RV generator care tips to keep the power flowing.
Most motorhomes are equipped with an AC generator to provide home-like power when off the grid. There are various makes, including Onan, Cat and Generac. There are gasoline, propane and diesel-powered generator sets to best suit specific applications. Some are AC-producing units and others are DC-inverter types.
But regardless of the make, fuel or type, they all require care in their operation and, of course, regular service: Engine oil, oil filter, fuel filter, and air filter should all be done as specified by the manufacturer.
But, there are other things you should know when it comes to operating and caring for your onboard generator. Let’s look at some key things to avoid:
- Don’t forget to clean out the spark arrestor (Every 50 hours for gas or propane — 150 hours for diesel).
- Don’t forget to exercise your generator regularly. Long dormancy of any motor-driven machine can lead to problems. So even if you don’t need it, run it with a load from time to time.
- Don’t shut down the generator while it’s still under a heavy load. Always turn off the loads and allow it to run for 3 minutes or so to even out the heat and start to cool down.
- Don’t start your generator with a load already present. Allow the genset to stabilize and add the loads one at a time. Air conditioners tend to do this for you as they are equipped with delayed starting sequence modules.
- If your unit is AGS (automatic generator start)-equipped, don’t set the low battery start setting too high. Generally, this setting will be at around 11.8 volts to equal a rested state battery level of 50% discharged of 12.2 VDC or specific gravity of 1.190.
- Don’t operate your generator while driving on a gravel road or parking lot if you can avoid it. The cooling fan air flow often causes an abundance of dust that gets ingested into the air intake filter.
If you care for and look after your generator, it will be there when you need it for years to come. Find out more about RV generators, or get your generator serviced at the nearest Camping World SuperCenter.
Peter Mercer – With Some Off-Grid Thoughts