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How Can I Quiet Down The Portable Generator I Use When Camping?

by Anonymous
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How to Quiet Down a Portable Generator  When Camping

How to Quiet Down a Portable Generator When Camping

How to Quiet Down a Portable Generator  When Camping
How Can I Quiet Down The Portable Generator I Use When Camping?

I have a portable generator. I would like to build a cover to help get rid of this problem. I am sure someone in your group has experienced this.

ANSWER: Thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Let me start off with a Disclaimer all of the suggestions below are what other RVers and Campers have claimed to do to quiet down their generators. I have not personally tested any of these solutions to see if they actually work. Some of these solutions could damage your generator as well as void the warranty on a new generator.

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Now that we are clear on the fact that if you ruin your generator it is not my fault, let’s begin. Some of the solutions I have run across are listed below.

1. Some folks have retrofitted motorcycle mufflers to their generator with some success.

2. Some people attach a hose to the exhaust of the generator and put the other end of the hose in a 5 gallon bucket of water to dampen the exhaust sound. They suggest that you put a small hole at the high point of hose so that your generator does not suck any water into it.

3. You mentioned building an enclosure for the generator. I ran across this video on how to build a doghouse for your generator on the cheap. Again I cannot confirm how well this works.



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Hope this helps.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Comments for How Can I Quiet Down The Portable Generator I Use When Camping?

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Quiet generator.
by: Anonymous

I like to do the boon docking thing much better than a campground. I just do not like putting out the cash for a place to park the camp trailer. With that said it does get hot in Oregon in the summer. We like to have the A/C. My wife has illnesses that the hot weather just drains her.

We have a 3500 watt generator that is too loud for me to listen to, so we bought a Honda 2000 watt. The Honda will not run the A/C at over 4700 feet, it will run the A/C in our driveway @ 4200 feet. I am going to try to see if I can run the two generators at the same time. Once the A/C is started I hope that I can turn off the loud one and just run the Honda.

The largest amp draw is at start up after that the amp draw is lower. I bought the Honda because the ad I saw said it would run the new 13000 BTU A/C's but that must be an the lower altitudes where the air is thicker. Same at your car runs better at sea level.

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Temporary fix
by: GmaBernie

If you are camping for the weekend or just need a temporary quiet down solution, We camp frequently with family on private property so other campers or rules are not an issue. My husband also uses a CPAP machine at night and needs the generator. I prefer to have the night time be a little quieter and I like not hearing a loud generator while I'm trying to sleep or hear the creek running out my window.

We took a large cardboard box and cut one end out of it. We placed it over the generator with the open end facing away from the rv. We made sure we had plenty of space around the generator for ventilation. We usually place a rock on top of the box to make sure a dog doesn't knock the box around. The sound it funneled away from our rv and I don't really even hear. The box is free to find and you can smash it up and throw it away after your trip.

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Avid Camper
by: Mitch1204

I've studied the topic thoroughly. Unless you have tons of money a generator is a good stepping stone to a solar system and to have as a backup. I always use my with respect for others and rules. One guy mentioned boondocking in state and national forest. You might not see rules posted but if you read their website you will find rules pertaining to dispersed camping. Most say no loud noise as to annoy or disturb other campers. That pretty much includes stereos and generators.

Now everybody's brother is making generators today. They range from the 56db Honda to a 120 dB construction generator. There are many brands that are low cost in the 63-68db range. That's not much louder than a Honda. I have a 64db Champion from Tractor Supply for $199. Lifan and Pulsar are some other cheap, quieter brands.

The muffler issue, I've watched several videos. You won't drop but 2db. Hardly worth it. Plus you don't want to increase the engine's back pressure which makes it work harder and less fuel efficient. You can box it but then you have a heat issue. Manufacturers even state to run it under 110°. You could box it and add a fan similar to an aftermarket electric car fan. The box idea will drop it maybe 10db. The size and weight of the box wouldn't be feasible. If it was me cork has excellent sound absorbing characteristics but is expensive. Second thought would be them drop ceiling acoustic panels. Very cheap but not very weather resistant.

Noise is not just the muffler but the whole generator. Hondas have a thicker engine block cast and have a special air intake reducing valve noise. Look at today's quiet cars. They have thick blocks, a long air intake, an engine cover and a huge muffler. It's a mix of all for reduced noise.

My noise deflector? The piece of thick cardboard surrounding the generator in the box, lol. It works good enough to deflect 10db.

Check out the generators I listed above. You'll be surprised. Home Depot, Tractor Supply and ebay I've found for the best choices.

Work your way to solar. It's affordable and pays for itself. That's another thing buying a generator. Figure out your watt usage and buy only the size generator you need. From 1500 to 3500 watts you'll burn 3 times the fuel. Another tip there are a few 5000 btu window AC units that run on 450 watts. That lug on the roof is a hog.

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Sometimes it's necessary
by: Anonymous

Sometimes people who love to camp have a medical condition that requires electricity. My husband has sleep apnea. He uses an inverter with a battery to run his CPAP machine at night and charges the battery with a quiet Honda generator during the day. Not everyone's who uses a generator does it just because they can't do without microwaves and TV.

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Go solar
by: Anonymous

I installed solar on my 26 ft trailer and have stayed out for weeks at a time and never had to plug in.

The trailer has two 150 watt solar panels on the roof and four 100 amp hr batteries with a 3,000 watt invertorpower unit.

This system will run everything in the trailer ,the cost of the system was what you would pay for a good generator

I installed my system and I am amazed on how well it works

I have less than $2,000 in it I would truly recommend looking into going solar

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wow
by: Anonymous

to the person that was upset that the camper started his generator in the morning you're upset that he started his first and unless posted no generators then what's the problem and if the campground has a time limit on when you can and can't use it then im asking what's the problem

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Quieting Generators
by: Anonymous

We use a gas generator as required, when camping in the boonies. Our solution was to have the gen in the back of our Dodge Ram pickup, sitting on a dense rubber pad and running the gen with the back of the truck facing AWAY from the trailer. We found that a substantial amount of noise is from vibration and not the exhaust.

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Silent Running in the Field
by: L.A.West

YOU WANT TO HEAR = LOUD AS HELL = Survival Generators? Then look no farther than what our Military uses in the Field. Those things you could hear from five miles away. Plus, they're enormous pieces of equipment. The bigger the set up is, such as a TENT CITY - the more and bigger the units they use to power it. SOUND POLLUTION is of NO CONCERN to the US Forces in the Field.
Therefore, if power generator manufacturer's aren't developing ultra quiet, gasoline engine powered field generators for the Military - then you can pretty much count on, they aren't making them for civilian uses either.
The answer would be:
Portable solar generators...
Wind turbines...
or equipment that doesn't need to be powered by electricity such as vintage Coleman Camping Equipment ( powered by white-gas/paraffin oil )
The biggest issue that faces civilians when peace time camping, hunting, or exploring - is that they think they need to live like Bedouin Royalty with all of the modern conveniences they have at home, while in the national parks, back country, or state park camp sites.
When and if SHTF - living it up and NOT going without is out the window. That you can count on!

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Quieting generator
by: Anonymous

Be very careful, and certainly contact the generator manufacturer, before putting things that restrict the exhaust flow on any engine. Most especially the water bucket and hose technique. These engines are built to operate within a precisely designed intake and exhaust flow and, while most of us understand the consequences of restricting intake airflow, we overlook the negative effects of restricting the exhaust airflow. Do your homework diligently before implementing any modifications to the exhaust system.

Also, understand that much of the noise of a generator is coming from the parts and pieces banging around inside and outside of the internal combustion engine itself, and not exclusively from the exhaust pipe. The higher quality of design, craftsmanship and materials to reduce noise from both of these sources is what makes generators from Honda, Yamaha, Ryobi and other "quiet" device manufacturers quieter and more expensive.

I have nothing to do with any of these companies and this is just my 2 cents.

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Enjoy nature without ruining it for everyone else
by: Anonymous

Your camping!!!!!!! Everyone else is likely there to enjoy nature I can't think of anything worse than having to listen to somebody else's noisy generator , stay home if you can't live without modern conveniences . Cook over a fire. Use the outhouse. Walk to a tap to get your water. No tv or radio.
GO CAMPING!

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caution in suppressing loud noise from generator
by: Anonymous

a number of generators are air cooled and constructed of aluminum without proper air space surrounding them they can melt down. best to check with manufacture prior to enclosing them

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Quiet generator
by: Anonymous

i saw a pin on Pintrest where a car muffler was attached to a generator. They claim it is very quiet and cheap to do. Worth looking into.

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When you're NOT in a campground.
by: Anonymous

The writer of the previous comment observes that he/she has never seen anyone use a generator in a campground in over 20 years of camping.

Not everyone goes to campgrounds where there are hookups. Many state and national parks have campgrounds which will accommodate fairly large RVs -- but there are no hookups at all.

If your rig is self-contained, you don't need to pay $25-$75 a night for a campground at all. There are millions of acres of open public land where you can boondock, free or at minimal expense, usually for up to 14 days at a stretch. And for one-night stopovers, there are thousands of places that will allow you to park and sleep overnight in your RV. I believe that the best listing of these is at a paid website, www.OvernightRVParking.com. Costs $25/year to subscribe, but you can save more than that in one or two nights.

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Generators
by: Anonymous

Most campgrounds do not allow generators. We have been campers for 20+ years, and have yet to see anyone using one.

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Buy the right generator
by: Jim O'Briant

For those who are reading this with an eye toward purchasing a generator -- PLEASE just buy a quiet one, such as the Hondas. A couple of years back we had the misfortune of camping next to an RVer who had purchased a large but inexpensive generator designed for construction sites -- where noise is not an issue. He started this thing up at 6 AM to cook his breakfast, and ran it until 11:30 PM to watch the news on TV. A normally quiet camping spot became noisier than a truck stop, thanks to this inconsiderate RVer.


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