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Discussion in 'Campground Etiquette' started by FarmerDave, Sep 4, 2017.
Most vehicles you can stop headlights from coming on by applying parking break.
Seasoned camper here, so I know better than to get in and out of the TV for anything. We keep everything we need in the camper, as I know how annoying the closing doors can be.
Even so, last time we camped, I was using a truck that is not my personal daily driver. I had no idea about this "cargo light" business. Somehow, I managed to toggle it on while I was driving. After dark that night, the woman in the tent across from us came knocking. It was shining directly into her tent!! I had no idea there was even a light there and had to go figure out how to turn it off. It was very embarrassing!
I was so glad she brought it to my attention, and didn't just tough it out.
Yeah, all the modern conveniences. On my F150, the headlights don't come on with the opening of the doors, and the horn doesn't go unless I pump the key fob twice to lock the doors, so thats all ok. What gets me though is the fact that when I open the doors, day or night, all the exterior lights come on. None of them are LED's, so they draw an certain amount while they're on, killing the battery. The lights outside are front markers, tail lights, cargo lights, licence place lights, puddle lights, etc.... = 17 lights in all, + all the dash lights, about 1000 of those, but they all appear to be LED's. After the doors all close, they all stay on for 24 seconds, (thats a stupid time, but thats what it is, I timed it). The truck stays parked at the campsite for a week or more, and you go in and out numerous times per day, and all those lights staying on so long kill the battery a certain amount. One of these days the thing isn't going to start. Yes, I know there is supposed to be a battery saver built in to the truck, but I don't trust it. That same system let the battery in my son's Mazda go dead, and the car didn't start. I have a very small crappy solar charger that I hook onto the battery, and lay on the windshield to try and counter act this potential problem. I also take a booster pack along as well. All those lights are so unnecessary. I have yet to find a way around this system of lights.
Here's a shot in the dark...
I don't know about your truck, but on my prius and the town and country there are odd hacks that the engineers built in to override stuff. Many times it's a procedure of switching to "accessories" with while holding a button down or pumping the accelerator two or three times. Trying looking on F150 group sites for hacks.
My TV doesn't have all the do-Dads the newer ones have to that's not an issue for me. Besides, the stuff I need is in the bed of it. My DW's SUV, on the other hand, is one of those trucks!! One thing we've done is not to lock the SUV when she's brought it camping. She does pack some things she may need, sewing or stuff like that and she'll keep it in the back of the SUV. With the SUV not locked, the lights and horn are disabled on her model. We'll lock it at night but during the day, help yourself. It's unlocked.
I can see myself timing them! Thankfully, on my van, there is a switch on the dash that shuts down all lights. They won't even come on when you open a door. That stays off most of the time, and always while camping.
I only had an incident when in a truck I'm not used to. I did find the switch to turn off the cargo lights, but didn't find a switch that would turn them all off.
Thanks. I'm on a couple of Ford Forums, and a couple of Dodge ones as well. People on the Ford ones are always trying, and figuring ways to get around some of this stuff. Ford always seems to have it buttoned up pretty tight. Doesn't mean there isn't a way, I just haven't heard of it yet. I should go digging again and see, maybe someone posted something that I missed.
If you're mechanically inclined (well maybe technically inclined is more proper for this), look into Forscan. Its essentially a program that communicates with Ford vehicles via the OBD port and allows you to alter certain functions and characteristics with a laptop. From simple things like daytime running lights on/off, to more advanced fuel maps etc. On many of the 2017 and newer vehicles you can turn on a factory remote start system and change the display on your dash and/or the stereo. Might be able to change what features (like your lights) turn on and off with the doors. Could also be as simple as rolling the interior dimmer switch down to the off position. I know that disables interior lights from coming on with the doors but not 100% sure about the exterior. I think this at the very least disables the puddle lights on my 08 expedition.
Modern vehicles are designed for imbeciles that can't remember to turn their lights on, so the designers make sure they include automatic lights, the tailgate chime is to remind you that the tailgate is open (duh), etc... Hence why the car of my dreams is a 1979 International Harvester Scout 2 with a 354 CID V-8 modernized with a 4bbl intake manifold, and a bolt on Holley fuel injection + HEI ignition with a TH400 tranny. No millenial gizmos or as I like to call it, CTB (Crud That Breaks). Give me roll up windows, manual locking doors, and a big V8. Yes I am doing an Automatic, if I still had a healthy hip, I'd do a stick...
I like the auto headlights. Never have to even think about the headlights.
True, but some models turn the auto lights on when the doors open. My truck, and my Malibu both have the auto lights that only turn on when the car is running, and luminosity (outdoor light) is low, I.E. dusk to dawn.
I still say I am smart enough to turn on my own headlights, I don't need my car doing it.
FWIW, my partner approves. Twenty years after selling it, he still talks lovingly about his '75.
I don't know much about trucks, but I do know there wasn't much that truck couldn't do.
Oh, and he also wishes you luck in finding one that won't cost you an arm and both legs.
I made a HUGE mistake. Back in 95 my ex, hated my 79 scout, so I sold it. Should have kept the truck instead...
I honestly prefer the old school 60s-80s pre computer trucks. Fuel injection is one thing, but newer vehicles that is just too much digital stuff going on with them. I've never liked the combination of computing and driving... Mind you, the truck I am referring to is rough, It's a truck, not a passenger car with hauling ability.... I can't buy anything like that new anymore...
I keep pondering this situation, among other camping circumstances, and something strikes me about all of it.
#1. The main issues are that there is excess light, AND excess noise caused by these so called convenience and luxury features. Because everyone knows cars that cost more, bing at you and flash their lights every time you open a door. Yuck.
#2. In the case of the lights straight at you, that is an impact of poor campground design, if their parking space wasn't aimed at you, the lights wouldn't have been in your eyes.
#3. Campgrounds these days are far more crowded than they ever were when I was a kid, and vehicles have grown far more complex than ever before. Along with that comes the inevitable noise, and light.
Now this person with the vehicle that was offending you might have been able to cover the headlights, but as long as it was during daylight hours, why should they?
I can't help but think that as long as they are minding their own business, and it's not violating dark / quiet hours, and they aren't coming into your campsite, you really shouldn't let something this minor bother you. Just enjoy where and when you are, or move...
I remember when Dodge first introduced the Cummins powered RAM Heavy Duty, I hated when those things would come into a campground because those engines sound like a rock tumbler on high speed. But I learned to live with the noise until they got their camper in place and shut the thing off. Of course if they insisted on maintaining the noise by running the engine all night, they would have had a much more negative reaction than coming through the campground and making the noise for say 10 minutes or so.
Seems to be such a shame to let something so petty get to you.
I appreciate the convenience features *most* of the time. Our van (which doubles as our TV) has a ton of little bells and whistles: When you lock the doors it turns on some LED lighting including some down-lighting located under the exterior mirrors and some front facing lights (not the headlights, but they're still pretty bright), which is really nice if you're parked in a dark area. If I'm holding a bunch of parcels, I can wave my foot under the rear bumper and the back gate opens up. The auto headlights are appreciated as I never need to think about turning them on, they even come on when I use the wipers (which is the law in this state).
But when camping they do sometimes get in the way: When I'm hitching up the trailer, sometimes the bumper sensor thinks I'm waving my foot under it so it opens up the back gate, hitting or near missing my head. The exterior lights sometimes get aimed at another campsite which makes me feel bad if we're coming back to the site after quiet hours. The auto headlights are easily disabled by turning them off, so if I'm backing into the site and starting to blind another site, I can easily shut them off.
I don't really understand the "beep-beep-beep" that the lift gate makes though, and you can't (to my knowledge) turn it off. Even if you open it manually, it will beep. Another site near us at Yellowstone had a similar van and they were in and out of the tailgate seemingly dozens of times, even after 11pm. When I do it I try to queue everything up so I can get in once... and if necessary I'll leave the gate open so I don't have to annoy others constantly.
Again, I think it comes down to being aware of your surroundings and being considerate of those around you. A campground (in my humble opinion) should not resemble a GD Walmart parking lot.
My '19 Expedition doesn't provide power to the trailer (pin 4, the +12 Aux) unless the truck is running, and the door is closed. Open the driver door, the +12 drops. And it's only available if the truck detects that a trailer is connected. The problem is, if I close the door while the key is in my pocket, the horn chirps twice, to let you know there's no key in the truck now. Actually, I'd love to leave the key in the truck so that I don't lose it, but the truck also won't let me lock the doors with a key inside, so that I don't do something stupid, like leave the key locked inside. I have a keypad on the door; I want to lock the key inside.
I have an 07 Titan...I can play "Shave and a Haircut" using the lock fob. Wouldn't do that at a CG. The favorite vehicle I own is a 69 Beetle Convertible. Points and (two) carburetors. I've been inside of everything on that car.
We went to the bathroom at 2am this weekend and someone's campsite a couple of loops over was glowing like a spaceship had landed. I bet everyone around them was thrilled. Lot's of tents this weekend too. I hope they just forgot vs leaving it on intentionally.
The type 1 Cabriolet was awesome... I had a 65 Baja in college...