Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.Henry David Thoreau

How Long Do RV Generators Last?

How Long Do RV Generators Last?

Have you ever wondered how long your RV generator can last before it needs to be replaced? It’s an important question to consider when buying and operating a recreational vehicle. After all, knowing the performance life expectancy of your generator can help you make the most of your investment. This blog post will explore how long RV generators typically last and what maintenance steps you should take to get the most out of yours.

Basics of RV Generators

RV generators are an invaluable tool for a wide variety of applications, from camping to off-grid living. RV generators provide power when you need it most, and they come in a variety of styles, sizes, and capabilities. However, understanding the basics of RV generators can help you make the best decision for your individual needs.

When searching for an RV generator, the three main characteristics to consider are power output (measured in watts), fuel source, and noise level.

The power output of your generator will determine how much electrical load it can handle. Higher-wattage generators can run more appliances at once, whereas a lower-wattage generator may only be able to support one or two items at a time.

The fuel source is an important factor in deciding which RV generator to purchase. Generators are available that use gasoline, propane, diesel, or natural gas as their fuel source. Each of these fuels has its benefits and drawbacks; you should select the one that best meets your needs.

Finally, the noise level is a major consideration when selecting your RV generator. Generators can be quite loud, so it’s important to consider the noise level when making your purchase. Higher-wattage generators tend to be louder than lower-wattage models, and diesel generators are generally quieter than those fueled by gasoline or propane [1].

Basics of RV Generators

RV Generators Buying Guide

Conventional or Inverter Generator

The first decision you must make when buying a generator is whether to get a conventional or inverter generator. Conventional generators produce AC electricity just like the power grid, but they are louder and less efficient than inverter generators. Inverter generators, on the other hand, have several advantages over conventional generators. They are quieter, more fuel-efficient, and better able to handle sensitive electronics. They also produce a more consistent voltage and frequency, making them the ideal choice for powering computers, TVs, smartphones, and other electronic devices.

Fuel Type

The next decision you must make when buying an RV generator is the fuel type. Most generators are powered by gasoline or diesel fuel, but propane and natural gas generators are also available. Each fuel type has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to do your research before making a decision. Gasoline is the most common choice for RV generators due to its availability and affordability, but diesel engines are known for their durability and longevity. Propane generators offer more portability, while natural gas generators tend to be the quieter option.

Power Output

When shopping for an RV generator, the power output is a crucial factor to consider. The size and weight of the generator are directly influenced by its power output, making it necessary to select a model that can efficiently supply electricity to all your appliances and devices without straining itself. It is advisable to closely examine the voltage and wattage ratings of the generator to ensure it is capable of meeting the electrical demands of your RV. By carefully considering these aspects, you can confidently choose a generator that perfectly aligns with your needs and ensures a seamless camping experience.

Power Output

Portable or Permanent

The next thing to consider is whether you need a portable or permanent RV generator. Portable generators are designed for easy transportation and quick setup, while permanent generators require professional installation and are typically more powerful. If you plan on using your RV in different places, then a portable generator is the best option since it can be moved from place to place with ease. However, if you will be staying in one spot for an extended period, then a permanent generator is recommended since it can provide more consistent energy.

Size and Noise Level

The size of the generator is another important factor to consider. Larger generators are more powerful, but they are also heavier and harder to transport. It’s important to select a model that can fit comfortably in your RV without taking up too much space. Additionally, pay close attention to the noise level of the generator when shopping around as this will determine how much disturbance it will create in your camping area. Many models come with sound-proofing features that can minimize the noise output, making them a great choice for those who want to avoid disturbing their neighbors’ peace.


Make sure you consider the weight of the generator before making a purchase. The heavier the generator is, the more difficult it will be to transport and set up. If you plan on frequently moving your RV generator, then make sure to select a model that is lightweight and easy to lift. Otherwise, opt for a heavier one if you’ll be sticking to one spot for a while. The average weight of the RV Generators is between 40-100 pounds.

Fuel Consumption

The fuel consumption of the generator is also an important factor to consider. Generators consume fuel differently depending on their size, power output, and other factors. Before selecting a model, make sure to check its fuel efficiency rating so that you can accurately estimate your fuel expenses over time. This will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises when it comes time to pay for refueling.

Fuel Consumption

Durability and reliability

Make sure to check the durability and reliability of the generator before making a purchase. Most modern RV generators are made from robust materials and feature advanced technologies that ensure consistent power output and minimized maintenance costs. Be sure to read up on user reviews and consult experts to find out which models have the best reputation for reliability and durability. This will help you choose an RV generator that can last for many years and provide you with the power you need when out on the road.


The price of the generator is a major factor when making your purchase. There are many types and sizes available on the market, so make sure to compare products from different brands before selecting one. Be aware that higher-quality models usually come with a higher price tag, so be prepared to pay more if you want one with better features and durability. It is possible to find budget-friendly models, but make sure to read reviews and compare features before making your final decision [2].

Types Of Generators and Their Run Times

Generators come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the application they are intended to serve. Some generators are designed to operate for long periods while others may be limited by their design or fuel sources. The following list outlines some common types of generators and their typical run times when used correctly:

  • Gasoline Generators: These generators are most commonly used for home or small business applications. They provide reliable power and can run anywhere from 8-10 hours on average when using a full tank of fuel.
  • Diesel Generators: Diesel generators are often used in industrial and agricultural settings as they have higher output than gasoline models. Depending on the model, these generators can range from 15-50 hours on a full tank of fuel.
  • Solar Generators: Solar generators are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative energy source. These generators can store sunlight and create electricity for use in a variety of applications, ranging from 10-20 hours depending on the size of the solar panel array and battery storage capacity.
  • Wind Generators: Like solar power, wind energy is becoming more popular as an alternative energy source. Wind generators can provide power for up to 50 hours when the wind is blowing at a consistent rate and the generator is correctly sized for the application.

No matter what type of generator you choose, it’s important to understand how long it will last on a full tank of fuel or battery storage capacity so that you can plan your energy usage accordingly. Taking the time to research and compare different generators can help you find one that best fits your needs and budget. Ultimately, choosing a generator should involve considering its size, fuel source, output capacity, run time, and maintenance requirements [3].

Why Do Generators Need To Be Shut Down?

Quiet Hours

Generators need to be shut down for a variety of reasons, including quiet hours. In many areas, local noise ordinances require people to keep the volume down during certain times of day or night. This means that generators must be turned off while they are not in use. This is especially important if the generator produces loud noises, such as those from an engine running on gasoline.

Quiet Hours

Safety Concerns

Generators must be shut down for safety reasons too. When generators run continuously without proper monitoring, they can overheat, which poses fire hazards and may lead to damage to the machine itself. Therefore, it is crucial to regularly check the generator’s temperature and ensure it remains within safe limits. By shutting off the generator when it’s not in use, you can prevent any potential harm or accidents. Moreover, it’s important to emphasize that generators should be regularly maintained and serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. This ensures that they continue to operate safely and efficiently, reducing the risk of any unforeseen issues. Taking these precautions will not only protect your property but also promote a secure and reliable power supply.


In addition to regular maintenance, generators should also be shut down when they need to be refueled or if the fuel tank is running low. This precautionary measure is essential to prevent any potential risks, such as fire or damage caused by a fuel leak. It is important to meticulously follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the recommended quantity of fuel to be added at a time and the frequency at which it needs to be replaced. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure the safe and optimal functioning of your generator, minimizing any potential hazards that may arise.

Life Expectancy

Finally, shutting down the generator when not in use is important for extending its life expectancy. If generators are operated continuously without proper maintenance and servicing, they may suffer from premature wear and tear or even breakdowns. By turning off your generator regularly, you can reduce any unnecessary pressure on the machine and help it to last longer. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to invest in a good quality generator that is designed to handle extended periods of usage. That way, you can be sure your generator will stay in top condition for longer and supply reliable power when needed.

How to Keep Your RV Generator in Pristine Condition?

Maintenance and oil change

Regular oil changes are essential for the optimal performance and longevity of your RV generator. If you don’t change the oil regularly, it can lead to a build-up of sludge and deposits in the engine. This can cause serious damage, leading to expensive repairs or even an early retirement for your generator. To keep it running smoothly and efficiently, make sure to check your oil every month or two and change it at least twice a year.

Service and tune-ups

RV generators require regular inspections and tune-ups to keep them running optimally. During these inspections, the technician will check all the components of the generator for any signs of wear or damage. They may also perform maintenance tasks such as changing spark plugs, replacing air filters, and adjusting valves. Scheduling regular tune-ups for your RV generator will ensure that it runs smoothly and safely while saving you money on expensive repairs in the future.

Service and tune-ups

Storage precautions

When storing an RV generator for a long period, there are some important steps to take to ensure its longevity. First, make sure to clean and dry the generator before putting it away. This will prevent corrosion and build-up of dust and debris which could lead to damage down the line. Next, add a fuel stabilizer to the tank so that the gas doesn’t break down over time. Finally, cover your RV generator with an appropriate tarp or cover to protect it from the elements. Taking these precautions will keep your RV generator in great shape and ready to go whenever you need it.

Do not overload

It is important to remember that RV generators are not designed to run continuously or be overloaded. This can place a great strain on the engine and cause serious damage. Make sure to only use your generator for its intended purpose and never exceed the recommended wattage or voltage load. By following these simple tips, you can keep your RV Generator in pristine condition so that it is ready to use when you need it.

Fix the issues promptly

If you notice any issues with your RV Generator, make sure to take care of them promptly. Do not wait for the issue to become worse and cause even more damage. Instead, contact a professional service center or technician to diagnose and repair the problem as soon as possible. This will help ensure that your generator continues running safely and efficiently for many years to come.


Is it OK to run your RV generator all night?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to run your RV generator all night. However, you should make sure that the engine has proper ventilation and that oil levels are maintained to ensure its longevity and performance. Additionally, it is important to keep an eye on fuel levels because running out of fuel while the generator is in operation can cause serious damage. Finally, be mindful of any exhaust fumes and take all necessary precautions to keep them away from living areas. It is always a good idea to read the manufacturer’s instructions before running the generator for extended periods.

How often should I change my RV generator’s oil?

Most manufacturers recommend changing the oil in an RV generator every 100 hours or annually, whichever comes first. Changing the oil regularly will help to keep your generator running at peak performance and ensure that it remains in good shape for years to come. Additionally, be sure to check the oil levels and add more if necessary between oil changes.

What type of fuel should I use for my RV generator?

Most RV generators run on gasoline or diesel fuel. It is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before filling your generator with fuel to ensure that it is compatible. Additionally, be sure to use only high-quality fuel and avoid using any kind of additives or treatments as this can lead to engine damage.

Are there precautions I should take when running my RV generator?

Yes, there are a few important precautions that you should take when running your RV generator. First, make sure the area is properly ventilated and keep the generator away from living areas to avoid exposure to exhaust fumes. Second, never refuel a hot engine and always stop it before adding fuel. Finally, avoid leaving the generator unattended while it is running and use an approved power outlet for long-term use.

What should I do if my RV generator won’t start?

If your RV generator won’t start, the first thing you should do is check the fuel levels and oil levels. Ensure that the fuel tank is adequately filled and that the oil is at the recommended level. If you find that they are low, you can add more fuel and oil accordingly to see if that helps resolve the issue.

In addition to checking the fuel and oil levels, you may also want to inspect the spark plugs. Look for any signs of wear or damage, such as fouling or corrosion. If the spark plugs appear worn out or damaged, it is advisable to replace them with new ones.

If after checking the fuel and oil levels, as well as inspecting the spark plugs, the generator still won’t start, it is recommended to consult your owner’s manual for troubleshooting tips specific to your model. Alternatively, seeking professional assistance from a qualified technician who specializes in RV generators can help diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.

What should I do if my RV

Do I need to winterize my RV generator each year?

Yes, it is important to take steps to winterize your RV generator every year to ensure that it remains in good condition. Depending on the type of generator you have, winterizing may involve draining the fuel tanks and changing the oil. Additionally, you should also check all of the connections and wires for any loose or broken parts. Finally, be sure to cover your RV generator to protect it from harsh weather conditions during the cold months. Following these steps will help ensure that your generator is ready to go when it comes time to use it again.

How much does it cost to replace an RV generator?

The cost of replacing an RV generator can vary greatly depending on the type and size of the generator. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars for smaller portable generators to several thousand dollars for larger models. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with installing and maintaining your new generator. It is important to consider all these factors when budgeting for a replacement generator.

Useful Video: The RIGHT Way to Run Your RV Generator

Conclusion Paragraph

RV Generators are a great way to provide power for a variety of different applications. They are very reliable, efficient, and affordable. Additionally, RV Generators are highly customizable and can be tailored to meet the exact requirements or preferences of a customer or business. With proper maintenance, these units can last for many years with minimal issues. If you’re looking for a reliable source of power that is also cost-effective, an RV Generator is the perfect option. It can provide you with reliable and efficient power for your recreational vehicle or any other application that requires it.

  1. https://www.cummins.com/generators/rv-generators/rv-generator-electricity-basics
  2. https://outdoormiles.com/choosing-an-rv-inverter-generator/
  3. https://multiphase-power.com/articles/7-types-of-generators/