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How To Avoid The Most Common RV Generator Problem

Posted on January 2, 2014

RVDA Certified LogoGenerators are a wonderful feature to have on any RV.  It allows you to use all of your RV appliances, especially your air conditioner or microwave.  So, whether you are driving or dry camping on those hot summer days your generator gives you the power to run your air conditioner so you can travel or relax in comfort.

One common problem we see with gasoline generators is that people will let them sit for extended periods of time without running them.  And with today’s gasoline it takes as little as 30 days for the gasoline to turn to a gel and cause the needle seat to clog and butterfly flap to stick.  This may not seem like that big of a problem except for the fact that with government regulations carburetors can no longer be rebuilt.  So, most of the time your carburetor will have to be replaced, and they range in price from around $259.99 to $299.99 plus labor.

There are several solutions to avoid this expense.  First, Onan, which is the leading generator manufacturer recommends running your generator at least once a month for several hours under a load.  This keeps the fuel fresh in the carburetor and it gets rid of any moisture build up from the unit just sitting and it also keeps all the internal parts lubricated.

Second, you can use a fuel stabilizer.  You just add the stabilizer to the fuel tank of the RV and it stabilizes the fuel.  This is both good for your generator and if you have a motorhome it is good for that engine as well.  Fuel stabilizer is relatively inexpensive, we stock one that sells for about $11.00 and treats 128 gallons.

Third, on some carburetors there is a little drain valve at the bottom of the carburetor.  You just turn the phillips screw and drain all the fuel out of the carburetor.  You will see these drains on late model Onan’s, and some of the older Generac’s.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call, RV Supply Center, Inc. 760-949-1222.  We have 30 years experience working on RV generators.

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