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Old 01-20-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
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It's SO loud!

The onboard generator. We used it for a short time twice on our Utah trip and I hated to have it on for those few minutes because of noise pollution. It is loud inside but I'm more concerned with our neighbors having to listen to the roar. Its not their choice to turn it on so a couple of mornings I heated water on the stove & poured it through the coffee maker rather than turn the gen on. (gotta add a perculator to the inventory) Two mornings, it was just COLD so we caved and had the gen on to run the furnace for little bit.

Do the generator mufflers help much? Are there other ways to deaden the sound?
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:34 PM   #2
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If you have the right battery set up the generator is the last resort.
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourn3833 View Post
If you have the right battery set up the generator is the last resort.
As far as we know, there are 2 batts...one for the house & one for the motor but they're hooked together someway. We can charge both from the gen if needed.

What is the right set up?
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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You have discovered one of the main reasons I frown on built in generators. LOL. besides the noise they also cost a fortune compared to portable units. Your batteries should have sufficient power to run the furnace for several hours and still not be dead. If they can't it is time to invest in new batteries. Also look up the Coleman drip coffee maker. It is stove top so no need to electricity. Bit slow but it does work and you still have hot coffee.
You also might want to spend some time reading the 12 volt side of life. It is a rather long and detailed explanation of how to survive on very little power.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:03 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info! We probably won't spend but a couple of nights at a time w/o electricity but cringe at the thought of using the gen.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:06 PM   #6
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I worked for a number of years in Boeing's group that did VIP/Head-of-State airplanes. I had a lot of exposure to sound deadening and worked with some real experts. We managed to get a room in the front section of a 747 so quiet that the customer complained about the noise from the cooling fans in the entertainment center.

There are two sources of noise from a generator. The most obvious is exhaust noise, but often the more significant offender is vibration being transmitted into the RV structure.

The typical generator in an RV is bolted rigidly to the floor of its compartment. The energy in its vibrations is transmitted directly to that floor and indirectly to the other panels of the compartment. These panels then work like a big drum, amplifying the sound.

The most significant thing you can do, and it's not really that difficult, is to put the generator on flexible, anti-vibration mounts. You could build a box round it, or even just a shelf under it, slightly smaller than the compartment it's in and then mount the box or shelf to the compartment on flexible mounts. These could be relatively simple rubber doughnuts or more complex isolators made from woven stainless steel. It could be as simple as hanging the generator's new box on a few bungee cords from the roof of its compartment.

Then you need to put a flexible joint on its exhaust system, for two reasons. With a rigid connection, there's still a path for vibrations to reach the RV's structure. It would probably also be a good idea to have the first couple of feet of the exhaust pipe on flexible mounts. The movement of the generator on its mounts would introduce potential for a cracked exhaust pipe because the generator can move and the pipe can't.

Having done all that, the next part of the solution is to get (or build yourself the equivalent of) a "Genturi" roof-level exhaust system, for use when you're in camp. This system gets the noise (and exhaust gases) up to roof level, a lot further away then just under the rig. It's respectful of your neighbors too!

Severl Genturi installations I've seen use those big double-ended rubber sucker handles that people in the glass business use for moving sheets of glass around They're much better for your RV's ability not to leak than drilling holes in the outside wall for mounting brackets.

A final thought, but a much more expensive solution, is to replace your existing generator with one like the Honda series, which are renowned for their quiet operation.

Our GT325 has a 5.5 KVA Onan generator in the very aft-most, driver's side cargo bay. It's noisy when you're in the bedroom, only about 2 feet away, but acceptable if you're elsewhere in the rig. I haven't given much time to looking at a mounting system to make it quieter. Other camper's stereo and outside TV set-ups are a lot more annoying than my generator.

Our main use of the generator is when we're somewhere really hot and sticky. Our MH has dual a/c, but has only a 30-Amp electrical system. If we want to run both a/c units, the generator is the only way we can.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:12 PM   #7
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A friend of mine tried quieting down his nephew's generator (Don't remember what kind), but after installing a new muffler, most of the noise was mechanical. Wayne
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:03 AM   #8
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possible reduce of noise by 20 to 35% ??

if we do some study regarding
a more muted type of muffler
and some more study regarding
some good sound proffing
so as to be added inside compartment
just a guess here
possible reduce of noise by 20 to 35%
MM
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Old 01-21-2012, 01:50 PM   #9
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:02 PM   #10
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The anti-vibration mounts and some additional sound deadening insulation worked wonders for me on my previous unit. It was an Onan. It was very tolerable after I did the mods, both inside and out.
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