What To Do When An RV Generator Won’t Power Anything?

You set off for a week of seclusion at your preferred boondocking location. Once you arrive, you set up camp, steady and level the RV, and then detach the tow truck. It’s time to prepare the interior next. When you turn on your generator and go inside, you discover that it doesn’t appear to provide any electricity to the rig. 

In such a case, you should inspect the electrical compartment, circuit breakers, and automated transfer condition. The 12-volt generator battery method or electric drill method can fix portable generators. 

Sharpen your investigative abilities, and get ready to begin narrowing it down by following the leads! Examine these things if you run your generator but still don’t have electricity. 


What Should You Do If Your Generator Isn’t Powering Anything?

Here are a few things you may do to figure out why your generator isn’t supplying electricity to the RV.

For more information on how to fix your RV generator not producing any power, check out this video below:

Circuit Breakers

A circuit breaker is one of the most common, least expensive, and simplest things that just go bad! The generator itself has a series of circuit breakers that need to be examined first. Before opening the generator to check for such switches, shut it off. 

Reset any tripped breakers before restarting the generator to see whether you still have electricity. They aren’t tripped if this doesn’t cure the problem. If your generator has no breakers, it’s time to examine those in the RV! You can find the trailer’s circuit breakers inside the electrical section. 

Circuit Breaker

Your motorhome’s electrical section may be located either inside or externally (based on the year and model). The location of the electrical compartment in your RV should be described in the owner’s manual, if you have one.

If you are missing an Owner’s Manual, you must open up storage spaces outside your RV and cupboards within it, and you’ll find it. You’ll be able to tell because of the electrical wiring, several breakers, various fuses, etc. 

Every one of these electrical parts regulates the 120-volt and 12-volt power in your trailer’s living area. In the electrical section, check and reset each circuit breaker as necessary. Run the generator after that to see if it fixes the issue. 

Electric Compartment

Finding the silver box will allow you to inspect the electrical section next. If this box is covered, you already have an automated transfer switch that swings back and forth, so you may skip this step. 

If your box includes an outlet, it accommodates the power cord that connects to the rig. If this wire isn’t connected, there won’t be any power coming in because it has to be for it to function. You should check the voltage at this outlet to verify whether there is electricity there if it is plugged in. 

If not, a new outlet could be required. You will need to continue if this outlet is receiving electricity.

Automatic Transfer Switch

You must examine the automatic transfer switch to see if the silver box you discovered in the paragraph above was encased. Your RV’s transfer switch is responsible for identifying the location of the power source and switching between the generator and shore power. 

This switch will therefore seek to use shore power when it ought to be using generator power if it is not functioning properly.

Automatic Transfer Switch

If electricity is coming out, use a meter to test the switch’s incoming and outgoing points. If there is no electricity flowing out, you should examine the input voltage from the generator to determine if the switch is the cause of the issue or whether the generator isn’t providing enough power to the switch. 

The transfer switch will have to be changed if electricity flows in. Not every RV has a generator transfer switch. The power cord for the RV must be plugged into an outlet on or near the generator itself.

How to Fix a Generator That Runs But Has No Power

RV Generator

The lack of residual magnetism is the most frequent reason portable generators fail to produce energy. When the remaining magnetism is gone, the generator won’t start up and create any electricity. 

The loss of this residual magnetism might occur spontaneously due to inactivity or when your generator’s load is connected after it has been turned off. It can also occur if a generator is operated too long without a load.

This can be fixed in a couple of ways.

Using 12 Volt Generator Batteries

Locate the voltage regulator for the generator. Cut the cables that are the generator’s brush. Typically, one is red, and the other is either black or white. Plug the black or white one into the battery connection for the generator’s ground. 

Run the motor, turn on the generator, and connect a light. About three seconds later, attach the red wire to the terminals previously removed from the battery’s +12 volts (red cable). Switch out the plug and cables. 

The generator should start up again. You can prevent harm to the automated voltage regulator by disconnecting the brush wires. Electric shocks might result from contacting the voltage regulator or other wires.

Using An Electric Drill

To use an electric drill, connect it to the generator’s outlet. Place the direction switch toward the forward setting if the drill is bidirectional. Crank up the generator. Turn the drill chuck counterclockwise whilst pressing the drill’s trigger. 

The generator will then begin to power the RV normally. The reverse switch could be set backward if turning the chuck in one direction does not produce the desired results.


There is undoubtedly a faulty connection somewhere when the generator is functioning, but the RV is without electricity. These methods will assist in eliminating some of the simpler, self-fixable problems that are more prevalent. It’s time to consult a professional if it involves a problem with the automated transfer switch or anything else. 

Call the closest RV repair facility and ask them to look at your vehicle. They’ll be able to identify the issue promptly and remedy it without delay. Simply be sure to check these parts first to avoid paying for a service call simply to have someone turn a switch for you!