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RV Generator Maintenance

Wednesday, August 05, 2015 – Good Sam Extended Service Plan

Many RVs are equipped with generators: gas, diesel or propane fired. Some RV AC generators operate at a fixed revolution speed of 1800 or 3600 RPM. Others are wound for DC current and operate at a veritable speed. These are equipped with a built-in inverter to convert the power to AC current. Regardless of the type and configuration, they all need regular servicing and proper operational care.

Keeping generators in good running order requires more than just the regular oil and filter changes. Air intake and fuel filter should also be replaced as scheduled in the manufacturer’s operator manual. If the generator is equipped with a “Spark Arrestor,” which most are, it should be cleaned out at the indicated service frequency. The location and procedure vary depending on the model. This information is also shown in the OEM manual.

Apart from the required regular service, proper operation by the owner is required. Such items as initial load stabilization and cooling down prior to shutdown are necessary if you want your generator to run trouble free for many years.

While the control board on modern sets inputs a brief pause before supplying power, an additional short period of time, prior to apply a heavy load, will better allow it to stabilize.

When ready to shut the generator off, it is important to cool the windings down before pushing the “stop” button. This is best accomplished by turning off all loads and allow it to run for a couple of minutes or so.

During a period of non-activity, for example, storing, the generator should be exercised, if possible, every two months. To best perform this requires operating the unit with at least a 50 percent load for an hour or two.

Here are some other quick tips.
• Inspect the exhaust system regularly. Do not operate if damaged.
• Do not try to extend the exhaust pipe with extensions unless they are approved by the manufacturer.
• Make sure the exhaust pipe is not near flammable material, such as grass or shrubbery.
• If you are operating in mountainous locations, adjust the elevation setting if the genset is so equipped.
• Follow all the required maintenance and servicing as outlined in the manufacturer’s operation manual.

Proper servicing and operating of your generator can ensure a long life for this tireless workhorse.

Mercer, Peter. “RV Generator Maintenance.” Good Sam Camping Blog. 30 July, 2015. Web. 14 July, 2015. http://blog.goodsam.com/?p=33706

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