Opinions About Generator Use

ScottGScottG Posts: 3,176Moderator
We haven't had a good poll in a long time. Several recent discussions about generators have made me curious as to how people really feel about their use in campgrounds. Votes are anonymous so nobody else will know how you weighed in.
This does have the possibility of being a contentious topic--if you choose to elaborate, please keep your opinions objective and civilized. Derogatory comments--whether directed at an individual or a group--will be removed!
Which option best describes you?

Opinions About Generator Use 74 votes

I dislike the sound of a generator. Campers who need 120V electricity should go to a campground that provides shore power.
36% 27 votes
Live and let live. I don't have a generator, but I don't mind if other campers around me use them.
8% 6 votes
I have a generator but am self-conscious about using it and only start it up when absolutely necessary.
52% 39 votes
A generator is an essential part of my gear. Intolerant campers should go to a campground where they are prohibited.
2% 2 votes

Comments

  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 5,439Member
    I don't have a generator, but do not mind daytime use of a generator. 

    Jenn Grover | 2015  [email protected] 320 S Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in [email protected]: 188 | Pittsburgh PA

  • targtarg Posts: 55Member
    I've got a small quiet one, but have never used it in a campground.  I would, and I don't mind those who do - within reason.  I go camping to hear nature, not generators and A/C units. 
    But I'd rather hear gennies and A/C than rude people's radios.
    The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The willingness to learn is a choice. | -REBEC OF GINAZ
    2019 [email protected] 320S BD Lite, Jeep TJU

  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 951Member
    The quiet generator is probably as loud as the rude people's radios.  The phrase "Quiet Generator" is one of the great marketing coups of all time.
    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • targtarg Posts: 55Member
    True.
    The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The willingness to learn is a choice. | -REBEC OF GINAZ
    2019 [email protected] 320S BD Lite, Jeep TJU

  • morey000morey000 Posts: 105Member
    the only thing that you need a generator for in our units... is the AC.  so, if you're camping where it's hot- I guess I can understand.  
    Silver on Silver, 320S '19 Outback Lite
  • TNOutbackTNOutback Posts: 175Member
    Most of the local camping in my area is heavily wooded with little opportunity for good solar charging.  I would use a generator only as a last resort to recharge my batteries in CGs without hookups; I don’t like listening to them.
    2020 [email protected] 400 BDL w/ solar
    2016 F-150 4x4 Crew, 3.5L Ecoboost
    Middle Tennessee
    YNWA LFC
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Posts: 234Member
    edited August 27
    TNOutback said:
    Most of the local camping in my area is heavily wooded with little opportunity for good solar charging.  I would use a generator only as a last resort to recharge my batteries in CGs without hookups; I don’t like listening to them.
    This is where I’m at as well. If you need air conditioning, you should go to a park with hookups. But if you just need to run a modern, quiet genset for a couple of hours every few days during daylight hours to charge your batteries, it’s not a huge deal even though I hate the noise.

    (and yes, “quiet” generators are still obnoxiously noisy, but for a couple of hours, it isn’t the end of the world)
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r 
    Pacific NW
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Posts: 1,118Member
    edited August 27
    We have the propane fueled ryobi 900/700 watt generator and it IS exceptionally quiet. It will not run the a/c, but will charge our group 31 105ah battery in a few hours. We used it only 3 times during our month long trip to the Pacific Northwest Coast, for no more than 3 hrs each time. We were in remote areas and had no nearby neighbors at the time and we would be just as judicious with nearby campers. As for air conditioning, we are generally an older population of rv'ers, and sometimes medical conditions or unforeseen circumstances intervene, so we would be tolerant, hoping to have the same treatment from fellow campers should the need or situation arise.
    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2015 Silverado 2500hd(Behemoth). Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 2,016Member
    I don’t like the noise in general however I now need a CPAP when I sleep. I have mixed feelings about having one although @dragonsdofly showed me theirs and it is fairly quiet. I’m also looking into power packs for emergency backup which can be recharged a few ways and is silent. So far I’ve dry camped and never boondocked. FWIW I get tired
    of the ice machine motor noise, but love the ice!
    2017 [email protected] 320 Max S silver and cherry red, [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), TV 2015 Toyota Highlander aka Big Red
  • GatorEggGatorEgg Posts: 143Member
    Hey, we like our a/c, we live in Florida.  But we don't care for the sound of a generator.  Won't be getting one.  For the need of a/c we'll stay at sites with shore power.  Or wait for winter.  We cruised on our sailboat for over 10 years.  We had a genset, used it twice.  We couldn't stand the noise.  But being on the water with a sea breeze is different than a breezeless campground.  And we did have six 6vdc batteries, over 1000 amps of battery,  400 watts of solar and a wind generator. 
    2018 [email protected] Boondock 320S, 2019 Toyota Tacoma Sport 4x4
    Odessa, Fl.  

  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Posts: 234Member
    I don’t like the noise in general however I now need a CPAP when I sleep. I have mixed feelings about having one although @dragonsdofly showed me theirs and it is fairly quiet. I’m also looking into power packs for emergency backup which can be recharged a few ways and is silent. So far I’ve dry camped and never boondocked. FWIW I get tired
    of the ice machine motor noise, but love the ice!
    Personal opinion: using a generator overnight for a CPAP is is the worst of the options available to solve that problem. Unless you’re remote boondocking for long periods in dark or cloudy places where neighbors are a non issue, a solar setup + quality battery + 12 volt CPAP adapter makes way more sense. It’s quiet, much more efficient than running on 110v, you don’t run the risk of needing to fill it with fuel in the middle of the night, and your theft risk drops significantly (small generators are big theft targets). There are also no use restrictions on solar panels, either from a courtesy or fire safety standpoint.

    As far as portable options, I have a Schumacher jump starter/inverter that we kept on hand for my late husband’s CPAP use during overnight power outages, good for a couple of days with no recharge. The Goal Zero Yeti is a more expensive option, but I really love 400 lithium one, and may pick up the 1000 lithium for home use when it goes on sale.

    The little propane Ryobi genset, which I also have for emergency use, is no quieter than any other portable generator. Regardless of what the specs state, I’ve measured it at 65-75 decibels depending on load, which actually puts it at louder than the Honda 2000 or 2200, and on the high end makes it technically louder than Forest Service rules state is acceptable. It’s great for a few hours recharging of batteries during the day when you can keep an eye on it, but there’s no good way to lock it up for overnight use as the handle is easily cut with hand tools, and any random annoyed person could easily walk off with it or simply turn it off, leaving you without a functional CPAP while you’re asleep and won’t immediately notice. At least the Hondas (being much more common) have some good solid locking bracket options available so it’s harder to steal.
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r 
    Pacific NW
  • db_cooperdb_cooper Posts: 511Member
    Only used ours once camping, to recharge the original dying battery to get the Alde through a cold night.

    Still glad I bought it, has come in handy for our annual winter windstorms. Never carry it now with solar and 2GC batteries.
    2015 Max S Outback | 2010 Xterra



  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Posts: 529Member
    I think a lot of this depends on where and how you "camp". Glamping in a full hookup CG with 100 neighbors vs nearest other camper 50-100 miles away like we can do out west makes a big difference. Lots of USFS and BLM "improved" CG out west with zero services other than a pit toilet and to go even further, lots of dispersed camping where there isn't anything. In those cases a generator can be handy.

    Also depends if you are out for a weekend of recreation or you use your camper for work-camping and or full time.

    I just bought a Honda 2200i Companion model with a propane conversion because I do camp out west in remote areas, sometimes working where I need to charge various things during the week, of course in sites with power that won't get used...


    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
  • 2Cougs2Cougs Posts: 682Member
    DH uses a CPAP... could go 2.5 nights with no power and no generator (and not using fridge).  Solar lets him go much longer (even with filtered light ... thanks @AldebaranJill !!!) 
    2016 [email protected] CS-S silver with white trim and WSU themed
    Pulled by a silver 2017 Chevy Silverado
    Leaves on [email protected] from Spokane, WA


     



  • CbusguyCbusguy Posts: 501Member
    edited September 6
    Depends is the best answer I can give you.

    Depends on location,   
    a second growth forest in summer does a pretty good job at muffling the sound.   
     The outer banks dunes camping has very little to reflect the sound.     
    Walmart parking lot,   no
    Rest area, no
    Canyon lands in the west,  probably no.

    Depends on the generator
    A contractor generator,  no
    Depends on the land yacht as to its generator,  some are whisper quiet others will vibrate your fillings out.
    Just about every inverter generator in the real world is sufficiently quiet.   no need to be OCD and mince the numbers.  even my $400 2k propane job is quieter than my Air8 AC unit.


    Depends on the time of day and length
    We were at a harvest host where a fifth wheel ran his generator for the entire 15 hours we were there.   we moved our trailer so we wouldn't need to listen too it.  
    we have camped in the outer banks where we listened to Two generators in the site beside us run from the end of quiet hours to the start of quiet hours.


    The answer is there is no answer,   the all we can do is try and be a good neighbor to those we share the outdoors with.

    A parting thought,   for every poor neighbor we have in a camp site there are 5 we don't notice because they are considerate.     


    I have been on cpap for 25 years now,   all of it camping.    you don't need a generator.     I can probably help you with figuring out a solution that works for you.      There is no need to sink huge dollars into a solar "generator" for it.   the solution can be as little as $40 and get you 2-4 nights off grid.
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter with added tranny coolerPower Bastards 250 amp alternator , added 2 gage charging wire to Trailer,  Timbren SES suspension and Super Springs.
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • nhmikenhmike Posts: 11Member
    My thought is "when in Rome....."  I like the above thoughts that mention being considerate.
    Both ways.  By choice I don't have a generator.  You may choose to have one.  To be considerate I need to respect your choice, though I may not agree with it. 
  • OlenaOlena Posts: 31Member
    I really don't like to hear a generator, so I chose to camp in an area of a nearby provincial park that is designated as "radio free". Radio free also means generators are prohibited. There are a number of provincial parks here in Ontario that offer this option and I love it. I have a Zamp solar suitcase and a Yeti Goal Zero 400 Lithium that supplies all the power I need.
    2013 Ford Escape 2.0 (no tow package!) and 2017 [email protected] Q basic
  • dhaufdhauf Posts: 167Member
    I would rather listen to the drone of a generator, instead of someone blaring their stupid radio. I do like the peace and quite however, but understand the need for a generator to top up your camper battery.  Most campgrounds I have been to have a certain time you can't run them.  What makes me the most irritated when camping is someone blasting their car stereo with subwoofers thinking everyone around them wants to hear their garbage.  That to me is more inconsiderate than a generator running.  Just my two cents.
  • jgram2jgram2 Posts: 1,378Member
    I’ve heard humans are born with only 2 intrinsic fears-that of falling and loud noises. Makes sense to me. Generators, meh, but I can sublimate the noise if it’s not directly outside my window as I try to fall asleep.
    John, Judi, Guinness & OD in PDX
    [email protected]@t 2015 S Max Outback, ‘06 V8 4Runner 


  • fischertechfischertech Posts: 2Member
    I was camping at the beach and what is worse is the RV's with builtin generator which emits it seems like diesel exhaust. So I would say the smell is worse than the sound.
  • JerseyJersey Posts: 9Member
    Not a big fan when others are using them but am tolerant/forgiving when it is during daylight/afternoons and only for a a little while.  I must say, how nice is that feeling when your neighbor shuts it down after listening to it for awhile. Such a relief....
  • gulfareagulfarea Posts: 163Member
    I will complain like mad UNLESS he lets me pug into his power!
    2019 Boon-dock Edge
  • TerryV6TerryV6 Posts: 1,048Member
    We bought one 3 years ago and have yet to use it while camping.  We did have a power outage in our city and I lent it to my brother for his fridge....
    Terry & Jody...  2016 Dodge Ram 1500
    2016 NuCamp 320 [email protected] Max S
    [email protected]  Road   
    Appleton,  WI





Sign In or Register to comment.