RV AC Generator Maintenance Tips

2/9/2022 – Good Sam Extended Service Plan

It's important to keep the AC generator in your RV or auto well maintained, for optimum performance. Maintenance procedures and time intervals vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Make sure to refer to the owner's manual for your particular generator and follow the recommended procedures carefully.

Make sure your RV is covered against the cost of a mechanical breakdown with a Good Sam Extended Service Plan. As A/C's are one of the most expensive RV repairs, it's certainly worth having for future needs.

Tips to Keep Your AC Generator Running Smoothly:

Without a fully-charged battery and clean, tight electrical connections, starting the generator will be difficult or impossible. The battery electrolyte level should be checked regularly and the cable terminals and battery posts cleaned at least on a yearly basis.

Steps to Remove Battery Corrosion:

  1. Remove the terminals from the battery posts using a battery-terminal puller if necessary.
  2. Soak the terminals in a mixture of 1 quart of water and ½ cup of baking soda.
  3. Mix another quart of water and ½ cup baking soda and pour over battery top. (Allow this mixture about five minutes to work). Make sure that none of the battery-cell caps- if so equipped- are open. If the baking soda mixture enters the cells, it will reduce the acid strength, possibly damaging the cell.
  4. Rinse the terminals and battery top with clean water, and then dry.
  5. A battery post/ terminal brush should be used to thoroughly clean the inside of the terminal fittings and the outside of the posts.
  6. Use a light grease or commercially available terminal protectant on the terminals and posts; install terminals to posts and tighten firmly.

Most manufacturers recommend that oil changes should be performed every 100 hours or once every twelve months. Drain the oil while the engine is warm, after running the generator at half load for thirty minutes.

Steps to Drain the Oil and Change the Filter:

  1. Stop the AC generator.
  2. With the drain pan under the AC generator, remove the drain plug if so equipped, or open the drive valve. Drain the oil completely and dispose of properly.
  3. Remove the old oil filter.
  4. Clean the filter base on the engine.
  5. Wipe the film of clean oil onto the new filter's gasket.
  6. Screw a new filter to the base until the gasket contacts, and then tighten an additional half-turn.
  7. Replace the drain plug or close the drain valve.
  8. Refill the crankcase to the proper level with the recommended grade and weight of oil for the operational service temperature expected.
  9. Start the engine and run for a few minutes, checking for leaks at filter base and drain plug or valve. Re-check oil level.
  10. Record the hour-meter time of the oil change in a log to keep for future reference.

Steps to Replace Spark Plugs:

  1. Remove the spark plug with a spark plug socket, either a 5/8 inch or 13/16 inch, depending on the spark plug type.
  2. Make sure that the gasket-seating surface of the cylinder head is clean.
  3. Set the plug gap to .025 inch or as specified by the manufacturer.
  4. Tighten the spark plug carefully. AC generators use an aluminum cylinder head and the threads are prone to stripping if overtightened. If you are using a torque wrench, tighten the plug to 10 to 15 foot-pounds.

Livingston , B. (2002). RV repair & maintenance manual . (4th ed.). Ripon Printers

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