By Cheri Sicard
The team from the Long Long Honeymoon (a favorite RV YouTube channel in our readers’ poll) produced an important video on a topic that a lot of people have questions about, and that is RV generator safety.
The video begins by sharing the four reasons generators can be dangerous:
- Carbon monoxide
- Injuries by dropping
The #1 most important tip might sound like common sense, but you don’t know what you don’t know. NEVER run a generator indoors! The carbon monoxide output could kill you in minutes.
Even if you have a motorhome with an onboard compartment meant for the generators, those can, and do, leak. Good ventilation and a carbon monoxide detector/alarm are essential.
For best practices from a safety perspective, you should have your generator off while you sleep.
You also need to be careful with your generator’s exhaust and make sure nothing flammable is near it as generator exhaust can generate an enormous amount of heat.
The next tip involves refueling. You never want to fuel directly from a fuel pump to the generator if you are carrying it in the bed of your truck as there is a static electricity fire danger. In fact, government reports show there have been serious fires and explosions at fuel pumps caused by this very practice.
Ideally, you will want to have the generator on the ground when refueling. Barring that, fuel from a can, but not directly from the pump.
What about running a generator in the rain?
Technically most generator manufacturers say you should not do this. However, the video covers some products you can get that will keep your generator dry during the rain. At least in theory.
The final RV generator safety tip involves grounding your generator, which is extra important in damp or wet conditions. At least according to the manufacturer.
However, the video concludes with a discussion of what people regularly do and don’t do in the real world. For instance, have you ever seen anyone actually ground their generator?
So, know that these tips are the ideal world’s best practices. To be sure, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning are the most imminent dangers that you will need to be diligent about.
rE: generator grounding/ grounding rods, neutral bonding, etc, I refer you back to Mike Sokol: https://www.rvtravel.com/rv-electricity-generator-grounding-bonding/
THE ONE they overlooked is the HAZARD FROM LIFTING