Dear RV Shrink:
We were in a campground in the Panhandle of Florida recently. Parked next to us was probably a 40-foot trailer. After quiet hours my wife and I went to bed – notice I didn’t say “went to sleep.” At first I thought it might be an earthquake or a tsunami. It wasn’t a sound as much as a vibration. It was much like feeling a kid go by in a low rider with the bass turned all the way up on his sub-woofers tucked in the trunk.
It didn’t take long to discover it was the neighbor watching a war movie on his big screen TV. Every time there was an explosion in the movie, which was often, a vibration would ripple through our campsite. We usually do not complain but I think a new campground ruling may have to be enacted: “No vibrations after 10 o’clock.” Or maybe they should have a “No big screen TV” section. We are trying to be open minded, but is this really camping? —All shook up in the campground
Dear Shook up:
It won’t do any good to plan a shopping spree at Best Buy and arm yourself. Returning fire with 15-inch sub-woofers and 130,000 watts would give you fire superiority, but it will just lead to sound retaliation and escalation.
As for the camping question, not everyone is looking for the same experience. Camping, as once defined, has become very generic. The popularity of high-end RVs has created an evolution in camping that will continue to morph into things we can’t even imagine yet. If you are not comfortable with discussing the problem with your neighbor and trying to resolve the issue, your only choice is to relocate.
We camped next to a guy with an electric piano once. He used earphones. There was no sound but we could still feel some of his tunes if he cranked it up too high. We made a joke of it and he was shocked that we even knew he had a piano. We never felt his music again.
In this case, perhaps they don’t realize the effect their entertainment system is having on you. It sounds like they were not actually making much noise, so perhaps they do not realize the reverberation is traveling out to those around them. The next morning you should have asked your neighbor who won the war. That could stop many future battles for other neighbors retiring for the evening. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink
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