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Generator Service
updated: Dec 03, 2013, 8:30 AM

Someone is missing an opportunity to grow a successful business in Santa Barbara - RV repair is no where to be found here. I have a (new to me) small RV with a Onan generator which has ceased to work. The prognosis from several reliable sources suggests that since I did not run the generator regularly, it is now filled with "funky" gas. I have called and talked with many service people about this and they all say that I need to go to Ventura for service. What is the difference between a back-up generator for home use and a smaller generator for an RV? Can't I go to a generator supplier to have this thing fixed and, if so, where are these suppliers in Santa Barbara?

Places People Are Talking About:

Bob's RV RepairCarburetor Electric

What People Are Saying:

 COMMENT 473845 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-03 09:13 AM

A generator for an RV has a flux capacitor.


 COMMENT 473850 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-03 09:34 AM

Gasoline turns to varnish when it's old and will gum up the engine's carburetor. The fact it's connected to a generator is inconsequential, most likely all you need a carburetor rebuild. Try calling Carburetor Electric, or a small engine repair shop that fixes lawnmowers, or a tool rental shop that also does repairs.


 COMMENT 473852 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-03 09:43 AM

805 nailed it. In midwest states the people that own motorcycles and park them for the winter either drain them or add a stabilizer to the gas to prevent the varnish condition.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


 COMMENT 473858 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-03 10:04 AM

852 -- do you know where to get a pound of cure?


 REXOFSB agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-03 10:11 AM

@858: I think you have to go to a tribal village along the Amazon. Oh, wait...I guess that would be for a pound of curare.

Never mind.


 COMMENT 473874 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-03 11:01 AM

Most small engine repair places can handle a generator. Powerhouse on haley st worked on a few onboard generators on 2 rvs i was working on.

No rv repair intown is something a few friends and i have been discussing. It is needed


 COMMENT 473915P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-03 12:44 PM

The Onans are packaged and sealed up better than home-type backup generators for durability and quietness. They're also built to handle the elements, and to take the pounding of travel in a vented vehicle compartment with shock mounts, etc. You'd have to redirect the exhaust if it blows down. Be sure it runs on gasoline (most) and not propane (a few small ones). Expect electrically cleaner than a workplace genset because they're designed to power electronics, and most will have remote electric start and a monitor panel, meaning a battery needed - no pull start. Cummins Onan makes good stuff, and most engine shops shouldn't have a problem tuning it up. OEM parts are readily available online, and some of theirs like oil filters are tailored to RV use. You're probably dealing with 2-4kw, so tread carefully.


 COMMENT 473977 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-03 04:09 PM

Other than the fact that it's mounted to your RV, there is no difference mechanically in generators for the RV vs the home. As others have said, take it to a small engine repair specialist.

Tell them you want a tune up for the generator to include carb cleaning, new filter, and new plug. You can probably get it for $75 but absolutely don't pay more than $150. Ask to keep the old filter and plug; put them somewhere in the garage in case you need them for a rainy day (I speak from experience).


 COMMENT 473986 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-03 04:50 PM

There is a difference between a 1800 RPM gen set and a 3600 RPM gen set in terms of longevity. The faster ones wear out much quicker.


 COMMENT 474040 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-03 07:17 PM

I've had to take my trailer (with Onan generator) to arroyo Grande or most recently santa Maria for service. Didn't find anyone in SB. Central truck and RV.


 COMMENT 474071P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-03 08:58 PM

977 - Seriously? $75?

I don't know how anyone could remain in business if they charged that little in Barstow, let alone Santa Barbara.


 COMMENT 474083P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-03 10:25 PM

There's Bob's RV Repair in Buellton at 215 Avenue of Flags, just south of the 246 and opposite Flying Flags RV Park.
(805) 688-8680, but seems like you're getting good advice here. We've dealt with Bob a couple of times and found him honest, helpful, and fair. Good luck.


 COMMENT 474096 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-04 06:06 AM

071p, excluding A-OK, anyone can get a small engine tune up in SB for $75. Please don't provide misleading info. To the OP, don't bother with RV specialists on this one. I would recommend Agriturf or Goleta Tool Rental. You could also enlist the neighbor kid who like to wrench on stuff. Once you have the parts it takes about 30 minutes to clean the carb and change the oil, filter, and plug.



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