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Old 10-05-2014, 11:27 PM   #21
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I have both! a 100 watt panel fixed to my roof(I plan on making a folding panel 100-120 watt this winter if I get some OT in so I can move it around for more sun.) and a Yamaha ef2400si generator for air conditioning...yes you can't run it everywhere but so far all the spots I have gone to were ok with running the quiet kind at night.

I lucked out this year didn't need it once and I am happy. Most of my trips are 2-3 nights so even when I get stuck in the tree's for camping replacing your interior lighting with LED's and limiting running the furnace you are fine. If I needed extended run time for heat I would fire up the generator in the afternoon for a few hours while I am there to charge the batteries if they aren't getting sufficient sun on the panels(overcast days do happen)
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:08 AM   #22
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Interesting thread as everyone has different styles of camping. Some are totally against a genny, some carry and use them and some are into solar 100%. All are choices we make for where we all do our camping. I use both a genny for the microwave and solar for the battery. A genny for topping your battery takes way too long as a gennys DC output is very small. If you were going to do that you would be way better off plugging in a battery charger to the genny as it puts out a lot more amps. Back in my motorhome days, with no solar, I would run the engine every three days for twenty minutes or so to top the batteries off, and at 100 amps output it always worked.
To the comment of someone dying from exhaust from a genny running while in a tent I feel bad but I have to think the tenters made a bad decission to where they put it up. In all my 30+ years of camping if you're more than 20 feet away from someones genny the exhaust shouldn't be an issue. If the wind changed I would get a whiff or two of exhaust but that was it. The sound was more noticable but not bad as no one ran them to long. Just my 2 cents worth folks.
Anyway, any time you're camping it's still quieter than being at home
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:50 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Neither is much good at night after "quiet time" has started!
No really, I would say it depends on your camping style.
In our case, we have had very little use for either.
It seems the only real use for a generator would be A/C.
How many solar panels would it take to run A/C?

I think Floyd hit the tent peg (nail) on the head. Personally, I would say that having a 30 amp outlet next to your trailer beats both a generator or solar panels. Then again, I live in the southern climes where A/C is a must. I do have a Honda 2000 although I have never taken it on a camping trip. I use it in the back 40 if I need power well away from the house, and I really bought it so that I could power the camper's A/C in the aftermath of a tropical storm should the power be out for an extended period. 88 degrees with the humidity in the high 80s or 90s at night isn't great for sleeping in the house. And solar panels would be a pure waste of money for my style of camping. They won't run the A/C, and I have no desire to camp in the boonies. We are more like "tourists." The camper is where we return to in the evening to eat and sleep after spending the day viewing the local sights and/or attractions.
A lot has been said here about generators being a nuisance (noise/fumes, etc.). I actually find campfires to be more obnoxious, particularly those that are left smoldering. I like to breath fresh air when I sleep. If the campers near me have smoky campfires going, it forces me to button up the camper and sleep in an artificially cooled environment rather than opening windows and running the fan. Or smell smoke all night.
So camping style would really determine what is best for each individual. Like Floyd, we have little use for either. And in the event I don't have a 30 amp connection, the battery will suffice for a day or two.


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Old 10-06-2014, 05:53 AM   #24
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I have both and use both. The generator is mostly for ac use and that is usually on stop overs en route.

The older $599 generator that Costco sold is actually a Champion that is sold at Camping World and Sam's Club with different color schemes. It is quite, capable of running a 7000btu window unit, and can be hooked together much like the Honda.

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Old 10-06-2014, 06:24 AM   #25
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Sounds like the OP was looking for people to back up his decision to buy a genny and most posters are not playing along. As with most things the answer varies with each individualís circumstances (camping style and expectations), and probably includes a lot of possible solutions. Solar, generator, conservation, etc. are all options. We currently camp in State Parks with shore power, but soon hope to ďcut the cordĒ and mix it up with some boondocking, or at least ďdryĒ camping thrown in. I have a cheap (loud) generator, and if circumstances dictate I will throw it in the back of the truck and take it along.

My current plan though is to permanently mount two 100W solar panels on the roof of the Scamp, and carry a third for portable use if the trailer is parked in the shade and the roof panels are not getting the job done. I really donít expect to need the portable panel much. My trips, at least until I retire, should not exceed a week or so in duration. I donít have to get the batteries (dual 6V) back to 100% everyday, just keep them above 50%-60% until the end of the trip. If I have to I can pull out the portable panel every now and again while I am in camp anyway, or run the genny as a last resort. I bought my generator used and donít have much money in it. I would not buy a cheap one new though. If I could not afford the 2000 watt Honda I would step back and buy the smaller 1000 Honda. Even the 1000 will do a lot of battery charging, and would probably do so more efficiently.
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:47 AM   #26
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Pretty much what works for your circumstances.. We use solar and it's fine. If we need more power we get an electric site.
What does annoy me about generators are some operators don't appear to understand the concept of quiet time. Last night here at Mammoth Cave National Park there were generators running at 11 pm and then again at 6am!

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Old 10-06-2014, 06:54 AM   #27
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Wrong Place

Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
To the comment of someone dying from exhaust from a genny running while in a tent I feel bad but I have to think the tenters made a bad decission to where they put it up." In all my 30+ years of camping if you're more than 20 feet away from someones genny the exhaust shouldn't be an issue. If the wind changed I would get a whiff or two of exhaust but that was it. The sound was more noticable but not bad as no one ran them to long. Just my 2 cents worth folks.
Anyway, any time you're camping it's still quieter than being at home
Maybe the individuals camping in the tent were in their site before the generator arrived . I have witnessed people being forced to move from their campsites because a large class A motor home pulls in upwind of their site and the person in the class A starts up his generator (s) to run his A/C and then goes inside leaving others to deal with the noise and exhaust fumes. IMHO generators do not add value to the "outdoor camping experience"
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:22 AM   #28
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yeah, what Steve said...

he just put it WAY more diplomatically than I would: " IMHO generators do not add value to the "outdoor camping experience" ....I hate generators!

Figuring out what your power NEEDS are and how to provide for them without making any noise or smoke is a whole other hobby in itself...if you're packing a generator you're missing out on a very interesting/rewarding aspect of "camping"

if you want to travel somewhere and sleep in air conditioned comfort(they do make 12volt fans), use a microwave to heat up something (easily done in a propane oven) and play video games on your big screen TV......why not just rent a hotel room? it'd be cheaper too if you consider all your capital and operating costs.

the reason most of us go to the trouble and spend the extra money is peace and quiet....a rare commodity these days....and breathing air that does not stink...if you need all your add-ons, all the time, do the rest of us a favor and stick to campgounds with full hook-ups

I know of at least one campground with no sevices that has a "genny hours" rule....allowed only from 10am to noon.....a reasonable compromise in my book

end of rant...donning my fireproof suit
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:32 AM   #29
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yeah we have lots of haters in the group... things must be the way they like/want it or it is bad/wrong. Funny how they don't just buy their own property far from the rest of the people so they can do things they like and not be disturbed.

Me, I try to make do. I am not against throwing a pair of earplugs in to muffle the sounds of a neighbors annoying kids or someone thinking its ok to play loud music at 6am.... or argue.

We all need to show just a bit more tolerance.
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:15 AM   #30
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so Derek...when yolu say...

"Funny how they don't just buy their own property far from the rest of the people so they can do things they like and not be disturbed."

Are you talking about the "solar crowd" or the "generator crowd"? because the argument could be made both ways

a long time ago the general population moved from farms to cities....and noise by-laws soon came after that

consideration of others seems to be a lost art

when you have ear plugs in you can't hear the loon calling
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:25 AM   #31
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Generator or Solar Panels

The choice is dependent on your needs. If you require air conditioning or a microwave, then the generator is a necessity and I believe a satisfactory one. If you don't need the heavy duty AC appliances, a solar panel will do it, particularly if you improve the efficiency of your trailer like adding LED lighting.

Over 14 years we have only carried a generator on our trip to Labrador, feeling that in that really uninhabited area a generator might be handy in an emergency.

As to the negative attributes of generators, noise and odor. We simply do not notice them. These little irritants are just part of life along with smoldering campfires, intrusive children and barking dogs. Our view is that these are all people making happy memories and their irritants are very small compared to the joys we're experiencing.

In our travels we experience loads of quiet time, trails where there is no one else but us. Our joys on the road are so great that the little things are overwhelmed by the whole.

Like every thing you can make choices to minimize the negative of little things, siting your generator away from others, purchasing a quiet model, ....

When one considers one's normal work life or maybe even home life, generally surrounded by daily problems and tension, a little generator, a barking dog are really trivial to, at least, to our camping life style.

Need a generator.. buy one. We own both and use what fits the situation.
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:51 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
"Funny how they don't just buy their own property far from the rest of the people so they can do things they like and not be disturbed."

Are you talking about the "solar crowd" or the "generator crowd"? because the argument could be made both ways

consideration of others seems to be a lost art

I think he was talking about the intolerant crowd and there are intolerant individuals on both sides of the generator/solar issue. I would propose that almost every activity, whether it is camping, driving, going to the theater, going to a restaurant, or even going to the store puts one in a position where irritants will be encountered. Some people simply deal with life's irritants better than others.

I'm not sure consideration of others is a lost art but I would agree there is far less consideration of others now than in the past.


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Old 10-06-2014, 12:33 PM   #33
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Many National, State, local and Private Parks put a maximum allowable noise level on generators, as well as limit generator run times and durations. Here is one source that puts maximum noise levels at 60dB for National Parks.
National Park Trailer Camping Guide | Trailer Life Magazine

I am not bothered at all by quiet inverter generators running during the day to charge batteries. But the $99 Harbor Freight generators, work site generators that Joe tosses in the back of the truck to take camping, and almost all 3600 RPM motorhome generators over about 5 years old, when all running, can make a campground sound like you are standing in the middle of a battle between 20 leaf blowers and 20 $50 lawnmowers.

Maybe setting and adhering to reasonable maximum noise levels would be a helpful for every one.



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Old 10-06-2014, 12:51 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deryk View Post
yeah we have lots of haters in the group... things must be the way they like/want it or it is bad/wrong. Funny how they don't just buy their own property far from the rest of the people so they can do things they like and not be disturbed.

Me, I try to make do. I am not against throwing a pair of earplugs in to muffle the sounds of a neighbors annoying kids or someone thinking its ok to play loud music at 6am.... or argue.

We all need to show just a bit more tolerance.
Tolerance , Acceptance and Hatred are not synonyms . One is not obligated to accept certain behavior under the guise of " Going along just to get along" I do NOT HATE anyone or anything but I retain the right to object to certain actions /behavior which have a negative effect on me or others . Finally I do own lake property in a small rural community precisely for the reasons you stated but not everyone has the resources to purchase a piece of solitude nor should they be required to do so
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Old 10-06-2014, 12:53 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
he just put it WAY more diplomatically than I would: " IMHO generators do not add value to the "outdoor camping experience" ....I hate generators!

Figuring out what your power NEEDS are and how to provide for them without making any noise or smoke is a whole other hobby in itself...if you're packing a generator you're missing out on a very interesting/rewarding aspect of "camping"

if you want to travel somewhere and sleep in air conditioned comfort(they do make 12volt fans), use a microwave to heat up something (easily done in a propane oven) and play video games on your big screen TV......why not just rent a hotel room? it'd be cheaper too if you consider all your capital and operating costs.

the reason most of us go to the trouble and spend the extra money is peace and quiet....a rare commodity these days....and breathing air that does not stink...if you need all your add-ons, all the time, do the rest of us a favor and stick to campgounds with full hook-ups

I know of at least one campground with no sevices that has a "genny hours" rule....allowed only from 10am to noon.....a reasonable compromise in my book

end of rant...donning my fireproof suit
Love that solar powered Jeep!
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:16 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
I think he was talking about the intolerant crowd and there are intolerant individuals on both sides of the generator/solar issue. I would propose that almost every activity, whether it is camping, driving, going to the theater, going to a restaurant, or even going to the store puts one in a position where irritants will be encountered. Some people simply deal with life's irritants better than others.

I'm not sure consideration of others is a lost art but I would agree there is far less consideration of others now than in the past.


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Tolerance implies endurance and or forebearance.
It ain't possible to tolerate the things you like or enjoy!
I don't have to tolerate them because I just don't care if others use either, neither, or both!
We have all the power we need when camping and haven't used or needed solar or a generator for years, but I'll take my generator along if I ever need to.
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:18 PM   #37
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I personally would start with solar due to low entry cost for good benefit. Along with avoiding the extra load of generator and fuel. But would consider a generator as a supplemental item for specific use cases.

Hot weather where AC might be considered a necessity, cold weather where not having battery power for furnace would make for an unpleasant trip. Medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators or CPAP where not having battery charge sufficient to meet demand would be a major problem.

I would also consider camping where there is electric hookup if I needed a generator. It just might make more sense than boondock camping with a generator if I found solar insufficient to meet my needs. And if I decided I needed a generator try to be considerate of my fellow campers, assuming I was not in the middle of the national forest without fellow campers.

What may seem like an easy to ignore background noise to you (especially if you are inside the camper or sitting with the camper between you and the generator) might really mess with someone else enjoying a campfire or an afternoon reading in a comfortable chair.

Generators are not a problem, people who are inconsiderate in their use of a generator can be but that is not a generator problem it's a people problem. A problem where a polite respectful conversation might well resolve it to a mutual satisfaction.
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:33 PM   #38
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Steve nails it again....

agree completely and well put.....

I might have sent this part of the thread in the wrong direction with my choice of words.....yeah, I do HATE generators....I don't hate people who use them however...I just find them annoying....and a tad inconsiderate... particularly in SOME circumstances....

now, running a generator when it's freezing out and most people will have their windows closed anyway is logical/acceptable/expected...

driving up to a remote site in the middle of summer where quite a few campers are in tents, setting up, starting up the genny (and putting it on the left side of the unit)...then going inside and closing the door and windows (so the noise TO THEM is tolerable) is kinda sad IMO....."I'm ok, and I don't care/think of nobody else" is the message

gen sets, loud music, incessant barking dogs owners have become deaf to.....it's all the same really...that's why I seem to go further and further into the bush.....I'm lucky, there's a lot of it around here
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:43 PM   #39
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I don't tolerate them because I just don't care if others use either, neither, or both!

Then I would say, Floyd, that you are one of those people I mentioned who deal with irritants better than most others. Simply put, you don't allow that kind of stuff to bother you. If everyone were like that, we wouldn't need the expression "Why can't we all just get along?"


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Old 10-06-2014, 01:47 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
I personally would start with solar due to low entry cost for good benefit. Along with avoiding the extra load of generator and fuel. But would consider a generator as a supplemental item for specific use cases.

Hot weather where AC might be considered a necessity, cold weather where not having battery power for furnace would make for an unpleasant trip. Medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators or CPAP where not having battery charge sufficient to meet demand would be a major problem.

I would also consider camping where there is electric hookup if I needed a generator. It just might make more sense than boondock camping with a generator if I found solar insufficient to meet my needs. And if I decided I needed a generator try to be considerate of my fellow campers, assuming I was not in the middle of the national forest without fellow campers.

What may seem like an easy to ignore background noise to you (especially if you are inside the camper or sitting with the camper between you and the generator) might really mess with someone else enjoying a campfire or an afternoon reading in a comfortable chair.

Generators are not a problem, people who are inconsiderate in their use of a generator can be but that is not a generator problem it's a people problem. A problem where a polite respectful conversation might well resolve it to a mutual satisfaction.
Roger,
Are you a politician? I am only kidding, but I agree with you! Generators are not the problem. Inconsiderate people cause more problems than generators. When, I go camping, I do not need any more drama in my life!
I am camping to enjoy life and to make wonderful memories!
Thanks for your comments!
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