Tiahaar wrote:... or a piece of 3/4" plywood secured to a couple T stakes planted a couple feet from the RV, alongside the generator...works wonders.
Tweaked by egg cartons on the plywood.
Plywood deflects sounds upwards, while absorbing some of the sound - this is your biggest bang for the buck. You want it secure enough that it cannot get loose in the wind, but a little flex will absorb more sound energy. Painting the plywood means it will absorb somewhat less high-frequency sounds that bare wood, but it will shed water and the paint holds the wood fibers that otherwise would become MOOP. To contain splinters, tape the edges.
Adding corners to the sheet of plywood to extend the sheet back towards the generator/RV cuts down on the sound escaping around the ends.
Like cutting a 4'x8' sheet into 4' high pieces of 2', 4', 2', hinged and taped back into an eight foot long sheet. This also folds into a smaller 4' square section for storage. The seams/hinges must be taped to prevent sound escaping through any gaps at the join (a direct "line-of-sight" air path carries sound the best).
Adding corners also makes it self standing, but it still needs to be secured to the ground so it doesn't fly away in the wind.
Adding egg carton (of molded pulp cardboard; not foam) to the side towards the generator/RV breaks up and absorbs more sound. Also, less energy is reflected back at the RV where it can reflect back out at people. Easier and better than egg cartons from the grocery store, are egg carton flats (trays). These can be obtained free from restaurants or ordered new/guaranteed-clean online. The smaller squares are for holding 5x6 or 6x6 eggs (typically 11 3/4" square); there are larger flats holding 36 and even 48 eggs (16 1/2" x 13") available. A dab of glue (contact cement does well) on the inside peaks (the side that the eggs sit in) holds a sheet in place (you want the bottom of the flat facing the sound), or possibly nailed/screwed if your flat's cardboard is robust enough. Haven't done this
, but you might be able to tape the edge between the flats and the plywood edge to keep dust out, and either tape or silicone seal to the seams between the flats (if you're intending to keep this for subsequent years).
After adding egg carton to the generator/RV side of the plywood, it may be quiet enough that you may hear the difference of adding egg carton to the outside of the sheet to break up retransmitted sound (sound energizes/modulates the plywood so some sound is retransmitted by the surface facing away from the generator/RV). But the relatively soft/flexible nature of the pulp cardboard has minimized this already so you're really into diminishing returns - but it can look cool painted...
Running the generator for two hours a day isn't too bad, but not at three in the morning. People also sleep in. Mid to late afternoon seems to be the least objected-to time to run a generator. If you haven't had an RV before, keep in mind that they need a deep cycle battery, not a car battery. In the Preparation - Keeping Cool thread "cooling your tent or van"viewtopic.php?f=280&t=33842
they also talk about a recommended battery type from Costco, and recommendation on how far they can be safely/reliably used/run-down before being recharged. With one person, I only needed to run the generator for an hour every three days to recharge the RV battery (no idea on the power of the generator). Your results may vary.
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