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Should You Run an RV Generator While You’re Sleeping?

Should You Run an RV Generator While You’re Sleeping?

Should You Run an RV Generator While You’re Sleeping?

RV generators make camping in any season more comfortable and flexible.

Boondock off the beaten path and rest assured that you’ll stay toasty warm without shore power. Or run your air conditioner to cool your rig down on a steaming summer night.

A generator can offer power in almost any location, even while you sleep. But there are some rules of thumb to follow when using them.

Let’s take a look!

Should You Run an RV Generator While You Sleep?

Operating a generator while you sleep is certainly possible. There are, however, a few things to consider before doing so. First, make sure your campsite isn’t in an area that has quiet hours, which usually fall between dusk and dawn.

Second, the windows of your RV should be closed so you won’t be exposed to exhaust fumes.

And finally, if your campsite is near other RVers, be considerate of their desire for quiet hours. No one wants to listen to a loud motor while trying to sleep.

Woman sleeping in a sleep mask.
You can run your generator safely while you sleep.

Is It Safe to Run an RV Generator All Night?

Yes, it’s completely safe to use your generator, but you should follow a few important safety precautions. Close all of your windows and vents before using the generator.

And make sure you have an operating carbon monoxide detector in your rig. If you’re planning to run the generator all night, top off your motorhome’s gas tank or have extra fuel handy for your portable generator. 

Pro Tip: Looking for a new generator? These are the 5 Reasons Not To Overlook The Honda EU2200i Generator.

Can You Hear Your Generator While You Sleep?

Even the quietest generators can easily disturb not only you but your neighbors.

So please be respectful and only run it during your campground’s suggested hours or when you’re boondocking in an area away from other campers.

Little boy shushing.
Generators can be noisy at night, so use with caution.

Do Campgrounds Allow RV Generators at Night?

Some campgrounds, especially those that do not have electrical hookups, do allow generator use. But most will have designated quiet hours when these power sources cannot be operated.

If you utilize dispersed camping away from any neighboring RVers, the use of a generator is normally tolerated.

Most campgrounds and resorts that offer full hookups frown upon any generator use. The campsites are normally close to one another and neighboring campers would like some peace and quiet. So plan accordingly.

Pro Tip: Curious to know what generator will work best for you? Read more to find out Is a Yamaha Generator Good Enough for RV Life?

Will My Generator Last All Night and How Much Fuel Will It Use?

Your generator can run all night, depending upon your fuel source. In fact, to guard against running out of traveling fuel, built-in motorhome generators have an automatic shut-off.

This way, you’ll still have enough gasoline to get to a filling station.

Running at full capacity, a good rule of thumb for fuel use is to figure that your generator will consume a gallon per hour. Stand-alone generators like those in 5th wheels and travel trailers may use a bit more fuel.

Honda generator product shot.
Enjoy camping off the grid in any season with your generator.

Tips for Using Your RV Generator While You Sleep

If you’re planning on some cool-season camping where the use of a furnace will be required, or if you think your air conditioner will need to run on a hot summer’s night while you’re boondocking, be prepared.

Fill your gas tank before reaching the campsite, so that you have plenty of fuel for the generator. When possible, select a campsite far away from neighbors, so your generator use won’t be an issue for them.

Test your carbon monoxide detector to make sure it’s working correctly, then close all windows to keep the hot or cool air in. This will also guard against exhaust fumes getting into your sleeping space, and cut down the noise of the generator a bit.

Then enjoy camping off the grid in any season with your ‘backup power.’

Sleeping with Your Generator Running

Yes, running your RV’s generator while you’re sleeping is possible. Just be sure to follow safety guidelines and camping etiquette.

No one wants to hear even the quietest generators all night long.

When do you sleep with your generator running?

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Andy Murphy

Tuesday 19th of October 2021

I have sleep apnea and depend on my CPAP machine to keep alive. This means I'm dependent on electricity; so yes, I need my generator at all times when I sleep.

George Feeley

Friday 15th of October 2021

No do not run your RV installed generator while you sleep. It exspells CO2 emissions and you can die while sleeping with it running. Read your RV Instruction Manual. It plainly explains the hazards of runing the thing while sleeping. Your furnace will run fine using your house batteries all night long. I just saved your life.

Tom Stevenson

Thursday 14th of October 2021

Running a gasoline powered generator while you are sleeping in an rv is very very dangerous. In certain atmospheric conditions the co2 does not disperse and will find its way into an rv. Co2 is VERY DEADLY! Even the most expensive monitors are Chinese made and questionable! Diesel gensets do not produce dangerous levels os co2. I have over 25 years experience in the generator business and know a fair amount about it.

Richard Denner

Thursday 14th of October 2021

I'm not sure which generators they are talking about using a gallon of fuel an hour. I have used operated an own one myself. On average a quarter of a gallon pet hour is more likely.

Barry

Wednesday 13th of October 2021

Good points!

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