Our Glory Days of Privacy Are Gone

Our friends took this picture (thanks Bob and Ben, I think) during last night’s Friday Night FaceTime Happy Hour. We were so busy watching new people pull in to the campground that we had to be shown how annoying we were being on FaceTime. But, can you tell by our expressions how excited we are to have new neighbors?

We have really had it good here in this campground for the last five weeks. Our closest neighbors have been guys working on a nearby solar farm construction site—they leave early each morning, and when they come back to their RVs they cook out on their grills or work on their trucks. That’s the extent of what we see of them.

Well, one set of trailers has a visiting family with small children, but all we see of them is little kids running barefoot in the field out front in the evenings. Frankly, as long as they do that far away from us, it’s a joy to see.

Now, in Virginia there’s a ban on camping for any period shorter than two weeks, and that’s been extended until at least June 10. We’re not seeing any short-term campers here but we do have new neighbors, and chances are we’ll have them for a while.

The Trouble with Neighbors

We’re at a privately owned campground with lots of amenities, so normally this place would be packed with families. It’s the kind of campground we want to avoid (no leap there), but our state park camping reservation was canceled, so here we are.

In general, state and national park campgrounds are there for campers to enjoy nature. Rarely do they have extra things like pools, or even sewer hook-ups—just a spot in the park where you can put your RV while you’re enjoying nature.

Camping in a state park in PA.

From our limited experience in the Frolic, these are relatively quiet campgrounds with lots of trees and room between you and your neighbor. Whereas privately owned campgrounds are often all about family recreation and even socializing.


Banjo likes some dogs (we miss you, Maisie and Manolo!) but not others, so we keep an eye on her at all times and grab her attention with treats when a stranger dog walks by.

So far we’ve had it near perfect dog-wise here in that we have the trails to ourselves, and the few people who walk their dogs on our little road don’t stop to chat.

Solitude here.

Now we have a set of new neighbors behind us with two big shelter dogs. They’ve been quiet for the most part and have avoided us on walks (I’ve heard evidence that their dogs like stranger dogs even less than Banjo does), and none of the dogs can see each other when they’re tied out front of their trailers with their people.

Our campground in the Keys, really.

But their presence reminds me that a lot of RVers have dogs, and when we’re parked in private campgrounds like the ones we’ve made reservations for in the Keys, there will be dogs left, right, front and back of us. The days of Banjo being able to sleep peacefully in front of the trailer without even thinking about a stranger dog will be gone, as well as our easy-going dog walks.

Kids and Other Social People

Our new neighbors to our left pulled in just yesterday (during the documented happy hour), so I don’t know what they’ll be like. But, they do have two little kids plus lots of outdoor accoutrements. I’m thinking we’ll be seeing a lot of them. Last night we could even see what they were watching on TV (it was cartoons).

Some people love socializing in campgrounds, seriously. They decorate their front porches with signs announcing themselves, and they wave at everyone. Yesterday I waved twice at the same golf cart, once as they approached me and then again after they’d glanced away and then looked back. A “Hello” wave and a “See ya again” wave. See, I’m learning the language.

At a music festival a couple of summers ago. There’s not as much decoration here as at some campsites but it’s so adorable it’s worth using as an example.

Don’t get me started on the social events some campgrounds offer—every danged night. I just have to accept that some people go to campgrounds for different reasons than us.

So far, social isolation has treated us well. I miss my friends, but the Campground Wave is enough fraternization for me even for five weeks going.

We’ll see how life changes with neighbors. Maybe they’ll have interesting trash.

9 thoughts to “Our Glory Days of Privacy Are Gone”

  1. I’m laughing at the thought of CHILDREN camping next to you. Sorry that it’s CRACKS ME UP😂

  2. Your last line was the best, “maybe theyll have interesting trash” Im still giggling over that.There is good and bad about my being home and watching my neighbors from my front office window.I watched my delightful neighbors across the street move away and the new people move in. Little do they know that I watch their every move (from 8am-5pm) They finally cut their grass after being here almost 3 weeks.So, I hear your pain with being close and fairly stuck.Luckily I havent witnessed any illegal activity…that would prove to be quite the moral challenge. LOL>

    1. I watched a musician get high while live streaming last night and was shocked – so funny!

  3. I know what you are talking about Shelly. Long ago I was invited to a camp like that with RV’s and tents all over the palce. After that eye opener I never tried it again. A good experience though, after that (at least me) you start to appreciate silence and being by yourself more.
    Love -Li

  4. Shelley come to the GSMNP and camp once the mayhem dies down. If you come in early June we could hike to see the synchronous fireflies. Plenty of trails to disappear on and campgrounds with no activities but being in the woods.

    1. That’s definitely on our list soon! We’re trying to get to the Midwest this summer, but next June would be a great time. I do want to see the fireflies!

  5. Shelly come to the GSMNP and camp once the mayhem dies down. If you come in early June we could hike to see the synchronous fireflies. Plenty of trails to disappear on and campgrounds with no activities but being in the woods.