Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We were recently camping in Yellowstone in one of our favorite, usually quiet campgrounds. Unfortunately, we ended up next to a lovely couple with a very noisy generator. I don’t think it even had a muffler. During the summer season it is combat camping and moving was not an option. We were lucky to get the spot we had. Our real dilemma was that we liked these people very much and could not bring ourselves to complain about the noise. They seemed to be having a problem keeping their batteries charged. My husband hinted around that we have solar panels but they seemed happy with the old generator in the back of their pickup. Should we have just come right out with our grievance or suffer in silence as we did?
--Double Digit Decibel in Dubois
Dear Double Digit:
First a few thoughts that might help you avoid the problem in the future. Most campgrounds do allow generators but most now offer loops that are generator free. Also generator users should be following the quiet hour rules. Many campgrounds now post hours that generators can be operated. If you have neighbors that are not following these guidelines you have every right to voice your protest to the individual or campground host. When you end up stuck in a situation like you experienced in Yellowstone and you have nice neighbors that are following generator use rules, you might consider a hike or ranger program during the hours they are charging. When forming a relationship with noisy campground neighbors, absence makes the heart grow fonder. This scenario is becoming less of an issue as the newest generation of generators are whisper quiet, solar panels continue to drop in price and more RV manufacturers are beginning to offer panels on new model rigs. A noisy generator does not annoy many boomer campers. They lost their hearing years ago at Woodstock. "Wish you could have been there."
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink