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Old 06-05-2012, 08:31 PM   #1
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Generators?

Does any one use a generator when camping? If so how big or small and what brand? Thank you for your attention, Jim Lawther
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:35 PM   #2
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There's a ton of info out on the forum on generators - try a search on generators. We use a Honda 3000eu and love it, but you will find many opinions and advice here. With generators, quiet is good.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:46 PM   #3
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Y A M A H A - cause it matches the Stream....

Seriously - check out the forums via our search function, once you have read (and there is lots of info out there) come back and ask any more questions, or if you made a decision let us know how/what/when/where!
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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Hi, YAMAHA 2400.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:19 PM   #5
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Take a look at the "Electrical" sub forum, you will see a further sub sub forum on "Generators and Solar". Lots and lots of threads and information there.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:24 PM   #6
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Had Yammi 1000, now have Honda 2000i, you won't go rong with either brand.
But size matters, so determine ahead what you will use it for.

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Old 06-05-2012, 11:32 PM   #7
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Yes there is a lot of info to be searched, but it is ok to ask because technology gets dated very fast as I have observed reading some of those threads. I was hoping this one had more new info.

I am still undecided between a Yamaha 2400 or a 2800. But whichever I go with, it will be a tri-fuel (gas, propane, natural gas).

Things to consider (and balance) are: noise, weight, running time, power, size, cost.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich of SCal View Post
Yes there is a lot of info to be searched, but it is ok to ask because technology gets dated very fast as I have observed reading some of those threads. I was hoping this one had more new info.

I am still undecided between a Yamaha 2400 or a 2800. But whichever I go with, it will be a tri-fuel (gas, propane, natural gas).

Things to consider (and balance) are: noise, weight, running time, power, size, cost.
Noise levels will be very subjective. Within the generator industry, there is a standard way of measuring sound levels produced.

Begin engineer-speak…

The sound is measured in an open area (no walls to reflect the sound back) in line with the generator exhaust, at a distance of 7 meters (23 feet). However, this rating is LWA (level-weighted average) for decibel measurements taken at the center frequency of each octave within the range of human hearing (63Hertz, 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, 4000Hz, 8000Hz). At some frequencies the sound level will be higher than rated, at others, lower. So, a generator with a rated output of 52dB LWA might actually produce as much as 88dB at some frequencies. That's why two generators with similar decibel ratings may sound completely different to your ears, if the peak sound level for each generator is in a different octave.

Also, sound follows the inverse-square law. For each doubling of the distance between you and the source, the sound level is quartered. And vice versa, for each halving of the distance, the sound level is quadrupled. So, if you set up your generator 6 feet from your trailer (half of 23 feet, rounded up, then half of 12 feet), that it's sixteen times as loud.

The quietest generators on the market (Honda dominates the field for quiet gasoline power, though Onan makes some quiet propane models) have a decibel rating around 55dB LWA @ 7 meters.

For comparison, normal background noise for a home air conditioner is about 45dB. Normal human speech, at arm's reach, is about 60dB. A gasoline pusher-style lawn mower is about 90dB at the push handle. A crying baby is about 95dB at arm's reach. A chainsaw is about 105dB.

Even a quiet Honda generator is loud enough, at a distance of only 6 feet, that you would have to raise your voice to be heard over the sound of the generator.

End engineer-speak…

Don't let sound level be the deciding factor for the generator you buy. Sound is the easiest thing to adjust for, simply by setting it up farther away (within limits), putting a barrier between you and the generator if necessary (such as parking your tow vehicle between the generator and the trailer), and aiming the exhaust away from you.

The other criteria you name— weight, running time, power, size— are all things that won't change after you buy it, and so those should drive your choice more so than the sound level that you can alter at will by setting up differently.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:49 AM   #9
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Honda 2000, I love it, its quiet.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Noise levels will be very subjective. Within the generator industry, there is a standard way of measuring sound levels produced.

Begin engineer-speak…

The sound is measured in an open area (no walls to reflect the sound back) in line with the generator exhaust, at a distance of 7 meters (23 feet). However, this rating is LWA (level-weighted average) for decibel measurements taken at the center frequency of each octave within the range of human hearing (63Hertz, 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, 4000Hz, 8000Hz). At some frequencies the sound level will be higher than rated, at others, lower. So, a generator with a rated output of 52dB LWA might actually produce as much as 88dB at some frequencies. That's why two generators with similar decibel ratings may sound completely different to your ears, if the peak sound level for each generator is in a different octave.

Also, sound follows the inverse-square law. For each doubling of the distance between you and the source, the sound level is quartered. And vice versa, for each halving of the distance, the sound level is quadrupled. So, if you set up your generator 6 feet from your trailer (half of 23 feet, rounded up, then half of 12 feet), that it's sixteen times as loud.

The quietest generators on the market (Honda dominates the field for quiet gasoline power, though Onan makes some quiet propane models) have a decibel rating around 55dB LWA @ 7 meters.

For comparison, normal background noise for a home air conditioner is about 45dB. Normal human speech, at arm's reach, is about 60dB. A gasoline pusher-style lawn mower is about 90dB at the push handle. A crying baby is about 95dB at arm's reach. A chainsaw is about 105dB.

Even a quiet Honda generator is loud enough, at a distance of only 6 feet, that you would have to raise your voice to be heard over the sound of the generator.

End engineer-speak…

Don't let sound level be the deciding factor for the generator you buy. Sound is the easiest thing to adjust for, simply by setting it up farther away (within limits), putting a barrier between you and the generator if necessary (such as parking your tow vehicle between the generator and the trailer), and aiming the exhaust away from you.

The other criteria you name— weight, running time, power, size— are all things that won't change after you buy it, and so those should drive your choice more so than the sound level that you can alter at will by setting up differently.
That's a lot of info, but I agree with your point. In the summer our ACs are so noisy I doubt that you can hear any of them inside. However, I understand some rv parks have strict noise rules and even make you turn them off at night (this would be uncomfortable in Palm Springs in the summer). Honda may have some of the lowest noise levels, but when you pair noise with power and boost, etc. it is not as easy to say they are the quietest for a given useage, as I have been finding out reading the specs. The quietest generator is one that isn't running at all, but...well, you see what I mean. Still lots of good help here=field testing by proxy.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:05 AM   #11
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Pro, well said. I have also found that setting the gen on ground rather than asphalt or concrete muffles noise is well. The ground will acoustically absorb noise. Like being in a room that is carpeted rather than being covered with hard goods. Hard, dense surfaces will reflect and sometimes project noise. As Pro says, turn the exhaust away, Make sure the fumes are well vented by outside air, put a vehicle between yourself and the unit.... Then turn your AC on. That damn unit is so loud the gen will become a non issue. Different manufactors have different ways of determining DB levels. Look at that as well.

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Old 06-06-2012, 11:24 AM   #12
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We're boondockers so we're used to supplying our elec.

Winter we carried a Honda 100 to recharge the batteries usually drained by furnace use.

Summer we carry a Honda 300 (two 200's are easier to lift and lug) for A/C.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:28 AM   #13
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These suitcase generators final line of quieting is converting all sounds to lower frequencies. Kind of spooky standing next to one and having the ground & air shaking and doing a good imitation of a diesel locomotive idling. Just saying some people are more sensitive to near subsonics than others, if you keep looking for something about to nudge the trailer on its side its time to install deflector shields to bounce the low sounds skywards.

Looking at the testing procedures the most quoted low db figures are having the control panel facing the test equipment - so pointing the smart end towards yourself will be showing neighbors a slightly more outspoken business.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:35 AM   #14
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