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Old 08-31-2009, 12:19 PM   #1
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Location: Calgary, Alberta
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Generators - love 'em or hate 'em?

I was considering purchasing one of the quieter Honda's until we ended up camped beside one last weekend. After 16 hours straight, the Honda's quiet little purr was becoming extremely annoying. I'm happy that the redneck rodeo in the site next to us was able to keep their beer cold, their music playing, and their curling irons plugged in, but they were totally harshing my nature buzz.

What's an acceptable generator protocol?

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Old 08-31-2009, 03:10 PM   #2
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Location: Columbia Falls, MT
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I personally feel that generators should be an "as needed" item, and kept to a minimum at respectable hours. To me, this means to recharge the batteries, possibly AC (in hotter climates) for short durations. As far as the hours I like the national parks take on this, 7-9am, 12-2pm & 5-7pm. Now that doesn't mean just because you can, do...I say use only as needed.

Now this is my personal take on "camping", so take it with a grain of salt. If you wanted to watch movies in surround sound with a subwoofer...go home or to the movies. If the kids "need" to watch movies or play games they are missing out on camping...again go home. Microwave? What ever happened to the campfire? We are actually considering removing ours for more cupboard space. Help them fill their days with the things camping is all about...skipping rocks, campfires, wildlife, hiking, fishing, etc. This is why we don't have a TV in our camper...again to each their own, and I try not to judge or get annoyed by others that don't see it the way I do.

I recently purchased a generator to be able to get my batteries a pick me up this fall when we plan to take the camper hunting. I felt it was necessary since I will be using heated tanks for fresh, black & gray tanks, plus heat and lights. Again, I only plan to use when I need to. I'll know better after this fall, just what that is, I hope not to freeze up here in MT.

This is why if at all possible when considering somewhere to go we stay away from areas that we know are considered "generator cities", so we can enjoy what I consider camping. We almost exclusively boondock so power management is priority one, and we can go for 4-5 days pretty easy on our (2) 12v batteries without skimping much at all, including listening to the stereo (at a reasonable level as not to disturb our neighbors). I have recently added some small solar panels (larger in the future) to be able to stretch things even farther.

So in response to your's a love/hate thing...I think?! Hopefully I'm not hypocritical in my answer.

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Old 08-31-2009, 05:46 PM   #3
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We tend to camp at the National Parks and they have rules about generator use. I know the Grand Canyon allows generators 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours at night. We have reduced our usage of the generator to about 2 hours or less in the evening to top off the batteries. We have change some lighting to LED and removed one bulb of the two bulb fixtures, they're too bright anyway. I have a switch to turn power off to the tv and stereo to remove the amp draw when when they are turned off.

When boondocking, the rule is no AC. Generators are fine as long as they are used only as needed. We stopped at a casino in Oklahoma and were parked next to an older Class A who ran their generator all night.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:48 PM   #4
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I agree to a generator as an as needed item. I hated the idea of hauling smelly gas around with me, so I went the Propane route and LOVE IT! I researched them for many months and found tons of conversion kits and places to do conversion on gas models. I decided on this one because it was not a conversion, made as a propane generator, good price, and I got it within 1 week. Been using it for 3 years and has never failed me. Does good on fuel consumption too.

Also great to have when the power goes out at home, plug it into the 100# tank from my shop, fire her up, plug it into the fire place blower, tv and fridge.... drew down about 1/3 tank in 18+ hrs
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:37 AM   #5
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Location: Louisville, KY
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Some folks can't live without them. Some hate them anytime.
I'm with you. They should only be used when necessary and
by all means follow the camp ground rules.
We camped in Shenandoah National park this past June.
No hookups. We arrived on Saturday evening and managed to
get by until Wednesday with no generator.
After that I ran mine an hour a day in the afternoon "generator
OK" time slot.
The guy next to me ran his every minute the rules would allow.

I dislike people who think I need to listen to their music (no matter
what it is) just as much as generators that run all the time.
Dan & Rita D
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:05 AM   #6
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Because we also camp a lot in the national parks where there are rules. The only place we have camped that we heard a generator run all night was in a casino parking lot in Oklahoma. Where are all these people camping where they are allowed to run the generator 16+ hours?
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