Having an RV or MotorHome is really awesome. It adds a sense of adventure and enables you to do a lot of things that you can never do on a regular home. With a RV, pretty much every place can be your home.

Apart from the fun-stuff, there are somethings that may not so much fun. One of them being noise. You can get a lot of noise in an RV. Especially if you are in Class A RV, engine’s noise might not be that melodious.

So, Today I am here to help you with quietening your RV to an acceptable level so that it doesn’t bother you that much. You can’t make your RV fully soundproof but you can adjust some things to make you experience better.

1. Using sound dampener

Because your RV is built out of a metal, it have high resonance ability. This simply means that your RV’s metal will amplify the noise that is given to it.

You can fix this effect by using sound dampening materials available in market such as Dynamat, FatMat and Noico. There are basically peel and stick mats.

These mats are made from materials with high viscoelasticity. Viscoelasticity means that if this mat stretched, It takes a long time for it to come back to its normal position. This property doesn’t let sound travel from one end to another.

Because these are vehicle grade mats, they are heat resistant. They can endure high temperatures.

They come in Rolls as shown below.

Sound dampener Role

How to apply FatMat:

  • Clean up your RV, You will need bare metal of your van for this to work.
  • You should have an approximate idea of the area of your van. Keep in mind you don’t need to cover your entire for good results. You can even get away with 25% of the entire area to get good results.
  • Peel off the FatMat, you may want to heat it using a hairdryer. Heating helps in better bonding of the mat with metal.
  • You may want to use a roller to make sure the mats stick properly.
Applying sound dampner

After you have finished the coating, your van may look something like this.

Fatmat installation

WARNING!

You may fall into trap of buying some cheaper sound dampening mats other than Dynamat, FatMat and Noico. You may be tempted to buy them because they seem to made of similar material aluminum and rubberized asphalt but at half the price.

But unfortunately, asphalt in these mats is mixed with a mixture of butyl and carbon which may not offer high viscoelasticity. Their sound-dampening abilitie are questionable.

Even if they are as soundproof as they pretend to be. They are not meant to endure heat. These mats have been reported to melt so much that the material may detach from ceiling and bring down headliner of your Van. Not to mention the black tar leaking from trunck.

2. Insulate the floor

Your Van’s floor is in close proximity to the road and therefore it acts like a large diaphragm that resonates the entire sound given to it. So make sure that you use sound dampening mats of your choice on the floor.

After applying the sound dampening mats, you can cover your RV’s floor with fluffy and thick mats to further reduce the noise from underneath.

3. Insulate the doors

You can apply these sound deadening mats directly on doors of your car but I suggest you open components of your door and stick the mat inside. Ususally there is a way to open up your car’s door unless the components are glued together.

All doors work a little differently but I found this video which may give you an overall idea of how to do this.

If you are done with the insulation of the door, you need to take care of gaps and spaces between the door and walls. You will find a rubber seal between the door and its frame which prevents hot/cold air, water and noise from coming inside the RV.

If this seal is not thick enough, it is worth replacing it with a new one. Especially if you have an old RV whose gasket is cracked or broken. I found a this simple tutorial which may help you in this task

RV Door Seal Fix

4. Cover your RV’s engine compartment with sound deadening mats

It may not come as surprise to you that your engine’s sounds are one of the biggest sources of noise especially when you have RV with engine on front. In this care you are sitting on the engine itself. You can check with manufacturer of you RV to check if all insulation pads are in place.

You can cover your engine’s hood with sound deadening mats. They come covered with aluminium layer and are designed to tolerate high temperatures.

If you believe that engine noise can be a long term issue for you. I suggest you take chasis with engine at back.

5. Soundproof the ceiling of the RV

Applying sound proof mats to ceiling is similar other parts of RV but you may need take extra care of RV vent. The vent may bring in hot or cold air and a lot of noise.

You may want to use a RV vent insulator for insulating the RV vent. This Camco Rv Vent Insulator have great reviews reviews on amazon and can fit almost all of the RVs. You can use this for better insulation.

6. Silence your water pump

No matter the type of RV you have you definitely need a water pump otherwise you won’t be able use any of its plumbing.

But unfortunately, the water pump may not be that quiet. However you can make it quite to a large extent. If you closely look at the noise of the pump, most of it is coming from the pipes surrounding it not the pump itself.

Silencing Water Pump of RV

You can easily fix it by wrapping cheappipe foam around the pipes of the water pump. You want to cover all the pipes that can be covered. Take special care of pipes that are in contact with any other surface like walls, floor or any other pipes.

How to apply

  • Get 1/2 inch pipe foam
  • Measure length of the pipe you have. You may use a thread for this purpose
  • Cut pipe according to the length pump’s pipes.
  • Cover the pipe with the pipe foam and secure it using tape.
Silencing water pump after covering

This will help you reduce more than 80% of the pump’s noise.

7. Silence Your RV’s generator

If you are camping somewhere or having an adventure living off-grid, you definitely have that power generator which gives out unwanted noise. Generator of an RV is typically placed inside a closed box or mounted underneath the RV on a frame.

Why is your RV’s generator producing that much noise?

  • Fan Noise: The fans produce sounds in the frequency range of 120-160 Hz. If enough soundproofing is not installed on panels the sound can travel through the compartment walls.
  • Exhaust & Inlet Noise: In a typical RV, the generator may not have adequate mufflers to contain the noise of the generator. The exhaust pipes are typically connected to muffler located underneath the RV. If the muffler is not extended beyond the passenger compartment. You will get the noise into your RV.
  • Engine Noise: To do it’s thing, the engine will produce a lot of noise. Especially at the bottom of the generator where the metal layer is thinnest. This noise can reverberate in the engine compartment and propagate way up to the passenger compartment.
  • Exhaust and Cable Grounding Noise: The exhaust pipes and cables are held together by elastomeric mounts or grommets which insulate the noise from them.

What can you do to make your RV’s generator quieter?

  • Use the sound dampening mats in the generator compartment. But make sure that you use face the aluminum side of mats towards the generator so that they can endure the heat.
  • Examine the exhaust pipes of your generator and make sure that they are not grounded to the RV’s structure because of worn out or misaligned mounts.
  • If you find these mounts, you should simply replace or align them with new ones yourself. If not, take help of a professional.
  • It is recommended to extend the exhaust pipe beyond the passenger compartment. It can help reduce noise from terminals of the exhaust pipe into passenger compartments.

If you want more tips or pointers for further quietening you RV’s generator, you can check out our article How to Soundproof a Portable Generator for Camping and Home?

8. Silence your air conditioning unit

An air conditioner can make all sorts of noises like blowing fans loudly and clicking of the compressor. These are normal and there is nothing much that you can do about it.

But if you are hearing more cranky sounds that these then probably it is time for maintenance. So get it done before your adventure to get a better soundproofing experience.

9. Covering the Footwell of your cab

The footwell area of your camper van is responsible for transmitting a lot of engine’s noise if your RV has a front-facing engine. Here you have an opportunity of dramatically reducing the noise.

I would suggest that you cover this one area a much as possible with sound dampening mats. Here is a picture in which a guy covered his camper van’s footwell nearly 100% .

Soundproofing footwell area of your camping van/RV

10. Covering the Wheel Wells

Tires are another source of unwanted noise especially when you are driving on rough roads. Wheel wells are supposed to soundproof the tire noises but often they are too thin to do provide you with a good soundproof experience.

You can stick soundproof mats to wheel wells but you may need to remove the wheels to do this properly. A professional’s help may be required to remove the wheels and putting them bak together.

I suggest you use pure Mass Loaded Vinyl to cover the wheel wells as they are much more durable. You may want to stick more that one layer MLV for better soundproofing.

The Mass Loaded Vinyl is not self adhesive, so you will need to use glue or spray adhesive for sticking it.

This is a complicated project to do, so you may even skip this if you have done other steps and have got satisfactory results. If you don’t drive on a rough terrain you can easily skip this one

11. Using Proofing Foam

If you want to record something in your RV or you just want to have a better sound experience in your RV. You may want to use acoustic soundproofing foam like this.

This foam will cut down sound reflection within the van by absorbing it, enabling you to have better sound experience in your RV.

Silencing your RV : Sound proofing Foam

Final Thoughts

Although RVing can be a lot of fun but doing some simple soundproofing may go a long way in making your RV experience much better.

Everything that I have shared with you today will help you to reduce noise in your RV. But it is highly likely you may not need to do all these things. Just try some things and find your sweet spot for a balance between work and improvement in the sound quality.

I hope that this was helpful to you. Happy RVing.