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How to Start an RV Generator

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Last Updated on November 13, 2022 by Jessica Lauren Vine

If you want to learn how to start an RV generator, keep reading and I’ll show you the easy way to do it.

Before we get into it, you should remember that there are portable generators for your RV and there are onboard generators for your RV. Not all RVs have an onboard generator but there are many that do.

If you have a class A or a class C RV or a larger fifth wheel, you may have an onboard RV generator.

To start an onboard RV generator, you have to flip a switch inside your RV to get it going. However, if you have a portable generator, you will either need to do a pull start or a push button start.

Starting the Generator Onboard Your RV

If you aren’t sure where to turn your onboard generator on in your RV, it’s time to turn to your handy owner’s manual. I know it is annoying to have to go look at your owner’s manual for your RV, but if you want to start the generator without worrying about operating it the wrong way, you need to check it out.

If you don’t know where to find your RV’s owner’s manual, we put a post together about where to find them here: How to Find Old RV Owner’s Manuals Online

Starting a Portable RV Generator

If you can get a generator with a start button, it’s much better than having to pull your arm out of the socket to start the RV generator. A push-button starter on your RV generator won’t make it that much more expensive but it will make it much more enjoyable.

  1. Turn your fuel valve on
  2. Turn the choke on
  3. Turn ignition on
  4. Pull the recoil cord (or push the button)
  5. Move engine choke to run after the engine starts

It’s simple to get started but if you need more specifics, just grab the owner’s manual for your portable generator.

Here are Some Great Portable Generators to Check Out for Your RV

  1. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start
  2. Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Electric Start

    This generator saved us from burning due to lack of air conditioning or not being able to cook quite a few times. Works great.

    Pros:
    • Nice run time
    • Dual-fuel
    • Great brand name
    • Lightweight enough for the watts
    • Parallel capable
    Cons:
    • Not totally budget-friendly
    Check Price on Amazon Read Our Review

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  3. Honda 663520 EU2200i
  4. Honda 663520 EU2200i
    $1,199.00
    • 2,200 Watt
    • Co-Minder
    Pros:
    • Trustworthy brand
    • Advanced carbon monoxide detection system
    • Connects to app with Bluetooth
    • Lightweight
    • Compact
    Cons:
    • Bluetooth connection can be glitchy
    • Only uses gas for fuel
    Check Price on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/30/2023 05:29 pm GMT
  5. Champion Open Frame Inverter
  6. Champion Open Frame Inverter
    $1,800.00
    • DH Series Open Frame Inverter
    • Wireless Remote Start
    • 4,000 Watt
    Pros:
    • Quieter than many
    • Lighter than many
    • Runs a long time
    Cons:
    • Pricier than some
    Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Walmart

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/30/2023 07:58 am GMT
  7. WEN GN400i 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator
  8. WEN GN400i 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator
    $449.13
    • CARB Compliant
    Pros:
    • Budget-friendly
    • Plenty of power
    • Parallel capability
    • Overload protection
    • Quality brand
    Cons:
    • Small fuel tank
    Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Walmart

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/30/2023 12:01 pm GMT
  9. Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator
  10. Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator
    $1,299.97
    • 36.3 lbs
    • Quiet and neighbor-friendly
    Pros:
    • Lightweight
    • PowerRush technology
    • Easy to use
    • Parallel capable
    Cons:
    • Does not come with an RV adapter
    Check Price on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/30/2023 12:46 pm GMT

How to Start an RV Generator – Conclusion

Now you know how to start an RV generator whether it is an onboard RV generator or a portable generator you use for your RV.

The one thing I know is that it’s super helpful having the power from a generator if the storms knock out the shore power so I hope you find the perfect generator for you.

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