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Old 04-02-2018, 10:38 PM   #1
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Sunnyvale , California
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2018 Airstream Interstate Loud Generator

I just bought my Interstate a month ago and I don't want to turn on the generator because it's so loud. I looked at ways on how to make it quieter and people have used a resonator. I was about to buy one but then found out that it already comes with one. I usually go to beach or near the ocean for weekend trips. At night I park in neighborhood areas to sleep. I would like to take hot showers but turning on my generator would wake up the entire neighborhood. Any ideas on making the generator quieter? Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:35 AM   #2
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If you do a search on YouTube, it runs the gamut for a stand-alone genset, from adding a full sized automobile muffler (not so good) to fully enclosed it in a fiberglass lined box (excellent), but it is next to impossible to do for our chassis hung unit. For hot showers I only need propane and enough battery to run the tiny water pump so Iím curious what is changed on your newer AI...
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Old 04-03-2018, 07:44 AM   #3
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We all wish that someone would come up with a small onboard genset that is as quiet as Honda or Yamaha but we are stuck with the Onan that roars.

The limited boondocking ability of the AI is one of the first great disappointments that new owners experience. I think that is because the Airstream sales folks oversell that capability. They point out the solar panels and genset and then let you dream the rest. Reality kicks in the first morning when you wake up with 25% battery charge.

Instead of trying to quiet the genset (which is darn near impossible), others have increased battery capacity to extend off grid use without generator. There are numerous threads in this forum on that subject.

As Air 99 said, you should be able to take a quick hot shower since the 2018 has a tankless water heater that runs on LP gas. Check your water heater manual to make sure there isn't a switch you need to turn on when boondocking vs shore power. Make sure your water pump switch is on too.
One other problem we (my wife) face is use of a hair dryer. It uses a lot of electricity so we have to run the generator to keep the batteries maintained.

The AI is still a great machine even with its limitations. Like most of us, you'll adjust to it and enjoy the adventures.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:50 PM   #4
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Thank you guys. For taking showers, I just run the generator because I don't want my batteries to go down so low. Not to mention of its not full to begin with. I do have solar but sometimes the only parking spot I can find is in the shade. I'm definitely thinking of adding more batteries in the future though. I'm also going to try to add removable sound absorbing foam to put under and behind the generator just to see if I can lower the noise a bit more. But thank you for the response.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:43 AM   #5
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... I'm also going to try to add removable sound absorbing foam to put under and behind the generator just to see if I can lower the noise a bit more. ....
There is another thread on here where someone talks about adding rubber matting, but I don't recall whether we ever got details on what that specific product was.

Remember that the generator gets hot, so you have to account for the potential combustibility of anything you might add in the area.
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Preligen View Post
Thank you guys. For taking showers, I just run the generator because I don't want my batteries to go down so low. Not to mention of its not full to begin with. I do have solar but sometimes the only parking spot I can find is in the shade. I'm definitely thinking of adding more batteries in the future though. I'm also going to try to add removable sound absorbing foam to put under and behind the generator just to see if I can lower the noise a bit more. But thank you for the response.
Rather than overnighting in neighborhoods, and running your generator to shower, consider doing this before you leave the beach parking lot or heating water on your stove for a sponge bath.

Parking in neighborhoods, and then creating the noise and fumes of a generator, may result in local ordinances prohibiting such parking.

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Old 04-04-2018, 07:54 AM   #7
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Sound absorbant rubber mounts

We had our local RV shop (Bob Jones RV) put rubber matting (kind used in horse trailers) where the generator mounts to the frame. Not to make it quieter on the outside, but to reduce the strong vibrations inside the van. It made a huge difference and now we can comfortably use the generator.

We also installed the Onan resonator in the muffler, which makes outside noise a bit less objectionable. We try to park away from other campers, and observe generator restriction hours.

The system is not perfect, but we find its use acceptable when needed.
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:01 AM   #8
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Link to the thread I read while looking into this as well... OP has a 2018 so the resonator is already there... same as in mine.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...-106494-2.html

I installed the rubber grommets and neoprene washers... sorry to say that I could not tell any difference before and after... I was looking to reduce the vibration felt inside the AI when running the generator...







One good thing that came from doing the washers was that there was a propane hose pinched between the side bracket and the generator... Used a tie-wrap to keep it away while I installed the bracket back in place. Photos show it already out of the way...but you can see the mark on the hose.



I was a bit tired and frustrated because I could not feel a difference... So I stopped there... did not follow through on installing the sound (dynamat-like material) deadening material ...

As someone mentioned in my thread, the only way is to have an isolator... And I do not believe that there are vibration isolators that would work in this setup...





The weight of the generator, install (hanging from them instead of resting on them), and trying not to lower the generator more from its location (the ones with the load capacity to handle the weight of the generator are around 1" up to 1.67" long), pretty much rule those out...

.
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:03 PM   #9
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Generator safety

Hello I donít know if Iím in the right form new to the site and only two days into ownership of my airstream sprinter interstate
I wanted to know if anyone out there has slept in the bed which is directly above the generator and the propane and felt the rumbling underneath? I just wonder how safe it is? I am staying at a friends and staying in my airstream and Iím using my generator all night itís just so loud. Wondering if itís just because I have a 2018 and itís not brand new or this is just the way they are. Any comments would be greatly appreciated
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:57 PM   #10
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The generator is very loud indeed no way around that, unless you replace it with the new, somewhat quieter version that came out this year. Even then it will still be loud for sleeping, so I canít really recommend it for that purpose.

So, your experience sounds normal to me. That said, I would never try to sleep with the generator running - itís just too much noise.
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Old 09-18-2021, 04:52 AM   #11
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Hello I donít know if Iím in the right form new to the site and only two days into ownership of my airstream sprinter interstate
I wanted to know if anyone out there has slept in the bed which is directly above the generator and the propane and felt the rumbling underneath? I just wonder how safe it is? I am staying at a friends and staying in my airstream and Iím using my generator all night itís just so loud. Wondering if itís just because I have a 2018 and itís not brand new or this is just the way they are. Any comments would be greatly appreciated
If you have permission and access to a house receptacle at your friends you can avoid using the loud generator. You will need an adapter for the shore power cord. Weíve had guests stay in our AI at our house and plug it in so they can have AC. We only use our generator to charge house batteries when needed.
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Old 09-18-2021, 10:30 AM   #12
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If you have permission and access to a house receptacle at your friends you can avoid using the loud generator. You will need an adapter for the shore power cord. Weíve had guests stay in our AI at our house and plug it in so they can have AC. We only use our generator to charge house batteries when needed.
But you will need a 20A outlet to power the A/C. Most household outlets are only 15A - not enough to safely power A/C.

Even without the generator running you will find the A/C very noisy for sleeping. I wear earplugs to sleep when I have to run the A/C.

Goldenslacks - Welcome to the forum!!
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Old 09-18-2021, 03:03 PM   #13
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The generator is very loud indeed no way around that, unless you replace it with the new, somewhat quieter version that came out this year. Even then it will still be loud for sleeping, so I canít really recommend it for that purpose.

So, your experience sounds normal to me. That said, I would never try to sleep with the generator running - itís just too much noise.



Thank you, I didnít really mind the noise it was more about the feeling underneath me it just sounded like stuff was happening under there ! I spoke to airstream today and they said it was quite normal thank you so much for replying
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Old 09-18-2021, 04:28 PM   #14
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You can replace your generator with the new Onan qg2500i.

It is as quiet if not quieter than the portable Honda units.
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:07 PM   #15
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Is the qg2500i the same size or does it require modification of the existing mounting?
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:12 PM   #16
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Just about a drop in replacement.

The exhaust is slightly lower coming out of the case.

Your existing carrier bracket will bolt right up to the new unit without any modifications.
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Old 09-25-2021, 05:59 PM   #17
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I just walked past an Interstate at the college football game of choice. It was significantly quieter than our generator. We put on a resonator and I donít think that was the reason why. Iíd guess they had the quiet Onan version. Sounds like you are saying it is that much more quiet. Curious if someone who has one can ďconfirmĒ my suspension. Must be quite a bit more quiet than the old standard.
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Old 09-25-2021, 08:54 PM   #18
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I just walked past an Interstate at the college football game of choice. It was significantly quieter than our generator. Curious if someone who has one can “confirm” my suspension. Must be quite a bit more quiet than the old standard.
I can confirm that the new HGLAA Onan 2500 is significantly more quiet than the old HGJBB. We made this switch this summer. I don't have decibel measurements but the difference in noise and vibration is remarkable with the HGLAA Inverter technology. When the AC starts-up the generator quickly ramps up to supply the load and at that point it's about as loud as the only one. After a second or two it's back to remarkable quiet.
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