Thursday, November 30, 2023


Dealing with noisy neighbors during campground quiet time

Dear RV Shrink:
We have been RVing for a long time but recently we had an event that was a new experience for us. I thought we had seen it all, but I was wrong. We were in Silver Springs State Park in Florida and about 10 o’clock at night a group arrived in the site next to us.

They were camping in a horse trailer with a loud diesel truck as a tow vehicle. Without exaggeration, it took them over an hour to back it into a wide, straight site with little to hit except bushes. For awhile I thought it must be the “Candid Camera” crew trying to get a stir out of us. It was all I could do to keep my husband from going out and parking it for them. They were yelling, “Whoa, stop, hold it, go forward, back to the left, you’re crooked” – and before they were done a few other choice words.

I thought it was humorous after awhile but my husband could hardly stand it. I told him it was all part of the camping experience and that on occasion we would have to deal with stupid people who are clueless when it comes to common sense and quiet manners. He thinks he needs to give classes to those who haven’t figured it out on their own yet. I think that can be dangerous in this day and age. Can you throw in your two cents? —Coiled Spring in Silver Springs

Dear Coiled:
You have to think of those occasions as experiences. You now have a great story to tell around the campfire when you are with fellow campers. Trust me, you have yet to see it all. If you let every inconsiderate camper annoy you to the point of distraction you will take years off your camping life.

Campground life is not a utopian existence, but in my opinion it is close. You will experience a good, even wonderful outcome 95 percent of the time. You can improve those odds as you travel more and learn which camping areas offer less chance of having a close neighbor. Just be thankful you don’t own real estate next to people like the ones you experienced at the state park. You can sometimes move to another campsite if things become unmanageable.

Some folks have no clue how to back up a rig, but a quiet campground in the dark is no time to learn. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt – you never know what they might have been through before they made it to your quiet little oasis that night. Patience is a virtue. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including the brand-new Book 2 in his two-book series: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.

(Previously published July 14, 2017.)




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mdstudey (@guest_76890)
3 years ago

Wish her husband was available to help me learn to back up. I just never know which way to turn the wheel when I am told to go the “other way”.

Kay Levine (@guest_68513)
3 years ago

I do enjoy sitting at my campfire in a National Park watching someone backing in a 40 ft rig-it can be quite impressive

squeakytiki (@guest_45883)
4 years ago

If this article was published on 5/2/19, why am I seeing comments that say they’re a year old? Time travel?

Sharon B (@guest_45791)
4 years ago

Thanks for the recommendation of putting the break away cable from the travel trailer to an eyelet on the license plate and not on the same place where there chains are hooked. I would have never thought of that.

Joseph Weinstein (@guest_45760)
4 years ago

When people need help we’ve found the best way to approach them is to ask if they need help. If it is quiet time you might ask if they need help as it IS quiet time. Sometimes they are so focused on getting settled they just don’t know. RVTravel inspired us to treat others as if they are fellow readers. I’ve helped out a number of campers by either helping direct or in some cases actually showing the driver how to back in a unit. 99% of people appreciate an offer to help and most will recognize, “something they were doing” attracted attention. We’ve only had one really bad experience; informed the Ranger the next morning; didn’t hear a thing out of the group for the rest of the week

DMason (@guest_45706)
4 years ago

Not an RV experience, but one 4th of July weekend the adult kids of next door (bare) land owner arrived around midnight to set up camp. First we heard them noisily backing into the lot, then one by one the tent poles clanged to the ground. Plenty of loud talking. The icing on the cake? When the pet pig started complaining about things. I was ready to offer to start the BBQ! Karma? Before daylight it started raining for the rest of the weekend. More noise than any of our camping trips (tent, truck camper, tent trailer or RV – we’ve had them all). More obnoxious, too. People like these are out there. May you rarely meet them.

Joe & Sue Schmidt in scenic San Diego (@guest_10133)
6 years ago

Re: The coach battery dying from phantom discharges

We also tired of continually having to charge our coach battery while the house battery merrily stayed fully charged while plugged into shore power; So we purchased a “battery power balancer” ( About $65 ) and had it installed. ( About $40) . If you’re handier around electricity than I am, you can install it yourself because the diagram and instructions make it look really simple. The box, which does not require any additional power, is about 3 inches square with two wires that attach onto the respective battery poles. Since the installation about three months ago, our batteries stay exactly the same voltage.
The system does not actually charge the batteries, but rather shares the power depending on the battery that needs it. A computer chip “shares battery power” at pre-programmed levels.. When all batteries are at the correct and same voltage, it ‘floats’ the voltage (They never over or under charge) which helps to prevent sulphur build up on the plates… which is the most common cause of premature battery failure.
There are a few brands of battery balancers ( Some cheaper) with very good consumer reviews. Our RV technician recommended” Blue Sea” because it has a higher amp rating for charging which means if you need something charged quickly it can do the job. It’s designed to also work on boats so it is waterproof and takes a lot of vibration abuse.

Now, all I have to do is occasionally check the water level in my batteries. If you have maintenance free batteries… then you’ll be enjoying a few more drinks on the patio then we will.

Laura (@guest_9707)
6 years ago

We’re serious rvers and have been for more than 15 years. We are thinking seriously about giving it up because of just this kind of incident. At least on cruise ships the management still takes care of oafs and drunkards. I think one must admit it’s oafish to expect others to put up with these things during the late hours of the night. For goodness sake, stop at a Walmart or other busy spot if you’re running late. We’re sitting in a State park on the California coast right now and have been listening to the same baby scream for over an hour. Really???? Why is that necessary?

Linda A. (@guest_9754)
6 years ago
Reply to  Laura

I’m a Social Worker and the thought of a baby crying would really bother me. Unless it is a illness or discomfort; a baby should not be allowed to cry that long. I think I would have had to go over and offer a little help. After a day on the road; the baby is as tired as the parents.

Bill (@guest_9633)
6 years ago

Not having been there for this particular group, and assuming they did not appear to be drunk or aggressive, i would probably go out and offer to help. I have done this often before, once for a couple – the husband was recovering from a stroke and could not talk, so they weren’t making much noise but the wife was getting pretty frustrated trying to back the fifth wheel in using his gestures for guidance..

Hazel Lorane (@guest_9751)
6 years ago
Reply to  Bill

I agree with Bill. Offer to help. My husband, drove log truck and owned/managed a welding/machine shop, is comfortable asking if he can help. Most people are grateful and we have made casual friends on several occasions. Now, if it’s a group of drunk people….that is a different situation.

My personal opinion is that a CDL license or something similar should be required.

Paulette (@guest_9599)
6 years ago

We were camped at a very small campground on a river and two of the sites were on a dock. We (and our neighbors) spent two hours watching a couple with a fifth wheeler backing into a dock site. They jockeyed back and forth about twenty-five times, it was a riot. We all pulled out our chairs to watch. Best entertainment of the weekend!

Wolfe (@guest_45633)
4 years ago
Reply to  Paulette

If a new RVer unfamiliar with backing, that’s an easy fix. Take your rig to a wide open parking lot, and drive in reverse for an hour, “tagging” randomly selected spots you’re pretend-parking in. If you miss, nothing to hit, and in surprisingly short amount of time you’ll be landing it in the desired spots without crazy swinging.

Ellen (@guest_9598)
6 years ago

RVTravel posted awhile ago that close to a half-million new RVs are expected to be sold this year alone. Among those buyers are tens of thousands of new RVers. We were all there once… learning to back in… at 10 pm it had to have been dark (or close to it)… could have underestimated their drive time… maybe haven’t eaten since breakfast…. could have been sitting in stopped traffic for hours due to an accident… It’s not always the fault of the RVer arriving late. How about a little Golden Rule here?

Wolfe (@guest_45632)
4 years ago
Reply to  Ellen

I’ve been the “late arrival” and there’s not much I can do about that. Not everyone has the luxury to move only when they prefer to. I DO however do my best to cancel my headlights, use night vision cameras and beacons to park as quickly as I can, and set up as quietly and minimally as I can until morning. When I have a spotter, we use radios or cellphones, not screaming. If you’re still offended, you’re too sensitive, really.

Joseph Weinstein (@guest_45761)
4 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

And that’s the best that we all can do. Stuff happens and you arrive after dark. Wolfe said it well, do your best to minimize the disruption, but the reality is, sometimes we all arrive late for events beyond our control. If you are disturbed, get out of your RV and offer to help out.

Lee K Wenk (@guest_9597)
6 years ago

While camping in a state park I was subjected to a Sweet Adeline’s
group practicing Mister Sandman badly. At midnight I got up and
asked them if they knew the time. On the way back from the rest
room I heard them calling me rude.
It does make a nice story

Lee Ensminger (@guest_9573)
6 years ago

Today, idiots abound. Many people are completely clueless and uncaring about how what they are doing affects others, so I’m unsurprised by this story. Have you travelled by air commercially lately? Probably best to leave them alone, though, and hope they’ll soon be gone, or if they stay, just move on yourself. Life is too short as it is.

Frank (@guest_9554)
6 years ago

how about campground management/staff ENFORCING their “Quiet Time” rule?????????

Darrel (@guest_9593)
6 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Campground management / staff usually off duty and cannot be found during quiet hours.

Frank (@guest_45639)
4 years ago
Reply to  Darrel

When checking in ask for an “emergency” number to call in the event a situation occurs when the office is closed!

eric swenson (@guest_9493)
6 years ago

inconsiderate people are everywhere. Do the best you can.

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