By Mark Polk
RV generators are what truly make your RV fully self-contained. What a feature, instant electricity at the push of a button. We take electricity for granted in our homes because we don't have to do anything to get it, with the exception of paying our monthly electric bill. This is part of the problem with RV generators, we expect the electricity to be there when we need or want it just like in our house. The problem is this magical source of electricity requires a certain amount of care and maintenance from the owner.
Safety first! Always keep in mind when you use a generator there is carbon monoxide. You should always inspect the exhaust system on the generator set before using it. Do not operate a generator with a damaged exhaust system. If you're using a portable generator set make sure the exhaust is directed away from the camping area. Test your carbon monoxide detector for proper operation prior to using the generator. Never run a generator when you or anyone else is sleeping. Observe campground etiquette. Do not run your generator after quiet hours.
A generator that comes equipped on an RV gets its fuel supply from the same fuel tank the engine uses. When the fuel tank reaches a 1/4 tank of fuel the generator will shut down to prevent you from possibly using all of the fuel without realizing it. The generator will either have an automatic transfer switch to sense whether you are using shore power or the generator, or you will need to plug the RV power cord into a generator receptacle to use the generator. It is perfectly okay to use the generator while you are traveling.
This is one of the reasons you have a generator in the first place. It is actually more fuel efficient to run the generator with the roof mounted air conditioner on, than to use the dash air.
Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101
RV Expert Mark Polk, seen on TV, is the producer & host of America's most highly regarded series of DVD's, videos, books, and e-books. http://www.rveducation101.com/
Mark Polk is a retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Three, specializing in wheeled and track vehicle fleet maintenance operations. In addition to owning and operating RV Education 101, (based in North Carolina) since 1999, Polk also has a very extensive RV background working in RV service, sales and management. Polk has a degree in Industrial Management Technology and his 30 plus years of experience in maintenance includes working as an RV technician, a wheeled vehicle and power generation mechanic, an automotive maintenance technician, Battalion and Brigade level Maintenance Officer, an RV sales manager and also in the RV financing department as the Finance & Insurance manager. http://www.rveducation101.com/
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