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Old 05-09-2018, 10:32 PM   #1
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Help me understand!!

I'm currently camped on a lake in a beautiful Corps of Engineers campground. My neighbor has a string red Christmas lights fired up (blinking no less), absolutely ruining my vision of a beautiful night sky, and somehow disconnecting me from a potentially wonderful natural outdoor experience. Can someone help me understand why so many RV'ers seem to be so fascinated with stringing these lights up. I simply don't get it! Is there such a thing as light pollution?
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:52 PM   #2
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I'm currently camped on a lake in a beautiful Corps of Engineers campground. My neighbor has a string red Christmas lights fired up (blinking no less), absolutely ruining my vision of a beautiful night sky, and somehow disconnecting me from a potentially wonderful natural outdoor experience. Can someone help me understand why so many RV'ers seem to be so fascinated with stringing these lights up. I simply don't get it! Is there such a thing as light pollution?
Oh no I can't, I am totally with you! I camp to get away from light, the only suggestion I have is go somewhere and boondock, where people who feel the need for artificial lights, and who need an electrical hookup to run them, usually don't camp. I'm pretty sure RVers who want those lights don't usually camp way out in the middle of nowhere. As a lifelong tenter, backpacker, and river runner, I'm not sure I've ever seen that?? It's because I camp away from campgrounds with electric hookups.

That said, I did order the LED light strip under the awning of my soon-to-be new 19... but only because I think they're cool and think I might like them when sitting outside after dark when the days are short. I ordered them instead of an additional outside light. I have teeny LED lights in my backpacking tent, and I love them! But I think on the trailer they won't interfere with anyone else's view of the night sky, and if they do I'm not turning them on unless I'm way off by myself!
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:23 PM   #3
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Another narcissistic dipstick; they're running rampant everywhere. Another reason to boondock whenever possible.
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:28 PM   #4
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I'm currently camped on a lake in a beautiful Corps of Engineers campground. My neighbor has a string red Christmas lights fired up (blinking no less), absolutely ruining my vision of a beautiful night sky, and somehow disconnecting me from a potentially wonderful natural outdoor experience. Can someone help me understand why so many RV'ers seem to be so fascinated with stringing these lights up. I simply don't get it! Is there such a thing as light pollution?
There's no understanding it. I don't even try. Some folks just don't get it, and never will. I tried once to talk politely to a fellow camper who insisted on having a rather bright porch light on all the time, which shone pretty much directly at us. Like talking to a brick wall. We just moved. I'm with those who encourage boodocking if you want to have dark skies and tranquility. You rarely find that at established parks anymore.
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Old 05-10-2018, 04:46 AM   #5
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Get used to it, RV camping is not tent camping. Many folks bring their home habits with them when they "camp". As you've noticed some have lights they enjoy, they're just spreading that joy around to you too.

RV manufacturers are answering the call and installing an ever increasing number of lights, even you ordered them. On my last trip I saw awning lights, rope lights through the trees, rope lights tracing the RV and TV in the ground, rope lights defining site boundaries, lights under the hood (pack rat prevention), round lights on some or all sides, and now lighting inside the plastic cowling on the front of many trailers making them glow all night. Many, but not all, turn them off when they call it a night. Of course by then they've already ruined the evening of those who crave the dark.

I send time trying to find sites that are more detached from others, using google map to look for space on the entry door side and the outside of loops. Of course this isn't feasible in busy CG's if you don't make reservations.

Lights, dogs, kids, people coming and going constantly, diesels, radios, smoky fires, generators, it's certainly not tenting out in the wilds.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:35 AM   #6
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Join an astronomy club. They always have dark campground meets
here is one in Pennsylvania Cherry Springs State Park
In addition there are dark sky cg's found here http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astro...-sky-rv-parks/
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:54 AM   #7
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I sometimes forget to turn my LED light off that is outside my 19 over the entry steps and feel embarrassed! As to finding the darker campsites, my advice is to look for sites with no electrical hookups and if there aren't hookups, also try to get on the non generator sites. Although LED lights use very little electricity, I think that campers who look to boon dock are much less likely to light up their site than RV'ers who need as much power as they can consume. I eliminated camping with coleman lanterns as they tend to be way too bright. Also look for small flashlights with red lens to avoid losing night vision.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:30 AM   #8
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Another narcissistic dipstick; they're running rampant everywhere. Another reason to boondock whenever possible.
Pretty much my thoughts.

I see it as two types of folks that go RV camping. Firstly, there are the ones (like me) that have camped all my life, and even though I have had an RV for near half of it, have still spent WAY more nights in a tent. When we move to any kind of an RV it is a move to luxury, and we appreciate the things we have gained and only use them as needed. The second type are the ones who have done little or no camping in the past, get an RV for the perceived experiences they can have. Absolutely nothing wrong with this either. Many of these folks see the RV lifestyle as roughing it, and look to make the experience as much like home life as possible. The two are coming to the same thing from opposite perspectives. Again I stress, nothing wrong with either.

Some folks are admittedly travellers using an RV as a more convenient place to stay than staying in hotels. Others go camping for the experience of getting away from the hustle and bustle of urban life and enjoying nature. I am more of the last type, though do plan on lots of travel to get to see some of these great places nature has to offer.

As most here realize, I am one who loves to do little modifications to my trailer, to eke out that bit more space, make something work better for us, and tweak our level of enjoying the trailer just a little bit. What you will never see me do, is to do things that annoy other campers like leaving lights on, running gensets, loud music (with the exception of a bit of guitar with camping friends around the fire), If I am doing something that annoys anyone, I would appreciate a nice request to limit what I am doing, and will do the same to others who are annoying me. Most often a nicely made request will be well taken and they will respond accordingly, and if they don't it is just not worth the effort to take it any further, just write them off as future camping buddies.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:38 AM   #9
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Get used to it, RV camping is not tent camping. Many folks bring their home habits with them when they "camp".

Lights, dogs, kids, people coming and going constantly, diesels, radios, smoky fires, generators, it's certainly not tenting out in the wilds.
Yup, this is my biggest reservation about traveling with an RV! Have always been a tent camper but, now retired and in my 70s, want to travel for months on end so figured a trailer was a good way to go. I see those "parks" with RVs wall-to-wall and I just say "no way!" I will boondock as much as possible ☺
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:53 AM   #10
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Fear of the dark is primordial; it goes back to our caveman days. So it's not surprising that people would bring lights along with them, especially people who have grown up in urban areas with lights around all the time. They find the dark unnerving.

Even so, I hardly notice campers stringing up lights except at trailer rallies, where everyone is outside and trying to socialize. It's possible I'm just not paying attention. It would probably be a different story if I were trying to do some observing with a telescope.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:00 AM   #11
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I must be the strange one in this group ( Feel free to agree ) When the sunsets and it gets dark outside or it turns 10 PM I go in my trailer and go to bed . If I am sleeping my eyes are shut and the light from other trailers has no affect .
So far in this discussion we have determined lights , generators , kids , dogs ,other people should not be allowed where we want to camp
These narcissistic folks rented a campsite , paid their fee and now we get to decide how they get to camp

I don’t get it !! Do we get to determine what music they can listen to ?
I’ve been bothered more while camping by a bunch of drunks , sitting around a campfire
with the lights OFF until 2 in the morning !
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:16 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Join an astronomy club. They always have dark campground meets
here is one in Pennsylvania Cherry Springs State Park
In addition there are dark sky cg's found here Dark-Sky RV Parks in the U.S. - Sky & Telescope
Thanks for the reference and reminder-- I need to find a star party or two to attend during my next trip. I'm trying to get back into the hobby after thirty years, but so far I don't have a portable telescope to take on trips.

Nowadays amateur astronomers with small, portable telescopes can take stunning photos of galaxies and nebulae that rival photos from mountaintop observatories a generation ago. This is due to computerized telescope mounts, digital cameras, and "stacking" software that allows you to combine many images into one. The people in my local astronomy club have taken amazing photos with such equipment.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
So far in this discussion we have determined lights , generators , kids , dogs ,other people should not be allowed where we want to camp
These narcissistic folks rented a campsite , paid their fee and now we get to decide how they get to camp

I don’t get it !! Do we get to determine what music they can listen to ?
I’ve been bothered more while camping by a bunch of drunks , sitting around a campfire
with the lights OFF until 2 in the morning !
I agree with this. Sometimes it seems tolerance for others experiences are forgotten when there is something we don't like (I'm guilty of it as well at times, although I try not to be). Respect is the key.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:23 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Get used to it, RV camping is not tent camping. Many folks bring their home habits with them when they "camp". As you've noticed some have lights they enjoy, they're just spreading that joy around to you too.

RV manufacturers are answering the call and installing an ever increasing number of lights, even you ordered them. On my last trip I saw awning lights, rope lights through the trees, rope lights tracing the RV and TV in the ground, rope lights defining site boundaries, lights under the hood (pack rat prevention), round lights on some or all sides, and now lighting inside the plastic cowling on the front of many trailers making them glow all night. Many, but not all, turn them off when they call it a night. Of course by then they've already ruined the evening of those who crave the dark.

I send time trying to find sites that are more detached from others, using google map to look for space on the entry door side and the outside of loops. Of course this isn't feasible in busy CG's if you don't make reservations.

Lights, dogs, kids, people coming and going constantly, diesels, radios, smoky fires, generators, it's certainly not tenting out in the wilds.
Yep, you're right, and I have sure thought a lot about this before ordering our 19! It's no accident my 19 will be set up to boondock, and I will be well-equipped to enjoy many places that I'm hoping most RVers don't want to go. I enjoy the sounds of birds, running water, wind in the trees, and a dark night sky is most awesome. Nearly all the camping I've done in my life thus far is intended to get away from the very things you describe. Anticipating I will not be spending too many nights hooked up at RV parks!
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:26 AM   #15
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Thanks for the reference and reminder-- I need to find a star party or two to attend during my next trip. I'm trying to get back into the hobby after thirty years, but so far I don't have a portable telescope to take on trips.

Nowadays amateur astronomers with small, portable telescopes can take stunning photos of galaxies and nebulae that rival photos from mountaintop observatories a generation ago. This is due to computerized telescope mounts, digital cameras, and "stacking" software that allows you to combine many images into one. The people in my local astronomy club have taken amazing photos with such equipment.
My husband is totally into astronomy, owns a large telescope, and is dialed in to all the star parties in the northwest. If you ever decide to get out our way let us know and he can point you in the right direction!!
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:30 AM   #16
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Once again, there is no right or wrong answer. It's only how YOU wish to camp as to which answer is correct. I live in an urban area with so much light pollution we can barely see the moon. Lights don't bother me. Sure there are times I prefer to camp where it's dark... like the first time I saw the Milky Way! Choose your battles, be adaptable and maybe give some real consideration to how/where you camp if others choices bother you.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:56 AM   #17
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re: "...I must be the strange one in this group ...

Turn off that porch light!
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:59 AM   #18
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Was car camping a few years back while doing whitewater canoe day trips on the Kootenay River in BC. We were camped in a very small (maybe 3-4 sites) campground at Horseshoe Rapids. First night, I was trying to go to sleep in my tent and I noticed a flashing light continuously blinking on and off, and was bright enough to illuminate the inside of my tent. I thought that maybe one of my buddies had a flashlight going in their tents, which were quite close to mine, so I ignored the light and eventually went to sleep. In the morning I realized that the flashing light I had seen all night was the blue remote starter LED light on the windshield of my FJ, which had been parked right next to my tent. The next couple of nights I made sure that before I went to bed, I parked my FJ with the windshield facing my buddies tent rather than my own. Had no problems sleeping after that.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:48 AM   #19
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Fear of the dark is primordial; it goes back to our caveman days. So it's not surprising that people would bring lights along with them, especially people who have grown up in urban areas with lights around all the time. They find the dark unnerving.

Even so, I hardly notice campers stringing up lights except at trailer rallies, where everyone is outside and trying to socialize. It's possible I'm just not paying attention. It would probably be a different story if I were trying to do some observing with a telescope.
I do see lots of decorative lighting at most of the campgrounds I stay at. I don't mind if they eventually go off around the start of quiet hours, but many leave the on 24 hours a day. Since I like to do night time photography, it is annoying if they never go out. The most annoying I can remember was a very bright motion detector LED fixture on a trailer in the site across the road from me - 30' away and every time I moved it lit for a minute or two.

That said, I'm somewhat guilty - I have a decorative "Glow Ball" that I sometimes put on a pole behind the trailer. It doesn't actually light the ground, but slowly fades between colors, and goes off around 11:00 (solar battery powered). I rarely set it up other than rallies & during my winters in the LTVA at Quartzsite.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:48 AM   #20
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Lights can be annoying .... but music is enjoyed by all the fellow campers in the park.
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