How to Change the Oil in an RV Generator

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Recreational vehicles or RVs are meant to travel to remote places relying on their own power sources. Having a well-running generator is essential to using the electrical equipment and appliances you may need. Changing the generator oil also is critical to the RV's maintenance. Most RV generators use from 1 to 3 quarts of oil, and the viscosity (weight) of the oil depends upon the temperature it will be running at. The oil level should be checked every day the generator is used and changed on the schedule your manufacture recommends. Changing your oil regularly will help to ensure a reliable generator as you travel.

Run the generator until the engine is warm.

Place a pan under the oil drain plug located on the bottom or lower side of the generator.

Remove the front cover of the generator. Remove the oil fill cap.

Unscrew the oil drain plug and drain all of the oil from the generator.

Inspect the washer to ensure it is in good condition. Reinstall the oil drain plug securely.

Fill the generator with oil. Check your manual or with the manufacturer for the recommended viscosity and amount of oil.

Reinstall the oil fill cap. Run the generator for a few minutes and check the oil level. The oil should be at the upper level of the dipstick.

Reinstall the front access cover.


  • Overfilling the oil may result in burning oil. Under-filling the oil can cause damage to the engine.


  • If running in a dusty environment, more frequent maintenance may be required.
  • Replacing the oil filter (if you have one) at the same time of an oil change is a good idea.

About the Author

Kerry Gatz is a freelance writer based in Seattle. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in education from Trinity Lutheran College.

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