Camping is an exciting outdoor activity that allows you to get out in the open air and explore the wilderness on your own. It offers a fantastic experience to everyone.
Almost everything about camping is pleasant and enjoyable except for the constant humming and buzzing generator. Camping demands a quiet environment filled with peace and silence, which is impossible when a generator is humming in the distance.
That’s why we have compiled a list of how to reduce noise. Before we get into the solutions, let’s understand why generators make so much noise in the first place.
What Is It With My Generator and Noise?
While there are a number of factors that can make your generator so loud and buzzy, the main reason could be its primary build. Generators usually have motors made of lightweight materials that aren’t very helpful in curbing sounds. These lightweight materials make these generators portable and easy to move around.
The sound emitted by your generator also depends on the type of generator you have.
If your generator has a strong engine with more wattage, it is bound to emit louder noises compared to others with lower wattage because a big generator will emit more sound than a small one.
If these noises are too much for you, you can go for inverter generators which usually don’t create much fuss and are more efficient with fuel.
If you are still wondering what is causing all those obnoxious noises in your generator, here are six major sources that emit sound from the machine.
This noise is emitted directly from the engine installed in your generator. The main cause is mechanical and combustion forces ranging between 100 dB(A) to 121 dB(A).
Noise from Cooling Fan
The cooling fans make a lot of noise when the sound of air being moved at high speed reverberates across the engine and through the radiator. This sound can range between 100 dB(A) to 105 dB (A).
This sound is emitted when cool air collides with brush friction. It ranges somewhere between 80 dB(A) to 90 dB(A).
Structural or Mechanical Noise
The noise of the generator’s engine caused by the mechanical vibration of several structural parts and components make up this sound.
When an exhaust silencer is not installed in the generator, the sound emitted from the engine ranges between 120 dB(A) to 130 dB(A). With a standard silencer, you can reduce the noise to 15 dB(A).
There are fluctuations in the current in alternator windings, giving rise to mechanical noises ranging between 80 dB(A) to 90 dB(A).
Generally, portable generators emit a lot of noise through their engine block and exhaust system. If you have an air-cooled engine, you won’t be able to do much about blocking the noise.
Some generators come with mufflers attached to it, which helps make it quiet. In case you have one that does not come with a muffler or doesn’t provide you with options to install any other silencing equipment, there are some ways you can reduce the racket caused by these devices.
Can I Make my Generator Quieter?
Having a generator comes in handy when you’re heading on a camping trip, and you don’t have any other source of light or electricity. It is a good option to keep a generator at your home, in case of sudden power outages.
While generators are useful devices, its only drawbacks are its fuel consumption and obnoxious noise. Even though you cannot do much about changing the fuel consumption, you aren’t completely helpless when it comes to dampening the sound.
A standard generator produces noises between 60 dB to 100 dB.
Since these devices have to run for a longer period of time especially during camping trips, the constant sound would be unpleasant to the ears and will disrupt your tranquil mood, causing long-term hearing damage if you are a camping enthusiast.
You must look for ways to reduce the noise without harming the efficiency of your generator in any way.
There are ways to completely muzzle down or reduce the noise your generator makes when you are on a peaceful camping trip. One of the easiest and most sought after methods of reducing the sound of your generator is to build a quiet generator box. If you are wondering how to make a generator quiet for camping, here are some tips that may come in handy.
How Can I Make My Portable Generator Quieter for Camping?
Here are some of the methods that genuinely work in reducing the noise of your generator. You can try them if these resources are readily available. When you land on something that works for you, stick to it and use the same trick for all your future camping trips. These tips will help make your generator quieter:
Maintain Adequate Distance Between Your Camp and the Generator
Though it’s a pretty obvious tip to silence a generator, most people don’t abide by it. When you are shopping for generators, you will notice a numerical with ‘m’ marked on the boxes. These numerical units denote how far the units were kept from the designated area.
The decibels of sound mentioned on the box signifies the same thing. Try to place the generator at least 20 feet away from the place you set your camp, and you’ll hear nothing apart from a distant buzz.
Set it on Rubber Feet or Other Raised Platforms
Place the generator on rubber feet so the vibrations caused by the machine are minimized. There is a chance these vibrations are making these noises.
You shouldn’t put the generator on a wooden or concrete platform as it can produce more noise than vibrations. You can also put the generator on the ground so the noise is absorbed by the earth.
Alternatively, you can find some anti-vibration mats online or in the market and place them underneath your generator. If you think the heating process of your generator is the issue, you should stick to rubber foams and mats.
Install Sound Deflectors
If these hacks don’t work efficiently, don’t sweat! You can go for more professional soundproofing methods used for larger generators that usually produce a lot of noise.
Using sound deflectors helps divert the noise from your spot. When you’re on a camping trip, bring 4 plywood sheets and a sheet of drywall. We recommend drywall because in the event your generator heats up, the drywall is fire-resistant and the fire will never reach you. Place the sheets at an angle to cover the generator nicely.
Build an Enclosure for Your Generator
One of the most common and easiest ways to silence a generator is by building an efficient enclosure for it. You can construct it by using a few simple tools without seeking help from other people.
The whole process is like building a box, and it works surprisingly well in silencing the noise. Just gather some basic tools and build yourself an enclosure. We will discuss how to make this quiet enclosure in the latter part of this article.
Move The Exhaust Pipes Away From Your Campsite
A quick and easy trick to reduce the noise in your generator is to turn the exhaust pipes to the other side so it doesn’t face your campsite.
All the sound waves coming from the generator through the exhaust pipe will be transferred to the other side, and you will achieve some peace during your trip.
While this trick is not completely effective, this trick will make a significant difference in contrast to when the pipe is faced directly with your campsite.
Check Your Generator’s Muffler
If you have been using the same generator for years and you suddenly notice a lot of noise emitting from the machine, you must check the mufflers attached to the generator.
Chances are that your muffler has become faulty through regular usage, wear, and tear. Perhaps it is time you get a new muffler installed in the machine or replace your generator altogether.
If you have a cheap generator, you might want to replace it as soon as you get annoyed by the unbearable noise. You can also replace the worn out features of the generator with new and high quality parts.
Get Generator Silencers
Generator silencers are different from mufflers, but they both do the same job when you want to silence a generator.
When you are looking to purchase a generator silencer, you will find them under three main categories. Each of these categories determines the level of noise reduction that your generator will achieve after installing the particular silencer.
Water Bucket Trick
This trick is effective when you are outdoors and don’t know what to do when the noise becomes annoying and you want to quiet that generator!
Simply connect the hose pipe to the exhaust pipes of your generator, and submerge the other end of the pipe into a bucket or tub that contains a minimum of 5 gallons of water.
This method works magically as it dampens the noise produced by your generator to a huge extent. Don’t worry about the water getting into the generator. You can create a small hole at the highpoint of the hose pipe, which prevents water from entering your generator in any way.
What is the Quietest Portable Generator for Camping?
Anyone heading to a camping trip should carry a portable generator with them.
Assuming that you are looking to spend a blissful, tranquil, and peaceful time in the woods surrounded by the sounds of cicadas, crickets, and low humming of the campfire – wouldn’t it completely kill the mood if a generator keeps buzzing in the background overpowering all other noises?
The good news is that you will find plenty of portable generators that produce not too much noise. Investing in these would be a good idea if you are a camping enthusiast that goes camping frequently. Here is a list of the best portable quiet generators that produces minimum noises.
Honda EU2200I Portable Generator Inverter
Apart from being lightweight and easy to carry around during an adventurous camping trip, this inverter generator produces very little noise and is fuel-efficient!
Known as one of the quietest generators in the market, this generator operates from 48 dB to 57 dB, which is not much more than the level of noise generated from casual conversations. You would not be able to hear anything more than a distant murmur if you place it a little further away from your campsite.
A unique feature of the Honda EU2200i is that it supports everyday items such as a refrigerator, a computer, or a coffee maker. You can also run your AC, microwave, or lights without a problem.
WEN Model 56200i 4-Stroke Gas Powered 2000 Watt Inverter Generator
This generator features a power-packed performance while operating quietly and efficiently. With 1600 running watts and 2000 starting watts, you don’t have to worry about the efficiency of this generator.
A unique feature of this generator is that it offers high altitude conversion kits for people who want to buy these at a reasonable price.
Apart from that, the WEN model comes with an abundance of replacement parts off the shelf. The noise level of this generator is around 51 dB, so be prepared to say hello to a good night’s sleep!
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Portable Inverter Generator
With features of a heavy-build generator packed with features, the Yamaha inverter generator combines all these features into a small and portable unit that is as quiet as a whisper.
The generator is packed with smart features, which makes its performance renowned and reviewed positively in the market. This generator comes with exceptional fuel-efficiency via the Smart throttle, which is a load-sending RPM control. This feature specifically helps with reducing noise.
The noise unit emitted from the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 model ranges between 51.5 dBA to 61 dBA, which isn’t too loud to handle. It also comes with a unique rubber vibration isolation foot which helps in keeping the vibration sounds in check.
Powered by a Yamaha engine, Atima is a useful generator that is super portable and is an ideal choice for camping enthusiasts. It has the same fuel-saving capacities as other Yamaha models and it comes with super-quiet noise levels which makes it so favorable.
Although the body of this generator is a bit bulky, the wheels are a feature that makes it easy to maneuver around without much hassle. It comes with an LCD display option which is a super appealing feature.
This generator is not too fancy, but it does its job perfectly and quietly. The noise unit emitted by this portable generator ranges somewhere between 51 dBA and 61 dBA, just like other Yamaha models.
Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200
When it comes to sound protection, customers go with the Briffs and Stratton inverter generators. Its lightweight build and reasonable sound production makes it a star product on our list. Although the generator might look tiny and compact, it delivers a power-packed performance.
This generator comes with a computer-controlled engine that provides consistent power while remaining silent. It has carrying hands, which come in handy when moving the generator from one place to the other, making it a perfect item to bring along for camping trips.
This generator comes with eight hours of run time, which means you get plenty of power even if you are running low on fuel.
Westinghouse 2200 Watt Inverter Generator, Model WH2200iXLT
Another inverter generator that emits low-level sound is this one from Westinghouse. It is not only compact and easy to maneuver, but it is also budget-friendly and efficient. Its power-packed performance guarantees 1800 watts of energy continuously.
Even with such high voltage, this generator does not emit sounds as the units do not have more than 59 decibels. This is an ideal choice for people heading to a quiet camping site.
Westinghouse has been in the market for over a century so customers are very well aware of the quality and performance of their generators. Since the brand has been in the market for a long time, you won’t find much difficulty in finding repair guys who can fix their generators.
Champion 4000-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter
Champion’s open-frame style generator is 50% quieter than the other models. It is one of the premium generators that offer 17 hours of run time with plenty of electricity and power delivered to your appliances and electronics.
Whether you are on a camping trip or using these inverter generators for your garden, this type is your ideal match because it is quieter and more lightweight compared to other models of the same brand.
With a maximum of 64 dBA, you wouldn’t even realize that a highly efficient generator is operating near you. The noise lever is not louder than someone speaking normally so you can have a good sleep inside your camping tent.
It is compact yet it comes with an ample fuel tank. You might think that the open frame would produce a ton of noise, but that is not the case.
Can you Enclose a Portable Generator?
It is fairly easy to enclose a portable generator. You can make the enclosure yourself using some basic tools without asking for help from other people. These enclosures work like a charm and can reduce the noise levels caused by your generators to a considerable degree!
Here is a list of basic tools you need to make the generator enclosure:
- Measuring Tape
- Framing squares
- A level bar
- Miter saw
- Drilling machines
- Safety gloves
- Plywood beam
- Screws and nails of different sizes
- Wood glue and wood fillers
STEP 1: Cut 2 lumbers of 2x6x8 and 2 lumbers of 1x6x4. Set up the lumbers to make a rectangle. You can fix one beam at the center to measure the perfect width and length.
STEP 2: Screw down the frame using a ply with dimensions of 4×8.
STEP 3: Follow the same procedure mentioned above to make the sidewall frame. You have to cut out the circle of a diameter on the sidewall panels so that the exhaust pipe and fan can be installed without much hassle.
STEP 4: Make sure to build the back wall slightly smaller than the other wall so you have better ventilation inside the enclosure.
STEP 5: Once you are done setting up the enclosure, make sure to secure the planks by using hinges and locks. Since you will keep them out in the open, you don’t want someone to steal the generator away while you are sleeping peacefully in the camp.
STEP 6: After you assembled all the parts, you can fix all the corners and joints with waterproof glue to be more precise. Use wood filler in cavities to secure your enclosure.
Once you follow all these steps perfectly, it will take you around one whole day to make a portable generator enclosure.
While there is no such thing as a completely silent or quiet generator, you can find some hacks to reduce the obnoxious sounds created by the generator while camping in the woods or by a lake. Quieting a generator is not a difficult task, thanks to the recent development in technology.
You can follow our guide to make a generator enclosure with tools from home and take it anywhere you wish to set up a camp. We hope you have a quieter camping experience following our tips, tricks, and hacks.