Portable Generator – RV Power on the Go

By boatingrvcenter • October 30, 2009 2:39 PM

RV portable generatorsRV portable generators are very dependable as long as routine maintenance is followed. People have problems when the generator is stored for a period of time without use. This can cause the unit to be difficult to start. In some cases, it will not start at all until serviced. Depending on weather and storage conditions, starting and surging problems can develop in as little as one month.

Running the generator occasionally will keep it in good working order. You need to check the oil and change it at the correct intervals. It’s a bad idea to leave fuel in the tank during storage. Instead, pour a very small amount into the tank and run the generator until it is completely out of fuel.

Always keep in mind that a fuel powered portable generator will produce carbon monoxide. The exhaust system should be inspected for any cracks or other leaks before use. Portable generators can be positioned so exhaust is blown away from the camping area. Install a good carbon monoxide detector in your RV and test it regularly.

Generators will either have an automatic transfer switch to sense if you are using line voltage, or you will have to plug the RV power cord into a receptacle to use it. Be careful and observe all safety precautions that come with the unit. Don’t handle cords or anything else that’s electrical while standing on a wet surface or when barefoot.

A gasoline generator should be operated with a 50% load for at least two hours every month. It is extremely important that you run your generator with this load. Running it with nothing attached can cause overheating of the windings and damage to the unit. Check your generator owner’s manual for load ratings.

Other maintenance intervals for generators are based on usage and are usually expressed in operating hours. Some units have an hour meter so you can monitor the time. Keep an eye on this and plan for required maintenance before taking off on a trip.

Following a basic preventative maintenance plan will keep your portable generator operating efficiently for many years.

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