Having a generator in your RV is crucial, especially if you’re going places that don’t have a power source you can plug into. But unfortunately, those generators create a lot of noise that can make things quite uncomfortable.
You can quiet your RV generator by building an acoustic enclosure or ‘baffle box’ around it, mounting a generator muffler, or soundproofing the generator compartment. Besides that, upgrading to a quieter generator will reduce noise, while switching over to solar power will eliminate noise entirely.
This guide will walk you through the options you have to quiet your RV generator so you can choose the best one for your situation.
How Can I Make My RV Generator Quieter?
There are several solutions you can take to make your RV generator quieter.
Some solutions will cost more than others. So, you’ll have to balance what you’re willing to spend with how much RV generator noise you can tolerate.
Here are the options you have:
Move Your Generator Further Away
Probably one of the easiest things to quiet your generator is to move it as far as possible from your campsite. That’s the great thing about portable RV generators, you can move them.
Extension cords will help to maximise the distance, the more open space you have around you will also help. So it’s often the best option when boondocking.
If you are on a campsite then you will be limited with where you can place the generator as you will have to consider your fellow campers. Don’t move your generator next to another campsite, this could end in tears.
But if you have space then move the generator as far away from your RV as possible, generally the further away it is the quieter it will be.
Place The Generator On a Soft Surface
When you’ve found a good place to put the generator, that’s a fair distance from you, the next important thing to remember is to place it on a soft surface. A soft surface will dampen the noise that it makes, a hard surface (such as concrete) will amplify all the sound the generator creates.
Always opt for dirt or grass to place the generator on over concrete, asphalt or wood. This will drastically reduce the noise output.
You can always use an anti-vibration mat as well to reduce the noise, these are great to have in your rig. They soak up alot of the sound created by the vibrating generator.
You will also want to make sure that the ground is as level as possible, so the generator isn’t wobbling around and creating even more noise than necessary.
Face The Exhaust Pipes Away From You
You will also want to ensure that the exhaust pipes are facing away from your campsite, not only will this be quieter for you, but it also means that you won’t be breathing in all the fumes. So it’s a win win really.
Build An Acoustic Enclosure or Baffle Box
Your first option to quiet down an RV generator is to use an acoustic enclosure. Many people in the RV community simply refer to it as the ‘baffle box’, and it’s a pretty straightforward solution.
A baffle box is a container you place directly over your generator, forcing its sound waves to bounce around in a restricted space.
Remember: sound waves are vibrations. So, they’ll lose energy as they bounce around in the baffle box. As a result, the remaining sound you hear outside the box is minimal.
Baffle boxes are straightforward and cheap.
You can buy them ready-made or make one yourself with some basic DIY know-how.
Unfortunately, they don’t eliminate all your RV generator’s noise. Plus, it can be pretty frustrating having to place and remove the box each time you want to check the generator’s status or adjust its settings.
Use A Generator Muffler
Your second option for reducing RV generator noise is to install a muffler. Some might refer to this accessory as a ‘silencer’ instead.
Regardless of what you call it, the muffler functions the same way as the one on your car. You’ll attach it to the generator’s exhaust to reduce or muffle (hence the name) the noise that comes out of the unit.
Generator mufflers come ready-made, so you can shop around for one compatible with the brand and model you have. However, you can also repurpose an automotive muffler for the same reason.
Naturally, a generator muffler will cost more than a simple baffle box or acoustic enclosure. Besides that, you’ll need to be careful not to block the flow of exhaust air coming out from the generator when you mount the silencer.
However, your RV generator will become significantly quieter when you install the muffler correctly.
You and yours will be much more comfortable lounging in and around your RV while that generator runs.
Soundproof Onboard Generator Compartment
Let’s suppose you tend to run your RV generator while it’s onboard the vehicle, sitting in its compartment.
In that case, you’ll find it worthwhile to focus your soundproofing efforts around that compartment instead of building a baffle box or mounting a muffler directly onto it.
The best way to soundproof your generator compartment is to make its seams airtight. You can do so with acoustic caulk or seal the edges with foil tape.
Besides that, it also helps to add sound-absorbing materials to the compartment’s inner panels. Acoustic foam panels are a typical example of such materials, though fibreglass materials are also available on the market.
For added protection, you should also know that these soundproofing materials also come in fire-resistant versions.
Replace Your Current Generator
So far, the solutions you’ve seen above involve modifying the generator you’ve already got in your RV. However, the following two solutions will involve upgrading to more acoustically-friendly power generating solutions.
If minimizing noise is a priority for you, it’s worth considering replacing your current generator with a newer model.
You can minimize RV generator noise by simply doing your homework and finding one with the lowest noise output. Take the time to read manufacturer specifications and find the ones with the weakest decibels.
When you find an RV generator that’s quiet while providing for all your energy needs, then that’s the one you should invest in.
Suppose your current generator already has several years of wear under its belt. In that case, this solution might be the best one overall. You’re going to buy a new generator at some point, so now’s the time to plan ahead and find the quietest one available.
Use Solar Power
Last but not least, you could also consider switching over to solar power. There is a long list of benefits to going solar for your RV, as you might imagine.
But the most important benefit is that solar power systems do not produce any loud noises as generators do.
On top of that, you’ll never have to worry about fuel or exhaust fumes ever again. Solar power works quietly to capture energy from the sun and store it in batteries to run all your RV appliances.
If you’re like most Rvers, you love the peace and quiet of camping in your RV. One great way to get the most out of nature is to quieten your RV generator.
If your RV generator is making too much noise, there are a few things you can do to try and reduce the noise. Firstly, check the positioning and make sure it is as far away from you as possible and on soft level ground. You can also try an acoustic enclosure, muffler or soundproofing compartment. But, if that sounds like too much work then you can always shop around for a quieter generator or use alternative power like solar.