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-   -   generator tranquility (https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7537)

1derer 08-31-2010 11:04 PM

generator tranquility
I bought a Bird without a generator, and am shopping for power with tranquility.

I'd like to compare the decibel level of various units, including the 12.5kw diesel Kohler of the 1980s. Does anybody know the decibel (dB) rating of this unit? (The BB owner's manual doesn't say.) -- Apparently it's too high for some forum spokesmen, with some complaining about the Perkins engine noise, another opting to use a Honda 1kw unit instead.

Even if anybody knows, I wonder if such objective info is useful anyway, since dB levels of highly different units seem to be remarkably similar. Even if this is explained away by the dB scale being logrithmic, it's hard for me with the info that follows to decide anything:
Human voice: 60dB
National Park RV generator standard 60dB at 50 ft away
(Mfg quotes that follow presume no enclosure)
Honda 1000i (the 1KW hybrid gas/propane unit) 55-59 dB
Onan 6.5kw propane 67dB at half load 10 ft away
Onan 8kw diesel at 10 ft away half load 66dB, no dB specified for full load (Why?)
Onan 12.5kw hybrid at 10 ft away half load 63db, full load 69db
Onan 12.5kw diesel at 10 ft away half load 68db, no dB specified for full load (Why?)

Since different manufacturers quote dB under different circumstances, there appears to be no industry standard to use for comparison.

aaronw 08-31-2010 11:12 PM

I can't comment to the db reading of my generator,but I do have some real world experience with how loud it is. Before I re-insulated the generator compartment I could easily hear it running across a large elementary school parking lot while dry camping there for a weekend. I easily had the loudest generator there. 12.5 kw perkins kohler. After the re-insulating of the bay the noise is far quieter, difficult to hear at half the distance from before. Hope it helps a little.

iamflagman 08-31-2010 11:24 PM

I agree with Aaron, insulating and sound deadening go a long ways in making a generator quieter. If you haven seen this check it out, be sure to keep on clicking on NEXT at the right of each photo to see more, there is a lot of information there Wanderlodge Owners Group > Mechanic's Corner > Generators > Perkins Genset Sound Reduction Modifications

1derer 09-01-2010 02:58 PM

another angle
Another way to achieve as much peace and quiet as possible and still get some power could be to hook up to a neighboring RV that has a generator. It would be interesting to hear from owners of two units if they've done this and what it does for quiet in the unit that lacks a genny or doesn't have it on. There'd be no vibration, but given my impression of parking at Walmart rv areas and truck stops, I wonder if there's really any improvement to be had over just running a genny onboard. Since the longest 50 amp cord I've heard of is 36' feet, I wonder if that's the farthest apart you can park the linked rv's. To park them farther apart than 36' would you have to use wire of a heavier gauge than used in the 50 amp docking cord?

bubblerboy64 09-01-2010 04:10 PM

I think perhaps you are concentrating on the wrong side of this subject. There is no way to compare a 1kw Honda portable generator to an on board Perkins generator. I've dry camped with Honda generators in my days with travel trailers and 5th wheels. Had two Honda EU 2000 which I paralleled and while they will do a lot they will not do what a typical Perkins or similar in a class A motor home will do, be it a BB or SOB.

The biggest issue I think is the number of Kilowatts of power you need and the depth of your wallet.

Honda makes a fine product and a couple of them will run one roof air conditioner and perhaps a couple other small AC appliances like a TV. If you want to completely power your BB you are going to be looking at a 8 to 10 Kilowatt generator and BIG bucks.

Two Honda's maybe $3500. A CAT or ONAN generator built for Class A use. I would just guess $10K or more. Most likely more considering instillation.

I owned a 1973 with the original ONAN gasoline generator which it came with. I think it was 6.5 Kilowatts. It was mounted mid coach and it was pretty noisy in the coach. Outside the coach, more so. Vibration is really more of a problem then the noise its self.

Nice thing about the Honda's you can position them some distance from the coach which is a help. Bad news is they are not nearly as convenient to use.
They may be the most practical solution for you. You will need at least 3 to 4 Kilowatts to do any air conditioning at all. You could pick up a couple used ones perhaps. I sold mine I think for $2000 with the paralleling device. I would not buy the EU 3000 because it's too heavy to lift. (Unless you have a way around that)

davidmbrady 09-01-2010 04:28 PM

Another issue is the quality of the sound proofing used in the enclosed container. Wanderlodge used a high quality anechoic chamber dampener in my LXi. This stuff has dimension (looks like an egg carton) and is designed to have an appropriate wavelength dimension to absorb the incident sound. If I were to replace my genny sound proofing material I'd definitely look for anechoic material as opposed to the shiny foil faced materials we tend to use in our engine rooms.

rrueckwald 09-01-2010 07:55 PM

I believe David is correct, but there is a problem that still needs attention. In mine, the egg-crate-like anechoic material disintegrated where a blast of hot air from the generator continually hit it. The insulation got eaten away and wound up in the air filter. I bought some of Steve Birtles shiny material to mount in that one area, about 18" x 18". That may lose a little sound absorption, but will last longer. Just an idea.

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