Whether you are planning on storing your RV generator for later use or preparing for a long period of usage, it’s very important to know how to winterize your RV generator, not just to ensure it works, but also to prevent damaging the unit or causing parts to fail. Imagine a winter storm approaching and the weather is so bad that the power gets cut off!
Now you automatically turn to your trusty RV generator for warmth and safety, but because it wasn’t winterized properly, the power outage seems like it might last longer than you hoped for. In this article, we will go through the necessary steps to make sure you winterize your RV generator properly and have it optimized and running efficiently in the face of the grueling winter.
Storage and fuel options:
If you are planning on storing your RV generator for a period longer than 30 days, you have to make sure that the fuel tank is full to avoid any water from condensing on the inside which causes rust, and mixes with the fuel. Prior to the storage period, let the fuel level drop, so you get to fill the generator with fresh fuel before the storage period. Now depending on the generator type, different fuel grades and types have to be considered.
For example, if you own a Diesel generator, make sure to use a diesel fuel with a minimum cetane level of 45. Anything lower than 45 won’t give you the best performance and might actually damage the inside of the tank over a long period of time. If the temperature is expected to fall below 32, it is wise to use low sulfur diesel fuel to avoid crystals from forming due to the cold temperature. Biodiesel on the other hand is an easier choice, just pick any brand that does not contain more than 10% Ethanol and as mentioned before, make sure its fresh prior to storage.
Protecting your fuel and fuel tank:
Regardless of the type of fuel you use, you still need to use a fuel preservative to prevent it from damaging your RV generator and wasting any stored fuel. Most fuel types start to breakdown in less than 30 days even if stored under good conditions.
Gasoline for example tends to starts to get more viscous and eventually clogs the filters, pumps and damages the lining of the generator. Diesel fuel, on the other hand, grows algae and in extreme cold temperatures can start to coagulate rendering it useless. There are many brands out there and they are all equally effective, so pick a brand you are comfortable with and protect that tank.
Replacing filters and oil prior to storage:
After you have prepared your RV generator for storage and filled it up with both fuel and fuel preservative, it’s necessary to replace other parts such as the fuel filter and oil before storing your generator.
The reason for doing so is that older parts usually accumulate acid and impurities relatively quickly which starts eating at the lining and piping system of the generator causing unnecessary damage.
Make sure when you replace any parts to contact the manufacturer and avoid buying any generic parts that may cause damage by not being as efficient as the original parts.
It may seem like too much work, but protecting and keeping your RV generator in a good shape will pay for itself during those freezing winters to come.
These are the most important points that any RV generator owner must tackle when deciding to winterize their units, in order to make sure the generator doesn’t get damaged, or even worse, malfunction in a time of dire need.
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