Everyone who lives on the road has heard the popular refrain, “If you don’t like your neighbors, just turn the key and leave!”
In my early days of full-timing, I totally believed it was that easy to just pick up and leave. But now I know that leaving on a whim isn’t always an option. Sometimes you just have to stay longer in a spot than you’d like.
In these situations, you need to know how to stay sane or you’ll hate this lifestyle. Here are a few tips that can help you cope when you’re parked next to horrible RV neighbors.
Getting along with horrible RV neighbors
RVers are usually nicer than most people but there’s always an exception to the rule. Here’s a look at three common horrible RV neighbors you’ll encounter and how to deal with them.
1. The Negligent Parent
It’s easy to spot the negligent child or dog parent. The dog owner will put the pooch outside for some fresh air by tethering him to the picnic table. Then the neighbor goes inside and ignores the lonely pup’s constant barking. The human parent, on the other hand, will just turn their kids loose and let ’em run wild all over your campsite.
The best way to solve this horrible RV neighbor problem isn’t by approaching the neighbor. After all, they’re completely oblivious and will take your “suggestion” as an insulting critique of their bad parenting. Instead, ask the RV park manager or campground host to say something. This is one instance when it’s OK and acceptable to pass the buck to someone else. After all, they set the rules and it’s their job to enforce them. It usually works.
2. The Antique Generator Aficionado
You traveled for miles to escape civilization and set up camp in the desert. But before long, someone else has the same idea. As their RV bounces down the dirt road and stops within earshot of your rig, you spot their bumper-mounted, antique generator. Later that night you’re lulled to restless sleep by the clackety-clack of a gas-guzzling, exhaust-spewing machine that should have been retired years ago.
It’s hard to resist the urge to scream. But is that really going to solve anything? Nope. In this case, it’s worthwhile to reach out to the neighbor, offer him a beer and learn a little bit about their story. They could turn out to be such great people that you’ll find it within yourself to overlook the nightly generator racket.
3. The Bad RV Housekeeper
Laziness is hard to hide in RV parks and poor housekeeping is a problem you’ll encounter on the road. This is especially common if you’re frugal-minded like me and are always looking for low RV park rates. Generally speaking, the cheaper the rates, the more you can expect to encounter neighbors who just don’t (or aren’t able to) put in much effort into cleaning up their “yard.”
When you encounter the bad RV housekeeper on the road, there’s not much you can do about it if management hasn’t already done so. This is the one case where you’ll just have to suck it up if you want to save a buck.
These are just three examples of horrible RV neighbors. I’m sure you’ve encountered some doozies yourself. I’ll bet you’ll agree that learning to let these annoyances roll off your back is a small price to pay for such an awesome lifestyle.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.