When Is It Okay to Be a ‘Karen’ in an RV Park?

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Many of us were taught from a young age to say something when we see someone misbehaving. However, these days, people are afraid to do so because of the label associated with it.

One RVer had a frustrating encounter at an RV park and was worried about sticking up for herself.

Today, we’ll share several instances where being a “Karen” in an RV park is okay.

Let’s get started!

What Is a ‘Karen’?

“Karen” is a pejorative term used on the internet and social media to describe entitled, demanding, and obnoxious behavior. Many believe the origins of the word grew out of Reddit in 2014. It gained momentum on the platform in 2016 and 2017 and reached pop culture in 2018.

Many used it to refer to people, predominantly white women, who were quick to ask to speak to a store manager or were demeaning to employees. Since entering pop culture, it’s been used as an insult to point out entitlement, self-importance, and a lack of concern for others.

It’s possible to use the term light-heartedly among friends and family. However, for a stranger to call another individual by the name, they mean it as an insult. When in doubt, it’s best not to use it.

A woman standing in a grocery store isle looking frustrated.

RVer Asks If It’s Okay to Be a Karen While Camping

A fellow RVer shared on Facebook that she continuously noticed a neighboring dog was doing its business on her site. To make matters worse, it was urinating on her vehicle, RV, and kid’s toys day after day. She didn’t want to complain for fear of being labeled a ‘Karen’. However, she also wanted the situation to stop and for her dog not to get blamed for any messes.

Luckily, the traveler took her situation to management, and they hauled the dog back to the owner. The dog’s owner was apologetic and stated the dog was well-behaved and wouldn’t cause any problems. Now, she hopes the dog will stay away from her site.

When Is It Okay to Be a Karen in an RV Park?

The fear of being labeled a Karen is causing many to tolerate difficult situations. However, sometimes you must bring attention to a problem to get some action. Let’s look at some cases where being a Karen is okay.

Dog Owners Not Picking Up Waste

As the RVer we mentioned experienced, dog owners not picking up after their pets is a serious situation. Irresponsible owners ruin it for the rest of us who follow the rules. Not only is it disgusting, but campers shouldn’t have to watch every step because someone can’t clean up after their four-legged friend.

If you see someone not picking up waste, it’s undoubtedly deserving of calling them out on it. However, remember that it’s about how you address the situation rather than the actual topic. Instead of immediately transforming into a rage monster, offer some grace and give them a chance to make it right.

Maybe they don’t have a dog bag, and they’ll be back soon. A better option would be to offer them one of your bags. This can help resolve a situation and do everyone involved a favor.

A person unrolling a dog poop bag with a blurry dog waiting in the background.

Pro Tip: If you want to be a better camper, check out the 10 Camping Rules You Should Never Break According to Campground Owners.

Campers Not Respecting Wildlife

We’re not sure why, but we continue to see grown adults not respecting wildlife. If you’re going into nature, you’re a guest in their home. Trying to scare them away or offering them human food is dangerous for you and the wildlife.

Numerous individuals have received stiff fines and penalties for feeding wildlife. When animals see humans as a food source, they lose their instincts to find their food. While you may be okay with sharing your food with them, future campers might not. When they attempt to follow the rules, some animals can become aggressive.

Violators of Quiet Hours

Quiet hours are one common rule at many RV parks and campgrounds. Unfortunately, some people underestimate how incredibly loud they’re being. If you or a child with you is trying to sleep, this can be very frustrating.

Those violating quiet hours are disrupting everyone in the surrounding area. If you happen to be parked next to their party, it can warrant being a Karen. Contact the camp host or management to let them deal with the situation. However, if no one is available, you may need to have a conversation.

Remember, it’s how you approach the situation. If you go over there angry, they’ll likely act defensive. This can escalate the situation and cause things to get out of hand quickly. We’ve heard of cases like this where law enforcement got involved, and the facilities ejected campers.

A group of people around a campfire taking pictures and playing on a guitar.

Dog Owners Not Following Leash Laws

Most campgrounds and RV parks require that dog owners follow leash laws. While the leash length varies, almost all states have leash laws. If you spot someone not following the rules, it’s a time when you can be a Karen. Inform the management or camp host of the situation so they can take care of it. If they don’t, contact the local animal control and inform them.

While we’ve never been worried about Carmen attacking another dog or individual, we’ve often been concerned about other dogs. For us, it’s not worth the risk of harm to our beloved pet. We keep her on a leash and stay as far away as possible from dogs not on a leash.

Pro Tip: If you want to make sure your pet is comfortable outside (on a leash, of course) check out The Best Dog Camping Beds Your Pet Will Love!

Others Violating Fire Bans

Some areas frequently experience dry seasons where fire bans are common. We’ve camped in dry areas with varying levels of fire bans. Some allowed propane grills and other equipment, and others didn’t.

You should step in if you spot someone starting a fire during a fire ban. Not only are they risking your safety, but also the safety of others around you. Fires during dry times can get out of hand very quickly. In the blink of an eye, an entire forest can erupt into flames and get out of control. Take these situations seriously, and don’t ignore someone acting a fool.

A sign on a firepit that says "total fire ban. No fires".

People Not Disposing of Waste Properly

Some RVers are giving the rest of the community a bad reputation. On multiple occasions, we’ve discovered waste left behind from previous campers. If you spot someone improperly dumping their tanks or disposing of trash, you should say something as soon as possible.

The RV park may have the individual information on file and be able to reach out to them and handle the situation. Ultimately, you want to ensure everyone, including yourself, has a clean and safe place to park their RV.

Rule Breakers

As mentioned earlier, most RV parks and campgrounds have rules. While we understand that some locations can be extreme, they’re the rules. By staying there, you agree to follow them. If you can’t agree to follow them, finding another place to stay is best.

Since everyone agrees to the same rules, everyone needs to be held accountable. However, if you want to avoid receiving the label of a Karen, you need to be careful with how you approach the situation.

You’re there to relax and enjoy yourself, not be the police. If someone breaks the rules and impacts your time, you must do something about it. Allow management to handle the situation before inserting yourself into the situation.

a list of rules displayed at the entrance of an RV park

Should You Be a Karen in an RV Park?

Unfortunately, if you RV for long enough, there will be times when you need to be a Karen in an RV park. Some people aren’t considerate of others and will behave rudely. This is one of the main reasons we spend as much time boondocking on public lands as possible. We can spread out and get away from others who may not be as considerate.

  1. Funny how most of these “Karen” gripes center around dogs. But my big pet pieve is people that park outside of their site on the skinny campground roads. They are just begging to get caught in a trailer swing. Plus it often makes it tough to back into a site with a vehicle in the way. It shouldn’t be there in the 1st place.

  2. In our “modern” era, I kinda feel sorry for anyone who is actually named Karen.
    As to speaking up for oneself, I do whenever necessary. I’m too old to worry about being called names.

  3. I appreciate your telling other RV campers that yes, they should act when a person or persons in an RV park are engaging in behavior that is rude, harmful, or potentially dangerous. Your examples are good ones. But I am also bothered by the way you used the term Karen.
      You explain at the beginning of this article that the term Karen is an insult, because it describes a person who is entitled, self-important, demanding, obnoxious, and shows a lack of concern for others (all your words). You also point out that it is often used to describe a white woman, although you don’t acknowledge that this implies racism as part of the entitlement.
    After making it clear what it means to be a Karen, you use the rest of the article to tell your audience “when you need to be a Karen in an RV park,” or “where being a ‘Karen’ in an RV park is okay.” But clearly, you’re NOT telling your audience that it’s okay to be entitled, self-important, demanding, obnoxious, and show a lack of concern for others. Instead, you’re saying it’s okay, even necessary, to address behavior by one or a few persons that is potentially dangerous or disrespectful to others.
    You do give advice on how to not be perceived as a Karen (show some grace, don’t be angry, be careful, ask management to address it). All good advice. But again, you’re not telling your audience to be a Karen–you’re telling them how to NOT be a Karen.
    Bottom line, I almost feel you weren’t honest with us in your use of Karen.

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