Monday, September 25, 2023


Feds crack down on portable generators

(February 26, 2022) — An agency of the federal government is cracking down on portable generators, which according to ProPublica can emit as much carbon monoxide as 450 cars and which kill an average of 80 people in the U.S. each year, sometimes RVers. A relatively small number of reported incidents involved a generator being used properly outdoors.

This is breaking news. We’ll follow up next week.

The action comes from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) two months after an investigation by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune. reported on this issue, how it applied to RVers, in December.

“Almost all generator engines emit very high rates of carbon monoxide (CO), and when consumers use portable generators in or near enclosed areas, the immediate and surrounding environment can quickly become fatal for occupants,” noted the CPSC. Most of the generators involved in fatal CO poisonings in CPSC’s databases were gasoline-fueled.

Portable generators that are permanently installed in recreational vehicles, typically motorhomes, or boats are outside of CPSC’s jurisdiction, even though the models may be the same as those falling within the scope of this project. Stationary generators have use patterns that differ from portable generators and are covered by a different voluntary standard.

GENERATOR MANUFACTURERS, ProPublica notes, say that their products are not dangerous when users follow the safety guidelines in instruction manuals, which include keeping the machines outside, away from doors and windows. But safety advocates say those instructions aren’t always easy to follow, because the machines can’t be operated in rain or snow.

The CPSC report concluded that voluntary changes implemented by some manufacturers have reduced the risk to consumers, but not to the degree that industry officials had promised.

Deaths of RVers from misuse of generators often occurs when the RVs are camped in close quarters (like NASCAR events, where they are squeezed together in infields) and the exhaust sends carbon monoxide into a neighbor’s living quarters. Three people died from carbon monoxide poisoning last July at a Michigan country music festival. A generator parked too close to their trailer was ruled the cause.

If you would like to learn more, read the CPSC’s 104-page report here.

RELATED: California generator ban: What does it mean for RVers.




  1. !200 deaths a year are from slip and falls in tubs and shower in private home. If 80 people died from generators operating in places they shouldn’t have been running in I’m sure they would have made other mistakes that would kill them in some other way.

  2. Things must change in America. Gas generators are killers? Bull! This one doesn’t need change. Once again they want to control our lives because we are too stupid to decide for ourselves. Some unelected bureaucrat will tell us what we’re doing wrong. I still can’t believe the government is telling us CO2 is bad. It’s makes up less than 2% of the atmosphere as it is and is vital to plant growth. Our biggest crop production years have been when CO2 is higher. Plus, they don’t tell you we exhale CO2 every time we breathe. What crap they sell us. Gore, Kerry etc, don’t know a thing about the atmosphere. They just want power to run our lives for us.

    • I am not promoting the ban on generators, I have 4 of them, 2 – 2K, 1- 3.5 K and 1-19.5K. However, make sure you are talking about CO, not CO2. CO is carbon monoxide, the killer gas that gas engines emit that has the death toll associated with it. CO2 is what we breathe out and is also by product of combustion also. Some people may get confused about what gas comes out of a politicians mouths…although it is poisonous also

  3. In cramped quarters, how about:

    1. A line power feed, so we don’t have to listen to generators, if there’s that many campers

    2. A fan blowing up to help disperse the exhaust? Or some better idea.

    Some kind of chimney or stovepipe should help, but would be big and bulky so line power would be better.

  4. This is one of the most poorly written articles I have ever read. People who read this article know less than when they started.

    For example you write:

    “An agency of the federal government is cracking down on portable generators”

    Cracking down how? What specific action is being taken?

    And again here:

    “The action comes from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) two months after an investigation”

    What action? You don’t mention any specific action anywhere in this article.

    I like how you link to the article about the generator ban in California even though that’s not related. That is not a federal action and the headline here says “Feds crack down”.

    You’ve provided zero useful information in this article and in fact all you’ve done is created confusion.

  5. Once again, govt is geting involved where it doesn’t need to be, and it will end up costings comsumers and taxpayers more, and will end up destroying jobs and lives. Govt will eventually destroy the RV industry and outdoor activities and millions of jobs with them.

  6. I have a 4500W generator and the owners manual cautions about operating in the rain, I think it’s because the electronic controls open to the weather. I have it mounted on a cargo carrier behind the bumper and built a weather shield to protect it from rain and have had no problems so far, the only part exposed is the exhaust for the cooling fan and engine exhaust, it takes cooling air in from the bottom.

  7. Solar is answer to this. With several game changing battery technologies coming online a viable solar powered generator that can compete with gas..almost. I’ve designed three different generator’s using off the shelf item’s. With solar there are no emissions, no moving parts, no noise, no fuel We stand on the brink of some incredible breakthroughs .

    • Except Lithium battery STILL has FIRE/EXPLOSION problems, which why transport still so strongly regulated? Just YESTERDAY, watched EU security video of 5-electric rental scooters sitting parked, and one bursts into flames, catching two others on fire in a very dealt fire had anyone been riding it? It is governments that are HIDING most of this from public? Recall all the scooter & hoverboard fire videos a few years back?

      • Gasoline has fire / explosion issues too.

        Some of the regulations are about air travel; don’t want to be stuck in an aluminum tube at 20,000 feet when a battery sets the luggage on fire.

        LiPo batteries are safer. Can drive in nails, they won’t catch fire.

        One big reason for LIon battery fires is “jumpstarts”: when a 3V cell gets discharged to 1.4V or less, the copper electrode starts going into solution. When the cell is recharged, the copper plates out as nucleation points, and lithium whiskers start to grow. Enough charge / discharge cycles and they eventually puncture the cell membrane and short out the cell, making a hot spot.

        When someone clever but uninformed “saves money” or ‘gets past the ripoff’ by bypassing the permanent shutdown safety circuits, they have arranged a future battery fire.

    • Solar is great, provided there’s enough use that the system puts out more energy than it took to make it. Unfortunately solar energy isn’t always available (night, weather) so you need energy storage to go with it.

    • That’s fine except for when there is no sun. We are now coming off a blizzard where temps have been below zero for the last 2 days. No sun. NE Ohio is notorious for grey winters where we don’t see the sun for weeks. Luckily I have not lost power at my house but some neighbors did.

      • If there’s wind, a wind generator may work. Or harbor freight has a inverted generator that runs 16+ hours on three gallons of gas. It has a shut off sensor if it detects exhaust gas cause it’s too close to a building. They are not loud as regular generators

  8. Reading through the comments, it’s obvious that some didn’t even read this poorly written article. They saw a a deceptive headline and a picture that’s completely false, and reacted.
    FWIW, for the most part, this even isn’t an RVing issue. This is not to minimize the deaths/illnesses of RVers that were affected. The problem is that when faced with a power outage at home, people are putting their generators in places such as garages, basements, crawl spaces, or outside windows. Why would they do something so stupid? Ignorance, fear of having their generator stolen, extension cords that are too short, are among the top reasons.
    Nothing has been done yet, so there is no crackdown as stated. From what I’ve read, the adoption of standard UL2201 might happen in 2023. To be UL2201 certified would require that generators shut down when CO levels are too high, and that the engines be modified to output less CO.
    I truly hope Part 2 of this article is more complete and much more responsible.

  9. I’m going to turn my gas guzzler Tahoe into a generator and put those small ones out of business while saving the planet. Govt dems are idiots…

    • It will have an emissions control system, which is a plus.

      Tahoes have big engines. Takes gas to spin them, and generators usually want around 3,600 RPM. This setup won’t idle for free. What’s the efficiency for your planned load?

      Hmmm. Crowded campground, drunks, unattended vehicle running with the keys in. What could go wrong?

  10. Most RV’ers camp in what I call a sardine can grass parking lot. Lots of people, lots of smells, lots of drunks, and lots of LOUDNESS. It’s a disgusting fiasco full of deplorables. Yuck! I’ll camp in a pup-tent in the wilderness. Drinking mountain water, hiking, and listening to the birds Is serenity.

    • So those were you’re plastic water bottles and McDonalds garbage left in your smoldering makeshift fireplace filled with cigarette buts and beer cans next to the creek I saw this morning.

  11. I can’t believe this is real 80 people a year. What about 150 plus people a day dying from overdoses why don’t they crack down on the war on drugs before they focus on a generator.. Now I get emissions well make them have emissions on a gen like a car would problem solved or common sense if you use one or camping know your surrounding and know what’s around you or {bleeped} have a co2 detector in the mobile home or where ever one is close areas have one close to monitor. Just wow how stupid has our society become.
    There is technology to tackle pretty much any issue about this.
    Solar maybe. Lol

  12. This is so psycho. There no proof of green house glasses. The heating of our atmosphere is natural. I believe it is part of a cycle that takes place and will repeat periodically. We go into an ice age, then come out of one, over and over again as the earth move to and from a certain distance from the sun. Blaming emissions of fossil fuel s is a chicken little syndrome to scare people into emission free living. It needs to stop. If you believe I’m wrong, then why don’t the powers that be alow the gas generator s to faze out, instead of acting like a Communist, a say you can’t have a generator any more. They are they are trying to scare everyone into changing, looking like hypocrite s by letting oil refineries stay on line. Even the Hollywood elites are hypocrite s. They scream global warming, but get into there fossil fueled aparatices, and polute the ozone while going to a geo summit. That teen from across the pond went back home from her wind powered trip to the USA, on an airline

    • I don’t know how old y’all are, I’m a couple of months away from 79. I can remember back in the mid 1970’s there was the scare tactic of a coming ice age due to cold winters and cooler summers. An old climatologist well respected in his field stated the earth goes through natural heating and cooling cycles that last about 100 years, 50 cooling, 50 heating. Mid 70’s to now figures to be about 50 years. We are in the natural heating cycle. How many degrees has the earth heated up above normal? I don’t know myself but I think I heard the “experts” say something like 1.3 degrees, yes ice does melt above 32 degrees F, but a large chunk of ice like the Arctic and Antarctica will surely not melt to fast before winter comes back. I am at 86’ above sea level and the “experts” say I’ll be dead before the ocean reaches our home, I may have ocean front property before I die. Lol

      • Update: we are now entering a cooling cycle. No sunspots. Direct correlation. I slept at a Holiday Inn express last night!

      • There’s ‘scare tactic’ and then there’s improved scientific understanding.

        Scientists make educated guesses, look for mistakes (vs. doubling down) make mistakes then discover them, learn, and do better. New evidence comes in and has to be accounted for. Better sensors and models are developed. More capable computers support better models.

        *Which* “well respected” old climatologist? Respected by who, the majority of professional, expert climatologists, or by politicians and big oil execs who like his political views?

  13. 100,000 plus Americans died from opioids last year, most of which were illegal/non-prescribed, yet the feds allow the drugs to fly across the southern border. But by all means let’s crack down on the killer generators.

    • We’re a pleasant law abiding bunch, so, its easier to kick us around, than say the cartel, or big Pharma.

    • Gordon, there is more than one problem in our country that our various governments must deal with. Yes, the opioid crisis is terrible and must be addressed and the people/companies must be held responsible. But, come on, there are thousands of other problems, including the fact generators cause so much pollution and even deaths. You think that just because opioids are such a huge problem that we should ignore others? Is that what you are saying in your post?

      • I dont believe 80 died from CO2 last year, nor do I believe 100,000 died from opiods last year. You have to believe in science, they all died fron Covid-19. Ask Fauci.

  14. What no mention of the millions of truck drivers that are crammed into truck stops with those little generators or APUs on the side of their trucks just cranking out the carbon monoxide and how many truck drivers die per year from them. Those exhaust should be required by law to be pointed up like the old trucks are not pointed down to the ground like a lot of the new trucks are.

  15. The government needs to secure the border and attack crime and leave individual rights alone . If I want a generator it’s no business of the govt

  16. We’re worried about generators and drugs are killing 2 a week in my area. And, I don’t live in a heavy population center. Easy to go after a legitimate businesses and leave the drug dealers and thugs alone.

  17. Generators probably don’t have exhaust systems like a car. Cars have catalytic converters. So they might not be able to scrub co2 as well as a car. But I really don’t know just an idea.

    • We, as a society, have invested a lot of money (through higher car prices) to reduce the emissions of our transportation industry. It worked; cars are amazing examples of reduced emissions. You can stick your face right in the exhaust stream and breathe. So small engines now emit a larger %age of CO (CO² is not pollution). That’s not really news. But of course, the sky is still falling. The perpetual emergency tax collection scam has been churning out impending disasters much longer than I can remember.
      Here’s what they’re saying has nothing to do with climate change. The sun. Our sun. They say the poles are in the mood to swap ends. And we can now find the magnetic North Pole meandering around the Bearing Sea. You would sure think that relocating the nodes that our magnetosphere is hooked to, would effect the coverage that that solar shield would have to deflect solar radiation. Imo, that could possibly explain a lot of hot days.
      And didn’t Tesla just lose 20/24 satellites from solar radiation? Those are outside of any effect of atmospheric greenhouse gasses.

      I think all of our climate change worries will be abated now that we’ve banned plastic straws

  18. Home lawn mowers should be held to the same standards. They have no pollution controls on them and there are far more of those than generators.

  19. Id say this article is an outright lie. And a bad one at that. Personal generators can run for hours on only a couple gallons of fuel. Most are completely enclosed or at least any moving parts are. Personal generators also arent run 24 hours a day seven days a week. Theyre run only when needed. Usually a few hours or a few days at a time. Big brother and its ever watching eye is what needs strong regulation but thats a whole other discussion.

    • Three boys died of carbon monoxide this summer at the Faster Horses concert held at the Michigan International Speedway which is about a mile away from my park. It seems that a neighboring camper thirty feet away was running a Honda portable generator all night to power its air conditioning.

  20. Talk about stupidity. It is physically impossible for a single cylinder engine to create the same amount of carbon Monoxide as 450 vehicles with engines ranging from 4 to 8 cylinders. And those cylinders being larger then the majority of the generator’s cylinder. Not to mention said most of said vehicles probably don’t run properly to begin with. If those small engines don’t run right they’re not very useful and chances are they won’t do you much good. All this is, is another scam for the government and companies to charge you more. [bleeped]

    • Don’t confuse the volume of exhaust with what’s in it.

      Fully burned fuel, passed through a tuned up engine and a heated-up catalytic converter to complete the combustion, has carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor. Any CO gets burned to CO2.

      Incompletely burned fuel will have carbon monoxide (CO), maybe other hydrocarbons. A single cylinder engine, designed to be inexpensive to make (vs. having to meet emissions standards) because people buy the lawnmower that costs $10 less, runs dirty. Especially if it’s an older design in poor condition.

  21. How are the new electric cars going to get a bump when stranded. This is to prevent millions of noisy generators running, this gas vehicle ban has not been thought out unless there is a larger sinister reason to enslave the citizenry.

    • Jumper cables or an extension cord.

      Also, with the electronic control systems, it’s not going to be a surprise when you run out of charge.

  22. Yes. A small generator exhausts hundreds of times the amount of CO exhausted by a MODERN automobile. Carbon Monoxide is a product of incomplete combustion. Carbureted engines produce considerably more CO than do the fuel injected engines which have been universal in automobiles produced over the past thirty years, with their precise fuel/air metering. In addition the catalytic converters with which automobiles have been equipped for the past fifty years exist to reduce carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide. Modern automobiles produce very little CO when they are running as designed.

    • The key to your statement is “Modern automobile” all it takes is a couple of pre 1975 vehicles to throw the modern emissions out the window. I saw at least 30-40 antique cars and trucks on TN roads every day, now in FL I see more. Oh but wait they don’t drive them much, except everyday.

  23. Somehow I don’t think my portable generator can kill 80 people. If it can let’s send portable generators to Ukraine so the Ukrainians can kill Russians with them

  24. Many who own generators comment how quiet there unit is. This is true compared to a construction generator. And it is true if you are inside your camper with the ac on, you will not hear your own generator. If you are outside it is noise pollution. I appreciate campgrounds which do not allow them.

  25. That right there tells you everything you need to know about the situation. Government agencies want to regulate something because they are too incompetent to make sure they don’t overbook a venue and keep people far enough away from each other.

    So instead of them taking responsibility they are going to go after companies to make them clean up their mess.

  26. How about all the communities that allow golf carts such as The Villages in Florida where there are at least 100,000 carts, all generating tons of CO. No one seems to care about that. And people are worried about a few portable generators producing CO. CRAZY!

  27. I have so many things to comment on this article. But the most ironic thing is the ad right at the end of the article for a generator system that works by running your car instead of a small generator – Too Funny!

    Next is I just don’t understand how based on a line in the article that my generator runs in rain and snow. The darn machine must not have gotten the memo indicating it cannot run in rain and snow! I will be sure to tell it that soon. 😉

    Plus there is a saying, “You can’t cure stupid”. The Darwin Award – here’s your sign! And If there were any more warnings on my generator, I would not be able to see the color. Somewhere there has to be some common sense in when and where to operate a generator.

    California can do as it wants, we will just avoid it.

  28. Feds are idiots, and liars looking for more reason to push green bs! Most are hybrid now and burn on propane, which is clean air and exhaust. It makes more sense fornRV to use propane since they already have a propane system for stove!

  29. I won’t wager on whether every fact or percentage cited is correct, but here are a few things to consider. Cars have a catalytic converter, these convert Carbon Monoxide (poisonous) to Carbon Dioxide (not as toxic, it’s what we exhale). An additional, less known fact is that our red blood cells have 80 times the affinity (binding likelihood) for Carbon Monoxide/CO than they have for Oxygen. Those points and the point that CO is oderless and tasteless make a deadly combination. I’m also not always in love with “being told what to do”, but the attention gets me to read and investigate where the “rules” came from. One last tidbit, though my little rig (1957 Yellowstone trailer) has no AC, the reason that doesn’t bother me, even the desert, is during the day I’m rarely in the camper and at night the sun goes down. My wife and I joke about “widening our tolerance for temperature” and other things.

  30. Small generators aren’t the problem….Big factories big businesses hurting our environment worldwide… It takes gas to generate electricity for cars….. There’s more chainsaws more weed eaters and Gas lawn mowers put together then generators……Gasoline Vehicle’s Create more pollution than anything else…….. Go figure ?

  31. Running generators on propane or national gas cuts emissions 80% or more! Why not convert to clean fuel? Also I’ve been experimenting with generators, a fuel line ran through the cockpit hole or fuel shut off, using a fuel filter meant for a weedeater, chainsaw will run hrs on 10 teaspoons of gas because of the vapor buildup 100% works

  32. My issue with many generators is noise. It’s obvious many need servicing. Also many campers use a commercial generator that has a high decibel level. My generator is serviced yearly and I will not run it all day or past 7pm. I also have a solar gen that I use so not to disturb others.
    Consideration is important for all campers and I thank those who consider their neighbors.

  33. Do portable generators have the same emission control devices as cars do? If not, could that explain why they pollute more than cars?

  34. These generators don’t kill 80 people per year. Stupid people who misuse generators kill themselves.
    But like anything else, the government goes after an object, instead of the real source of the problem (idiots).

  35. Of all you boasting solar this and lithium that, how many of you have to burn like 9000 gallons of fuel required to arrive at your Shangri-La location where no one UPSETS your ambiance with generators?

    It’s phony to say you’re saving the world with solar while driving a rig that uses tons of fuels and dumps about the same in emissions on the freeway.

    Not meaning to pick on RV’ers specifically but every single last one of us on earth is using oil in one form or another To pick on someone using a generator is nuts. Most driving EV’s refuse to admit that their source of electricity come from a fossil fuel burning generator that releases tremendous amounts of pollutants

  36. I would like to set something straight. According to local news reports the generator was on loan from the grandfather of one of the three young men who were killed by the fumes. They were given specific instructions on it’s use, and failed to follow said instructions in the setup. It is not clear if they were in a tent or tt (it was reported both ways by two different networks) with the generator too close. They did not follow safety instructions. It is sad and I feel sad to think of the families who had to deal with the loss of their loved ones. I also find it hard to comprehend one one cylinder engine of any sort being able to put out more pollution than 450 cars, even if they were all 4 cylinder engines. They must have been using total electric cars, even then their production pollution would far exceed that amount.

  37. What a BUNCH Of CRAP! I am going on16 years of owning RV’s and 4 years of managing a small RV park. Never “ONCE” have I witnessed, heard of or experienced any issues, problems or taken any complaints regarding generators either portable or built in. This is nothing more than looney leftist tree hugging Demon-crats…

    • Therefore there has never been an injury or death from a portable genset?

      Try to keep an open mind to new eventualities. I have three neighbors with recently purchased gensets due to recent days long power outages here in TX. A Republicans run state if you recall. Two of them discussed plans to run the unit inside the attached garage and run extension cords into the house.

  38. Thank God for Big Brother…bwahahaha. How could we ever camp safely without it’s benevolent and ever watchful eye over all our activities in our private lives. Hey, I have an idea…how about we hold an experiment, and they stop the nonsense? That way we can find out how it is we can actually survive without them.

  39. I’ve read this article twice and I still don’t see where it says what the action of the government is. While I understand that you may have to look at additional reports for insights at least have something to say about what the crackdown is if that’s the headline.

  40. Dear Mr Levi there is no environmental crisis but you will never believe that. When I was young they tried to tell us that we had entered a ice age nothing we could do to save the planet. We didn’t fall for it shame on you for falling and believing these lies. But that’s your choice

    • Yes I must be the same age because I remember the same fairy tale also … Everyone will die and humans will be extinct because we were entering an ice age … Guess that didn’t stick so now it’s switched to global warming then to broad climate change to cover anything and continue fear mongering … Why don’t they worry about the real opioid crisis that kills tens of thousands every year and is real .. Ohh because they won’t close the border to the rampant drugs crossing because everything is racist now .. Bunch of made up nonsense .

    • When you were young, you either went to a horrible school or had a rich imagination. Nobody ever said that or you didn’t read much.

      When you were young they also had TV shows or cartoons where you could call someone on your watch device. Guess what, you can do that now because we know more now and technology has actually advanced.

      I’m probably older than you so please stop insulting old people with these ridiculous statements.

  41. It’s called personal accountability. Portable generators come plastered with stickers telling you where and where not to use them, how and why. If someone can’t figure out how to use a small engine without harming themselves it’s their fault, not the 99.9% of other people with common sense. This is how we ended up with gas cans that are complete and total junk. These carbon monoxide shutoff devices will just add unnecessary complexity and cost to portable generators. What’s next?

  42. My single cylinder Honda 2000 gives off as much CO. 2 as 450 cars? Lets generalize why dont V8 car has 8 cylinders. My Honda has 4. It stands to reason that the 8 doubles what the 4 does. But according to the author you can assu its the same my v8 is 6.6 liters. My 4 cylinder Honda is 2.2 liters. Assuming ( per author ) the same co2 because we used the word cars. I dont even know how big ( or small) the Honda generator is but. Very so how can a statement be made that groups everything together

    • I’m sure you realize that car engines have lots of extra features, like fuel injection, catalytic converters, mufflers and regular required inspections to reduce emissions. Generators do not. In fact generators generate more than electricity…they also generate noise pollution, carbon monoxide and other gasses.

    • You’re looking at this the wrong way (and so was the author). Instead of thinking generators are that dirty, we should be realizing how clean cars are these days. With the computer controlled fuel systems, catalytic converters, etc., it takes 450 cars to equal one generator. I’d say that’s pretty damned good!

    • Your modern car has a slew of schemes to recycle emissions and treat via catalytic means. These generators usually have none such. Just a guess

    • Because there’s basically no emissions on small engines so they spew a lot of pollutants out in a short time .Try this experiment start up a riding mower in your garage for one min then let all the fumes out then start up a Honda Civic or Toyota corolla for a min and see the difference. Modern cars have one or more catalytic converter and all types of emissions that a small engine doesn’t have. Most are designs that date back deccades where as cars have done so much research and development on emissions only because they were forced to. I say just convert all small engines to run off much cleaner burning propane. Those camp cylinders are already available. I converted my generation to propane 20 years ago. I can run it im my garage several min before i have to open up the door. If its on gas you will quickly be overwhelmed by the it much better on the engine oil. Doesn’t get black as fast . Its so easy to do.

  43. I would add that in the camping information for every NASCAR track I have stayed at (and we have stayed at many), the track mandates (oh, there’s that word again…) that users have an exhaust stack that extends ABOVE your RV, so the exhaust is not going into the unit next to you.

    In ten years of going to tracks, I’ve seen maybe two dozen others use them – out of the thousands of RV’s there. Many times (particularly in Talladega) campers completely ignore ‘quiet hours’, letting their genny run overnight, their power cord stretched ‘banjo tight’ to their genset sitting twenty-some feet behind them. At Sonoma a few years ago, the mercury topped out at over 100F, and we had to keep out ACs running to keep our rig from becoming an over (and to keep my wife from getting a stress migraine). Unfortunately, our enclosed genset started to overheat and trip offline, and the exhaust from two other generators of our neighbors, all vented towards the tent camping older couple next to us.

  44. We use solar on both our RV, and our backcountry cabin/hunting camp (which is off the grid, so we generate all our own electricity), but living in the southwest, we do use a generator from time to time in the boonies. It’s currently about 15 degrees outside, but in summer we commonly top out at 90 or more, and we DO use the A/C (and sometimes the microwave), so the generator is handy for the RV, and we have a generator at the backcountry place for when we run the washing machine or microwave, or when something in the solar fails unexpectedly. Honestly, I’ve also been around enough running small engines to recognize the smell of engine exhaust and it’s gaggin effect on me. I cannot imagine not being able to detect it. Of course, nanny state government bureaucrats always feel the need to save people from themselves. Perhaps it was my schooling from long ago, but I’ve never considered running any gasoline engine indoors, or in another closed space, without venting exhaust outdoors.

  45. Using the Consumer Product Safety Commission is another workaround to enforce mandates without laws and legislation. The author should not repeat such baseless and broad statements like “a generator”? can emit the same carbon monoxide as 450 cars without backing that statement up by how that figure was arrived at. Similar to what the country has gone through with Covid’s “health emergency” by the CDC mandates (21-century law-making). This is also the same tactic the Obama administration and now the current Washington power group use through the EPA to regulate, aka mandate and harm the fossil fuel industry. The current administration has put more sanctions on the U.S. energy sector than they have on Russia and the crisis in Ukraine by using the EPA and other agencies to “mandate” our energy supply.

    • Everyone feels a little bit stupider for reading your diatribe. You are uneducated or ill-informed on the facts, and spouting partisan spin in defense of…. what? Freedom??? You demand the author post backing statements, when your argument would be bolstered by providing counterfactual data. But, you didn’t. Instead you whine about ‘Administrations’ and tactics. Here’s a tip on how you can enjoy your time RV’ing – TURN OFF FOX NEWS AND OAN.

      Twenty years and two wars in service to this country, and whackadoodles like you make me question what I was fighting for.

      • Speak for yourself pal., BTW, did you break your arm patting yourself on the back?

        And Before you go off on “when did you serve..bla, bla, bla”…I’m ex-Army with two tours in VN behind me.

      • Hey Jeff, gee sounds like I insulted your left coast mentality. Thank you for your service, but are you sure you didn’t get dinged in the head during one of your tours?

        Oh yeah, I do not profess to be a journalist of any nature. However, there is a difference when one publishes articles that those reading are taking for fact provide some basis of the topic, not random stats that tell nothing such as “same carbon dioxide” as 450 cars” What rubbish! There are folks who read this crap and take it as gospel.

        As the great recent comedian Bob Saget said in his earlier days as a comedian, if you read it it must be true, cause you read it….even if it was you that wrote it.

      • Maybe you are the one that needs to turn off the government propaganda that THEY call news and follow the money trail! In the 70s it was the next ice age then global warming and now to cover ALL the bases its climate change.
        In case you haven’t noticed the climate is constantly changing and Im pretty sure the ice age didn’t end because of generators. Stop being a mindless tool.

  46. I’ve had nothing but solar in my rig for the last 13 years. I’ve never once run out of power. I’ve never had a panel broken by hail (or any glass, for that matter, in my entire 68 years of life). And my system is truly quiet, as in, zero decibels. No, I can’t run a welder with it or an air conditioner. But I don’t even have a/c in my rig because if it’s that hot outside, I’m camping in the wrong place. But if I did, and it was unbearably hot, I’d go to a campground and plug in. Installing solar in my rig is the best thing I’ve ever done for it. In fact, I’m using it right now to send this message.

  47. We have been avid RVers since retiring in 2016. Weve owned 3, currently a Grand Design 2600RB. While we have a 3500W Predator at home, weve never used it on any of our trips.

    Summer 2019 in Wisconsin, three tornadoes bore down on us about 3pm. One passed directly over us felling trees, limbs sticking out of roofs. Power and water failed immediatly. Generators fired up all over camp. The smell reminded me of my field days on drilling rigs where multiple engines would run 24/7.

    That evening, in a fitful sleep our carbon monoxide alarm went off. Our neighbors on board generator exhaust was about 30′ away. We were on the downwind side. It was my first time to actually feel the beginnings of of a poisonous sleepy death. We awoke groggy and with dull headaches, sick to our stomachs.

    Lesson learned. If your in a park that tightly packs their clients into small areas, generators will be used in times of crisis. You will inhale deadly fumes. Most residents will be oblivious to the danger

  48. Solar + lithium in my rig. I camp to get away from noise. Generators, dogs, loud music.
    My generator now sits in the garage until I need it for a household power outage.

    • That’s good until you have cloudy skies…for weeks on end! If you have a fixed solar system and you get hailed on! Gas generators have a place…

      • I’ve had solar on my rig for 13 years and never had any of the problems you’re talking about. Best thing I’ve ever done for my rig. Don’t have to lug a generator around, no gas cans to worry about, and the best thing about it – no noise. None. Absolute silence. And that’s priceless.

        • I can see being able to do that in many parts of the USA, but in the deep south the combined heat and humidity made life without air conditioning almost unbearable. Not saying none exist, I personally have yet to see a solar setup on an RV that can operate an air conditioner large enough to cool an RV in direct sun on a 95 degree day.

    • William Kaupe – Amen to that. The best way to have a camping trip ruined is to have to listen to one of those obnoxious noisemakers drone on, and on and on. Even the so-called “quiet” ones. I’m camping right now and had to move the other day because of it. I’m in a nice quiet place now, and no, I’m not saying where.

    • Excellent reply I am new to the solar scene and have loved every minute of it especially in Arizona I have an on-board generator I think because I havenever use it.

  49. So what is it public safety (80 deaths? – tragic, but still just 80)?

    Or is it (gasp!) GND?

    The outrageous claim that a generator makes more CO than 450 cars cannot be true. C’mon Man! Use some common sense! Run a generator for an hour, or run 450 cars for an hour. Or maybe burn a gallon of gas in a generator and a gallon of gas in a car? Measure the CO. Duh!

    A gallon of gas can only produce a certain amount of byproducts when combusted, no matter how inefficient the process is! Sure, cars may clean the byproducts better but there are billons of cars that burn trillions of gallons of gas. They need to do it better. How many generators & leaf blowers are there, and how much do they REALLY pollute in comparison?

    • That was also my reaction. Who in the world writes this crap? Oh, yeah, an “agency”. I went to their 104 page report. They give a table of all the generators and say the following table is name brand generators that do/and or don’t have the safety feature. However, nowhere do I see where they tell us which brand does or does not. Useless table. If a person doesn’t have enough brains to know not to stick their generator under their camper, it’s simply nature’s way of thinning the gene pool.

    • Brilliantly put. I was thinking the same thing. This is just the libs taking California’s lead. 80 deaths is not enough for me to even care. And the lies about 450 cars versus one generator is the most outright irresponsible lie I’ve seen on this site. I think its evident that this website is California controlled. I’m going to take it out of my newsreel. I don’t like liars with agendas.

    • I also raised an eyebrow when I read this. What I am uncertain with is if all generators sold would run at the same time would they then combine to equal 450 cars? For me this is an unanswered question.

    • The people that spread the B.S. about a generator putting out more emissions than 450 cars is totally ridiculous, they try to control EVERY bit of others lives – one of these days a lot of us are going to reach our limit – and it’s not too far off ……

  50. My campground has a ‘no generator’ section. I wish it had an ‘open frame generator’ section for those who think bringing those things to a campground is appropriate.

  51. Well, if you live in California, within 2 years, everything portable must be battery powered *chainsaws, lawn mowers, small garden tractors, generators, etc.). So line up to buy your battery powered generator, which, by the way, doesn’t exist. You’d need about 2000-3000 pounds of lithium-ion battery to run an RV for a day or two.

      • Okay, so he might have mis calculated. How much then? Dont forget, coal power plants, supply 35% of the grid, just to be fair people.

    • My Battleborn batteries weigh about 30 lbs each. So you’re saying it would take 67-100 of them to run an RV for a day or two? How do boondockers manage?
      The poorly named Solar Generators (think Jackery) are another option for an alternative to portable generators. Some are big enough to power an RV (without a/c) for a decent amount of time.

    • I think you haven’t read much on the subject. There are dozens of battery powered portable generators on the market at a comparable price per kw.

    • Not defending CA, but you need to get your facts straight. The law will stop the sale of new, small engine equipment. All existing equipment will still be legal to use. You are spreading BS, just like the so called facts put out by ProPublica.

      • Now those old existing weed eaters and chainsaws with very high emissions 2 cycle engines will be repaired and continue to be used for years they can’t be replaced with newer quieter, and much cleaner running 4 cycle weed eaters and chainsaws. The biggest problem I see for California is that they seem to assume that their plans are infallible and that people will follow the letter of the law, not the intent.

        You really care about the environment? How about the fact that pelosi’s use of a military C20 jet to fly back and forth to washington almost every week emits far more emissions than all the weed eaters in California combined?

  52. My Onan 7500 Diesel, on board generator exhausts out the side and under my drivers window. When in close quarters to other RV’s i use a Genturi attachment and it forces the fumes up above the coach. Also I am strictly following Onan’s guide lines on service intervals. Having the luxury of a generator means I do what Onan tells me to do, when they tell me to do it, as they tell me to do it. The main problem is with the portable, gas fired, contractor models the “weekend warriors” use any where and at any time. If everyone followed the “rules” we would all be safe. When I used a portable gas unit-Honda 3000kw inverter- I had a genturi hook-up on it also. CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS is what I am writing about.

  53. Again, the title of this article seems calculated to rile up people and generate maximum anger & angst. What’s up at RV Travel this morning?

    • There must be more than reported to warrant this move. It seems to me to be an overreach. Yet again another rule is born with very little ability to enforce. It also seems to me that a better approach would be that if close proximities are present, possibly enabling such tragedies, the hosting facilities should be on the hook for monitoring and enforcement.

    • You’re correct about the purpose of the title, but I’d argue that the picture is much more deceptive than the title. No one is talking about a federal ban, but that’s what is implying with that picture. Using clickbait reduces one’s credibility.

  54. I took a little time to research this before commenting, rather than making an uninformed comment as others have done.
    It looks they they are looking at requiring CO sensors that would automatically shut off the engine when levels got too high. This technology is already on many portable generators, the Honda 2200 is one. The biggie though, would be to require the engines to output lower amounts of CO. Best guess is that this would raise the price of a portable generator a little over a $100.
    Ryobi already makes one of this type, though it’s small. It’s UL 2201 certified.
    Many of the deaths/poisonings have occurred after disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Running a generator in a garage is stupid. Stupidity (& selfishness) seems to be in ample supply these days.
    Personally I wouldn’t mind if they banned the loud, obnoxious variety of portable generator, but that’s a separate topic.

    • Attempting? Really? Don’t waste billions of dollars on maybe!
      This is unnecessary. More people die driving to get gas for the generator, or die from cold or fire because they don’t have one!

  55. Ban them because people find following the safety instructions too hard? Give me a break. I am tired of having rule after rule put in place to protect stupid people. Now, let’s look at the real reason, they want to ban them as those behind the movement are trying their best to ban all internal combustion engines.

    • Stupid, YES. Also entilted. Get the thing serviced every year-are you kidding me! That would cost me money. What’s a little smoke?

    • Exactly Mr. Ace, thats why the Keystone pipe line shut down! Its all about control, look at C19 & all the lies they have said for what, more power & money. Oh ya lets buy our oil from Russia it only doubled the cost of it & financed their attack on Ukraine!

  56. So my question, what was the CO monitor doing if these fumes were going into the RV from an outside generator? Maybe an easier solution is to have CO detectors built into the walls of the RV in three locations, one in back,one in the middle, and one up front. have them hard wired so that the batteries can not be removed. To many people find that smoke detectors and CO detectors are annoying and just take out the batteries. People have no common sense anymore.

    • They’ll just pull the fuse to the detectors if they can’t pull the batteries. When the CO2 detector in my camper got old and falsed all the time, that’s what I did. Note that no one occupied the camper after I did this but the camper remained plugged in at my house. Before the next use of the camper, I replaced the detector.

      • What the hell is an Co2 detector? It’s an Co detector. Carbon monoxide detector. Not an carbon Dioxide detector. This is just another example of not knowing.

      • Funny?gas powered lawnmowers,weed whackers,leaf blowers, chain saws the list goes on forever are not a problem but gas powered generators are?some people don’t go camping at packed state parks ,rv parks where there are 50 if not 100 generators running at once. Some folks go camping to get away from people and operate 1 single family doesn’t feel adverse affects from our generator so I’m going to continue to use it.and my lawnmower and my truck and my chain saw no matter what political spin they come up with.

  57. As with a lot of things that may or may not make sense, what started in California (small engine sales ban) is spreading throughout the country. I remember being in San Jose on business a few years ago and reading about banning leaf blowers. Just recently a town in Mass. started the same discussion. In an interesting ‘blue state dilemma’, the California case was considered racist because (wait for it) it was mostly Latinos that used leaf blowers.

    Ban portable generators without making the electrical infrastructure more robust will end up killing more people than CO poisoning from the generators, especially in third world countries like Cape Cod in the winter.


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