RV Generator Troubleshoting Tips

Last Updated on July 5, 2023

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You may have one of the most reliable generators on the market for your RV, but all appliances can develop issues over time. The last thing you want is to find yourself stuck on the open road somewhere with a busted generator. The good news is that most RV generator troubles can be repaired by the average handyman. You just need to know what to look for.

Before involving the professionals, there are a few things you can check yourself

Check the fuel level. RV generators pull fuel from the RV tank through a tube and this tube is not typically long enough to pull fuel once the tank drops below ¼ of a tank. Fill your tank up first to see if this corrects the generator issue.

Check the oil level. Most RV generators are built with a low oil shutoff which can cause problems once the oil level drops too low. So many RVers have sworn that fuel and oil levels are fine, only to find out at a repair shop that a little top-up is all they needed to get the generator up and running again.

Another common RV generator issue is a running generator that is not giving you any electricity. If this happens check the breakers. Power surges and weakness at the breakers can cause problems. Sometimes there is a physical plug you need to check and other times there is an automatic relay. Check your generator handbook to identify how you need to check the breakers for the specific model you have.


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Additional things to try to diagnose your generator include:

  • Changing the spark plugs
  • Replacing the voltage regulator slip rings
  • Running carb cleaner through the system
  • Check the housing for bug and rodents
  • Make sure the wires are firmly connected

If all these items have been checked but the generator is still not turning over, you may have a battery issue. First, try charging the battery and if this does not work, you may need to find a nearby auto store or WalMart to get a replacement battery. Make sure you also check all the belts when you check the battery and get replacements if needed.

Many newer models of RV generators have fault codes that will be displayed. These can help you identify the problem. Simply check the code in your handbook to find the issue with your generator, and seek the appropriate solution.

A replacement generator is expensive, so you need to try and repair it before buying a new one. Most small engine shops can repair RV generators and will carry spare parts to fix your generator. Should you need a new generator, make sure you get a manufacturer-guaranteed unit to make sure you get long-lasting use.

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