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Old 04-21-2021, 07:50 PM   #1
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Generator overnight

New to boondocking, but planning a trip out west this summer. Thinking about using some BLM's and some Walmarts, etc for overnight stays. I plan to let the generator run all night to power air conditioning units and my refrigerator (RV frig was replaced with samsung standard household 120v frig).

Any thoughts on this practice of leaving it run all night?
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:04 PM   #2
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That's what we do, shouldn't be a problem. I do check oil every day but never have to add.
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:30 PM   #3
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Providing that you have at least one carbon monoxide detector working inside you RV, let it run. You have paid for the convenience of air that can be run off a generator, use what you have all you want.
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Old 04-21-2021, 10:04 PM   #4
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I use our twin Yamahas for all night power. If the AC is not needed I just use one in Eco mode and it will run for 14 hours on less than 2 gallons of gas. Out in BLM I'll use a 15' extension cord as well as the trailers cord and you can not even hear the gens running. Never have used the onboard Onan overnight nor think I'd have the gas to do it.
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Old 04-21-2021, 11:56 PM   #5
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Four year full timer here. Many people boondock to get away from the noise and lights pollution that is present everywhere other than the few spots that can be found out in the wild. I would suggest being mindful of neighbors and try to position yourself and generator away from others as far as possible. Note that gen sounds do travel quite far so adding a baffle may helpful ensure you are a good neighbor
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Old 04-22-2021, 04:50 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback! Appreciate the insights.
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:26 AM   #7
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I try to stay away form people when I run mine. When new people pull in I tell them hey I'm running my generator. Most times they dont care. Sometimes they move a little farther away.
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Trek View Post
Note that gen sounds do travel quite far so adding a baffle may helpful ensure you are a good neighbor
With a built-in RV generator, is the bulk of the sound from the exhaust, or is it radiated from the engine block and heads? Would a Gen-Turi type exhaust extension make any difference since it's aimed straight up, and opens above the house? Just curious is all.
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:51 AM   #9
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The generic answer is of course you can--on board gensets are built to run. But as mentioned, there are also other considerations: 1-extended dry camping is often sought out by RVer for the silence and solitude; 2- on board gas or diesel is more "sustainable" than propane for gensets; vent stacks help defuse fumes but not noise. Our dry camping experience is limited to many years at Q-site, in the desert, in the winter, with a large group. Genset time is restricted out of respect for others, some solar helps, sleeping at night with minimal power is very doable. Except at higher latitudes or altitudes, dry camping in the summer is a whole different set of issues.
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:46 AM   #10
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Just carry a set of earplugs with you. They help if you sleep over or near generator location. Safe travels

Enjoy the journey
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Old 04-22-2021, 08:06 AM   #11
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Absolutely not. People don't want to hear your generator running all night, especially on BLM land where people go to get away from others (Quartzite excluded). Use fans, buy more batteries, park a mile away from others, but don't run your generator all night.
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Old 04-22-2021, 08:22 AM   #12
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Running a gen all night in a group situation is bad form, generally speaking. Not all BLM is solitude in the desert. You will often find groups of OHV enthusiasts that do run gens, lights and loud music at all hours. One of the worst nights I have spent camping was when I mistakenly parked in an OHV area. A herd of toy haulers parked next to me and the closest one had his generator running all night, with the exhaust pointing right at my bedroom window. Fortunately, he understood my request to point it another direction the next morning.
If you do run your gen at night, be certain the exhaust points away from you and your neighbors. If possible, orient the exhaust toward a bush, which will further muffle the noise, if only a little.
At Walmart it is bad form to pull out your portable gen, chairs, grill etc. Just park, sleep, shop in the morning and then hit the road.
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:27 AM   #13
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For us, the whole point of boondocking is silence and darkness and privacy. Boondocking usually means that we have to put up with a longer drive each day to trailheads, as compared with campgrounds (which are more conveniently located but not as quiet).

I think that a lot of boondockers are in agreement with our priorities.

Having said that, it is a free country -- if you want to run your generator all night, no one has the right to tell you not to do so. You will suffer no ill effects from our silent unhappiness, and you will never know what we are thinking.

We have had to move our campsite a few times over the last 16 years of camping, in order to escape generator noise.

If there is any way you can afford a Honda, please consider that option. Although it is "only ten decibels quieter" than a cheap generator, that is (I think) twice as quiet.

There is one good excuse for overnight generator use -- a CPAP. Folks with sleep apnea have to have electricity. And campgrounds ban generator use after 10 pm, so CPAPers often have to boondock.

Finally, if you are camping in 100 degree heat, everyone around you will be running generators, so no harm done!!
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Old 04-22-2021, 12:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
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For us, the whole point of boondocking is silence and darkness and privacy. Boondocking usually means that we have to put up with a longer drive each day to trailheads, as compared with campgrounds (which are more conveniently located but not as quiet).

I think that a lot of boondockers are in agreement with our priorities.
Agreed.

It just comes down to common courtesy and awareness. If you see someone parked by himself don't park by him. He, most likely, wants privacy and/or quiet.

Likewise, if you see a group all together, don't expect quiet. Go somewhere else. Let them do their thing and you do yours.
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