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How Often Should I Test My RV Generator?

RVs are a great way to travel and take in the scenery. You can drive them anywhere in the lower 48 to enjoy spectacular destinations from coast to coast. As Southern California’s Generator Experts since 1965, Duthie Power Services has serviced many an RV for our customers. We don’t overtly market these services anymore, as the demand for our commercial services is far greater and keeps us busy, but we do have recommendations for RV owners who want to keep their generators running for a long time. 

Compiled below are the top four questions from RV owners regarding generator maintenance, along with answers from our team of expert generator technicians. If your next vacation features an RV and the open road, it’s more important than ever to maintain and test your RV generator so that you know it’s ready to go — before your travel date. 


1. Why Do I Need To Test-Run My RV Generator?

The most common issue is from would-be travelers whose RV generators won’t start…even though they ran just fine on their last vacation. 

This happens because most RV owners use their RV generator only a few times a year. That leaves the fuel in RV diesel generators sitting for several months. As in any generator that’s not run regularly, the fuel often gets sludgy and clogs carburetors or fuel injection components.

The result is an RV generator that won’t run and a delayed, frustrating first day of vacation. Fortunately, you can easily prevent such delays. All it takes is starting up your RV generator regularly to stir up the fuel and keep it clean. 

RV generator testing helps you have a relaxing road trip.

2. How Often Should I Run My RV Generator? 

Run your RV generator for 5-10 minutes every month. 

This runtime not only keeps the fuel in good condition but also doubles as a test to make sure your motorhome generator is running properly. That way, you can have any issues fixed well before you’ve packed the duffle bags for Yosemite.  

3. Do I Need to Do Anything Else to Maintain My RV Generator?

In addition to a monthly 10-minute run, shut off or get a stabilizer for the fuel supply, then drain the carburetor if you aren’t planning to take your RV for a spin anytime soon. It’s best to use fresh fuel for your RV adventures.

Have your generator serviced annually to make sure it has enough oil, that the batteries are charged, and that everything’s running smoothly for your next trip. 

4. Do These RV Generator Maintenance Tips Apply to Portable Generators Too?

Yes. All portable generators should be tested monthly in open air (NEVER in a garage or other enclosed place, due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning) and serviced annually. 

Other than that, RV and portable generators are pretty low-maintenance. 

If your RV needs to be serviced, you can give Duthie Power Services a call and we will refer you to one of our professional partners who specialize in RV generator maintenance.

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