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Old 11-09-2014, 07:24 PM   #15
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When I boon dock I use 2 generators as I see fit. During the day I use the champion 4k I keep as a back up and at night I use my onan. Both need to be used but not that much, maybe 1-2 hours a day total just to top off the batteries while cooking. If other people show up and get close I just use the onan to be polite.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:32 PM   #16
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When I boon dock I use 2 generators as I see fit. During the day I use the champion 4k I keep as a back up and at night I use my onan. Both need to be used but not that much, maybe 1-2 hours a day total just to top off the batteries while cooking. If other people show up and get close I just use the onan to be polite.
And that's the root of using a generator, in fact it's a good rule of life.

Be polite, if you think your behavior may impinge on someone then maybe that behavior needs to be rethought a little. I'm not saying don't do it or you're a jerk, but sometimes an adjustment is all that's necessary.

As I said, I've got the high dollar Honda gensets (Three, in fact. Gotta downsize.) that are so quiet I can sit on the 4500 and hold a conversation. But, I'm still careful about where the exhaust is pointed as that's the only noise you can hear, also when I run it. Late morning is my preferred time, I'll fire it in the evening to use the microwave but when that's coming I'll eat early because I don't want to disturb anyone during dinner or during the evening.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:04 AM   #17
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So what's your take? Is it unreasonable to ask that someone with a huge jobsite generator turn it off or move it? Share an outlet on your generator to power their TV? Or do you grin and bear it, while turning up your music?

So how would you handle it?
Camp at campgrounds that prohibit generators.

For example, Huntsville State Park (Huntsville, TX) prohibits generators. I found out the hard way when I made an on-line reservation for weekend camping this summer and found no sites available with hook-ups. So I made a reservation in the no services (tent) camping area planning to use my Champion 3100W generator to run the air conditioner. It wasn't until I arrived at the registration office that I was informed that the use of generators was prohibited at Huntsville State Park. No signs, nothing on their website, nothing in their campground rules and regulations. Just a verbal notice at check in. I survived an unpleasant night of 85 degrees and no cooling breeze (and no DC powered fans).

It was interesting to note that several of the tent campers had moved out of their tents that night and were "camping" in their cars or trucks with the engine idling and the vehicle air conditioner running.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:12 AM   #18
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We have installed six or so 12 V recepticles about the bed room and main cabin. The 12 V fans use only about 0.2 amps and the moving air does make a real difference in the low humidity west.
Reed and Elaine
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:50 AM   #19
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planning to use my Champion 3100W generator to run the air conditioner. It wasn't until I arrived at the registration office that I was informed that the use of generators was prohibited
no cooling breeze (and no DC powered fans).
It was interesting to note that several of the tent campers had moved out of their tents that night and were "camping" in their cars or trucks with the engine idling and the vehicle air conditioner running.
SailorDon
A Champion 3100W generator running is far more irritating to others than a few cars or trucks running.

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We have installed six or so 12 V recepticles about the bed room and main cabin. The 12 V fans use only about 0.2 amps and the moving air does make a real difference in the low humidity west.
Reed and Elaine
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That is a great solution.... and IMO one that all thoughtful campers use.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:14 PM   #20
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Mel

We have two recepticles above the lounge chairs at the back and two above our bed. They are just tied into the lights (10 amp circuits). The lights are now all LED so we are only drawing 0.1 amps when the lights are on. We use these recepticles for the fans (we move them to where we need them), charging IPhones, GPS, cameras etc. We have two more under the cabinet for Tire Pressure Monitoring System relay antenna and whatever else we might need. Have two more in the basement for lights or water pump/whatever.

We had a Champion once and it worked great but noisy, but only 5 dB more than equivalent Honda. All we now have is a Honda 1 kW which we have never used (except to run to make sure it still works) as we are basically solar autonomous.

Our son installed a 1.5 kW battery charger so that we do not have to use the original 50 kW cable (heavy) and are getting rid of the 30 kW cable since we do not use them. Plan to go to Yucatan for 3rd time or Baja and the power down there is really dirty; jumps from 85 to 145 V and there goes you electronics. The batteries do not care. A German couple had all their electronics fried on the beach near us in Yucatan. Mexican electricians are excellent and things were eventually fixed.

Reed and Elaine
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:44 PM   #21
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My RV is modified to feed a pair of 30 amp TT's if needed off my Onan 5500. And I've done it too on occasions (2 of them so far)

one was a case of a Contractor's Generator,, owner was bragging how quiet it was (I think he was in SERIOUS need of hearing aids)

Other case was a failed generator and thankfully the owners of that rig had parked next to the only WORKING TT-30 outlets on the desert.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:16 PM   #22
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Delighted that you were able to help others with your Onan 5500. We had a 2.5 kW propane Onan and it was quiet. It was destroyed in our wreck near Puebla, Mexico 18 months ago. Never heard of two 30 amp outlets, you are prepared.

We were boondocking in western NM desert (post #4 in this thread taken from where we found a number of Indian corn grinding pits) and our friends' batteries were down a bit from running their forced air heater. So we just ran an extension cord from our basement 110 AC outlet to their vehicle and charged their battery bank from our solar (1420 W) several times. We certainly could not feed a pair of 30 amp TTs. It is a question of economy of scale. We all do what we enjoy
Reed and Elaine
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:53 PM   #23
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We just purchased a larger rv that has a res. refrigerator. Being a nature lover, I am going to make every effort to live peacefully in the wild and seriously consider solar energy. To look for non generator use campsites is a great answer to my dislikes for noise in the wild.

I would think people who drive through heavy, loud traffic, leaving loud lawn mowers and construction noise behind for a peaceful nature setting would care about being noise makers. Why bother to drive so many miles to seek natural beautiful settings just to ruin the reason you drove there?

There's got to be a better way to solve this other than just blowing people off and spreading noise everywhere. I hope I am not getting discouraged before we even begin our journeys in motor homing! The whole idea is getting away from it all!
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:19 PM   #24
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This is the camping spot photographed from an old Indian cave camp. It is BLM land and costs nothing. We spent a week there with friends and ran a 15 amp cable over to them at this spot when their batteries ran low. We were pulling in perhaps 800 W (70 amps) at mid-day (March or early April time frame) and their battery bank was charged in a few hours. Of course 800 W into controller means a lot less once it is through the inverter and then across 60' of extension cord.

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Old 11-14-2014, 12:49 PM   #25
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I keep looking for the pro's and con's of the expensive onboard Onan generator vs the cheaper outside Honda, or off brand portable generator. In every search I find two important topics...Noise and exhaust fumes.

Why is it that my 8 cylinder Mustang runs so quiet, that I have to walk to the front and bend down to listen to see if the engines running?...A good muffler system.

Why is it that dozens of 18 wheelers can park next to each other and never be bothered by exhaust fumes?...Tall exhaust stacks.

With this in mind I wonder if I can rig a portable generator with a better muffler and a few 4 foot exhaust pipes put together to create a stand up exhaust stack. Something that can be assembled and disassembled easily at any campsite?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Old 11-14-2014, 01:54 PM   #26
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I keep looking for the pro's and con's of the expensive onboard Onan generator vs the cheaper outside Honda, or off brand portable generator. In every search I find two important topics...Noise and exhaust fumes.
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
LakotaWolf
One reason that "off brand", (and most other portable generators), are "noisy" is because most run at 3600 RPM...(Onans run at 1800).
I don't know if/how rpms effect exhaust fumes, but I do know that quiet generators make good neighbors.... (and that "exhaust stacks" ugly up the looks of motor homes).
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:37 PM   #27
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I don't like the noise of any generator, Honda, Onan or Construction units. Some are not bothered at all by them. Everyone has a different threshold. If you are camping in a area where generator use is allowed you have no right to make them turn it off. My only suggestion is to camp in areas that do not allow generators or find a place where no one can camp by you.
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Old 11-14-2014, 03:17 PM   #28
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With this in mind I wonder if I can rig a portable generator with a better muffler and a few 4 foot exhaust pipes put together to create a stand up exhaust stack. Something that can be assembled and disassembled easily at any campsite?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
It's possible, but not entirely practical as a sound deadener. When you run the quiet Hondas without the access doors they're actually reasonably loud. Besides exhaust generators make a lot of mechanical noise too. Cooling fans, engine noise, etc.

Now a bigger muffler would help, and I'm sketching out a genturi type arrangement that will be portable and direct the exhaust noise and fumes up.

So you're on the right track but it's not entirely the cure.
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