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Old 08-29-2020, 05:49 PM   #1
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2020 25' International
Nokomis , Florida
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Campground's/Camper's Too Bright Lights

Just got back from our first longish (ten days) trip. Had a great time, learned a lot about tank capacities, our driving time capacity, etc. Our overwhelming negative takeaway, though, was how much light pollution there is diminishing the camping experience. Anyone else bothered by this? Most campers had numerous lights on all night long (we were mostly in state park campgrounds, not commercial, where I might more likely expect that).

In almost every campground we saw at least one example of the newest trend, which seems to be giant homemade lights built in 5 gallon buckets. One campground (an Arkansas State Park) had a super bright parking lot light smack dab in the middle of the campsites!

We got into an alarming altercation when we asked the owner of a 10,000 watt klieg light/bucket light to find a way to keep his light from obliterating our campfire and view of the amazing stars. It was very disturbing. I hate to think we'd have to stick to boondocking/dispersed camping to get away from the lights. There's not a lot of that in the SE and there aren't many (if any?) Dark Skies parks in the SE, that I know of. We did complain to the rangers in one park and they said there are no light regulations that they know of. But if there's quiet hours why can't there be dark hours?!
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Old 08-29-2020, 05:58 PM   #2
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Welcome to the ugly realities of rv camping. And from what I have heard from friends with trailers who could even get a reservation (ours all got cancelled....so yes I am a bit jaded) it is worse than ever with the newbies who have money buying them due to covid pretending it is Disney Land or a Cruise ship where they have glitz and glamour lights. I have found even the county parks that normally have a spot are filled up through the end of October.
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:05 PM   #3
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Agreed!

We were in West Yellowstone at the Grizzly RV park, and another Airstreamer had his side-mounted "scare" light on all night bathing the side of our trailer bedroom windows like a prison yard.

There are thoughtless, careless, inconsiderate people everywhere. Why some want to make their campsite look like a casino is beyond reasonable thought.
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:32 PM   #4
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Light Pollution

bweybright: I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at finding campground availability - at least during the week. I did have reservations for weekend nights, but had no reservations during the week and found great spots as walk-ins. Hopefully things will get better now that school's have started back (whatever that means in this day and age).

Steamy1: I have to confess we have accidentally left our over-door light on longer than we meant to, unwittingly. One of my desired modifications is to replace our frosted glass door window with clear glass. We can't even tell from the inside when that outside door light is on (and yes, it is bright). If someone had mentioned it we would welcomed the notification and have been very apologetic. That was what was the most upsetting - when we asked, very nicely, Mr. Bucket-Light guy if he would mind turning off his light when he went inside, he became very belligerent and threatening!
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:41 PM   #5
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While it wasn't me at the Grizzly RV Park, I am guilty of occasionally forgetting to turn off my "scare" light. I know it disturbs others but we do turn it on for a few minutes when we take the dogs out the last tine before bed. I'll try to do better.

Many campsites have post lights at the driveway entrance and I have seen the bright lights around the campground. I suspect that is a preemptive action to improve security and avoid a lawsuit.

What I cannot understand is all the hanging lights, ground effect lighting, and other light pollution items one can find for sale in camping outlets. Even worse, the owners of those units are mostly inside watching TV.
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:47 PM   #6
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IDK, maybe it's just me but at modern campgrounds with all the conveniences of a Holiday Inn, it's probably a bit much to expect your neighbors to pretend they are in the wilderness. Now if you are in a campground with nothing but a bit of running water, Okay ground effect lighting and even a porch light may be a bit too much. But honestly, liberty reigns here so if you don't like light, perhaps boon docking is in your future.
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:04 PM   #7
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I haven't noticed an uptick this year but have had bad experiences over the years. Never bad enough to get in an argument with a neighbor.
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:08 PM   #8
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I spent a lot of time this summer in some NJ State Parks. They have a great deal to offer. On the weekdays it’s quiet and beautiful. On the weekends it’s a different world. It’s a cheap escape for many. They are not interested in a peaceful weekend with nature. They are there to have fun with friends and family and escape the city. To get upset about it is ridiculous. Who am I to judge what their camping experience should be. I know what to expect in these place’s and if it bothered me that much I’d spend the weekend elsewhere.

What’s a bucket light?
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny16 View Post
What’s a bucket light?
Put a bright light(s) inside of a 5 gallon paint bucket.

https://burtonavenue.com/diy-camping...ouette-cricut/
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:23 PM   #10
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All very good points, and you're quite right, we mainly did have the problem on weekends. Definitely a lot more people looking to party with friends and families on weekends. They mostly did abide by quiet hours at 10 pm though. Just seemed to want to leave their lights on all night.

Bucket lights seem to be homemade lights where people drill a hole in the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket, thread a light fixture through and then hang it from a campground food-hanging pole. We had the pleasure of seeing them made with white, red and orange buckets. Maybe it's an Arkansas thing. Haven't seen them in Florida as much. Thanks.
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:51 PM   #11
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Being in the military for as long as I have you are trained to be considerate and realize what affect your actions have on others. So it is in me to expect that from others and so I get upset when people create light pollution or have their stereos up so loud as to annoy me or leave their TV's on and not even be outside watching them. That being said, I am trying to learn this is my problem and placing my expectations on other people isn't fair. It's not an internal fight that I have won yet but I'm working on it. Otherwise I'll always be unhappy because I don't think people are becoming more considerate.
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:58 PM   #12
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.....and how about those large exterior mounted TVs that play Fox News 18 hours a day?
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primepower View Post
Being in the military for as long as I have you are trained to be considerate and realize what affect your actions have on others. So it is in me to expect that from others and so I get upset when people create light pollution or have their stereos up so loud as to annoy me or leave their TV's on and not even be outside watching them. That being said, I am trying to learn this is my problem and placing my expectations on other people isn't fair. It's not an internal fight that I have won yet but I'm working on it. Otherwise I'll always be unhappy because I don't think people are becoming more considerate.
I can totally agree with where you are coming from...and figuring out how to deal with it. My wife tells me to be patient and understand I don't know their pressures in life....so I am where you are. So I choose to go to places I can enjoy.....until my hidden jem of a city part got found and is booked up solid through November now..... So I am off to camping in the shop with my partner in crime now....Good night. Hopefully the breeze is down so we can do the campfire in a can!!!
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
Put a bright light(s) inside of a 5 gallon paint bucket.

https://burtonavenue.com/diy-camping...ouette-cricut/
Thanks! So I can do the dishes in it then put it out to annoy the neighbors all night. Nice to have gear that does more then one thing. It saves space.
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:14 AM   #15
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My husband took out the blinds and put in room darkening shades. Problem solved.
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:33 AM   #16
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The new thing is leaving the trailer running lights on 24/7. I just don’t get it.

Larry
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
Put a bright light(s) inside of a 5 gallon paint bucket.

https://burtonavenue.com/diy-camping...ouette-cricut/
Great idea for a primitive campsite...oh and start the genset to power it up.

Here in NYS our favorite Adirondack campsite mandates when the generators shut down so does outside electric lighting. They have no electric hook-ups for a reason.

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Old 08-30-2020, 10:04 AM   #18
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I spent a night at the KOA in Mt. Pleasant, SC (Charleston), last Friday. I arrived at 12 midnight to find the trailer next to me with no less than nine bright exterior multi-colored lights on, including porch lights, rope lights, step lights, undercarriage lights, big blue disc lights, etc. This was fine while I was plugging in, but the Vegas display looked stupid. I imagined the owner to be the guy who wins the lottery and then has his house decorated with throne-like tiger skin chairs. If it were earlier, I would have knocked on his door. I left a negative review on KOA’s site. Management responded with "had I contacted them, they would have taken action." Hey people, ever heard of dark skies, or at least not being annoying?
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:15 AM   #19
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What’s up....

With all the lights in Walmart parking lots?
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:26 AM   #20
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As a practical matter, when campgrounds (public or private) set their rates, they certainly take costs into consideration. All these folks with their carnival lighting are burning a lot of watts and when the next round of fee hikes come around, who do you suppose will be complaining the loudest?
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