Campers with their lights on parked in a mountain campground.

Why Do Some RVers Leave Exterior Lights on Overnight?

An RV’s exterior lights can brighten your campsite and keep you safe. They even can help you avoid tripping over the camping gear you or your spouse forgot to put away. However, some RVers choose to leave their exterior lights on overnight. This is a hot topic, especially for those who spend most of their time on campgrounds.

Today, we’re looking at why some RVers leave their exterior lights on all night and why it upsets other campers. Let’s dive in! 

Campers with their lights on parked in a mountain campground.

Why Do Some RVers Leave Exterior Lights on Overnight?

Let’s be honest; we all make mistakes. Right? RVers aren’t perfect people, and it can be very easy to forget to turn off exterior lights.

They may have turned the lights on for a quick trip to grab something and forgot to turn them off before hitting the sack. However, there are a couple of reasons RVers leave exterior lights on besides being forgetful.

For Security 

Increased lighting is often a very effective way to deter seedy behavior. Anyone up to no good will likely look for an easy target and where they can act under cover of darkness.

The exterior lights on an RV are incredibly bright and can light up the entire campsite. This reduces the chances of any camping gear or other items disappearing at night.

This RVer shares how he installed security lights for boondocking.

Many RVers who boondock on public lands want to maximize their security. If someone or something is approaching their RV, they want to be able to see who or what it might be. It’s hard to be angry or upset with someone who wants to stay safe. 

To Keep Animals Away

Some animals are like seedy people. They like staying in the dark. Exterior lighting can keep smaller animals like skunks, opossums, and mice away from your campsite.

While smaller animals typically don’t pose much of a safety risk, they do attract larger animals that might be looking for a snack. By keeping away the smaller animals, you can reduce the chances of a larger, more dangerous animal wandering into your campsite. 

Is It Polite to Leave Your Exterior RV Lights on in a Campground?

When it comes to rude behavior from RVers, leaving your exterior lights on in a campground is toward the top of the list. We’d also like to emphasize that this includes those bright front-cap lights that RV manufacturers think are a great idea.

We know some RVers love them, but they provide no light into the campsite and often annoy camping neighbors.

Two women drinking under the string lights in their camper van.

Leaving your exterior RV lights on in a campground is extremely rude. Most provide very little room between campsites, so your exterior lights will likely shine directly into your neighbor’s RV. The last thing they want to do when going to sleep is to make shadow puppets on the walls inside their rig.

Your neighbors may be noisy in the morning while you’re trying to sleep. You and your bright lights may have kept them up half the night, making it difficult for them to get a good night’s sleep.

How Do I Keep My Running Lights on While Camping?

If you want to keep your running lights on while camping, there’s an easy trick to do this. Simply grab a 10-amp fuse and head to the seven-way plug you use for connecting your RV to your tow vehicle.

You can activate your RV’s running lights using the 10-amp fuse to bridge the top two ports (tail/running lights and the 12-volt charging).

An RV boondocking with awning lights and running lights illuminating the field.

Your running lights will remain on until you remove the fuse. This will also allow you to use 12-volt accessories like backup cameras and other gadgets. If you have portable displays for your camera, you can take the display into your RV and have a security camera outside your rig.

If camping in a campground, just make sure you remove the fuse before heading to bed. You don’t want to light up the entire campground and upset your neighbors. 

Why Are Camper Porch Lights Yellow?

RV manufacturers have found that yellow light attracts fewer bugs. Exterior lighting typically gets mounted under awnings and above doorways.

Because bugs flock to lighting, anytime someone goes in or out of the RV, it invites bugs to find their way into the rig. By using yellow lights, RVers can still see around their campsite and not worry about bugs.

Yellow light is also much less harsh for neighbors. The light is easier on the eyes and helps you avoid blinding the entire campground whenever you need to turn on your lights at night.

Why Do People Put Rope Lights Under Their RVs?

In some regions of the country, mice-like creatures known as pack rats can be a serious problem. These tiny little rodents can do massive damage to an RV or tow vehicle in a single night.

While they love to look for just about anything to take back to their nests, they hate lights. In areas with frequent pack rat issues, RVers often use rope lights under their RVs to keep them away from their rig or vehicles.

However, many RVers also use rope lights as a polite way to light up their campsite without affecting other campers. They typically emit low lighting levels in the rope’s general vicinity. This can be enough to allow campers to move around their campsite while avoiding trip hazards and other items.

If you find rat poop in your RV, you have a serious problem.

Is Keeping Your RV Exterior Lights on Overnight Worth It?

Keeping your RV exterior lights on overnight can be worth it under certain circumstances. If you’re in a campground, you should only use exterior lights when necessary. Leaving them on so everyone knows you have a fancy RV is not one of those circumstances.

If you’re boondocking in the middle of nowhere and need to maximize your safety, go ahead and leave them on overnight. Being courteous goes a long way, even while RVing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Article
A woman sits by a campfire with her headphones on listening to a podcast.

The RV Entrepreneur Podcast Is Back, But Is It Still Good?

Next Article
An aerial view of camper vans parked in a retail lot, taking up multiple spaces.

Can Cracker Barrel Fit All Size RVs for Overnight Camping?

Related Posts