These RV Park Rules Will Surprise You


Pine Near RV Park - Photo via website

These RV Park Rules Will Surprise You

Every RV park has a set of rules either prominently posted on a sign or within the pages of the park’s brochure. RV park rules are created to ensure the safety and satisfaction of all RVers while they enjoy all the establishment has to offer.  Generally, these guidelines include check-in/check-out procedures, RV site occupancy details, speed limit regulations, care and use of RV park amenities, and neighbor etiquette like quiet times in the park. 

Frequent enough RV parks and you will also come across some rather unusual and surprising rules.  Some may seem nonsensical, excessive, or unfair, but there is usually a rationale for even the most unexpected regulations. The following is a list of these RV park rules and the reasoning behind each.

Some dog breeds are restricted.

One surprisingly common but rather controversial RV park rule pertains to the admittance of dogs based on breed. The most targeted purebred or mixed breeds are pit bulls, rottweilers, Dobermans, German shepherds, mastiffs, and huskies.  

This exclusive measure is enacted for a few reasons, most notably because of breed-specific legislation or BSL. These laws restrict or ban certain dog breeds from entering locations like businesses or community events. Organizations like DogBite.org and Animal Farm Foundation include detailed lists and locations of the over 900 cities that enforce some or portions of this legislation.

Is your dog breed allowed at the park? Photo via Wikipedia Creative Commons

However, there are RV parks that are located outside cities that still enforce breed restrictions. They do not permit dogs that exhibit “aggressive behavior,” and they may specify weight limits. Whether it seems fair or not, the mentality is that small dogs do not pose a threat or much physical harm as compared to muscular, larger dogs.

If you have a dog that even resembles one of these targeted breeds, the best way to prepare for your next RV park stay is to contact the business and inquire about their pet policy. There have been cases where dogs have been allowed regardless of posted breed regulations, but other RVers simply find another park.

Portable pet fences are prohibited.

In an attempt to allow their dog to roam free off-leash, some RVers will erect a portable fence at their site.  Some RV parks do not have a problem with this setup, provided the owner is outside with the pet, keeping a watchful eye.  

Other parks shake their finger at the notion, especially after witnessing previous RVers use it in an irresponsible fashion.  The case may be that the RVer sets up the fencing unit, only to leave Fido unattended.  The dog may find a way to break free from the confined space and take off without its owner’s knowledge.  

RVs older than 10 years may not be allowed in the park.

Quite a few RV parks have instated the 10-year rule.  This allows the business the option to turn away any unit that is older than ten years.  Sometimes owners of RV parks feel like older RVs can be a safety hazard. Other RV parks have the rule for aesthetic purposes. 

They want their resort to have a particular look. The 10-year rule is not always heavily enforced. In the following article, “The RV 10 Year Rule: Why You May Not Be Welcome,” full-time RVer Levi Henley explains why RV parks pose this directive and exceptions to it.

It may surprise you to find that older RVs may not be allowed in the park.

Washing your RV in the park is a no-no.

As convenient as it would be to scrub down and rinse off the RV while you are staying at a park, this practice is considered a violation at some places. Washing an RV on-site usually means using copious amounts of water, leaving your area muddy and messy, and splashing neighboring units.  

Instead of completely dissuading campers from washing their RVs, RV park management may pose an additional fee for water use.  There may also be a secondary option to utilize a mobile service.  The outside company comes to the park to clean the RV at the RV owner’s expense.  RV parks allow this because the mobile service provides its own tools and cleaners, including their own portable water source, to complete the job in a timely and presentable manner.

Extra heads means spending extra dollars.

Some RV park rules specify a number of occupants to be included in the overnight, weekly, and monthly stays.  Any additional people are charged. 

RV parks and resorts may also charge visitors coming into the park for the day, during operating hours, to see campers staying there or to use the park amenities like the pool.

Are these extra fees necessary? A KOA online publication explained the reasoning behind these charges:

“Extra guests, even when they don’t stay overnight, produce additional expenses when using supplies and facilities. Additionally, campgrounds have to be conscious of their permitted occupancy by law and their insurance.”

RV sites are not a guarantee.

It is not uncommon for an RVer to call in and reserve a specific site for their next stay, especially if they have frequented a particular campground. Perhaps the site has a great view of a lake, provides optimal reception, or is close to amenities like the bathhouses.  Whatever the reason, some RV parks include a clause in their RV park rules stating that an RV site cannot be guaranteed.  

Although the RV park may make every attempt to secure a camper in the site of their ultimate camping experience, there are always issues that could arise due to different circumstances including RV hook-up issues (e.g., issues with the water, electric, or sewer connections), a landscape mishap like a fallen tree after a storm, or the site has already been booked in advance by other campers.

No outside firewood.

Staying at an RV park means following RV park rules that not only ensure the safety of all campers, but they are also meant to ensure the livelihood of the natural setting.  For this reason, many RV parks have regulations on firewood.

“When you bring firewood camping, you risk carrying a tree killing insect or disease. The bugs can crawl out, spread to the trees and forest at the campground or state or national park, and begin to destroy those trees and forests.”

The Don’t Move Firewood campaign

In these situations, RV parks sell firewood indigenous to the region.  If RVers happen to bring outside firewood, parks are known to dispose of it properly and may even offer firewood free of charge.

Call or verify online before traveling

As a rule of thumb, it is always a good idea to call the RV park before finalizing travel plans.  Get more information, ask questions, and clarify misconceptions about any concerning RV park rules.

Be sure to also check Campground Reviews for more information on what the campground has to offer and peruse camper reviews. You can additionally connect with other RVers on all kinds of RV-related topics via iRV2 Forums.

Natalie Henley

Natalie Flores-Henley and her husband, Levi Henley, workamp around the country in their 26-foot motorhome. Along with writing for RV magazines, they recently published their first book together, Seasonal Workamping for a Living: How We Did It. They share their experiences and RV-related tips on their own blog henleyshappytrails.com as well as videos on their YouTube Channel, also called Henley's Happy Trails.

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