Spark to Life: Reviving Your RV Onan Generator

Embarking on a road trip in your RV is a thrilling adventure, but what happens when your generator throws a wrench into your plans? Finding reliable RV generator repair services in a bustling city like Houston, Texas, might seem like a daunting task, but fear not! This blog will guide you through the process of getting your RV generator repaired and back on the road, ensuring that your journey continues without a hitch.

7 Steps to getting your RV generator repaired Step 1: Diagnose the Issue

Step 1: Diagnose the Issue

Before seeking professional help, it’s essential to identify the problem with your RV generator. Some common issues include fuel system problems, electrical malfunctions, or general wear and tear. Conduct a thorough inspection, and if you’re not familiar with generator systems, consult your RV’s manual for troubleshooting tips. If the problem persists, it’s time to move on to the next step. Continue reading this blog to discover the most common questions from  RV Onan generator owners.

Step 2: Research Reliable RV Repair Shops

Many towns across the country have a variety of RV repair shops, but not all of them specialize in generator repairs. Look for reputable service providers that have experience with RV generators. Online reviews, recommendations from fellow RV enthusiasts, and ratings on platforms like Yelp can help you narrow down your options. The Greater Houston Area boasts over 25 RV repair shops throughout town. Not all of them work on Onan generators; however, you can get help from Cummins Sales and Service located in Houston and Onan shops like Katy RV repair. To find a Cummins location in your area, you can use the Cummins Locator.

Step 3: Contact the Pros

Once you’ve shortlisted potential repair shops, give them a call to discuss your generator issues. Ask about their experience with RV generators, the types of repairs they handle, and their availability. Take note of their customer service; a responsive and knowledgeable team is a good indicator of a reliable repair service.

Step 4: Get Quotes

Before committing to any repair, it’s crucial to obtain quotes from the repair shops you’ve contacted. A transparent breakdown of costs will help you make an informed decision. Be sure to inquire about any additional charges that may arise during the repair process.

Step 5: Verify Credentials

Ensure that the RV repair shop you choose is licensed and certified. This guarantees that they adhere to industry standards and have the expertise needed to handle your generator repairs. You can also check for affiliations with reputable organizations or certifications from generator manufacturers.

Step 6: Schedule an Appointment

Once you’ve found a repair shop that meets your criteria, schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection of your RV generator. Be prepared to provide information about your RV’s make and model, as well as details about the generator’s symptoms. This will help the technicians quickly identify and address the issue.

Step 7: Stay Informed During the Repair Process

A good RV repair shop will keep you informed throughout the repair process. Ask for regular updates and be proactive in seeking clarification on any technical terms or procedures you may not understand. A transparent and communicative repair shop will provide peace of mind and build trust.

10 Most Common Questions from Onan RV Generator owners

Question 1: When the start switch is pressed in the coach or at the generator, nothing happens. What could be the problem?
Answer: The coach battery could be completely discharged, or there could be a problem with the battery cable, the control board, or the wiring. If the coach interior lights will not work, the problem is likely the coach battery. Check the battery and control fuse first. If the lights work, use the Troubleshooting Guide to isolate the problem.

Question 2: When the generator start switch is pressed, the starter makes a clicking sound, but the engine does not crank. What is the problem?
Answer: Most likely, the coach battery is almost completely discharged and needs to be charged or replaced. There could also be a poor connection or a defective battery cable or starter solenoid. If these causes can be eliminated, then the starter itself may need service.

Question 3: Why does my generator crank over normally but not start?
Answer: The problem is either fuel or ignition related. If the engine tries to run when a small amount of starting fluid is sprayed into the air intake, it is a fuel problem. The ignition can be checked by removing and grounding a spark plug.

Question 4: Why does my generator start and then shut down as soon as the start switch is released?
Answer: Most models require both oil pressure and AC voltage from the generator to keep running. A lack of AC voltage can be caused by a variety of problems involving the control board, regulator, generator, and wiring. A stuck oil pressure switch can also cause this symptom. The interaction between the various components of the system can be confusing during troubleshooting. Use the Troubleshooting Guide to isolate the problem.

Question 5: The start switch works at the generator but not from inside the coach. What is the problem?
Answer: The remote start/stop control is not connected to the control board. Make sure the remote connector is plugged into the control at the generator. Check the remote switch and wiring.

Question 6: The start switch works from inside the coach but not at the generator. What is the problem?
Answer: The start switch on the control board or control panel is defective. Replace the switch or control board, as applicable.

Question 7: Why does my generator run rough and/or smoke, even after it is warmed up?
Answer: An improperly adjusted carburetor (too rich) or a sticking carburetor float that allows extra fuel to enter the carburetor bowl can all be to blame for the electric automatic choke not opening (choke stuck or choke heater not working). Spark plugs that are fouled can also cause rough running.

Question 8: My generator starts OK, runs for a while, and then shuts down. Sometimes, it can be re-started after cooling for a few minutes. What causes this?
Answer: The most likely cause is fuel starvation. This can be caused by a low fuel level (not getting gas), a vapor lock (too hot, gas is boiling), fuel contamination (water or dirt in the fuel and/or filter), or a faulty fuel pump (insufficient fuel pressure). Models equipped with low oil level (LOL) switches will shut down the engine at low oil levels.

Question 9: What can I do to prevent fuel from deteriorating and causing problems during periods of non use?
Answer: Regular exercise is a big help, but a fuel stabilizer such as “STA-BIL” should be added to the fuel at the start of the storage period. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, and remember to run the generator long enough to get the treated fuel into the system.

Question 10: My generator was running great at the end of last season, but now it has problems. What could be the cause or causes?
Answer: The generator was likely not exercised often enough or at all during the last period of non-use. A stabilizing additive may not have been added to the fuel (see Q & A above). There could be latent corrosion damage from road chemicals or wiring damage from rodents. The problem could be simply a stuck oil pressure switch. The problems experienced could be for a variety of causes. Generators need regular use or exercise in order to remain trouble-free.

Final Thoughts…

Navigating the process of getting your RV generator repaired may seem complex, but with careful research and preparation, you can find a reliable service provider to get you back on the road. Remember to diagnose the issue, research repair shops, contact professionals, get quotes, verify credentials, schedule an appointment, and stay informed during the repair process. With these steps, you’ll be well-equipped to handle generator issues and continue your RV adventures with confidence.