Should You Leave Your Exterior RV Lights on All Night?

Should you leave your Exterior RV lights on all night is a common debate among RVers. The general consensus is no. RV lights can be a nuisance to other campers.

If you are like me, I like to sleep with the shades up and the windows open, particularly on cool nights. Having someone’s RV lights shining on my face is not cool.

The best policy to follow is to leave your lights on while you are sitting around the campfire and enjoying the outdoors in the evening. When it’s time for quiet hours, most are at 10 p.m., you are welcome to stick with your campfire, just douse your lights for those who like to retire early.

I’ll add that if you stay at your campfire past quiet hours, keep your voices at a minimum. Loud laughing and talking, kids screaming and even subdued music can be a problem for some people.

Let’s look at more information answering the question, “Can you leave your exterior RV lights on all night?”

Can You Leave Your RV Exterior Lights on All Night at Campgrounds?

I think the answer to leaving your lights on all night at campgrounds needs to be no. Can you? Yes. Please be courteous to your neighbors. We are all on a vacation or trip of some sort and would love to have good neighbors.

You don’t really know someone’s situation. They could be leaving early in the morning or have some other need to rest for the night, of which you are unaware. We work at our campground, and several mornings a week, I have to awaken by 5:30 a.m. to get to my job.

Some campgrounds have rules regarding lights kept on at night. Make sure you note all the rules given to you at check-in.

Consider how lights will affect others who are trying to sleep but also those who like to enjoy the darkness a campground can provide. Turn your lights off completely so everyone can enjoy the night sky.

If you use a flashlight after dark, be sure to point it toward the ground and keep it out of other’s eyes and campsites.

Advantages Of Leaving RV Exterior Lights On

Can You Leave Your RV Exterior Lights on All Night at Campgrounds?

Of course, there are advantages to leaving your RV exterior lights on. It’s a great option for security. Someone will be less likely to mess with the equipment, bicycles, and grills that you leave outdoors. You can also see what is going on out there if you hear an unfamiliar rustling.

Having your lights on all night is way more convenient than having to dig for a flashlight when your dog wants to tinkle at 2 a.m.

In general, some advantages of leaving the lights on all night are the safety, security, and peace of mind the lights will give you.

Disadvantages of Leaving RV Exterior Lights On

One of the disadvantages of leaving the RV exterior lights on is they use up energy. Although it’s minimal, it is still a consideration and everyone likes to do their part to lessen energy consumption.

As stated before, having your RV lights on all night can disturb others and can cause issues at your campground. Be sure to follow any campground rules that are listed.

RV lights also attract bugs. No one wants to walk out of their RV into a mouthful of moths or have said moths flying around inside your RV.

In some areas of the country that have pack rat issues, RVers use rope lights under the RV to keep them away from the rig and vehicles. This can also be a way to use lights without affecting other campers. They typically emit low light levels.

Disadvantages of Leaving RV Exterior Lights On

How Much Energy Does An RV Light Use?

A 12-volt incandescent bulb consumes approximately 1.6 amps of power. In comparison, a 12-volt RV LED light only consumes approximately 0.12 amps.

LED lights use less power and produce more light. It’s a common RV upgrade for good reason.

If you’re concerned about energy consumption, the reality is the consumption from a single exterior RV light on all night is minimal.

Why Are Some RV Porch Lights Orange?

Orange lights can be easier on your neighbors because they are dimmer and won’t shine light in their RV.

The orange light also attracts fewer bugs. My older model Class C came with an orange porch light. Now I know why.

Is It Difficult to Change RV Light Bulbs?

In most cases, RV light bulbs are easy to change. There are many YouTube videos that detail the process. Make sure you always have some spare bulbs and make sure when they do need changed, you switch to LED.

LED lights are more expensive to purchase but can last as much as 30 times longer than an incandescent bulb. LEDs are also sturdier because they are made with epoxy lenses, not glass, are much more resistant to breakage, and are cooler than other types of bulbs.

Do RVs Have Motion Sensor Lights?

While most RVs do not come with motion lights, there are plenty of aftermarket ones that you can purchase.

Motion lights are a great way to be sensitive to your neighbors, but they can also become annoying if they are too sensitive and come on every time the wind blows.

Personally, as your camping neighbor, I think I would rather have a light shining all night rather than one that comes on at random times and wakes me up in the middle of the night.

Final Thoughts About Leaving RV Exterior Lights on All Night

Leaving your RV exterior lights on all night, particularly during nice weather when campers want to leave their windows open, is not good campground etiquette.

The soft light from your campfire is soothing and peaceful. The light on the front of your travel trailer or the string lights you choose to hang in multiple trees is not necessary after a certain time of night.

Whether to leave your lights on all night or not is really a personal preference and might be different in various situations. Some campers do like the security of having lights on at night, while others like it dark.

You might choose to ask your campground neighbors if they prefer your lights to be off. It’s a great way to meet other RVers and get that question out of the way before someone gets annoyed.

In the end, leaving your campground with fewer lights makes it excellent for anyone who wants to stargaze or get some early shut-eye.

Related Reading:

Should I Add A Second Battery To My Camper?

How To Set up An Outdoor Movie While Camping

How To Keep Mosquitoes Out Of Your RV

Best Apps For Leveling Your Camper Trailer

About the Author:

Terri Nighswonger and her husband Todd have been RVing and work camping for five years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Minnie Australian Shepherd, Remi.

They originate from the Midwest but plan to enjoy the West for a few years, wintering in Arizona and summering wherever the road may lead. Writing is Terri’s passion, but she also loves hiking, kayaking, walking her dogs, and anything she can do outdoors.