Why you should exercise your RV generator and how to do it

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By Mark J. Polk, RV Education 101
If your RV has an onboard generator set, or you use a portable generator set around the house, this video about why and how to exercise your generator set will be helpful.

The video explains why and how to exercise your generator set. Fuel-related problems are the number one reason for exercising the generator, but there are other reasons, too. Moisture buildup can result in damage to the generator. When you exercise your RV generator, it heats the generator windings and eliminates moisture. And, it helps lubricate the engine seals and internal components, which can prevent carbon buildup.

Onan recommends running the generator one hour every month at 50% load, and up to a full-rated load if practical. Watch the video to learn more about exercising your generator to keep it in top operating condition.

To learn more about using and maintaining your RV, visit RV Online Training.

Related:

For good health, exercise … your generator!

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Roger Marble
5 days ago

Wondering if anyone has ever seen an RV on a dealer’s lot with the generator running? With dozens or even hundreds on the lot one would think there should be a generator running all the time.

Bob and Charlotte and Champlin
1 month ago

Are there any different recommendations for a propane-fueled generator?

Dick & Sandy from near Buffalo, NY now in Florida
1 month ago

Gentlemen, those are the recommendations and everyone can not always follow them exactly. Check the oil level, and if liquid cooled check the coolant level before running. There are different methods for checking the coolant level or reducing carbon buildup without removing the plug on the bottom of the generator. Exercising the generator once a month for at least 30 minutes under some sort of load will normally work. The important thing is by running the generator and building up heat to get rid of the moisture and through oil pumping around to lubricate all the seals at normal running temperature. Oil, filters and a little time and effort is good insurance to save you a lot of grief. From attending seminars I have learned a few tricks on checking the coolant level and removing carbon built up without getting aggravated. Stay safe, Stay well, safe travels.

Nick
1 month ago

Interesting – the video says to run your generator once a month for at least an hour, but at current Cummins/Onan seminars that I have attended at rallies, the Cummins employees recommend at least two hours once a month (at half load).

David Telenko
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick

On my 1999 Winnebago I had 4K gasoline generator & they did say to run & exercise it for 1 hour every month! I now have a 2017 FR Diesel & it has a 6K Diesel generator & they do say to exercise it for 2 hours a month! I did learn something about load in his demonstration. I have a 6k (6000 Watts) Onan & they want to run it at 1/2 load, so thats 3000 Watts. I’ll have to see if I’ve been doing it right with just running one AC.
Snoopy

Roger V
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick

Yep, 2 hours/month preferably continuous under a 50% load or more is the recommendation in my manual. I do it religiously along with other prescribed maintenance and it runs like a top with almost 300 hours on it now.

John Massengale
28 days ago
Reply to  Roger V

I have always run my generator during the winter months, well this year for a number of reasons I didn’t now I have to pay the piper to have it worked on.