J. Dawg Journeys

Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Be a Camper from Hell

The Camper from Hell.  My guess is that many of us who travel and stay at campgrounds have at one time experienced a camper who displayed really bad behavior.  It’s probably a very small number because most people we meet in our travels are really nice folks.  But once in a while there’s some one who leaves a mark and that mark was not good.

Cousin Eddie

Web Photo – Cousin Eddie.

I guess it comes with the territory.  Staying at a campground or RV park can be a crap shoot, because you never know who you’ll be camped next to.  A camping neighbor will most times be someone who behaves like Tom Hanks, Mother Teresa, or the Brady Bunch family.  But in some cases, it can be someone who behaves like Bluto from Animal House or Cousin Eddie.  You just never know.

Over the years, I’ve seen some really bad camper behavior.  Stuff that I could not believe I was seeing or hearing.  Sometimes, I think I’ve seen it all.  But every year, a camper comes along who will demonstrate to me again, that the well of human ignorance is truly a bottomless pit.

I don’t condone or encourage bad behavior by any camper.  I’m a guy who follows the rules and respects my fellow campers.  And, I like campgrounds that have lots of rules and owners who enforce their rules.

Unfortunately, there are a small few that disregard the rules and disrespect others.  I have personally witnessed or experienced every one of the things described below at a campground or RV park.  If you have a tendencies for bad behavior and do any of the following things, then in my humble opinion you are a Camper from Hell.

  1. Have an argument with your brother, sister, wife, or husband.  Get right up in their faces and start shouting.  It could be something that was just said or a slight that happened 20 years ago.  You do this at home so you might as well bring it to the campground.  It’s been said – you can take the bad boy out of the ‘hood, but you can’t take the ‘hood outta the bad boy.  Don’t hold back, let it all out. You’ll feel better.
  2. Smoke in the bathroom. Even if there’s big signs all over that say NO SMOKING.  When you’re sitting on a pit toilet or in a stall that smells like dead rodents, nothing kills the smell or halts the gag reflex like a good smoke.  You did it in High School so what’s the big deal for doing it in a campground you’ll probably never come back to.
  3. Pull an all-nighter.  Gather up some drunk or stoned friends and sit around the camp fire trying to sing popular songs you only know half the words to.  It’s campfire karaoke so try to out do each other with volume not talent!!   And you know (just like Joe Walsh said), the smoker you drink, the player you get.  See if you can keep it up till dawn and then pass out.
  4. Warn your neighbors that it could get loud on your campsite.  It’s a courtesy to let them know ahead of time so later on when your campsite sounds like a war zone, they’ll just be annoyed and won’t go bat-shit crazy.  It lets them know you care and are thinking of them.
  5. Disregard your neighbors camping site.  Feel free to park your car and your friends cars in front of their site or right in front of their camper.  They don’t own the space and it’s all shared space anyway right?  Also, feel fee to walk thru their site at any time and let your kids ride their bikes through.
  6. Walk your ill-behaved dog with a long retractable leash that you never retract.  Let him slobber on, jump on, and sniff the neighbors crotch. He’s just a dog and he’s being really friendly.
  7. Let your Kujo like mutt bluff charge your neighbor and scare the by- Jesus out of them.  It’s no big deal. He’s tied up and being a little territorial.  Besides, he’s just being a dog
  8. Don’t pick up after your dog.  Dog’s are meant to crap on the ground.  What’s the big deal?  Beside, what are you suppose to do with the dog crap anyway?
  9. Run that genny – run it all night long, baby.  Even if it’s a construction type genny.  You do this just in case your wife wants to flick on the AC or use the microwave.  What would you rather have – a happy wife who you have to live with or pissed of neighbors who you don’t know and won’t see ever again?
  10. Dump your tanks using no hose.  If there’s an enclosed or downward sloping apron around the dump station, don’t bother using a sewer hose when you dump your tanks.  Just drive up close, get the drain valve over the apron, and pull that gate.  It’s so much quicker and you don’t have to dirty your hose.  Just use the water hose to wash the waste down the drain.  Easy peasy and you’re done in 10 mins.


Yes, I’ve seen all of this behavior.  I’m sure I haven’t seen it all and numbers 11,12, and 13 are probably just waiting to happen.

If you’re reading this and have a camper-from-hell story, please leave a comment.

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7 thoughts on “Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Be a Camper from Hell

  1. Steve

    Appreciated your comment about the “bottomless pit of ignorance.” For me, the only thing worse than being a neighbor to an inconsiderate camper, is sharing a campsite with one. We shared a campsite with friends at a commercial campground. They occupied every square inch of the picnic table and benches with their gear, so there wasn’t a place to sit or eat meals. The rest of it was on the ground, or in the tent and looked like a yard sale. Had to stand to eat. Made me feel like taking my arm and sweeping the stuff off the table, like snow off the hood of a car. And when they were correcting their children, it was at the top of their lungs at 5:00 am. The one thing in their favor was the volume of their music. It couldn’t be heard beyond our campsite. Needless to say, it has been years since we have camped with them. Hope they have become more considerate as campers.

  2. Suzanne

    Ooooohhhh….don’t get me started!

    I have been boondocked in an idyllic spot in the Mt Hood National Forest. Yesterday, a woman in a van came over and asked how long I was staying. She said her “church group” was coming tomorrow, and she was wondering if they could have my spot when I left. I told her no problem, I was leaving the next day. She then asked if I would mind if they pitched “a couple of tents” near my rig so they could stake out their territory before the group was to arrive tomorrow. I told her sure, no problem as long as 1.) they were quiet, and 2.) didn’t build a campfire right outside my window. Well, I came back to find at least 10 tents surrounding me, each filled with shrieking kids riding their bicycles in figure eights around my Winnie. There were two generator-running rigs not 20 feet away. They had strung a tarp between them with Christmas lights and a church-style buffet, and had the campfires burning with at least 20 people sitting right outside my rig. I was pissed, so I moved. Then, a guy pulled up and parked next to me with his radio blaring at 11:00pm. Peace and quiet seems to be our fastest dwindling natural resource.

      1. Suzanne

        Yeah, like the one in Mittry Lake who parked so close I could see the designs on his wife’s toenails beneath my bedroom window. Then, after he’s all set up, the guy comes over and says “Sorry, I didn’t mean to get so close, but I couldn’t see backing in.”

        They were Camper Example #1 — screamed at each other constantly, until I finally gave in and moved down the lake.

        See?? Like I said “don’t get me started.” 😉

      2. J. Dawg Post author

        I think there was camper-from-hell incident from one of your posts (I think it was yours) that made me cringe. I think it happened either in Yuma or near San Diego. A guy parked really close to you dumps his tanks and the hose lets go spilling gallons of sewage all over. And he tries to clean it up with a just a rag and you have a front row seat just an arms length away in your RV. I still think about that just about every time I dump.