Troubleshooting and Repairing RV Electrical Problems for the Beginner

Updated on February 19, 2018
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don is a retired engineer and long-time motorhome owner who enjoys helping readers deal with the increasingly complex technology of RVs.

A typical pair of coach batteries that you might find on an RV, and their connections. Two 6-volt DC batteries, connected in series, provide the 12-volt power that powers many lights and controls.
A typical pair of coach batteries that you might find on an RV, and their connections. Two 6-volt DC batteries, connected in series, provide the 12-volt power that powers many lights and controls. | Source

Electrical Problems in RVs: For the Novice

Electrical problems in an RV or camper are very common, and often RV owners don’t know where to start when they deal with them.

This article provides some basic information for the RV owner to help diagnose and repair electrical problems efficiently and safely. I'd like you to:

  • Understand your RV electrical system in general.
  • Learn how to do some very basic troubleshooting on your RV.

First: Know the Difference Between a Major and a Minor Electrical Problem

If you own or rent an RV, you will want to know enough to at least make a walk-around inspection before you go on the road, especially of the electrical system. Even a novice can learn how to inspect for problems, and determine if the problem is major or minor.

A major problem, for example, may be present when a refrigerator stops working, and you wonder if you should look into the wiring and propane-management circuitry on the back of the fridge or not. For the electrical novice, the answer is no; stay away from such repairs yourself. They are too dangerous, especially when they involve AC power or propane. You should always contact a qualified service tech for resolving such problems.

But a minor problem, one you could address on your own, could be something as simple as re-setting a breaker or GFI that has "kicked out," replacing a blown fuse that is easily accessible, taking an educated guess as to what caused the breaker or fuse to shut off, or checking the water in your battery.

So how do you tell? Before you start with any hands-on troubleshooting, keep in mind that safety comes first.

Electricity Can Kill!

Please remember this when using the information below!

Before you start opening panels and messing around with electrical systems, in an RV or camper or at home, observe these warnings.

WARNING 1: If you do not know what you are doing, do not touch anything, and call your RV manufacturer, or RV Roadside Assistance company, or if at home, your local certified electrician. Remember, again, ELECTRICITY CAN KILL!

WARNING 2: If replacing a blown fuse or resetting a kicked breaker doesn’t fix the problem, you should seriously consider backing off and calling your RV manufacturer's Service Center for advice before doing anything else.

Now—with these warnings in mind—here are some minor problems that you may be able to fix, and some diagnostics that you can run yourself.

Troubleshooting Your RV's Electrical Problems

Every problem is different, but before or after you read the discussion just below of the basics of your system, check the four sections further below on troubleshooting common problems:

  1. Fuses and breakers
  2. The 12-volt system
  3. The power source
  4. Appliance current draws

Plus I include a section on terms and abbreviations that you may run across while doing your electrical investigation.

Some Basic Electrical Information for the RV Owner

A modern RV contains a lot of built-in electrical devices. And along with these devices comes complicated electrical control and protection circuitry designed to protect the RV and its occupants.

Starting with the absolute basics, your RV's appliances can be powered in three different ways. Appliances may use any of these three power sources, individually or in combination.

▪The AC (alternating current) electrical system (generally 115 volts), which runs the air conditioner and some other devices.

▪ The DC (direct current) system (12 volts), which runs the lights, switches, slides, and thermostats.

▪ In addition, refrigerators and some appliances run on propane fuel.

AC power comes into the RV from your generator, or from the campground or other outlet you plug it into: a 20-amp, 30-amp, or 50-amp supply. The AC power control panel distributes this power to the appliances and outlets that use AC power, for example the air conditioner. The campground supplies AC power on two different wires: a 240-volt supply is split into two "legs" of 115 volts or so.

Your DC power comes from a battery or batteries (like in the picture above). Whenever the power stored in the batteries gets low, the converter charges it up. The converter uses the higher-voltage AC power that comes in from the campground or generator through the 115-volt AC breaker panel and converts it to 12-volt DC.

The converter that charges your 12-volt batteries is often called an "inverter." "Inverter" is actually the name for another device most RVs have that changes 12-volt DC power to 115-volt AC for use in televisions and such.

The 12-volt output of your converter likely goes through two 30-amp fuses that feed your 12-volt fuse panel. The 12-volt DC power goes to the lights, switches, and slides, and to the controls of many appliances including the heater/air conditioner and refrigerator.

Both electrical systems can develop weakness in many places, especially when being hauled around on trips. Any RV or towed vehicle vibrates in transit. And these vibrations will, at times, shake electrical connections loose, in addition to the wear and tear that wires and appliances go through in normal use. If a wire has its insulation rubbed off, or something inside an appliance shakes loose or burns out, then current can stop flowing in your 12-volt or 115-volt system. Or it can flow into a place where it is not supposed to flow, causing a “short,” and this excessive flow of current can burn out wires and appliances, or in the worst case cause a fire or injury.

Because of these risks, the RV will have breakers or fuses to shut off power if anything goes wrong:

  • a set of AC fuses or breakers to interrupt the 115-volt AC power coming from outside the RV if anything goes wrong in the 115-volt system.
  • a set of DC fuses or breakers to interrupt the DC power if anything goes wrong in the 12-volt system,
  • and also, in many 110-volt receptacles, mini-breakers called GFIs or GFCBs (Ground Fault Indicators or Ground Fault Circuit Breakers), which shut off power to appliances if a wire or circuit is creating a short.

1. Troubleshooting Fuses and Breakers

Troubleshooting often begins, and may well end, with resetting a breaker, replacing a fuse, or resetting a Ground Fault Indicator, and then seeing what happens. Older RVs tend to have fuses; newer ones, breakers.

The fuses and breakers were placed in the system for two major reasons:

  1. To protect the RV and you the owner from harm if an appliance or other electrical device or an electrical line fails and draws too much current.
  2. To protect your RV and its electrical appliances and other devices if you plug your RV into an electrical service that is not regulated properly and you get electrical voltages that are too low or too high for your RV and its equipment.

So a breaker or fuse going off is often a sign that something else is wrong: a symptom, not a cause of your problem. The problem may be easy to fix or it may not be. Many appliances have sensors on their mechanical parts that will kick a breaker or blow a fuse rather than allow the appliance to continue running in an unsafe mode.

Note that breakers can go bad themselves; if they trip too many times, they can suffer mechanical stress and lose their ability to stay closed at the current they were designed for.

Ground Fault Indicators

A GFI or Ground Fault Indicator (also called GFCB) is a receptacle with a RESET button on it. It is designed, like a regular circuit breaker, to "throw" itself off when the current through it exceeds its designed current limit. Additionally, a GFI will throw itself if even a small amount of current is detected between the "hot" lead and the ground lead of the circuit breaker. These specialty circuit breakers are required in areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and garages, places where the user of an appliance could possibly be physically touching ground through plumbing, metal, or flooring and using an appliance that is not insulated properly. They are life-savers.

If you find that several AC appliances at once stop working, or if AC appliances quit working but the air conditioner keeps going, suspect a Ground Fault Indicator. If the GFI detects a problem, the GFI-equipped receptacle will shut itself off, often along with several other "slave" receptacles. Push the RESET button and see if that fixes the problem; if not, disconnect all appliances and plug them back in one by one. The problem may be a single faulty appliance or something else entirely. It's possible (though not the most likely thing) that the GFI receptacle itself is bad and needs replacing.

Don't Upgrade Your Fuses

Don’t try to fix your problems by replacing your fuse or breaker with a higher-rated one. Your camper or RV was designed by professionals with your safety in mind, as well as your convenience. Each electrical device was installed on an electrical line that could safely handle the load.

Putting in a higher-rated fuse or breaker does not fix any problems. If you have a blown fuse, replace it with a fuse of the same rating, NEVER a higher-rated fuse. Because:

  1. You could cause an electrical fire and destroy your RV.
  2. You could permanently damage the equipment that is supplied by that fuse.

Always remember, the fuse was designed for a normal operational load. And if it blew, something has changed.

With these warnings in mind, below is a table of fuse colors and what ratings they indicate, in case you go shopping for replacement fuses.

Standard automotive fuses are color-coded according to their current rating; below is a short list for your reference.

Color
Amperage rating (amps)
black
1
gray
2
violet
3
pink
4
gold
5
brown
7.5
red
10
blue
15
yellow
20
clear
25
green
30
The color of a DC fuse shows its amp rating.

2. Troubleshooting 12-Volt System Problems

A bad connection in the 12-volt system can cause failures of various appliances, including slides and lights which run on 12-volt power. A 12-volt problem can cause failure of other appliances and systems if they have 12-volt power to their controls. The refrigerator and air conditioner, even running in propane-fueled mode or on AC power, require DC voltage for their logic circuits, and so may fail to operate when there is a DC system problem. Problems in the DC system can also cause lights or appliances to go on and off.

You can so some simple investigation of the 12-volt system yourself, for example:

  • Check whether the fuse or breaker is tripped or not.
  • Check whether the fuse is loose.
  • Check whether the connections to the fuse or breaker box are loose.
  • Check whether the connections to the DC batteries are loose (see initial photo).
  • Check whether the batteries have enough water. This is the most common easy-to-fix problem. When your battery is overworked or overheated the water tends to evaporate. Add distilled water only.
  • Check whether the batteries are charged enough. A multimeter (see below) should show the voltage between the battery terminals between 13.4 and 14.5 volts DC; if not, the battery may be worn out and need replacement, or it may be low on water, or the converter may not be giving it any power.
  • Check whether the connections to the converter are loose.
  • Check the fuse on the converter. The converter itself has a fuse or two, often on the front.

If you can find nothing wrong here, you may have a bad converter that needs to be replaced; this is a job for the service center, though the adventurous can read a little more in this other article about troubleshooting converters.

Another article of mine has more information about troubleshooting and maintaining your RV's batteries.

Using a Multimeter

A multimeter can measure potential (DC volts, AC volts), electric current (amps), and resistance (ohms).

This device is very useful in the hands of a trained individual, but the novice should not attempt to use all of its functions until they understand what they are trying to measure as well as any dangers involved in making the measurements.

Klein Tools MM200 Auto Ranging Multimeter
Klein Tools MM200 Auto Ranging Multimeter

When my old multimeter died, I selected this one for its functions, ruggedness and ease of use.

 

3. Troubleshooting Problems Coming From the Outside Power Supply

The power supply that your parked RV is plugged into can cause problems if it is supplying too much or too little power, fluctuates, is not grounded correctly, or its connector is corroded. Too much current can cause appliances or lights to fail or blow out, and even melt wires or plugs; too little (in an overpopulated campground with an overloaded supply, for example) can cause lamps to dim. Your campground management should be providing safe power at the level they advertise, whether 30 amps or 50 amps; that is their responsibility. You may ask management to investigate, or check with your campground neighbors to see what they are experiencing.

If half your appliances along with your air conditioner are out, one possibility is that half the AC supply from the campground is missing (another possibility is a GFI going off; see part 1 above).

Your on-board or portable generator can also be the cause of problems; it may stop running if your vehicle's gas tank is less than 1/4 full.

Most RVs have a master switch for disconnecting your RV's power during storage. It is a small switch, often near the door on the inside. It will need to be on for you to get power.

Surge Protector, Yes or No?

Everyone in campgrounds seems to be purchasing surge protectors these days. I don't have one. If you buy one, make sure you are purchasing a GOOD one.

Your RV already has surge protection devices: your main AC breaker plus the individual appliance and equipment breakers in your main breaker panel. Like surge protectors, they kick out if the input voltage goes too high.

The only real difference between breakers and a commercial "surge protection" device is that standard breakers are slow to react to voltage changes. A good surge protector should react faster than a breaker to voltage increases and kick out if the voltage exceeds the safe limit of your electrical equipment. Because low input voltages can also harm electrical devices or make them run erratically, most surge protectors will also turn the power off when the voltage is too low.

Now the problem with surge protection devices is that there are no real requirements or specifications for their design. You could purchase one that does not react fast enough to protect your RV equipment. Many of my fellow campers who had surge protectors experienced damage that "fried" their breakers without the surge protector helping at all.

Anyone who buys one of these devices should make sure they get one that has a relatively fast response time, though it's difficult for a camper to tell how fast one surge protector is relative to others.

4. Troubleshooting AC Current Draws

Once again, I recommend that you NOT mess with your RV's 115-volt power system unless you really know what you are doing.

But if your AC breakers or fuses are going off, you can certainly investigate whether your appliances, singly or in combination, are drawing more AC power than you want them to.

Remember that problems with your AC appliances may not come from your 115-volt system at all but from your 12-volt system, because the controls for your fridge and your air conditioner and heater—and other switches here and there—are likely 12-volt.

How Much Current Do Your Appliances Draw?

It's good to know which of your appliances use a lot of current, even when they are working properly. That way you can decide when and where to use your appliances so that the flow of electricity stays within the bounds your system can handle.

The table below lists the approximate MAXIMUM current drawn by common appliances in your RV. Most appliances draw a lot of current during a short period of intense use and less current at other times. These current figures are not exact and vary by manufacturer and model.

Appliance
Current
Notes
Air conditioner (rated 13,500 to 15,000 Btu)
12-14 amps
Peak use when starting up
Air conditioner
5-8 amps
Normal rate after it gets going
Coffee pot (maximum use, while perking coffee)
8-10 amps
Once the coffee is brewed, the hot plate under the pot uses much less power, especially if you turn its temperature down.
Hair dryer
8-15 amps
Less powerful hair dryers might be better for RV use.
Crock pot
1-2 amps
Crock pots are useful for cooking in RVs.
Food processor
3-5 amps
 
Electric frying pan
7-11 amps
 
Hand vacuum (small)
2 amps
 
Iron
8-10 amps
 
Microwave oven
8-13 amps
 
TV (digital)
1.5 to 5
Depending on the size, the manufacturer, and the technology.
Water heater (in 120-volt AC mode)
11-13 amps
 

Estimating Maximum Current

If you are unsure what current an appliance draws, use this simple method to calculate the maximum current it will draw when working.

  1. Look for the appliance's power rating in watts. You may find it on a label on the appliance, or in the owner's manual, or you can contact the manufacturer or look online.
  2. Divide the number of watts by 120 (the AC voltage), and the result, in amps, is the maximum rating of the appliance for current.

Or you can measure the current an appliance uses with the simple tool below.

P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor
P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor

If you suspect an appliance of drawing too much current, use this handy meter and monitor what it actually uses. This is a valuable tool for your toolbox.

 

Useful Electrical Terms, Abbreviations, and Data

Here is a list of electrical terms and abbreviations, along with a list of color codes for resistors. This information should help the novice be more comfortable with what they are doing when an electrical problem does occur.

Term
Abbreviation
Meaning
Tips
Alternating current
AC
Alternating current reverses polarity and flows alternately in both directions in a circuit.
The voltage in your home is AC voltage, in the US typically 115V AC.
Ampere
Amp
The measure of electrical current
 
Capacitor
 
An electrical component that stores electrical energy, with a specific storage capacity
A capacitor often has a polarity and must be installed properly. The polarity is generally indicated by a stripe at one end of the part.
Circuit breaker
 
A device that opens up or "throws" itself to break a circuit when the current through it exceeds its designed limit. Unlike a fuse, a circuit breaker can be reset when it throws.
 
Direct current
DC
Direct current flows constantly in one direction, commonly from a positive lead to a negative lead.
 
Diode
 
An electrical component that allows current flow in one direction and impedes current flow in the opposite direction.
Current flows from the cathode to the anode. The cathode end is usually marked by a stripe.
Fuse
 
A device that is designed to destroy itself or "blow" when the current that passes through it exceeds its designed current limit.
A safety device used to protect electrical devices under adverse conditions. When replacing a fuse, always use one with the same current and voltage rating.
Ground Fault Circuit Breaker
GFCB
Like a regular circuit breaker, the GFCB "throws" itself off when the current through it exceeds its designed current limit.
 
Ground Fault Indicator
GFI
Same as above
 
Ohm
 
The measure of resistance to current flow.
The resistance can be calculated using the formula: R=V/I, or resistance equals voltage divided by current.
Watt
W
The measure of electrical power.
DC power can be calculated using the formula: W=V x I.
Wire gauge
 
The size of a wire chosen in designing electrical circuits, which determines the current it can handle with minimal resistance.
Standard wire sizes or gauges go from 0 to larger numbers. The larger the gauge number, the smaller the wire size.

One-Letter Electrical Abbreviations

Letter
Meaning
F (upper case)
Farad, the measure of the value of a capacitor. For example, 1 uF means 1 micro-farad.
l (upper case)
Electrical current, measured in amperes. Current can be calculated using the formula I = V/R, that is, current equals voltage divided by resistance.
K (upper case)
One thousand. Example: 1 KW means one kilowatt, one thousand watts.
m (lower case)
One one-thousandth, 0.001. Example: 1 mW means one milliwatt, a thousandth of a watt.
M (upper case)
One million. Example: 1 MW means one megawatt, a million watts.
n (lower case)
One billionth, 0.000000001. Example: 1 nF means one nanofarad, a billionth of a farad.
p (lower case)
One trillionth, 0.000000000001. Example: 1 pF means one picofarad, a trillionth of a farad.
u (lower case)
One millionth, 0.000001. For example: 1 uF means one micro-farad, a millionth of a farad.
V (upper case)
Volt, the measure of electrical potential. Voltage can be calculated using the formula: V = I x R.
W (upper case)
Watt, the measure of electrical power.

Resistor Values and Colors

Color
Value
Black
1
Brown
2
Red
3
Orange
4
Yellow
5
Green
6
Blue
7
Violet
8
Gray
9
White
0
Gold (as the fourth band)
1% tolerance on the value
Silver (as the fourth band)
5% tolerance on the value
No color (as the fourth band)
10% tolerance on the value
In a resistor with four bands, the first three colored bands "spell out" a three-digit value for resistance in ohms, and the fourth band (if any) indicates the tolerance.

Good Luck Now

The hundreds of comments below have explored just about everything that can go wrong with an RV's electrical system. Add your own questions and comments. But please, again, do not mess with any wiring unless you are sure of what you are doing. Electricity can kill.

Questions & Answers

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 3 hours ago from Ruskin Florida

      B J Fischer - I assume your warranty has run out as the reason you haven't taken this problem to them. And, I assume this is a new problem and that it once worked?

      If these are true, then I would not necessarily assume the original 12-VDC wiring has gone bad.

      Even though you checked the fuse itself, if you have a multimeter, measure for the 12-VDC to be present on each side of the fuse, just to be sure. Otherwise, rather than starting into dis-assembling your wiring, I would recommend a trip to a certified Rockwood service center. Oh, and you should contact the Rockwood Customer Service Center to see if they can tell you what to check as well if they have any history if this problem.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      B J Fischer 17 hours ago

      Awesome instructive website, Don! It is in my Favorites file.

      On my recently purchased 2018 Rockwood RV I am not getting 12V power to my range hood. I tested fuse (good), the switch for continuity(good on both light and fan) and the black and white wires coming into the appliance(no power but good continuity). Ground seems to be securely fastened to ground screw. All other 12V devices are working like they should and all fuses are intact.

      Should I now take the power center panel off and check the connections to the fuse block? Also it would be a nightmare to attempt to evaluate the wiring from the fuse block to the range hood(would require major tearout of cabinetry and wall). Many thanks for your ws helping retired RV'rs and non-retired folks,too!

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      Jeannine Anglum - I hate to tell you this but if you are not plugged into external 110VAC then your 110- VAC equipment will not operat, of course. And your Fridge will operate on 110-VAC when it is available, but switches over to Propane when there is no 110-VAC.

      BUT, If your Winnie has a good battery and a functioning Converter, the COACH battery would be charged and then it would provide adequate power for your built-in INVERTER which gives you enough 110-VAC for TV and a few other accessories. So, check that your COACh battery is good, has water in it, and is fully charged before you go out on a camping trip.

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      Edward Adame - I assume you know your interior trailer lights operate on 12-VDC not 110-VAC. From what you have explained, it seems half of your camper's lights work, and the fuse you replaced is only for the back half??? Check that none of your bulb sockets are loose and turn easily when you try to replace the bulbs. I have seen where the sockets get loose, and the user turns the bulb the socket also turns. After a few turns the wires on the socket will short together. And, it looks like you have a short in that rear light wiring somewhere.

      Try to remove all of the bulbs first and check if the fuse blows. If that doesn't do it, then you need to look for a stripped wire that's touching ground somewhere.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Jeannine Anglum 3 days ago

      Have a brand new micro Winnie we picked up on the 31st. Took it out for first time this week and neither the tv nor the plugs would work. No ac was on, just the water heater and fridge though think both were set to propane. Is this normal? What can we do? oh the trailer was pulled not full service 30 amp site w water and sewer..

    • profile image

      Edward Adame Phoenix Az. 3 days ago

      I have a 2001 Kit Companion Camping Trailer. The back half of the trailer lights stopped working. So I replaced the 15 amp fuse. It came back on for about 30 secs and then blew again. I thought that maybe the batteries were bad. They were not(tested them) I also have solar to keep them charged. So I had the inverter tested it was ok. I noticed that a relay keeps clicking in the front underneath the wiring box. Is it possible that a relay may have gone bad?I also looked underneath the trailer to see if a wire might be arcing out. I did not see anything.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 4 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      With what you have said being factual, I would first check my connections at my battery; are any of them loose or broken?

      Second, Check that battery battery voltage carefully, when connected to a LOAD. It should read 13.5 to 14.5 VDC across the terminals if it is charged or being charged. And recheck your DC FUSE PANEL to make sure the MAIN fuses, which are usually 30-AMP or 20-AMP fuses have not blown, and that they have voltage on both the input side and the output side of the fuse.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      JaxParalegal 4 days ago

      Hi, My 12 volt camper battery is fully charged but, does not power anything in the camper. The terminal connections are clean and the battery cut-off switch is in the "On" position. I checked the fuses at the inverter panel and did not find anything blown. I did note some corrosion at the connections from the battery to the cut-off switch. I will clean the connections when I arrive home. Is there something else i should try?

      Thanks, Bill Edwards

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 5 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      Harold Echols - So, you ran a temporary HOT wire from the positive of your engine battery to a connection in the RV and everything worked? Right?

      Well this indicates that your existing HOT wire from the battery to the main power box is either loose or bad and needs to be replaced.

      I assume the mechanic checked for loose connections, so that leaves the probable cause of your problem being a bad HOT wire. If you can't trace and check this wire then you need to take your RV to a Cummins shop for repair or replacement.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      harold echols 5 days ago

      2008 Gulfstream w/Cummins front end diesel. Lost all chassis power while driving. Batteries are good. looked for and found loose ground when I returned home. RV mechanic looked for bad grounding but unable to locate. I was on a trip and needed to move on before final diagnosis/repair. The mechanic advised me that I could run a new #4 wire from positive side of batteries to a terminal in engine conpartment and everything would power up. it worked. but if I now remove the jumper i loose all chassis power(starter, a/c, wipers etc.) but batteries are good. Need to fix my power issue and remove jumper. ideas??

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 11 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      Isaac - At first I laughed, but your note was useful.

      The fact that your jumping in your RV causes the slide to work is indicative if several possible problems;

      1- First of all, the voltage dropping to only 3-VDC indicates that your slide motor is trying to work, but your mechanical drive system is "jammed", and your jumping is loosening it, allowing it to operate.

      2- Before anything else though, I would quickly check that the camper's battery is fully charged. Because a new battery is cheaper than a mechanic.

      3- If the mechanical drive part of your slide isn't the problem, it could be an electrical problem where you have a loose connection in the wiring to the slide motor.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Isaac 11 days ago

      My slide doesn’t work it goes from 12 volts to 3 volts when I try to open it . If I jump it works

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Joe Terry - If the batteries are dead, then the charger is not operating, If your camper worked OK at one site and not on another, then the site power pole has a problem. Make the campground people check it out for you. Everything points to their wiring or power source being bad or maybe just very low.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Longbranch - Considering the fact that the fridge operated OK before you plugged into the campsite power, and now you are even missing 110-VAC at some of your receptacles I would do the following.

      1- Contact the campground tech and get the campsite power checked, it could be LOW or there could be a bad ground connection.

      2- Once the power is confirmed OK, then the fridge control circuit board runs on 12-VDC, and the fridge itself runs on propane when you are not connected to AC power, but it runs on 110-VAC when the camper is plugged into campsite power.

      So, I suspect a problem at the campsite power pole or your power cable.

      Good Luck,'DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Zach - The first question is; do you have any 110-VAC power in your camper at all? If not, then check your campsite power and your power cord for damage.

      If you do have power into your camper, then you may need to get someone to pull the MASTER GFCI and check if it is damaged and if it has 110VAC on the terminals.

      BE CAREFUL! If you are not a trained technician, then you need to get someone who is to check this for you.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Cathyz - This is a strange one.

      You see, if the fan was drawing too much current, it should have blown one of your 12-VDC fuses. So, I would put a meter on the 12-VDC input wires to your fridge and check the voltage with the fan OFF and with it ON. If the voltage comes back quickly and the fridge has shut down, then yes, you will have to turn it back ON if the voltage level recovers.

      But, if the voltage stays LOW then your camper's charger is not operating properly and reacting to the lowered voltage.

      good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Your camper batteries power your lights and numerous other accessories in your camper. They are kept charged by a built-in charger that runs on your house 110VAC. If your batteries are discharging then you need to check out that the charger has 110-VAC and that it is operating properly.

      DON

    • profile image

      Joe Terry 2 weeks ago

      Our new RV was working off a 30 amp service, lights are dim in this spot, A/C worked. This morning power cut off. Nothing was tripped, no power on batteries as we tested them.

      At our other spot we had no issues, but both times we moved to a more permanent spot this has happened.

    • profile image

      Keith 2 weeks ago

      My camper is running off of the batteries when it is plugged into my house when it should be using the house electric,

      This caused my battories to drain.

      What could be my problem?

      Please help

    • profile image

      Longbranch 2 weeks ago

      Evening Mr.Don

      I've got a 1997 wilderness camper that has been doing fine. I had it setting in the yard for 5 days plugged in letting the refrigerator cool down. It worked fine in the yard. So we left Friday and got to the camp site and plugged back on and it worked until that night. Now it just keeps kicking out about 3p seconds after u reset it. Also the weird thing was the receptacles on the front bedroom quit working. I've checked all the fuses and everything is good. Any help u can give me on the fridge would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • profile image

      Zach 2 weeks ago

      I have a 2014 kz sportsmen classic 19 ft campet trailer We were camping last week when we lost all power in our outlets yhe breakers never blew and the fuses arent blown i cant get the gfci to reset any ideas

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Wayne - Good, and I hope the problem is a simple one.

      DON

    • profile image

      Cathy z 2 weeks ago

      Hi Don. I have a 2011 kz Sportsmen Classic TT. I installed a Fantatic fan in the bathroom ceiling where the vent was. Tjere was no electricitu there. I tapped into the ceiling light in the bathroom. But now when the fan is turned on the refrigerator shuts off . Could the refrigerator be on the same circuit as the bath light? Or did i wire something wrong?

      Thanks

      Cathy

    • profile image

      Wayne 2 weeks ago

      Thanks Don, i will check them items out. I had already checked the magnets and all seemed good there. I did unhook the engine batteries and maybe i knocked something loose so i will look around that area.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Wayne - Typically, in a motorhome the steps operate on your ENGINE battery and not your 12-VDC COACH battery. I have had to replace pretty much everything on my own power steps at one time or another.

      So, the first thing you need to know is that the operation of your Kwikee steps uses a number of parts.

      1- There is the physical step assembly itself.

      2- There is the magnet switch at the lower end of your RV door and the magnet on your door which must always be properly aligned.

      3- There is a Step ON/OFF switch usually mounted near the door.

      4- There are three parts to the operating parts of your functioning step; A- the gear box, B- the driver motor, and 3- the logic module.

      5- The logic module senses several things to operate the step; A- if the door opens or closes, B- If the ON/OFF switch is operated, C- If the RV Engine is turned ON or OFF.

      Now that you know these things, you should also know that the gearbox/throw arm assembly is a single function assembly.

      If the Logic board senses that any of the functions happen, it powers the motor and the motor stops when the resistance at the throw arm is high enough and the back pressure raises the current high enough for the logic circuit to turn the power to the motor OFF.

      So, I apologize for the long explanation but now that you know how this operates then you should check the magnetic switch at your door first.

      After that, considering that you have already replaced the logic module once I would look for loose wiring.

      Some people will end up purchasing a complete assembly which includes the Logic Module, the drive motor and the gear box.

      But, I would check these other things first.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Wayne 2 weeks ago

      i have a 2014 Jayco Seneca. My power step quit working. I put a new motor in and it worked so i figured it was fixed. 2 days later same problem. Bought and installed a new module and no change. Then i plugged into 50 amp power and steps work fine most of the time.(sometimes still dont work and try again 10 minutes later and they work) Unplug from 50 amp and cant get them to work at all. Any ideas?

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Paul - This is an alarm that indicates a problem with your engine battery or alternator, and not your COACH battery(s).

      You can check the date on your battery and if it is over 3-4 years old, I would replace it hoping that the battery is the problem and not the alternator. If the problem still shows up after replacing the battery you should contact the engine drivetrain manufacturer ( Ford, Cummins, etc.) customer service on the web and ask them what you need to do.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Paul 2 weeks ago

      I have a 2003 Holiday Rambler Vacationer. For whatever reason a battery symbol flashes on the instrument panel along with a beep and then goes off and back on while the engine is running. This continues until the engine is shut down. Any idea what is happening? Thanks

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Josh - You need to provide more information about your problem.

      Are you talking about your 110-VAC???

      If so, I would check my external cable connection for damage, or oxide on the pins, or a bad connection in the campsite box. You see, you have two 110-VAC inputs from your campsite, and one of these could have the bad connection, while the other operates properly.

      These are the most common causes of such problems.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Josh 2 weeks ago

      I have a 2018 forest river Sabre 36bhq. Why would the back half shut off randomly while the front half has no issues? It is a 50 amp

    • profile image

      c.w. 2 weeks ago

      TOOK MY RV out of storage , I have no juice to coach part ,any ideas ?

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Greg - This problem is relatively common. First of all, I would get out my file and clean any oxidation off of the contacts of my external power cord connector.

      If this doesn't take care of the problem, borrow a neighbors cable and see if your RV power panel senses the full 50-Amp service.

      If this doesn't work, then I would have the campground send their technician down to check out your campsite power panel, its breakers and associated wiring.

      Good Luck, DON

    • profile image

      Greg Deininger 2 weeks ago

      Don, I have a 2004 Fleetwood Discovery 38U. Recently I have had a problem where the electrical panel is only switching up to 30 amp while plugged into a 50 amp outlet with of course the 50 amp plug. When running the generator, the panel will switch all the way to 50 amps. Any ideas what the problem could be? Thank you.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Michael Thomason - Be aware that, even with the switch OFF you have several things that are still connected to your COACH batteries. The most commonly forgotten is your 2-way FRIDGE so turn it OFF. Also check your outdoor storage compartment lights and turn them OFF. And, if you have an Inverter that powers your TV's then be sure to turn it OFF.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      John - Then I suggest that you next check your Engine battery? The switch/solenoid combination uses the engine battery voltage to operate. Also, find your 12-VDC fuse panel (usually under the dash) that is for all of those accessories in your dash. In my 2006 Bounder, my fuse panel is under the removable dash section to the left of the instrument panel.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Michael Thomason 3 weeks ago

      Hi Don, I have a 2012 Fleetwood Terra motorhome. For some reason the house batteries are going dead even with the main shut off switch at the panel shut off. The batteries are new and the problem still remains. When switch is off the coach power seems to be dead inside as nothing works and the in as little as 3 days up to about 10 days in storage I try to switch it on and the batteries are dead. Have to start the engine and let it run for a while or plug the shore power in and allow it to charge and the it happens all over again. Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Mike

    • profile image

      john 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Don, I tried your suggestion, still no response on switches. It isn't doing anything on the switches, no sound at all on Aux or Main.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      John - You didn't give me very much information, but try this;

      I don't know of any KILL switches other than the two switches (MAIN and AUX) for turning either your Engine battery access or your Coach battery access when you put your COACH IN storage.

      These switches control two high-current solenoids that actually control the power.

      Normally when you operate one of these switches you can hear the sound of the solenoid operating.

      I suggest that you activate your RV Parking Brake, turn your engine OFF and then try to operate the switches.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      John 3 weeks ago

      I have 2005 expedition power kill switchs will not turn off

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Rhonda - Your Slide-Out and your interior lights operate on your camper's battery, which is kept charged by your camper's built-in Converter (Charger) which, in turn, runs on 110-VAC usually from your campsite power.

      So, you need to check your 12-VDC FUSE PANEL and determine which circuit the fuse provides power for. Obviously, if the slide is functioning you do have 120VDC from your battery, so you must have a circuit (lights?, Alarms?, Fridge?, or whatever that is blowing the particular fuse you are talking about.

      I would turn all of my 120VDC accessories OFF and then check the fuse.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Rhonda 3 weeks ago

      We have a 2011 Coachman Catalina travel trailer. Our slide out works but the 3 lights don't. As soon as you put a fuse in it blows it. Not sure what's going on.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Scott - I assume your old battery was "Dry" or had no water and probably overheated until your Converter (charger) kicked out.

      Make sure your Converter is operating and keeping about 14.5 VDC across the new battery as it charges.

      Once your COACH battery is charged, it will provide the appropriate 12-VDC to your RV's power control panel, and it will cycle, sense that your Shore power is there and then allocate the shore power to your breaker panel and the AC accessories.

      This is a common problem with many RV owners, to forget to check on their COACH battery(s) and have them dry up and go bad.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Scott 3 weeks ago

      I have 110 VAC at the 50 amp breaker in my RV distribution box. Hooked up to 50amp shore power. I came back after two weeks and my battery is almost dead with 4.5VDC at the terminal post. Put in my spare new battery to get lights working. I don't have any AC at any AC breaker for outlets, micro, air cond...etc. all DC fuses are good and I cycled all the AC breakers. I have a loss of AC between the 50 amp main breaker (has power across it) and the rest of the AC system. Is this an issue isolated to the inverter?

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Unless you're a trained electrician, I would make an appointment with a repair and service company that has expertise in RV repairs, such as Camping World.

      If by cord, you are talking about your external cord that you use to plug into your Rv in a campsite then that should be no problem. If, on the other hand, you're talking about the internal wiring of your RV then you need to recognize that there are such things as; the main wiring to the main breaker panel, and there is the power control panel, and a couple of high current solenoids. involved inside your RV.

      But, IF you can see the bad cord, then you could pull it and take it to a local electrical service company and have them cut you a new one just like the damaged one.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Fred davis 3 weeks ago

      We had a fire in our motor home. The tail pipe was not installed properly and fell off. The heat from the exhaust burned the 220 cord. Do I pull the circuit panel to replace the cord?

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      I hate to tell you this but as I said 12,5 Volts is an indication that the battery is NOT charged AND that the RV's Converter (Charger) IS NOT Charging the battery.

      You need to fix this.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      David 3 weeks ago

      We got the 50 amp service to work by playing around witht he coach cord. Still was getting fault at magnum inveeter box and none of the tvs that run from the inverter worked. So we turned off the inverter disconnect swith and everything works. Aux battery reading shows 12.5 under what I assume is no load. Main battery reads 12.41. Also I had the guy from Macallister who supplies the generator check my fuse box readings and he said everything read correctly. Any thoughts would be appreciated. For now everything is good and airconditioners are running great. Race weekend is looking better now!

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      David - First of all you should get your RV operating properly. So you should remove the external power cable and Surge Protector and start your generator and THEN check out your systems.

      If everything is operating properly then you can move on to what your campsite problems might be.

      If there are any electrical problems THEN get into them.

      For instance, if your INVERTER is still giving you an error message then either it has a problem itself, OR you have a problem with your COACH batteries.

      So, check the COACH battery water level, and that they have a full charge on them, use a multimeter to make sure your Converter (Charger) is keeping them charged,

      The voltage across the batteries should be around 14.5 VDC if they are charging. and no lower than 13.5-VDC if they are charged and under load.

      Always remember that your power control panel, your temperature control panel, your internal lights among other things all operate on these batteries. And, if the voltage is low, these equipments can operate in strange ways.

      Good Luck, and have a great time at the races.

      DON

    • profile image

      David 3 weeks ago

      I am at a parking lot for the Indy 500 that has 50 amp service provided by large Cat generators. I cannot get any power to my coach when plugged into the Cat generator boxes. On my built in Surge Guard it is saying Power Removed Open Ground Check Wiring. So not having time to deal with it last might I ran my generator and most things worked fine except I get a fault message from my Magnum Inverter and the recepticals that run off the inverter would not work. It was almost like the inverter wanted to run bit it would always shut off over and over. So right now I have the generator off and I am just running off the house batteries but the inverter will not turn on at all (actually not sure if it should be able to). My question is could the fault on the invertor box also be causing me problems with hooking up to the 50 amp service? It seems like all the other RVs hooked up aren't having any problems. At one persons suggestion I moved my rv as close as possible to the Cat generator to avoid any issues with long 50 amp extension cords. Still the same problem.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      S Bon, First make sure your are using a proper adapter for an RV that is properly wired for "stepping down" to 110-VAC. Your camper's power control panel should sense whether there is a problem with the power supplied, and if it isn't it will turn OFF your power in the RV.

      So, check this.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Gene - You are not providing enough information for me to help you. I assume you mean your 110-VAC receptacles???

      I don't know what kind of RV you have, but TYPICALLY the bathroom and a couple of kitchen receptacles are part of the RV's GFI system. They have a reset button on the main.GFI that you should check. I can't say much more with the sparse information you have given me.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      S Bon 3 weeks ago

      We have a 2006 Outback travel trailer. We just tried to plug in for the first time this year to our home outlet. We use an adapter to plug into 120 volt. As soon as we plug in the lights, fridge, etc. turn on and then immediately shut down again. No fuses are blown and no breakers are tripped.

    • profile image

      Gene 4 weeks ago

      I have a problem with my RV plugs the ones up front work an bathroom work every where else don't

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 4 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Brian - Having blown bulbs is typically a sign of a power surge. Remember though that your interior lights run on 12-VDC provided by your RV's battery. This battery, is kept at voltage by the Converter (charger) built into your RV. SO, I would first make sure my battery was good, has water and is fully charged.

      If not, then check that the Converter is operating properly.

      As to the fuses, I would check all of them again, and I would check that someone hasn't put the wrong value fuse into the fuse panel. Otherwise, a power surge should have blown the fuse for that light circuit.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Brian 4 weeks ago

      I have a 2008 32' jayco g2. I bought the rv a month ago and noticed all the lights on one circuit were blown. I checked the fuses in the 12v fuse box with a fuse checker and none were blown. I installed one new bulb but the light still didn't come on. Where do i go from here?

    • profile image

      Rv4life 4 weeks ago

      To answer your question Don We are running an extension cord to charge our batteries with a battery charger. That is the only way we are getting power. It is only one circuit that keeps tripping within 5 seconds if we go to shore power. ZANZIBAR electrical issue

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 6 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Joelseps - First of all, unhook that adapter and clean the contacts. You could have oxidation buildup causing the ground to not have a good connection.

      After that, make sure your RV COACH battery has water in it and is charged. Often they will dry up if you don't maintain them properly.

      Third,the overall indication ois a bad ground.

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 6 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      GREAT! and Good LUCK!

      DON

    • profile image

      Joelseps 6 weeks ago

      My RV is hooked to 110 with an adapter and worked fine for months. I asked someone to turn off the drop light and next thing I know there's no power and every time I try to re connect the power I blow the fuse box circut breaker. What's going in. Its a short but where the. Power cord or the control box. Oh no fuses in the rv were tripped or broke

    • profile image

      Wade 6 weeks ago from Cocoa Beach, FL

      Thanks Don! I disconnected the power and removed the cover off the breaker panel in the RV. The wires were cooked. I was using too small of an extension cord into a 110. I called someone to install a new panel and a 30amp or watt...or whatever it needs.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 6 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Pappy Hower - Well, you changed out the three main failure items, so, I would suggest that you first go back and make sure it was rewired properly. Then I would check out that the connections are ALL tight.

      Motorhomes usually do not have any functions that will keep your Rv from starting, so I would check that the battery is charged properly. Sometimes a newly purchased battery will not be fully charged. And, sometimes you may have an accessory that is left turned ON that pulls down the battery.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 6 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Wade - An electrical burn smell is never good. But I assume you mean that you have your cord plugged into an office of a building and are not in a campground??? If so, I would check that the building receptacle and it's breaker are OK and that this source is at the right voltage. AND, always make sure that both the COMMON and especially the GROUND wiring is OK between the building and the RV.

      There could be a number of different causes, but make sure this wiring is still intact and properly connected before you search for anything else.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Pappy Hower 6 weeks ago

      I have a 1988 Winnie bago superchief I bought a new battery and new starter and new celluloid will not turn over.can you give any ideas

    • profile image

      Wade 6 weeks ago from Cocoa Beach, FL

      Hi Don...I've got a '95 Bounder. Last night the A/C shut down, as well as everything else. It was accompanied with a smell of an electrical burn. The power to the RV is fine - there are no tripped breakers in the office where the cord is plugged. Do these symptoms seem like a minor or major fix?

      Thanks, Wade

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 6 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Rob - That's a lot of wear for an '06 RV. I don't understand why the wiring and connectors would be in such bad shape unless a previous owner was messing with things. IT HAPPENS! So, if you're planning on getting your RV into shape, a new harness is probably a good idea.

      And, remember, your AC-voltage needs that GROUND wire attached firmly to your chassis, with no rust or wear at the connection, or it can get dangerous in your RV when you plug it in by causing ground faults. and kicked breakers.

      Here's a question for you; If you disconnect the HW heater, does the breaker still kick out? If not your problem is somewhere else.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Rob 6 weeks ago

      06 Weekender main switch blowing 15a fuse.

      Wiring harness worn to plug on Atwood HW heater, ECO plug looks good, but TStat plug missing connection. Is this enough to blow fuse when switch turned on?

      Whole harness, and new Atwood 61332 replacement parts have been ordered, sound like a good place to start before I go looking for ground wires?

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 7 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Tina Myers - Your water pump and Fridge control circuit board and your RV temperature control panel (AC and furnace0 ll operate on your 12-VDC battery in your camper. If you're not plugged up to campsite power then your Converter (charger) which opeartes on 110-VAC will not keep the battery charged.

      So, check that your battery is good, jas water, and is getting charged.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      tina meyers 7 weeks ago

      what can cause the AC, refrigerator, & water to stop working all at once on a 2001 play mor camper we have checked fuses??? any help would be appreciated...

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 7 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Not much info here to work with, but here goes.

      I assume you have a motorhome, and if so then you probably have your AUX switch ON. This switch should be turned OFF when you you are parked to keep certain accessories from drawing current from your Engine battery.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      backhuler306 7 weeks ago

      my eng battery keeps going dead in my rv

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 7 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Ryan Rauch - First of all, if you have 110-vac power at your GFI then you have power to your AC power panel. So, of course you need to reset your breakers in the panel.

      If that doesn't fix your problem, then go outside to your campsite power box and reset the breakers in there.

      If none of the breakers kick OFF again and you still do not have power, then you need to contact the campground maintenance people and have them chek that you have power at the campsite power box.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Ryan rauch 7 weeks ago

      Needing some help have lost power to a few 120 outlets one in the kitchen as well at my living room ceiling fan and all power in my master bedroom I have two GFCI outlets in my kitchen and in my bathroom but both are receiving power and working with appliances 5th wheel 2017 chaparral 390mqbs Any help would be appreciated

    • profile image

      Sharon Cropper 7 weeks ago

      thank you for your help

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 7 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Sharon - When you plug your RV into the campground power it runs on the campsite 110-VAC. There is usually an INVERTER installed in your RV model. This INVERTER is used to generate 110-VAC from the COACH batteries. This 110-VAC is usually supplied to only a few receptacles; typically the receptacles for the TV's in the RV as well as a receptacle near the dash for the passenger to plug in a computer for use while the Rv is traveling.

      To get 110-VAC to your other receptacles, when not on Campground power, you should switch your generator ON.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Sharon Cropper 7 weeks ago

      We recently bought a 2000 Fleetwood Pace Arrow Motorhome, and we are having problems with our electricity, we cannot seem to find the converter box to convert it from battery to 120v. Hope you can help us with this problem.

      Thanks

      Sharon Cropper

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 8 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Ann - Your RV generator operates smoothly at about a half-load or higher, up to a full load.

      It will often "cycle' with "no load", but run even with low load.

      BTW, I don't know what the light over your dinette is for, but the generator should start and operate properly even with a light load.

      Your Converter (charger) would be ON all of the time, and it should not affect the generator starting.

      You WOULD HAVE lost power momentarily (if you were on your campsite power) when you tried to start your generator. But it would come back ON after the generator started.

      Check your generator's fuel filter if it doesn't start; this is th #1 problem with a generator that doesn't run at all, or doesn't start properly.

      Good luck,

      DON.

    • profile image

      Ann wirkuty 8 weeks ago

      Hi Don

      I just bought a 1995 Winnebago brave 33 foot motorhome. I am camping out in it trying to learn the ins and outs of this motorhome. When I bought the motorhome The owner showed me the generator button and turned it on and the generator ran fine. This morning it was cold so I turn the generator on and it ran fine then I started up my furnace and it worked fine tonight is it cooled off I want to turn my generator on again The same way as I did this morning the only difference is I had one on the Wh same way as I did this morning the only difference is I had one light on over the dinette. When I want to turn the generator on I lost power to everything And the generator will not start. All fuses and brakers are good. What went wrong? As you can probably guess I am a total newbie at RVing

      Thanks

      Ann

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Glad I could help, Chris.

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Nobby Toledo - It look pretty cut-and-dried if the fuse is good. Unless the fuel pump is using its case for ground there should be a ground wire on the fule pump that is connected to ground. Check that. If it is connected and is not loose, then your problem is most likely a bad fuel pump. Get the model off of the fuel pump and look on Amazon for a replacement.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Chris 2 months ago

      Thanks Don, You gave me the courage to jump in. Batts were good but discovered the ground going to the circuit board in the front hatch (by the batts) was not good. I ran a separate wire from the ground on the Batt to the board and all works great. I discovered that these things were built to sell not to be worked on. I found dividing my mean spirited comments between the engineer who designed the wiring and the guy who installed the hatchless panels was a great stress relief. Thanks again. Chris

    • profile image

      Nobby Toledo 2 months ago

      Help. My fuel pump quit working so I check fuse and it was fine 20amp. the switches were all working so with my meter I started checking the other fuses on the fuse panel and they all worked all but the fuel pump I even put in a new fuse but still nothing no power to just that one only.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Gail - Is your Rig a Diesel? Only Diesels have a "wait ti start". The reasoning on a Diesel is that the "Glow-Plugs" need time to heat the engine cylinder walls so that the fuel has a better chance to compress and "fire".

      So, what a mechanic would probably do under this situation is check that they had voltage on the hot wire of the starter itself when the key is turned to start. Which is something an owner would not normally do.

      On the other hand, you probably have several fuse boxes for your engine equipment, One would be under the hood, and there is often another one under the dash for the dash and other accessories. Check ALL of these fuses.

      DON

    • profile image

      Allan Munroe 2 months ago

      This is Gail. Thanks for the speedy response Dan. I believe that the generator starts from the chassis battery and my husband and I also think that both the chassis battery and house batteries are fully charged. We did try the AUX switch but motor did not crank at all. The engine does not turn over at all, but ignition lights come on and “

      wait to start light.” Similar to what would be the case. if you tried to start the rig with slides or step out. Wondering if it might be a faulty sensor or relay switch? Or faulty starter? So frustrating.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Gmunroe - Try to start your Generator, and let it run for a half-hour or so to get the Coach batteries fully charged. Then use your AUX switch on your dash to parallel both DC systems and then see if your motor will crank.

      Otherwise you might need a jump.

      Cold weather camping requires that you do a lot of prep of your RV to make sure you have minimal air leaks and will conserve your interior heat.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Gmunroe 2 months ago

      HELP! We are stuck in a Walmart lot in frigid temps with our 2005 Tiffin Allegro Motorhome that will not start. When you turn ignition, nothing happens except “ Wait to start” light comes on, no cranking of engine at all. Slides and steps are completely in, new batteries with good charge, lots of gas, generator works fine. Lots of rain, wind and freezing temps last night but we did not have slides out. Recent issue with GFI tripping somehow connected with water pump, but suspect this as nothing to do with strarting issues? Has anyone got any advice to offer? Really appreciate it.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Steve - OK, just a reminder but you do know that your Inverter uses 12-VDC to generate some 110-VAC, usually only for a couple of appliances such as your TV's.

      Also, you do know that most motorhomes have a SHUT OFF swith that is use to trun OFF the use of your batteries when your rig is in storage?

      So, now we're down to your AC-voltage problem excluively. Yhe fact that your GFi will not reset, not even the new one, indicates that you need to unplug every appliance from all of the GFI receptacles. If it still does not reset, then you have a serious wiring problem in that circuit. So, I have to ask, did you change any of your Rv's internal wiring? A GFI indicates when even a slight current flow between the Rv ground and Common wiring exists.

      SO, you are now in the position of needing to go back and get your AC wiring checked more closely.

      BTW, you should have a few AC receptacles that are not on your GFI circuit. If they work when the Rv is plugged in, then you are only dealing with a GFI problem, if they also do not work, forget the GFI for the moment and get back tou your campsite AC voltage so

      urce as a potential problem, or, as I said, your regular AC voltage wiring.

      Keep me posted,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      NO! The batteries are your 12-VDC source, you need to make sure your 110-VAC is turned OFF. Unplug your Rv from campground power AND turn OFF your MAIn Breaker. AND, do not turn on your generator. THEN you may be safe.

      DON

    • profile image

      Dennis Price 2 months ago

      Thanks, Don,

      I neglected to say I tried resetting the GFI but it wouldn't reset which makes me think it's not working. If I disconnect the batteries and then change out the GFI isn't that safe?

      Thank you,

      Dennis

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Dennis Price - Changing out a receptacle requires some electrical skills and cam be dangerous..

      First of all, unplug everything in all of your outlets and then reset the GFI!. Then plug in ONE small appliance into thae main GFI receptacle and see if it operates. If so then your GFI is OK, If the RESET and TEST buttons on your GFI do notwork then you can suspect the GFI/

      As to some things still operating, remember your camper lights, fridge, temperature control panel, and alarm panels still work on 12-VDC. So Be bery careful when truing to repair any electricals in your Camper.

      DON

    • profile image

      Dennis Price 2 months ago

      Newbie On Board,

      We just got a small travel trailer. None of the electrical outlets work and I suspect it's the GFI in the bath. Changing a GFI is easy, but I can't tell if the battery power is always on even when not connected to shore electrical. Unlike our home, when I turned off the trailer main breaker some electrical things still have power. How do I disconnect power so I can change out the GFI? I guess I could disconnect the batteries...?

      Thanks

      Denny

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Keith Winch - OK, if you only have around 12.5-VDC across your battery terminals, then it is not charged. A charged battery should show around 13.5-VDC. Your camper should have a built-in converter (charger) which ri=uns on 110-VAC. It keeps your camper battery charged.

      Check this out.

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Chris - It looks like your COACH battery(s) are not fully charged??

      So, first you should check them to make suer they have enough water in them,

      Next, check that your Built-in converter(charger) is putting the right voltage onto your coach batteries. The charger runs on 110-VAC when your RV is plugged into campsite power.

      Good luck,

      'DON

    • profile image

      KEITH WINCH 2 months ago

      I have a 2012 27' Heartland travel trailer with a brand new and charged rv/marine battery. Multimeter shows (dial type) between 12 and 13 DC volts on the battery and where it connects going into the framework of the camper. All fuses are good yet no power. When I hook my truck up, I have full power. All connections seem secure. There is no switch to turn to change from AC to DC. Sure could use your immediate thoughts. Thank you

    • profile image

      Chris 2 months ago

      Hi Don

      I have a keystone cougar and the slides and jacks have gotten very slow and weak. When I bypass with straight 12 volt they run solid and fast. Ideas?

      Chris in AZ

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Loretta - I would immediately get the campground maintenance people to check your campsite power to make sure that your 220-VAC wiring at the campsite power panel is wired properly. And tell them that something is melting the insulation on your wiring. That is very serious and dangerous.

      If they check and say everything on their side is OK, then get an electrician to check out your RV's AC wiring at your power panle.

      Good Luck,

      'DON

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Lou, first of all make sure you have your main power switch turned ON. This is the switch you use when you put your RV in storage so the accessories don't drain the batteries.

      The Awning generally operates on your Engine battery.

      I assume you have a separate bettry for your COACH accessories, such as; the AC, the Furnace, and the interior lights which typically run on 12-VDC from the COACH battery. The Coach attery is kept charged with your built-in converter (charger) which runs on your campground 110-VAC.

      Check the se things first.

      DON

    • profile image

      Loretta 2 months ago

      Hi Don,

      The wiring in my control panel is overheating and melting. It started with using the hot water heater on ac power. We had been using it on that current for sometime with no problems. Now we use the hot water heater on propane setting. With the weather getting warmer here in AZ I've just started using the AC unit which on course is on ac power. Today I smelled burnt wiring and shut it off. So what could be causing this?

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      If the voltage across your Coach batteries is 14.5 VDC for a few miutes then that's OK. But, if the Converter is good then that voltage will drop after a while as a set ot Good batteries are charged. If it doesn't drop, then the batteries are not taking a charge! You should not suspect the converter uless the voltage is far in excess of 14.5 or far lower than 12.5.

      DON

    • profile image

      Chase 2 months ago

      Okay Don, I turned my engine on for less than a minute and my coach batteries are registering14.6. So I am assuming it has to be the converter, correct?

      If this is the case, how hard would it be for me to order a converter and replace it myself (I’m not very familiar with electrical components)?

      If I have someone replace it, what is a ballpark number I would be looking at spending?

      Thanks again for helping the newbie,

      Chase

    • Don Bobbitt profile image
      Author

      Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      CHASE - As I mentioned before, your Furnace runs on your 12-VDC Coach battery (s), and that fan you plugged into a 110-VAC receptacle.

      AND, your generator also starts using your 12-VDC battery (s).

      Get that COACH battery in working condition, and then, check the converter (charger).

      DON

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, axleaddict.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://axleaddict.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)