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Old 11-30-2014, 11:21 PM   #1
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Generator exhaust get inside?

Hi,
Hubby and I are thinking about making the plunge to RVing into an Interstate. I am chemically sensitive and can't stand staying in hotels and rentals with pesticides, furniture polish, strong bathroom cleaners, etc. We like the Airstream Interstate quality and found a 2011 that has no odors and seemed out-gassed. But... I would like to run the AC at night. Noticed the generator exhaust is right outside. I cough just going down the highway behind vehicles if we don't use the recirculate button. Any thoughts on if that generator exhaust will stay outside or leak in? Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:42 PM   #2
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The exhaust will stay outside if the windows are all closed. However, if I had as sensitive a sniffer as you, I would ask the seller of the 2011 that you found to fire his up and decide for yourself.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:16 AM   #3
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They make exhaust extension kits that takes the fumes up and over the unit much like a chimney does on a home. They work real well and also redirect the exhaust sound to the sky as a added benefit... Hope that helps...
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:31 AM   #4
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And since you mentioned you will want to run the AC at night, you should be aware that both the AC and the generator are noisy: the AC noise is bearable, but I doubt you could sleep with the generator running. It's that bad, and it's beneath the bed. Bear that in mind.


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Old 12-01-2014, 07:15 AM   #5
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Generator can be quieted somewhat by adding a resonator to the generator exhaust pipe. About a 3dB reduction in volume, which doesn't sound like much but is still significant; it means that the sound level is cut in half.

Our Airstream Interstate generators need to be exercised periodically anyway, and generators run best when loaded to somewhere between 50% and 75% of rated capacity. So when I exercise my generator, I run the air conditioner as well to put the generator under enough load. I find that with the resonator, the AC is louder than the generator! You can quiet the generator even further by adding acoustic foam to the wheelwells, which is where much of the sound enters the van.

In your case, I recommend three things:
1 - Resonator, as noted above;
2 - WeatherTech window visors for the driver's and passenger's front doors; and
3 - Front door screens from Eurocampers.

With the WeatherTech visors, you can leave your passenger-side front window cracked open for air exchange while running the AC without worrying about rain getting in. With the screens from Eurocampers, you can also leave the passenger-side front window cracked open without letting in bugs. Whenever you run the generator, keep the passenger-side front window cracked open; that window is farthest away from the generator exhaust and least likely to let in fumes no matter what the wind direction might be.

I would avoid those chimney-style exhaust extensions. Mainly because you'd have to bolt it to the driver's side of your van and pretty much leave it there whether you run the generator or not, and you'd have to modify your generator exhaust pipe as well to make it work efficiently. It would definitely uglify what is otherwise a beautiful van!
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:31 AM   #6
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You don't mention your intended use, but remember one doesn't need the generator when shore power is available.


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Old 12-01-2014, 08:02 AM   #7
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Although I haven't researched thoroughly, as I'm not an MHer, but I have seen the exhaust extension kits that are not permanently mounted. They have a couple of brackets that are permanent, but the exhaust elbow and the vertical extension are portable and temporary.

http://www.amazon.com/Camco-44461-Ge.../dp/B000BUU5XG

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Old 12-01-2014, 08:23 AM   #8
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Running a generator all night will not be an option in any primitive state or federal campground. They all have a quite hour.

If you are boon-docking that will be an option.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:42 PM   #9
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Thanks, Everyone, for the helpful feedback!
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:21 AM   #10
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This might sound nasty, but I don't intend it that way: You do realize that campers have various smells, chemicals for toilets and winterizing, etc., right?

I know someone who is chemically sensitive, and I'd never try to subject her to our trailer. She'd go insane. Campers are closed up for weeks on end when they aren't being used; they have things that outgas (I know you said the one you're looking at is done, but our '95 trailer has a smell from the vinyl ceiling cover!); they require chemicals in the toilet to control smell; and even with that you occasionally smell the tank.

Additionally, diesel fuel isn't exactly fun - I used to think gas was bad, but diesel is much worse in terms of sticking around even after trying to clean it off your hands, for example. There's also the mercaptan or whatever it is in the propane that you shouldn't normally smell but occasionally might get a whiff while you're getting the propane refilled, or you might smell it if you develop a leak in the system.

It all depends on your level of sensitivity; the woman I know is extremely sensitive. But understand that generator exhaust is only one of the potential concerns. I'm just trying to point out that an RV isn't a chemical-free environment aside from generator exhaust.
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Generator can be quieted somewhat by adding a resonator to the generator exhaust pipe. About a 3dB reduction in volume, which doesn't sound like much but is still significant; it means that the sound level is cut in half.

Our Airstream Interstate generators need to be exercised periodically anyway, and generators run best when loaded to somewhere between 50% and 75% of rated capacity. So when I exercise my generator, I run the air conditioner as well to put the generator under enough load. I find that with the resonator, the AC is louder than the generator! You can quiet the generator even further by adding acoustic foam to the wheelwells, which is where much of the sound enters the van.

In your case, I recommend three things:
1 - Resonator, as noted above;
2 - WeatherTech window visors for the driver's and passenger's front doors; and
3 - Front door screens from Eurocampers.

With the WeatherTech visors, you can leave your passenger-side front window cracked open for air exchange while running the AC without worrying about rain getting in. With the screens from Eurocampers, you can also leave the passenger-side front window cracked open without letting in bugs. Whenever you run the generator, keep the passenger-side front window cracked open; that window is farthest away from the generator exhaust and least likely to let in fumes no matter what the wind direction might be.

I would avoid those chimney-style exhaust extensions. Mainly because you'd have to bolt it to the driver's side of your van and pretty much leave it there whether you run the generator or not, and you'd have to modify your generator exhaust pipe as well to make it work efficiently. It would definitely uglify what is otherwise a beautiful van!
Did you try adding acoustic foam to your wheel wells? Will reduce highway noise?
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by S3d View Post
Did you try adding acoustic foam to your wheel wells? Will reduce highway noise?
Mine came with foil-backed foam already added to the wheel wells. I could add another layer, but I don't think it would help much with generator noise, and it would reduce the storage volume under the side-facing seats; that's where I store my spare electrical cords and adapters on the passenger side and my spare hoses on the driver's side.

The problem is that the generator is bolted to the frame of the van, and so any vibration from the generator is transmitted directly to the van.
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:33 PM   #13
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And the inherent noise from an air-cooled engine is hard to quiet. Not sure if Onan put any dampening mat'l inside the housing or not. Some Dynamat would help if there's room.
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