Monday, January 17, 2022


Campsite neighbors light up cigars… So much for fresh air!

By Gail Marsh
We were excited to finally open our windows. After one solid week of RVing in the rain, the skies cleared. All day we looked forward to nighttime – sleeping with the fresh, cool air breezing through our open bedroom windows. But then – smoke! And not from a campfire this time!

Our new RVing neighbor and his buddies decided to light up some cigars. Yep, cigars! At 12 o’clock midnight. Maybe they didn’t realize that the wonderfully fresh breeze was blowing their foul cigar air directly into our bedroom windows. Or maybe they didn’t consider the cigar smell to be bad at all. Not wanting to cause a problem, we reluctantly closed our windows.

The following day we decided to inquire how long our neighbors planned to camp, and if they had any more “stogie nights” planned. The answers were not what we’d hoped: Two weeks and a full box of Cuban specials. Ugh! What to do? With the CG filled with RVs we couldn’t request a different site.

We decided that we had to let “Mr. Stogie” know that the smoke bothered us. We tactfully suggested that maybe he and his smoking buddies might take advantage of the picnic tables in the CG’s outdoor pavilion or enjoy relaxing on the chairs beside the lake. Luckily, “Mr. Stogie” acknowledged his actions and apologized. We enjoyed fresh nighttime air for the four remaining nights of our stay. Hopefully the “Stogie Guys” enjoyed their vacation as well.

I share this story because everything could just as well have ended much differently. Imagine if my hubby had stormed over to the smoking neighbors (at midnight) and shouted about how terrible they were to ruin our camping experience. Or imagine if the next day we loudly complained to the CG owner, insisting that they refund our money or evict the “Stogie guys” … or both! Instead, we approached in a friendly and honest manner. We provided a few alternative solutions, and the problem did not escalate.

To me, this is common courtesy or Communication 101:

  • Choose an appropriate time to talk. Not when you’re tired, hungover, or simmering with anger.
  • Approach in a friendly (non-aggressive) way.
  • Be aware of your body language and your voice tone and volume.
  • Try to settle disputes so that everybody wins.

How might the situation have changed if Mr. Stogie reacted to our approach with a self-righteous, “Mind your own business,” or “I paid for this campsite and I can do whatever the @%^# I want” attitude? Things may have escalated even more. If we hadn’t told our cigar-loving neighbors about the smoke irritation, they would not have known and perhaps bothered the next camper. Hubby and I may have cut our trip short and angrily left in a huff.

As summer approaches with more and more RVs squeezing into campgrounds, you might find yourself in a tricky situation like ours. I hope you can settle potential problems quickly and easily. I hope you do it honestly and graciously, as well.

There are jerks everywhere. Many times, it turns out they aren’t jerks at all! Sometimes it turns out that (shocker!) I’m the jerk. I just don’t realize it unless someone tells me. (In a nice way, of course!)



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Richard Chabrajez
7 months ago

We full time and though I enjoy my cigars, I try to be vigilant about the direction of my smoke and it’s effect on those around me. Just because it is your ‘right” to smoke in your campsite does not mean it is considerate or neighborly. Being cognizant of how our behavior effects others is a level of maturity that some folks just don’t posses.

Neal Davis
7 months ago

Great advice! Thank you! Wish we were traveling together so that your behavior would serve to remind me on how to act as well as moderating my behavior as needed. Safe travels!

John Macatee
7 months ago

I love my cigars. I’ll smoke them outside where it’s LEGAL, you can close your window, turn on your ac, move, or enjoy. If it’s not a cigar, it’s cannabis, tobacco, a bbq, what I’m bbqing, perfume, my political persuasion, my music, generator,or my solar panels are too bright, you just name the excuse and your on it.

Bluebird Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  John Macatee

You must think you could give a rats behind on what other people think! I guess your opinion is the only one that counts. What a tool!

Vanessa Simmons
7 months ago
Reply to  Bluebird Bob

I have to agree with John. People will find any excuse to complain. I live and camp where pot is legal and can’t stand the smell of it but I don’t have the right to tell people they can’t smoke it in their RV or RV space. If they violate rules, noise, running generator after hours, dogs, etc. speak to the manager. If they aren’t breaking rules you might just have to live with it.

7 months ago
Reply to  John Macatee

Amen John! I enjoy relaxing around the campfire with a nice cigar and sipping fine Scotch or Irish whiskey. I’m sorry if my neighbors can’t open their window, but why is their open window more important than me enjoying a cigar? It isn’t like I’m sitting outside 24/7 with a cigar blowing smoke in their window. The hour or so that I do they can close the window. Maybe they can come over and I can introduce them to the joy of a fine cigar!

7 months ago

I am long term in an rv park. A woman new to RVing moved in next to me. She is nice but seems to have homeowners mentality of ‘don’t step over the property line’. The problem is not with me but the guy on the other side of her. My problem is when her son visits which is often every day and he lights up a cigar. Of course he is outside with it and the breeze blows my way. I have to shut my window which they don’t seem to notice I guess.

I don’t like cigars but some smell OK. There use to be a older guy a few rigs up from me that would smoke one late at night I would smell when taking trash out. It didn’t smell too bad at a distance. He was a nice guy and kind of miss it.

7 months ago

It is always better to take the least confrontational approach. You can always escalate. Starting out confrontational approach usually requires ‘the law’ to deescalate. Often others just don’t think and the worst don’t care.

Bluebird Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeb

Yeah..that’s John Macatee above…

7 months ago

Confronted our “RV Newbies” next door in a friendly manner with a cell phone video of their 3 dogs inside their RV howling and barking during their absence. They were apologetic and very nice. I would want to know if our dogs disturbed our neighbors during our absence. The couple had not considered their pups might not like being left in a “unfamiliar to them” confined area. Next time. maybe they will think.

Richard Hughes
7 months ago

I admit, I did not approach our neighbor calmly when he started setting off fireworks and showering several RV’s with sparks. I probably saved him from being kicked out by the Ranger because he quickly shut down. Since my approach wasn’t very gentile, I wasn’t expecting an apology, but I did get thank you’s from the other campers.

Ed D.
7 months ago

I can only tell you this: Your approach worked but that does not mean that it would work with every person you encounter on your rving journey. Personally confronting someone is dangerous and should be done with great caution. It could lead to an unanticipated outcome!

Scott Gitlin
7 months ago
Reply to  Ed D.

In these times . . . proceed with great caution.