Nothing spells adventure better than bustling into the wilderness with nothing but a camping tent and a bag of essentials, right? Well, not entirely. Wondering how you can camp out for a week without your mobile devices? What about lighting at night? Let’s face it; as amusing as camping sounds, we need some power – and this brings us to portable generators.
A nice generator is a camper’s best friend, especially in our current technological age. Unfortunately, there is one mishap – some generators are noisy! When we go out for camping, we are usually looking for an opportunity to unwind and enjoy the serenity nature has to offer. Most people are escaping the honks, blazing music, and noisy neighbors in search of some peace and quiet. With this in mind, a rumbling generator in the background can be a bit of a nuisance to your camping experience.
Now you’re caught in a dilemma. What to forego; the noisy generator or night without power? Luckily, we have a solution that does not force you to compromise – making the generator quiet! This elaborate guide will look at some useful tricks to muffle or reduce the noise of your portable generator to ensure you enjoy your camping trip – and you don’t annoy some wild animals. But first, let’s look at the source of the sound.
Why is the Generator Loud?
In the word of the inspirational American author, Anthony J. D’Angelo, “When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.” In our case, the first step to finding an effective solution is understanding the underlying reason for the noisy generator.
Keep in mind that not all portable generators are created equal – some are quieter than others. Regardless, how you maintain or set up the generator can also affect its noise output. Consider the following possible reasons for a loud generator:
- Power Output: The energy level or power output of your generator is a major determinant of its loudness. Stronger devices are predominantly louder than their compact, low power counterparts due to their extra load. Think of it in terms of a bulldozer and a Honda civic – the former has a higher power output and is expected to be louder. However, power output is not the only determinant
- The Generator’s Technology: Most modern generators use advanced technology to produce power. Inverter technology and specialized magnets supply a steady flow of power with lower noise than traditional generators. The modern generator is also often more compact, efficient, and reliable, thanks to some noise-reducing features and additional mufflers. However, it’s important to note that inverter generators are not as powerful as their larger convention counterparts.
- Generator Soundproofing: Does your generator have any soundproofing features? Some generators are factory-fitted while others require you to add soundproofing yourself. Please note that cheaper models often add minimal soundproofing – so expect a rumble as you save on costs.
- The positioning of the Generator: Sometimes, the noise emission has nothing to do with the components or build of the generator – at times you’re the culprit. How far away is the generator from your campsite? What is the stability and firmness of the generator’s platform?
5 Useful Tricks to Reduce the Noise from a Generator
Read on for some practical tips and tricks to make the generator quieter for camping. Keep in mind that some are more effective, but they can be used in combination with others to improve the noise reduction outcome.
1. The Water Hack
Water is life! It’s a necessity for anyone going out camping. But did you know that you could use H2O for more than hydration and a refreshing shower? The next time you’re out camping and your generator are relentlessly buzzing your ears off, connect a pipe to the exhaust and place it a bucket-full of water. This sounds straight from the MacGyver show, but it actually works to dampen the noise. Wait, what if the water finds its way into the generator? Though unlikely, you can poke a hole on the higher end of the hose for assurance.
2. Reducing the Vibration
The simplest trick you can use to make your generator quieter is reducing the vibrations. This is related to the stability and material of the surface where you set your generator. For example, shaky wooden surfaces have significantly more vibration that firm rubber platforms.
3. Sound Deflectors
Sound deflectors are objects that diverting the path of sound waves. While this is not necessarily a solution to make the generator quieter, it directs the noise away from your vicinity. They are especially useful when there are space constraints, and it’s not practical to place the generator far away. To set up sound deflectors, simply place a few barriers between your location and the generator – that’s all!
4. Using a Better Exhaust Muffler
You already know that the noise from your generator’s motor is expelled through the exhaust. To reduce the noise pollution from the exhaust, manufacturers install specially designed mufflers to curb the noise output. Since there is little you can do to reduce the noise produced by the motor, the only logical solution lies in investing in a bigger and better exhaust muffler. These devices significantly reduce the pitch and level of noise generated (see what we did there?)
5. Exhaust Pipe Positioning
How is the exhaust pipe of your generator positioned? If you own a standard generator, the chances are that the exhaust pipe is positioned horizontally. Well, guess what? Adjusting it to a vertical position does wonder to your noise reduction efforts. As bizarre as this might sound, it actually works. The exhaust pipe is one of the primary sources of the buzzing generator sound that’s making your ears bleed. So, theoretically speaking, placing it in a vertical position directs the sound up into the open air rather than right to your face. And if it’s impractical due to the structure of positioning of your generator, at the east point it away from your campsite.