Dave Solberg

Basic RV Generator Maintenance: What to Review Annually

Dave Solberg
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Most of the appliances and equipment in your RV will run on electricity, which is provided by a generator adding power to the batteries. Your RV generator is your power source when you don’t have the opportunity to plug into an outlet at a traditional campground. While most RVers would rather plug in an extension cord than run a generator to get power, the gennie is still a useful piece of equipment that can keep the lights on during long stretches between campgrounds.

Like any other piece of equipment, generator maintenance is crucial so that it stays in top running order. Keeping a generator running is a simple matter of making sure the oil in the motor is fresh and the air filter is clean. If you’re comfortable changing the oil in your car or truck, doing basic generator maintenance each year on your RV will be a simple task.

In this video, you’ll learn how to determine the difficulty in doing the generator maintenance yourself, based on where the generator is housed. If you have to drop the generator from the housing in order to change the oil, you may want to seek professional help. Otherwise, your owner’s manual is full of vital information when it comes to generator maintenance. Inside you’ll find how often the oil and air filter should be changed – which is generally based on the number of operating hours, or on an annual basis. Also, you’ll find how to change the filter and type of oil to use. You’ll need to understand the simple process of draining the used oil from the tank, and where to add the new clean oil. Keeping up on the generator maintenance is just another crucial piece in owning an RV!

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9 Responses to “Basic RV Generator Maintenance: What to Review Annually”

  1. Glen P. Butler

    when my generator is going i dont get no power inside the RV..i have a onan emerald 4000

  2. Roxann Simms

    We have a Generac generator with around 40+ hours on it. It starts fine, runs for 30 minutes and then cuts off. After a while we can start it back up and it runs for 30 minutes and cuts off. This is the pattern. Any suggestions?

  3. Daniel Peters

    Onan 5500 marquis gold, wont stay running, to replace the fuel pump, will the generator slide out to be able to work on it? Thank you

  4. dottie1

    Onan generator code 46

  5. Leonard

    Aren't you supposed to warm the engine before draining the oil? I am a firm believer in a small amount of good info compared to any amount of not good info.

  6. Craig

    Video doesn’t play

  7. Tom Shain

    Have an Onan tried to start it and but does not kick over. Have not ran it for a while. Could it be a dirty fuel filter.

  8. Kemie

    I have a Onan 5500, will not keep running in very hot weather 90 and above high humidity. It will run about 5 or 10 minutes then cuts off and will not restart for about 1 hour. Cooler temps runs perfect. Any ideas on this.

  9. Dan

    This is the same model I have in my 97 Itasca Sunrise, great unit, boo docked several hot nights at truck stops with it going. Mine does not hold 4 qts tho, puzzled me when I changed oil, only holds about 2.5 which is what is stated on side of unit, but manual calls for 4. Also, neither interior starter switch will start unit, but they both will kill unit, so they are hooked up, I'm guessing a bad ground somewhere. I recently reworded the jacks and slide and discovered 10 ft of additional wiring that served no purpose. This was factory flaw, surprised original owner never had it corrected. By removing the rogue wires the Aux Start Switch and Aux radio And battery cutoff switches now function, they were dead before. Odd.

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