Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
Can you tell me what my attitude should be about noisy campground neighbors? I seem passive in situations because I do not react visibly to emotions I might be feeling. My husband on the other-hand would be considered aggressive. He can sometimes detonate without much provocation. When we are camping in our motorhome next to a rowdy bunch I like to think they are letting off steam in a party mode and we should just move to a quieter site. My husband thinks they are inconsiderate and demands that they tone their noise levels down. Several times this has put us dangerously close to physical confrontation. Often alcohol is a factor, especially during the holiday camping season. Do you think the way to handle these situations is to move, confront, or submit in quiet frustration. --Nervous in New Haven
I agree with your husband on the inconsiderate charge. However, confrontation will bring you nothing but grief. Moving is an option but that still does not solve the problems for others around the offensive site. You might first want to report the problem to a campground host or ranger if one is available. Most campgrounds have some basic noise and quiet hour rules. In most cases these are good people, gone bad. Like you say, they are on a camping weekend and letting off steam. That still does not give them license to irritate their camping neighbors. A better option than being aggressive would be to “kill them” with kindness. Introduce yourself in a friendly fashion and ask them if they could keep it down a little. From that introduction you will quickly discover if they are good people, gone bad, or inconsiderate people you will need to report or move away from. One of the advantages about the RV lifestyle, unlike home ownership, is the ability to pick new neighbors as quickly as moving your rig. Let me stress that fighting fire with fire is not the answer to your frustration. Trying to out rowdy your rowdy neighbors with higher decibels will only escalate things. So put away the four foot amplifiers hooked to your Bose Wave music system playing Luciano Pavarotti, turn off the generator, stop honking the horn, and move on down the road.
--Keep Smilin' Dr. R. V. Shrink