What do you do when people break the generator rules?


Super Active Member
Aug 18, 2019
Deep South
Get the ADA site since they normally have power.
My remark was aimed at the "people" Who run the generator all day for A/C. There is only 1 ADA campsite per campground in the SMNP and it's on a first come first serve basis. I'm saying eliminate ALL generator use except for medical reasons. Are you saying a person with medical disabilities should be denied PaRK access? But as you have seen, limit the use strictly.


Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Nov 30, 2012
I don't want anything leaving my campsite, not light, not odors, and not sound.

I talk to the host first if available. We were at a NFS site a few years ago. No host. No rangers. We went from super quiet for four days to two days of multiple open frame generators running 24/7. Best campground ever to zero in hours


Active Member
Nov 11, 2006
South Central Texas
For me...I just move on. If I'm in a campground that rubs me wrong pretty much in anyway, I just find another campground.

If campers are blatantly disturbing me and management is absent with timely corrective initiative, I just hit the road. I've only had to do this once in 30+years and I camp a lot.
Sometimes I leave because of facility shortfalls, one time because of mosquitoes. A refund received on both accounts.

I camp to reach for a little slice of peace and I have no desire to help management be a good manager or conduct camp etiquette JIT field training.I'm the same way with an AM/FM radio or the tv, if I see or hear something that turns me off, I just spin the dial.

It's kinda a..."my expectations vs reality situation." reality being exposure to the general public here.

Maybe I'll circle back at some point and try the campground again, looking for a better experience.

Whatever strife that may come with the hole experience, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, isn't worth it. Just roll with the punches Bro...
Popster [CC]
Last edited:


Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
Southeastern PA
Are you saying a person with medical disabilities should be denied PaRK access?
Nope, but they need to also understand the needs of others to not be disturbed during the night and make appropriate arrangements.

I need to use a CPAP, which can be a battery drainer. I had thought about getting a small generator to run the CPAP but I did not like the idea of running it all night. So if didn't have power on my site, I went without using the CPAP. A few years ago, my sister gave me a Jackery. Now I sleep very well.

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
Southern California
Dealing with a generator-noisy neighbor is something I never have had to deal with. I have only stayed in a public campground twice in the last five years since purchasing my camper. I only boondock camp. That may change in the future. I do have a generator but rarely have to use it. I only need it for the A/C unit. The solar panel keeps the battery charged. Most of my favorite campsites are high up in the Sierra Mountains above the 7,000-foot level. I don't need the A/C up there.
Last edited by a moderator:


Super Active Member
Apr 13, 2015
LaLa land (SoCal)
I'm sure a few of you know by now my distaste for generators while camping. If your boondocking all by yourself...great, but if I can hear it, your disturbing me. I agree with Steve there are a lot of better ways to power stuff. I just got solar. Before that I had nothing. Didn't need it, still don't. I don't even have a/c in my PUP, never really needed it and I live and camp in Southern California. So as Steve said.."On a side note, it is amazing what a 12 gauge pump can do to a generator". Except I'm partial to 44mag. J/k folks would never vandalize someones property, but I'd dream about it.
May 7, 2023
Western WA State
So far, so good. Though the private "CG" I'm currently at has limited actual campsites. It's more of a trailer park, with an open field with basic electrical and water outlets for "campers" tossed into the middle. With a rudimentary shower/toilet / laundry near the access road.

The "residential campers" have packs of feral unsupervised children roaming throughout the park at all hours of day and night on golf carts, bikes and quads. So it's noisy 24/7.

Where the weekender campers park, well I'm apparently the only pop up in the park right now, everything else is 20-35 ft TT's. Those guys all backed in, leveled hooked up, popped their awnings , tv's, rugs and beer and pretty much stay up all night... one generator ran for 30 minutes before shut down. That was before dusk last night and I think it was just a test.

I'm with the Solar set. That will be the big upgrade when we start overhaul of this 96 basic buggy. We camp to unwind and for the supposed peace and quiet. Solar is perfect for that.

(BTW, Think we figured out the 12v issue and it's a wild leap of electrical theory malfeasance to get to the solution)


Dec 28, 2020
Coastal Texas
I need to use a CPAP, which can be a battery drainer. I had thought about getting a small generator to run the CPAP but I did not like the idea of running it all night. So if didn't have power on my site, I went without using the CPAP. A few years ago, my sister gave me a Jackery. Now I sleep very well.
Speaking of Jackeries, which one do you have? My wife is likely to get a CPAP in the near future and it'd be nice to still be able to use the non- electric loops.


Active Member
Aug 31, 2016
North Carolina
I'm sure this will flame a few folks up, but camping is not AC and projector movies and music DJ systems. Camping is enjoying, and dare I say connecting with nature.

As said before, a Jackery and solar panels and there you have power for medical devices. And you are not ruining the camping experience for those around you.

I am over twice the age of most of my State Park work mates. They grew up on AC, I did not. In the heat of Summer (95F) I drive my work truck with the windows down - enjoying the air and cooling off with a wet towel and some ice cubes melted on my head. You would think my younger counter parts were fish out of water - barely functioning. They can hardly get out of their work trucks, because they are dependent on AC.

I feel sorry for the weakness of younger generations, slaved to conveniences. I feel sorry for folks that roll in the state park with apartments on wheels and then sit inside them for their visit.

You can laugh at me and call me simple, but I grew up a farm kid - lots of farm work in the Summer and cooling off was a shade tree and cup of water :) I can't image the response I would have gotten as a kid - "I can't bale hay, it's too hot!"

Here's where I'm sure I will fire folks up, but the truth hurts - most of the folks in rolling apartments at the park are over weight and spend there time eating (as in all day) and filling the garbage cans with food waste daily and drinking sugar and laboring in their breathing walking 20 yards to the shower house. No wonder they are dependent on devices. And that's no way to live, and certainly not camping!

Okay rant over. And those of you that benefit from a CPAP, I am happy for you. It has been a complete game changer for my wife and her quality of rest and living. I hope everyone finds a way to explore, camp and treat their bodies well :)


Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
Southeastern PA
@BBQdave, I agree. I used a generator once, when I first got my CPAP. After that I either got a site with electric or I did without. My main excuse for not having a generator is that it's just one more thing to break as I'm sure I would forget to put oil in it at some point. The added weight and storage space are other reasons in my book.

With solar on the roof, I can recharge my Jackery from the camper's batteries and by sundown, both the camper's batteries and the Jackery are at full power. If it's a travel day, I just plug the Jackery into the truck's power port.

I do wish more places were "Generator Free" zones. But some people just need their creature comforts. That's fine, to each their own, everyone camps differently. But when a generator is disturbing my calm, that's a another story. Generators should be limited to 2 hours of use per day and within the hours of 1pm to 5pm. Charge your batteries and be done with it.

I know a lot of the newer generators have really cut back on the sound but I always seem to get people around me who have 20 year old models that sound like leaf blowers. Had one of those a few months back. They were at least 100 yards away, through the woods and it still sounded like a leaf blower right next to me. I let the ranger know when next they rolled through and the generator was turned off, for ten minutes. Some people.......

I camp for the peace and quite. Hell, I'm even self conscious about the sound I make while setting up, the power-lift and using the drill for the tongue jack and stabilizers.
Last edited:


Active Member
Oct 26, 2022
Southern New Mexico
I've probably already posted on this thread but, I boondock. I have a small gen ( 60 cc) to charge tools/radio/phone and top off battery. I'm alone 90% of the time or I'm with someone with a TT. I run mine during the day, times when quads and cars will be taking to the roads nearby, so I dont see much hoo-ha with it. I charge for short periods as the engine is magnesium cast and have seen first hand what happens when someone has tried to run a house off one of them for extended periods of time. Dummy may have even tried to put it out with water too. I digress. My TT friend usually adbides by "reasonable" hours to get his A/C set and batteries charged, though one trip he did have to fire up at the O'dark early hour after we had had a night of libations. Needless to say he apologized, I made tea for us and we both endured the hum of hangover misery. So at least I wasnt alone. I have a larger generator that I can run A/C off of but have yet to use it and would still do the minimal daytime practice.


A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
We camped this past weekend. First time without my oldest son who just went off to college. But I digress...

The place we went is a nearby regional park with over 200 sites, the majority with electricity. When I booked a few weeks ago, every one of the electric sites was booked. Go figure. We don't need power, especially in the fall, so no problem, I book a site on a primitive loop.

I saw (and heard) at least a half dozen generators in our loop. Mostly they were quiet, and ran them for relatively short times. I did hear one rather loud one off in the distance, and the first night I heard one running well past midnight, but later on I woke up and it was off. Thankfully it was quiet and far away and didn't bother me.

What I don't understand is... why? I looked up my solar panel suitcase and it cost about $150. Most campers already have a battery, and it's easy enough to add 12V/5V USB outlets for charging devices. We ran the furnace quite a bit (got down into the 40s overnight), had the water pump going when needed, plenty of lights, etc. Fridge on propane. Probably didn't even need the solar but either way I had no need for hookups.

So why do people NEED generators, especially when A/C isn't needed? I think it's honestly ignorance. People are like "I need to charge my phones", or "I need to make coffee" and they have no idea that is easily done with battery/solar power and/or propane. Do people not understand that solar is cheaper (or can be) than buying a generator, and is free power with no noise at all?

Anyway, we had a good trip. This campground is much more "packed in" than I prefer, especially for a public one, but it's close to home and sometimes it's convenient to not have to drive 2 hours with the kid in school.