Let there be obnoxious lights in the RV park

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    By Chuck Woodbury

    After reading this, please answer the poll below.

    That’s a neighbor’s RV above. He turns on the lights every evening and leaves them on until about midnight. He’s a couple of sites away, so the light isn’t too bright on my plot of rented space. The only time I have seen him leave the RV in the evening was to escort his small dog on a peeing mission. The dog, by the way, wore a collar that blinked red and green.

    The owner of this RV liked showing off his RV at night by keeping his awning light on.

    Thanks to the miracle of LED lights, many RVs are now equipped with a variety of outdoor lighting. Many, like my current neighbor’s fifth wheel, have a string of lights across the awning. They are usually white, but sometimes they’re colored, adding extra ambiance to the scene that we fondly recall from our days of staying in sleazy motels with their blinking neon lights.


    The lucky owners of Montana 5th wheels can light up the campground with built-in lights up front. 

    If you happen to be next to a light-happy RVer then your options at night if you’re not into unwanted illumination are to close your blinds or leave them open and pretend you’re in one of those motels from your youth.

    In one park where I stayed an RVer erected a flagpole above his motorhome. It had a bright, rotating beacon at the top. When I first saw it from a distance I thought “Oh, I didn’t know there was an airport so close.” 

    This globe constantly changed shapes and colors! There’s no need for TV when free entertainment like this is available.

    Another RVer, at another park, with the urge to entertain his neighbors, displayed a somewhat sophisticated device on his motorhome’s dashboard, as you can see in the photo. It changed colors and patterns continuously. I thought that perhaps if I were to concentrate on it Gail could repeat to me, “You are going deeper and deeper to sleep.” Maybe, just maybe, I would slip into a hypnotic state. Later, any time Gail said to me, “Remember cardiovascular disease,” I would immediately head off for a brisk two-mile walk.

    And then there’s the RVer who wins my prize for the most obnoxious display of campground lighting. To be fair, I snapped this photo near the first of December, so Christmas was on the way. But imagine all those colored dots constantly moving, not only lighting up the RV but the tree above. If you were his neighbor and loved displays of multi-colored quickly moving lights, then you would be in a heaven. It would be a little bit of Times Square or Las Vegas right in your campground!

    Ah. . . life in a modern-day RV park!

    So what do you think?

     

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    Kom Dixon
    Guest
    Kom Dixon

    RV Parks have rules about when one can run the generator, why not rules about lights. Just because you rent a space doesn’t give you the right to do what ever you want with it. It’s all about respecting your neighbor.

    Kit Frost
    Guest
    Kit Frost

    I am in agreement that “live and let live” should include consideration of neighbors, at home and at the campground. I understand the need for personalization and decoration of our campers, but do NOT like when my camping neighbor overdoes the outdoor lighting past “quiet time”. Flashlights work and so does the on/of switch at my camper door so I can turn lights on before I step out and night, and turn them off again when I return to the interior. As a camper I am sometimes reticent to approach my neighbors to ask that lights be dimmed or turned… Read more »

    Denny wagaman
    Guest
    Denny wagaman

    we Don’t like closing our blinds as we don’t like living in a cave. We have our blinds open the majority of time night or day. Why live like a mole? Dressing or undressing is done in the bedroom or bathrooms. We are not that important to be watched or looked at. Security? Lock your doors. Please don’t leave your lights on all night.
    Rudeness is the norm. It’s everwhere. Sadly. Older age crankeyness is because we remember when most people were nice, kind and considerate of others. ?

    Denny wagaman
    Guest
    Denny wagaman

    I don’t believe it. Your right to Invade my space includes your lights however and whereever you want and you can’t turn them off or on as you use or need them? Are you entitled to do whatever you feel you need to do without consideration for your neighbor? If I had problems with those critters guess what? I would darn well move to another CG, another city or state! Those are just excuses to do what you want to do.

    Jay French
    Guest
    Jay French

    WoW !! Read all the complaints, warnings, laughed at the “Light Pollution” & basically wonder why some believe they have a Right to total darkness while camping in a full hookup RV Resort with another RV parked 15 to 30 feet distant. Here in Louisiana, non-bug lights attract mosquito’s by the thousands & are never used. However, the only time I invade RV Resorts is to attend an LSU or Saints Party which is usually a huge TV set up, a bonfire, barbecues & such going with generally 30 invited & 40 attending since we welcome others to join us.… Read more »

    Dean
    Guest
    Dean

    We live and RV in the Northwest mostly, and we have string of led lights around our class A to help keep mice and pack rats away, I do believe it works well, I do wonder if it bothers my camping neighbors , when they ask about our lights and I explain why we have them they seem very interested in getting some for themselves.

    Willie
    Guest
    Willie

    The rats and mice thank you for lighting their way at night!

    Cecilia
    Guest
    Cecilia

    Just this weekend, I camped at a state park with my new RV for the very first time. I turned on the yellow porch light which includes blue lighting to the steps and handrails to take out the dog to potty one last time for the night. I found the lights unintentionally left on all night the next morning. Previously being a tent camper and respecting other campers desire for no light pollution, I felt apologetic. Fortunately the park was not busy and we were all spread out with a good distance between us. The light did not illuminate beyond… Read more »

    Booneyrat
    Guest
    Booneyrat

    It’s just another “me too” thing.

    Trish
    Guest
    Trish

    We winter out in Tucson where there is a BIG PROBLEM with pack rats. This winter one chewed through a neighbor’s power steering cable ($400 repair); another site had their battery cables chewed to bits. Apparently the rats are attracted to rubber, electrical wiring insulation and whatever else they can get inside a vehicle..
    However, they do not like light. Thus, many of us run strands of lighting around our RVs. We leave the lights on overnight.
    Surprisingly, we can sit outside at midnight and still have a clear view of the sky.

    Crys
    Guest
    Crys

    Have learned that wiring now may have a soy based insolating covering. SOY is a food and varmints have a hankering for it. Cotton tails have done $1000.’s of damage to our equipment and RV. Bought a couple strings of ‘5’ lights each and put them under hoods and in engine compartments. If they get into the computer wires you may never move again. BUT cardboard ‘blinds can help keep the light from being a nuisance to our ‘neighbors’. I prefer the dark to all the bling.

    Doug
    Guest
    Doug

    You needed one more option – ask him to turn them off!

    Sharon
    Guest
    Sharon

    I truely believe most of the ground illuimination is used to check the area for unwanted critters wandering/creeping around. We are in AZ with plenty of critters! Rattlers, scorpions, skunks, centipedes, and javalina’s to list a few. Some which could easily ” kill” a pet without emergency treatment. We, as well have rope lights on the ground lighting our dogs path.

    livingboondockingmexico
    Guest
    livingboondockingmexico

    LEDs are definitely an energy saver. However, the world is becoming more illuminated and it is having an effect on Mother Nature. You can check the light differences before and after the introduction of LEDs along with the many articles regarding their overuse. We prefer boondocking and on a very rare occasion have we encountered obnoxious people. We travel mostly in Mexico so we have less developed camping areas than the U.S. I couldn’t imagine being parked next to security light, that would defeat the purpose of my rving. So keep your habits to yourselves. You want string lightsand LEDs,… Read more »

    Rory
    Guest
    Rory

    It seems everyone has a pet peeve, it is as though we can’t live in close proximity to each other. Some people go overboard with everything they do, and there are those who find something to complain about, even if it’s those darn jack boots the spider has on, as he goose steps across the roof. No one communicates, everyone complains to a higher authority. They get so many complaints, it is no wonder that many times their action is to do nothing but stare at the complaintant as though they are listening, while trying to remember what is the… Read more »

    Don
    Guest
    Don

    I would love to see campgrounds and rv parks adopt “dark sky” policies.

    Cathy
    Guest
    Cathy

    Totally agree. We travel with telescopes and like to set them up to share the night sky with folks, and to do some astrophotography.

    Outside lights makes it difficult to see, enjoy & share the night sky.

    TerrinJoe
    Guest
    TerrinJoe

    Bright lighting should fall under the same category as loud noise…. so when we are at music festivals it is no big deal but when we are in state parks solar lights should be the limit. Ours are dim & barely light up under our awning but are more than enough after eyes adjust to the beautiful darkness to enjoy the stars above.

    Bob Godfrey
    Guest
    Bob Godfrey

    Once again it’s all about respect. Is is really necessary to have all those lights on? Are you saying “hey look at me I bought all these lights for my rig”? How can you enjoy the beautiful night sky when all the lights overwhelm your vision? Do you enjoy all the bugs that are attracted to those lights? In my opinion it’s not much different from allowing your campfire smoke to blow into your neighbor’s spot or playing music, watching loud TV or just simply talking too loudly. It’s about respect for others and I think if we had more… Read more »

    Dawn Brown
    Guest
    Dawn Brown

    Allowing smoke to blow into neighbor’s spot? How do you stop it?

    Goldie
    Guest
    Goldie

    We have lights along the top rails on both sides of our RV. When we are out for the evening we have those lights and the porch light on. When we are home we turn on awning and docking lights when we take the dogs out after dark or just the awning lights if we are sitting outside – and turn them off when we are back inside. Overnight the only thing that is on our motion detecting security lights. If they are on, there’s a reason. Other lights in the CG do not bother us because out shades block… Read more »

    T Brown
    Guest
    T Brown

    They are very inconsiderate idiots

    rvgrandma
    Guest
    rvgrandma

    I agree, some peoples lights do more than just furnish safety lighting. We have a rope of soft white lights that lay over the handles on our bay doors, so it is about 2 feet above the ground. It also only shines about 5 feet out and isn’t very bright. In fact, the moon often is brighter than the lights! . I leave it on all night because every time I get up to use the bathroom the dogs needs to go out too! I don’t like the door light because it is too bright. As for negative articles –… Read more »

    Wolfe
    Guest
    Wolfe

    I said “little” in the poll, but it’s not quite right…. MUCH depends on what level of obnoxiousness there is. *I* have a string of LEDs under my awning and shining downward, but I generally use them when I’m outside, walking the dog, or maybe even while inside between being outside. They are ALWAYS off again after 9PM if I’m not outside right THEN. When I have been next to SPOT lights and discoballs like you mention, I’ve politely gone next door and asked them to tone it down/turn off whatever is GLARING. I’m polite, and if my lights bugged… Read more »

    Bruce
    Guest
    Bruce

    One of the major reasons that I leave the metropolitan area is to find dark skies. I often drive many hours or even fly across the county to see the stars, meteors, auroras, milky way — Dark skies are few and far between, so I am against any unnecessary lights. If you absolutely have to have lights, please use only the minimum amount and direct it down. Do not let it shine horizontal in to the eyes of your neighbors. You might be surprised how well you can see at night if you let your eyes become accustom to the… Read more »

    NEIL RYLANDER
    Guest
    NEIL RYLANDER

    Maybe take up boondocking? Too much light too late isn’t considerate.

    Brian
    Guest
    Brian

    a crowded public campground is not were you are going to find happiness, all different kinds of people, with different thoughts on how to have fun. we just left a typical campground that had perimeter lights on at the bathrooms, storage buildings, camp office, street lights on at the parking areas and other areas such as the laundry room propane station all within eye shot of the campers near these stations. I don`t think I`ve ever been to a camp that did not have lights on everywhere. But let another camper leave a light on next to a particular type… Read more »

    Wayne quick
    Guest
    Wayne quick

    I agree. Wilderness camping is best place to stargaze

    Brent
    Guest
    Brent

    Another complaint newsletter. Shocker! Chuck, if you want more subscribers as you say you do then stop with the on-going negative articles. Yes, RV’ing has changed, some for the better and some for the worse, but it’s still a great way to experience our country and enjoy life. Find the positives in RV’ing and write about those those instead of always focusing on the bad in this wonderful lifestyle. Have a great day!

    frater secessus
    Guest
    frater secessus

    So which of you is focusing on the negatives and overlooking the positives? I can’t remember.

    😛

    Kat
    Guest
    Kat

    I think it’s refreshing that Chuck talks about some of these things. Honestly, most of us travel in RV’s for a reason: to experience the “good life.” Everyone has their own definition of what the “good life” is but, honestly, when neighboring RV’s want to bring the city with them, via lights, TV’s noisy generators, etc. it seems to me they become an annoyance to others. I feel that they could stay home or, if they are full-timers, get a stick built home so they can enjoy “all the comforts of home.” As for me, when I go in my… Read more »

    Eric Stadnik
    Guest
    Eric Stadnik

    I’ve heard (multiple times!) the argument that the light discourages mice from invading your RV… but I’ve also seen (multiple times!) mice running over and around the ground-placed lights as if they wern’t there – so much for that logical, functional reason.

    Lee
    Guest
    Lee

    They are called ‘tacky lights’ for a reason…

    Aileen
    Guest
    Aileen

    I have had two neighbors camping next to us in over twenty five years that literally had spotlights aimed at the side of our rv. They left them on all night. I can’t sleep unless it’s very dark in the bedroom so after the second night of no sleep and mentioning how bright they were to no avail, I went over and unplugged them. They not only left them on all night but all day too. They finally got the message though.