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Old 07-20-2016, 06:35 PM   #1
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Campground Rules - why?

Perhaps a different topic on campground rules in general. While I'll start with a dog example, that's not the point - please, no breed discussions. Let's stick to the concept of rules...

In a recent discussion around dogs on leashes, a perspective was shared by Dexterpix and McDave that suggested (my inference here) that the rules aren't about leashes per se because owners who have trained their dogs well can command them to stay or heel and that's as good as a leash.

In an effort to talk about all campground rules, I thought we could use this as an example to start a different conversation regarding why the rules matter.

If we start with leashes, we could say one aspect about this surely ISN'T about leashes, I'll agree there. However, that aspect is only from one's perspective as the owner.

The reason why a rule about leashes would matter (as far as I can see) is from the perspective of everyone else in the campground (with or without dogs, with or without certain physical disabilities, with or without prior experience of being told by other owners their dog is under control yet that was not their experience, whether or not an exceptionally well trained dog follows a primal instinct jumping to his death chasing another animal that enticed it....all examples we're heard elsewhere).

The perspective of the anxiety some dogs (mine for sure) experience when on a leash and another free roaming dog approaches "her territory" is key. I don't believe for a second the owner who lets his/her dog roam free intends any harm. However, my dog was nearly choking herself at the end of the leash, crying and howling at the sight of a "free range hound". The fact that I had to ask the owner to pay attention to his own dog, off leash, walking in to our site (owner not even watching his dog or listening to mine clearly in distress about it) shouldn't ever have to happen.

So yes, had that owner trained his dog better, been paying more attention, acted more responsibly, the issue wouldn't likely have happened. But that's still not the point. My uncle was a cop with a K9 partner. The training was long, extensive and expensive. Most owners don't come near that level of training with their pets and even the very best trained animals are animals and can from time to time do animal things.

At the end of the day, rules (like the leash rules) are there for reasons. If there were an off-leash campground, I would be happy for all the off-leash proponents to attend to their hearts' content. But I would never sign up for something like that myself.

So why obey the rules? Because failing to keep your animals on a leash at a campground that requires it means you're making me sign up for something I didn't. And that's really the point.

So perhaps we could discuss the value of all campground rules and their impact not only on each of us as individuals and all other fellow campers. What do you think?
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:37 PM   #2
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This topic could also lend itself to:

- quiet hours

- camp fires (and having to use only wood purchased at the campsite - which is almost always green/wet and leads to annoying smoky fires...but I'm not bitter &#128512

- size restrictions

- age of trailer restrictions

- etc...
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:49 PM   #3
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- camp fires (and having to use only wood purchased at the campsite - which is almost always green/wet and leads to annoying smoky fires...but I'm not bitter
This is one I'm in favor of. The purpose is to stop— or at least slow— the propagation of plant-borne pests and parasites. If they allowed campers to bring their own wood, there's no telling where that wood came from, or what else besides wood is actually hiding in the wood.

That rule is on a par with the rule requiring that boaters wash their boats after taking them out of the water, so that any waterborne pests are removed before the boat is put into the water somewhere else. Which happens to be another rule that I have to follow whenever I take my kayak with me.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:58 PM   #4
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Campground Rules - why?

Protagonist - I agree with the bug control aspect. I just hate the lack of care in the firewood at most sites.

One of my absolutely favorite campsites is an Army CoE site that is not only beautiful, but they CLEARLY season their firewood. It is always bone dry and makes for wonderful, relatively low-smoke fires you can cook on with no worries. Why can't all commercial campgrounds do that?

I obey the rule, but if I'm forced to buy from the campsite, I'd really appreciate seasoned wood like I could bring from home. It would prevent me from being the camper others get mad at for having an overly smoky fire.
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:25 PM   #5
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I'll second this one .... no smoke please. However, are there times when smoke is good? Does it keep the bugs away?

We stayed in a park that had a nice inventory of seasoned wood, but a fellow was burning a fire that looked like it had a bunch of paper, but it was smoking like the devil. Couldn't quite understand why.

Thoughts, info, education? Open to all. Pat
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:12 PM   #6
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I agree regarding the idea of rules being about a mutual covenant. A common respect.

I have a six year old who is very nervous around dogs. He's working on it, but having a dog come towards him, no matter how well demeanoured, is distressing for him. By the same token, I stay away from areas with him where it's appropriate for dogs to be off leash. Cause they're entitled to that space.

Firewood, again, is a rule I always follow. Now saying that, I predominantly camp in provincial parks, and my experience with the quality of wood has always been good. It supports the local economy, provides an additional income stream to the parks & prevents pest spread. Port Burwell is one of our parks that's suffered from pest damage recently, and I almost cried when I saw the state.

Even in my more carefree days, ha, I respected noise / curfew rules. Again, it's about not imposing on others.

I do my best. I'm not perfect, I'm sure I've broken rules along the way, but my near universal experience is that rules are in place for a reason. If you're unsure? Ask. It's amazing what you can find out with a respectful tone.
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:30 PM   #7
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Rules Smules we do (n't) need stinking rules. 🤗😇😛🙄😠

We are followers of (most) rules I think. They are there for a reason and common courtesy and common sense are not so common these days.

This forum has made me realize that wide disagreement is common even in something like camping. I would have never known campers sometimes don't like campfires until reading here and camping with our unit. Prior to that I would have made an assumption that all campers use or like campfires.

Once I thought about the smoke in someones well appointed Airstreams or daily wear clothing it makes more sense.

Never knew what seasoned wood was either. Just knew to bring dry wood versus the freshly cut stuff.

Trying to think what rules we scoff at....entering campgrounds when we are on a road trip not pulling a camper just to take a look.....those stop at office signs! And I'm sure lots of others but I must be biased.
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:36 PM   #8
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This is an interesting topic.

We have only been campers about a year now, but the few times that we have had annoying or unpleasant experiences, it has had to do with our "space" feeling violated.

Campgrounds put strangers pretty close together. For this to work well, there has to be a common understanding that one's campsite is ones "domain". And that it is impolite to impede on another's domain.

One situation we have encountered last year over Labor Day was a site next to us that was labeled as a 2 family campsite. Fine if you have 2 sets of families. I.E. several adults and their kids. Not OK to have several adults, their kids, and 6 additional friends along for an 11 year old birthday party sleepover. With shrieking and running around not just your site, but mine too.

Tents pitched literally 4 feet from my picnic table, while the other side of their very large site went unused. Yes they were over the max listed number of campers at the site. But more importantly, they were completely indifferent and ignorant about it. Simply did not care that their birthday event interfered with us enjoying our holiday weekend.

Now if they had been in the middle of their site so that they were as far away from us as they could be, and if they had had only a couple of friends along, and had been trying to tell the party guests the "rules" of good manners at camping, that would have been different.

It was a very frustrating experience. Not the kid's fault. The parents were clueless.
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:43 PM   #9
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Rules that have a good purpose are good rules, rules for the sake of rules, rules that no one even knows why,,, not so much...


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Old 07-20-2016, 10:45 PM   #10
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SteveSueMac, in your lengthy OP you did a great job of explaining why you favor everyone following the leash rules. You spoke from your dog's point of view and how anxious he gets when on a leash and other dogs are not. Point well taken. But I believe that people come first.

I would like to give you my observation from a human's perspective. Leashing dogs is a way to ensure the physical safety of campers. Sure, sure, there are owners who do a masterful job controlling their pets and my hat is off to them. There are many more who think they can control their dogs when they really always can't. Then there are the rest who have no concept of control or of basic adherence to rules.

The segway into smokey fires was interesting. Someone pointed out that we should always follow the rules if only to demonstrate respect for our fellow campers. I am sorry to say that this behavior is getting harder and harder to find. Americans, by and large, follow the laws and the rules that they agree with. I will let my dog run loose, I will burn whatever I choose and I will even leave the paths in national parks to get a better picture. Then there were those two Boy Scout leaders that toppled the rock formations in Utah not long ago. Because simple respect for others is on a wane, we need to enforce basic rules for everyone's benefit.

Off soap box now.......
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:56 PM   #11
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Some county park campgrounds have a "no alcoholic beverages of any kind" rule. While we understand and appreciate the rule is aimed at preventing public inebriation and associated obnoxious behavior, we'd rather see them post a rule that says "No public inebriation and associated obnoxious behavior," so we don't have to drink our wine from a Tevis tumbler and say discretely to each other, "Would you like me to go inside and get you a little more of that lovely grape juice?" We've never had a problem as we assiduously avoid engaging in public inebriation and associated obnoxious behavior, but since we're talking campground rules...
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:59 PM   #12
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I just had to click,

I was enticed by the title of the thread. I had to click. I never look at car accidents. I never open email messages and their attachments if I don't know who they are from.
But that thread title 'rules', Campground Rules ' no less.
I thought Hmmmmmm 'Burning Man' comes to a campground near you ? Chaos ?
The AS crowd wants Chaos ? No way !

Heck this isn't bad.
Don't you like the clown that plays their music loud enough to share for most the campground ? from 8-11pm, 'Sweet Home Alabama' once , I can live with. Six Times ? starting to grate.
( More wine or any other alcohol based beverage I can find)

Or tune up their ATV or Ski-doo ? That's classic !

Yeah that kind stuff will make a person go get some green pine needles and green damp wood, anything to make a cloud bank of smoke.
My patient wife abandoned me and retreated to the closed up AS.

Hate the collateral damage. My white truck was streaked the next morning, kinda like a 'skunk'.
I like to have fun as much as the next person, but I really try not to infringe on others.

Good Topic Stevesuemac
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:02 PM   #13
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Sometimes rules are in place to protect others from our blind spots.

A few weeks ago we went to a local beach on the river. Itís a popular spot, and there were people all over. We always take our dog with us. She is quiet and very well behaved, and never causes problems, so we let her off her leash to allow her to satisfy her curiosity wandering around sniffing the territory around us. Weíve been bringing her here for years, and she never bothers anyone. Which is why I found it peculiar last time we went to the beach when a guy in a beach chair near us kept yelling at our dog and chasing her away every time she got anywhere near him. I tried to tell him she wasnít going to hurt him, but all he did was make rude remarks about leash laws. I donít know what he was so afraid of.

Alas, there are two sides to every story. And although this story is probably pretty accurate, Iíve told it from the wrong perspective.

Iím the ďrudeĒ guy that was trying to chase the dog away. She thought I was afraid of her dog, which was pretty ridiculous. I didnít want her dog around me because it was disgusting. It was nasty, and I didnít want her filthy mutt drooling all over my beach stuff. But more than that, my wife is NOT a dog person and goes out of her way to avoid all dogs. This one was particularly revolting to her.

Whether to prevent bodily harm from a vicious dog, or protection from the disease of a mangy mutt, or simply peace from the unwanted affection of an overjoyed puppy, there are rules.

Even if they donít make sense to you, follow the rules. They DO make sense to those around you.
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:25 PM   #14
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If I could build my home in the exact center of a 1000 acre plot of land I'd seriously consider that idea. Same applies to camping. Thats why I mostly stick to forest service campgrounds where you get about an half acre per site. I'll repeat my story where someone left their dog off leash and it became easy food for a coyote at dusk. My dog sticks close to me, whether he wants to or not. Rules have a basis in practicality.
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:45 PM   #15
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Many rules have a basis in practicality, but some are ridiculous.

This just is.

Anyway, when I have my dogs in a strange and public place the three young ones will always be on a leash, mainly because I don't want them to be killed by a vehicle, the old one is usually on a leash but not always.

There is a park that we liked to stay at in southern AZ, due to insurance requirements our Boxers and several other breeds were disallowed.

We did not know this until we arrived the last trip there, but they allowed us to stay there for the night. We haven't been back since. Insurance coverage is a good reason for a rule that both the park itself and we are stuck with, so I respect their rule.


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Old 07-20-2016, 11:49 PM   #16
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Oh, the story we heard for the breed ban was thar an unleashed small dog ran up to a leashed dog that was being walked and started a dog fight.

The bigger leashed dog unfortunately killed the smaller dog, and the owners sued the park and prevailed.

Go figure.


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Old 07-21-2016, 12:02 AM   #17
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Friends of ours had an encounter at a campground just a week ago while walking her two 30lb dogs, a 100lb german shepherd came strolling up to them off leash, growling, and the owner appears and says something to the tune of 'oh he doesn't like other dogs', and tells his dog over and over 'don't attack!' - well, he attacked! Luckily my friends dogs both survived, but one got tore up and got a visit to the vet. The vet was kind enough to look him over for free, and all he had was a cut on his tongue (I guess it bled a lot and was pretty horrible looking, but the vet said they couldn't really stitch it up). I hope that guy learned a lesson about his dog-hating german shepherd. I can't imagine anything worse to let loose in a crowded campground!

I have never had a problem with any of the rules at the campgrounds we've visited. They are all just about making sure you don't annoy the other campers, who all just want to have a nice weekend too. Most of it is just about being courteous.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:08 AM   #18
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Rules.... Play nice... Give and earn the respect you expect..

Campgrounds might take a clue from the local theater industry. Turn off the phones or we'll kick your A$$ out!

Have them sign this:
Rule: "all Dogs must be leashed"
Rule 2: "you must obey the rules as you expect your dog to"
Rule 3: "disrespect of any rules and you agree to quietly pack up leave and lose your camping fee"
Rule 4: "tell your buddies we follow the rules here.

Requiring decent behavior of "guests" by campground owners may put them out of business. That is not what we want. Right? I think there may be at least one campground owner on this forum..who might pipe in.

Look around...each sets their own behavior as they want... As a people we are more island builders than bridge builders.

I demand my "right" to shove it in your face. And you must "embrace and celebrate "... Or you will be ostracized. Ahem... Ok.. I will say "no"..It is worth it because it is about my eternal soul. I respect your ability to choose a path for yours.

Seems folks have lost discipline because it "harshes my mellow"... It defies the reality of how the world works...instead some are shocked when we reap the whirlwind.

So, the tiny infractions of "off leash" and campfires are but a whiff of the whirlwind.

How do we change it? Ask the campground owner to enforce the "rules" or Pack up, unplug and go home.... Or camp elsewhere.

I enjoy the company of others... Even Airstreamers!!! But I promise, my rights end where yours begin. I will follow the rules or move on...

I have my dog leashed...
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:27 AM   #19
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But I promise, my rights end where yours begin. I will follow the rules or move on...
Part of the problem lies in the fact that so many people fail to understand the difference between rights and privileges. A right is granted to you by law; an inalienable right by law cannot be taken away from you. A privilege is granted to you by the mutual consent of all interested parties and can be taken away at any time, hopefully but not necessarily for just cause.

At a campground we all have privileges granted to us by the campground owners in exchange for paying our fees and following their rules. But if we fail to uphold our end of the bargain, we have no right to complain about losing our privileges in return. Pity that more RVers don't understand the distinction.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwf View Post
Rules.... Play nice... Give and earn the respect you expect..

Campgrounds might take a clue from the local theater industry. Turn off the phones or we'll kick your A$$ out!

Have them sign this:
Rule: "all Dogs must be leashed"
Rule 2: "you must obey the rules as you expect your dog to"
Rule 3: "disrespect of any rules and you agree to quietly pack up leave and lose your camping fee"
Rule 4: "tell your buddies we follow the rules here.

Requiring decent behavior of "guests" by campground owners may put them out of business. That is not what we want. Right? I think there may be at least one campground owner on this forum..who might pipe in.

Look around...each sets their own behavior as they want... As a people we are more island builders than bridge builders.

I demand my "right" to shove it in your face. And you must "embrace and celebrate "... Or you will be ostracized. Ahem... Ok.. I will say "no"..It is worth it because it is about my eternal soul. I respect your ability to choose a path for yours.

Seems folks have lost discipline because it "harshes my mellow"... It defies the reality of how the world works...instead some are shocked when we reap the whirlwind.

So, the tiny infractions of "off leash" and campfires are but a whiff of the whirlwind.

How do we change it? Ask the campground owner to enforce the "rules" or Pack up, unplug and go home.... Or camp elsewhere.

I enjoy the company of others... Even Airstreamers!!! But I promise, my rights end where yours begin. I will follow the rules or move on...

I have my dog leashed...
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