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Why Does My RV's Generator Keep Shutting Down?

by David Wood
(Caldwell, Idaho)

I have a Generac generator in a 1993 Seabreeze. The generator worked fine on our last trip until we headed home in the heat. The generator light would go off, and no AC power, and then the generator eventually shuts down.

I tried the generator over the winter and as long as the heat is not too high in the Motorhome it will run for hours, when the heat gets to around 65 degrees inside it has the same symptoms that I described above. When it acts up I try to restart and it will generate power for about two minutes, unless I disconnect the coach battery for 15 to 20 minutes, and then it will run for 20 to 30 minutes in the heat before acting up again.

ANSWER: Greetings David thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

There are a lot of things that could be causing the problem you are experiencing. I have listed some basic checks you should do on your generator to eliminate the simple and less costly causes of your problem.

1. Check the oil level in your generator when the oil level gets low it will shut down the generator. As the oil gets warmer it thins out just enough that it may fall below the proper level and shutdown the generator. If you can't remember the last time that you changed the oil and replaced the oil filter on your generator, now would be a good time to do it.

2. Check the fuel filter for the generator as it may be restricting the amount of fuel getting to it. You should also check the fuel line leading to your generator for any leaks. Just a reminder here if the fuel level in your RV ever goes below 1/4 tank the generator will automatically shutdown to prevent it from using all of your fuel.

3. Check and replace the air filter on the generator.

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4. Lastly, if you cannot remember the last time you replaced the spark plugs on your generator now may be the time to do that.

I believe that disconnecting the batteries for 15 or 20 minutes is not really related to the problem you are experiencing.

If these simple steps do not alleviate your problem then it is time to have a Certified RV Technician take a look at your generator. It could be something as simple as a bad Temperature Switch or a problem with the carburetor on the generator or as complicated as some voltage issues with the generator itself.

Hope this helps

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RVing Al

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