Dry Camping with a Generator

tombiasi

Super Active Member
Sep 1, 2012
6,781
Northwestern New Jersey
Plus the air density changes and wind speeds as well as obsticles and airplanes as well
As well as cars driving and parents yelling at kids and each other.
To many variables to give a clear estimate on the noise of a generator...lol
Variables would make it very difficult, if not impossible, to calculate the dB at the listener. The best way would be to take average measurements at the listener.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
Glad it all worked well with the exception of the AC unit. And once that’s replaced, things will become more enjoyable. Each time gets easier and better. Soon, You’re going to be an expert.

Can’t wait to hear about the new AC install.

Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
 

nhcaveman

Barrington, NH
Mar 25, 2009
1,335
New Hampshire
We recently camped in the national forest, I used my very quiet Champion Dual Fuel Inverter generator less then one hour all weekend, The next site down 30-40 feet away the guy ran his quiet Honda twice a day and it was fine. But there was another site about 200 feet away who kept running theirs off and on through the day and it was extremely loud and annoying. People don'y realize just what a difference it is between Inverter and open cage generators. Don't do it, don't be that guy.
 

vader33

Member
Sep 10, 2015
40
Denver, CO
vader33
854776_darth_512x512.png
, sounds like it was a successful weekend! Do you have an idea of why your AC died? Depending on how electronically dependent it was the generator might have been the cause. With some generators, the power it produces is very spiky with surges and dips and this wreaks havoc on circuits, versus a clean wave Inverter. So in hindsight, I would be careful in the future about attaching any electronics to it.
That's exactly why the AC kept quitting. We ran fans off the Inverter for the bulk of the trip. The generator was good enough to charge the batteries and that's all I could ask for.
 

Blackripley

Active Member
Jul 21, 2018
218
Goleta Ca
That's exactly why the AC kept quitting. We ran fans off the Inverter for the bulk of the trip. The generator was good enough to charge the batteries and that's all I could ask for.


Have you come up with a solution for the next trip yet? For us, each trip only gets better and easier. Did you find that using the fans negated the need for the AC, enough that you could skip it next time? Or are you looking for a more basic AC or upgraded the Gen?
 

A-Ranger12

Active Member
Feb 25, 2020
264
Western NY
Running a generator can get contentious. But if it's within generator hours, nothing to do except bear it. I've been to campsites that allow generator use any time outside quiet hours. Some folks abuse the daylights out of that, firing up their 8 kW construction generators in the morning and not shutting down until yelled at. Made the folks with Inverter generators into saints by comparison.

Last trip we ran our little Inverter genny about 6-7 hours for the A/C. It was quite hot for northern NY on that trip. I aimed the generator exhaust away from the closest neighbors. Worked out fine, since we weren't the only ones running small Inverter generators.
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
Last trip we ran our little Inverter genny about 6-7 hours for the A/C. It was quite hot for northern NY on that trip. I aimed the generator exhaust away from the closest neighbors. Worked out fine, since we weren't the only ones running small Inverter generators.

I've camped near people with the Honda 3000's... they are so quiet the people's AC that it was powering was louder than the generator was. I have no problem with that.
 

vader33

Member
Sep 10, 2015
40
Denver, CO
Have you come up with a solution for the next trip yet? For us, each trip only gets better and easier. Did you find that using the fans negated the need for the AC, enough that you could skip it next time? Or are you looking for a more basic AC or upgraded the Gen?

Right now, the solution is no dry camping or boondocking until I can save up some shekels for the 3.5kW Inverter generator from Harbor Freight. We'll still bring the portable AC with us, but we'll be camping at sites that have at least a 30A connection. Not only was my generator too loud and the power was garbage, it's too damn heavy to lug around.
 

vader33

Member
Sep 10, 2015
40
Denver, CO
We recently camped in the national forest, I used my very quiet Champion Dual Fuel Inverter generator less then one hour all weekend, The next site down 30-40 feet away the guy ran his quiet Honda twice a day and it was fine. But there was another site about 200 feet away who kept running theirs off and on through the day and it was extremely loud and annoying. People don'y realize just what a difference it is between Inverter and open cage generators. Don't do it, don't be that guy.
I feel I was incredibly lucky on this trip. We joined a group of friends in a loop that was far away from the rest of the campground, and everyone was cool with the gen running the couple times I fired it up. Knowing what I know now, I definitely agree that the Inverter/gen is the way to go. Just need to work some OT and save some clams up to buy one.
 

Sneezer

Super Active Member
Aug 8, 2015
3,081
DFW, TX
I've camped near people with the Honda 3000's... they are so quiet the people's AC that it was powering was louder than the generator was. I have no problem with that.

I have noticed that as well. The first time or two out I felt self conscious as my A/C is loud, like every other RV A/C but the 30 amp sites I use are often 50/50 with tent campers. Felt bad running the A/C when there was a tent in the next site. However, I got over it pretty quick - it is a 30 amp site for a reason, and during the summer a bunch carry milk crates and window units for their tents, so it is all the same. No way would an Inverter genny be any louder than my roof A/C - they have gotten really quiet lately. If I keep the pup I might even consider a genny myself and try some more remote camping.
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
I have noticed that as well. The first time or two out I felt self conscious as my A/C is loud, like every other RV A/C but the 30 amp sites I use are often 50/50 with tent campers. Felt bad running the A/C when there was a tent in the next site. However, I got over it pretty quick - it is a 30 amp site for a reason, and during the summer a bunch carry milk crates and window units for their tents, so it is all the same. No way would an Inverter genny be any louder than my roof A/C - they have gotten really quiet lately. If I keep the pup I might even consider a genny myself and try some more remote camping.

Although ideally I'd love silence and just the sounds of nature while I sleep, AC is "white noise" and isn't going to keep me from sleeping or particularly annoy me.
 

firepit

Super Active Member
Feb 26, 2020
2,820
Anymore unless your camping remote noise is part of the deal.
Packed campgrounds are noisy places during peak season.
Thats why i like late fall and mid week camping.
If schools open this yr i suspect camping will slow down with school activities and such.
 

A-Ranger12

Active Member
Feb 25, 2020
264
Western NY
I just got back from a weekend trip. Didn't need the generator. Just the rooftop fan. Nobody was running a generator at the campground. The folks who wanted air conditioning had reserved electric sites. Amazing.
 
Sep 4, 2016
83
Hey folks, I'd like your input on this...maybe help me from being a jerk on my first outing this weekend. My wife and I are taking our pup out on our first trip this weekend to a park with no hookups. I'm bringing my generator along, but it's not a super-quiet Inverter/generator. I got this behemoth for free as I don't have $800-$1000 to spend on the quiet ones. We don't plan on running it much, but daytime highs are expected to be 100+, so maybe just a few hours during the day so I can run the AC when the kid is napping. Under load it pulls about 70dB and I plan on keeping it about 50-100 feet away as it'll be locked to the hitch on the Explorer.

I know the campground will be busy and I really don't want to be "that guy." Would you agree that running during the day is best? I have an Inverter so I can run a couple fans at night, where the temps are going to be in the 70s. Help a noob out! Thanks!
I have a Honda Inverter generator that is not loud like cheap generators. But it still makes noise so I sparingly use it. I feel that the rules need to be tightened up so that noisy generators are not allowed within 1,000' of any other campers. We left a campsite last summer because of a camper coming in and squatting in a reserved campsite about 200' away and running their loud generator continuously all day likely so the kids could play computer games. There was no campground host as was expected and nobody to complain to. After a day of this the following Saturday morning we abandoned our site to find somewhere else to go and take our chances giving up one night's pre-paid fee. We found a better campsite a few hours drive away where there were no rude nearby campers.

Running a loud generator or music that can be heard by neighbors is not respectful of the neighbor's desire to enjoy a rejuvinating camping experience.

It is nice that you are asking for the opinions of others. Today Sams' Clubs has a quality 2200 watt Inverter generator by Westinghouse on sale for $319 for a week online. This is a one-week sale! It is marked down $220 for one week.

https://www.samsclub.com/p/westingh...fdWSKjtF3gTg0vWVbYfNB_9nD9cs7DlwDbuBjJev7hQcA
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,914
Southern California
I have a three stories about generator use. When I was in Vietnam in 1966, our compound at Qui Nhon had a rather large Diesel generator that ran 24 hours per day. It did not take long to get use to the noise. After a few days I didn't even notice it any longer. Now, all these years later, there are two sounds that will instantly take me back in time to my days as a kid in Vietnam. One is the sound of a Huey helicopters in flight, and the other is the sound of a generator. I have grown fond of both.

As for camping with a generator. I have one of those noisy "Cheap" generators. But I will only use it at boondocking sites when the temperature is very hot. I was at a public campground last year when the temperature during the day reached 100 degrees. There were no electrical hook-up at the site and there was only three other campers there. I made it a point to pick a spot at the far end of the campground so as not to bother anyone else. When it is that hot, you have to expect to hear a generator or two somewhere in the area. I ran the gen from about 1 p.m. to about 6 p.m. It was just too hot to do anything outside. I was doing computer work editing videos inside. On the third day, a motor home pulled in only about 150 feet from me. Sure enough, he fired up his generator earlier in the morning that I did. I could hear the gen running, but it did not bother me at all. I just don't get unset about such trivial things.

And finally, last March I went camping with my two sons. One has a brand new camping trailer. He has not had time to install Solar yet. He also has my old "Cheap" generator that I gave to him. He put the gen about 50 feet away from us and behind a big tree. We were up there for 7 days. When his batteries got really low, he fired up the gen to charge them up again. We could barely hear it running and it didn't bother me at all. If you are going to use a gen, you have to use some common sense and be away of your surroundings. I would never run my generator if there were other campers close buy. If for some reason I had to run it, I would go ask them if they would mind. If they did, I wouldn't. And I would understand.
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
Just got back from Elkmont Campground in GSMNP. We were in one of the generator-allowed loops as I wanted the ability to recharge our batteries if necessary (as it turned out, we did OK with our solar setup, even though we had a mostly shaded site, so our Inverter generator never left our TV).

There was one camper there a couple nights that brought a construction generator. Even though it was across the loop, it drowned out all nature sounds (the river gurgling was amazing the rest of the time). It got especially annoying when he ran it 30 minutes past the generator hours. I'm not the type to confront people about such things but I was sure getting ready to.

The handful of other generators there were inverters and very quiet and I had no problem with them. IMHO non-Inverter generators have no place in a campground.
 




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