How to Start RV Generator?

Almost every RV has an onboard generator that provides power to the vehicle. This generator stores energy within the vehicle’s battery. You can also use it as a plug-in for power outlets. It allows you to use the stored energy later when the generator is off or not in use. 

These generators run on the same fuel that powers your RV’s engine. But someone who is new to onboard generators might face problems while starting them, even though running the generator is not that difficult. Below you will find the process of starting up an RV generator in a few minutes.   

Steps to Start an RV Generator 

Here are some simple steps to start an RV generator:   

Step 1: Locating Control Buttons 

The first step is to find the control buttons required to turn on the RV. There will probably be rocker switches that connect to your generator’s starting motor when you press them. 

You may find a switch on the integral control panel of the generator. Usually, there is one more switch inside your RV, either in the galley or wall-mounted around the driver’s seat. 

Step 2: Refer to the Manual 

The next step is to refer to your RV’s manual. You will learn more about the controls of your generator from its manual. This way, you will know how to run it properly. It will also help you discover whether your RV comes equipped with an inline fuel stop tap. 

This tap restricts the gas, diesel, or propane from flowing through the fuel tank to the generator. So, if you find one, make sure that it is in an open position for the smooth flow of gas. 

Step 3: Check the Level of Fuel

It is essential to check whether there is enough fuel in your supply tank to start the generator. You would fill a propane generator from a high-pressure tank, just like every other appliance that runs on propane. So, make sure the tank has sufficient propane to fire up your generator.   

On the other hand, gas and diesel generators get fuel from the same source that supplies your RV’s engine. These generators run through an outlet attached to the side of the main fuel tank. This outlet saves your RV from running out of fuel. 

Remember to check that the fuel level in the tank is at least a level above the outlet. It will ensure that the fuel flows smoothly from the outlet to the generator.   

Step 4: Turn on the Generator

The last step is to turn on the generator using the rocker switches. But first, do check if all the appliances in your RV, such as refrigerator, air conditioner, etc., are switched off. If not, then turn them off before you start your generator.  

Now, push the rocker switch you located on the generator. Once you press the button, the generator’s motor will start running. 

If you used the generator’s control panel switch, you would hear the motor and immediately know when it fires up. However, if you used a remote switch, you would feel the movement of the generator’s engine. Once you feel the movement is smooth, it means the generator has fired up. 

Release the rocker switch as soon as the generator fires up, whether you used the control panel switch or a remote switch. 

Generac GP3500iO Open Frame RV Ready Inverter Generator


Power: 3000 Watt
Dimensions: 19.7 x 16.5 x 16.4 Inches
Weight: 74.3 Pounds
Tank Volume: 2.37 Gallons
Run Time: Up to 11 Hours
Perks: PowerRUSH Technology, Up to 50% Quieter, RV Ready, USB Outlets and Parallel Ready

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With these quick and easy steps, you can start your RV generator in a matter of minutes. Remember that these generators require regular maintenance to function at their best. You may have to run the RV generator every month, whether you are camping or not. 

Regularly change the oil as per the instructions in the owner’s manual, and refer to the same for dos and don’ts.

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