Safety When Using RV Generators

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Adherence to RV generator safety is as important as using the correct fuel in a generator set, if safety is ignored it threatens to cause harm not only to the generator itself but also to the people around it. There are several precautions one can take to make sure their RV has the right equipment nearby and accessible in case there is an incident. While generators can help make any RV a self-sufficient unit, it's crucial that the added freedom a genset brings to any camping outing also reveal a commitment by the owner to safety.

Before a generator is used in an RV, the owner should become familiarized with the service manual and thoroughly go through each section to understand how to best monitor issues regarding safety. Predictable operation of a generator can only take place when the owner follows the proper servicing steps and procedures found in the manual.

Keep in mind that exhaust, parts that move, battery connections, any fuel type and electrical currents can be hazardous and may result in injury or death if mishandled or misappropriated.

There are several precautions that need to be taken in order to ensure proper safety standards in generator for RV use. Have a fire extinguisher well-maintained and ready for use at any time. Make sure the dates on any extinguisher are current. Check to be sure all genset tie downs are securely fastened and holding in place. Make sure the RV generator itself is clean as well as the genset compartment. Oil or rags drenched in oil in the generator area are a fire hazard. Dust, dirt and other equipment left in the genset bay can restrict air flow and cooling. Remove these items before use. Before any work is done on the generator always disconnect the battery to keep the unit from accidentally starting. Always be alert whenever working on the genset while it's running. Moving parts can cause major injury. Engine oil that has been used has been found to cause cancer. Never ingest, breath in or come into contact with this oil or its vapors. The same goes for some gasolines. Do not work on a generator when physically or mentally tired or after using alcohol or drugs. Follow all federal, state, county and city laws and regulations.

The voltage created through an RV generator can be deadly. Never take a generator for granted. All generator output hook ups should only be done by an electrician and in accordance with all laws and regulations. A generator for RVs should at no time be connected to a public line as utility linemen and/or equipment may become damaged or destroyed. Only an approved voltage switching device must be put in place to avoid these dangers.

Whenever work must be done on a generator all precautions with types of clothing, jewelry or other equipment must be taken into account.

Remember that any fuel type used in a generator is flammable and potentially explosive. The utmost safety and precaution should be followed when fueling an RV genset. Keep all open flames, cigarettes, pilot lights, switches, sparks and arc-producing equipment away from these fuels including diesel, gasoline and liquid propane. Even fuel fumes in non-well ventilated areas can be combustible. All fuel lines should be free of cuts or cracks where leaks may occur. Only used approved fuel hoses for any genset.

Generator exhaust is very dangerous and can be deadly. Read about the symptoms from genset exhaust and associated carbon monoxide poisoning. Never sleep when a generator is running unless the RV has a working carbon monoxide detector. Check the batteries for all detectors regularly. The exhaust system should be checked for leaks and only be installed by a competent individual. Never use engine cooling air to heat the interior of the RV. Be sure large amounts of fresh air is available when running a genset in a small compartment.

Always review the operating and safety manuals before running an RV generator. Following these safety precautions will help keep the RV experience enjoyable year after year.

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Jimmy Alvarez has 17 articles online

RV generators for camping can make a big difference in your RV and travel experience.  Generators for RVs should be researched just like any other RV part or product.

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Safety When Using RV Generators

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This article was published on 2012/03/31