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Campground etiquette question


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So today we pulled into our first national park campground.   Very scenic setting.   This is my shakedown trip and I am still learning to backup and this was the hardest  spot yet for me.  Anyhow while my son was helping I was blocking the loop for maybe 4 minutes.  Two cars were there for about 3 min and first driver gave me the ugliest look as he went by so made me wonder.  What is the etiquette here?  Should I just pull forward and make another pass or our folks generally patient with folks backing in ?  
 

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Patience varies but generally my sense has been that my job is to wait patiently for even 5 or so minutes  if needed. Even if  I have  places to  go  and people to see. IMO it's  their problem not yours.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

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I've waited longer than that for someone who was obviously new to back into a tough spot. Probably all of us have. And, most of us remember our learning curve, too.

I would say if you sense an obviously impatient person waiting, and you've kept them waiting several minutes, go ahead and take that second loop. It might clear your head, and give you a different angle of approach.

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BTW the impatience is likely to be worst (based on tuning into  my own type A - ness 😉 ) in first come first served settings in that period of  mid morning through mid afternoon where the rats are trying to find the limited number of pieces  of cheese in the  maze and they know other rats are already exploring other parts  of the maze. That  may be a setting in which to more quickly go  to the "take another  loop and  clear your head" move.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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If you are in the process of backing in and someone drives up, they wait.  If you haven’t started then you should let them go by.  You’ll get better at the backing part and most folks remember how it was for them and show patience.  There are a few out there that don’t, they are the exception rather than the rule.  Mike

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Don't EVER let someone rush you - that is really when bad things happen.

Usually a smile and a wave will settle things down a bit, but, having someone(s) watching you only adds to the amount of pressure that you may be feeling.  So, the answer to your question is - it depends.  Its all good advice from those above depending on the particular situation.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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BTW I should add that  I came to my opinion while van  camping and therefore pretty much never being the one causing the  wait - I  was always  waiting. But anyone with even shreds of situational awareness and empathy will just look at their phone or talk to their partner or see what interesting radio stations  might be out there  to distract their impatient monkey mind for the  very few minutes it's going  to take.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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Another thing….  several times, while I was backing into my site with Carol back there guiding me, I’ve had someone come up to the truck and start asking me about my Oliver.  Normally, I’m happy to talk about my trailer - but not when I’m trying to back in or when I’m dumping, hitching, unhitching, etc.  I try to be polite, but…. 😤.

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Some folks may be impatient, like said earlier if I'm already backing in, I continue backing watching Debbie give signals.

One time I was trying to back into a campsite I already paid for on line, but our name had not been placed on the site post.  Another couple was standing on the site when I started to back in, they wanted to camp on it with their tent.  Got out and told them I already paid for it and to talk to the Ranger with questions.  They eventually left after a short discussion.

Yep, when taking check rides for different pilot's certificates and ratings, sometimes the examiner would try to distract you during the preflight walk-around and cockpit checks. I learned to place my finger on the last completed checklist item and stop everything I was doing until the distraction stopped, then continue where I left off.  Like Mike said, it's difficult to talk to folks during certain operations.

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Bill

LE2 #75

 

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I ran a NF campground and it's courtesy to allow time for people to get into their site, but everyone is usually running late and in a hurry to get to theirs on a Friday.    Unfortunately, many of the campgrounds built in the mid 60s weren't meant for the monstrosities people tow now days and a lot of jockeying is sometimes required. (I still have nightmares over the ruts created!    Sometimes I would allow people to come in the opposite direction on a one way to help facilitate an easier backin...with a golf cart assist.  I was always amazed how many people wouldn't tap or kick down their ruts!  But, sadly there is always a few people annoyed having to wait.

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10 hours ago, csevel said:

But, sadly there is always a few people annoyed having to wait.

Yep!

Most of the people in camp grounds are there to - camp?  

When I camp I certainly have a bunch to do - make the fire, make the meal, go for a hike, catch that last fish, lay in the hammock, drink that adult beverage, and the list goes on and on - it just never ends!  The gall, the nerve of some people making me wait for them to back into a site!  Don't they understand that I've got things to do which are certainly much more important than their backing safely into a site?

Courtesy?  Politeness? Concern for my fellow human?  Nah - I've got "really important" things to do.😬

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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The ONLY valid reason for being pissed  off at having to wait for somebody to maneuver is a medical emergency. In that case the driver should get out, explain the urgent need, and ask the trailer owner to make room ASAP.  Or, if you can, just turn around, put on the hazard flashers and drive slowly out the other way. I recently watched a guy take twenty minutes to get his way oversized trailer into a “way too small” spot. I was sitting in my chair, and several cars ended up going out the wrong way on the one way road. (Nobody bothered to turn on his flashers.) It is aggravating for everybody involved. I thought about going over to ask him about his trailer. 😬

OTH this was the same CG where it took me that long to get the coupler hitched back up because of the radical angle. One day you will be “that guy”. Count on it.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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We make it practice to always try and just be patient and just decent. Cooler heads will always prevail. We had a situation last year at a CG where we pulled up to a site we reserved and it was occupied. The couple had just completely set up unfortunately at our site. We greeted them both nicely and showed them our res on our iPhone. He checked his res and said…you are right.
The guy was super nice and apologized and I offered to help him move which he declined. We just patiently waited for them to move to their site and actually got to know them a little and really we enjoyed each other’s company. I mentioned to him later that was the quickest most efficient move I had ever seen. We both got a chuckle. I don’t think his wife was very happy with him at first, but it all worked out.
I don’t always have the unrealistic expectation that things will always go super smooth, but decency and respect go a long way in my experience. 

 

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Not knowing the answer to this question would it be polite or appropriate to get out and be an extra set of eyes helping be an additional spotter or would that not be helpful?

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2 hours ago, Carl Hansen said:

 

Provide assistance if you can.

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Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

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Offer politely to assist if they are having obvious trouble backing, but be aware that you will assume a whole lot of responsibility. If he misinterprets your signals and bashes his trailer into a rock, he will be mad at you, guaranteed. I recommend that everyone carry a pair of cheap FRS hand held radios (walkie talkies) for those occasions when your cell phone won’t work. Yelling and frantic arm waving is simply crude and ineffective.

If you arrive at a tricky site, and your spotter steps out and calmly guides you back using a radio, it makes you look like pros and it should really impress onlookers. 😀 I started carrying them decades back, long before cell phones. Once I got our rig trapped in a gas station by a stalled truck, and had to back out onto a busy four lane city street. My wife was pretty miffed that she had to stand in the street blocking traffic! It was truly embarrassing all around, but the process went quickly with the radios.

I personally would never ever EVER actually drive the TV for the guy. That would be a huge liability.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Y'all would be amazed at the things I've seen!  Two ways are always a great idea.. I've seen absolute divorces created through backing trailers!  I've only been in one situation with my Casita that was tricky and stressful.  I imagine the learning curve is going to be a little higher with my ILOVHER because of her added girth and height.  Let's hope I stay married!

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You could offer, but most people will refuse. Different people use different methods and hand signals. Paul and I  rarely have to speak to each other. We just use the same hand signals we've used forever.

Handheld radios are great for many people. No shouting, one hand operation for the guide, and the driver will hear what the guide is saying without having to touch the radio.

 

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For my money JD hit it squarely on the head - emergency should be the only reason to get agitated.  - What your in a hurry to go sit in your flipping camp chair? please.

But - todays cultural norms lead to very different expectations - me, me, me ,me.....

Somewhere in Idaho- a very curvy and tight CG, a fellow in a very large MH was stopped squarely in the middle of the one way road. I waited a few minutes, nothing, I got out asked what was issue - MH would not start. I couldn't help, so my only recourse, back up to somewhere I could turn Ollie and me around. Getting upset had no benefits. Another time in Glacier - as I pulled up, and backed in to a site  -- that the guy behind me thought was " a not gonna happen"  - I nailed it first try (whew) he gave me a ovation. and they all went on their way. I am sure they were all groaning at first glimpse.

Cindy and I continue to improve in the backing and parking phase - sometimes it is great sometimes it is not. We do our best - and try to give others the benefit of the doubt .

I have a phrase for the impatient - but it is not for this forum. 

As Tony Horton says - do your best - forget the rest.

RB

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

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I retired from the railroad. Debbie and I use railroad train movement (lamp) hand signals, if dark with flashlight,  for backing, move forward, and stop. If more than one person tries to give signals or person giving signals is out of sight, the Ollie movement stops.

We don't worry about air brake application, hand brake application, and release air brake signals! 😁

 

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Bill

LE2 #75

 

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I retired from the railroad. Debbie and I use railroad train movement (lamp) hand signals, if dark with flashlight,  for backing, move forward, and stop. If more than one person tries to give signals or person giving signals is out of sight, the Ollie movement stops.

We don't worry about air brake application, hand brake application, and release air brake signals! 😁


Thanks for the tip! My wife and I will be practicing the hand signals routine  before our pick up date next month.

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5 hours ago, xmavrick said:

Thanks for the tip! My wife and I will be practicing the hand signals routine  before our pick up date next month.

Just remember,  if the guide can't see the mirror,  the driver can't see the signals.  Then again, most of you probably have newer trucks, with backup camera on the trailer. We don't. 

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21 hours ago, Carl Hansen said:

Not knowing the answer to this question would it be polite or appropriate to get out and be an extra set of eyes helping be an additional spotter or would that not be helpful?

If it is a difficult situation where a large trailer is being backed in to a site with lots of trees or other obstacles, maybe.  I’ve had a couple of offers but I always politely refuse.  Normally, we don’t use any hand signals at all.  Carol quietly talks to me on our phones or our little Motorola’s if there’s no cell service.  She stands at the end of the site, no walking backwards and if I can’t see her I don’t move.  We always do a site check before backing in to determine location of utilities, if there are any, or just where we want the door to open.  Routines are a good thing.  Mike

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On 5/29/2021 at 10:04 AM, John E Davies said:

The ONLY valid reason for being pissed  off at having to wait for somebody to maneuver is a medical emergency.

+1
One of my fondest memories of my father ...

Parents + 5 kids in a station wagon...just drove in from east jesus for our yearly camping trip...everyone exhausted and ragged...we can see the campsite where we are about to set up our tent...some fancy dude with some giant trailer thing can't get out of the road...what else could go wrong...

Dad gets out of the car and just goes all "Ain't life beautiful" on everyone who will listen.  "No place I'd rather be!"

I was 12 and Dad was cool.

There may be no answer when you are the guy backing in.  But there certainly is when you are the guy waiting.

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Watching people back in to a campsite is pure entertainment.  I am impatient when in line for gas at Costco.  People get out of their cars and stare at the pump like they never saw one before and it gets worse from there.  Oh well, get out the phone and try to get to the end of the internet.  

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