National parks in the U.S. are a favorite destination for RVers. To ensure that visitors have an enjoyable experience, the National Park Service enforces certain rules regarding the amount of noise generators can make.
When it comes to RV generator sets, the major noise sources are the engine, radiator fan, air intake and exhaust. At Cummins Onan, thanks to our state-of-the-art Acoustical Testing Center, we can measure very precisely the sources and levels of noise produced by our generators.
Generally, the noise levels of RV generator sets are measured at 10-foot distances from the generator set and at a 4-foot height from the ground. We measure noise levels of our generators under varying load conditions, and the noise levels at half-load condition are reported in our product specifications.
According to the National Park Service’s current regulation, the A-weighted sound pressure level at a distance of 50 feet may not exceed 60 dB(A). A-weighting is a family of curves defined in various national and international standards relating to the measurement of sound pressure level. Sound pressure level is a logarithmic measure of the effective sound pressure of a sound relative to a reference value. It is measured in decibels (dB) above a standard reference level.
Cummins Onan RV generators have noise ratings between 65–70 dB(A) measured at a distance of 10 feet, far closer than that specified by the National Park Service standard. We continually test our generators to ensure they meet the National Park Service requirements, and to help us design even quieter generators in the future.
However, keep in mind that the National Park Service requirements are for day time use only. When quiet hours are in effect we encourage our customers to be courteous to other outdoor enthusiast by shutting down their generators.