Generator decibels

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GPS2

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Hi, my wife and I are brand new to truck and tow behind trailering. We are planning to travel noth America starting next year. I was wondering what is an acceptable decilble level for a generator so as not to bother other units around us? The last thing we want to do is be those bothersome sob's in that unit over there.
Thanks in advance for any help
 

SargeW

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Generally a Honda or Yamaha generators are the benchmark for quality well built generators. Don't make the mistake I made when I bought my first one several years back. I picked one up at a big box store because I thought I was getting a deal. The first time I ran it in a campground, I drew scorn from everyone within half a mile. I soon dumped it and bought a 2KW Honda.

Cheap is no deal if it's not usable.  Just my .02!
 

Ned

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Well, 0 would be ideal :)  RV generators like the Honda or Yamaha models are quiet enough and as long as you only run them during the allowed hours, you won't get any complaints.  However, if you try to save money and buy a so-called contractor generator, those are quite loud and you won't make any friends with one.
 

Lou Schneider

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By "Honda Generators" we're talking about the suitcase-style generators like the EU1000i, EU2000i and the larger EU3000i.  They're very quiet, as are the corresponding Yamaha models.

You can get Honda engines in non-enclosed, contractor style generators - with their exposed engines they are NOT suitable for campgrounds. The enclosed bodies on the above generators do as much to keep the noise under control as the engines themselves. 
 

RoyM

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Ideally, the noise would not exceed 60dba at 3 meters, about 22 feet. Remember that noise increases exponentially meaning that 61 dba is twice as loud as 60 and 62 is twice as loud as 61.
 

Lou Schneider

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3 db is a doubling of the noise power, about the smallest difference a human ear can discern.  If the measurements are made under the same conditions (load level, distance from generator, etc.) you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between two generators with less than 3 db difference in loudness.

10 db is 10 times as much power.  A generator with a 70dba noise level will sound about twice as loud as one with a 60 dba rating.  But the noise will seem to carry 10 times further.

Just picking nits ....  ;)
 

Lou Schneider

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If you stay in RV parks - where you have row apon row of RVs located close enough to make running the wires from site to site economical - you can indeed just plug in.

But most of the more scenic campgrounds - in state and national parks, national forests, etc. - do not have hookups.  You have to supply your own electricity, fresh water and sewage containment while you stay there.

The house batteries will run the lights for a while, but the easiest way to use the air conditioner or other major appliance is to run a generator.
 

Great Horned Owl

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The 2000 watt Honda and Yamaha inverter generators are both rated 59 dba at full load and 53 dba at 1/4 load. I have been unable to find a definitive statement of the distance, but I believe that is is 23'. Even at full load, that is quiet enough to stand next to them and carry on a conversation in a normal tone of voice. You can run them just outside of your RV and have no problem going to sleep. Use them to power your air conditioner, and you can't hear them at all. The noise of the air conditioner drowns them out.

That being said, I absolutely can not understand why so many people insist on only Honda or Yamaha. They used to be unique. However, there are now many other inverter generators with virtually identical specifications that sell for about half of the price. I have two of the 2000 watt Champion inverters. I paid $499.99 each. To my (admittedly uncalibrated) ear, they sound just the same as the Honda.

Joel
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Agree, Joel, there are now other inverter/generators available at attractive prices. I think Honda & Yamaha are still the gold standard in terms of quality and availability of service if ever needed, but the other brands can pretty much match the sound levels.

Some of the other brands that have inverter models are Champion, Honeywell, Boliy, Generac, and Powerhouse.
 

rhoag

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Both the Honda and Yamaha are very quiet.  One other consideration is the BTU's of your AC Unit.  You will need the Honda EU3000iS or two 2000is (hooked in parallel) or the Yamaha EF3000iSEB to run a 35,000 BTU AC unit.  The Yamaha has an extra 50Watts of boost to handle when the AC starts...my Honda Eu3000 sometimes trips when the AC starts.  No running the micro and AC at the same time!!!
 

Great Horned Owl

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rhoag said:
Both the Honda and Yamaha are very quiet.  One other consideration is the BTU's of your AC Unit.  You will need the Honda EU3000iS or two 2000is (hooked in parallel) or the Yamaha EF3000iSEB to run a 35,000 BTU AC unit.  The Yamaha has an extra 50Watts of boost to handle when the AC starts...my Honda Eu3000 sometimes trips when the AC starts.  No running the micro and AC at the same time!!!

Read my previous post and Gary's post. There are some good options other than Honda and Yamaha, both of which are ridiculously over priced.

Joel
 

Foto-n-T

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You're right, there's nothing cheap about Honda or Yamaha inverter/generators.  When we bought our Honda 2000 eight years ago Yamaha didn't even make a 2k unit.  We thought we got a great deal at $900 and I still think it wasn't too bad for what we got.

When we bought the Honda I installed an hour meter to keep track of the hours for service intervals.  That faded little red generator now has over 1400 hours on it and it refuses to die.  If you're going to use a generator/inverter long term I'd be curious as to how well those less expensive models are going to hold up.  If they can match the Honda or Yamaha I'd be impressed enough to buy one next time.  If I can ever wear the Honda out.
 

denmarc

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Great Horned Owl said:
That being said, I absolutely can not understand why so many people insist on only Honda or Yamaha. They used to be unique. However, there are now many other inverter generators with virtually identical specifications that sell for about half of the price.
Joel

Gary said it best.  There other brands, including Champion, that now have similar decibel ratings.  But I am also a believer of the old saying about getting what you pay for.  There is a reason that all the big box stores and the local hardware joint down the street sells Champion. 

I've owned a few different brands over the years.  My last three have all been Honda's.  When I was last in the market to purchase a larger genny (4 years ago), I did a lot of research.  I talked to small engine mechanics, spoke to people who owned different brands, internet searches, etc.

After compiling all my information, there was no question that I would chose another Honda.  Then it was time to look for my best price.  I found a brand new EU3000is display model that had been started up about 6 times.  Best generator I have owned so far. 

For someone like me (permanently parked in the middle of nowhere), the availability of quality parts and service is well worth the added cost.  Compared to aftermarket parts or waiting for that "slow boat from China" to bring that special order part to get another brand up and running.

My point is your ears and price shouldn't be the only determining factor when purchasing a quality generator.
 

Lou Schneider

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I don't know how many hours I have on my EU1000i - but I bought it 13 years ago when they first came out and I've been using it regularly since then.

The first time I brought it into a Honda dealer for the scheduled carbon removal, they told me how to do it using Sea Foam.  That's the last time it's seen the inside of a shop - it hasn't needed anything but regular maintenance since.
 

jje1960

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Boliy runs in the low-mid 50's.  Yet again, we really appreciated the Boliy purchase!  Ran for 5 hours in the back of our TV while pulling down to Myrtle Beach today.  Anyone around here knows it's between 100 - 104 deg today, set the 15k aircon unit on 80 deg with our cat in the 5Ver, all was well.  While Honda and Yamaha are the gold standard, there are other options more affordable (like almost half as much).
 

X-Treme

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rhoag said:
Both the Honda and Yamaha are very quiet.  One other consideration is the BTU's of your AC Unit.  You will need the Honda EU3000iS or two 2000is (hooked in parallel) or the Yamaha EF3000iSEB to run a 35,000 BTU AC unit.  The Yamaha has an extra 50Watts of boost to handle when the AC starts...my Honda Eu3000 sometimes trips when the AC starts.  No running the micro and AC at the same time!!!

That is one INCREDIBLE a/c unit!!!! Pretty sure you meant 13,500btu. Mine is a 15k.
 
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