I’m a Dick. Well, until 6th grade I was a Richard. But my teacher that year went by “Dick” and it just rubbed off on me.

Now, “Dick” can mean a variety of things – most of them not so nice. For the purposes of this post, we will use the word to refer to those of us that don’t follow any sort of campground etiquette.

As an avid camper with four years of Camp Hosting under my belt, I’ve been asked to describe some of the Dicks that we’ve encountered.

Hold on to your hats. There are a dizzying variety.

RV campground etiquette is so important, but with so many newbie RVers on the road now you've probably begun to notice a few of those around you that either don't know or just disregard simple manners and the rules. If you're living full-time in an RV then you're guaranteed to get a great laugh after reading this! Click this post and LOL. | www.TheVirtualCampground.com


The world is not your outhouse, Dick.

We frequently work at Corps of Engineers campgrounds.

The Corps is actually part of the military, and all the land involved is Federal. So as you’d imagine, there are lots of rules. One of the most common is “no alcohol”. It’s often interpreted as “no alcohol that’s really obvious” and we don’t make a big deal about it.

But when you started drinking at 9AM, we’re going to have a problem.

This may involve loud yelling, throwing stuff, peeing on our bushes, breaking stuff, peeing on our fences, playing music quite loudly, and peeing on the tires of my golf cart.

I know what you’re thinking. And yes. That is a lot of pee…even coming from a Dick.

So eventually, we HAVE to notice – we roll up and quietly suggest you may want to mellow out. (As Hosts, we have no enforcement powers. We don’t want any, we don’t get paid enough to deal with Drunken Dicks.) But we’ll hint that if you don’t dial it back, you’ll get to meet a Ranger.


Most of our campgrounds are way, way out in the boonies. Hundreds of acres and lots of lake shore. So campers are far outnumbered by deer, hawks, foxes, bears, and spiders.

Most of our Rangers have degrees in Wildlife Management or Ecology-something, so they’re rooting for the animals. If you come up to me and complain there’s a bug in the shower, or a raccoon ate your cooler – we’ll probably express sympathy. (We don’t feel any, but we’ll express it.)

But should you harm one of those animals in any way, we have radios that will bring multiple uniformed agents of the Federal Government on the run. We also get upset if you dump your tanks, dig up our ferns, or spin big ugly tire tracks on our grass.

“Vermin” means something different here than at your condo in the city.


Do you even know what camping is?

When I hear the rumble of a diesel, I sigh. Pretty soon, all the sun is blocked from the window outside my registration shack by a fourty-five foot long trailer.

All I can see is a set of huge wheels, and shiny lug nuts. Eventually, you appear at my window. Polyester shorts, black socks, sandals – sometimes with a big-haired wife and a yappy little dog. You shove a paper in my face and demand your reserved spot.

Get really pushy, and it will turn out that we’ve got a conflict, and I’ll shift your reservation to Site 22. It’s short, tilts to the left, and the power supply has been shorting out all year. Enjoy your visit to the great outdoors.


May you meet the same fate as Gilligan.

Since we’re often on a huge lake, we are also usually responsible for several boat ramps. On a nice, sunny day – they will be jammed with eager fishermen and boaters.

Some of them pull over, get everything ready, and then back their boat right in. Others – well, they block all three lanes of the ramp while they get all their stuff into the boat. Then everyone including Grandma climbs in (adding about a thousand pounds of ballast).

The Boat Ramp Dick then backs up the boat, taking several tries to hit water. Then they stop, get out, and fool with their trailer straps and motor for a while. As tempers rise, they back the end of the boat so it just touches the water – and then can’t figure out why the boat won’t float off.

We sit in our cart and hope-hope-hope that they forgot to put the drain plug in.


Many of our campgrounds were laid out in the 1920’s, when a “trailer” was eight feet long.

So there often isn’t space at your site for your truck, your golf cart, your boat trailer, your two motorcycles and the cars of all your friends.

We have several lots dedicated to “overflow”, but you’d have to walk a bit. When we come around a corner and it looks like a used vehicle auction, we’ll gently remind you of the “two vehicle” limit.

You’ll whine, you’ll moan, but you’ll move your cars or we call those guys in the uniforms with the citation books. (We can’t cite you, we don’t want to. But it’s not like getting a KOA owner mad at you. The Feds never forget.)

And you’ll be on our list for next time.


But why tho Dick?

We have huge dumpsters – many of them – in central locations at the park. Plus trash cans, wastebaskets, and recycle bins.

But we have guests who strew beer cans, dirty diapers, cigarette butts and stuff so icky we use four foot long tongs to fetch the item. Some parks let us charge your credit card a fee for cleaning up, some just have a Ranger call you next week and put a note in your file.

If you grew up in a barn, I pity the animals.

If you were raised by wolves, they should have run faster in the winter.

If you fill the fire ring up with garbage – well, those bears can learn license plates and they can run a long, long way.

What Dicks have you encountered on the road?

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45 thoughts on “A Field Guide to Campground Dicks

  1. This one’s probably unique to me; the Rudeus Interruptus Dick. I sit outside most of the time doing research for the articles I write – or maybe even just reading a story. Invariably, the IR Dick walks up to me and says something like, “Whatcha doing?” This usually happens in the middle of deep concentration (on my part.)

    Even if I say, “I’m working.” most of the IR Dicks still want to chit-chat. The IR Dick wants to tell me all about his latest surgery, or how his RV shakes when he drives it, or how many times his dog peed on the walk today. Honestly? I could care less. Your surgery must have been successful – you’re walking around interrupting people, I’m not an RV tech – try driving your RV slower or take it to a shop, dogs ought to be illegal in RVs (sorry dog-lovers, I’ve had many dogs but never in the RV – don’t like wet dog smell.)

    Sadly, by the time the IR Dick walks away I’ve totally lost my train of thought.

    Also sadly, I’m not truly anti-social so I can’t just tell the IR Dick, “Get lost!” Maybe I should hang a sign saying “Quiet please. Genius at work!” LOL

    1. ha! I get this one a lot. I work at community centers, etc a lot becauser of my 4 year old inside the RV. There’s always one… I suppose I can’t complain though. Still better than a hungry kid. ha!

  2. Love this! We met some Camp Host Dicks in Mississippi when we went down to Gulf Shores. We pulled in around 11 p.m. one night and missed the sign that said to put the money in the overnight arrivals box. As my hubby emerged first thing in the morning TO PAY FOR OUR SITE, we were called thieves by the camphost boyfriend (who claimed to be her husband). WTG camp host Dick! :O

  3. Don’t forget the camp host/ ranger Richards (Dicks), although I’ve only ever met one. I was in a campground near Springfield, Illinois this summer on a weekend motorcycle trip. I’m a crew member on a automobile racing team that competes in a touring series so all I do is generally eat dinner (supper for my southern friends) and sleep at the campground. At this particular campground there were folks in a site that seemed to think that everyone in my direction at the campground should listen to their particular brand of music. After a couple of hours I was elated to see a ranger making his rounds, soon to be disappointed. He drove right by the offending campsite and didn’t even stop. The campground hosts also seemed to be oblivious to the racket. Out of curiosity I strolled by their campsite lo and behold it I couldn’t hear the offending music. There’s more to this story, but moral to the story for campground hosts is do your job and walk around the campground you are responsible for and look for things that might offend other campers. BTW loud music was against the rules and after complaining I got a refund for my 2 night stay.

  4. Favorite part: “Get really pushy, and it will turn out that we’ve got a conflict, and I’ll shift your reservation to Site 22. It’s short, tilts to the left, and the power supply has been shorting out all year. Enjoy your visit to the great outdoors.”

  5. I suspect, without much effort, that a “Dicktionary” could be produced. Within you’d find all kinds of “Dicks”. Perhaps some you haven’t had the pleasure of crossing paths with. Give it time. These “Dicks” are a determined lot, with life goals of offending as many people as possible. Your turn will come.

  6. I haven’t really encountered anyone in 4 years of full-timing that I’d attribute that term to. I did have reservations at our first COE campground, but I’m afraid I might end up at this one. Think I’ll cancel.

    1. I think you are very lucky. When we were in Tampa area, I had one lady that made me cry at least once a week for about 4 weeks. She was so mean to Chelsea and me. I know Chelsea is 3 and kids are annoying to retired people, but I felt so alone and stupid and isolated in her presence. I’d never been more happy to leave a place.

      I know the term in this post is controversial, and of course, other people should be taken with a grain of salt, but I do think the post was meant in jest. I think we’ve all probably annoyed someone around camp, and been annoyed before.

  7. The blog and responses would be hilarious even if you never encountered similar tales. My wife and I hosted a USACE park last year, fortunately in off season. The park had many public access areas overlooking the lake…used by the locals for middle of the night encounters. We had to frequently use those 4′ picker uppers…We still enjoy hosting and Workamping.

  8. As a camp host had so many overnighters in big rigs demand a sewer hookup. Early on I learned the utter futility of trying to explain why constantly draining your black tank isn’t healthy for your black tank.

  9. LOL! We tent camped for years, still do occasionally and we have seen all these! Since we have water skied for all those years, the boat dicks really get on our nerves! Learn to back the trailer in your yard, for crying out loud, that’s how my dad taught me. Great article and reminder to us all to not be “that person”.

  10. This is awesome! We are still fairly new full-timers e have experiences some of these things & thankfully not all. I am going to add one. This special breed of Dick – we have come to know as the Resident Dick. They have CHOSEN to live in an RV park full time, year around… BUT YET, they look down upon & act annoyed by every one of us that pulls in or walks by during our quiet 3 day stay (even when we are not one of the common type of offenders you mentioned). I mean have ZERO judgement or care that they have set up make-shift patios with countless tiki-inspired perma-decor, a doggie “fence” for your yappy ankle biter made out of baby gates nor do I care that you have fashioned insulation for the underside of your home using something resembling aluminum bubble wrap making this RV Resort resemble an actual trailer park more than a vacation spot (& you are flagrantly violating every rule that’s highlighted & read to us at sign-in) … but still you, Mr. or Ms. Resident Dick, are so put off by me that you can’t even wave back??? Just sayin’ Ha 🙂

    1. OMG Melissa! You are learning so well. haha The Seasonal Dick! lol I am cracking up!!!!!

      Yes they make parks look like trash and I should know! I was one of them! haha

  11. The “It takes a village” Dicks….just because I have grey hair and look like a grandmother does not mean I’m going to keep an eye on your kids for ‘just 5 minutes’ that is never really 5 minutes.

    1. omg that’s so funny. As someone with a toddler, I always feel so nervous around older folks. Like “are they annoyed with my child coming up to them? Should I force my kid to the other side of the pool?” It’s so hard! But I’d never ask you to watch my kid! That’s strange.

  12. I would invite you to our local campground sometime so I can introduce you to some Trap Shoot Dicks. Like all the Dicks you mention, they are a very small minority, but they do have their own set of entitlements and need some of the same special treatment you mention.

  13. OMG the worst dicks we encountered were people too lazy to walk around our campsite. We have an unfriendly dog who often told them is wasn’t okay but it was still always our fault.

  14. Garbage Dicks. My favorite kind. Although I feel like all these Dicks belong to the same family of Dick (homo sapiens assholoshits)

  15. Too true! Fortunately, the vast majority of the campers we have encountered have not fallen into the crumb bum category. Aside from the dog owners that refuse to clean up after their pooches, one of the worst examples in our journeys so far was at a campground in Palmetto, Florida. After pulling into our spot we found a massive pile of cigarette butts on the ground next to the picnic table left by the prior residents. Accident or intentional? I just can’t understand doing something like that on purpose! And, yes, I did clean them up. Thank goodness for latex gloves.

    1. Hey Susan! We were just at a site in Palmetto for 10 weeks. I wonder if it was the same campground?

      I love the “crumb bum” term. I’m gonna have to start using that.

  16. Right on! My most common etiquette rant is people using my site for their extra kids, dogs, garbage, etc.. I travel alone and have been RVing all my life. I had to politely explain to a family next to me that they should toss the football on their own site. When you pay for a site it’s yours. I pointed out their utility pedestal. That’s your boundary. Stay on the other side. They were not happy. When I suggested that I could call the ranger to explain it a little better, they kept to their site. Just dumb…

  17. Well that was just about perfect. My wife and I are also currently hosting at a Corps of Engineers Campground, and she suggests two, uh, Dick additions. 1) Bath House dicks. (Really, is your aim that bad?) and 2) Day Use Dicks, who pay the $5 fee with a hundred dollar bill at 8 a.m.

    Now excuse me, while I go remove the black socks, then re-attach my sandals.

  18. I LOVE, love , love this!!!!! Thank you for putting it in terms we can ALL understand; including the Dicks of the world!!!! 😂😂😂

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