Your travel trailer offers ample opportunities to get out and explore the beautiful scenery and the rocky mountains of Alberta. It is an affordable vacation, and the best way to spend time with family. You can also experience all the beautiful parkland and diversity of nature not too far from your own backyard.
However, you really don’t want to be “that person” who doesn’t understand the unspoken campground rules that could interfere with your fellow campers’ experience. Here we look at seven campground rules you need to know in Alberta, so you don’t ruin your own trip or your neighbour’s experience.
1. Follow parking rules
Obviously, people at campgrounds have at least one vehicle in their group. Non-motorized RVs require at least one vehicle as well. However, if you pull into your campsite and find it’s a bit tight with your trailer and vehicle parked there it can be tempting to “spread out” a little and find another spot nearby to park your vehicle. This is a definite campground don’t.
Always park your vehicle in accordance with campground rules as they exist for a reason. With limited space to park, parking rules help control traffic and make it safe for all campers to enjoy their camping experience. If you find your vehicle doesn’t fit, speak to the management, and see if there is additional parking available.
Never park in what appears to be an empty campsite nearby as you never know when someone might come to set up. Since campers can arrive at all hours of the day or night, it could really pose a problem for late arrivals.
2. Stick to your own designated site equipment
Campgrounds provide special equipment at each campsite which usually includes a picnic table or two, a fire pit and sometimes a barbecue. Just because the site next door has two picnic tables, or is empty, doesn’t mean you can help yourself to the equipment. Likewise, if you arrive to find your site is missing a grate for the fire pit, it isn’t your place to go grab one from someone else.
Always ask management if you need additional tables or if something at your site isn’t suitable. Although in most cases they might not be able to do anything, something like a missing picnic table or grate might be supplied if your fee includes it. Also, keep in mind some campsites might actually make you pay for damage to the table or any other equipment if they find you have moved or messed with it.
3. Pay visitor fees
If you are travelling in an area where you might have friends or family who would like to drop by your site, make sure they are aware of any visitor fees the campground might charge. Even though guests might not be staying overnight on your site, campgrounds have limitations on how many people the park can handle.
Guests using the facilities add work and use up supplies which increases operation costs. Laws also come into play as campgrounds are limited to how many people they can have on their property at any one time.
4. Obey noise rules
Nothing ruins a camping trip more than having noisy neighbours. It’s easy to get a little rowdy when out in the fresh air all day and night. Sitting around the campground, sharing stories, playing games or listening to music are all part of your experience. However, that level of fun can often increase the level of noise which travels much farther than you think.
That’s why all campgrounds have noise rules, including designated quiet hours where all noise such as music and even loud talking must stop. These are not always just campsite rules, but could often be actual laws of the local town ordinances. This is very common where there are residents living nearby. It’s not just a courtesy for fellow campers and neighbours. Being responsible for making noise once can also get you kicked off the site if you fail to comply.
5. Follow pet rules
Pets in campgrounds can easily become a nuisance which is why they must be kept on a leash. This is a safety rule that avoids accidents for your pet, while also keeping fellow campers safe. You also never know what wildlife your pet might encounter.
Other dogs on the campground might not be as friendly as your dog, or vice versa, which means you could cause a vicious dog attack. This puts others at risk of serious injury that can leave you liable. If your dog is not happy when on a leash, you might not want to bring them along. What’s more, if your dog barks constantly, you might interfere with noise rules.
If your dog is a barker, camping is probably not the ideal vacation for them. Keep in mind most campgrounds have designated leash-free areas where your dog can run free.
6. Obey headcount
As already mentioned, campgrounds have limits on how many people can stay at each site. Make sure if you have a larger group that you have checked site occupancy limits. Having large parties at your site is usually discouraged as it can infringe on your neighbours and also increase noise levels. You also paid a fee that includes a limited number of people, so you can’t just invite friends to pitch a tent beside your RV. In fact, most sites have a tent limit included in their occupancy rules.
7. Follow dishwashing etiquette
If you’ve camped before then you’ve probably witnessed at least one camper cleaning their dirty dishes in the public bathroom. This is a major no-no at campgrounds. You should also not be rinsing and washing dishes at the water pumps. Most campgrounds have some sort of sinks for washing dishes, but your RV is the best place for washing up after meals.
When you wash dishes at the bathroom sink you can cause serious drain blockages that cost the campground money to clear. This translates into higher rates next year. On top of this, it is unsanitary and also, quite frankly, gross. Considering people brush their teeth and spit in the sink, do you really want your dishes in there? Also, who wants to look at leftover scrambled eggs or corn in the sink when they wash their hands?
To learn more about the campground rules you need to follow in Alberta, call Bow Valley Insurance at (403) 297-9400 or contact us here.
Coverage is subject to policy wording, terms, conditions and deductibles. Protection is limited to the perils, coverage, exclusions and limits shown on the policy.