What Does My Motorhome’s Fuel Filter Do? 320

Taking care of your motorhome starts with the chassis and engine. Without the proper maintenance of the basics of the rig, you aren’t going anywhere even if the rest of the RV is in immaculate condition.

Your motorhome’s fuel filter might seem like a small part of the overall unit, but the fuel filter plays a very important role in keeping your RV on the road and running well. Let’s take a look at the fuel filter and some things you should know about it.

What Purpose Does the Fuel Filter Serve?

winnebago travato motorhome
Image from Camping World

On the most basic level, the fuel filter keeps the dirt or debris that can make its way into the fuel system from damaging the engine. The filter is designed to catch this debris and dirt.

Your engine’s injectors are built to very tiny tolerances. This means even the littlest bit of dirt or grime can plug those up. The fuel filter keeps those injectors clean, allowing them to do their job and keep your engine running strong.

As you can imagine, fuel filters don’t last forever. A plugged up fuel filter isn’t going to work as well as a new one. That’s why it’s important to change your fuel filter from time to time.

How Often Should You Change the Fuel Filter?

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The simple answer here is that you should change it as your owner’s manual says you should. You can change it more often if you want, but don’t change it less often. If you do, you’re asking for an issue with your motorhome’s engine.

Every RV is going to be a little different, and every manufacturer will have slightly different advice on changing your fuel filter. However, somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 miles is probably smart.

It’s also important to note that if your RV sits a lot, you might want to change the fuel filter, too. The fuel filter is full of fuel most of the time. If the vehicle sits for a long time, the fuel in that filter can age poorly and cause issues. If your motorhome sits for many months or even a year, then you should probably think about changing the fuel filter.

If you don’t use your motorhome too much so you hardly ever come close to the mileage noted above but it doesn’t sit for months on end, then consider changing the fuel filter at least every two years. Doing it biannually even if you don’t use the RV much will help keep the engine running as smoothly as possible.

Fuel Additives Can Help

I’ve heard some people scoff at fuel additives, and I will say that they’re not all treated equally. However, putting in a fuel stabilizer in your fuel is important.

If your RV sits at all for more than two weeks at a time, you need to add some kind of fuel stabilizer to your RV. Make sure it’s a fuel stabilizer that’s designed to work with your engine. Most fuel stabilizers, like this one from STA-BIL, are designed to work well in just about any engine, but you still need to do your due diligence to make sure you’re putting the right kind of fuel additive in your tank.

Fuel additives are designed to keep gas fresh and can help to keep the inside of your engine clean. Most will protect for up to 24 months, so as long as your RV doesn’t sit longer than that, you should be good.

Don’t Forget Your Motorhome’s Generator

Portable Generators for Travel Trailers
Image from Camping World

Don’t forget, there’s a fuel filter on almost all types of engines. Some are more robust than others. Your RV’s generator, or a portable generator you use while camping in your RV, probably has one on it. When you go to change the fuel filter on your motorhome, think about changing the one on your generator, too.

The same goes for fuel additives and stabilizers. Your generator will benefit from having a stabilizer added to it any time it goes more than two weeks without being used.


Have a question about your fuel filter? Need help with RV maintenance? Give the Camping World Service Department a call today!

What does my motorhome's fuel filter do?

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