October 30, 2019
By Katlyn Anderson, freelance writer
Around 9 million American households own an RV. Delaware has its fair share of recreational vehicles, many of which can be found exploring the 17 state parks. These parks are comprised of 26,000 acres of land and almost as many campsites, making it a veritable utopia for RV enthusiasts and new owners wishing to join the movement in a big way. However, before starting your journey into Delaware’s state parks, it’s best to know the official and unofficial rules for camping with an RV. There’s etiquette to this family-friendly activity, just like any other.
Know When and Where to Go
First, you’ll need to learn when and where you can go in Delaware’s parks. Amazingly, many state parks offer year-round camping. In Delaware State Parks, all 5 campground are open year-round for RV camping. Trap Pond is one of these – an oasis near the town of Laurel in southwest Delaware. The park has everything an RV enthusiast needs for a natural retreat: large pond, vast forested area, hundreds of campsites, and activities like canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Another park with year-round RV camping is Delaware Seashore State Park, where you can set up camp within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean.
Etiquette at the Campsite
Once you’ve chosen a park and campsite, hit the road with your prized motorhome and relish the freedom of the great outdoors. However, parking your rig for the day, night, or longer comes with some responsibilities. Chief of all is keeping your campsite clean and leaving it in the same condition as when you arrived. This benefits everyone that uses the area, humans, animals, and plants alike. Most state park campsites have quiet periods where noise should be kept to a minimum. For instance, quiet time at Trap Pond State Park is between 10 PM and 7 AM. Be aware and respectful of these times. Lastly, spray down dump stations after you’ve emptied your tank, and know ahead of time which parks do not supply bathroom amenities in winter. You must have a self-contained RV complete with its own portable toilet or holding tank if you’re camping at Delaware Seashore State Park between November and March.
What is Prohibited?
Prohibited acts that will get you expelled from the campsite, fined, or worse include burning trash, lighting fires outside of designated pits, dumping dishwater and sewage, cutting down or damaging trees, and the “possession or display of any firearms, air guns, paintball guns, sling shots, martial arts weapons, fireworks, or archery equipment.”
Delaware state parks can be perfect destinations for your RV vacation – especially for newbies. As long as you respect the grounds, other campers, and state ordinances, you’re in for an extremely enjoyable time. Beauty and hospitality are what you can expect from Delaware’s parks and personnel.