Is it safe to put a pride flag outside the RV?

by | Aug 19, 2021 | Gay Camping | 1 comment

Here’s what we think about before hanging our pride flags at each stop.

The TripleB RV with a Pride flag at SIRenity Farms in Sullivan, Missouri.

While we wish we were able to say we never hesitated to include a pride flag in our outdoor decor, the reality is that we live in a complicated country at a complicated time.

There are reasons we (hesitantly) find legitimate to not outwardly display tangible representations of parts of our identity. These reasons include where we are, who is around us, and the type of campground or spot we are at. Some of these reasons are more important than others, but all a part of the calculation.

First of all, we’ll say this: it’s not fair, not right, and not OK that we can’t confidently and safely place a Pride rainbow (or an Israeli flag, #BlackLivesMatter, or a Biden/Hillary sticker) wherever we want. That is our reality, however, and we want to be out and proud but also always safe physically and psychologically

Let’s take a look at some of our stops and the considerations:

As we began our journey, our first months were all LGBT campgrounds and of course there are no concerns there. 

A big Pride rainbow welcoming us to SIRenity Farms in Missouri

Between campgrounds, we did stop at a KOA Journey in Chattanooga, TN for a quick overnight. Because we arrived late and departed early, we never considered setting up our decor. This applies for many of the quick overnights in parking lots, other KOAs, truck stops, and even when boondocking on BLM land for a few nights.

The TripleB RV at River Ridge in Kentucky, with Brendon working outside.

Once we arrived in Ashland, Oregon, we had our first real decision to make. There were a lot of visible Trumpers, which in the South could have been concerning. This was a liberal part of Oregon that believed in personal liberties (that’s a whole other issue) and we felt safe and part of a community at Ashland Creekside Campground. We ended up not putting the flag outside for more practical reasons – it was alternating between rain and freezing, so nothing was outside.


Our next major stop was Palm Springs, California at Happy Traveler RV Park. This one was easy. While the urban park wasn’t specifically targeted to LGBT travelers, the city of Palm Springs is known as a top gay getaway and there were plenty of other pride flags around the park. 

The TripleB RV with a Pride Flag at the Happy Traveler in Palm Springs

At the KOA in Tucson, everyone was as nice and polite as could be. We also felt part of a community, but sort of like living in The Villages where everything was a bit more on the surface level. Our stop here was utilitarian, as the adjacent Lazydays service center was taking the TripleB-RV in daily for repairs while we slept in it at night. We chose not to put even a small pride flag out, but mostly for logistics. Also, unlike most other campgrounds, no one seemed to set up their outdoor space at all. It was in the summer, unshaded, in Arizona… so most of our time was spent indoors anyway. 


Funny story… Brendon did put out the little Canadian flag that we of have as an inside joke. Until Benji noticed people whispering as they walked by and was like “I’m not sure the Canadian maple leaf red flag is any better with this crowd.”

Our Canadian flag that we give to eachother on every birthday! (No, we are not Canadian. But they are so delightful!)

There is one campground where we actively chose not to hang our pride flag outdoors. 

In Illinois, we booked a few nights at Fish Lake Beach Campground, a family camping resort, so we could host our little nephew and cousins for a fun weekend camping day. 

Upon entering, we saw a large cross by the pavilion, and noticed they had Sunday school and church services times posted. Unfortunately, any business that outwardly displays their Christian beliefs without also clearly stating that they are LGBT-friendly must be assumed to be a somewhat inhospitable place for gay customers. 

Let us be clear: at no time did anything happen or anyone say anything to make us uncomfortable. This is not an anti-religion statement in any way. In fact, the staff was all friendly and welcoming. We have no idea what might have happened had we put the flag out, but because we were there to host family and didn’t want to make any waves, we refrained. 

This is an unfortunate reflection of the poor state of politics and community in our country, and all the more reason for the hospitality industry to recognize the importance of advertising their values.

Meeting friends with their own awesome RV pride flag!

We love what The Full Time Gays do with their camper. Using outdoor LED lights, they create a mesmerizing beacon of pride at every campground!

TheFullTimeGays light up their RV with Pride colored LED lights

We have played around with some Pride lighting of our own as well, but a little more simple.

Some factors involved in our informal calculation of whether or not to hang our pride flag outside:

  • Has the campground positioned itself in any way formally as an ally of the LGBT community?
  • Is the area generally thought of or known to be LGBT friendly?
  • Are there other pride flags or signs of diversity around?
  • What’s the vibe? Do you feel safe? 


Our advice for any RV park or campground owners or managers reading this

In conclusion, there is no magic formula to know whether or not displaying a pride flag is safe at any given place. 

The camping and RV world is anecdotally known to lean conservative, but also to value freedom and to embrace discovery. 

We recommend you lean toward safety at all times, but also get out there and be proud any time you feel comfortable. 

You may be the first LGBT+ traveler other RVers or digital nomads have knowingly met, and the opportunity to add diversity is something we can all be proud of.


1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    like Camping. I have an RV. But I don’t think I am a typical “RVer”. Today there was a post on a Facebook RV group (RV Lifestyle Group.) I belong to that featured the flying of the “Thin Blue Line” flag. And I was surprised to see some push back on that flag. Some liked it (no surprise there) and some made surprisingly eloquent comments as to why that did not like it. So fair enough right?

    My experience in most American campgrounds it that there are far too many Trump flags, Confederate flags, Thin Blue Line Flags, Flags about Guns… etc. You get the picture. It is very rare to see any kind of Rainbow flag at a camp site. So I made a post saying I hope the RV community would become more and more loving and inclusive and how it warms my heart the few times I’ve seen a sign of inclusiveness etc.

    Well the SHIT HIT THE FAN and while there were SOME supporting comments and likes etc. the OVERWHELMING majority of the responses were defensive at best and downright mean spirited and ignorant for the most part. Within minutes the post was taken down. Even though the original post with the blue lives matter flag was still up.

    A few minutes later a post went up declaring how it was a shame the post about inclusiveness was taken down. There were several supporting comments but once again THE SHIT HIT THE FAN and the hate and ignorance came to a vigorous boil. I guess it is no surprise That post was taken down as well. It’s a shame. Honestly it really taints my appreciation for camping anywhere near that crowd.


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