The Ins and Outs of RV Generator Fuel System Maintenance

For many RV owners, the freedom of the open road is matched by the comfort of having all the amenities of home on wheels. But what happens when your rolling haven’s lifeblood, the RV generator, starts sputtering or fails to power up? A poorly maintained fuel system can be a real trip spoiler and an unexpected expense that no one wants.

Did you know that regular exercise isn’t just good for you but also vital for your RV generator? That’s right; running your generator regularly keeps it from falling victim to moisture and corrosion.

This blog will steer you through keeping your RV’s heartbeat strong with proper fuel system maintenance. Get ready to learn how simple activities like monitoring hour meters and changing oil filters can keep those lights on and engines humming smoothly.

Let’s ensure every journey ends as pleasantly as it started—read on!

Key Takeaways

  • Run your RV generator regularly to prevent moisture and rust.
  • Check the battery, change oil and fuel filters, and replace spark plugs and air filters for smooth operation.
  • For diesel generators, flush the coolant system every two years or after 1,500 hours and drain water from the fuel system yearly or every 100 hours.
  • Use a fuel stabilizer when storing your RV to keep gas fresh.

Understanding Your RV Generator

A pristine RV generator surrounded by lush greenery in an outdoor environment.

Your RV generator is like a small power station on wheels, and it needs regular care to work properly. It uses fuel – diesel, gasoline, or propane – to make electricity for your RV when you’re not plugged into an outside source.

Think of this generator as the heart that pumps energy through your home-on-the-go, giving life to everything from your lights to the water heater.

Knowing how much power your generator can create is very important. This ‘load capacity’ means how many appliances you can run at once without overworking it. Just like a runner needs good shoes and a healthy diet to perform their best, your generator requires clean oil changes and fresh spark plugs for top performance.

Keep these things in check keeps your adventures smooth and worry-free!

Gas Generator Maintenance Basics

Maintaining the health of your gas-powered RV generator requires vigilance and periodic attention to key components that keep it running smoothly. Delving into maintenance basics, we’ll explore how simple practices can greatly extend the life and efficiency of your unit.

Battery Check

Make sure your RV generator is ready to go by checking the battery. Dirty or loose connections can cause trouble. Every month, take time to clean and tighten them up. This keeps your generator starting smoothly and running well.

A weak battery won’t let your RV’s generator start properly. If it’s dying or not connected right, there isn’t enough power for the job. Keep an eye on the health of your battery; it’s key for a happy generator that fires up when you need it most.

Oil and Fuel Filter Change

Oil and fuel filters are key to a healthy RV generator. They help your engine run smoothly by keeping dirt away from important parts.

  • Check your maintenance schedule for the right time to change the filters. Usually, you should do it every 400 to 500 hours or every one to two years.
  • Turn off your generator and let it cool down. This is important because a hot engine can burn you.
  • Find the oil filter; it looks like a small metal can. You will find it attached to the engine.
  • Use an oil filter wrench to loosen and remove the old oil filter. Be careful; some old oil might spill out.
  • Before putting on the new oil filter, rub a little bit of fresh engine oil on the rubber seal. This helps make sure no leaks happen.
  • Screw on the new oil filter by hand until it’s snug, but do not over – tighten.
  • Next, locate the fuel filter, often near the carburetor or fuel tank, depending on your generator type.
  • Use wrenches to carefully remove the hoses connected to both ends of the fuel filter. Keep a bucket nearby in case any gas spills out.
  • Take out the old fuel filter and replace it with a new one. Make sure you install it facing the correct way as arrows on it show the direction of fuel flow.
  • Reconnect all hoses securely and double – check for any possible leaks before starting your generator again.

Spark Plug and Air Filter Replacement

Your RV’s engine needs clean spark plugs and air filters to run well. These parts help your generator make power smoothly.

  1. Find your generator’s engine. It is usually right behind or under a panel on your RV.
  2. Turn off the generator. Make sure it has cooled down before you touch it.
  3. Remove the cover of the air cleaner to get to the air filter.
  4. Take out the old air filter. Look at how dirty it is; if it’s very dirty, you need a new one.
  5. Put in a new air filter. Place it just like the old one was sitting.
  6. Close up the air cleaner’s cover firmly after replacing the filter.
  7. Locate the spark plug(s). Some engines have one, others might have two.
  8. Disconnect the spark plug wire carefully by pulling on the boot, not the wire.
  9. Use a spark plug socket to remove the old spark plug with a wrench.
  10. Check the gap on your new spark plug using a gap tool for accuracy.
  11. Screw in the new spark plug by hand first, then tighten with a wrench but do not over – tighten.
  12. Attach back the spark plug wire onto your new spark plug until you hear it click into place.

Diesel Generator Maintenance Basics

Mastering diesel generator maintenance is key to ensuring your RV’s power supply remains robust and reliable; discover essential care techniques to keep the adventure going without a hitch.

Coolant System Flush

Taking care of your diesel generator’s coolant system is key to a smooth-running RV. Flushing the system gets rid of old coolant and any dirt that may cause trouble.

  1. Turn off your RV and let the generator cool down.
  2. Find the drain valve on your generator and place a bucket underneath it.
  3. Open the valve and let the old coolant flow out into the bucket.
  4. Close the valve after all the coolant has drained.
  5. Remove the radiator cap to pour in fresh, clean water.
  6. Start up the generator and let it run for a few minutes with just water.
  7. Turn off the generator again and drain out the water you just added.
  8. Repeat steps 5 through 7 until clear water comes out when draining, showing most dirt is gone.
  9. After cleaning, close the drain valve and fill up with new diesel automotive oil or coolant as required for your model RV.
  10. Check for leaks around hoses and connections while running your freshly filled system.

Draining Condensation and Water

Keeping your diesel RV generator in top shape means getting rid of water that shouldn’t be there. Water in the fuel can cause big problems, like algae growth and damaged filters. Here are steps to drain condensation and water from your generator:

  1. Locate the water separator: Find the water separator near your fuel filter. It helps keep water away from your engine by trapping it.
  2. Turn off the generator: Make sure the generator is not running and has cooled down before you start working on it.
  3. Open the drain valve: Carefully open the valve at the bottom of the water separator. This lets any trapped water flow out.
  4. Watch for fuel: Look closely to see when clean diesel starts coming out instead of water. This means you’ve removed most of the moisture.
  5. Close the valve tightly: After all water has drained, close the valve securely to prevent leaks.
  6. Dispose of water properly: Collect the drained water in a container and throw it away as per local rules for disposing hazardous waste.
  7. Restart your generator: Once everything’s closed and clean, start up your RV generator to check if it’s working smoothly.
  8. Regular checks are key: Do this process every year or after 100 hours of run time to avoid issues with your diesel engine.

Additional Tips for Generator Maintenance

Taking care of your RV generator keeps it running well. Regular checks and updates are key to a long-lasting generator. Here are some extra tips:.

• Use a fuel stabilizer when you store your RV for winter to keep the gas tank fresh.

• Check the ac voltage and frequency with a tool like Kill A Watt to make sure they’re right.

• Replace any old or worn out parts in the carburetor to help prevent power issues.

• Look at the exhaust system often for rust or holes that could be dangerous.

• Test all safety switches, especially those that detect low oil levels, to avoid damage.

• Charge up your battery; if it’s weak, your generator might not start properly.

• Inspect wires for tightness and wear as loose connections can cause problems.

• Ensure proper polarity is maintained; reversing polarity can hurt appliances in your RV.


Taking care of your RV’s generator means checking its battery, changing oil and filters, and replacing spark plugs. If you have a diesel generator, remember to flush the coolant system and get rid of any water each year or after 100 hours of use.

These steps are simple but keep your power source running well for a long time. Look up more tips or ask an expert if you need help with your generator. Keep your adventure going by giving your RV’s heart—the generator—the attention it deserves!

For more tips on keeping your RV in top shape, check out our guide on preventing and addressing slide topper awning issues.


1. What types of RV generators are there?

There are gasoline generators, propane generators, and diesels for RVs. Each type uses different fuel to make power.

2. How do I take care of my RV generator in winter?

For winter storage, it’s important to keep your generator dry and clean. If it is a carbureted model, drain the carburetor and add fuel stabilizer to the tank.

3. Why is it important to check spark plugs on an RV generator?

Checking spark plugs is key because they help start your engine. Dirty or bad spark plugs can stop your generator from working right.

4. Do all RV generators need water cooling?

Not all; some use air instead of water-cooled systems. But larger models over 10 kW often have water-cooled engines which keep them from getting too hot.

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