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How To Make Your RV Generator Quieter

Rv generators are awesome for the power they provide, but they’re noisy as heck. Luckily, it’s entirely possible to soundproof your generator.

Depending on what’s causing the noise, there are several steps you can take to make your RV generator quieter. If it’s making more noise than usual, it likely needs maintenance. You can also soundproof both in-built and portable generators, to some extent.

Here’s how to make your RV generator a bit less loud.

Noise Factors

Now, some generators are built with noise in mind. You’ll usually find them clearly marked as “extra quiet” or see model names like the “Whisper 3000,” but there’s more to what makes noise than the design.

Fuel

First of all, fuel type affects the noise level. There are three main types of fuel for generators – gas, liquid propane, and diesel.

  1. Diesel-fueled generators are, on average, the loudest. They’re also not incredibly eco-friendly, but that’s not why we’re here.
  2. Gas generators are generally the middle-child in terms of noise, and are the most commonly found. They’re also generally more affordable.
  3. Finally, liquid propane generators are generally the quietest, but they come with a couple of drawbacks. Liquid propane produces the least amount of energy out of the fuel types, and it’s spendy. On the plus side, it’s much better for the environment, so at least it’s got that going for it, right?

Parts

As with most mechanical devices, parts on generators can go bad. This could potentially cause noise, so it’s worth considering if you’re noticing a noisier generator than you had previously.

  1. Mounts – Your generator moves as it’s working, that’s just how it is. If, however, you notice it shaking more than usual, or making excess noise, it’s worth it to check the mounting brackets. This goes for both portable and in-built generators, but applies more to the latter.
  2. Fan – If your generator uses a fan, it can come loose. Ensure it’s still secured firmly if you hear squeaking or rattling.
  3. Engine – Since your engine relies on combustion, it’s going to make noise. But if you hear scary sounds coming from your engine, turn it off. Then (assuming you’re comfortable with it), check your engine to ensure everything is in place. Hard surfaces like metal can increase noise from your engine by allowing a surface for it to bounce off of.
  4. Exhaust – If you’re using a portable generator, chances are the exhaust is making a lot of noise. There’s a fix for this down below (a muffler) but if it’s making a rattling or clanging sound, that’s a sign of a damaged exhaust.

Soundproofing

Now let’s get to the cool DIY stuff. Here are a few options, in order of difficulty:

Plywood & Tar Or Rubber

Especially if you already have plywood lying around, you can create makeshift soundproofing in as little as a minute. All this method takes is placing plywood around the generator to dampen sound. Adding tar or rubber to the situation can further dampen sound, but that’s a bit more time-intensive.

The best part of this is that you don’t even need to actually build anything – you can literally just lean the cardboard around the generator. This is the cheapest method, especially if you already have plywood on hand. On average, this will cost you below $100.

Noise Reduction Box

This method is much more time and work intensive, but it will pay off in terms of sound reduction. In short, a noise reduction box (AKA “baffle box”) is a container that you place around your generator to dampen noise. This works in a similar manner to the plywood method, but it uses more expensive materials such as soundproofing foam, fiberglass, or rubber.

This is less expensive and more effective than the next method, but it also requires a lot more hands-on work than the previous. So be sure to measure your skills accordingly. Depending on materials, this will cost between $100-300.

Muffler

Since your generator has an exhaust, you can attach a muffler to it! Realistically, however, this isn’t the most effective solution in terms of time, money, or actual noise reduction. This process requires tools and mechanical know-how, but you’re more than welcome to try it or ask a pro to help. This will generally cost $300-400+ (especially if you pay someone to do it).

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot of ways to quiet your generator. It’s important to check for mechanical issues if you notice more noise than usual, but plenty of factors can be involved. The model of your generator, the fuel it uses, and any soundproofing you’ve done will all affect overall noise.

Can You Soundproof RV Generators?

Yes. There’s a lot of ways to do it, some of which are listed above. Keep in mind that this likely won’t eliminate all sound, but rather reduce the overall sound.

Can You Buy Quiet RV Generators?

Yes. Just do your research and find the one best for you, rather than the one that says “EXTRA SUPER QUIET” on the box.

Do RV Solar Panels Make Noise?

No. They’re drastically more quiet than generators, which is one of their many benefits. They’re also much more environmentally friendly, and you don’t have to pour money (gas/fuel) into them to burn.

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