RV Generator Repair: A Complete Guide

Last Updated on December 8, 2023 by Jess

RV Generator Repair: A Complete Guide


Owning an RV is a great way to explore the world and travel in comfort. However, maintaining an RV comes with its own set of challenges, and one of the most important aspects of RV maintenance is keeping the generator in good working condition.

A well-functioning generator is crucial for powering all the essential appliances and electronics in your RV, and a breakdown can quickly ruin your trip. In this guide, we will take a comprehensive look at RV generator repair, covering everything from troubleshooting common issues to performing regular maintenance.

Chapter 1: Understanding Your RV Generator

Before we dive into the repair process, it’s important to have a good understanding of how your RV generator works. Most RVs are equipped with a built-in generator that runs on gasoline, diesel, or propane.

This generator is responsible for providing power to the appliances, lights, and air conditioning in your RV. Understanding the key components and how they work together is essential for successfully troubleshooting and repairing any issues that may arise.

Types of RV Generators

There are three main types of RV generators: gasoline, diesel, and propane. Gasoline generators are the most common and are typically less expensive than diesel generators. However, diesel generators are more fuel-efficient and tend to last longer.

Propane generators are another option, offering cleaner emissions and quieter operation. Each type has its own pros and cons, and understanding the specific type of generator in your RV is crucial for effective repair and maintenance.

Key Components of an RV Generator

Regardless of the type, all RV generators consist of several key components. These include the engine, fuel system, cooling system, and electrical system.

Each of these components plays a vital role in the overall performance of the generator, and understanding how they work together is essential for troubleshooting and repair.

Chapter 2: Troubleshooting Common Issues

RV generators, like any other mechanical system, are prone to issues from time to time. Understanding how to troubleshoot common problems is essential for maintaining a smooth operation.

we will cover some of the most common issues that RV owners may encounter with their generators and the steps to diagnose and repair them.

Failure to Start

One of the most common issues with RV generators is a failure to start.

This could be due to a variety of reasons, such as a dead battery, fuel supply problems, or a faulty starter motor. Troubleshooting this issue involves checking the battery, fuel supply, and starter motor for any issues and addressing them accordingly.

No Power Output

Another common problem with RV generators is a lack of power output. This could be caused by a clogged fuel filter, a faulty voltage regulator, or a damaged alternator.

Troubleshooting this issue involves inspecting the fuel system, voltage regulator, and alternator for any signs of damage or malfunction.


RV generators can also overheat, especially during hot weather or when running for extended periods. Overheating can be caused by a variety of factors, including a malfunctioning cooling system, low oil levels, or a dirty air filter.

Troubleshooting this issue involves inspecting the cooling system, checking the oil level, and cleaning or replacing the air filter as necessary.

Chapter 3: Regular Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is key to keeping your RV generator in good working condition. Regular maintenance not only helps prevent unexpected breakdowns but also prolongs the life of the generator.

we will cover the essential maintenance tasks that every RV owner should perform to keep their generator running smoothly.

 Changing the Oil and Filter

Regular oil changes are essential for maintaining the health of your RV generator. Over time, the oil becomes dirty and loses its lubricating properties, which can lead to premature wear and tear on the engine.

Changing the oil and filter at regular intervals, as outlined in the manufacturer’s recommendations, is crucial for preventing engine damage and maintaining optimal performance.

Inspecting the Air Filter

The air filter in your RV generator plays a crucial role in preventing contaminants from entering the engine. A dirty or clogged air filter can restrict airflow and lead to poor performance and increased fuel consumption. Inspecting and cleaning or replacing the air filter at regular intervals is essential for maintaining the efficiency of your generator.

Checking the Spark Plugs

The spark plugs in your RV generator are responsible for igniting the fuel-air mixture in the engine. Over time, spark plugs can become fouled or worn, leading to poor engine performance and increased fuel consumption. Regularly inspecting and replacing the spark plugs, as recommended by the manufacturer, is essential for maintaining smooth operation.

Fuel System Maintenance

The fuel system in your RV generator is another crucial component that requires regular maintenance.

Over time, fuel filters can become clogged, fuel lines can develop leaks, and fuel quality can deteriorate. Inspecting and maintaining the fuel system at regular intervals is essential for preventing fuel-related issues and ensuring smooth operation.

Chapter 4: DIY Repair vs. Professional Service

When it comes to RV generator repair, there is always the option of performing the repairs yourself or seeking professional assistance.

we will discuss the pros and cons of DIY repair versus professional service, helping you make an informed decision based on your skills, resources, and the complexity of the repair.

DIY Repair

Performing DIY repairs on your RV generator can be a cost-effective and rewarding experience, especially for those who are mechanically inclined. With the right tools, knowledge, and resources, many common issues can be successfully diagnosed and repaired at home, saving time and money. However, it’s important to recognize your limitations and understand when a repair may be beyond your skill level.

Pros of DIY Repair

– Cost-effective
– Empowering
– Convenient

Cons of DIY Repair

– Limited resources
– Risk of further damage
– Lack of expertise

Professional Service

For more complex issues or for those who lack the necessary resources or expertise, seeking professional service is often the best course of action. Professional technicians have the knowledge, experience, and tools needed to diagnose and repair a wide range of generator issues, ensuring a thorough and reliable repair.

Pros of Professional Service

– Expertise
– Warranty coverage
– Peace of mind

Cons of Professional Service

– Cost
– Time-consuming
– Scheduling constraints

Chapter 5: Frequently Asked Questions

To wrap up this guide, we will address some of the most frequently asked questions that RV owners have about generator repair and maintenance.

How often should I perform maintenance on my RV generator?

The frequency of maintenance will depend on factors such as the type of generator, usage patterns, and environmental conditions. It’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for specific maintenance intervals.

What should I do if my RV generator fails to start?

If your RV generator fails to start, start by checking the battery, fuel supply, and starter motor for any issues. If these components are in good working condition, consider seeking professional service for further diagnosis and repair.

Can I use regular automotive oil in my RV generator?

Most RV generators require a specific grade of oil that meets the manufacturer’s specifications. It’s important to use the recommended oil to ensure optimal performance and engine protection.


Maintaining an RV generator is essential for ensuring a smooth and enjoyable travel experience. From troubleshooting common issues to performing regular maintenance, this guide has covered the key aspects of RV generator repair and maintenance.

By understanding the inner workings of your generator and staying on top of preventive maintenance, you can keep your RV generator in peak operating condition for many trips to come. Whether you choose to perform DIY repairs or seek professional service, maintaining a proactive approach to generator maintenance will ultimately save you time, money, and stress.

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