I remember when I was new to RVing, I had to adjust to a lot of things at first. One of the most complex for me at the time was the electrical system because I had little understanding of it.

I used electricity in the RV like I would in my own home. Sometimes I, my wife, or the kids would waste lots of electricity. Our batteries only died a few times before we started to manage our electricity more wisely.

For those who were as unmindful as I was, there are two main sources of power in your RV.

First is the shore power where you hook up to utility posts in campgrounds, second is the generator.

If you own a large RV, it most likely has a pre-installed propane-operated generator. If your RV is smaller, you may need to purchase a generator to take care of your electricity needs.

Now, we know that not all camping is going to be done in an RV park or a private campground. This means that since we won’t have access to shore power all the time, then generators would always come in handy.

The biggest problem is that generators can be quite loud, but with a little research, I discovered 5 ways to make RV generators quieter.

  • Noise Reduction Box ($120-$150)
  • Generator Muffler ($400-$500)
  • Soundproof Onboard Generator Compartment ($120-$150)
  • Replace Your Current Generator ($1000+)
  • Forget The Generator And Use Solar Power

Generators are used to charge the house battery of your RV. Generators can also be used as a direct power outlet for 12V AC.

The downside of generators is that they are noisy. This is because they make use of combustion engines to create electricity. The level of noise depends on its engine size.

The first time I used my generator, I thought the noise was normal and that all generators are like that. But I met a fellow RVer at a camping ground and I learned that there are ways to make RV generators quieter.

I went home a few days after that camping trip, excited to research so I can use a quieter generator on my next trip. 

From then on, I tried as much as I could not to bother other RVs with the constantly loud sound of my generator.

And over the years, I have found new and better ways and I would gladly share it with those who were in the same place as I was years ago.

Here are my top recommendations.

Noise Reduction Box ($120-$150)

A noise reduction box is called as such because you basically put the generator inside the box, and the box reduces the engine noise.

The box is made of materials that absorbs and diffuses the sound waves, thereby reducing the noise of the generator to an acceptable level.

The concept of noise reduction boxes is easy. What you need to do is to contain or confine the generator inside the box to reduce the sound. 

You have to ensure though that your unit does not overheat and that there’s easy access to power while using the generator.

I found that most manufacturers do not produce pre-made noise reduction boxes. But, the good thing is that it’s easy to build your own soundbox. 

There are a lot of DIY instructions you can find in RVers forums, so it will be helpful to join in some if you haven’t already.

 Materials would usually cost you less than $150 and can be easily found on Amazon.

Generator Muffler ($400-$500)

Another way to reduce the noise of your generator is the muffler, attached to the exhaust pipe.

A muffler prevents sound from reproducing or circulating and at the same time, allows air to pass through. It also helps eliminate the noise of steam emission and other exhaust systems.

An automotive muffler works just as well in silencing your RV generator.

Mufflers are relatively not the easiest to install. If you are doing it the first time, you would need a few tools and might need a little help. But when done correctly, it can reduce the noise as much as 10-15 decibels.

When choosing the muffler you are going to use, note that there are three designs with different functions: reactive mufflers, absorptive mufflers, and a combination of the two.

Reactive mufflers change the character of the noise using its internal framework. 

Absorptive mufflers absorb the sound using the sound-absorbing properties of the relevant materials around the muffler.

A combination of the two designs controls the intensity of the exhaust noise which is ten replaced by a more ear-friendly sound.

Since these are aftermarket parts, generator mufflers would cost around $400-500.

Soundproof Onboard Generator Compartment ($120-$150)

Soundproofing an RV generator is one of the cheapest ways to reduce the unwanted generator noise.

The location of the generators differ from one RV to another. A typical RV has its generator enclosed in a sheet metal compartment.

The fundamental part of soundproofing an onboard generator compartment is to locate all of the noises the generator makes.

And when I say noises, I mean noises. Well, there are indeed many. The fan noise, engine noise, mount noise, and exhaust noise among others.

There are some RV generators that are not as loud as the others, so how you soundproof would depend on what is making the loudest noise.

For each type of noise, there is a soundproof solution. There are noise barriers, panels, or fibers that can be installed to reduce the noise. At times, all you need is a quick repair or a replacement for a part that may be misaligned or damaged.

So before planning to install anything, it would be good to have your unit checked first.

Replace Your Current Generator ($1000+)

If you have already tried all of the above and none seem to work, then your generator may need replacement at this point.

Again, have your unit checked before you purchase or install anything. 

Sometimes, it’s more practical to replace your generator than installing something that will no longer work because your unit is broken in the first place.

Quietest Generator on the Market (Honda Generators Eco-Throttle)

Since we’re talking about making RV generators quieter and we’ve reached the point where we might need to replace an old and damaged generator, then you might as well consider the quietest generator we can find on the market.

If you’ve looked around, then you might have already heard of Honda Eco-Throttle. 

As a generator, it’s so quiet that its decibel is lower than normal speech! It operates at around only 49-60 decibels, which is something you can’t find elsewhere.

Forget The Generator And Use Solar Power

Even the quietest generators still generate noise – including the ones with the lowest decibels.

If you’re looking for something that will not produce any unnecessary noise when you’re not hooked up in shore power, then just forget generators and use solar power instead.

Because let’s face it, as RVers, more than half the time we want to go totally off the grid. And when we go boondocking or dry camping, we won’t need much to plug in.

And to get that “totally off the grid” feels, taking generators off the list is a great idea.

The bigger the RV, the more panels you need. Bigger RVs have more roof space, too, so this won’t be a problem.

Solar panels are wired directly to the RV’s battery and inverter unit. This means that although there’s some initial work required to get the power up and running, it makes your RV totally self-sufficient on your power necessities.

This is more economical and environment-friendly, too.