I got the nicest response to my last blog entry from a woman named Debra, and I’m just now taking the time to acknowledge it. Because of what she asked, I thought it might be nice to share my answer through the blog since it concerns something a lot of people – well, at least the people who like to read my blog! – might wish to know.
She wrote that she and her husband were going to be renting an RV for the first time this summer and she was looking for some “rookie” tips from an old hand like me.
So here goes…
As I was thinking about what to tell Debra, it occurred to me that there is one overriding theme that seems to be common to every situation and to every interaction you’ll have. It has to do with courtesy. Since most of us RVers tend to stay in campgrounds or RV parks, that’s a good place to start.
- The first tip I’d pass along is to learn the campground’s or park’s rules as soon as you get there (or even before, if they have a website). You’ll find they’re usually written to insure you enjoy your stay and to allow others to enjoy theirs.
- When you get there, take a look at how others are parked. Generally, you’ll want to try to orient your RV the same as others.
- Are you pulling in late at night or leaving especially early? Try to make as little noise as possible or not burn lights too late or too early that may disturb others.
- Have a firepot there in the space? Use it for fire only, not as a makeshift garbage can.
- Got pets? (Boy, do I have pets!) I love my dogs, Scamp and Rambler, but I realize not everyone else likes pets, so I’m always careful to keep them under control.
It’s just simple courtesy when you think about it. Try to conduct yourself so that you leave nothing behind but a good memory of your visit for those you get to know on the road. If you are looking for more tips for beginner RVers or for tips for camping on your own like I do, check out RV.com’s RV Lifestyle Tips.
I’ll conclude with one of my favorite memories about being an RVer and the whole idea of treating others as you would like to be treated.
I was spending the night in a campground in a swamp on the Louisiana-Texas border a few years back when I first started the RV life. The campground was pretty bare-bones, it was miles to the nearest grocery store and it was the middle of the week. There were only a few RVs there. The couple from the next occupied space – about four down from where I was parked- was trying to prepare their dinner. He was manning the grill, she was in their galley. A few minutes later, the wife walked over to my Airstream, Max, and, after apologizing for intruding, asked if I had any cumin (the spice) I could spare. As luck would have it, I had about two teaspoons left in a spice tin and offered it to her. She protested that she couldn’t take the last of what I had but I insisted, since I wasn’t going to use it anytime soon. She thanked me repeatedly and went back to their motor home.
About a year later, I was at a campground outside Austin, relaxing in a canvas chair under my awning one evening, when, to my great surprise, the woman I had met the year before in the swamp walked up and, with a big smile, handed me an unopened spice tin of cumin. Laughing, she said, “I was hoping we’d run into you again some day.”
Do unto others…that’s the one tip I’d pass along as essential. Keep that in mind and you’ll be fine.
Livin’ the love,
*Disclaimer: RV.com, which is owned by Dometic Corporation, sponsors On the Road with Robin. Neither Dometic Corporation, nor RV.com, provide this blogger with free Dometic products, and this blogger does not receive a commission on click-throughs from links on this blog to RV.com, Dometic.com, or any other site. All references made to product brands are made in an attempt to provide readers with the knowledge necessary to recreate the experiences mentioned in this blog.