The generator on your RV is tied to the Coach battery. This means that if the Coach battery is bad, then the generator won’t start. Since this is a vital part of starting your generator, it’s a good first place to start the repair process. The battery can actually test good and still be bad. It may not even be the battery, but a corroded wire stopping the electrical connection. If it’s a battery or a corrosion issue, you’ll notice a clicking noise every time you try to start the generator, as though the generator isn’t getting any fire.
Test your Coach battery with a voltage meter, which can also be called a digital multimeter. Turn the voltage meter on and move the dial to DCV at the 20 mark, which indicates DC voltage, the kind used in your car or in batteries in general.
Open the Coach battery compartment and hold the positive side (+) or red-colored pointer of the volt meter onto the positive side of the battery. Hold the negative side (-) or black-colored pointer of the volt meter to the negative side of the battery. Note the results on the volt meter screen. Results will likely be acceptable at 12 volts or higher. Accurate readings can’t be achieved without first putting a load on the system.
Recruit an assistant to try and start the generator, while you test it with the voltage meter. Hold the positive side (+) or red-colored pointer of the volt meter onto the positive side of the battery. Hold the negative side (-) or black-colored pointer of the volt meter to the negative side of the battery. If the voltage drops dramatically below 12 volts when your assistant tries to start the generator, it could indicate a bad battery or corrosion in the wires. If the voltage holds steady above 12 volts, the battery is fine.
Notice any corrosion on the battery terminals or wires. Remove the corroding terminals or wires, which can usually be done by loosening the battery terminal and prying it apart with a flathead screwdriver. You may need to remove the battery terminal from the actual wire if the corrosion is in the wire by taking the battery terminal off of the wire. Use the brush to aggressively remove any corrosion on the wires or on the battery terminals. Corrosion isn’t always easily apparent. Clean the battery terminals with a battery terminal cleaner.
Re-insert the battery wire into the battery terminal and attach it to the battery posts. Tighten the wires snugly into place. Put the battery terminal back on the battery post and tighten the battery terminal so it doesn’t move.
Test the battery again with the voltage meter. Have your assistant try to start the generator while you test the voltage coming from the battery. Replace or charge the battery if it’s not holding a steady voltage charge.
Marx RV: The 12 Volt Side Of Life
Smith Auto Electric: Recreational Vehicle Electric
All Experts: RV Repair: Generator Repair