Like most motorhome owners, we have a generator in our rig to supply electric power when we are not plugged into a campground’s power outlet. And like many new RVers who own generators, when we started fulltiming we abused our first motorhome’s gasoline powered Onan auxiliary power plant for a long time. Not by using the generator too much, but by not using it enough!
Yes, we used our generator. Once in a while when we were dry camping we would start it up and let it run an hour or two to charge our batteries, or in the morning for a few minutes to make coffee or run the microwave oven. But that was about it. We thought we were using our generator properly, but in actuality, we were neglecting it!
Over time carbon began to build up on the pistons and the generator began to knock when it was running, and the knocking began to grow louder every time we had the generator on.
Then we spent some extended time dry camping and living off our generator and solar panels. An experienced dry camper listened to the sounds our generator was making and told me that just like an automobile that is always operated at low speeds in stop and go traffic and needs to be taken out onto the highway and have the carbon blown out of it, our generator needed a good hard workout.
We fired up the genset and began applying loads to it. The rooftop air conditioner, then the microwave oven, we even plugged in a big electric frying pan! The old generator began to cough and wheeze, and I shot some Marvel Mystery Oil into the carburetor a few times. Smoke belched out of the generator’s exhaust pipe and it would lug down to the stalling point, then come back to full power. We did this over and over for an hour or more, and then began to back off on the loads.
I was surprised at the difference it made! The generator quieted down considerably and ran much smoother. Just like an old Ford, it needed the carbon blown out to be able to perform at its best.
So now we use our generator. Really use it. We’re not shy about traveling down the road with our rooftop air conditioner running at full power on hot summer days. When we are plugged into campground power for any length of time, we will disconnect the shore power and fire up the generator at least once a month and give it a hard workout under load for an hour or so. Like all of us, our generators need some strenuous exercise once in a while to stay healthy.
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Today is our last chance to enter our Free Drawing for a 16GB USB3 flash drive donated by John and Kathy Huggins from Living the RV Dream, which has all current shows of the Living the RV Dream podcast, along with their Radio Days recordings and show notes. That’s over 400 hours of great RVing tips, wisdom and interviews with industry experts! And just to sweeten the pot, they are also including e-files of all three of their books. That’s like going to RV college right from the comfort of your own home! To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – Sometimes the thoughts in my head get bored and take a stroll out through my mouth. This is never a good thing.