How to Make Your Generator Quiet as a Cricket: 5 Actionable Tips

Christine Herrington

Christine is our Chief Editor and a contributing writer to the site.

Last Updated on May 5, 2021

Buying an electric generator is essential if you’re an avid camper or RV road tripper. These units provide a vital backup source of power, allowing you to stay in any remote camping spot for as long as you want. 

You should also consider investing in a generator if you live in a place where weather conditions and regular storms threaten to cut out your power supply so you’ll have the capacity to keep your household appliances running

However, you’ll find that generators can make a lot of noise when they’re operating, preventing you from relaxing on your camping trip or RV vacation. Fortunately, you can use several actionable tips to make your generator as quiet as a cricket

How to Make Your Generator Quiet as a Cricket: 5 Actionable Tips
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Tips for Making Your Generator Quiet

When figuring out how to make your generator quiet as a cricket, there are a variety of methods you can follow, from moving its exhaust pipe to investing in a specialist muffler. 

Put it on a soft, rubber surface

One simple way to quieten your electrical generator is to put it on a soft, padded surface. When you keep this unit on a hard surface or material like paving stone, concrete, or brick, the firm ground amplifies the generator’s vibrations, causing it to emit a loud, constant noise. 

Softer materials and surfaces like dirt, grass, or rubber mats absorb some of these vibrations, dampening and dulling the noise of your generator. If you’re worried that you won’t have access to these types of surfaces when you’re setting up the generator, consider investing in a rubber anti-vibration mat. You can carry this portable and thick pad with you wherever you’re traveling, so you never have to worry about finding a camping spot near a level, clean section of grass or dirt. 

You could also buy some special rubber feet to attach to the underside of your generator. That way, you can put this generator on any surface without having to worry about loud vibrations.  

Invest in a generator silencer or muffler 

When you attach a small silencer or muffler to your generator’s exhaust pipe, it dampens the noise from the unit’s combustion chamber, reducing the machine’s overall sound levels by up to 15 dBs. If you have a spare automotive muffler, you can try clamping or welding this product onto the generator to see if that works. 

Those who don’t want to invest in a generator silencer could attempt the simple yet functional DIY version of muffling: take some pieces of robust, lightweight plywood and prop these up around the sides of the noisy machine. 

This makeshift wooden box acts as an effective sound deflector system. The sound waves from the generator hit the hard surface at certain angles and ricochet back down toward the ground rather than out into the air. Simply by creating this inexpensive rectangular box, you can reduce the machine’s noise levels by over 10 dBs

Change the position of the unit’s exhaust pipe

Another easy tip for how to make your generator quiet as a cricket is to check the unit’s exhaust pipe. If this outlet is pointing off to the side or at an angle rather than facing directly upward, the sound waves will pass through this tube and disperse in your direction. 

Adjust this pipe, so it’s pointing upward, away from you and your friends or family. When you do this, the sound waves flow skyward and are scattered or refracted by the wind and air particles. 

It’s important to note that not every generator on the market has an adjustable exhaust pipe. When you’re deciding which machine to purchase, consider opting for a unit that allows you to move the exhaust outlet so that it’s facing vertically upward. 

Build a soundproof enclosure or baffle box

If you liked the idea of using plywood to create a makeshift sound deflector system for your electric generator, but you want to build something more durable and permanent, you should try making a soundproof baffle box

Get some 2”x4” timber pieces from your local Home Depot or hardware store, then use a chop saw to cut this wood into pieces that correspond to the dimensions of your generator. Use the wood to create a robust, rectangular container that you can slide over the top of your generator. Attach some L-brackets to each corner of the box for extra stability, then line the inside panels with a water-resistant acoustic material that will deflect and dampen sound waves. 

Spray foam sealant along the edges of the sound deflector sheets to create a thoroughly insulated box. Remember to drill some holes in the container’s side panel so the heat from the generator can escape into the air. If you don’t do this, you risk setting fire to the wooden enclosure and overheating the generator’s motor. 

Make sure you’re positioning the exhaust pipe so that it points toward this hole. The exhaust is the generator’s main outlet, so a large proportion of the unit’s heat will flow through this pipe. 

Spend a bit more on a quiet generator 

If you find that none of these methods work to reduce your generator’s noise levels, you might consider investing in a newer, quieter model. There are plenty of machines on the market with a reasonable noise rating of fewer than 60 dBs. Many of these units are relatively lightweight and portable, making them ideal for camping and traveling. 

For context, 60 dBs is the same sound level as a couple of people having a normal, calm conversation. You can use one of these portable machines as a back-up power supply on a family camping trip, and its noise won’t overpower your chats by the firepit or at the picnic table. 

Make Your Generator Quiet and Relax Fully on Family Camping Trips

Whether you go on lots of camping trips with friends and family, or you live in an area where high winds and thunderstorms regularly cause power outages, it’s a great idea to invest in an electric generator. You can use these machines as vital back-up power supplies, helping you preserve your refrigerated food and keep the lights running in the event of an electrical outage. However, sometimes these units can emit loud noises that might keep you up at night or disrupt your relaxing camping experience. Use some of these simple tips to make your generator quieter so you can enjoy its benefits without the noise. 

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