Campground neighbor runs noisy generator more than necessary

Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
We are parked next to a guy who loves to watch TV. He thinks he has to run his generator all the time his TV is on. We have a generator but we use it very conservatively. They have their place, but not running continuously. I have tried to explain to this guy that his TV is not drawing much power. He is just clueless. He also runs his generator half the day because his batteries are low. He must spend more gas powering his rig when it’s parked than when he’s driving. We’ll be driving in the morning. Can’t take another day of this idle chatter. Just needed to vent. Thanks. —Asphyxiated in Alpine

Dear Asphyxiated:
It can be annoying. It only takes a bit of knowledge and tweaking to better manage power.

It sounds like your neighbor might have failing batteries. Another mistake a lot of people make is trying to charge dead batteries by running the generator, allowing the converter to trickle charge the batteries. Much more efficient to power an automotive battery charger with the generator.

I have both generator and solar, but if I could only choose one, it would be my solar. Many campgrounds today offer non-generator loops. We always opt for that.

Besides running the generator for air conditioning occasionally or a quick microwave nuke, I run it under a load to exercise it when I’m out in the boondocks. This way I won’t bother anyone else that might be seeking a bit of solitude. “Use it or lose it” is the theory behind air conditioning and generator precautionary maintenance. There is a reason you are seeing more “quiet hour” signs in campgrounds. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

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6 Thoughts to “Campground neighbor runs noisy generator more than necessary”

  1. Roy Ellithorpe

    It sounds like Thor forgot to connect the TV outlet to the inverter panel. If you really want to watch TV, try finding an outlet that is powered by your inverter and use an extension cord.

  2. Rufus

    If you’re not solar, you’re missing out. I have 450 watts on the roof and NO GENERATOR!!! Yes, I have an Artic Breeze AC in the house and can use the solar panels to power it, no problem.

    As far as a TV….why the h**l do you bring big city problems with you into the country? We just got back from a month in the boonies and I finished three books. Most of the time we didn’t have a cell signal, either. Aaaahhhh, peace and quiet.

    1. Darrel

      “As far as a TV….why the h**l do you bring big city problems with you into the country?”

      Do you have a TV in your permanent house? Our RV is OUR permanent house. So yes we have a TV. We also have a large battery bank, invertor, large solar system, and quiet built in generator.

      You “camp” your way and we will RV “camp” our way as full timers.

    2. Billy Bob Thorton

      Can you get into the science of how you power a air conditioning unit with 450W from solar. Has the industry been missing something you know about.

  3. Larry

    Just for the record… not all battery setups will power a TV… if we want to watch TV with no shore power, our generator has to be running… Thor Class A s that are gas powered … ours is a 2014… will not run a TV without the generator running… yet we can run the residential fridge… go figure?…

    1. Darrel

      You just need to rewire your TV to feed from your invertor. If nothing else, you can run a extension cord from an invertor outlet to your TV.

      Alternatively, you can install a small dedicated invertor for your TV and to recharge devices.

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