Travelling Australia in a caravan is no longer just the domain of ‘Grey Nomads’. So the often hotly debated question of What is good Caravan Park and Camp Ground Etiquette frequently arises. There are now a whole range of people travelling for a variety of reasons. Families with two, three, four kids or more, couples with their ‘fur babies’ and singles as well.
Throw in a few backpackers and what you end up with, is a big mix of people from varying social, cultural and economic backgrounds, confined together in a sometimes small area. So there are bound to be some conflicts or disagreements over personal space or noise right?
A recent post in our group, Planning a Lap of Australia certainly got the conversation flowing. It seems that there are a few things that are definitely a big no – no when it comes to sharing space with others. There were plenty of group members who shared their opinions too! So I have combined a few of those answers together, along with a couple of our own.
KEEP THE NOISE DOWN
This was probably the most mentioned thing that annoyed people. Lets face it, if you’re on holidays you just want to be able to relax and enjoy yourself. And having excessively noisy neighbours can be a problem. The most complained about noise was:-
- late night drinkers
- outside TV’s
Having travelled with our kids when they were younger it can certainly be a challenge to keep them quite at any time of the day, but early mornings were probably the worse. Having a selection of books, or games handy or these days perhaps a portable DVD player or Ipad might help keep them entertained until the camp ground or caravan park starts to come to life.
Sometimes I would hop up and take them to the beach or grab their scooters and go for a walk. We always preferred them to be awake early rather than still running around at 10.00pm!
However the point of going on a family holiday is for everyone to have fun, but especially the kids and who doesn’t love hearing the sound of kids having fun?
Late night drinkers can be a problem too. Unfortunately some people get louder the more they have to drink. I don’t mind talking and laughter but I really don’t need to hear streams of offensive language. If this is you, perhaps a caravan park might not be the best place for you. Lucky we have so many camp grounds in out of the way places that everyone can be catered for.
TV noise or even radios can be annoying as well. Do try and keep the volume down, especially if the rest of the park is quite.
Generators can be noisy but some people do need them to run medical equipment. Most people I have encountered have good quality ones that are really just a quiet hum and they do try and tuck them away to minimise the noise. However if the camp ground or caravan park has rules about the running hours please abide by them.
DON’T WALK THROUGH OTHER PEOPLES SITES
This is one I have encountered and something I would never do. You wouldn’t take a short cut through someones yard if living in suburbia so probably shouldn’t do it in a caravan park.
One I encountered recently was kids riding over our hoses. This was totally un-neccessary as they could have ridden across the front of our van instead of behind it. There parents also decided that right next door to the end of our awning was the perfect place to do a boxing workout. Clearly they didn’t realise there was anyone home as our car wasn’t there.
I know this can be hard sometimes when a park is very busy, there often isn’t a lot of room to walk around but walking through someones site and even under their awning is not necessary. Walk around. If you do have to encroach on someones site in a crowded park give them a wave, a smile and a sorry. They will appreciate you acknowledging them.
CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF
We used camp kitchens a lot in our camper trailer days and I was always disappointed to find that some people would not clean up after themselves.
If you are using the camp kitchen rinse the sink out when you are finished, wipe the benches down and put any utensils or equipment that you may have used away. Leave the BBQ clean as well so as the next person who wants to use it doesn’t have to clean it first.
Make sure you take all your rubbish to the appropriate bins as well. If there are no rubbish bins available, please do the right thing and take your rubbish with you. This will ensure that the next people to use the area will have an enjoyable experience.
Another thing that came up frequently was mopping the showers out if a mop and bucket was available. This really only takes 2 minutes and just helps keep everything clean for the next person. It really is good bathroom etiquette.
For us, this is a big part of what caravanning and camping is all about. Meeting new people and having new experiences. Say Hi to your next door neighbours – you might just make some new friends.
Did you know that maintaining social contacts is a great way to reduce the risk of Alzheimers? I can’t think of a better place for social interaction than a caravan park or camp ground. So many places have organised ‘happy hour’. Often there will be a fire involved and you can come and have a drink and even pop your camp oven in and have dinner cook whilst you chat.
This is such a great way to meet new people and share experiences. It’s often the way to find out about the best spots to visit. Say Hi to your next door neighbours – you might just make some new friends.
REMOVE YOUR WASHING
Most people said they don’t like other people removing their washing from the machine or dryer when it’s finished. They also expected washing to be removed from lines promptly.
I don’t do washing on days that we are going out site-seeing. That way I can keep an eye on it whilst it’s in the machine and also on the line. Washing machines often have different cycle times and it’s not always written on the machine how long it’s going to take. Generally I allow between 20 to 30 minutes and then go back and check it.
I would consider taking someone’s washing out of a machine after it had finished if they had not returned in say 15 minutes. I would only ever do this if they had left the basket on top of the machine.
Someone once removed my washing from a machine and then didn’t put another load on….must have changed their mind!
We have a folding clothes line with us, so I mostly use it to hang our washing on.
With so many people travelling with their pets these days, especially dogs, following some simple rules will make sure everyone enjoys their stay.
If a park requires your dog to be kept on a lead at all times please do so. Also make sure the lead is short enough to keep your dog under control. It’s no good if your dog can get under camper trailer and bite someone because their lead is to long. (Yes this happened to me recently) This isn’t just for other peoples comfort but also for the safety of your pet. And please, not matter where you are, clean up your poop!
Also don’t allow your dog to bark or whine continuously without making some attempt to stop them.
Most places have a set of rules. These are usually handed to you when you check in. I generally give these a quick scan just to make sure there is nothing out of the ordinary that I need to know.
Rules are generally put in place to ensure the safety and security of all guests. Rules such as no bikes or scooters on roadways are put in place to make sure our kids are safe especially somewhere that there are a lot of big four-wheel drives with sometimes limited vision. Other rules are there to ensure all guests enjoy their stay.
KEEP YOUR SPEED DOWN
One of my pet hates is people who drive through a caravan park or campground to fast. Most caravan parks ask that you limit your speed within a park to walking pace or between five to eight kilometres is fast enough.
Many caravan parks and camp grounds only have dirt or gravel roadways, so if your vehicle is throwing up a large amount of dust you are driving to fast.
As a mentioned above, parks and campgrounds are full of all kinds of different people. Young children in particular, can dash out from behind a caravan at anytime and give you little opportunity to stop. An older person may also be slower to move out of the road of a vehicle travelling to fast.
AND NOW FOR A LAUGH
The following were actual comments from the original post in our group. Some good advice as well as a bit of a laugh!
- Turn down your outside speakers if you are watching an ‘Adult Movie’
- Wear pants if your blinds are open
- Ladies, please don’t shave your legs in the swimming pool
- If you don’t want golf balls thrown at your kids don’t let them hit golf balls at peoples cars and caravans
- Don’t let your young son ‘take a leak’ on the neighbours tent
Thanks to everyone who contributed suggestions. The bottom line is be respectful and treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. But above all else have fun!
What do you think makes for good Caravan Park and Camp Ground Etiquette?