Campground Etiquette: Why You Shouldn’t Cut Through Other People’s Campsites
A trio of friends camping
A campsite is for the person who rents or owns it and their guests. Strangers aren’t likely to be welcome, even for a moment.

An Etiquette Reminder: Don’t Shortcut Through Campsites

Cutting through another campsite at a campground might seem like an easy and convenient way to get around faster. However, this is considered by most RVers as rude and a total breach of campground etiquette. But why is it considered such a no-go?

As it turns out, there are several reasons why you should avoid cutting through campsites. Let’s take a look at all the reasons that staying off other people’s sites is good RV etiquette. 

1. It violates people’s privacy

Even if you’re only renting your campsite, it’s still your campsite as long as you’re paying for it. For many campers, this is one of the key parts of campground etiquette: Everyone has their space and should respect each other’s privacy. 

Nobody wants strangers peering in their windows or gawking at them. Even if you aren’t doing that, if you cut through somebody’s site, there’s a good chance it could make them uncomfortable. 

2. It disrupts the peace 

People enjoy using their sites to relax and enjoy some peace and tranquility. And when you cut through their campsite, you disturb that same peace and tranquility.

Even if it’s just for a moment, neighbors likely won’t take kindly to you interrupting their personal time. In cutting through, you’ll probably make noise and catch the attention of whoever’s site it is. They might even feel uncomfortable continuing their conversation until you’ve left. 

If someone is having a gathering, or a meal with family, or sitting around the campfire, passing through the RV site will likely be seen as a major breach of etiquette. It’s never a good idea to cut through a campsite, but it’s an especially bad idea in these cases. How would you feel if a stranger walked through your private gathering?

3. You could accidentally damage property

People keep a variety of things on their sites, from sports equipment to bikes to camping gear and more. Plus, many RV parks have their own furniture at each site, such as picnic tables and grills. When you cut through other people’s sites, you risk damaging this property.

Even if you’re careful, nobody is perfect, and you could find yourself tripping or knocking over people’s stuff. If you damage property in the process, you’ll not only have an angry neighbor, but you’ll likely also be on the hook for repairing or replacing damaged items. 

A Class B parked at a campground, image for camping etiquette
When you’re at a campground, you want peace and privacy, not strangers cutting through your site.

4. It can create safety concerns

Another reason not cutting through campsites is good campground etiquette is due to the safety hazards it can create. 

If you trip over somebody’s stuff on their site, you could easily injure yourself. Worse, if someone has things set up for cooking or having a campfire, your little accident could potentially start a fire. That means not only putting lives at risk but also risking major damage to property and to the park itself. 

Another safety concern arises if people have their dogs outside on their site. While many dogs are friendly, plenty of others don’t take kindly to strangers. If you cut through a site that has such a dog on it, you could find yourself in some real trouble. 

5. It’s likely against the rules

While it may not be the case at every campground, in many cases, it’s explicitly against the campground rules to cut through other people’s campsites. If this is the case at your campground, then your little shortcut won’t just bother other campers, it could also cause trouble with management. 

In many cases, that trouble might be a simple warning and a slap on the wrist. But if management is strict, or if you’re a repeat offender, you could face fines or even expulsion from the park. The tiny amount of time you’ll save by cutting through someone’s site simply isn’t worth the trouble.

6. It’s just plain rude

On top of all these reasons, there’s one simple reason that cutting through campsites is a breach of campground etiquette: it’s just plain rude.

When you cut through campsites unannounced, you’re showing a lack of respect for somebody else’s space. Whether they have been there for a week or for years, they have a right to privacy, peace, and safety. Even if you only briefly cut through, and there are no incidents of any kind, it’s not unlikely that the person occupying the site will see it as disrespectful.

The only time you should cut through a person’s campsite is if you know that person and they’ve given you express permission to do so. Otherwise, be sure to be a good neighbor and follow proper etiquette, and use the paths and roads in the park to get around. 

Be a good camping neighbor

We understand the desire to cut through other people’s campsites. A direct path is the fastest, and it’s natural to want to save some time. But in fact, those minutes you save aren’t worth the annoyance you’ll cause other campers. 

When you cut through a campsite, you’re invading people’s privacy and likely disturbing their personal time. Even worse, you could potentially damage their things or even get hurt yourself. Plus, if cutting through campsites is against campground rules, you could be in trouble with management. 

Instead, you should always use the roads and paths provided to get around the campground. It might not be quite as fast, but realistically, it only adds a minute or two to your trip. Plus, your neighbors will thank you for having good campground etiquette

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