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Saturday, November 3, 2007

RV Noise Can Drive You Crazy

Did you know there is such a thing as “aeroacoustic noise” sources in your RV? That’s how scientists describe noise in your rig caused by outside wind forces. Do you suppose when one of these scientists is out driving his motorhome he turns to his wife and says, “Honey where’s that aeroacoustic noise coming from?” Since this is a blog it’s also a kind of “forum” for sharing information. We would like to know about wind noise or any other kind of noise you’ve had in your RVs and how you fixed the problem. Your information could help other RVers identify and fix their aeroacoustic noise before it drives them crazy. Just click on the light blue word "comments" and leave us your story. Looking forward to hearing from you - Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing



  • most of our aeroacoustic 'noise' comes from the othere front seat. My next 'RV' will have one bed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 3, 2007 7:37:00 PM PDT  

  • Oh my, aeroacoustic noises.....

    Who knows what causes them and why do they change from start-up to start-up? We just wait them out and most often they go away to be replaced by another.

    It can make for interesting conversations while driving. I am usually saying "do you think it will cause a problem?", "should we stop and see if we can see anything?" and so on. He almost always says "it's nothing" and keeps on driving.

    So flapping antenna cables or flapping vents or shifting cargo or wierd engine noises are all the same to him. (Alas he is usually right!)


    By Blogger Beth&Leo, at November 5, 2007 9:48:00 AM PST  

  • Often front-door model motorhomes, particularly those with awnings with arms extending down the side of the front door, will experience wind noise while motoring down the road. Often, filling the awning arm channel with a tube of foam rubber will reduce or eliminate the noise.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2007 3:28:00 AM PST  

  • Jim,

    “aeroacoustic” noise control has been an ongoing project of mine for several years. I find most problems can be corrected by damping resonating metal panels and reducing protruding mirrors and objects that create wind turbulence.

    My present coach is a Kingsley Coach built on a Freightliner Coronado chassis (Front Engine, Detroit Diesel Series 60 515hp, 12 speed auto shift transmission). Engine and transmission noise have been diminished by installing self adhesive foil faced vibration damping sheets over the floor and firewall and cab walls. Additional noise reductions and temperature control were made possible by an supplementary layer of foil faced foam installed on the cab floor over the vibration damping material. The result is a quiet comfortable cab area.

    My past coaches were rear engine diesel pushers. (Monaco Signature, Holiday Rambler Navigator, Holiday Rambler Endeavor) The distance from the engine to the driver’s seat reduced motor and transmission noise, however the flat front of the coach and the mirrors protruding into the wind stream created prominent “aeroacoustic” problems due to wind turbulence. The rear engine coaches tended to be quieter below 50mph. The Kingsley cab shape makes it more aerodynamic and tends to be quieter above 50mph.

    In the Signature and the Navigator I found most of the noise originated from the turbulent slipstream of the mirrors. Moving the mirrors forward and back reduced the volume somewhat but did not eliminate the noise to tolerable levels. Since glass tends to be acoustically transparent, the large flat windshields of the diesel pushers transmit wind noise into the driver’s area. I believe the mounting location of the mirrors on the Coronado cab places them out of the slipstream, making the shape of the cab more aerodynamic and creating less wind noise. Additionally the smaller windshield provides less transmissive area.

    At road speed, 65-70mph, in the bedroom of the diesel pushers I could not rest or watch TV due the noise and heat from the engine below the floor. The Kingsley is so quiet I can watch TV on the lowest volume setting. The air-conditioning easily keeps the temperature in the low 70’s.

    I enjoy your articles! Keep up the good work.

    By Blogger WMSmith, at November 17, 2007 4:53:00 AM PST  

  • We become very accustomed to the air noise our 01 Turbo Bounder makes, so early on December while driving east into El Paso I stopped twice to check on the "weird" noise coming from Turbo.....same thing the next morning,noise always stopping about 45 minutes into the days travel....on third day, realized it was morning frost/ice on the roof causing the noise.....when it blew off/melted....all was normal....did cause some concern and extra road side stops for awhile.........Voyager

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2007 6:11:00 AM PST  

  • We have spent the entire first year with our new 2007 motorhome getting interior squeeks and rattles taken care of under warranty. To finally hear aeroacoustical noise was actually a treat. Many air noises can be traced to a window or vent that is not tightly closed. Our third motorhome has taught us one rule - they all stop making noise when you park them. B and J in CA

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2007 7:33:00 AM PST  

  • there was a ticking clicking noise always coming from the roof above drivers area when in a head wind. I finally discovered it was the antenna for the radio that is about 10 inches long sticks just above the roof line, and is on a swiverl. I swiveled it down below the roof line and no more noise. It still works fine. the roof is fiberglass so it is not a ground plane.
    Bill Forrest, San Jose, CA

    By Anonymous Bill Forrest, at November 18, 2007 9:37:00 AM PST  

  • Sloppy design and manufacturing contribute to noise going down the road.
    (Co-pilots) Try to localise the source and type of noise while under way. Then inspect and indentify the exact reason noise is generated.
    Possible solutions:
    - expanding foam to fill seams/cracks/voids,
    - Stiffing rattling panels with adhesive semi-rigid patches on the backside, and/or added braces.
    - weather stripping along seams.
    - caulking as seems feasible.
    - adjust doors, windows, awnings etc, for tightness, gaps etc.

    Most motorhomes leave the factory incomplete or sloppy, even the expensive ones. If you cann't do it, get a local jack-of-all-trades to look at it. A considerable improvement in noise is possible.
    The merrieyachts. Jac

    By Blogger Jac, at November 18, 2007 10:27:00 AM PST  

  • We have front end 10cyl. gas I just lined under driver side and passenger side over the wheel wells with 1" & 2" foamboard made for foundations didn't seem do make a difference.Ican't believe the rust under on a new coach I will continue to apply rustolium paint under.

    By Anonymous Dan, at December 8, 2007 5:44:00 PM PST  

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