RV'ing Etiquette

RV'ing Etiquette

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RV'ing Etiquette

RV'ing is a laid-back lifestyle. The fast pace lifestyle is set aside. RV'ers, as a rule, tend to go out of their way to be polite and to help one another. With that as the basics there are things that RV'ers can do to annoy folks and bring shame on the RV'ing community. I am going to share some of these with you in the hopes that you will avoid these types of behavior.

The first rule of etiquette is to not intentionally inconvenience others. An example of what I mean is contained in this description:

Then there was the time I stood at a Flying J and watched a guy fuel, wash ALL his windows, check ALL his tires, etc., while people stacked up in line behind him. The real *#&%Q*$ was when he went in to pay (leaving his rig blocking the pumps of course) and came out quite awhile later with a cup of coffee. He plainly couldn't care less that he had delayed a number of people. It's not the time that bugs me, it's the total lack of consideration for other people that tends to tick me off.

We just sat in line behind two motorhomes that had to dump at the central dump in a state park. I have no idea how someone can be so slow. How long does it take to stop, get out of the motorhome, connect the hose, pull the handle, close the handle and put up the hose?

If you have to scratch your butt or whatever please do it before you pull in front of the central dump station. Practice connecting your hose at your house until you can do it without having to hold up everyone in line. Determine where you are going to put your sewer hose when you finish. Please do this before you reach the dump station.

Be very careful to avoid spills from sewer outlets. If you're not sure what to do, ask a neighbor. They have an interest in making sure you do it right.

Be a good neighbor:

The following is from an online discussion:

I have not only retracted some absent stranger's awning, in another case I installed my own wind brace on a guy's electric One-step awning when I saw it flapping around in the breeze. I left him a note, telling him whose wind brace it was. It's that "do unto others" nonsense, I guess. I would be pretty pissed if I found out a neighbor had let MY property be destroyed because he was afraid I might holler at him for touching my stuff. And of course I would shut somebody's window for him.

Over the years, strangers have moved my stuff into my tent when it started raining, rolled up my car windows, moved my lawn chairs out of the weather, and probably any number of other things that I have either forgotten or didn't know about. If I am too cowardly to do the same, I am part of the problem. I would rather be part of the solution.

Like you I want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. HOWEVER, when doing something to help someone else I generally enlist someone else in the general area to "help" me. I just feel better doing it that way. Once I discuss the situation with someone and get their opinion that what we are about to do is the correct thing that should be done I lead the way and do it. So far every time I have done something for someone in their absence I have been able to enlist someone else to do it with me.

It is a shame that I feel that I need to enlist someone else to be a "good Samaritan" with me but this is a litigious world we live in and there are some goofy individuals out there. One never knows when you might be trying to help one of those individuals......

One way or the other I am going to put someone's awning away for them if there is any way that I can. I am NOT going to sit there and watch it get destroyed.

The above discussion involving a variety of individuals hopefully gives you some ideas about how to be a good neighbor.

Suggestions for OVERNIGHTING or BOONDOCKING on private property:

First, let's make sure that we know what we are talking about. We have all seen RV's spending the night in parking lots, most notably around WalMarts When RV'ers are traveling great distances to reach destinations they have to stop for needed rest. RV'ers are unique in that they have their bed and bathroom with them. In short they are "self-contained". All RV'ers need is a safe place to park for the night. This practice is referred to as overnighting or boondocking. Whatever the term, you get the idea----- someone is just stopped temporarily for some needed rest as differentiated from setting up camp. While overnighting is an accepted practice by many there is a vocal contingent that raises a ruckus when they see overnighters especially when they see abuses. While overnighting in places like WalMart is an accepted practice now---- that acceptance is subject to change. What is perfectly acceptable by a few may become a total nuisance if multitudes do it. Businesses may allow one night stays but frown on those that "set up camp". As responsible RV'ers we have to be especially aware of what we do so that we do not spoil things for future generations.

With this as background I would like to offer the following as guidelines:

1. When possible obtain permission. Use common sense-----If 6 or 8 RV's are already in place do you think the manager needs to OK you as well?
2. Park out of the way in the extreme fringes of the parking lot. Leave a buffer between your RV and perimeter residences. Don't run your generator if you think it can disturb a residential neighborhood, they will complain to management and the city council.
3. Try to avoid "setting up camp". You can do this by MINIMIZING your presence. Activities and actions that might indicate "camping" instead of "overnighting" include extended awnings, visible chairs, barbecue grills, and pets. Use some judgment. How will the businesses patrons and neighbors view you?
4. Some groups advocate not extending slide-outs if at all possible. Personally, I do not see anything wrong with extending slides. Use your judgment.
5. Avoid extending your leveling jacks on hot asphalt. Generally speaking parking lot asphalt is thin and can easily be damaged by our leveling jacks. It is best to not extend leveling jacks---------and under no circumstances should jacks be extended on HOT asphalt.
6. Limit your stay to one night and purchase gas, food, or supplies as a form of thank-you when appropriate and feasible.
8. Always leave an area cleaner than you found it. Responsible RV'ers pick up trash around their RV in addition to returning shopping carts to corrals and such.
9. And lastly stay alert and practice safety precautions.

The above suggestions were put together by the RV group Escapees and are intended to be used as a guide. If you are new to RV'ing and have never overnighted in a WalMart parking lot or any other business parking lot here are some other things to contemplate:

Look at the neighborhood surrounding where you are going to stay. Will you really feel safe?

If you park near a grassy area and extend your slid over the grassy area you are going to be totally surprised when the automatic watering system comes on in the wee-hours of the morning. Not only will it wake you in the middle of the night water may enter your RV.

Do not even think about dumping your tanks either gray or black into the storm sewage system.

Remember that everything you do is recorded on the stores security system. If store security is going to see you do anything make it something positive.

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