Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 22:42
ThreadID: 92826 Views:2996 Replies:9 FollowUps:10
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I find that the use of generators is at times beyond belief. We are currently staying at Greenbushes in South West Western Australia and I think that we are surrounded by the noisiest bunch of generator freaks that I have ever heard.

There are 6 vans here tonight and 4 of them are running generators - the noise pollution is unbelievable. In fact one of them is so loud that that I am sure it must have come from the ark. I can record it from inside the van with the doors and windows closed.

When are the generator generation going to realise that you can actually stack enough power during the day either from your cars alternator or a solar means without feeling that instantly you pull up you need to start making a racket!!!??
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Reply By: xtragrouse - Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 23:10

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 23:10
Firstly, as a traveller who is trying to escape suburbanisation, we use our free camp book to decide where to avoid being surrounded by other vans. I don't understand how people are lining up at 1-2pm to get a good camping spot, being in bed by 7pm, and then making a racket as they depart at sunup disturbing those of us who live "normal" hours.

As videographers and photographers, we use our night time to process our daily "shoot". This requires the use of 240v power, and so our generator is a useful addition to our inverter. And so, we find somewhere preferably on our own to camp the night, so that we can work until 11pm if we wish.

As a member of the "Generator generation", I understand that the genny should be turned off by 9pm at the latest. The alternative for people who are disturbed by the noise (and I agree some generator owners don't think of others) , is to either have a chat with the offender, or find somewhere away from other people to spend the night.
AnswerID: 481565

Follow Up By: P & G - Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 23:35

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 23:35

Your point is taken and most certainly if you like to be up at 11 processing photos and find somewhere away from others, run your genny all night if you wish. We are not people who turn up for a camp site at 1-2 pm nor do we leave at the crack of dawn either - in fact we normally arrive at any camp around the 4 - 6 pm mark and leave between 9 and 10. We head to bed around 10.30 pm. One night last week that was to the accompaniment of a generator until 3 am. We just ask that those with generators be considerate to other campers.

FollowupID: 756915

Follow Up By: xtragrouse - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 00:18

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 00:18

If we do find ourselves with company, we try to camp as far away as possible, and take a walk to ensure that the sound of the generator is not obtrusive. We also tend to run it on ECO, and that keeps things quiet, unless you are running an air con which forces the unit to lift a gear …… or two.

3am in an shared camp area is naughty - was it running an air con? Certainly after 9pm I turn off if we have company, and revert to the inverter for an hour or so ….. making sure that we leave enough 12v to run a cPap machine …….. otherwise NOBODY gets any sleep …….. due to an Apnea generator …….. :-)
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 07:24

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 07:24
P & G,

I feel for you.

By 3am, the generator would have been well and truly silenced if I was there.
No chat to the culprits either, as they have already demonstrated their ignorance and contempt for others. Just a handful of sugar in the tank will do it.


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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 09:35

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 09:35
Bill, Snopes debunks the "Sugar in the gas tank" myth. Besides it could be a little more than embarrassing if you were caught out. See here.

However........... Snopes suggests that it could be effective to simply sprinkle some "spilt" sugar around the petrol filler and on the ground below to get the message across and cause concern for the genie owner. Tee Hee.


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Follow Up By: Member - Sonshine - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 09:44

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 09:44
Hiyas ...

I was deciding recently between Genny and Solar, and decided to go Solar by beefing up with an Aux battery for the Prado along with the Battery in the CT.
We also just bought a 120W folding solar panel to charge the CT or Prado Aux as needs be.

I also do a lot of photo editing but find the 300W Inverter does just fine for that.

I also run a CPAP machine all night, but just upgraded to a more current model which is more efficient and runs from a 12v CONverter. All sweet and works well.

I expect we will now be power self-sufficient with no Genny.

PS - If I wanted air-conditioning, toilet, shower etc, I would just stay home. We go bush to "go bush".

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Follow Up By: xtragrouse - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 12:31

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 12:31
Gaz, some of us actually live on the road. And I don't stick to the bitumen.
And because of my lifestyle, the inverter in my van will run my microwave for example. And because It also chews up my battery power, I have a mix of solar and generator. Solar of course, doesn't work at night time. If I want TV, Foxtel, and the new Digital Satellite box and the other little luxuries, then i am set up for all that.
It also doesn't excuse me from being thoughtless with regard to other travellers by running my generator all night, if I happen to be sharing a camping area. and if I wanted to live surrounded by other travellers (in freecamp sites or caravan parks) I would have stayed in Suburbia.
As for taking the law into your own hands, yep, I guess there are a heap of rednecks out there. A bit of level headed communication would usually do the trick I would have thought ………..
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Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 14:04

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 14:04

And then you get times when communication does not work for anything.

See thread 91498.Vivonne Bay Kangaroo Island camping troubles

Unfortunately these people are not that rare.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 00:25

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 00:25
Hi P & G

Are you in the mob right alongside the highway? I have rarely seen anyone parked there, but there were a few campers there this morning; one with awning and washing out, and even more there tonight. Personally, i would find the traffic more annoying than a generator which is a constant. Traffic goes through at all hours of the night. Then again, mostly when we have camped with genny users, they have had the quite Hondas, and have used them only in reasonable hours. Our personal preference is to camp well away from anyone and well back from the road. We have had some glorious peaceful nights under a clear sky star-show. For us, solar is the go.


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Follow Up By: P & G - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 20:54

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 20:54

Yep we were right alongside the highway and yep the group in the middle are there until after Easter. My bitch really isn't with genny users as most of them are considerate I guess my annoyance is with the inconsiderate ones. My thoughts are if you are going to have one try putting it in the bush or as far away as possible and for gods sake buy a decent one not one that sounds like a very very old steam train.

I have followed your posts with interest over the years they are fantastic with tons of info. We have been travelling around as well for a number of years with this latest trip starting last July
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Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 07:31

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 07:31
The simple question is....Who was there first.
When I was driving trucks and pulled into a truck bay and seen a bitumen tanker with the roaring gas burner going I would pull out and go onto the next park, same goes for a truck load of stamping thumping load of cattle.

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Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 14:22

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 14:22
G'day Doug.

Not to mention the refrigerated pantech with the gennie running.

Good thing most truckies are understanding and thoughtful Doug, not to mention being considerate to each other.

The few that occasionally ignore the code of ethics, soon get told :-)
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Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 09:07

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 09:07
As both caravans and motor-homes are increasingly being built with all the mod-cons of a home away from home, a power consumption rate to match and a requirement to source that power from somewhere, coupled with the far greater use of free camping, which is mostly unregulated, it is hard to imagine this is a problem that is going to go away anytime soon...

No doubt people should be more considerate, many are, but experience suggests many couldn’t care less for the comfort of others, adding that it is a two-way street between generators users, and non-users...

And whilst the poster hasn’t indicated this is a free-camping site, this problem frequently occurs at many free-camping sites, I guess you get what you pay for!

My two bob’s worth....
AnswerID: 481581

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 11:00

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 11:00
Complaining about generators at FREE campsites is like complaining about bikini clad women on the beach at Surfers , you don't like what you see or hear [genny] , move ..
AnswerID: 481597

Reply By: Lifetime Member-Heather MG NSW - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 11:58

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 11:58
Hi P & G,

I am not sure whether this is a 'free camp' but if so I am afraid that is one of the negatives of staying in such a place. I agree it is annoying.
We use these places often but try to find ones which are out of the way, not named in any camping books or online, or have lots of space. We choose to never park anywhere near people who have generators in view however that does not mean that someone else will pull up after us and use one, or someone already there before us won't pull one out as the sun sets! Both of these situations have happened to us. So far thankfully no one has used one after about 10 pm.

We are powered by solar and batteries however do carry a Honda 2 for emergency back up...mainly for re charging the tow vehicle battery should it run flat on a remote place.
In low cost camps where generators are permitted I have to confess that I have run it to power my Nespresso coffee maker for a few minutes, a few times a day, to make coffee while all around us people ran theirs continually all day and long into the evening!

Recently we were pretty surprised to find people in close proximity to us running a genie at night in an unpowered site in a caravan park and my husband asked them to turn it off. They were equally surprised to be asked but it went off immediately!
It was not permitted in this park and had they not complied, we would have approached the management the following day. They were watching tv I think. Not sure why they didn't just book into a powered site which would only have cost a few dollars more!

Not sure that there is any solution to this as more and more of us travel. In our experience places get busier each year but it hasn't stopped us. I guess we have to be tolerant.



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AnswerID: 481605

Reply By: mick b5 - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 12:52

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 12:52
I thought free bush camping was for everyone not someone winging so&so telling you how to live your life-- there is enough of those in the city -- THIS is a big country just move a few meters & all will be OK.- alternatively try the sounds of HONGKONG.---MICK.
AnswerID: 481610

Follow Up By: spudseamus - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 13:49

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 13:49
yep im sure you were camped near me a few times then !
FollowupID: 756958

Reply By: Fred G NSW - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 14:15

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 14:15
Not withstanding the fact that there are many inconsiderate campers out there, and lots with generators, what gives anyone the belief that generators should be a no go out there.

They are mostly less annoying than those who overindulge with their happy hour sessions, the loud music, barking dogs, those wandering around the camp aimlessly oblivious to all whilst having loud and long conversations on their mobile phone, the noisy kids who always want to play near your campsite, not theirs, the bloke who finds it necessary to tune his vehicle, and the list goes on and on.

The risk you take is having inconsiderate campers near you, but then again there may something about your mob that gets up their nose, maybe the smell from your BBQ or camp oven.

The better solution is to pick your campsite carefully. I often find many campers don't like to camp isolated, but rather with the comfort of others nearby, and then you run the risk of having neighbours from hell. It's a bit like fishing on deserted beach. Others spot you, and before long you have all these pesky neighbours all around you LOL.

Like MH and many others here, I like to camp by myself out of sight if possible, but I always carry a generator, don't necessarily run it at every camp, but should anyone decide that they need to camp nearby, I make it a point of telling them before they get set up, that I may run a generator at some point.

That old saying, "Unlike your relatives, you can select your neighbours" doesn't necessarily apply out there at bush camps.

This has been a hot topic many times before on here.

AnswerID: 481616

Reply By: oldtrack123 - Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 22:59

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 22:59
I will leave the pros or cons of generators to others

What does have me concerned is the wide spead use of generators by people who do not understand the risks of that 240v
It can be just as deadly as your house 240vi
If you plug the genny in via the power inlet socket of the van,you have encreased the risk

Your RCD if fitted is not functional!!

Connecting of multiple class2 appliances [2pin plugs] has a very low risk

However having more than ONE class 1 appliance [3 pin plug] CONNECTED encreases the potential for a dangerous fault to develop

'When you plug into the van power inlet you have connected that fiirst class 1 appliance[the van itself you then will not doubt alrady have other class1 appliances connnected[fridge ,air con .battery charger ,etc]
USE with great care or get it permanently wired with a change over switch & fully operational RCD

AnswerID: 481811

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