RV Living

How Often to Change Oil in RV Generator?

Here are easy methods to change the oil in an RV generator. When you use the RV on special occasions, change the generator oil once a year.

How Often to Change Oil in RV Generator? Change the oil in the RV generator every 50 hours after installing it, then change the oil after every 100 to 150 hours in it. When you use the RV, occasionally change the oil after every season or year to maintain the performance. 

How Often to Change Oil in RV Generator?

It depends upon the type of generator you have in the RV. Most experts recommend changing the oil after 50 to 60 hours during the first few days.

But after some days or months, depending upon the running hour, change the oil every 155 hours.

Some generators can run smoothly even after 400 hours, but for efficient working, always change the oil after every 100 hours. 

What type of oil RV generator use?

The type of oil depends upon the external temperature and humidity. Choose the type of oil depending upon the external temperature of the area of camping.

The characteristics like viscosity and thickness of oil also count for choosing a suitable brand.

Synthetic oil is usually not recommended for these generators. But in Onan generators, some manufacturers use Mobil 50 oil with good operation.

Viscosity is the resistance of oil flow; the thickness refers to the concentrated or diluted form. Each type of oil has specific values for both characteristics.

When the viscosity and thickness are low, the oil flows better. For cold areas, oil with less viscosity is better.

SAE 30 W Oil

SAE 30 W oil is suitable for most RV generators. It is a motor oil with a viscosity rating ranging from 25 to 30.

With this rating, it can work well in higher temperatures. At 30 rating, it can work efficiently even above 100 degrees.

15 W 40 oil

It is heavy-duty engine oil that you can use in the generator. You can use it when you are driving in an area of low temperature.

For extremely low temperatures, you can also use 5W30 and 10W 40 oils. At a low-temperature thickness of oil increases that causes difficulty in operation.

These are thinner oil and flow easily inside the generator.

How much oil does the RV generator consume?

The oil consumption depends upon the power usage, on average, an RV diesel generator can hold up to 10 gallons of oil.

When the generator runs at half capacity, it can run for 4 to 5 hours on one gallon. When operating at full capacity, it can run for 1 to 2 hours on one gallon of oil.

The Briggs and Stratton generator

It can hold up to 12 gallons of oil. It usually spends one gallon for every 4 hours of running.

It is efficient to run small appliances like TV coffee makers and small air conditioners. It can handle power up to 1700 watts.

Onan generators

Onan 4000 generator uses only 1.6 quarts of oil for every 40 to 50 hours of operation. Some Onan generator consumes only 1 quart for every 80 hours.

Onan 5000 generator requires 2 quarts of oil for every 50 hours. You can also use 1 quart when operating it at half capacity.

Factors influencing generator oil consumption

Some factors can increase or decrease the oil consumption in a generator. You should properly check them all before operating an RV generator.

Full-time maintenance improves the performance of the generator and oil up to 350000 hours.

Oil filters

Almost all generators have oil filters to filer all the tiny particles from oil. It filters all the dirt particles and other contaminants from the oil.

Continuous use of these filters makes them clogged with dust and debris. To make them work efficiently, clean all the dirt from all parts of oil filters.

Because the contaminants can increase the consumption of oil, replace the faulty oil filters if your generating is causing the problem in operation.

Ideally, replace the oil filter every 300 hours of running the generator. Change it more often in muddy areas.

Change air filters

Air filters are necessary to filter the air that circulates through the inner chambers of the generator.

It entraps all the dirt contaminants and tiny particles from the air and delivers clean air to the generator.

Cleaning air filters is essential for the normal working of these generators. A clogged air filter can also make the spark plug filthy.

You should check its working and condition before operating the portable generator in the RV. Ideally, manufacturers recommend that change the air filters every season or once a year.

To clean it, use soapy water to wipe out all the dust from its parts. In case of excessive use of vehicle, change it more often for maintenance of the generator.

Optimum oil level

To start the generator and maintain steady oil consumption, check the oil level before starting the vehicle.

The oil level in the tank should be approximately 1 quart to start the engine. For efficient operation and saving, fuel add oil above one-quart level.

The tank should be quarter full all the time when you are camping. When the oil level is below one quart, the generator finds difficulty in starting.

To get started, it needs more power, and fuel consumption is higher in this situation. Not only the low but high level of oil in the tank also makes oil consumption higher.

To check the oil level in the tank using the dipstick method. Open the fill cap and dip the stick in the tank.

The level of oil should be between full or add level. When it is below the add point, then fill fresh oil in the generator.

When to change the RV generator oil?

You should change the generator oil after every 100 hours. But there are certain conditions when you should change oil for better performance.

Before installing

Checking and adding oil before installing a generator is usually underestimated. But it is recommended when you purchase a new to oil its parts before installing.

Change the fuel of used equipment at the time of installing it in the motorhome.

The previous owner might not have sold the generator with a full oil tank. Then change the oil regularly according to the manufacturer’s specific duration.

After continuous use

You can continuously run RV for approximately 2 days before without adding oil. When you are driving the camper, and all its appliances are on, change the oil more frequently.

During a power outage, change the oil to make the vehicle and generator ready for the next time you run it.

Running all the electric devices like AC, TV, fridge and coffee maker can consume the oil early so change the oil after every 40 to 50 hours to compensate the loss.

Troubleshooting generator

When the generator is malfunctioning, change or adds oil to it to troubleshoot any fuel-related issue.

Many times our generator does not start because of the low level of oil in it. When the oil is dirty and full of debris, drain all the oil from the tank. Then add new oil to the tank to start the generator.

How to change the oil in the RV generator?

Follow all the steps in sequence to change the oil in the tank of the generator.

Run the generator for some time

Before starting the procedure, start the generator for few minutes. It is necessary to drain the oil from the tank. Running it will warm up the oil in it.

Continue running it for 5 to 10 minutes until it is warm. Do not run it for more than 10 minutes as it will overheat it. Overheated oil is challenging to drain from the tank.

Furthermore, running it without any use will consume all the fuel. After shutting it remove all the electric connections.

Remove the protection plate

The drain plug is covered with a green protection plate. It is located inside the generator and protects the drain plug from all the dust and external environment.

You will require Torbox 30 to remove the plate from the drain plug. Be careful not to spill the oil over the surrounding surface.

After this, remove the drain plug with the help of a 12mm socket. Unscrew the drain plug and put it aside.

Drain the oil

Take a pan and place t below the draining hole to collect all the oil. Wear rubber gloves and a protective jacket to protect yourself.

Carefully drain all the oil in the pan until no oil left in the tank. Then use a safe disposing method to dispose of all the drained oil.

Install oil drain plug

Take a new drain plug to install it in its place. You can buy it from any auto repair shop. Use a wrench to screw it on its site.

Do not overtighten the plug. Then to secure it there apply a sealant around it. After installing, recheck its placement inside the generator.

Fill the fresh oil

Noe fills the fresh oil in the generator with the help of a funnel. Do not over-fill the tank because the oil will foam in the tank.

When you are adding oil, check the plug for any leaking of oil. In case the plug is leaking, seal with sealant. Add 1.5 to 2 quart of oil in the tank, then cover the drain plug with a green protector.

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