how to quiet a generator

How to quiet a generator? – This is a question that campers often ask nowadays. Without a doubt, portable generators can be a great addition to your camping checklist. From your smartphones and cameras to A/C units, they can help you power everything during your camping expedition. 

But one of the biggest drawbacks of portable generators is the loud noise they often make. This not only affects your comfort but also your overall camping experience since you wouldn’t feel well-rested for the next day. 

If you’re wondering how to make your generator quiet as a cricket, then don’t worry as we’ve got your back. In this article, we’ll go over some of the easiest ways to help you reduce the noise so you can truly enjoy your time in the great outdoors. 

Let’s dive straight into it!

6 Ways to Quiet a Generator

Build a Generator Quiet Box

Building a quiet box is one of the most efficient solutions to reducing the noise of your generator. But how to build a generator quiet box and what is it, to begin with? 

Don’t worry, it’s nothing too complicated. A generator quiet box is simply a sound-absorbing wooden frame that you cover your generator with. 

What’s even better is that there are multiple ways to build a generator quiet box and you can easily turn it into a DIY project by following the steps below: 

Step 1: Take the Right Measurements

The basic idea behind building a generator quiet box is to cover the generator with a wooden frame. For the material, a medium-density fiberboard will also do the trick. Before you purchase it, however, take the right measurement and find the dimensions of your generator.  

Order a fiberboard that’s slightly larger than the size of your calculated measurements to leave some extra space inside for sound insulation. If needed, you can always cut it down to your desired size. 

Step 2: Cut the Board and Make Ventilation Holes

Cut the board according to the measurements and while you’re at it, also mark two circles to create ventilation ducts. The first duct should ideally be at the back of the roof of the wooden frame. And the second duct should be on the opposite side of the first one. 

Keep in mind that you can also add more layers of soundproofing by gluing MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl) or any other soundproofing material to the fiberboards. 

Step 3: Assemble the DIY Box

It’s now time to assemble the DIY box. Start by putting the first two walls in place and hammer a couple of nails inside them. Repeat the process to attach all four sides and the roof together. If you plan on making future modifications then consider using nails and screws. That will make it easier for you to disassemble the box. 

Move the Generator Away from Camping Site

Doubling of distance can reduce the noise by 6 decibels. So when you’re about to sleep, you can move your generator further from the campsite.

This, of course, isn’t always possible, especially if you’re going on a group camping trip and there are other people in the surroundings.

But creating even just a few extra feet of distance between the camp and the generator can significantly reduce the noise. 

Relocate your Generator to a Softer Surface

If you can’t move the generator away from the campsite, then there’s another way – relocate it to a softer surface.

Sound travels in the form of waves and those waves interact with physical objects. This is the reason a hard surface reflects the sound, while a soft surface absorbs it

Instead of placing your generator on wood, metal or any other hard surface, find dirt near your campsite and place it there. 

You will notice a considerable difference in the noise. And if you’re concerned about the generator catching dirt, don’t worry. It can always be cleaned once you’re ready to move again. 

Buy Rubber Matting and Use Rubber Feet

Consider packing rubber matting before you head out to your camping expedition. It can be purchased from any hardware store. 

You can use the rubber matting to create rubber feet for your generator if it’s unavoidable for you to place it on a hard surface.

Besides, rubber is considered to be a great option for soundproofing. So even if rubber matting does not completely resolve the noise issue, it will at least, make a noticeable difference. 

Face the Exhaust Pipes Away from your Camp

Another simple hack to reduce the noise of a generator is by changing the direction of the exhaust pipes. Exhaust pipes are attached to the motor and are one of the noisiest parts of a generator.

But to avoid bothering other campers, position the exhaust pipes in the direction of the forest or a sound-insulating material like rubber. 

Consider Replacing the Mufflers of your Generator

The job of a muffler is to well, muffle the sound that comes from the exhaust pipes of your generator. 

Replacing the current muffler of your generator with a larger one will also help you reduce the sound of your portable generator. To add, it is also considered to be one of the most effective ways to quiet a generator. 

However, before you casually start swapping the parts of your generator, make sure that you speak to the manufacturers. 

They will guide you better on what size and type of muffler is best compatible with your generator and whether you should even proceed with it or not. 

The Bottom Line

All of the methods that we’ve discussed in this article can only reduce the noise of your generator, not eliminate it. If you want a noise-free camping experience, then the only solution is to buy an electric generator. 

Then again, it isn’t a bad bargain to build a generator quiet box. You’d have to put in a bit of effort but it will reduce the noise to a point that it wouldn’t bother you anymore.


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