you’re away from the campsite.

In the meantime, this is really bothering your fellow campers. So don’t leave dogs unattended when you’re away from the campsite.

Keeping Your Dog On A Leash

Now we’re going to move into more discussion about dogs. And that is – keep your dogs on a leash!

A lot of dog owners at home, they may allow their dog to roam pretty freely. And there’s no problem with that.

However when you’re in a campground, that’s a space where you’ve got a lot of people and dogs really kind of crammed in next to one another.

And before you know it there can be personality differences with these dogs.

So if you aren’t carefully controlling your dog, they may get into an altercation with other dogs. Especially if they don’t have a leash.

So everybody needs to keep their dog on a leash and keep them under control.

That way we can avoid a lot of problems and a lot of issues.

RV repairs - don't pay for them

RV Etiquette About Dog Poop

Our next point of etiquette is to pick up after your dogs. And don’t leave poop bags behind for others.

Now we shouldn’t have to say this really. But unfortunately, we do.

There are some that carry their dogs along camping. Then they take them out to take care of their business.

And unfortunately, they leave their poop behind without cleaning it up.

Or even more egregious is – they will pick it up with a bag, but they leave the bag there.

Please don’t do that! That is not good manners. It is not good etiquette.

Because no one wants to clean up behind your dog!

RV Etiquette When Your Dog Is A Barker

Now the next point of RV etiquette with regard to dogs is about whether the dog is a barker.

And you know what I mean. If anybody walks by, or maybe a dog starts barking in the distance they just automatically respond and start barking.

Well, if they are a regular barker, at home it might be fine. Because maybe you live in an area where that doesn’t bother anybody.

But if you know your dog is a barker. And it’s just the way they are. Well then, maybe it might be a good idea to leave them with a sitter when you go RV camping.

And that way you don’t bring along the dog that’s going to irritate everybody around you.

Okay, let’s move away from dogs now. And let’s talk about the next point of etiquette.

RV Etiquette About Campsite Trash

That is – don’t leave any trash behind for the next camper. And I’ve seen this a lot.

You pull into a campsite. And the people that were there before you apparently broke something.

Or maybe they just don’t want it anymore. So they just leave it there rather than throwing it away.

Or maybe they took their trash and put it in the campfire ring.

Well, these are not good things to do. So don’t leave trash for the next camper. That’s a really important point of etiquette!

RV Etiquette About Children

The next one is about kids. Make sure that they’re well supervised and that they’re respectful to others.

Unfortunately, sometimes parents go camping and they’re relaxing and the kids want to go somewhere.

So they just say “sure go ahead”. And the next thing you know, you’ve got this group of kids just going around the campground.

But maybe because they’re unsupervised, they start to get into things they really shouldn’t get into.

So that’s not a good situation, if you have kids. You want to make sure someone who is an adult that you can trust is watching out for them wherever they go.

RV Etiquette When Driving Your Car

Now our next point of etiquette is about when you’re driving through a campground. You need to be careful and drive slowly.

Of course, I know almost all campgrounds have the speed posted. In fact, some of them are down to five miles per hour, right?

And that can be a little bit irritating sometimes. Because you’re used to traveling more quickly while you’re on the road.

But when you’re in a campground, understand that we have a lot of kids in the campground too.

And we’ll have dogs and older folks who don’t hear as well. So if you’re driving quickly through the campground, there’s a good chance that accidents can happen quickly.

Things that nobody wants to take place. So be careful, slow down, and follow the posted speed limits in campgrounds.

RV Etiquette About Campsite Boundaries

Our next point of etiquette is – don’t consider that the campground is your personal territory. Or that you can go wherever you want.

Instead, consider that every campsite is somebody’s property. So don’t wander through campsites. This is a very important point.

Sometimes you could have a campsite that is in an area where it’s easier to go through your campsite to another part of the campground than to go all the way around by the road.

And you might find people shortcutting right through your campsite. Well, how do you feel about that?

Most people are not too happy about people cutting through their campsite. And so, if you wouldn’t want someone doing that to you, then obviously you shouldn’t do that to someone else.

Actually, that’s one of the bigger complaints that people have about RV campgrounds. So be careful in that area!

Using Dump Stations

Now the next point of etiquette is with regard to dump stations. And this really kind of comes into play usually around state parks and things like that.

This is where there may not be any sewer connections. You could have your water and electric, but not your sewer connection.

So when you’re getting ready to leave, there’s usually a dump station provided. And that way you can empty your tanks before you go home.

It’s very convenient. But unfortunately, there are those who get in line for the dump station. And then they take their time.

It seems like it takes forever for them just to get out of the RV to begin with. And when they do, they’re on a Sunday picnic while they go around and get this thing out and that hose ready.

In fact, maybe while they’re there they even rinse out their black tank. You know, not just dump it, but then rinse it thoroughly too.

Well my friends, that is not what the dump station is for. What you want to do is – when you pull up get right out and get hooked up.

Then dump those tanks quickly, disconnect everything and put it away before driving off.

It is not time then to rinse your tanks. That is showing very little regard for those behind you.

So be aware of others and their time, and use the dump station quickly!

Emptying Waste Tanks

Now our next point of etiquette is to empty your waste tanks as inconspicuously as you possibly can.

What do I mean by that? Well, most RV waste tanks and the handles for them are on the driver’s side of an RV.

And most awnings and places to enjoy the RV are on the passenger side.

So suppose you go out and pull the handles to release all the waste out of your tanks and into the sewer.

Well, you’re going to do it on the side of your next door neighbor. Where they could be enjoying their campsite.

So for instance, you’d never want to do that while someone is having lunch or eating a meal next door.

Because when you dump those tanks, we all know that there’s a kind of an obnoxious smell that goes with that.

And it stays for a little while. Not forever, but it does have a lingering effect.

Do do you really want someone else to be subjected to that? See, that’s not good manners!

So if your next door neighbor is enjoying their time outside, try to find a time to dump your tanks when it won’t interfere with that.

RV Etiquette For Those With Smaller Campers

Our next point of etiquette is about being in a campground with a small camper.

If you have a choice of campsites, please don’t choose a site that could take care of a larger rig.

Now this is one of my issues as well, because I have a bigger rig. And some of us have Class A motorhomes and big fifth wheels, and things like that. Maybe even long travel trailers.

And it really is disappointing when we go by sites that could have accommodated our rig.

And instead there’s a teardrop little travel trailer in there. Or a small 20-footer, or something like that.

Then we have to go cram our RV into a site that’s really not made for it instead.

Now I understand that you can’t always control this. Because it really all depends on how people come in and out of campgrounds as to what is available.

But if it is within your power, and you have one of those smaller rigs, try not to take up one of the sites that are best left for larger rigs. And that shows manners!

Okay, those are the points I wanted to share about campgrounds.

RV Etiquette When Boondocking

Now let’s talk a little bit about RV boondocking. And first let me say that pretty much everything I talked about with regard to campgrounds will apply to boondocking too.

But I do want to share a few extra points on that. And number one is to leave plenty of space between you and any other rig when you go boondocking.

Leave Extra Space Between Campsites

That’s why they’re boondocking. Usually it’s because they don’t want to be in a campground.

They don’t want to be really close up to someone else. So if you come into a boondocking area that can accommodate several rigs. try to find one that’s really kind of far away from the ones that are there.

And that way you don’t really impinge on them and their area. And you won’t make them feel uncomfortable

Don’t get too close, in other words. That’s the point I’m trying to make.

RV Boondocking Campsite Management

Now for the next point of etiquette on boondocking. And let me emphasize this very much.

Whatever you bring into that site, bring out of that site. Now why am I making this an issue?

Because this has become a major problem across the country. And there are several really nice boondocking spots that none of us are going to be able to enjoy anymore. Do you know why?

Because people were leaving things behind. Trash and other things that should never have been left.

And it just grew and grew until it made the whole area unsightly. And there was nobody that was able to pick up after it.

So they just decided to shut the whole site down. Well, that’s unfortunate!

So here’s the rule for boondocking. Whatever you bring into that site, bring out of that site.

If we all practice that, it will avoid all of these problems.

RV Etiquette When Staying Overnight

Now for our last point on boondocking. And that is about if you’re going to stay overnight somewhere.

I’m talking about Walmarts, and Cracker Barrels, and things like that now.

Then recognize that those are businesses. It’s not a campground. So keep a low profile.

It’s not time to put your chairs out. Or have your grill out and your mats down and all these kinds of things.

Instead, keep a low profile. In fact, don’t even use levelers that could create problems on the pavement.

Because you don’t want to scar it in any way. You’re just there for the night.

So make it very low profile when you’re staying there. And if you do that, it makes the owners of the business feel good about having RVers stay there again.

Also, it won’t create any problems for future RVers either.

All right. Well, those are all the points of etiquette and manners that I wanted to share about campgrounds and boondocking.

How To Handle Problems

But now, here’s an important point. What if someone is showing not so good manners around you?

What if they’re doing things that are irritating? How do you handle that?

Well, here’s my personal opinion. If it is something small, why not try to be less picky about it? You know, not so prickly?

There’s two qualities that really go a long way in this matter. And that is patience and kindness.

So if it’s not a major problem, then why not just sort of put up with it and deal with it?

And that will help you kind of deal with life in general. Because the more that you go on in life, the more you realize that nothing is totally fair in life.

So don’t expect everything to be totally fair. And suppose your next door neighbor is not being really fair about the way they’re treating you.

Well, if it’s not major, maybe the best thing is just to be patient and show a little bit of kindness in that area.

What About Bigger Problems And Issues?

However, suppose it’s a bigger problem. Suppose it’s something that really needs attention.

Well first of all, I would recommend speaking to the staff, the campground staff first.

Let them have the opportunity to deal with it first. And very often they have the expertise in this area.

Often they know what to do, and they can deal with it in the best way.

But let’s suppose that even after those efforts, it’s still going on. What do you do then?

I encourage not confronting your fellow camper in an angry and accusatory way.

If you need to bring it up to them, try to be as respectful of them as you possibly can. And as kind as you can.

Very often, the situation is that they’re just not aware of what they should be doing in the matter.

So if you approach them in a respectful and empathetic way, then very often you’ll get very good results for that.

So try to follow those guidelines in dealing with fellow RVers that are not showing good manners.


Well, I hope that what I’ve gone over here today has been beneficial for you.

Now let me give you a little insight here. It’s actually been beneficial for me too.

That’s because all of us, no matter who we are as RVers, sometimes sort of forget about what we should be doing.

And maybe we don’t realize how some of the things we do might be affecting others. So we need reminders.

And as I said earlier, even making this podcast has been beneficial for me.

It has reminded me of some things I need to improve on as well.

So we all need to work on some of these matters, and just look at it that way.

The more that we show respect for others. And the more that we show respect and care for the beautiful land that we camp on.

Then the more we will all enjoy our RVing now and on into the future!

That’s it for now. Have safe and happy travels my friends … until next time!

4 thoughts on “RV Etiquette And Manners – Things That Every RVer Needs To Know”

  1. Thanks for the tip about how driving slowly is expected when inside an RV resort. I’m interested in looking for one because I plan to go on camping trips when friends more frequently. I think that will help a lot in keeping in touch with them on top of being able to stay active.

    1. I hope you find an RV that fits your needs.

  2. Patrick Gilmore says:

    This message is for Duane. I’ve shown interest in used C RV’s.
    I watched your suggestions and plan on using that as a guide
    for buying a good used RV. I’ve also, suscribed to your website
    and plan on watching a good amount of videos going forward.
    In addition since you are an RV Inspector is there an alotted
    time to give an inspection ? Is it based on whether it’s a class
    A or class B ?
    You mentioned there’s a difference in C and smaller C’s. Could
    you breakdown the difference or differences ? Is there a max-min footage for both ?
    I don’t think I want to go over 22 feet since I’ve never driven an RV
    and rather drive safe vs. sparing other drivers my inexperience.

    Thank You
    Patrick Gilmore

    1. Hi Patrick, an RV inspection usually takes the better part of a day to do. Of course, the bigger and more complicated the RV is, the more time it takes, and vice versa.

      On Class C RVs, they can start around 23 feet or so and go up to well over 30 feet in length. The smaller the Class C RV, the easier it is to maneuver. And the smaller ones can also be used as both the RV you live in and an around-town vehicle as well so you don’t have to tow a separate vehicle.

      I hope that helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get My FREE Camping Guide

“The Top 5 Ways To Save Money On Campground Costs”

Get My Newsletter

Save on RV repairs

Get the best RV gear

Learn about RV life

RV tips and tricks

And get my free guide – The Top 5 Ways To Save Money On Campground Costs”