I personally feel that generators should be an "as needed" item, and kept to a minimum at respectable hours. To me, this means to recharge the batteries, possibly AC (in hotter climates) for short durations
. As far as the hours I like the national parks take on this, 7-9am, 12-2pm & 5-7pm. Now that doesn't mean just because you can, do...I say use only as needed
Now this is my personal take on "camping", so take it with a grain of salt. If you wanted to watch movies in surround sound with a subwoofer...go home or to the movies. If the kids "need" to watch movies or play games they are missing out on camping...again go home. Microwave? What ever happened to the campfire? We are actually considering removing ours for more cupboard space. Help them fill their days with the things camping is all about...skipping rocks, campfires, wildlife, hiking, fishing, etc. This is why we don't have a TV in our camper...again to each their own
, and I try not to judge or get annoyed by others that don't see it the way I do.
I recently purchased a generator to be able to get my batteries a pick me up this fall when we plan to take the camper hunting. I felt it was necessary since I will be using heated tanks for fresh, black & gray tanks, plus heat and lights. Again, I only plan to use when I need
to. I'll know better after this fall, just what that is, I hope not to freeze up here in MT.
This is why if at all possible when considering somewhere to go we stay away from areas that we know
are considered "generator cities", so we can enjoy what I consider camping. We almost exclusively boondock so power management is priority one, and we can go for 4-5 days pretty easy on our (2) 12v batteries without skimping much at all, including listening to the stereo (at a reasonable level as not to disturb our neighbors). I have recently added some small solar panels (larger in the future) to be able to stretch things even farther.
So in response to your question...it's a love/hate thing...I think?! Hopefully I'm not hypocritical in my answer.