Monday, August 6, 2012

Camper Courtesy – What’s it all about?

Camping is a great way to meet new families!  Whether you camp in a deluxe lodge, a camping cabin, tent, pop up, or RV there are is no better way to get your family outside and enjoying quality time together in the great out of doors!  No doubt about it, campers all look forward to being outdoors and going biking, hiking, fishing, and more!  But, we also need to know how to do it in a way that doesn’t offend or intrude on our camping neighbors experience as well!     

Problems arise between campers when someone invades, interrupts, or disrespects the other camper’s space.  Below, we’ve created a list of items that are just good courtesy to your camping neighbors.  If you practice these rules, you’ll be a good camping neighbor!  And hopefully, your neighbors will practice them too.   

Quiet Hours:  Most campgrounds have posted quiet hours.  Respect those, and you and your neighbor will get along fine.  People with very young children, appreciate that their children aren’t awakened by the campers next door.  The same is true of older campers, who may go to bed earlier.  Making excessive noise should be avoided at all times, not just during quiet hours.  No one wants to listen to parents screaming at their children, domestic disputes, or loud music blasting at any hour of the day or night.  What’s the measure for too loud?  If it can be heard on the next campsite, it is too loud.  
  • Pet Rules: Nothing is more irritating then a camper who locks their pet in an RV, leaves for the day, and the neighbors can’t sit out at their campfire because they dog is barking non-stop for hours on end.  It’s not fair to your pet, the camping neighbors, nor the campground owners.  The other problem is retractable leashes and pet owners allowing their pets to do their business in other people’s campsites.  Walk your pet in the pet walk area, clean up after it, keep it leashed, and keep it quiet.  Pets are without question, the #1 area of complaints that campground owners get.
  • Trespassing: It sounds silly, but your neighbor’s campsite is your neighbor’s campsite.  Please don’t park your third vehicle on it, assuming they don’t care.  Don’t allow your children to cut through their campsite on the way the to or from the shower house or playground.  Not only is it rude, it’s also dangerous.  There could be a fire ring (or other obstacle) to trip over, a dog lead you don’t see, or a pet that will be startled and bite you.  That is the way that most dog bites happen in parks.  And if the camper were being a courteous camper, they wouldn’t have gotten bitten.
  • Follow The Rules: You would be astonished at how many people pay no attention to the campground rules.  Most campgrounds have rules, for the protection of their campers.  Make sure you get a copy and read the rules at each campground you go to.  They may differ slightly from campground to campground, but most are pretty standard.  They are there to ensure safety, security, and courtesy for you and others.
  • Check-in/Check-out times:  Be punctual.  If you are checking out, and check-out time is 2:00, please be sure that you are departed at or before 2:00.  The next camper may be sitting in the parking lot ready to come onto that site.  Your late departure becomes an inconvenience to the next person.  We’re confident you wouldn’t want the camper before you, to make you wait for the campsite you reserved.  Be courteous, and don’t do it to the next camper.  Pay it forward.
  • Leave the site like you found it.  There is nothing worse, then pulling onto a campsite with the garbage still sitting on it or worse yet scattered around the campsite.  Make sure you take your refuse to the dumpster.  Don’t burn plastics!  Don’t place non-burnables in the fire ring, and leave the campsite as nice, or nicer than it was when you found it.  Not only will the campground owner appreciate it, but the next camper will too.    
  • If you have an issue, report it!  Whether you have an issue with a camping neighbor, the wi-fi isn’t working, the bath room needs attention, or there is an electrical problem, report it.  If you report it, it provides the business owner a chance to fix this issue and make your camping experience better.  
Following these simple rules, may seem almost a no brainer.  But these are the top complaints we get as campground owners, about other campers.  So, if you’re camping, and you follow these rules of courtesy, hopefully your camping neighbors will too.  When that happens, everyone has a better camping experience. 

We wish you safe and happy kamping where ever your travels take you! 

By Robyn Chilson
Tim & Robyn Chilson own and operate Meadville KOA Campground in Meadville, PA.  Robyn can be reached at 814-789-3251 or at