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When Winnebago loaned us a Solis 59PX earlier this summer to test-camp, one of the things we liked about it was that it came with a new – far quieter – generator.  This is a new product from Cummins, the QG 2800i, and unlike some other quiet generators, this one is actually meant to be mounted into an RV.  How quiet is it?  Have a listen!



So, for those of you too busy to listen to the video, here are the results in tabular form.

Standard RV GeneratorOnan QG 2800i
20 feet (no load)67 dB58 dB
20 feet (AC load)68 dB59 dB
50 feet (no load)61 dB52 dB
50 feet (AC load)61 dB53 dB

The big take-away from this table is that the new, quiet generator is on average 9 decibels quieter than a “standard” RV generator.  But 9 dB out of 60 is actually a lot more than you might think, because decibels are a logarithmic scale.  How much is 9 dB?  Well, according to this kind-of-silly dB chart I found, it’s like the difference between piano practice and a vacuum cleaner!  We didn’t have any vacuum cleaners or pianos with us out there in the parking lot, but I can tell you first hand, this generator was significantly quieter than other RV generators I’ve heard.

Another useful comparison would have been to compare it to the small Honda generator that everyone knows and loves.  I don’t have a Honda generator, so I couldn’t run that test.  But I have heard the Honda (and other quiet generators), and this one is playing at that same level.  The big advantage for the Onan QG 2800i is that this it’s designed to be mounted in an RV, hardwired into the automatic transfer switch, and to use fuel directly from the vehicle’s fuel tank.  Those are three things the Honda doesn’t have going for it.  Plus, this one is 2800 watts versus 2000 for the Honda.

We also got a look at the preliminary spec sheet.  From that, I remember that this generator weighs in at 113 pounds.  At full load, it uses just under a half a gallon of gasoline per hour.  And as far as starting the air conditioner –  as you can hear in the video, it pulled that off with no problem.

Of course, it’s still a generator.  And while this generator is remarkably quiet, we’re not about to rip out our own lithium battery setup in favor of a generator.  But – if you want to have a generator on your RV… THIS ONE is the one to have.

Comments?  Sound off below.

PS – We turned the Solis 59 PX back in to Winnebago, so I don’t have the generator any more.  I can’t take any more measurements.  Sorry!