Generator Courtesy

Generator Courtesy In The Pits

I'm hoping I can get a couple of Amens here. I'm far from a tree hugging Greenie — but there are two types of generator courtesy problems in the pits that can be easily rectified.

The First is carbon-monoxide exhaust from the bigger rigs.

As the rigs coming to the track get bigger and bigger — so do the generators. I remember when a big generator for a 34' motorhome was a 4500 — but now the standard is the 12,500 Quiet Diesel that I have in my motorhome. Today we're powering three ac units, two big TVs, a toaster, coffee pot, two laptops, and a microwave all operating at the same time. Then there are the big trailers with their generators for the lift, ac, a dozen flood lights, air compressor, welder….

Two years in a row in Chicago, I've had a rig a couple of feet from my lawn chairs and cars pumping out a kabillion cubic feet of carbon-monoxide exhaust at my family, because the racer didn't have the courtesy of having a $107 generator exhaust pipe for his $500,000 rig. From the motorhome the exhaust is captured under the motorhome to the left's awning — killing the family in that pit with skull splitting headaches. The trailer generator exhaust pipe is pumping 3' from the car that we're working under or around.

People need too show a little courtesy and spring $122 at Camping World or $107 at for an exhaust pipe that pumps the exhaust 12' up to where the wind carries it out of their neighbor's pits. These things are so easy to install — that if you can't do it in ten minutes — you shouldn't be in a race car. If you have a motorhome and/or trailer with a mounted generator and don't have an exhaust pipe routing carbon monoxide out of your neighbors pits — you need to show some courtesy right now, click the above links, and order a pipe so you will have before you come to the next race.

The Second Problem is Noise.

While the newer rigs have $9000 Quiet Diesel generators that are pretty quiet — many of the teams operating out of a pickup and trailer have an old less expensive and worn out portable gas generator, which they set in the pit of their neighbor — making the enjoyment of their pits unbearable from high pitch rattling of 11HP B&S engine with worn out rings from running on a pint of ten year old oil.

There are some new generation 4-stroke portable generators which are 1/5 the size (a fat briefcase), burn less gas, and have 1/20 the noise that those racers should be considering. Honda, Yamaha, and Honeywell all make and excellent 2000 unit — and you can hook two together with a parallel cable if need be. Yes — many of us are on a budget and find it hard to justify spending money when the old rattle trap is still cranking out 6 Billion Db of noise — but the reduced storage, gas savings, lighter carry around weight, and whisper quietness make them well worth the upgrade. Consider regulating the rattlebox to emergency backup duty, and make your life and the life of others easier with upgrading the generator for the price of a quality fuel pump.

The pits are different places then they were years ago — with the generators growing because of the power needs growing. It is time that racers show some courtesy to their neighbor and spend a couple of bucks to make a four day weekend in the pits a little more pleasant — especially when it is already 100 degrees.


  • I think the track and racing organizations need to patrol the pits one time after everyone is set up — and give the warning to have an exhaust pipe on their generator the next time they show up — as it is really their responsibility to make the pits as safe and pleasant as possible.

  • Racers need to stop with just putting up with breathing the exhaust of generators all weekend — and tell the racer of how they're lack of courtesy is affecting your family's comfort.

  • I think that the racing magazines need to take a more proactive approach of informing those who haven't gotten it yet — and shaming the class of those who just don't care.

Can I get an Amen?


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