Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
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
It can be annoying. It only takes a bit of knowledge and tweaking to better manage power. I still do not understand the popularity of convection ovens in many of the new rigs. That dictates a generator run every time you want to cook something. 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 300 watts of 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, Dr. R. V. Shrink