Sunday, December 3, 2023


It’s finally time to spring forward. RVers see pros and cons to time change

It’s that time again. Daylight saving time (DST) begins on March 12, 2023, at 2:00 a.m. That’s when you’ll “spring forward” and set your clocks ahead one hour. Yes, you’ll lose one precious hour of your life, but you’ll get it back on November 5, 2023. Are you ready to spring forward?

The not-so-history…

As a child, I was told that DST was created to help farmers. Here’s how the story went: Farmers needed to have an extra hour of daylight in the spring and summer months to get seeds planted, weeds disced, and machinery ready for harvest. To a farm girl like me, it seemed to make sense. I believed the story until just a few years ago. (How embarrassing!)

The true history of daylight saving time

Turns out, daylight saving time first originated with the hopes of saving energy. Canada first used DST in 1908, and Germany picked up on the idea during World War I, hoping the effort would save on coal consumption.

DST was implemented again in World War II and during the oil embargo in 1973. The extra hour of daylight meant people would not need to turn on electric lights so early in the evening, thus saving energy.

Transportation Department

Planes, trains, buses, overland freight haulers, and even RVers rely on time standards. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation is charged with the task of overseeing time zones along with DST.

Daylight saving time is not federally mandated, however. Each U.S. state is allowed to decide for itself whether to adopt DST or remain on permanent standard time. Currently, Arizona and Hawaii, along with several U.S. territories, do not “spring forward” or “fall back.” They have opted out of daylight saving time.

Love it or hate it?

Like everything else, daylight savings time is a controversial topic. Here are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros of daylight saving time

  • Longer evenings. Many folks like having the extra hour of daylight in the spring and summer. It allows them to enjoy outside activities after work. Health officials hope that DST encourages a more active lifestyle.
  • Safety. Proponents of daylight saving time claim that it can save lives. This study highlights the effects of daylight and daylight saving time on U.S. pedestrian fatalities and motor vehicle occupant fatalities. Scientists concluded that DST reduces dawn and dusk pedestrian fatalities by 13%.
  • Economic boost. Shoppers, sports enthusiasts, diners, and others use the extended daylight hours to participate in activities that help boost local economies.

Cons of daylight saving time

  • No energy savings. In decades past, DST reduced energy consumption. Today, however, no significant savings occur.
  • Circadian disruption. Most people experience mild fatigue following “spring forward” DST. Others, however, can experience more serious health consequences. Springtime DST changes may be to blame for the uptick in traffic accidents, depression, workplace injuries, heart attacks, and more.
  • Cost. Productivity declines in the spring when DST causes people to “spring forward.” In the fall, larger cities in the U.S. see an uptick in early evening crimes following the “fall back” time change.

A real-time change?

Last year, the U.S. Senate passed a bill abolishing daylight saving time. The bipartisan bill never made it to a vote in the House of Representatives.

DST and RVers

How does daylight saving time affect you as an RVer? I love that we can begin our RV trips a bit earlier in springtime mornings. Well, if we are heading west. It’s no fun driving when the daybreak sun glares off our windshield. Then, in the fall, when DST ends, we generally move up our dinner time in order to grill before dark. As I get older it seems harder to adjust to the time changes both in the spring and the fall. Maybe all the Arizona Snowbirds have it figured out! They skip the “spring forward” and “fall back” altogether.

So, where do you stand? Are you in favor of daylight saving time or not? Vote below then let us know how DST affects the way you RV in the comments. Thanks!


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.



4.6 10 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Carol Erlingheuser (@guest_226370)
8 months ago

I live in the NE and look forward to long summer evenings outside in the sunlight after cold early nights all winter. One hour either way affects me only because my dog insists on eating on standard time . Keep DST please.

Horseahorse (@guest_226111)
8 months ago

Living in Arizona, we want it to get dark and start cooling down ASAP in summer. We also have an advantage because, although we never change our clocks, we are on Colorado ski time in winter and California beach time in summer.

Denny (@guest_225976)
8 months ago

We Don’t like daylight savings time. Still light At 9:30 even pm. Naw we are early risers go to bed early. W

KellyR (@guest_225938)
8 months ago

I was born at 1:00 AM, so that is when my day started, so I guess that is why I have always been a night person??? I have only gotten up in the dark when the Army told me I had to. I like the extra hour so I can work in the yard later at night. Up north it stayed light until 10 PM but down here in the south it still gets dark at 9 PM even with DST. Some years ago Florida was talking about staying on DST all year. I would have liked that. There are people that automatically get up at 5 AM and go to bed at 9 PM. I could not understand how they could go to bed without seeing Johnny Carson.

John (@guest_225914)
8 months ago

Why does everyone cry about this every 6 months? It’s not that big a deal and most of us have been doing it our whole lives. Sure, there is a little adjustment each time. But the intent is to keep the daylight hours in line with what is the normal work day or normal school day for the majority of people. Without it we’d see dark til quite late in the morning in winter or we’d see it get dark far too early in the evenings in summer. Everyone has things that they do in their life that cause them to get less sleep. Like going out and partying late the night before an early day. Or working an extra shift. So one hour adjustment, twice a year is not that difficult.

Stan Wutka (@guest_225905)
8 months ago

Changing time for DST is not a big deal. It is just like traveling down the highway and you see the sign that says you just changed time zones. If you don’t like to lose or gain an hour do you turn around?? It is no big deal, unless you make it one. How many people a day take a plane trip that involves changing time zones.? It is what you make it, relax and be thankful for everything.

John (@guest_226007)
8 months ago
Reply to  Stan Wutka

Wish they had like/dislike here because I would like your post. I totally agree. I think many people grumble about this because they just like to grumble about something. Like I said in my other post, it may have started as a way to save energy. But to me, now intent is to keep the daylight hours in line with what is the normal work day or normal school day for the majority of people. Without it we’d see dark til quite late in the morning in winter or we’d see it get dark far too early in the evenings in summer.

M D-B (@guest_225886)
8 months ago

Prefer no DST. It messes too much with people’s biological clocks.

Oliver L (@guest_225864)
8 months ago

I am so happy that I now live in Arizona where we leave the clocks alone. No time change. DST here would only meant an additional hour of summer heat in the evening. Better to get an extra hour of somewhat cooler morning air. If the nation goes to year around DST I hope AZ can move to PDST same as MST.

Denise Gray (@guest_225839)
8 months ago

I prefer the DST. I would not like the time to change back to Standard time. It means the east coast will change back to 3 hours from us in Arizona. the time change really messes with Zooms and phone calls. BTW, I live in AZ, 6 months and RV 6 months so we change time zones constantly when traveling,

Suru (@guest_225832)
8 months ago

For some reason, the time change to DST really bothers me. It takes me weeks to feel normal. I hate getting up in the morning in the dark. In the summer where I live it doesn’t get dark until 10:30PM. That’s just awful late. My husband would completely disagree though. He loves it when it gets dark later.

WBS (@guest_225826)
8 months ago

I would prefer we stick with one or the other, but it’s not really not that big a deal to me. Well, other than having to change the various clocks I own. It’s either that or put a little note under each that reads “+1” (or “-1”) The thing I like to do, however, is look on-line at some of the wackier comments people have made about the time change. A couple of gems are:

“My roses don’t do well when the time changes because they don’t get as much daylight.”
“People should not be messing with God’s time.”

The above are paraphrased, being from my memory, but have essentially the same meaning as the original. The memes about the time change are pretty funny as well. I stole the +1, -1 thing, above, from one of them.

Last edited 8 months ago by WBS
Thomas D (@guest_225884)
8 months ago
Reply to  WBS

Huh? The day is 1_ hour shorter?
My wife and I are retired. Time on the clock doesn’t really make a difference unless we have a doctor’s appointment. Wake up/ get up whenever we feel like it. Same way to bed. Watch a late night show or not

John S (@guest_225809)
8 months ago

I mostly rise and set myself with the rising and setting of the sun. Makes no difference what the clock reads.

Jim Prideaux (@guest_225807)
8 months ago

Ones answer may be more influenced by how close to the time zone boundary they are. As for me Standard time through out the year would be preferable. Evenings are lengthening fine as they are now. In the summer with DST I do not like the sun not setting till going on 10 PM. Seems to me they got things backwards. Instead of falling back an hour in November bringing sunset to about 5 pm we should set the clock ahead in November taking sundown to about 7 pm.

Neal Davis (@guest_225828)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Prideaux

Agreed! If do it at all, then make it “spring back” and “fall ahead.” 🙂

Darla VanAlphen (@guest_225801)
8 months ago

Hate the change. Don’t care which one we stay on. Just pick and keep it. I have never met anyone who loves to change

Ronald Duncan (@guest_225797)
8 months ago

I am a morning person and don’t like getting up in the dark and going to bed when it is still light. How could it save energy if people are having to turn on the lights earlier in the mornings ? (@guest_225778)
8 months ago

As a retiree I don’t care one way or the other. I wake up when I wake up and go to bed when I’m tired. But on the subject of safety it’s probably that there are more hours of sunlight in the summer that accounts for fewer accidents and such.

Gordon den Otter (@guest_225727)
8 months ago

Interesting part of history: DST never produced the expected energy savings, but governments won’t risk losing votes by removing it. Typical.

BTW, not only does crime increase right after the time change, but so do heart attacks, strokes, etc.

Rick Edgar (@guest_225713)
8 months ago

Prefer not to change. I like the early morning daylight vs evening. Normal summer sunset hours are late enough. Arizona snowbird so I don’t go thru it but the 3 hour difference is a pain.

Bob p (@guest_225711)
8 months ago

I always liked DST, however I was driving a school bus for 6 years and every fall as the sunrise got later and later I was picking up kids in the dark until the time change which is unsafe for children to be standing in the dark waiting for the bus. If the schools were to change their hours it would be different, but then parents would be disadvantaged due to theirs not being changed. So how do you balance it out? I do agree it should be standardized either dst or standard. My grandfather farmed all his life and never went on dst, he said the farm animals didn’t know anything about dst and the cows needed milking at the same time every day.

Ron (@guest_225708)
8 months ago

Daylight savings year round.

John (@guest_225915)
8 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Problem is, the number of light hours will still decrease markedly in winter. Only with us on DST all year, it will now be dark at 8am or even later. That is out of whack.

Gary W. (@guest_226041)
8 months ago
Reply to  John

How many times are you going to post this?

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.