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 > How generators have changed our camping experience...

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pasusan

Northernmost PA

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Posted: 09/18/12 03:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For many years we camped in state and national parks without hook ups. Our last camper didn't need electricity or even a battery to camp. The furnace didn't have a blower, the water was pressurized so no pump, the fridge and water heater had pilot lights, and we had a propane interior light.

Everything changed when we acquired our new "modern" camper. No propane interior light, furnace needs to run a blower, water won't flow without a pump, even the fridge and water heater need 12V to run on propane.

We took some steps to make our new camper more functional without hook-ups... Replaced all our lights with LEDs, replaced the 12V battery with two 6V golf cart batteries, even got a wind up weather radio. We can't go indefinitely, but 3 or 4 days is do-able when running the furnace.

But... We hardly ever camp without hook ups anymore. We have a fall leaf peeping trip planned through the Adirondacks and we've been waffling about making reservations. Eighth Lake State Park was one of our planned stops where we would spend 3 nights without hook-ups. Called them today and asked about generator use. Yup, the guy said - lots of folks bring them since we don't have electric. I asked if there were limited hours and he said 9 to 11 and 4 to 7. Well, 4 to 7 is when we usually make and eat dinner at our site after a heavy day of sightseeing. We just don't want to listen to generators.

We made reservations at a private campground with hook ups. Pretty depressed about it as we really like to camp in the most natural environment possible, but it looks like those days are over.

Go ahead...




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Poppy & Nana

Upstate New York

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Posted: 09/18/12 04:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Where will you be staying ? Generators, for the most part, are quite now a day! I would not forgo the Adirondack experience because of the POSSIBILITY that someone would be running a generator.

If you are here mid-week, the chances of a generator running may be yours only....pretty quite around here during the week this time of the year!


Leo & Kathy
Upstate, NY
in the Adirondacks

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mockturtle

WA

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Posted: 09/18/12 04:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I stay at a lot of public campgrounds without hookups and don't hear very many generators. Also, some parks (national parks, e.g.) have 'no-generator' zones. More people are relying on solar to charge their batteries now, I think.


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Artemus Gordon

Redding California

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Posted: 09/18/12 05:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can't tell you they are all quiet but many generators are not as loud as they use to be. We select our spots wisely and hope people follow the rules. I think fall camping is my favorite time of year. Hope you decide to take the trip. Some recommend ear plugs but I just can't do that. I need to hear what's going on around me in case of an emergency.

* This post was edited 09/19/12 07:59pm by Artemus Gordon *

Terryallan

Foothills NC

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Posted: 09/18/12 05:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pasusan wrote:

For many years we camped in state and national parks without hook ups. Our last camper didn't need electricity or even a battery to camp. The furnace didn't have a blower, the water was pressurized so no pump, the fridge and water heater had pilot lights, and we had a propane interior light.

Everything changed when we acquired our new "modern" camper. No propane interior light, furnace needs to run a blower, water won't flow without a pump, even the fridge and water heater need 12V to run on propane.

We took some steps to make our new camper more functional without hook-ups... Replaced all our lights with LEDs, replaced the 12V battery with two 6V golf cart batteries, even got a wind up weather radio. We can't go indefinitely, but 3 or 4 days is do-able when running the furnace.

But... We hardly ever camp without hook ups anymore. We have a fall leaf peeping trip planned through the Adirondacks and we've been waffling about making reservations. Eighth Lake State Park was one of our planned stops where we would spend 3 nights without hook-ups. Called them today and asked about generator use. Yup, the guy said - lots of folks bring them since we don't have electric. I asked if there were limited hours and he said 9 to 11 and 4 to 7. Well, 4 to 7 is when we usually make and eat dinner at our site after a heavy day of sightseeing. We just don't want to listen to generators.

We made reservations at a private campground with hook ups. Pretty depressed about it as we really like to camp in the most natural environment possible, but it looks like those days are over.

Go ahead...



Agree. We too tend to stay away from the truckstop / National Park CGs. nothing worse than hearing a bunch of generators crank up at the crack of dawn. And then listening to them pretty much all day, as the camper wannabes sit inside watching TV.
So We also started going to Pivate CGs with hookups. They are MUCH quieter, and in the same mountains.

It appears most agreee with us, as when you ride thru the Blue Ridge Parkway CGS. they are pretty much empty. Was a time when you couldn't get in, unless you got there early on Friday. Then the generators took over.
BTW. there is no such thing as a quiet generator on the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Terry & Shay
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Desert Captain

Tucson

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Posted: 09/18/12 05:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Therein lies the problem with generators. The folks with the quiet inverter gens like Honda and Yamaha are not usually a problem but the guy with the Harbor Freight open frame monster has just as much right to run his. Short of Rangers and hosts running around with db meters (obviously not gonna happen), there is no way to keep the inconsiderate folks with the cheap loud generators out.

Last summer we were up at Canyon Point on the Mogollon Rim. During our evening stroll through the CG we came across and awesome rig. Brand new F-350 King Ranch 4X4, Crew Cab Long bed with every bell and whistle. He was pulling a gorgeous 30 something foot trailer, also brand new. Easily had $110,000 invested and on the back of the trailer was a storage rack with a Harbor Freight $199 open frame genny. Seems like common sense and courtesy left the building and most campgrounds some time back. You usually have a choice, stay where there are hookups and no generators or take your chances with the neighbors.

pnichols

Santa Cruz Mountains

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Posted: 09/18/12 05:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

BTW. there is no such thing as a quiet generator on the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Hmmm ... we didn't notice genny noise that much on the BRP when we camped there a couple of years ago. If I remember right, a few hundred yards out in many spots the BRP drops off into valleys on both sides of the highway. The sound from generators thus has fewer surfaces to bounce off of back into the campgrounds. It definitely was not like the higher mountains and thick forests that go for miles around campgrounds other places to reflect back sounds. We also had winds a lot on the BRP that kindof masked the sound from generators - certainly the sound from quiet generators.

I guess we're lucky out West, as we seem to camp much more in wide open space type situations where generator noise is not as much of an issue. We really appreciate being able to drycamp out here even in the summer and still be comfortable with generator powered air conditioning. We pretty much do not like to stay in the expensive and crowded hookup campgrounds -> it's too much like camping in suburbia. I take noise from well-spaced generators much better than the racket you hear from close camping neighbors.

We have even boondock drycamped in Death Valley a long way from hookups. Our quiet generators made this remote serene experience possible for all three of the RVs in our group. IMHO solar is OK, but not solar only.


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wbwood

Lake Norman, NC area

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Posted: 09/18/12 06:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm sorry, but generators are not quiet no matter what color it is. To say they are, is ludicrous. If you can hear it, it's not quiet. If you can't hear it, you are hard of hearing. With that said, a/c's, diesel trucks, screaming kids, barking dogs, radios, and the plopping sound of corn hole bags hitting the board are not quiet either. At least you have a longer quiet time for generators than you do for any of the others.

To the OP, the old camper sounded like a dream...lol


Brian
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mockturtle

WA

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Posted: 09/18/12 06:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

when you ride thru the Blue Ridge Parkway CGS. they are pretty much empty.


Should be pretty quiet, then, shouldn't it?

Terryallan

Foothills NC

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Posted: 09/18/12 06:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pnichols wrote:

Quote:

BTW. there is no such thing as a quiet generator on the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Hmmm ... we didn't notice genny noise that much on the BRP when we camped there a couple of years ago. If I remember right, a few hundred yards out in many spots the BRP drops off into valleys on both sides of the highway. The sound from generators thus has fewer surfaces to bounce off of back into the campgrounds. It definitely was not like the higher mountains and thick forests that go for miles around campgrounds other places to reflect back sounds. We also had winds a lot on the BRP that kindof masked the sound from generators - certainly the sound from quiet generators.

I guess we're lucky out West, as we seem to camp much more in wide open space type situations where generator noise is not as much of an issue. We really appreciate being able to drycamp out here even in the summer and still be comfortable with generator powered air conditioning. We pretty much do not like to stay in the expensive and crowded hookup campgrounds -> it's too much like camping in suburbia. I take noise from well-spaced generators much better than the racket you hear from close camping neighbors.

We have even boondock drycamped in Death Valley a long way from hookups. Our quiet generators made this remote serene experience possible for all three of the RVs in our group. IMHO solar is OK, but not solar only.


To be honest. We were there 3 weeks ago. and the folks across the road had a "quite" honda sitting on their table on the other side of their TT. We could hear it plain as day. In an enviroment where the hiss of a gas lantern can be heard across the CG, ANY generator is loud.

If you like generators, the Flying J is just down the road. Same noise level.

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