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Caravan site etiquette: Things to know before you tow


At a caravan park, good manners can mean more than you realise, and help you maintain good relations with your neighbours.

If you own a caravan, you might think the most important thing before you set off is checking the car’s kerbweight or packing enough chemical loo cleaner.

Oh no. Bad manners can induce the campsite equivalent of road rage and instantly mark you out – if you haven’t already done so yourself, that is, with an impenetrable barricade of windbreakers.

So whether this is your first season in a shiny new caravan or you’ve been tin-tenting in etiquette ignorance for years, here’s what you need to know before you tow.

1) Be friendly, but not too friendly


"People are definitely not as friendly as they used to be," says caravan historian Andrew Jenkinson.

"Many people just sit inside and watch TV rather than sitting out for a chat, although a great place to get chatting is the washing up area."

There is a line, however. "Once a guy parked his van end to end, with his lounge facing straight into the back of ours," says Andrew. "I asked him if he enjoyed looking in on us."

2) Choose your pitch wisely


It’s no good wanting to be close to the facilities and then complaining that too many people are streaming past your window, so choose your pitch wisely.

Good caravan sites will also observe the six-metre rule, the distance required between units (a caravan, tent or motorhome) for safety.

3) Remember it’s not actually a holiday if you’re a parent


After three days in a confined space with children, you might long for a little peace and quiet.

This can be achieved by shooing your kids to the far end of the park, but doing so won’t make you popular with the child-free couple who pitched there to get away from families in the first place.

"A cocktail of children, bikes and scooters can be a bit of a hot potato," admits caravan journalist Lee Davey.

"Ask the wardens for advice on finding the perfect pitch, whether you’re caravanning with the kids or in search of silence."

4) Don't judge your fellow caravanners


Finally, it pays to keep an open mind when you go caravanning.

At some point, you will see people sauntering about in their dressing gown, whether en route to the shower block or simply enjoying an early-morning constitutional.

At home the sight of a neighbour strolling about the lawn, fresh brew in hand, might raise an eyebrow.

However, on a caravan site this is completely acceptable behavior and should not be questioned.


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