How to Remove Onan Generator from RV: A Guide for Safe and Effective Cleaning

Onan generators are commonly used in recreational vehicles (RVs) as a source of electricity during camping trips. However, if not properly maintained, these generators can produce harmful fumes that can cause health problems. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to remove an Onan generator from an RV and clean it safely and effectively.

Step 1: Disconnect the Generator from the RV

Before you begin, make sure that the generator is completely disconnected from the RV’s electrical system. Turn off all electrical appliances in the RV and unplug the generator from the shore power or battery cables. This will prevent any accidental starting of the generator while you are cleaning it.

Step 2: Remove the Generator from the RV

Locate the Onan generator in your RV and carefully remove it from its mounting bracket. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for removing the generator from the RV. It is important to handle the generator with care, as it can be quite heavy.

Step 3: Clean the Generator

Once the generator is removed from the RV, clean it thoroughly using a soft brush or cloth and a mixture of warm water and mild detergent. Avoid getting water into any electrical components of the generator, as this can cause damage. It is also important to wear gloves while cleaning the generator to protect your hands from any sharp edges or debris.

Step 4: Inspect the Generator for Damage

After cleaning the generator, inspect it for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Check the engine oil level, the air filter, and the spark plugs for any signs of blockage or wear. If you notice any problems, have them repaired before using the generator again.

Step 5: Reinstall the Generator in the RV

Once the generator is cleaned and inspected, it’s time to reinstall it in the RV. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for reinstalling the generator in its mounting bracket. Make sure that all electrical connections are properly secured and that the generator is properly ventilated to prevent any buildup of harmful fumes.

Step 6: Test the Generator

Before using the generator for the first time after cleaning it, test it to ensure that it is functioning properly. Plug in the generator and turn it on. If you hear a loud buzzing sound or if the generator doesn’t start up at all, have it serviced immediately.


Q: Can I use a pressure washer to clean my Onan generator?

A: No, using a pressure washer can damage the generator and its electrical components. Use a soft brush or cloth and warm water with mild detergent to clean your generator safely.

Q: How often should I clean my Onan generator?

A: It is recommended to clean your Onan generator every 10-15 uses or after every camping trip. This will help prevent the buildup of harmful fumes and ensure that the generator continues to function properly.

Q: Can I use an extension cord with my Onan generator?

A: Yes, you can use an extension cord with your Onan generator, but make sure that it is rated for the same wattage as the generator. Using a higher-wattage extension cord can cause damage to the generator and its electrical components.

In conclusion, removing an Onan generator from an RV and cleaning it safely and effectively is essential for maintaining the health and safety of yourself and others while camping. By following these steps and using proper cleaning techniques, you can ensure that your generator continues to function properly and provide reliable power for your RV.