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Old 11-12-2016, 08:57 AM   #1
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Why run your generator?

While boondocking, we've often had the experience of finding a quiet spot somewhere, away from other campers and settle in for the night. Then someone parks nearby and, 5 minutes later, starts their generator.

I can totally understand starting it for running the microwave, but that would only be 2-5 minutes. But it appears some people believe that the only way to boondock is to park, close the curtains and then run the generator for HOURS.

If I could understand why that's done, it would be a lot easier to cope with the noise. I asked one trucker (who parked 20 ft from the side of our rig) why he ran his motor all night, and he said it was for a/c for his CPAP machine. That was understandable (but not why he didn't just get an inverter).

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-12-2016, 09:03 AM   #2
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Run generator.......

THAT would be to provide AC Power.
AC Power not available from shore power
AC Power for whatever one chooses to use AC Power for.....Medical equipment, recharging batteries, A/C Unit, TV etc.

Ain't it grand that we not only have these 'conveniences' but live in a country where we can still make personal choices.

WHY....because they want to----for whatever reason.

Your needs/habits may be different BUT they are still YOURS
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Old 11-12-2016, 12:15 PM   #3
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Old-biscuit: Thanks for the very prompt reply.

I sense either sarcasm or indifference to my need to know (maybe it's just me).
Yes, I know it's a free country.
Yes, I know one needs to run the generator to run an air conditioner.
Yes, I know TV's need a/c (or DC) to run
Yes, I know batteries need a/c-provided dc to charge.

The problem I have (and yes, it's MY problem) is having the peace disrupted by generators running for no apparent reason. Not just once in a blue moon, but often enough for me to post my question.

Like the RV running the genny for 2+ hours on a cool morning, or someone waking up and, first thing, pulling the cord on a stand-alone construction generator and letting it run for 3-4 hours. Daily.

Most RV TV's run on DC (JMHO), and most people don't want/need air conditioning when its in the low 60's. Most coach batteries charge while driving.

You are fortunate that you apparently aren't bothered by behaviors that are totally not-understandable to you. Unfortunately, for me, I like to understand things, and this is why I posted.

Thanks again for the prompt response.
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Old 11-12-2016, 12:52 PM   #4
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It's lifestyle. If you like to watch TV at night, etc. I bought a DP. It has a diesel Genny. Why not use it? We only boondock or dry camp 40 nights a year. When boondock out in desert, no one is closer than 200 feet. I run it all night. I have a oxygen concentrator that sucks 400 watts, a residential fridge. Run Genny all night. I have to. I have a inverter, but the battery bank I would need to keep my necessary stuff going would be unreasonable. Most new TVs aren't DC.
IF you can hear my quite diesel running, you are parked too close.
I wake up just because the wind blows too hard, it's part of the lifestyle. Tent camping in the middle of nowhere is the only way to escape the noise.
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Old 11-12-2016, 01:21 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, for me, I like to understand things, and this is why I posted.
OK, got it, you want to understand why some folks are running a generator. Unless you are willing to ask each person why, I am not sure you will have peace of mind.

Except, if you accept this reason for all folks: Because they think they need to run the generator.

That should cover it.
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Old 11-12-2016, 03:58 PM   #6
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So here's some reasons you may not have considered.

Their SAT TV, DVR, and big screen TV are not 12VDC.
They never had the skill or desire to add an inverter.
They have an inverter, but it has died...and they MUST watch THAT BIG GAME!
They have an all electric coach and are using the heat-pump in the AirCon to warm the RV (trying to save Diesel in the Aquahot).
Their RV has deep insulation and they have never realized the generator bothers anyone.
They do not want to let dust inside, so keep the RV closed to the natural breeze.
They really like the constant comforting hum of the machine.
They don't even go outside too much.

We have found these situations are real...but the most common reason for chronic generator users is they have a different idea about what boondocking means. Unfortunately, it is too common with the Toy Hauler crowd (but not always, like us).

And finally...they are there because it is free - not because it is the wilderness.
As a funny man once wrote: An RV'er can be a person who spends six digits to buy the coach, then spends everyday looking for a free place to stay.

The only way to escape this is to move...that is your right
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Old 11-12-2016, 04:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tanksalotct View Post

Like the RV running the genny for 2+ hours on a cool morning, or someone waking up and, first thing, pulling the cord on a stand-alone construction generator and letting it run for 3-4 hours. Daily.

We have a 2800 watt inverter and 8 batteries, also have residential fridge. I start it up in the morning to make coffee and breakfast, maybe to warm up the coach. We let it run for a least 2 hours to recharge batteries. Also the worst thing you can do for your generator is to start it up and just use it for 5 minutes and turn it off. Also typically run the generator for 4 hours in the evening to make sure eveything is fully charged for the night.

I will not start mine for 5 minutes, that is just not good.
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Old 11-12-2016, 04:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tanksalotct View Post
While boondocking, we've often had the experience of finding a quiet spot somewhere, away from other campers and settle in for the night. Then someone parks nearby and, 5 minutes later, starts their generator.

I can totally understand starting it for running the microwave, but that would only be 2-5 minutes. But it appears some people believe that the only way to boondock is to park, close the curtains and then run the generator for HOURS.

If I could understand why that's done, it would be a lot easier to cope with the noise. I asked one trucker (who parked 20 ft from the side of our rig) why he ran his motor all night, and he said it was for a/c for his CPAP machine. That was understandable (but not why he didn't just get an inverter).

Thanks in advance!

My guess is they have insufficient battery power to make through the night....either too few batteries, or batteries that have been abused and are weak. They need to start the overnight with fully charged batteries.....and then recharge first thing in the morning because they are nearly dead.

Same thing bothers me with people and their laptop computers......they have ruined batteries and so need to plug it in constantly....at Starbucks ....at Panera bread.... all are searching for a power outlet. If they replaced the battery, or bought a decent laptop to begin with, they should get plenty of time on battery power.....then just plug it in to charge in their car when they are done.
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Old 11-12-2016, 04:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksalotct View Post
While boondocking, we've often had the experience of finding a quiet spot somewhere, away from other campers and settle in for the night. Then someone parks nearby and, 5 minutes later, starts their generator.

I can totally understand starting it for running the microwave, but that would only be 2-5 minutes. But it appears some people believe that the only way to boondock is to park, close the curtains and then run the generator for HOURS.

If I could understand why that's done, it would be a lot easier to cope with the noise. I asked one trucker (who parked 20 ft from the side of our rig) why he ran his motor all night, and he said it was for a/c for his CPAP machine. That was understandable (but not why he didn't just get an inverter).

Thanks in advance!
As one that enjoys (treasures) my privacy, I can identify. I've purposely camped as far from the "facilities" that always seem to draw a crowd as possible, and been there in a totally abandoned campground, fat, dumb and happy.

The next thing you know, you have a next door neighbor a campsite away.

Sure it's a free country, but what about respect for others?

I guess I was taught that a persons "rights" end when they start affecting others negatively.
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Old 11-12-2016, 04:28 PM   #10
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OK--if you ask a question in a public forum using the word "why," you have to expect that at least half the respondents to your question will answer "why not?" I am also sure the back-packers and the "greenies" can't understand why you want to drag your rig so far into the wilderness and wasted so much fuel getting it there. To each their own!
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Old 11-12-2016, 04:33 PM   #11
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All-electric coaches must run their generator for approximately two hours before bed and two hours in the morning to keep the batteries charged and healthy. The batteries have been running the refrigerator, TV, satellite, lights, toilets, and heater blowers, and if the batteries become fully depleted by these uses, the batteries can and will be damaged.

In adiition to the foregoing electric draws which are supplied directly from the batteries or indirectly through inverters, there are some uses that cannot be run from batteries and require the generator to be running at the time. Primary among these uses are A/C and electric cooking.
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Old 11-12-2016, 04:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
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It's lifestyle. If you like to watch TV at night, etc. I bought a DP. It has a diesel Genny. Why not use it? We only boondock or dry camp 40 nights a year. When boondock out in desert, no one is closer than 200 feet. I run it all night. I have a oxygen concentrator that sucks 400 watts, a residential fridge. Run Genny all night. I have to. I have a inverter, but the battery bank I would need to keep my necessary stuff going would be unreasonable. Most new TVs aren't DC.
IF you can hear my quite diesel running, you are parked too close.
I wake up just because the wind blows too hard, it's part of the lifestyle. Tent camping in the middle of nowhere is the only way to escape the noise.
Within the last month I bought two Samsung TV's, a 32" and a 48" for the motorhome. The 32" has an external power supply like a laptop computer uses.
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Old 11-12-2016, 05:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksalotct View Post
While boondocking, we've often had the experience of finding a quiet spot somewhere, away from other campers and settle in for the night. Then someone parks nearby and, 5 minutes later, starts their generator.
tanksalotct
Some folks have good reasons to run their generators while others think they have to...(I doubt that anyone does it to deliberately irritate you).

If/when I'm in a quiet spot somewhere, with NO rules or regulations prohibiting or limiting generator use, I simply MOVE if someone's generator bothers me.

You can do that also.
(However if you need to know why his generator is running when you don't want it running..... you'll have to pay him a visit and ask him why).
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Old 11-12-2016, 05:49 PM   #14
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95% of the time we stay at a campground. I'd rather have all engines off for the night. But, if no campground and it is 100+ degrees outside, my 15,000 watt generator is going to run all night. Sweating in bed, unless I'm sick, is not an option
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