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Old 09-15-2019, 09:46 AM   #1
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Boondocking: Run Generator Overnight?

We've had our Itasca Sunstar 31KE (2016) for a year now, but so far have only stayed at spots with hookups.

We are about to spend 3 nights boondocking. It will be 88 during the day down to 72 at night.

DW says she has to have the a/c on to sleep. Since the gen is under the back corner of our bedroom, I'm concerned about dying of CO poisoning even though we have an alarm in the center of the RV. I don't mind running the generator for a few hours to cool things down, but doubt that would last all night.

Additionally, there will be about a dozen other campers in our vicinity - everything from tents to other Class A's. I'm betting none of them want to hear a generator at 2 AM.

So I was just wondering: how do y'all handle this situation?

- Carl

2016 Sunstar 31KE
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:55 AM   #2
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If "boondocking" means there are no other rigs around you, you could run it all night. If there are other rigs camped within earshot, it would be rude to run it all night. As far as CO2 is concerned, your exhaust pipe should push out the gas far enough from the sleeping quarters so that it wouldn't be a problem. However, I wouldn't leave any windows open on that side of the rig. But I assume you are doing that anyway because you will have the air conditioning on.

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Old 09-15-2019, 09:56 AM   #3
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You want us to say yea or nay when we know nothing about the condition and prior maintenance of your generator?

Let's say you decide that everything will be ok. What is the price if you are wrong?
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:58 AM   #4
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Quiet hours start around 11pm. Fans from then till around 7AM. Run your inverter or buy a couple battery operated fans.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:00 AM   #5
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I have with 2 different MHs and am still alive

If the exhaust pipe is good and pointed away, the fumes are mixed with lots of air and become harmless.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:01 AM   #6
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I made my version of genturi that sends exhaust up over roof . I used thin wall 3 inch pvc and an electric emt elbow that fits over genny exhaust.Mine is up front so I bungee it to the rear view mirror.I would not run overnight wlthout some sort of extension to reroute the exhaust.You only wake up dead once.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:06 AM   #7
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As long as the RV is properly sealed and you don't open the windows directly above the exhaust you'll be fine.
Do you worry about dying of CO poisoning when stuck in traffic with hundreds of other cars all running their engines around you? (well, you do now... ).
The noise for your fellow campers, or if there is a tent camper in line with the exhaust, is more or a worry as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sandy Swede View Post
You want us to say yea or nay when we know nothing about the condition and prior maintenance of your generator?

Let's say you decide that everything will be ok. What is the price if you are wrong?

Well, I'm really looking for ammunition to say "no" to her request. *I* don't want to run it overnight! Especially since it's located under MY side of the bed.

I like the comment above about quiet hours and running the fan after that. I love her, but she has no knowledge of fluid dynamics and the ability of breezes to trap the exhaust, etc.

And, even if it were a brand new generator, who's to say the exhaust clamps etc were all installed correctly from the factory? As it is, it has 54 hours total time on it; oil was changed at 50. I can not *see* any degradation of the exhaust etc, but I also know that means nothing.
- Carl

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Old 09-15-2019, 10:22 AM   #9
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Most campgrounds have a no generators after 7 PM rule. If there are other campers around someone will be knocking at your door. Boondocking alone you can get away with it, but unhappy campers WILL come knocking if you aren't alone. Tell her that she has to answer the door.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:31 AM   #10
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I would be less worried about CO poisoning and more concerned with being "that guy". Generators running during quiet hours are pretty obnoxious.

We use fans, in most cases just one. I place a 20" box fan in the living room blowing out an open screened window. My wife opens the window closest to her. The breeze passes over us and cools us down quite well. We can easily be comfortable with the outside temps at 72f. The breeze has a nice cooling effect. We usually just keep the box fan on the lowest setting so it doesn't dry out our eyes or anything.

You can also use your MaxxAir ceiling fan to accomplish the same thing. I prefer the box fan because it's quieter and cheap to replace if it fails.

We also have a 12" dc powered box fan that we use in the same way.

Lots of ways to stay cool at night without running the AC.
Tom and Sherry W.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:39 PM   #11
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I assume you are dry camping in a campground rather than real boondocking since you mention others around you. First, check quiet hours. If the campground has them, the subject is closed - no generator. If the campground doesn’t have quiet hours (have been to only a handful without them), then tell your wife it is beyond rude to run a generator late while tenters are around. Run a fan blowing at her or just above her head if needed. Buy a white noise machine. But unless you are in the infield of a NASCAR race and it is 90 degrees at 10:00, don’t run the generator at night.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:49 PM   #12
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We use a white noise app on a phone but the last time we camped most ran there generators all night long and I slept perfect.

There is not quiet time everywhere.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:50 PM   #13
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Generator hours vary...some stop at 7PM while others are 10PM. Hopefully it’s 10PM as it’s usually cool enough that fans will keep her cool.
This post is my opinion, worth what you paid for it.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:58 PM   #14
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Your coach should have a CO detector, run the generator

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boondocking, generator

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