Battling a noisy generator(hammer applied)

We like our electricity as much as the next person, in fact, we may like our electricity more than we should! We try to live our lives off of a 12V system.

We have a solar system that charges two marine batteries. We recharge our devices from the solar to batteries to devices. Our recharge device list; CPAP, phones, Fitbits, laptops, GoPro, cameras (2), handheld GPS, batter banks (2), ear buds (3), Kindles (2), and the refrigerator operations (not cooling).

We purchased a 12V TV when we purchased the camper, so if we watch TV, we streaming via phone USB to HDMI on the TV. We may watch an hour or two of TV when we’re in the mood. This sips from the battery banks too!

So even though we may try to be “off grid” as much as possible, we’re tied to our solar panels for recharging and daily operations. If we drive the truck, the trucks alternator will also recharge our marine batteries.

All is well until we’re stationary and it’s cloudy. On these occasions we want to fire up our generator and enjoy the wonders of modern civilization via electricity. Unfortunately, when we fire up the generator, we need to talk with any neighbors in the nearby area and offer advance apologies for the noise. It’s loud. Really, really loud. It’s so loud that we generally don’t use it at all.

Other truck campers have the same issue. Many (many) owners purchase a separate generator and place it 10/15/20 feet away from the camper to avoid the noise. I, however, am not just any truck camper owner. I’m the most dangerous type of truck camper owner…I have tools (be afraid Adam!), and a little bit of knowledge and I think I know how to use them! (OK, here’s the inside scoop: Professionally I was more of a “thinker” and “software” type of fellow. Adam, a hardware engineer that I worked with closely for 20’ish years, told me that one of the most frightening sights for him was to see me walk past him with a screw driver in my hand en route to tweak any kind of manufacturing equipment.)

So, after consultation(s) with the RV dealer, I embarked on a multi-month project of trying to quiet down the generator. This week we present the fruits of our efforts. Enjoy.


  1. Heidi Halverson

    Very expensive option but with the improvement of hybrid car engine technology, I expect new generator technology. A hybrid car engine burns gas > makes electricity > motor converts electricity to motive power. These things are silent, I think, haven’t driven one. So they could / should make a new style generator that just takes the hybrid car technology for the generator (& batteries) and in theory you could upgrade your generator (& batteries). Then at gas station put some diesel in the engine and gas in the generator.

    • mcgarveysan

      I’m all in favor for anything that will result in a quieter generator. We turned ours on the other day and I wanted to apologize to our neighbors!


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