Should You Run Your RV Generator at Night?

Should You Run Your RV Generator at Night?
Should You Run Your RV Generator at Night?

Running Your RV Generator at Night

Many RVers feel that they need to run their generator at night; this could be to run the air conditioner or the furnace or to run medical equipment, such as a C-Pap machine. While generators certainly can run overnight, there are also reasons not to run your generator all night.

Campground Quiet Times

Perhaps the #1 reason not to run your generator all night is campground quiet times. Running your generator late into the night could be against the rules, and could get you kicked out. Generators are noisy, and while you may not mind it, other campers do. The #1 complaint of many campers is about other campers who run a noisy generator all day. Running a noisy generator all night in a campground is considered very rude.

Generator Run Times

Most generators can safely run anywhere from 8-20 hours, or even longer. However, if something goes wrong with your generator while you’re sleeping, you won’t notice it. That could mean a very expensive repair. Also, built-in generators use the gas or diesel in your motorhome’s gas tank; the more you run your generator, the more fuel you will use. You don’t want to run your fuel tank down so low, you can’t reach your next destination.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The fact is, running your generator all night could cause the exhaust to seep into the RV unnoticed while you sleep. Built-in RV generators have their exhaust pipes down low, and as it rises, it could seep in through an open window or any small crack. If you choose to sleep with your generator running all night, be sure that your carbon monoxide alarm is in good working order.

If You Need All Night High-Powered Electricity

If you need to run a generator all night, because you need to run medical equipment, such as a C-Pap machine, then your health may be better off in an RV park with electrical hookups. If your health depends on a constant supply of electricity to keep you alive, then it’s a good idea to camp where you can plug in.

Likewise, if you’re running a generator all night, to stay up late playing video games or watch TV, perhaps the RV lifestyle isn’t really for you. Camping in places that don’t have electrical hookups assumes that you appreciate nature. If your lifestyle is overly tied to technology, then perhaps camping off-grid is not for you.

Generators are a good thing, but only in moderation. Be a good camping neighbor, and use your generator wisely.

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