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Old 07-26-2021, 04:03 PM   #1
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Culture shock in the hybrid

We've got over 2500 miles in our new hybrid this year, and 23 nights. State parks, family campgrounds, RV parks, KOAs. We decided that while we love the camper, there's something different about being in the RV-focused part of the campground. It feels louder, more party attitude, and certainly more golf cart cruising than we're accustomed to after decades of tent camping. We've also found that some "hard-sided" campers don't realize that we can hear (and smell) everything they're doing right beside us. We had a guy using mineral oil to start his fire and our camper smelled like lighter fluid for a day after. Another camper burned wet wood and smoke filled our camper until I went out and explained to him that his smoke was coming right through our tent ends and there was nothing, short of packing up and moving, we could do about it.

So not to sound snobby, but I think we need to start looking at disconnecting from the water and electric and looking for the no hookup campgrounds. I'll need to figure out what exactly we need to keep things running (my wife loves the heated mattress, for example) so that's going to be another outlay of money again for batteries and generators, but I think it'll be worth it.

Does anyone else feel this way when camping in a hybrid? We absolutely love everything about it - except the neighbors. And it's tough here in the eastern midwest to find a place without neighbors. I camp for the fresh air, the clear nights, the wildlife and the quiet. I'm not there for an endless golf cart parade.
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Old 07-26-2021, 04:51 PM   #2
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I think a lot of it has to do with the campground and the days of the week you camp.

Weekdays, if possible for you, are going to be much less crowded in the campgrounds. I always enjoy the campgrounds more during the week.

I find state parks usually have larger sites than private parks. This puts more distance between rigs. Some parks are just louder than others.

Also, if you are at a park when an event attracts people to the area, like a music festival, it is usually louder.

This season I have noticed an influx of new campers that are not aware of (or don't care about) how they effect thier neighbors.

That said, I had plenty of bad neighbors when I tented. My parents had a class A for a few years and had many stories similar to yours.

Part of camping in a campground is learning to share the space with others. I, like you, want it to be quiet. I would let other's behavior ruin my weekend. Then, earlier this year my 11 year old daughter gave me some perspective. The people I was annoyed at were just trying to have fun, generally followed quiet hours, and were quite nice when we chatted. Not everyone's idea of camping is the same as ours. We need to decide if it is really that bad. It's nice when your kids can teach you things.

I live in central OH and would be glad to talk via PM about what parks we have good experiences in.
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:10 PM   #3
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Thanks Hobienick- I want to make it clear, I'm not trying to start a "camper courtesy" thread. I know those will spiral out of control. The weekends were definately the worst, but shoot, except for the two weeks of vacation, weekends are all we've got.
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:11 PM   #4
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...This season I have noticed an influx of new campers that are not aware of (or don't care about) how they effect their neighbors. ...
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:24 PM   #5
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One reason we avoid many commercial campgrounds is the tiny size of the sites. We try to do a good reconnaissance with Google Earth before booking. We spent a week earlier this month and the campers (if you can call giant motorhomes camping) on both sides of changed almost every day. One obliviot dragged the site's picnic table over to within 18" from the side of our Roo and sat there talking on his cell phones and smoking. Why he wanted it almost on top of my sewer connection remains a puzzle. They left the next morning. I'd moved the table away from our camper the day before they came.

Hybrids and popups suffer from the same thing that makes them desirable: tents. Takes much more effort to find good sites. We're had excellent sites in various state parks especially after the summer season when they're often half empty.

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Old 07-26-2021, 05:34 PM   #6
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Hybrids and popups suffer from the same thing that makes them desirable: tents.
I think that's it. I guess in my head I still feel more like a tent camper than an RV camper. And that's, to me, a good thing. I don't want a hotel room on wheels.
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:24 PM   #7
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That's why we mainly boondock in the backwoods. No neighbors except those we invite.
I think most of us started off in tents and gradually graduated to pickup campers/shells, popups, then hard sided, bigger and bigger Amazing how your attitude about comfort changes as you age
I still go out backpacking a few times a year, but my air mattress gets thicker, the miles traveled per day gets shorter, the pack gets lighter, and it takes longer to recover each year
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:31 AM   #8
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Ok, so I think you're asking about how to start boondocking. You need to solve 3 basic challenges:

1, power
2, water
3, sewer

1, power
Power is going to come from a combination of batteries (with an inverter), solar (maybe), and generator (also a maybe).

Sorry if you don't know, but there are 2 power systems in your RV - a 12v system from your batteries and a 120v system. The 12v system is just there all the time. The 120v system either needs to come from an inverter or a generator.

An inverter is the nicest but it uses battery power. Especially for things that make heat (like that heated mattress that you mentioned). You may need to switch out your batteries for something higher capacity - a pair of 6v golf cart batteries or start to go nutty with lithium.

The inverter has to be sized to the load you plan on putting against them (with thought to how much battery power you have). I personally only have a 1000W inverter and have decided that I'll run up to a toaster on mine but anything bigger than that will require the generator to be running (this is microwave, air conditioning, InstantPots, etc).

Once you deplete the batteries, you now need a method of recharging them. That's where the generator and/or solar come into play.

Here are a couple of articles that may help:
Inverter basics
Generator basics
Lithium battery upgrade


2, water

You're going to consume water while you're out. If you manage it right, you'll use just what is in your tank. Unfortunately being a smaller camper and a light-weight hybrid, your tank sizes are going to be on the smaller side.

You'll likely need a method of bringing water to the camper to refill. This is going to be anything from water jugs to a larger water bladder with a pump.

I personally use a water bladder (because we suck at water conservation):
Aquatank II Water Bladder


3, sewer

All of that water has to go somewhere. It's not acceptable to dump black water out and less acceptable to dump the gray water out (though, we did it when we tent camped). You may be able to get by without needing to dump your tanks in a weekend. Minimize showering and be stingy with water.

If you do need to dump, your options are - take the whole camper to the dump station or dump into a sewer tote and take that to the dump station.

Here are some articles that may help:
Better than a turd hearse, a sewer bladder
Flojet macerator pump
Dumping tanks at a dump station
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:48 AM   #9
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Awsome, thanks ependydad. I wasn't really looking for advice, just kind of sharing my opinions and experience after a few trips out in a hybrid - but I do know that I'm lacking in the electrical knowledge. I've been using a water meter all season and calculating our usage when we have hookups, and we do really good job of limiting water use. We average about 3 gallons per day (2.6 gal) - no showers. We carry potable water separately. So we're good there.

I noticed Sams Club has a sale coming up on Westinghouse igen 2500 inverters for $399 so I think I'll pick up one and see how it goes. Besides, we can always use sleeping bags instead of heated mattress.

But really, I'm just commiserating.
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:41 AM   #10
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Check out Corp of Engineer parks if there any near you. The COE parks I've visited tend to be very clean and spacious and quieter due to being spaced out. Also less expensive (and half price once you are a senior!)
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:56 AM   #11
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just kind of sharing my opinions and experience after a few trips out in a hybrid
It does not sound like the "issue" has much to do about being in a hybrid, but more so about where you choose to camp. There are certainly ways to camp without hookups (we boondock almost exclusively) and there are campgrounds that may better suit your style. Most of the state parks we camp at have pretty large sites that are well separated from our neighbors. You may also want to look at areas in the campground with non-electric sites where I'd guess may be less crowded and have less of a "party" attitude.
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:24 PM   #12
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i know that such issues can be a drawback for hybrids and popups and that some people move on to a full hard sided trailer because of it. We have had our hybrid going on 6 years (w/ about 13 outings/year) after 5 years in a popup- and we really have not seen these kind of issues much, but we use mostly state parks. we must have electric at a minimum. For the most part, the sites are well spaced, smoke does not reach us and the whole campground gets quiet before quiet hours. Even our occasional foray into private campgrounds has not been too bad, though our annual beach week at an old private campground can see such issues (mostly noise). But it is not from other trailers or big fancy RVs - it is from tenters on electric sites; not the single tenters - but the huge family campouts w/ the entire extended family taking up multiple sites. my heart sinks a bit when I see them pull up and start to set up near us - the first clue is the boom box starts up before they even unload the cars. at least they are not there the whole week.
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by EcoBuckeye View Post
We've got over 2500 miles in our new hybrid this year, and 23 nights. State parks, family campgrounds, RV parks, KOAs. We decided that while we love the camper, there's something different about being in the RV-focused part of the campground. It feels louder, more party attitude, and certainly more golf cart cruising than we're accustomed to after decades of tent camping. We've also found that some "hard-sided" campers don't realize that we can hear (and smell) everything they're doing right beside us. We had a guy using mineral oil to start his fire and our camper smelled like lighter fluid for a day after. Another camper burned wet wood and smoke filled our camper until I went out and explained to him that his smoke was coming right through our tent ends and there was nothing, short of packing up and moving, we could do about it.

So not to sound snobby, but I think we need to start looking at disconnecting from the water and electric and looking for the no hookup campgrounds. I'll need to figure out what exactly we need to keep things running (my wife loves the heated mattress, for example) so that's going to be another outlay of money again for batteries and generators, but I think it'll be worth it.

Does anyone else feel this way when camping in a hybrid? We absolutely love everything about it - except the neighbors. And it's tough here in the eastern midwest to find a place without neighbors. I camp for the fresh air, the clear nights, the wildlife and the quiet. I'm not there for an endless golf cart parade.
Feel your pain man. My last trip, guy next to me set up a tent for his kids (presumably first time setting it up), then proceeded to douse it with a can of water repellent. My whole site smelled like a toxic organic solvent stench for hours, including inside camper, and I don't even have a hybrid.
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:58 PM   #14
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i know that such issues can be a drawback for hybrids and popups and that some people move on to a full hard sided trailer because of it. We have had our hybrid going on 6 years (w/ about 13 outings/year) after 5 years in a popup- and we really have not seen these kind of issues much, but we use mostly state parks. we must have electric at a minimum. For the most part, the sites are well spaced, smoke does not reach us and the whole campground gets quiet before quiet hours. Even our occasional foray into private campgrounds has not been too bad, though our annual beach week at an old private campground can see such issues (mostly noise). But it is not from other trailers or big fancy RVs - it is from tenters on electric sites; not the single tenters - but the huge family campouts w/ the entire extended family taking up multiple sites. my heart sinks a bit when I see them pull up and start to set up near us - the first clue is the boom box starts up before they even unload the cars. at least they are not there the whole week.
I was just thinking of you telling me you could hear every time my AC unit came on overnight! No, Gals of Escape was not the chemical sprayer, lol. Was guy on OTHER side of me!
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
We had a guy using mineral oil to start his fire and our camper smelled like lighter fluid for a day after. Another camper burned wet wood and smoke filled our camper until I went out and explained to him that his smoke was coming right through our tent ends and there was nothing, short of packing up and moving, we could do about it.
YUP feel your pain... camping in crowded OH, IN and KY campgrounds this is always a problem... we have taken to camping outside the normal summer months and go when kids are in school mostly. I look on reservation maps to find a campspot on an end or near the facilities where there is usually a bit more room. I have always done electric/water sites, but this fall/winter/spring I am looking at more boondock camp sites in the south... just not that much to pick from in this central area of the country.

One weekend family guy in FL, moved his fire ring away from his camper to within 6-7 feet of my screen tent... that was OK until he started a fire later that night... well the wind was blowing away from the tent and me so OK... but then to get the fire going he poured gasoline from a gallon gas can... of course the flames lept up to the spout igniting the can spout and as he flipped the can out of his hand it also flipped some lit gas onto my tent screen and the grass around the base... I jumped up and knocked down the flames which melted about a 2 foot hole in the screen near the ground. After all was said and done he told me that the hole could be patched and walked away... no apology or anything... we packed and left the next morning, happy we were leaving the rest of the weekend to this jerk and his family.

Another time a motorhome with a diesel generator was running it within about 30 feet of our camper. There was no air blowing and the exhaust tailpipe was blowing right into the side of and permeating into my hybrid... I could see him and the wife inside watching TV. I knocked on the door and explained the problem to him... the wife yelled it is NOT quiet time so we will continue to run the genny until then. I re-hitched and moved my camper another 10-15 feet away as far as I could... there were NO OTHER SPOTS. He did stop the genny at quiet time... he could also have moved a little deeper into his spot as I had moved out toward the front of mine, but chose not to help me out.
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:28 PM   #16
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YUP feel your pain... camping in crowded OH, IN and KY campgrounds this is always a problem... we have taken to camping outside the normal summer months and go when kids are in school mostly. I look on reservation maps to find a campspot on an end or near the facilities where there is usually a bit more room. I have always done electric/water sites, but this fall/winter/spring I am looking at more boondock camp sites in the south... just not that much to pick from in this central area of the country.

One weekend family guy in FL, moved his fire ring away from his camper to within 6-7 feet of my screen tent... that was OK until he started a fire later that night... well the wind was blowing away from the tent and me so OK... but then to get the fire going he poured gasoline from a gallon gas can... of course the flames lept up to the spout igniting the can spout and as he flipped the can out of his hand it also flipped some lit gas onto my tent screen and the grass around the base... I jumped up and knocked down the flames which melted about a 2 foot hole in the screen near the ground. After all was said and done he told me that the hole could be patched and walked away... no apology or anything... we packed and left the next morning, happy we were leaving the rest of the weekend to this jerk and his family.

Another time a motorhome with a diesel generator was running it within about 30 feet of our camper. There was no air blowing and the exhaust tailpipe was blowing right into the side of and permeating into my hybrid... I could see him and the wife inside watching TV. I knocked on the door and explained the problem to him... the wife yelled it is NOT quiet time so we will continue to run the genny until then. I re-hitched and moved my camper another 10-15 feet away as far as I could... there were NO OTHER SPOTS. He did stop the genny at quiet time... he could also have moved a little deeper into his spot as I had moved out toward the front of mine, but chose not to help me out.
Florida Man!!!
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:47 PM   #17
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Florida Man!!!
missed going last year out of fear of being out of network should either the wife or I need doctors during the CCP virus attack...

This coming winter I have 2 weeks of boon docking starting mid-January and 6 weeks of electric/water camping... Boondocking comes first and hopefully the wife won't be troubled by it and want to go home early... as the next 6 weeks will be better for our style of camping.
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:49 PM   #18
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Did any see this new site for complaints against bad campers?
Check it out - beabettercamper.com
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:54 PM   #19
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Check it out - beabettercamper.com
HOORAY!

hope that this works...
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Old 07-27-2021, 03:24 PM   #20
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The most primitive camping I did is when our son graduated and we took a canoe and tent jaunt in the Lake of the Woods. Most of our married camper life has been boondocking with the family.

We took trips to Canada with a slide-in camper on a HD 4x4 pickup, towing a small boat. Taking logging trails back to remote lakes and total serenity are some of the great memories-and challenges, as we may recall.

We once found this campground that had gone into bankruptcy. We tracked down the person that was overseeing the property. We got acquainted and he actually welcomed us to stay there, stating that it helped cut down on vandalism. We had the full grounds to ourselves with a boat launch and docks. We have a picture of our daughter with her first bluegill at age 3. Life was good!

We also stayed a few days at a campground and fished the lake. We noticed cattle near the water and decided to track down the farmer. Again, we spent time getting acquainted and asked permission to camp near the lake. Another eutopia discovery. We could walk down and fish off the bank in the evening and DW caught her first 10lb walleye. Our alarm clock was cows mooing after milking. We always left the camp sights clean and back to nature.

Later in years, we bought a motorhome and went to a RV resort, staying for 3 months. After all the years of serenity, one month of this camping was just not the same. That worked out as-well. We decided to buy a mobile home in the area and sold the motorhome when we got back. Life is still good!
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