Business Etiquette for RV Campground Guests: Courteous Dealings With Campground Owners

A camp

ground is a business, and to make a profit requires happy customers and good word-of-mouth. Campground owners and staff are aware of the needs of business etiquette and its demands for courteous treatment of guests and prompt attention to their concerns.

However, it works both ways. Campers pay a rental fee which permits access to a specific site and to common areas. Campers have no “right” to be on the grounds, and the owner has every right to evict a camper who fails to obey campground rules. A camper who refuses to leave when asked to do so is trespassing. A private campground is private property, and a camper is a guest of the owner.

Generally, RV Campers are about the nicest and most courteous people on the road. Here are some things that have earned them this reputation.

Thank the Owner or Host

Take the simple step of tracking down the owners or hosts to meet them at the start of a stay. Establishing a relationship at the beginning will make it easier to resolve any issues that may arise.

At the end, stop by and thank them for the visit. If the host or owner was helpful in correcting or at least attempting to correct a problem, say thanks for that too. Be sure to state what aspects of the campground or the stay were impressive, helpful, enjoyable.

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Be Polite and Positive

Murphy’s law applies to campgrounds, too: something will go wrong. By all means notify the people in charge if something goes amiss, but remember – demanding, swearing and yelling are so immature.

  • Be courteous.
  • Be patient. Too many campers “want what they want when they want it”; realize that the staff may have other duties.
  • Ask rather than demand.
  • Campground owners and hosts are human – respect their feelings and rights.
  • Behave (and expect your children to behave) as you would in someone’s home.

So many campers are quick to complain if something is amiss but never say a word if things went well. The “golden rule” is an excellent guide in any human interaction, including lodging a concern with a campground owner or host.

Buy at the Campground When Possible

When the prices in the on-site store or concession are a little higher than off-site, balance the convenience over the cost of time and fuel to leave the campground and drive to town for supplies. If the prices seem exorbitant, try a little friendly negotiation. “Mary, I believe in supporting local businesses, but I know that this swim toy is only $19.95 in town and I think your price of $29.95 is too high. If you’ll come down in price, I’m willing to buy it here and save myself the drive.”

Obey the Campground Rules

Rules are for a reason. Generally, the reason concerns respect for the environment, the campground, and other campers.

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Respect the Environment

  • Don’t cut live trees.
  • Stay on paths.
  • Respect the site. Don’t cut trees, use the fire sites provided, clean up your garbage, recycle, and leave the dump site clean.

Respect the Campground

  • Respect the campground boundaries. Adjacent properties may be off-limits.
  • Use equipment appropriately.
  • Report anything that is missing or damaged.
  • Keep the grounds clean.
  • Use facilities (fish cleaning stands, trash containers) provided.
  • Build fires only in fire pits or stands provided.

Respect Fellow Campers

  • Observing quiet hours is probably the best thing friendly campers do. Even during daytime hours, they don’t inflict their musical taste on sites around them. Their generators are run at appropriate hours. If they leave early in the morning, they’re quiet about it.
  • Respect others’ sites.
  • Stay on paths and roadways.
  • Follow speed limits for safety.

Take the Time to Answer Surveys

If the checkout form has a survey, answer accurately and helpfully. What could have been better? What was really great? What features would bring campers back to the site? What things might have made the stay better or more enjoyable (a positive way to phrase a complaint!). Campground hosts and owners need this information to improve their product and service.

Most consumers expect to be served with promptness and courtesy. But business etiquette works both ways, and being a courteous camper can improve the quality of a vacation for all concerned.

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