General RV Blog: Camping Etiquette at the Campground

Last Updated on January 21, 2022 by Christina

How many of us have had a bad camping experience because of rude neighbors? I know we have.

Whether it’s loud music late at night, a dog that won’t stop barking or simply trash not being properly disposed of, chances are we all have been subject to rude neighbors when camping.

For this post, I thought I’d share some rules of Camping Etiquette from Camping Road Trip.

I’m only sharing some of the highlights; it’s a rather extensive list. But if you ever get the time I encourage you to read the entire rules of Camping Etiquette.

Being a good camping neighbor helps make everyone’s stay more enjoyable. To do this you need common sense and consideration for your fellow campers, campsite and natural environment. However, some etiquette related to camping is more specific. If you are traveling with children, make sure they know some of these rules.
Litter Camping Fine

General Etiquette

  1. Read and respect the campground’s rules and policies. They have been established to protect and respect the rights of campers, the campground and the environment. One frequently ignored rule we often see is people cleaning their cookware at sinks or spigots where it is clearly prohibited. If anyone doesn’t follow these rules, report them to campground management.
  2. Do not walk through another camper’s campsite, walk around it. This is a major pet peeve of ours. Same goes for biking.
  3. Limit noise, especially at night, when it can carry far. Obey the campground’s quiet hours, which are typically from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. Also, during the day limit the play of noisy games to the campground’s playground or recreation area. We’re especially sensitive to this rule because we own an expandable travel trailer, which, like a pop-up camper, has canvas bed ends and very limited sound insulation.
  4. Do not leave your engine idling for more than a minute or two. Diesel engines are particularly noisy, so if you own a diesel pusher motor home, please be aware of others when warming your engine.
  5. Camp in your designated campsite within the campground. Class A and some Class C motor homes can often creep too close to their campsite’s boundaries, and often exceed them when the slideouts are extended.
  6. Nails and wires should not be used on trees because they can cause serious damage to trees. It is illegal in some states to put nails into a tree, unless you have permission from the landowner. Burn damage will permanently scar or kill a tree.
  7. Leave the campsite cleaner than when you first arrived. Never leave trash in the campfire ring. Remove any rope that you tie to trees for canopies or tents.
  8. Drive slowly through the campground and do not exceed any speed limits as there are usually children playing. Likewise, when biking, be courteous to others.
  9. If you own a toy hauler, check campground rules before riding dirt bikes, atv’s, go-carts and motorcycles. They tend to be noisier than other forms of transport and can cause damage to campsites.
  10. Do not use bright lights if you arrive very late or leave very early and wake everyone else up.
  11. Be sure to check out on time. The next camper may be waiting. Many campgrounds have a no earlier than check in policy and majority have a late arrival policy. Make sure you are familiar with these rules.
  12. Be respectful of the natural environment; keep the trees and shrubs alive and growing.
  13. Stay on recommended trails when hiking. This keeps damage to vegetation and erosion in one place.
  14. Do not feed the wildlife as this encourages them to interact with and become dependent on humans. Plus, last thing you want is for a critter to come crawling at your travel trailer because you fed them the night before.
  15. Don’t transport firewood. Instead, purchase it at the campground and burn it all.


As I mentioned, the entire list of Camping Etiquette is quite extensive, including sections on Hygiene & Waste, Pets and Campfires. It’s a terrific list and one, if everyone would follow, would ensure camping enjoyment for all.

Unfortunately, the campers who most need to read this list probably will never do so.

See you next week,

Rick Kessler

Gr8LakesCamper celebrates the world of RV Camping in the Great Lakes region. Gather around the campfire and share tips, ideas and stories on RVing, camping and travel destinations. Follow Gr8LakesCamper on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the Gr8LakesCamper blog.