Should campgrounds segregate tenters from RVers?

ImageRaging discussions continue between real campers (tenters) and behemoth campers (us RVers) about annoying each other.

Tenters complain about giant RVs (they mean anything larger than a tent) pulling into a campsite next to them and so that all they can see is a giant hunk of shiny metal from their campsite.

Then they complain about RVers running their noisy, smelly generators exhausting fumes into their campsite, and playing their TVs too loud.

On the other hand, RVers get annoyed by tenters walking about right outside their windows, talking, laughing, and making too much noise. Besides, they build fires with the smoke blowing in ourr windows, and they stay up late at night with loud talking getting louder as the amount of alcohol consumed rises.

For one side of the debate, consider what Jeremy Klaszus wrote in an opinion piece fin the Calgary (Canada) Herald calledKeep it down, fellow campers:

Camping is an opportunity to get away from the noise and chaos of urban life. A chance to unplug, unwind and so on. These days, however, more people seem to be hauling the city to the campground, unable to live without modern luxuries (heat, electricity, TV) for even a weekend. Earlier this month, I spotted a satellite dish at a campsite. A few campgrounds even offer wireless Internet, a terrible idea.

The goal, it seems, is to convert boring old campsites into urban residences. It’s baffling. Why go to the trouble and cost of hauling all that stuff into the woods, just to recreate the same setting you’re leaving? What’s the point? Why not just stay home?

There must be good reasons behind RV culture (though they escape me), and if people want to lug half of their homes into the woods, then of course they’re free to do so. But when they start spoiling the camping experience for others, it’s time to draw the line.

Klaszus feels that the “stuff” RVers have with them–and using it–is the problem, resulting in an inability to “get away from the noise and chaos of urban life. A chance to unplug, unwind . . . ” But I wonder whether he has considered fulltimers, where, yes, they are hauling their house around with them and they do stay in campgrounds.

But if the issue is annoying other campers, has he considered week-end partiers as the source of the discomfort and not whether they are in tents or RVs? Separation of RVs from Tents would defuse the tension between tenters and RVers, but isn’t the real reason common courtesy toward your neighbors? I would no more want a loud bunch next to me in an RV than I would in a tent. However, if RVers and tenters followed campground rules (which are usually not too strongly enforced), such as generator hours and quiet hours, would the problem go away?

Both sides of the issue argue their respective points, such as an older RV couple having to turn their TV down so low their aging ears can’t hear it just so the tenter next door can’t hear it at all, or the 20-something tenters that claim they have a right to unwind on weekends by going camping, building a campfire, having “a few drinks,” talking, laughing, and enjoying themselves.

One solution for the dilemma could be for RVers to go to RV resorts where tents are not allowed, and for campgrounds to set up tent areas separate from RV areas. Another answer might be for RVers to go boondocking more, away from crowded campgrounds. But even the BLM and forest service have rules for dispersed camping such as:

Operating or using in or near a campsite, developed recreation site, or over an adjacent body of water without a permit, any device which produces noise, such as a radio, television, musical instrument, motor or engine in such a manner and at such a time so as to unreasonably disturb any person. (Title 36 Part 261.10 [i])

Is there a better solution, or should we all accept the fact that we–tenters, week-end partiers, vacationing RVers, and fulltimers– will just have to accept what is–like it or not?


8 thoughts on “Should campgrounds segregate tenters from RVers?

  1. I think it’s just all lifestyle. Some of us embrace it 24/7/365. Others cannot…yet. Maybe if we just relaxed and theyjust invited us to their campfire we’d all get along just fine. On the other hand, you can piut a dozen tents in a much smaller area then 3 or 4 RV’s. Larry

  2. Hi,I live full time in my little truck until I buy a small trailer or camper,and stay in the summer at Rufus,Oregon on the army corp of engineers for free,and go south in the winter where I also live for free,as far as rent,,,,I do love people,,,and like to visit,,,but think where I draw the line is noise after 10 o-clock which is the rule,,,and I do not like camp fires or t/v and especially generators,,,If you have to bring the city with you,stay home and leave the noise where it belongs,,,I can’t believe people hauling all this stuff and paying $25 + a night to camp next to the same type of people,,,why don’t you get to know your neighbors in the city and stay there,,,I got rid of t/v 30 years ago,as it is a sewer line into your home,,I don’t drink or smoke,or make noise,and respect others in town or not,,,I drove truck over 30 years and like being a gypsy,and it is very liberating to not own much,,,If you need a generator,and T/V,,,,you are not camping,,,,your in denial,,,,anyway have a good day,,,,The Lord bless you ,I am looking for a frugal christian lady to be mine,,,360-953-2184 George

  3. I camp in an RV (truck camper), but I find fellow RVers just as annoying as tenters do. I go camping to get away from the city and its noise, yet many campgrounds are full of RVs with their noisy generators ruining the experience. Tenters for the most part are much more quiet. But yes, tenters can be noisy, just as some RVers are very quiet and considerate. The bottom line is “be considerate of your fellow campers.”

    1. That’s exactly right ,just be respectful,and the deal with me is generators they are uncalled for ,if you need t/v why would you camp ,just stay in the city with all that garbage that’s why I camp to have it quiet and enjoy people to talk to and nature,,but I’ll tell you cigarettes are another thing I do not want close to me I myself camp mostly in dry camping-blm just to get away from the city people,,Have a wonderful day all,,,,George

  4. The use in these generators has skyrocketed since the 1980s. I don’t get it at all. Generators were beyond annoying then and they have only gotten worse. The electric gadgets that people are tied to might as well be heroin for the way it controls them.

    As for RVers, I laugh at what they need to have then they “go camping”–everything they are bringing with them! They arrive and park and plug in! Water, electricity, telephone/internet, bathrooms. Ugh.

    1. You should do as I do: write to the campground and voice your comments. If enough people state that they prefer peace and quiet as opposed to the constant roar of generators, something might get done.

  5. I swear, they’re all retired people who just want to use campgrounds as a place with cheap rent. After all, at $15 a night, they’re only spending $450/month while seeing a new place every week. No one can rent that cheap, apartment prices are through the roof. As a consequence, we’re not really dealing with campers as much as transient old people who want all the amenities they earned in their golden years… at cost to the rest of us. Maybe we should just up the cost of camping to $40 a night which will also grant you a trail pass, while using the extra money to build better trails and support rescue services/etc. Your primary motive for camping at a campground should be to camp, not so that you can use it as alternative to the local RV Park.

  6. Campgrounds should segregate areas for RV’s and tents. They should also enforce the quiet times too. The only complaint I have with RVers is they show no respect for tenters sites. They walk right through them. They act as if since they have this big RV and this person only has a tent. Then they are entitled to be a bully. I do think rangers and hosts could do a better job when patrolling. Seems they don’t and often the rules are ignored.

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