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8 Efficient Ways Quieting Portable Generators for Camping

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Quieting generators can be achieved through different methods silencing your time at the campsite.

Making a generator quieter is a great skill to have while you are getting close to nature. You won’t scare the local wildlife with loud noises while camping. It can also be a nicer atmosphere for relaxing when it’s quieter during your time away. Most machines come with a buzzing noise in their motors, which carries out through the exhaust pipe. It’s important to consider this when purchasing a generator and while trying to quieten one as well.

Quietening a portable generator can be done through various techniques. However, it is also important to consider the size and wattage of the device while making your generator quieter.

In this article, we will cover below methods to reduce noise;

Method Reduction of Noise Cost
move away from camp medium $30 (for extension cable)
redirect exhaust pipe medium free
plywood boards 10 decibels $20 for boards
absorption through the floor medium $30-$50
making a cover high $50-$60
water absorption high $20
mufflers high $50-$100
buy a quieter machine 20+ decibel Quitest Generator of 2019




The Necessity of a Portable Generator

While a portable generator might not be an essential addition to your camping gear, it certainly has its benefits. You will be able to power the basic electronics out in the wilderness. Lighting your campsite and cooling down your interiors with air conditioning are great ways to use a generator. You can also recharge batteries in your personal devices for the duration of your time in the great outdoors.

Radios, speakers, and other technological luxuries can be used as well. This can add to your camping retreat without sacrificing your modern lifestyle. By quietening the generator down, this will enhance your campsite’s relaxing ambiance.

Find out more about camping and what you might need to take on your trip here in our Camping Advice for Beginners article.

If you are looking for a portable and quiet RV generator, then you need to read this great post for other details.

Size Doesn’t Matter

The size of a portable generator and its power capacity can vary. Depending on what you’ll be using it for, you might want to consider all your power options. For your most basic uses, generators of 100W can be used, while more power-hungry electronics might require over 900W.

Portable generators also vary in weight, ranging from 1kg to over 20kg. They are usually easily transportable, often with a handle on top. They don’t take up a lot of room on your campsite either. The same cannot be said for the noise levels created by some models. There are some ways to lessen their audible impact and tips on silencing generators will be discussed below.

Generator Distance from Campsite

There is quite a range of possibilities when it comes to quieting a portable generator. The machines can be quite loud as the motor runs and the exhaust pipe carries the sound out of it. Different methods to have a quieting generator can be used and these vary in both practicality and price.


The first method is to move the generator away from your campsite by at least 20 feet. This will quieten the generator’s presence for your camping space. The company creating the machine measures the sound decibels from a distance of around 20 feet. Your best bet is to bring along an extension cable and keep the portable generator further away. This won’t silence the machine completely but might reduce the noise by a decent amount.

Another simple measure you can take is to face the generator’s exhaust pipes away from you. This directs the noise away from your camp and reduces noise levels for free. The sound will travel elsewhere though, so be mindful of fellow campers around you!

Quieting generators with Plywood Covering

An additional method uses large plywood boards. By leaning the boards against the generator, the noise can be reduced significantly. This is still quite an economically friendly option since boards are easily available at cheap prices. On all four sides, angle the boards to create a boxed-in effect, while maintaining the airflow as they lean. When covering a generator in any way, the airflow cannot be cut off. The machine will require time to cool down and this will prevent overheating. The noise will be kept inside, going into the ground underneath instead, quietening the portable generator by around 10 decibels.

Rubber Absorption

By putting the portable generator on a soft surface, noise and vibrations will be absorbed. You can rely on the earthy ground or look into purchasing rubber mats or a soft platform. Vibrations from the motor will go into its surface instead of into the air, reducing its audible impact.

Fabric Cover Insulation

If you are a more creative person, you might consider making a fireproof insulation cover. Rockwool, fiberglass, and mineral wool are all materials you might use for this. Ensuring that the cover is removable with flaps, you have to remember to ventilate the generator often. This will prevent overheating and possible damage to the machinery. Caution must be taken when covering any type of machinery. The generator should be checked often and given plenty of time to cool if this is the method used. This method could significantly reduce noise and help with quieting generators.

Water Absorption for quieting generators

Another DIY method is to use a water bucket and hose to muffle the noise from the exhaust. Placing one end of the hose on the exhaust and the other in the water reduces the motor’s noise. The sounds it makes is put into the water instead. All you need is a bucket of water and hose. The generator should be kept on higher ground than the bucket to prevent water from entering it through the hose. For more details check out this great post.

Real Mufflers to Absorb Sound

The pricier options would be to purchase either a muffler silencer for the exhaust or an automotive muffler. They are in the range of $50-100. Before their usage, a mechanic might be consulted to ensure the safe usage of the mufflers on portable generator exhausts. These typically reduce the noise created by cars and other vehicles. At the campsite, they would be effective for quieting generators too.


Quieter Portable Generators

Weighing up your options prior to buying a portable generator is an important part of preparing for camping. Purchasing a silent generator, one that has insulation inside already, might be the best idea. The fewer decibels a generator creates in the first place, the less quietening strategies you’ll have to take while camping. Even buying a solar generator reduces the noise by a lot, as they emit less sound generally. This could make a difference of over 20 decibels in total.

A silent portable generator might be hard to find. However, a quieter effect can be achieved through many of the techniques discussed above. A portable generator is ideal for a great camping experience, and it is worthwhile knowing these handy tips. If you do several of these methods, the noise levels can be reduced a lot. You can have a quiet generator and a relaxing time while camping as a result.