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jackiebA22

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Joined
Jun 17, 2022
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3
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Everett, WA
Hello all! My husband and I just bought an airstream and are looking to travel. Wanted some information, maybe someone can help. I’ve researched generators a great deal to find one of the quietest. The Westinghouse igen2500 is “as low as 52db noise output”, does anyone know of a generator that is rated to have less noise? My husband doesn't care but I am very sensitive to sound so I would love to find something quieter.
 

Rob&Deryl

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Mar 27, 2017
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2,208
Location
On the road from mid NH
Some things to check when comparing noise levels are the distance they measured it at, and the load it was running.

Some units are really quiet when under a light load but much louder when near max capacity.
 

viceprice

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Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Posts
324
Location
Maine
Congratulations! Have fun!

I am impressed with my son's Predator 3500 inverter generator from Harbor Freight. Quieter than my P3000 Briggs and Stratton and it has more power.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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West Palm Beach, FL
Be aware that the amount of noise from any inverter-generator will depend on the amp load it has to supply. The noise levels they quote are the very low end, essentially idling. At full rated output (2200 watts on this model) the sound level will be well above that 52 dBA level. If you are thinking to run an a/c or other high amp appliance, any generator is going to be relatively loud, but if it is mostly idling along to produce a few hundred watts for battery charging, this one will be as quiet as any.

Two iGen2500's can be paralleled just like the Hondas.
 

Grid Point Designs

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Jun 7, 2022
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27
Location
Eugene OR
Have you considered an electric generator? They are much more quiet, don't need gas, and can be just as powerful as a gasoline generator.
The systems by Victron Energy and the leading companies are amazingly complex but robust. If you have enough solar you can recharge the batteries for free. You can charge from your alternator when driving from location to location.
 
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jackiebA22

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Jun 17, 2022
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Everett, WA
Have you considered an electric generator? They are much more quiet, don't need gas, and can be just as powerful as a gasoline generator.
The systems by Victron Energy and the leading companies are amazingly complex but robust. If you have enough solar you can recharge the batteries for free. You can charge from your alternator when driving from location to location.
What exactly is an electric generator? Why are they so much more quiet?
Thanks to everyone for all the replies and helpful information :)
 

Viajeros

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Apr 19, 2015
Posts
853
What exactly is an electric generator? Why are they so much more quiet?
Thanks to everyone for all the replies and helpful information :)
They are essentially a large battery pack that you can supplement your on board batteries with. They usually have a built in inverter in them as well.

If you are planning on using high current devices like air conditioners etc then these power pack devices are the wrong choice. However if just trying to have extended run time out in the boonies then they work for some and are generally less hassle than gas or propane generators. Think of them as an extension of you RV’s built in battery.

Hope that helps.
 

Oldgator73

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Dec 28, 2017
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4,356
Location
Dover, DE & Mouth of Wilson, VA
They are essentially a large battery pack that you can supplement your on board batteries with. They usually have a built in inverter in them as well.

If you are planning on using high current devices like air conditioners etc then these power pack devices are the wrong choice. However if just trying to have extended run time out in the boonies then they work for some and are generally less hassle than gas or propane generators. Think of them as an extension of you RV’s built in battery.

Hope that helps.
So if these electric generators are just an extension of your RV’s batteries why not just utilize something like we did. I purchased a Harbor Freight portable solar system for $120 that kept our batteries charged and allowed the use of all the DC systems in the RV. But I guess if you have 120v appliances you would need something more substantial.
 

Grid Point Designs

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Jun 7, 2022
Posts
27
Location
Eugene OR
So if these electric generators are just an extension of your RV’s batteries why not just utilize something like we did. I purchased a Harbor Freight portable solar system for $120 that kept our batteries charged and allowed the use of all the DC systems in the RV. But I guess if you have 120v appliances you would need something more substantial.
They aren't an extension of existing batteries, rather they are a standalone unit with their own batteries. They allow you to go off-grid and use your 120v appliances without being connected to shore.
 

Grid Point Designs

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Jun 7, 2022
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27
Location
Eugene OR
They are essentially a large battery pack that you can supplement your on board batteries with. They usually have a built in inverter in them as well.

If you are planning on using high current devices like air conditioners etc then these power pack devices are the wrong choice. However if just trying to have extended run time out in the boonies then they work for some and are generally less hassle than gas or propane generators. Think of them as an extension of you RV’s built in battery.

Hope that helps.
Since new power systems use lithium batteries, they typically don't supplement existing lead-acid batteries. They are standalone systems that contain chargers, an inverter, and a large lithium battery bank.

But the high end models actually CAN run air conditioners and large appliances! One of the main reasons for getting an inverter from Victron Energy, Magnum, or Xantrex is the fact they can pull a huge surge for a compressor startup.

A lot of people are under the impression they are stuck with a gas generator to run air conditioning or boondock without going on a power diet, but that's no longer true. Here is a quick comparison of some electric generators - Ready to power your off-grid travel lifestyle.
 

Grid Point Designs

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Joined
Jun 7, 2022
Posts
27
Location
Eugene OR
What exactly is an electric generator? Why are they so much more quiet?
Thanks to everyone for all the replies and helpful information :)
An electric generator is another name for a device that charges and stores power in batteries. They range from small units with a couple hundred watts of power for a few lights, to running thousands of watts and powering an entire RV.

They are so much more quiet because, well, there is no engine! It's a lot like plugging into an outlet at your home. The only noise is from the cooling fans, similar to the fans on a home computer.
If you are looking for a generator that provides 2500 Watts, I urge you to look at a Grid Point Enclosure here: Grid Point Designs.
They provide 3000 Watts and last for a lot longer than a gasoline generator. And if you are interested in solar now or down the road, connect any type of panel and soak up the free energy.
 

Viajeros

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Joined
Apr 19, 2015
Posts
853
An electric generator is another name for a device that charges and stores power in batteries. They range from small units with a couple hundred watts of power for a few lights, to running thousands of watts and powering an entire RV.

They are so much more quiet because, well, there is no engine! It's a lot like plugging into an outlet at your home. The only noise is from the cooling fans, similar to the fans on a home computer.
If you are looking for a generator that provides 2500 Watts, I urge you to look at a Grid Point Enclosure here: Grid Point Designs.
They provide 3000 Watts and last for a lot longer than a gasoline generator. And if you are interested in solar now or down the road, connect any type of panel and soak up the free energy.
Looks nice. But I don’t understand “lasts a lot longer than a generator”. They have a two hour run time.
 

CharlesinGA

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Oct 6, 2017
Posts
1,123
Location
50 miles south of Atlanta, GA
All claims aside on generator noise levels, I have never heard of anyone saying their other brand generator is quieter than a comparable Honda. Shall we say that Honda is the Airstream of generators?

If you are sensitive to noise, I'm not sure what to say. Many campgrounds do not have power, and thus have generator hours and quiet time. What happened to Long Long Honeymoon can happen to anyone if the camper the next site over is not considerate. This video will start at the appropriate point, but if you want to watch it all, just slide the bar back to the beginning.


While decibel levels are not linear, it is logarithmic, (ie. 30 dB, is 100 times louder than 10 dB, and 40 dB is 1,000 times louder than 10 dB.) I stole this from Google. BUT..... Sometimes its the tone, not the actual sound level. My generator (built in Onan) had a annoying poot-poot sound to the exhaust and by adding a resonator to the exhaust, I did not change the volume significantly, but did get rid of the poot-poot sound and made what you do hear, more pleasant. (Youtube converted this to a "short" long after I posted it, and I have no way to convert it back to a "normal" video, however the three vertical dots in the upper RH corner will bring up the menu with description, etc.)


Liars figure, and figures lie, thats what I always heard, and with generator sound levels, this is so true. Claims made by the generator manufacturers can almost be disregarded as they are all based on different measuring techniques and distances. Things that can be done with portable generators to reduce the sound is to simply move it away from the camper. If you are backed up to a wooded area, with no campers behind you, simply move the generator close to the wooded area and POINT THE EXHAUST TOWARD THE WOODS AND AWAY FROM THE CAMPER. Leaves, trees, bushes, etc, do an excellent job of absorbing noise and not reflecting it back to you.

Charles
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
Posts
76,141
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
With battery-powered generators, the key measure is kilowatt-hours (kwh) rather than just watts. 3000 Watts for 30 seconds isn't very interesting if you want to run an a/c. You want capacity on the order of several hours x 1500 watts, say 10 kwh. The same is true of a gas generator, but a few gallons of fuel will suffice to deliver peak wattage for at least a couple hours. 30 lbs of gasoline (5 gallons) gives a several hours of runtime, but 30 lbs of lithium battery bank isn't a lot. On the other hand, an inverter is a lot lighter than generator hardware.

As with most things, the best tool for the job depends on several factors. In this prospective users will want to consider portability (size & weight, runtime under typical loads, time between recharging/refueling, availability of charge/fuel, peak & sustained power demand, and of course cost. For some a battery-powered generator will make sense, for others gas or propane will be more effective.
 
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Old_Crow

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Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Posts
3,257
Location
Tom's Place, California
My kid had a converted ambulance. The ambulance did not have an on-board generator or a secondary 120v electrical system. One of those Yeti "solar generators" was the perfect choice for that application.

For my 37' motor home with 2 a/c units, a microwave, and an entertainment system, I feel like the on-board Onan is a better fit.
 

Grid Point Designs

Active member
Joined
Jun 7, 2022
Posts
27
Location
Eugene OR
With battery-powered generators, the key measure is kilowatt-hours (kwh) rather than just watts. 3000 Watts for 30 seconds isn't very interesting if you want to run an a/c. You want capacity on the order of several hours x 1500 watts, say 10 kwh. The same is true of a gas generator, but a few gallons of fuel will suffice to deliver peak wattage for at least a couple hours. 30 lbs of gasoline (5 gallons) gives a several hours of runtime, but 30 lbs of lithium battery bank isn't a lot. On the other hand, an inverter is a lot lighter than generator hardware.

As with most things, the best tool for the job depends on several factors. In this prospective users will want to consider portability (size & weight, runtime under typical loads, time between recharging/refueling, availability of charge/fuel, peak & sustained power demand, and of course cost. For some a battery-powered generator will make sense, for others gas or propane will be more effective.
The Grid Point power box has 9000Wh of power and can output 3000Watts. So it can output 3000 Watts for hours. I'll admit it's not light, but it's comparable to a gasoline generator and takes up about the same amount of space. The great thing about electric power is it can be charged for free with solar. The batteries can be cycled 6000 times before they start to show detriment, so last for decades.
 
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