You’ve just settled in for the night in your campground when it happens. Someone new rolls in and parks in the site over. Aside from the usual noises that come from setting up camp, they’re good neighbors so far. But then they fire up their generator and ruin your precious peace and quiet. Since we never want to be “that neighbor” here are the top 5 quiet generators for RV camping!
We’ve all been in this scenario and just put in earplugs and hoped for the best. And some of us, not pointing any fingers, have been the ones with the loud genny.
We get it. Generators are expensive to replace, and if you have one that works, you’re going to get the most out of it. You’ve probably learned to sleep through the noise, no matter how loud.
Being a good neighbor in the RV campground is part of our culture. While some folks might need the generator on longer than others, it’s usually just for charging batteries.
Today, we’re looking at the top five quiet inverter generators for RV camping. So buckle up because here we go!
Inverter Generator v. Regular Generator
Inverter generators are the more sophisticated little brother of the traditional gas generator. Using onboard technology to throttle power to meet demand, inverter generators are quieter and more fuel efficient.
They provide consistent capacity to meet demand, saving fuel and increasing the device’s lifespan.
Generators operate at full capacity all the time. They’re generally heavier and louder, and cheaper than inverter generators.
They hold up well in inclement weather or rough conditions. But inverter generators provide clean, consistent, and quiet power for camping and RVing.
Why Does Being Quiet Matter?
Part of the reason we love getting out on the road is freedom. No one tells you where to go or when to go there. But camping overnight in a campground challenges that sense of freedom.
Getting out of the city, away from the noise, you don’t expect to deal with loud neighbors.
Generators are necessary for campgrounds without access to power. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re out of juice when you need it the most, and they make that possible.
Noise and fumes from running a generator are a nuisance when you’re camping around others.
There’s almost always one RV in any given campground that’s causing problems related to noise pollution. Most of the time, the host will deal with it, but not always.
And while you may not be able to control other people’s actions, something you can do is ensure you’re not the problem.
How Do You Measure Generator Noise?
Decibel meters gauge how loud a sound is through intensity. Sound is a pressure wave, so the louder a sound is, the more pressure you perceive.
On the decibel scale, 50 dB describes a quiet office, for example. Each number on the scale is actually ten times larger than the previous number.
So, 100 dB represents heavy city traffic, and 140 dB is intense enough to cause permanent hearing loss.
Regular generators operate in the range of 80 to 100 dB. Instead of enjoying the sounds of nature, you’re bringing the noise of a New York City traffic jam with you!
The top five quiet generators hover around 50 dB, which is much more tolerable.
No matter how quiet the generator is, it doesn’t do you any good if it doesn’t put out enough power. Know what you’re requirements are before you purchase an RV generator.
Factors to Consider When Buying an RV Generator
When you get ready to purchase a new generator, you can’t just get the quietest one and hope for the best.
Calculating your energy needs and comparing that to the generator’s wattage is just the beginning.
Power output in generators is rated in watts. Because this is such an essential piece of information, it usually makes it into the product’s name.
So, a Generac iQ3500 can produce a maximum of 3500 watts. To put that in perspective, that’s 35 100-watt light bulbs at once.
To ensure an efficient output, you must calculate how much power your rig needs. According to Jackery, a solar generator manufacturer, the average RV needs 2500 watts on the low end.
For small appliances and electronics, that’s usually plenty. But for full functionality, 4000 watts is necessary.
Check out more information about eco-friendly RV generators at Jackery.com.
Traditional generators aren’t usually rated for noise because they’re operated outdoors and usually operated away from people.
Camping with an inverter generator brings you closer to others, so noise must be considered.
Generally speaking, campgrounds have limits on dB and hours of operation for RV generators. 60dB is a standard noise limit just above normal speaking volume.
Using your generator in camp requires a quiet device.
Portable generators usually weigh between 250 and 300 pounds. Quiet generators weigh significantly less, in the range of 60 to 120 pounds.
Heavier models frequently have a wheel kit available to make them more portable.
All of the models in our top five are inverter generators that provide higher fuel efficiency by design. These devices are designed to adjust power output based on demand,
so they’re not producing excess wattage.
This feature enhances their fuel efficiency significantly. A mid-sized unit can produce power from 8 to 25 hours on just a few gallons of fuel.
Several companies produce alternative fuel inverter generators using propane or solar power. For nearly silent operation, these are the best choices.
Top 5 Quiet Generators
Now that you know all the details, let’s get to the top performers in the inverter generator category!
Wattage: 3,000 dB: 45
Weighing in at 109 pounds dry, the Generac iQ3500 inverter generator is one of our favorites. Yes, it’s heavier than others, but we think it’s worth it.
Engineers incorporated advanced inverter technology and an enhanced enclosure to reduce noise.
Topping out at 3500 watts, it’s got enough capacity for everyday needs. And if your needs are greater than the capacity of one iQ3500, you can daisy chain two together.
Honda EU2200i Companion
Wattage: 2,200 dB: 48
At a little less than half the previous model’s weight, the Honda EU2200i is only 45.5 pounds dry.
Even though it’s got less capacity, this device has enough juice to run your campsite with room to spare.
Using Honda’s Eco-throttle system, it’ll run on a single tank for four to nine hours. You can also double up and run two of these devices side-by-side.
Wattage: 3,000 dB: 49
Honda’s EU3000IS tips the scales at 130 pounds but makes up for it in functionality. One of the unique features of inverter generators is that they provide stable, consistent power.
This model can run everything from computers to medical devices reliably.
Honda’s units also come with CO-MINDER technology that automatically detects high carbon monoxide levels nearby. If the concentration gets too high, the device shuts off automatically.
Wattage: 1,700 dB: 51
Lighter and cheaper than some other units on our list, the WEN 56203i still packs a punch. At 39 pounds, it’s light enough to pack in the car but with enough power for the RV.
It’ll run all your devices but doesn’t have the right connector to charge RV batteries.
Perfect for sensitive electronics, the WEN 56203i is great for tech-heavy trips.
Wattage: 2,200 dB: 52
Westinghouse’s iGen2200 rounds out our list with style. Weighing in at only 47 pounds, this little unit can run all your home essentials.
It’s also extremely efficient and capable of running for 12 hours on 1.2 gallons of fuel. It can simultaneously power a full-size refrigerator, AC, and most of your devices!
Quiet Hours Don’t Have to Ruin Your Fun!
Wherever you decide to camp, bringing the noise of a generator along for the ride can be a killjoy. Choosing a quiet, efficient, and powerful device using inverter technology makes you a better neighbor.
With enough power to run your RV and everything under the sun, you can even enjoy movie night in the boondocks!
Eco-friendly RVers, remember to look for propane or solar-powered generator kits. They’re capable of producing the power you need with less environmental impact.
For more articles on RV travel and remote work check out these valuable resources