How To Maintain Your RV Generator
As the name suggests, recreational vehicles bring plenty of fun to its occupants. It is a motorhome that takes you on an adventure into the untouched woods and breathtaking countryside. However, this bliss of motor homes can come to a screeching halt when the generator malfunctions.
Imagine camping with the kids, and suddenly, your rock star RV goes dark. With no immediate power boost, your trip will be over before it begins. To avoid such an inconvenience, it paramount that you take the best care of your RV generator and inspect it before driving off. Failure to do this will lead to unplanned expenses that are likely to put a dent into your budget.
Besides avoiding costs, there is a better motivator to maintain your generator. You can lease it out for a good sum and put this money to good use such as tuition or planning your next family vacation. In this article, we discuss various ways of protecting your generator, so it is ready to go at a moment's notice.
As with all mechanical and electrical parts, regular checks help you ascertain that all is well and if not, you can do something about it before it is too late. Manufacturers of RV generators recommend how often you need to maintain and what areas to focus your attention.
General maintenance activities include lubricating the moving parts, inspecting the functionality of parts, checking the exhaust system, and cleaning. Top these activities with a test run to ensure that all parts are operating optimally.
While the generator is running, listen for non-familiar sounds and oil leaks. Noise can be an indication of something gone awry that needs immediate attention. Some problems are as easy as lubricating while others like worn out parts need replacement with new ones.
A habit of regular and proper maintenance of your generator saves you time and money from unnecessary trips to the repair shop.
Plan For The Weather
Extreme weather conditions is a common occurrence in countries that experience all four distinct seasons; winter, spring, summer, and autumn. During the colder months, your generator's oil becomes heavier and thicker.
The reverse is true during the warmer months of the year. As temperatures vary throughout the year, make adjustments in the type of oil you purchase. Opt for oils with a lower viscosity during colder months, and regular oils in the hotter months.
This way, your generator stays lubricated whether in use or just stationery.
Read The Generator’s Manual
Every generator comes with a handbook that stipulates the desired maintenance procedures that are particular to your model. Going through the fine print of manuals is not exactly most people's idea of fun, but in this case, it is worth the hustle.
Take a moment to understand how your generator works and know the tell-tale signs that can prompt a round of maintenance checks. If you are concerned about a particular area, call or email the manufacturer with your query.
In today's digital age, reputable manufacturers will have a customer support line that is open 24/7. If the manufacturer cannot solve your problem remotely, they may require you to come down and bring the generator. Alternatively, they will send a technician to your address.
Operate The Generator Often
Even if the generator is not in use, the manufacturer will advise that you run it from time to time to keep it lubricated. Change the oil filters to keep your engine running properly. When the generator is running, it emits heat that dries up any moisture that may have formed.
Remember, moisture causes rust, and eventually the affected part breaks down. Running your generator on a regular basis will help you spot any problems in their early stage and thereby prolong the lifespan of the motor.
If your generator has been sitting in the garage for months on end waiting for another trip, it is time to grab your work gloves and get busy. You will be amazed at how easy the process is.
Buy Maintenance Supplies
Performing maintenance checks requires the right supplies such as repair tools, a jerry can of oil, dusting cloths and a bucket of water. These are everyday items found in any garage.
Owners of RVs will attest to the fact that lack of supplies is the number one excuse for not maintaining your generator. If any of these items is missing, make a trip to your local hardware store and purchase. See, no more excuses.
Even with the best maintenance routines, your generator is bound to suffer if not stored properly. Most people will store motor-related equipment in the garage next to other items that are too cumbersome to store in the main house.
Unfortunately, some people hoard items from days long gone or impulse purchases they would rather forget. While this is perfectly reasonable, neglecting to take care of your garage is downright wrong. Even with regular parking of vehicle and gardening equipment like lawn mowers, some corners remain untouched for months. Stop waiting for the annual spring cleaning or fetching Christmas lights.
Take a day and get rid of excess baggage followed by a thorough inspection for cracks in the walls or leaks in the roofing. Checking for cracks may seem like a mundane task, but problems in your storage can be detrimental to your RV generator.
The same applies to the outdoors. Poor drainage outside your garage is likely to cause flooding that will, in turn, affect your generator. Do not hesitate to hire a plumber to fix drainage problems. These measures will save you money in the long run and leave you with ample space to store other equipment.
Investing in an RV generator is not a small feat, so do not let your money go down the drain. Whether planning a trip in the upcoming weekend or the summer, your RV generator needs to stay in great shape. As discussed above, a small problem like insufficient grease might escalate to replacing the rusted parts. Follow the above guidelines and enjoy keeping your RV generator for a little longer.
Christina Powell is a chief editor at WheelOnRoad.net - a blog that is focused on sharing tips and tricks about automotive. She has a passion for car when she was young. Find her on Twitter at @WheelOnRoad