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Why Won’t My RV Generator Start?

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Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Jessica Lauren Vine

Are you wondering, “Why won’t my RV generator start?”

First off, I am sorry this is happening to you. You’re probably out trying to have some fun and you can’t get your generator started. Keep reading and I’ll help you figure out what’s going on so you can get your RV generator running.

Here are the most common problems why your RV’s generator won’t start:

  • Battery issues
  • Low oil level
  • Your RV is out of fuel
  • Old fuel
  • Broken generator part
  • Your generator is too old and worn

Keep in mind that there could be some other issues going on with your RV generator but these are some of the most common reasons you might be dealing with a generator that won’t start.

RV Generator Battery Issues

If your generator is having battery issues then you’re dead in the water so to speak. The battery in your generator is at the core of its function so you can get the power you need.

If your battery isn’t fully charged or you have issues with the connections not attaching properly then your generator might not start at all.

What you can do to fix an RV generator’s battery issues may be easy or you might need to do something more complicated (and expensive) to get things working.

  • Check the battery’s connection to see if it is tight and clean

If the battery connection is corroded or if you see leaks, you can try fixing those things. However, you might find that you need to replace the battery in the generator that you use for your RV.

RV Generator Has Low Oil Level

You can easily check the oil level of your RV generator by looking at the oil dipstick to check oil levels. If you notice your generator isn’t acting right, it may simply need more oil.

Before you put oil in the generator, make sure you check which type of oil your particular generator needs. You can find which type of oil it needs by looking at the owner’s manual.

If the oil is too dirty, you should completely replace it. If you don’t feel comfortable replacing the oil in the generator then you could take it to the shop or get a mobile RV mechanic to come to help you out.

Your RV Is Out of Fuel

As a safety precaution, your RV is set up to stop working if your fuel is under a certain level. For many RVs, that level is a quarter of a tank. If you notice this happens at a different time, you should check your RV manual. Or your RV sensor might not be working properly which would cause your generator to stop working before your RV’s fuel levels are truly below a quarter of a tank.

Your generator may run off of propane, gas or diesel but they are usually built into your RV and run off the same fuel in your RV’s tank.

Old Fuel

Right in the same vein, your RV generator problem might be coming from another common fuel issue. That problem is having fuel that is trying to reach the generator is too old.

This usually happens if you leave your RV sitting for a long time. If you’ve been using your RV and your RV generator and you’re having problem then this probably isn’t the reason.

Broken Generator Part(s)

If your generator is up in years or if you run it a lot, you might find that you need to replace a part or two. Unless you’re super handy with things like this, you might need to take your RV to the shop or have a mobile tech come to take a look at it.

Sometimes the fix can be pretty simple and you’re able to easily swap out a broken part for a new one and you’ll be good to go.

Generator Is Too Old and Is Ready to Retire

Your generator might be tired of running and be ready for retirement. If you’ve had your generator for a long time, it might be time to replace it.

You’ll have to look at which RV generators will work best for your rig but they can be costly to replace. Before you count your RV generator out, you might want to have a professional take a look and see if they can save it.

Why Won’t My RV Generator Start? – Conclusion

Now you know a bit more about how to get your RV generator up and running if it’s giving you problems. It is definitely better for your wallet if you can avoid having to buy a new one but sometimes that might be the only option. Or, of course, you could just use a portable generator for your RV which is a bit on the less expensive side of things.

Before heading off, make sure to check out some of these other important articles that can help you with RVing.

How to Start an RV Generator

How Much Fuel Does an RV Generator Use?

Can You Run an RV Generator Overnight?

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