Monday, December 4, 2023


Ah, camping! Your own outdoor movie theater!

By Chuck Woodbury
Ah, camping! Sitting under the stars by the campfire, telling scary ghost stores, making and eating yummy s’mores — marveling at the heavens above, a million stars, as the light of the fire fades.

But wait! That is so Stone Age! It’s 2019 — the age of your own outdoor movie theater! Better have some big ol’ boombox speakers for a realistic experience!

If this is your thing, well. . . that’s fine, just don’t camp next door to me (okay, wear your headphones, maybe that works). Read more at Winnebago Life.

Happy camping!

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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Charlie Brown owner (@guest_70805)
3 years ago

At Alamo River RV Ranch Resort, we have an outdoor movie on Sat. nights. We do practice social distancing and everybody has a great time. 1 210 622 5022

Mary C (@guest_44259)
4 years ago

Several years ago at a state park in Oregon we were inside our MH enjoying the early evening quiet when all of a sudden there was a bunch of commotion at the site next to us. They had already outlined their “space” with lights, but now a large movie screen came up on the side of their trailer, a blow-up couch was inflated, the popcorn machine started popping and the man was working the controls to set up for the movie. As soon as my husband opened the door he hollered over that once he had the system set just right he would turn the sound down. Yeah, the sound was down but the boom of the movie kept me up till 11:00 – the official quiet time.

Just stay home!!!!

Keh (@guest_43612)
4 years ago

Movie screens and boom box speakers. Just what I want to have set up next to me. Stay home if you want to see a movie.

Patti Lounsbury (@guest_43501)
4 years ago

We actually had a good experience with this kind of situation once…just once. The folks who had a projector and sheet invited everyone at the campground to gather for an outside viewing of the Wizard of Oz. We all had a blast! But that was the only time that happened. We had neighbors at our favorite campground (luckily only for two nights) last year who had a huge outdoor screen and loud sound system, (but not after quiet hours thanks to the park owners) who just sat and watched TV all day. They weren’t youngsters, more like my age,and had no kids with them. I just don’t see the point of it. They didn’t even come down to the river to watch the train go by. Hmm?

Colin Grant (@guest_43271)
4 years ago

It’s time for parks that enforce noise rules and areas without campfires.

Tom (@guest_43236)
4 years ago

A must have to enjoy the outdoors, a 56 “ TV and huge speakers. Next they’ll be trying to get their oversized lounge chair setup. I sometimes have a radio playing during the “day” but do a walk around to make sure I can’t hear it beyond my site.

Jim Anderson (@guest_43210)
4 years ago

Seems like it’s partly a generational thing. When we were last parked in a what they called an “RV RESORT” it seemed to us as we walked around the park that it was generally younger groups that were sitting outside staring at a big TV. While the older folks seemed to be sitting outside as well, except for the most part they were actually “TALKING” to each other….
Think it’s going to become an issue in commercial campgrounds that are already parking coaches way too close.. So we work hard to find places where we can really be camping and have plenty of space between rigs….
How about some Campground Etiquette, seems like that’s almost a relic of the past.

JBC (@guest_43136)
4 years ago

OK, I’ve had enough. I bought my RV to explore the country and enjoy getting away from the trappings of information overload. Camping as we knew it and the way many of us embrace it is a thing of the past. The push to take ‘it’ with you is destroying the camping experience. The last thing, the very last thing I want near me when camping is the noise of a radio (streamed music), TV, etc. The promotion of these products associated with RVing, camping, etc is offensive to the perceived experience. If you want to ‘take it with you’ – then stay home. One RVer wrote in concerned about positioning his 4 TVs. Have these people no sense of how these products destroy any sense of comfort for their neighbors and others within the campground/camping site? Yup, there is nothing like settling in and finding 8 people next door gathering around their exterior ‘entertainment’ center to watch a football game – at full volume no less. They buy the amenities, they feel they have/HAVE to use them.
Yes, the RVs coming off the assembling lines today are often of a low quality, the sales reps get you caught up in 20 year loans, campgrounds are getting tougher to find BUT the camping environment/experience is what is really threatened and in jeopardy. Satellite dishes/antennae can even make boon-docking a nightmare. The extended ‘noise’ hours in campgrounds (some to 10pm!!! and as early as 7am) make life a nightmare. There has been lots written about ‘camping’ etiquette and respecting ‘others’ space (area, noise, etc) but the RV community is pushing NOISE and lots of it (streaming, TV, generators, bright exterior lights, etc.). All good if it is just about ‘YOU’. But it never is – NEVER, and never will be. And it is not just the younger people. The industry is failing the RV community. It’s selling something – an experience – that is often non-existent or disappearing quickly. RVing and camping, as we knew it, is not about taking your ‘home’ comforts and luxuries with you. But the RVer of today is not the same RVer/camper of yesterday. Yes, this does include full-timers, a newer phenomenon. Granted they need some of the ‘noise’ amenities, and most use them responsibly. But again, there are others who live as if they are in a ‘brick and mortar’ home and have little concern about how their noise habits affect others.
My worst fear of going camping these days is my neighbor(s) – will I have great neighbors and we will all have a wonderful, enjoyable experience or will it be painful due to ongoing electronic noise and bright lights.
Time for campgrounds to think about banning some of these uses (TVs, shorter hours for generator use, bright lights left on at night, etc.). Might even help with their electric costs. A win/win for many.

John (@guest_43129)
4 years ago

This goes along with the outdoor boom boxes and TV’s built into rvs these days. Please stay away from me. I want to hear the crickets and birds not city noise.

Charles (@guest_43106)
4 years ago

If I wanted to watch TV I would have stayed home.

Patrick J Granahan (@guest_43083)
4 years ago

Outdoor televisions and boom boxes fit into the RV Park mindset….real campers looking for the true outdoor life are often boondockers and avoid the electronic stimulation found in RV Parks.
Happy Camping !

Linda (@guest_43069)
4 years ago

There have always been rude and obnoxious campers. With the ever growing popularity of electronic devices and those behaviorally addicted to them, the obnoxious level has skyrocketed. Why do some younger people need everything they listen to SO LOUD! It seems almost every RV now sold has exterior speakers and many many have outside televisions. Can’t these people be away from there loud music and televisions for even one weekend? What in the world would happen if the “grid” went down and they actually had to live “unconnected to the mothership”? Guess we’re old foggys, but believe it or not, we remember a time before all the electronic devices came camping and we could actually here the wind singing through the trees or the owls calling at night.

Gary (@guest_43260)
4 years ago
Reply to  Linda

And see the stars without the light pollution from the neighbor’s scare light and neon accent lighting left on all night!

Scott Ellis (@guest_43052)
4 years ago

Some ding-dong blasting AC/DC through the forest over his outdoor speakers isn’t bad enough? Things like this are why we generally try to avoid developed campgrounds.

Billy Bob Thorton (@guest_43046)
4 years ago

Those narcissistic individuals are part of the whole me culture. Right, I want to be listening to some guys movie while trying to enjoy a campfire. Really, people like that need to stay home, unless they use headphones, I do not want the peace and quiet disrupted by some look at me knucklehead.

DennisR (@guest_43068)
4 years ago

Or, how about that poor guy trying to enjoy his big screen TV with his head phones but is choking on the smoke from some knuckleheads campfire. Ain’t campin fun?

Jim (@guest_43326)
4 years ago
Reply to  DennisR

Campfires always have been part of the camping tradition. TVs haven’t been.
You don’t want a campground – you want a hotel.

Nels (@guest_42977)
4 years ago

Why not stay at home and watch your big screen TV? Save yourself the $100,000 for the RV and another 4 grand for the theatre setup.

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