By following these basic guidelines, you can enhance the camping and traveling experience of both you and those around you. Your time spent at the campground will be more enjoyable and the time spent getting there will be safer and more pleasant. After all, getting there is half the fun.
The Ten Commandments of Camping RV Etiquette
Avoid eyesores. Don't run unnecessary laundry lines through your campsite. Avoid clutter. Keep your belongings within the boundaries of your site. When you depart, leave nothing behind.
* Care for pets. Clean up after your pet. Don't let it run loose. Don't leave it alone.
* Control waste water. Never dump black or gray water on the ground or in streams and lakes. Check hoses regularly for leaks. Hose down the dump station area after you use it.
* Drive safely and courteously. Obey campground speed limits. Use a backer to help you park. If you arrive after dark, use your parking lights to find your site. Give every other moving thing the right of way.
* Maintain cleanliness. Keep your campsite clean. Leave restrooms, showers, laundry rooms, and dump stations clean. Don't throw cans or other items that don't burn into your campfire. Clean lint from dryer vents. Obey litter laws. Follow the adage, "Leave it cleaner than you find it."
* Respect living things. Never cut living trees for firewood. Follow the campground's rules for dead wood. Don't vandalize the natural beauty we're all there to enjoy. Leave it as you found it.
* Respect personal space. Don't walk through other camper's sites. Keep alcohol within your site, unless the campground prohibits it completely.
* Respect quiet hours. Turn off your exterior lights when you retire for the night. Keep radios and televisions turned down. Avoid using loud voices. Never run generators after quiet time.
* Supervise children. Know where your children are and what they are doing at all times.
* Have fun. The first nine commandments are not designed to hamper your enjoyment. They are simply variations of the Golden Rule. Always treat other campers the way in which you would like to be treated. This way, everyone will have a good time.
The Ten Commandments of Driving RV Etiquette
Buckle up. Don't fall prey to the false security of driving a "home on wheels." It's only your home when it's not moving. When driving, do as you would when you're behind the wheel of a car. Wear your seatbelt.
* Avoid busy downtown areas. The last place you want to drive a large RV is in a crowded downtown area. Turns are harder, maneuvering is restricted, and the chance of getting dented and dinged is increased. You will be more likely to find surrounding traffic less tolerant, and you certainly don't want to get caught in a traffic jam you can't escape from.
* Avoid rush hour traffic. Schedule your travels for light times. Steer clear of the 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. rush. RV travel is designed to be leisure travel. Stay out of the way of the rat race.
* Maintain safe following distance. The old standard of a car length for every ten miles per hour doesn't apply here. You need much more distance to stop the extra weight of an RV. Never, ever tailgate, especially at night. Your higher headlights can be blinding to the driver in front of you.
* Signal turns and lane changes early. You have a lot of vehicle to move. Most people can accommodate you with enough forewarning.
* Clear passed vehicles completely. Learn to judge your clearing distance accurately. Getting an "all clear" signal from the car you're passing helps, but don't count on getting it. Signal early and pull back in slowly.
* Stay in the right lane. When driving on two-lane highways, stay in the right lane. Sacrifice passing slow vehicles if it means you will slow the faster vehicles behind you. When on a three-lane highway, use the center lane. This helps you avoid merging traffic.
* Signal to passing trucks. Let truckers know when they've cleared your rig after passing. Usually three flicks of your high beams are universally understood as the signal that it's safe to change lanes.
* Pull over when holding up traffic. Don't allow your slower speed to hold up those behind you, especially when climbing steep hills. If you notice traffic building up behind you, pull over and let them pass.
* Park in clear areas. Don't block other vehicles. Find that nice, big open space in an isolated part of that mall parking lot. A few extra steps are better than finding your egress hampered by surrounding cars.