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Troubleshooting and Repairing RV Electrical Problems for the Beginner

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.

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.

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.

The color of a DC fuse shows its amp rating.

ColorAmperage 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

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.

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.

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.

ApplianceCurrentNotes

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.

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.

TermAbbreviationMeaningTips

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

LetterMeaning

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

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.

ColorValue

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

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.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: I can hook my camper to a portable generator and get power, 30amp shore li?ne and get no power what wold the answer

Answer: If you are saying that you are using a standard RV power cable, plugged into a standard campsite power source and you have no 110-VAC power in your RV?

Well if this is the case, then you should check that your MAIN breaker is not "kicked off".

If the breaker is OK, then you need for a trained electrician to remove the cover on the AC-Voltage breaker panel and check if you have voltage going into the breaker box.

Question: My fuses on the DC panel are hot in my 2001 Bounder RV. It is mostly fused in the #1 spot, and as I follow it across the row of fuses the next two are warm, then last five spots are normal (not hot). I have checked all the fuses; they are not broke, I have tightened every screw (none were loose). There was some arcing between #1 and #2 fuses. They were a little loose, so I squeezed the connection part (what you put the fuse in) fixing the arcing. Why are the fuzes hot and how do I fix it?

Answer: First things first; Arcing between fuses in a panel is very dangerous. That means there was a short to ground on one of the voltage lines. So get a good light and a magnifier glass and thoroughly inspect the board for any loose debris that might be there.

Then, find out what these particular HOT fuses are for and make sure each one has the right sized fuse in the holder.

Third, Measure the DC-Voltage on each fuse and it MUST be only around 13.5 to 14.5 Volts to ground.

Remember, those fuses are designed to blow when the current load on each line is too high and if you have HOT fuses your systems are not designed for this to be the case.

Once you know you have the right value fuses in each holder then you'll know you're safe and you can see about your DC-Voltage level situation.

Question: My RV's air conditioner blower fan fails to start until I give the fan a push, then it will run fine. I replaced the motor, but I'm still having the same problem. The motor is 115 volts HZ 60, amps 2.46, output 196 w, thermally protected. What is my next step for repairing my RV's air conditioner?

Answer: These electric fan motors are designed to spin up once the proper voltage is applied.

If you are in a campground have them check your campsite power. It may be so low the fan motor will not start but then it could be just high enough that the fan will run once started.

This looks like a classic case of low campsite power.

Question: We have a 2016 Fleetwood Bounder. For some reason, all of our lights flicker when we turn on a faucet, any ideas?

Answer: Yur interior lights operate on your COACH batteries, as well as your water pump and other electrical equipment in your RV.

Your symptoms indicate that your COACh batteries are not fully charged. You should check them monthly to make sure they have the appropriate level of distilled water in them, and that all of the electrical connections to the COACh batteries are tightly mounted.

Question: I have a total 12-volt failure. Nothing with tow vehicle power, nothing with battery power. I have a 12-volt with shore power through a converter. What is it?

Answer: Your Converter uses your external 110-VAC power to generate 12-VDC primarily to keep our COACH battery charged. This battery must be in good condition, and it must take charge.

One of the more common problems people have in motorhomes, and the larger trailer campers is to leave their 12-VDC CUT-OFF switch (used for storage) in the wrong position. Check yours.

And, your tow-vehicle power is typically only used for a limited number of accessories and not for everything that runs on 12-VDC in your trailer. Some trailers are wired to use the tow vehicle power, but it's a special condition.

If the Cut-off switch isn't the problem, you need to check your tow cable for oxidation on the contacts or loose wires.

Question: Why does my RV's shore power no longer work? I have a battery disconnect switch, my shore power used to work with the battery disconnected now shore power does not work unless I have the battery connected.

Answer: If I assume you have a motorhome then I would tell you that your COACH battery is probably discharged. It is charged by the Converter in your RV, and it, in turn, is powered your 110-VAC from your Shore Power.

So, your symptoms imply that you have a COACh battery that needs your attention.

Question: I’m helping my grandpa try and start an old RV he bought. It won’t start up. The starter works and he is trying to find out why it’s not starting. He also is a mechanic and is 83 years old. I plan on printing the manual. This RV is a 1995 ford cruise master - it’s been sitting for a long time which is why it’s a little dusty. Can you give me any insight?

Answer: Your Rv actually has a standard Ford truck drivetrain, so I would call the nearest FORD TRUCK service center (not automobile) and set up an appointment with them the same as you would if you had a large truck. They may even have a mobile service truck they can send out to you.

Question: I have a 2017 Gulf Stream Conquest but the LED lights are not working. What could be preventing them from getting current?

Answer: First of all, your motorhome has a COACH battery that provide the 12-VDC power to your interior lights, alarms and a number of other things. This battery is kept charged by your built=in Converter which in turn operates on your 110VAC.

So, you should first check that the battery is; in good condition, has water in it, and is fully charged. If it is in good condition but is not charged, then you need to make sure you have 110-VAC power to your Converter and that it is running and trying to charge your COACH battery. If not, then you should check that you have your RV plugged into your external power source.

Question: My blinkers stopped working. Flashers and breaks work. Fuses ok. But relay? Could it be that? I have 1976 dodge tioga2 16' coach RV.

Answer: Probably the best fix for you is to take the RV to a Chrysler/Dodge dealership and have their service department lookup and replace the bad part.

In these older model trucks/vans they used a mechanical module that would contain a simple circuit that turned the signal lights on and off. You can search around under the dash for this module, but you could save a lot of time just going to the service center.

PS. Call them first and see if they know what they are doing.

Question: There is power at my RV's shore power cord, but no power at the transfer switch. There are three wires at the inlet, and six at the transfer. What's the problem?

Answer: Your information is a little sparse here, but I am assuming you have a motorhome and a built-in generator. The transfer switch allows external power into the RV electrical system normally, but if your RV generator is turned ON, then this is sensed by the power control panel, and it applies power to the transfer switch, and it switches over to the generator for power.

The power control panel operates using 12-VDC from your coach battery. So, check your battery and make sure it is full of water and is taking charge of your converter. Otherwise, your power control panel can act weird if this voltage is low.

And, there should not be anything between the external power connector and the transfer switch.

Question: My RV's inside, 12V outlets won't work. What could the problem be?

Answer: Your inside Outlets are powered by 110-VAC either from your external power source at your campsite, or by your generator, if you have one.

You may have one or two outlets that are powered by your Inverter, but the Inverter is powered by your 12-VDC battery which is also kept charged by your Converter which is in turn powered by your 110-VAC.

So, check that our COACH battery is in good condition, has water in it, and is fully charged for your interior 12-VDC equipment to work properly.

Question: I have a 2010 Summerland. It is plugged into a 30 AMP plug and my lights have started to dim and then they brighten again. This just happened the last two trips. Also, I have a small couch slide out and it’s extremely slow pushing out or pulling in. What could be the problem with my Summerland RV?

Answer: Your symptoms are classic ones for having a COACH battery that is not being kept charged.

Your most likely problem is the battery itself. If it is five or more years old then it could be time to replace it with a new one.

When you are changing the battery, use masking tape and label each wire and which battery terminal it goes to. This is another common problem when people replace their COACH battery.

Question: The problem is our 2007 Coachman Freelander cabin battery drains while in storage. AAA jumps truck easily so we bought a jump start battery kit like AAA uses. I think the disconnect switch in the coach still lets the batteries get drained or could it be something else? The radio/ light cannot shut off in the cab could that be what is draining all 3 batteries, do you have any advice or ideas?

Answer: Your Freelander's electrical systems are divided similarly to any other motorhome. You have that standard engine battery, that would provide power to your dash equipment such as your radio and cab lights.

On the other hand, you have those (2?) COACH batteries that power your actual camper interior equipment.

Normally a motorhome will have a CUT-OFF switch for both of these batteries, that are there for just what you mentioned, when you put your RV in storage.

But, I recommend two things that should be done by the owner, and many other RV owners agree.

First, when my motorhome is in storage, I visit it once a month and run the engine for 30-minutes or so, just to make sure the engine battery is fully charged.

Secondly, my motorhome has a small Solar trickle charger mounted on the roof, that keeps my COACH batteries charged, even while in storage.

These two personal service tasks takes care of any current drawn by items in the two electrical systems that are not included on the Cut-Off switches.

I know of one fellow camper who purchased two small Solar chargers designed for automobiles. They had suction cups on them, and he just stuck them to his windshield and connected one to his engine battery and one to his Coach battery. It was a low-cost solution for when his motorhome was in storage.

Question: The fuse (10 AMP) for the water pump and Monitor for the Black and grey water, propane levels keeps burning out, and those devices don’t work. My RV is a 2014 Newmar in great condition. What should I look for to solve my frequent fuse outages? Does my water pump and water monitors run off of battery power? Should I look for a battery issue in my RV?

Answer: These devices operate on your 12-VDC COACH battery power. The monitor panel for your holding tanks would normally not draw very much current, but your Water pump does draw more when functioning.

You should turn OFF your Water Pump first, replace the fuse and then check if the monitor panel operates at all. If the panel then operates then this would indicate that your problem would be the Water Pump itself.

Otherwise, if the panel doesn't operate, you should check if the panel itself needs replacing.

Question: I am unable to find the manual power switch in my 97 Avion Westport by Fleetwood. Any chance you know where to locate it?

Answer: If you are talking about your 12-VDC Power Cut-Off switch then it should be located on the wall as you enter your RV. It will control a high current solenoid that it normally located near your actual COACH batteries.

Question: I have a ten-year-old 16' Antiqua StarCraft camper. The issue I'm having is that the 30 amp fuses blow out as soon as I plug it in. Do you think I need a new power converter?

Answer: First things first; Check your Rv battery and make sure it is good. Does it have water in it and can you read a voltage across the terminals? Even if it is mostly discharged it should read around 12-VDC, If you read down at 2 to 3 volts then the battery can either be fully discharged, or it can have gone bad.

Once you know you have a good battery, then check the voltage across the terminals of the battery and you should read; around 14.5-VDC if the battery is being charged, around 13.5-VDC if the battery is charged, and if you read around12.5 VDC or lower then your Converter is not charging the battery.

But, are you talking about AC-Voltage fuses blowing or are you talking about DC-Voltage MAIN fuses?

Either way, this is a serious current draw to blow the fuses.

So, if its the AC fuses then I would disconnect the Converter to see if the fuses blow as it is the most likely cause of your problem.

Question: 1991 Fleetwood Bounder generator will start, but it won't stay powered on, what is the problem?

Answer: Considering your symptoms, it sounds like you may have some trash in your fuel line to the generator and it could be blocking your fuel filter. The next most common cause is the fuel pump. These are connected together and most people will replace both of them at the same time

Fuel Filters and Fuel Pumps for Onan generators are relatively cheap, and you can pick one up online or at your nearest ONAN generator store.

Read my article on how to change the Fuel Filter and Fuel Pump on an Onan generator.

Question: I have 2005 Keystone Outback 25'. Just recently, when I plug in unit to outlet, it only powers the camper outlets and microwave- nothing else. When I hook the camper to my truck and plug into truck for towing, it then powers everything inside camper except for outlest and microwave. I've checked all fuses and even put a new 30amp end on main camper cord. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Answer: Your Camper has a 12-VDC battery normally referred to as the COACH battery. It powers many things in your Rv that operate on 12-VDC including your; interior lights, your alarms, your 2-way fridge control circuit board, your temperature control panel, and more. This battery is powered by your built-in Converter and it sounds like you have not maintained this battery. Many people do not and they eventually end up with a dead battery.

So, first, check if the battery has water and then see if it will take a charge. If it doesn't you may have to replace the battery.

Question: I have a 2008 Rockwood Freedom Pop up with a sink, but I can't find ANY receptacles with a GFCI reset button. Pretty sure I popped one with a fan. I already checked the breakers. Thoughts?

Answer: Yes, you will have one GFCI receptacle in your pop-up. (somewhere). In larger Rvs the main GFCI receptacle will be found in the bathroom or kitchen, so, I would expect yours to be near the kitchen area counter?

The existence of GFCI protection is your RV wiring is required by law, so it's there somewhere.

Question: Deep cycle batteries are fully charged and only 4 months old but not getting power to the generator and will not click what is a possible solution for no power? House lights work from electrical hook-up but not generator looking for alternative ideas fuses breakers fine?

Answer: From your limited information, I assume you have a motorhome? If so, then with your house lights working when you're connected to shore power, then you are probably operating them on your Converter.

So, assuming your CUT-OFF switch is in the right position, then I would still say that your COACH batteries are not charged.

Remember, your power control panel that controls your 110-VAC systems, is powered by your 12-VDC COACH batteries, One of the things it does is sense when the generator is running and it turns your Transfer switch over to the generator from your external power.

So, check your Cut-Off switch first, then the solenoid the Cut-Off switch controls, then check that you have fully charged voltage (13.5-VDC) to your DC fuse panel, then the fuses.

Question: I'm a techy type. My Airstream is 30 amps. I use a volt meter inside all the time. Throughout the day, I get a voltage drop of 5v-6v even if the AC is off. Out at the post on a 120v receptacle, I get 121v. If I turn off all the beakers inside except one for the meter, I get 115v inside and 121v at the post. What are your thoughts?

Answer: First of all, your 30-Amp voltage coming into your RV is 220-VA, or dual 110-VAC lines. When you check the voltage at the campsite power panel 110-VAC receptacle, it could be on the opposite 110-VAC line.

Now, normally you would not expect a 5-6 volt drop from the campsite power panel to the inside of your RV.

You could check for; oxidation on the external power cable contacts for one thing. The more important thing to check is whether your voltage drops to a dangerous level when you are operating a lot of your electrical equipment. The best tool for protecting your Rv from potential damage from power changes is a good Surge Protector installed inline from the campsite power panel.

Question: I own a 2005 holiday rambler ambassador. I have changed out the fuse that goes to the dashboard and still cannot get my dashboard to light up at night. Do I need to take it for servicing or am I missing something else?

Answer: When you turn your dash lights ON, you apply power to the dash light dimmer that in turn controls the voltage that goes to the dash lights themselves.

I would first check that all of the wires connected to the light switch itself are still connected, then I would use a multimeter and check for voltage on the dimmer itself.

The Light switch itself applies a voltage to relays under the hood that in turn apply power to the headlights, running lights, tail lights and such on the outside of the RV. If these are being turned OFF and ON, then the voltage at the light switch is getting voltage and should be applying this same voltage to the dimmer.

Question: I just plugged into a 30 amp plug and suddenly my tv made a strange noise and it blew the main breaker, fried the tv (because I can smell it ) and now the lights and fan for furnace only work on the battery even though I am plugged into a different plug. What should I do?

Answer: First of all, your RV interior lights and your furnace fan both operate on your 12-VDC COACH battery. This battery is kept charged by your CONVERTER which is in turn powered by your 110-VAC system.

If your TV fried as you say, then that 30-Amp receptacle you plugged into is most likely not wired properly.

As to other possible damage, you need to first make sure you are using a good standard campsite power source, and then you can reset your 110-VAC breakers and then check out all of your 110-VAC equipment to make sure nothing else was damaged.

Question: Our 5th wheel has a vacuum that has stopped working along with the outside plug ins. It was fine before we traveled, and the fuses, breakers, and reset switches are good. What should we do?

Answer: RV Vacuum cleaners are cheap add-on options.

If your outside 110-VAC receptacles do not have power, then find your MASTER GFCI receptacle and reset it. This receptacle is usually in your Bathroom or Kitchen.

If your Vacuum kicks this reset very often, then the vacuum may need replacement.

Question: The entire driver’s side interior lights do not work in our 2003 Mandalay41B, do you have any suggestions on where to begin?

Answer: All of your interior lights operate on your COACH battery which is generally located on the right (passenger) side of your RV. The power from the battery goes to the 12-VDC fuse panel, and from there it is distributed to different 12-Volt systems. Often, if the COACH battery is not fully charged then there will not be enough power to the longer wired runs.

I would check the COACH battery voltage, using a multimeter. If the reading is 13. 5-VDC or 14.5-VDC then the battery is charged or it is being charged.

But, if it is only around 12.5-VDC then the battery needs charging, which is done by your CONVERTER. The Converter is powered by your 110-VAC which comes from your external power source, generally from your campsite power box.

Check these things to find the most likely cause of your problem.

Question: The electric went out in my trailer. I replaced the male end on my main electric line because it was burnt, and I replaced the female 30w receptacle on the main pedestal source. The pedestal has power to it, but when I plug my main line into it, I lose power. When I unplug it and the 30w receptacle at the pedestal, it loses power. What is the problem?

Answer: I assume you mean you have 30-AMP service, not 30-watt.

I suspect that your power cord has a problem. The cheapest way to check this is to borrow a cord from another camper and then check if the trailer has a problem. Or, you could get a multimeter and check the continuity of the wires at both ends of the cord. If you're lucky, you just melted the cord wires together inside the cord. Hopefully, if you put the new connector on wrong, then the trailer wiring wasn't damaged. Be sure to check your trailer breaker and fuses.

Question: I turn off the breaker to my water heater when my A/C is running to keep from throwing the 30 amp breaker in the campground. When I turn the water heater breaker on to heat the water and then turn it off after heated, the lights will go out until I reset the main leaving it off for a couple of minutes. Can you help me understand why this is happening?

Answer: RV's with only a 30-Amp Service were common up until manufacturers went to adding so much equipment that they had to increase the service to 50-Amps.

In older RV's the Air Conditioners will draw higher currents as the Compressor starts up, and then it drops down as the Air operates, until it reaches temperature and the Compressor kicks out. Then the cycle starts again.

Add to this the added current of all the equipment you have plugged into the receptacles, and you can be near your main breaker limit of 30-Amps.

As to your lights, they operate on your Coach batteries which are kept charged by your Converter(Charger).

But, if your lights are going out this means that your Coach battery is not charged, and your lights and other DC-Voltage equipment are operating directly on your Converter.

You need to check out your Coach batteries and make sure they are taking charge. Do they have water, how old are they, and what is the voltage across the battery terminals.

Question: I have a 2013 Somerset evolution popup camper. When we plug into AC mode everything works, BUT when we use just DC power nothing works. No lights, no switches, no remote for raising the electric roof. Can you give me an idea what I should look for? Battery seems to be fully charged by battery trickle charger showing fully charged. A load test was done at AutoZone showing solid and fully charged.

Answer: The fact that your camper's accessories work when your Converter (Charger) is plugged into 110-VAC tells me that your camper' electrical system is OK.

So, it then comes down to your battery and why it is not providing 12-VDC without the Converter?

The first thing you should do is check for loose connections at the battery.

Place a meter across the battery terminals while it is hooked up. If the Converter is working and the battery is low then the voltage should be around 13.5 VDC, if the battery is not charged, then the voltage should be around 14.5 VDC. which would indicate a battery problem. By the way, you did check the water level in the battery, didn't you?

Question: I have a 2008 Majestic Class C. I have a new COACH battery fully charged but no data is showing on installed surge protector for the battery. The lights and fans work but no power to plug in receptacles or anything else that should run off of the battery. Everything runs fine on shore power and with the generator. What could cause my COACH battery to not function?

Answer: Your symptoms indicate a potentially bad COCH battery.

Use a multimeter and measure across the battery terminals.

You should read around 13.50VDC if the battery is charged, and around 14.5-VDC if it is being charged by your Converter.

If it is only reading around 12.5-VDC then your battery is NOT charged.

With that said, any receptacles you have that operate on your batteries are being powered by your INVERTER, which only powers a couple of receptacles, usually for the TVs and maybe one near the dash for a computer. Be aware that if everything works on shore power and on the generator, except these receptacles that run off your Inverter, then your symptoms again indicate your COACH battery is the problem.

As to your Coach BATTERY SURGE PROTECTOR???? I am not familiar with what you have unless you are talking about what is called a "FUSEABLE LINK" like what is on the wiring of most automobile engine electrical systems, which is there to protect your equipment in case of a "high current" condition.

Question: Why don’t I have AC power to my refrigerator or slide outs?

Answer: Your Slides are powered by your 12-VDC COACH battery. On many motorhomes and other campers, your Fridge operates on 110-VAC or Propane, and the control circuit board is powered by your COACH battery.

First, you should check if your COACh battery is fully charged, has water in it, and is not (possibly) OLD.

Then measure the voltage across your 12-VDC battery terminals, it should be at least 13.5-VDC if charged.

This is the most common problem for camper owners.

Question: Hello, I recently bought a 1991 Damon Challenger class A, my question is that when I try to use the A/C with the generator within 3 or 4 minutes the circuitbraker for the A/C trips and when plugged in whith the house electricity it does the same thing, but it last a little longer like 20 minutes?

Answer: First, you need to understand that your RV's AC unit draws around 6-8 Amps when it is running, but when it first cycles, the Compressor has to start up, and this can add another 3-4 amp temporarily, until it is operating. Your RV breakers and circuitry to the AC are designed to handle this load.

But, as an AC unit ages, it takes more current to get the Compressor running, as much as 6-8 Amps as opposed to the current needed to start a new AC.

So, what you end up with is a load, from the AC unit itself of 8-12 Amps. Or as high as 14-18 Amps for an older unit.

So, if you have other appliances also operating in your RV, you could be near the maximum load of your RV wiring which can cause your overall supply of power to "sag" as this extra load from the AC compressor occurs, which in turn can force your breaker to kick.

Then there are your Circuit breakers. The breakers in your Rv are probably original to the RV, and over time, if they have been "Kicked Off" many times, the metals inside the breaker can become "stressed," and the breaker can start operating at a lower current level. So, simply put your original 15-Amp breaker could be operating at a lower current such as 14-Amps.

Question: We own a 5th wheel that is 11 years old. We have located it on property by the ocean and don't plan on moving it again. Our batteries (4) are about 4 years old and are swollen up. Since we do not move the RV and are plugged into electrical power, would it hurt anything if we just did away with our batteries, not replacing them? Or, maybe we could discard them and buy one new battery for small things in RV that need battery function.

Answer: Many things in your Fiver operate on 12-VDC provided by your batteries.

The batteries are kept charged by a CONVERTER in your Fiver.

First of all, if your batteries are "swollen" then they have been damaged in the past and should be replaced.

You can continue to operate normally using your batteries or you can have an electrician modify your Fiver wiring.

The modification would entail removing your batteries, adding a more powerful Converter that can handle the full 12-VDC load and operating on this as your 12-VDC source for your Fiver.

The batteries are there in the electrical systems of a camper so that the owner can 'Boondock" in the wild where there is no 110-VAC, and still have their electrical equipment operate.

Question: I have a 1987 country coach Gfi. It has been tripping multiple times, and I cannot find the source of surge or problem. Can the Gfi be moved to a more convenient outlet? How do I find where the problem is in the circuit? It affects everything but one outlet.

Answer: Your GFCI receptacle is the master receptacle that has a few other receptacles controlled by it.

These other receptacles are usually in your bathroom and kitchen areas. Unplug anything in any receptacles, and if the Master GFCI still kicks off, then it may be bad and need to be replaced.

But, check those other SLAVE GFCI receptacles first.

Question: While using our trailer this weekend all of our power stopped. At the time we were running our A/C unit and the microwave. Is it possible that it cooked the GFI?

Answer: The GFCI involves only the Master GFCI and a couple of Slave receptacles.

Your symptoms sound like the problem might be a kicked 110-VAC breaker.

If you have lost all power, then check and reset your MAIN breaker in your breaker box, and if that doesn't fix your problem, then go out to your campsite power box and reset the breakers out there, These are the most likely causes for losing ALL power in your camper.

Question: I have a 1999 Jayco Eagle. All electric was good when plugged into house GFCI 20amp receptacle then the GFCI failed would not reset. I replaced the GFCI, and the supply cord with new ones, a prong on the cord seemed to be loose. Now with all the breakers including the main, every time I plug in the power supply cord the GFCI trips, could the cause be a bad main breaker in my camper?

Answer: This problem happens for a lot of people. As you know the GFCI Master receptacle is designed to sense if there is any current leakage between the COMMON wire and the GROUND wire. Often, because your RV is not tied to a good ground stake, the extra length of wire in your RV external power cord will allow a certain amount of this leakage so that if you plug it into a GFCI at your house, the GFCI will "kick OFF." I had this problem at my house, and I had to add an extension cord and plug the Rv into a non-GFCI receptacle on my house.

Try this, and I suspect your problem will go away.

Question: I have a 2015 Starcraft AR-One. The 12v system works on shore power, but it won't charge the battery; it won't work on its own. My battery is new. I checked the breakers and fuses, and all is good. I also checked and cleaned the ground connection. Is there a converter problem? Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: The fact that your RV systems work when plugged into shore power indicates that your converter is not charging your battery. If you have a multimeter use it to check the voltage across the battery terminals. If the converter is charging the battery, the voltage should be between 13.50 VDC fully charged and 14.5 VDC while charging. If the converter is not charging, check that the indicator light is on and the fuse in the converter is good.

Question: I have no power to my dashboard on My 2018 Miramar. Engine turns on but no Ac, fan not working, can’t put the jacks up, powered shade won’t go up ... the battery is good, seems like there is no connection between the battery and fuse box, no electricity. What now?

Answer: Make sure your Cut-Off switches are set to ON first. Then use a multimeter to check the voltage across your COACH and ENGINE batteries to make sure they read at least 13.5-VDC.

The equipment you mention as not working all operate using your COACH battery. (the AC will not work properly if the 12-VDC from your COACH battery is too low for the temperature control panel to work properly.

It sounds like your COACH battery is not being charged.

Question: Every time it gets cold my 12volt system power in my RV is affected and the lights dim, heater doesn't work, and refrigerator turns off even though I'm plugged into a power source directly. plug ins work fine though, so what could be the issue?

Answer: Of course you know that your 12-Volt system is powered by your COACH batteries. These batteries, in turn, are kept charged by your RV's built-in Converter that is itself powered by your external 110-VAC source.

So, keeping this in mind, it is most likely that your COACH batteries are old and can no longer hold a charge.

Because of this, your 12-VDC equipment is actually running on your Converter, and it is being overloaded.

Check your 12-VDC batteries first to make sure they have water and the connections are secure.

Then check the date they were purchased because they may just be old and need replacement.

Question: Why wont my converter charge my battery?

Answer: Your problem could be one of several things;

1- Does your Converter have 110-VAC at the power input? It must have 110-VAC power.

2- Is your Battery a good one? How old is it, does it have water in it, and is it taking a charge? If you use a multimeter, it should have a voltage across the battery terminals of around 13.5-VDC if it is charged, around 14.5-VDC if it is being charged, and around 12-5-VDC or lower if it is not charging.

Question: what does the term SHED mean on the control panel for the AC units?

Answer: The term SHED is often used with Air Conditioning systems and other electrical systems.

The term refers to the ability to do "Load Shedding" or essentially power load sharing between different power sources.

With the data you gave me, I cannot give you much more than this without knowing your RV design and your Air conditioning systems and such.

I am assuming that your RV Air Conditioners have this capability with your different power sources such as your external power and your generator power?

Question: I accidently left the ac unit on, after turning off generator, and was plugged into a home's ac outlet. It killed the rv engine battery, which I recharged. Then I did it a second time! Recharged again, but did not drive rv as I did first time, now it is dead about 12 hours later. Could there be more damage, or should I have driven the rv ? I have a 2001 Chinook Destiny.

Answer: From your symptoms I assume you are using an external power receptacle that is a lower current capability than your generator??

And I assume that your generator is trying to run on your Inverter which is powered by your battery.

If so, then you would drain your battery after a while if the engine is not running.

Most RV's do not use a deep discharge battery for their engine and it sounds like yours had been damaged.

I would replace it if it doesn't take a charge.

And put a note beside your switch that turns your generator OFF to warn yourself.

Question: I have a 2004 Wilderness pull behind, I have no dome lights in half the trailer and no ignition for the water heater or electric water heater. Can you help?

Answer: Check your RV's Battery. If it is not fully charged the interior lights may not operate.

A battery with a low charge on it or a bad battery could be the cause of your problems.

Question: I'm a new camper owner. I have it at a permanent location. I ran a 30 amp outlet out to the location. When I plugged the cable into the camper from the outlet, I encountered some issues. When testing the camper's receptacles; all showed hot, and the ground was reversed. And this is with all (6) breakers turned off. Using a multimeter, I measured the voltage on the wire coming out of the breaker (with them OFF); 4 of them read 120V; 1 read 105V, and the other had 20V. Do you have any advice?

Answer: Well, first of all, make sure that the electrician who ran the new wire and outlet box did so according to code.

It sounds like it wasn't. Get those GROUND and COMMON wires appropriately fixed at the source end, and I would even put a ground stake into the ground wherever you mounted your outdoor receptacle box for the camper. A good ground is very essential for safety reasons, especially in campers of course and it looks like you have a hazardous situation if you do not have a good ground connection.

Hopefully, you haven't damaged any of your appliances or other equipment in your camper.

Once you get your source wiring fixed, I suspect your camper will be OK.

Question: The air conditioner in my RV doesn’t work well. My toaster won’t brown the toast, even after seven minutes, and my microwave takes four mins to heat a small coffee. I’m sure the campground circuit is overloaded as I’m not getting the full 30 amps. Everyone in the campground is having the same issues. Is this low amperage damaging my camper?

Answer: If you're not getting 110-VAC to your RV, and when you operate an appliance it loads down the voltage, then you could be damaging your appliances or other electrical equipment.

The campground must provide adequate power to everyone's campsite, or they should tell their campers that they need to leave because their power source is dangerously low.

This is a problem for the campground, and if they don't accept responsibility for any damages, then I wouldn't go there again.

Question: My RV was plugged in, and everything was working, but now the fridge and A/C are not getting electric. I checked all breakers and fuses already. What could it be?

Answer: If your Fridge is a 2-way, then it and your temperature control panel use 12-VDC. So, check your coach battery and make sure it has water in it, and that it is fully charged.

If not, then these appliances will not operate properly.

Question: We have a 2009 Newmar Ventana and nowhere can we find a wiring schematic. The bedroom slide has 3 outlets, 2 on side walls, and 1 under the bed to power an air mattress. All three outlets are dead. I have checked breakers & gfi. How can I further troubleshoot my RV's electrical problem?

Answer: The first thing for you to do is to check if your Power Control panel is displaying that you have 50-Amps service and that all of the green lights are on indicating that your 220-VAC is allocated to everything.

Also, I am assuming that you have no AC power to anything else either.

Question: I have a 2002 Holiday Rambler that lost power to the water heater, washer/dryer, and both AC units. This happened after I disconnected one house battery to check the water level. Do you have any thoughts?

Answer: In case you forgot your 12-VDC powers the temperature control panel which is probably the problem with your AC units. And if your house (coach) batteries are 6-volt and not 12-volt, then you would not have 12-VDC. The water heater runs on 12-VDC, and your washer/dryer runs on 110-VAC, so I can't explain why it doesn't run.

I would first work on getting my 12-VDC system and batteries hooked up properly and the battery converter combination charging the batteries properly. Then I would see what else might not be working.

Question: As we are driving we have lost all electrical power to all of our lights and gauges. What fuse or relay could be dead?

Answer: Your problem will be in your Chassis electrical system and not your Coach electrical system.

Depending on your RV manufacturer you will have a fuse panel under the dash probably on one of the fenders for easy access. And with some, there will be another fuse panel under the dash.

Question: I have a 1999 dutchman camper pull behind. When I plug my 12-volt battery up, the 4 running lights light up, but the one on the back stays off. I know these should only be on when hooked to your vehicle and the parking lights are on. Do you have any ideas on this problem?

Answer: As you probably know, your Dutchman camper battery is only for powering your camper's interior 12-VDC systems and appliances, and should not be wired to your camper's running lights.

Being this old, You should check the following potential problems;

1- The GROUND wire for your battery and the GROUND wire from your tow connector should both be firmly connected to your camper's chassis, and the connections should not be rusty or loose.

2- the HOT wire for your running lights of your camper should be wired to the connections shown on a standard wiring chart for the specific type of connector you are using (4-wire, 5-wire, or 6-wire). Check this article for the proper connector wiring;https://axleaddict.com/rvs/RV-Towing-and-Electrica...

Question: We have a 1988 Terry Resort. The fridge will turn on when the trailer is plugged into electricity, but we have no outlets, lights or other appliances working. There are no breaker or fuse problems. The fridge starts working when the trailer is plugged in, but nothing else will. Does this sound like a converter issue?

Answer: Actually, NO! Your Converter keeps your battery charged, but your symptoms are that you have no 110-VAC input.

Check your campsite power box and make sure the breakers are turned ON and then check your external power cable connections to make sure they are clean and not oxidized.

If your cable connections are good, then get a multimeter and check if you have power to your Breaker box.

Comments

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on September 03, 2020:

Spec - I'm sorry but your information is too sparse for me to understand your problem totally.

I can only guess that you might have a major wiring error, but that's all I can say.

Sorry,

DON

Spec on September 01, 2020:

Off I turn on my ac everything works lights, fridge,outlets, but when I shut it off everything goes out !! HELP ?

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 28, 2020:

James - All of your overhead and exterior running lights are wired to the same fuse, but if your problem iw only with the 3 on the top-front, then this would indicate that particular string of lights has a bad connection to your fuse panel.

Try to trace the wiring from the fuse panel that goes to these 3 particular lights.

Good Luck,

DON

James on August 28, 2020:

My 3 over head lights stopped working all other plugs lights etc still work fuse is good.?

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 24, 2020:

Sabrina - Because of the popping sound, you may have a breaker that has kicked off, so I would recommend that you reset all of your breakers. You can also check if your Furnace is getting power, it runs on your propane and is controlled by your 12-VDC from your AUX battery.

As to your Microwave clock? Well, the Microwave operates on your 110-VAC and the clock is internal to the microwave so if the microwave operates, then so should your clock.

Have a Nice Day,

DON

Sabrina on August 23, 2020:

I have a 1995 coachmen Catalina camper and when I plugged it in it made a loud pop so quickly unplugged it and then plugged it in to the right plug in and all power came on and is working but my air conditioner heater and the clock on the microwave isn't working what could be the problem

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 23, 2020:

Amanda - I think you are saying you have a fish tank in your Rv that you have plugged into breakers in the building next store?

So, I don't understand why you are doing this???? Your tank uses a pump or two but they don't pull very much current, so why aren't your tank pumps plugged into your regular receptacles in your Fiver? Or are you saying your Fiver is plugged into 30-Amp breakers in the building next door? Not enough information, I'm afraid.

Good Luck,

DON

Amanda on August 23, 2020:

Hi I have put a 33 gallon fish tank in my fifth I am hooked up to 30 amp breakers are not going in my fifth but in the breaker box in the building next door all hooked up to the same power source could u help me please.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 18, 2020:

Dan - From your symptoms, I would guess that the switch itself has loose wires attached to it, or the switch itself is bad and needs to be replaced.

Have a great Day,

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 18, 2020:

Lisa - From your symptoms, I would say that your service is not your problem.

You see, a GFCI circuit operates by detecting very small current leaks between the Common wire and the Ground wire in your Rv. It is actually doing its job by indicating that you have such a current leakage with these two appliances.

One thing I can recommend is to change the GFCI master receptacle in the hopes that yours is bad. The Master GFCI receptacle is the one with the "test and reset" buttons.

Hopefully this will fix your problem for you, otherwise you will need to check if your other appliances plugged into your GFCI receptacles also kick the Master GFCI out.

Good Luck,

DON

Dan on August 17, 2020:

I have a 2008 four winds 26bdsl. I purchased the camper 2 years ago and the outside light and the light inside the door and over the sink never worked but the previous owner said he never had this issue. This past weekend, all 3 lights started working and now they have stopped again. No fuses are blown nor are any breakers. These lights do have an on/off switch and last weekend when they were working, the switches would turn them on and off. Any ideas?

Lisa on August 17, 2020:

Hello I have 2006 canyon creek 5th wheel. We just got this trailer. We previously had a 35ft Motorhome and were plugged into same outlet and had no issues.

We are plugged in to a 20 amp and when we try and use microwave of a small keurig coffee maker it pops the gfi.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 17, 2020:

Moses - If you are pulling a standard load on your power source then there should not be any buzzing sounds from the breakers. Try to turn OFF all of the electrical equipment in your RV that is powered by that particular breaker to see of it is overloaded. If the buzzing goes away after you do this, then you can turn your electrical equipment back on, one at a time, to see which is overloading your breaker circuit.

Good Luck,

DON

Moses Martinez on August 16, 2020:

when i switch the breakers to the on position one of them make a buzzing noise i replaced it and the buzzing still continues is this normal

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 15, 2020:

Keith - I'm sorry, but most RV manufacturers do not share their wiring diagrams with anyone outside of their manufacturing sites. They do not even share them with approved service centers.

I'm afraid, you are in the position of having to figure the wiring our on your own.

Good Luck,

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 15, 2020:

Chris - First of all, the engine battery going bad should have nothing to do with your electrical problem inside your RV.

You have another battery(s) inside your Rv that is referred to as the COACH (or AUX) battery and it is kept charged by our Converter which in turn is powered by your 110-VAC system.

So, from your symptoms, I would first check your wiring at your home and that it is wired properly for your Rv to be connected to. Many people do not wire the connector at their home properly for the RV's 30-AMP external power cable to connect to.

Sadly, you have a number of electrical devices to most likely replace such as your fuse panel, converter, and the associated wiring before you can troubleshoot the rest of your electrical system for problems.

Good Luck,

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 15, 2020:

Derrick - You have a COACH battery in your RV that powers these things, and one of the most common mistakes of RV owners is to not keep this battery in good condition and fully charged.

You should make sure yours is working properly before you look at anything else.

Good luck,

DON

Keith@andersontrailers.com on August 15, 2020:

I had a blow out on my Evergreen Everlite 2011 5th wheel. The wiring under one slide out wrapped around and broke numerous wires. I figured out and connected several but I have a few that goes to the reading lights that I cannot figure out. I have searched for a diagram of the electrical underneath but cannot find one. Do you know where I can get a diagram on this model RV?

Chris Ernstes on August 15, 2020:

Wow, so glad I found this site! We have a 1996 Fleetwood Southwind storm. while driving it yesterday, the engine went dead. Discovered that the motor battery had failed, and ended up melting the positive hook up post completely off! Purchased a new battery, installed it and the motor started up just fine and we drove back home. (were just a few miles from home, fortunately!) When we arrived home and plugged it into our 30 amp hook up, no electricity in the rv. Discovered that the fuses on the converter had completely melted, along with the plastic housing for the fuses. Not sure if the battery just went bad and caused a surge, battery was overcharged because of another failure and went bad and surged?

Derrick Palmer on August 14, 2020:

I have a 1995 tioga c class, all lights were fine 2 weeks ago , but now certain section the lights do not work, fan in bathroom does ot work and hot water tank is a no go . Any thoughts

Shayna Ferguson on August 14, 2020:

First off amazing page! Now to my question...our 2007 keystone trailer appliances make fast clicking noises and flicker on and off, this includes the microwave, fridge, and the combo washer dryer. We tried plugging the microwave as well as the washer dryer into a 5000 watt generator using an extension cord and these symptoms still occurred. The washer dryer did flicker and eventually turned on for just a few minutes, just enough time to make the clothes wet then stopped working and went back to clicking on and off. We purchased the unit used and fear that the appliances are all fried. Have you herd of this is there possibly something that we are missing? Thank you again I sure hope we luck out and can fix the problems we are having.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 13, 2020:

Anthony - The first problem to look at is the fuse that keeps blowing. 1-Check that you have the right value fue in the fuse holder. Sometimes people will replace a fuse with one that is the wrong value, if it is wrong, then replace it with one that is the right value. 2- If the fuse is not the problem, then you need to turn OFF everything in your ToyHauler area that operates on 12-VDC, and see if the fuse still blows. 3- If it doesn't blow, then turn on your equipment, one at a time and determine which equipment is blowing the fuse. If the fuse still blows, with everything OFF, then you most likely have a short in your wiring harness somewhere.

Good Luck,

DON

Anthony Phelps on August 12, 2020:

I have a Cyclone Toy Hauler 5th wheel, in the garage I have 3 lights that will not work and everytime I try to put a fuse in, it immediately blows. The fan works, the outside door lights work...any idea what the issue may be or what I may try troubleshooting. Thanks for any help!

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 12, 2020:

MIKE - From your symptoms, it is most likely that your 12-VDC COACH (AUX) battery is not fully charged. Your Converter keeps it charged, but the converter is powered by your 110-VAC power, so make sure your RV is plugged into the power box in your campsite.

Good Luck,

DON

Mike on August 11, 2020:

My 5th wheel just lost most of the power! some power lights are on but will not turn on. The light were going light an then deem like a touch lamb before going off for good. We had to sleep in the car tonight any idea were to start. My idea is the power cord, or the converter Maybe.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 11, 2020:

Phyllis - The very first thing you should do is check that you connected ALL of the wires properly whn you changed the battery. It is not uncommon for people to not put things back the way they were, or even leave a wire loose.

This is most likely cause of your problem.

Good Luck,

DON

Phyllis holmes on August 10, 2020:

I just changed my house battery and the fan in the fuse box is not shutting off… Why is that?

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 09, 2020:

Paul - The engine fuse box would be located where the truck manufacturer had the fuse/relay box for the engine.

On the newer Class-B+ motorhomes you can normally find the fuse box, relays and control equipment mounted in the cabinets.

But when it comes to the older ones, this electrical gear could be placed anywhere, sorry to say.

I would trace the heavy wires from the COACH batteries because the HOT wires would go to the interior fuse panel.

Good Luck,

DON

Paul halsted on August 09, 2020:

We bought a 2007 Dutchman Durango class b plus can’t find the circuit or fuse box

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 08, 2020:

Chris Knob - OK,Let's tear this one down and get to the root of your problem.

First, Your slideout and power jacks operate, so your camper batteries have a charge on them.

But, your interior lights, water pump and electric thermostat do not work, and all of these things operate on the same batteries, via our DC Fuse panel.

With that said, you say all of the fuses are good but your symptoms say that normally you should have some blown fuses, you could have some wiring that has been torn up.

I believe you should use a multimeter and measure the voltage in several places; across the battery terminals (must be at least 13.5-VDC (fully charged, up to 14.5-VDC (being charged) and it must not be around 12.5-VDC because this indicates that the converter is not charging the battery.

Then you should check the voltage going to; the interior lights, the fridge, the water pump and the electric thermostat. Each of these should have the same voltage going to them that you read across the battery.

Good Luck,

DON

Chris Knob on August 08, 2020:

I have a 2015 Springdale Camper Trailer. The interior lights, fridge, water pump and electric thermostat do not work. But the slide out and all power jacks operate just fine. I have had the batteries tested, they tested good, I replaced the convertor with a brand new on. None of the breakers are tripped, I have pulled all the fuses in fuse panel and they are good. There is a 15 amp fuse coming off the battery(its the only one I can find) it was blown but I replaced and it hasn't blown again. When I hook up to our generator, I can get the plugs to work but nothing else. Any ideas??? I appreciate any help I can get . Thank you

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 05, 2020:

John - From your symptoms, I have to make a few assumptions, the first of which is are you talking about your DC-VOLTAGE system? I have to ask if you possibly replaced or rewired your COACH batteries in your RV? Because, if they are wired properly, it is impossible to have such a high DC-VOLTAGE from them to your RV DC-Voltage electrical system.

If you're talking about your AC-VOLtAGE System? Sure, you may have a 50-AMP AC-Voltage system but this has nothing to do with your DC-VOLTAGE system.

Now, if you're actually talking about your 110-VAC 50-AMP AC-Voltage System and you are only reading 29-VAC then you need to go to your campsite power box and check if you have the proper voltage there.

Good Luck,

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on August 03, 2020:

Tom - From your symptoms, I am guessing that your COACH battery may not be fully charged. Check it before you do anything else.

And make sure you used the proper model# LED lamps for replacing your old incandescent lamps.

Your slide also operates on your COACH battery, and if the fuses are good in your interior 12-VDC fuse panel then you can also make sure you have your AUX Cut-Off switch in the right position.

Good Luck,

DON

Tom Plunkett on August 02, 2020:

In the process of replacing 2 old overhead 12v lights (that worked) with LED lights, something happened. There is no longer any voltage at the wires going to the lights and the slide out has stopped working. Fuses are all good.

Don Bobbitt on July 31, 2020:

Susan Wallace - Your symptoms are sparce, but because you mention that your camper batteries (ie. your COACH batteries) only gt enough power when you run your truck engine does give me a hint about your problem.

First of all, your TV would be powered by your camper's INVERTER, which converts your 12-VDC from your COACH batteries to 100-VAC for your TV.

Normally your ENGINE electrical system would be separate from your COACH electrical system, so

I can speak to your racing your truck engine affecting your Camper power system.

But you are aware that your RV's batteries are kept charged by the builtin CONVERTER which in turn gets its power from your 110-VAC system, which comes from your external power source like in a campground. So, every few days, you must plug your camper into a 110-VAC source and recharge your COACH batteries.

I hope this helps?

DON

Susan Wallace on July 31, 2020:

My coach is not getting full power off of my batteries. Everything seems to work but my TV sound doesn’t which is an indicator of low battery power. Sound works if I run the truck to put more juice into it. What could be wrong?

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 30, 2020:

Michael - I believe I understand. You did state that your Converter power indicator light was turning ON and OFF. This is an indication that its 110-VAC input to the Converter is turning ON and OFF. As you know the Converter keeps your COACH batteries charged and it is plugged into a 110-VAC receptacles that is powered by one of your breakers in your breaker box. Admittedly, intrmittent problems can be tough to find the cause, but this is the best I can dfo for you without being there and examining your RV electrical system myself.

Good Luck,

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 30, 2020:

Frank - From your symptoms, it sounds like you need to check our adapter cable that you use between the generator and your camper. Your warning light is telling you that the wiring (HOT and COMMON lines) are reversed and need to be changed.

Good Luck,

DON

Michael Rader on July 29, 2020:

Brother I don’t think you’re hearing me. I’m telling you I have three batteries that are fully charged, we have replaced the converter with a brand new one, and we are still losing low-voltage power intermittently. And it now looks like it does it most often when the water heater is turned on. All AC appliances stay on during the intermittent power loss.

Frank on July 29, 2020:

I just purchased a champion generator inverter for my pull behind camper. I used it and my red light on my plug head came on. They say that means reverse polarity. What do I need to do?

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 29, 2020:

Jordan h - You should have an ON/OFF switch for your Hot Water Heater; as well as a switch for selecting 110-VAC or Propane to operate it. Check that these switches are in the proper positions.

Good Luck,

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 29, 2020:

Dennis - With a fifth-wheeler the door entrance light and the step are powered by your AUX (Coach) battery. The step light is also powered by the same battery.

And, when you turn OFF your CUT-OFF switch, the other DC equipment inside your RV are disonnected, by=ut typically not the step or the entrance light. They are controlled by your switch at the entrance. because you may use the step or the entrance light while traveling and making occasional stops, as well as while in campsites and not hooked up. And, check your Coach battery and that it is fully charged.

Good Luck,

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 29, 2020:

Michael - Your Thermostat, lights and often the stereo all operate on your COACH batteries. Check if they are fully charged before you do anything else.

Good Luck,

DON

Jordan h on July 28, 2020:

Hello I just got a 2011 fourseeker And I can’t get hot water ... the stove works but nothing else gets home and where their should be a flame it won’t even light... can anyone help me??? Thanks

Dennis on July 28, 2020:

I have a 2011 Montana 3150 fifth wheel. All electrical worked well until recently. The over head door light as well as the step light stayed on with switch off and then finally disconnected. Any idea what the problem would be?

Michael Rader on July 28, 2020:

Don thank you for replying. Our AC power is not going off, only DC. Our residential refrigerator, out TV’s all stay on during the outages. Only logic stuff goes off like thermostat, lights, and stereo.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 28, 2020:

Michael - from your symptoms, I suspect that you may have an intermittent 110-VAC power source to your RV or inside it..

Start at your campsite power box and make sure your external power cord is firmly connected at each end. If you have one, use a multimeter to measure the campsite voltage. Then, reset ALL of your breakers in your breaker panel, in case one is only partially kicked off.

Good Luck,

DON

Michael Rader on July 27, 2020:

Thank you for his page! Spent well over an hour going through all of your Q&As but can’t find an answer to my issue. Like others I’m having intermittent 12v power loss. Every once in awhile we lose all lights as the converter goes off for about 60 seconds then back on. I was certain it was the converter because my 2 batteries were only a year old (and filled with water). I replaced the converter with a brand new one and to my dismay we are still having the same issues. I then took both batteries to O’Reillys to have them tested and they both came back as good batteries. I went ahead and bought a third battery and hooked them up. Later that day we lost 12v power again. Very, very frustrating. When the converter resets I see a green LED on the panel turn off then blink on when power is auto-restored. What else could be the issue? Thank you!

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 27, 2020:

Kurtis - Remember that you have a COACH battery in your camper that provides the power for all of your camper's lights, among other things.

Always make sure your battery has water in it and is fully charged. This battery is kept charged by your camper's Converter which is in thrun powered by your camper's external power source.

A Coach battery that is not fully charged is the leading cause of interior lights not operating.

Good Luck,

DON

Kurtis on July 27, 2020:

I have a 2019 Forest River Stealth toy hauler and recently, my bedroom lights , one on a switch and one push button stopped working. I also notice my outside light by the hitch doesn't work either. All of the nonfunctioning lights are in the front of the trailer. Checked all switches, fuses, breakers which are all good. Swapped out a couple of the lights with ones that are working - not the lights. I'm thinking a wire nut or connection has vibrated loose. How should I approach troubleshooting this?

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 23, 2020:

CompleteNewbie - Yep, almost all motorhomes require that the Parking Brake be on before the slides will work.

Have a Great day,

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 23, 2020:

Complete Newbie - Welcome to the world of RV travel. First, on an older Rv, you must always keep the AUX batteries fully charged. They are kept charged by your RVs Converter and sometimes, it will be able to power some of your interior electrical devices. So, check that the battery(s) is not old (5 or more years) and that is has plenty of water(distilled) in it. SO, from your symptoms, I do suspect your AUX battery (s).

Good Luck,

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 23, 2020:

gblues45 - Your Fridge control circuit board is powered by your 12-VDC AUX battery. The other wire that you say powers your Awning and interior lights? Well, the interior lights are powered by the same 12-VDC battery in your RV. With a motorhome the awning would normally be powered by your Engine battery, but having a 5th wheel, it looks like they just spliced into the wire you mention to get to the AUX batteries.

So, the first thing you do is check that fuse and see if it is what the Rv electrical system is designed for. If it is, then you should check that the awning isn't drawing too much current. BUT, if you are not qualified to get into current measurements, please stay away from this problem. remember, ELECTRICITY CAN KILL YOU. The design engineer would not have normally loaded up a fuse to right at the fuses limit, so I am guessing the awning motor is drawing too much current, or the they ties something else to the wire that feeds the awning???

Goo Luck,

DON

CompleteNewbie on July 23, 2020:

We're such idiots. Just read on a forum that we should make sure the parking brake is engaged because some models won't extend until the brake is on.

Apparently ours is one of those models. Thanks again for the great article. I'm saving it for a resource in the future.

CompleteNewbie on July 23, 2020:

First of all, Thank you Don for a very informative beginner article.

My husband and I just purchased a 2001 Thor Four Winds 23J Class C motorhome and we're completely overwhelmed. Perhaps we're not made for all this!

We took the RV to a repair shop for tires and to repair the traffic blinkers, but when we got it home after the repairs, the slide would not work. (Everything worked perfectly before.)

The battery power switch is on, we've run the generator successfully and all the other electric works (AC, water pump, water heater), and we have checked the fuses which all look good.

The only thing we have not done is to plug it into shore power. The battery reads at the highest level on the test level lights. Could the battery still be low charge?

Also, there is no whirring or any sound at all when we push the extend button. Just nothing.

gblues45 on July 23, 2020:

I have a 2018 Grand Design 5th wheel. The fuse for the refrigerator, some lights and a small awning kept blowing. On the back of the Fridge are some junction boxes and connections. The original wiring has two wires that were connected to make a single wire and then connected into the 12v connections on the back of the fridge. I ran separate wires from the main fuse box in the rv to fridge and got the fridge working (both hot and neutral) However, the small awning and several lights still don't work. I tried connecting them into my temporary wire like the original wiring and the fuse blew again. I am thinking I have a short in some of the wiring for the awning and lights. I checked the awning motor and it works when connected directly to a 12 volt battery. How do I find a short in these wires that run willy nilly with different color wires? Any thoughts or advise would be appreciated.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 23, 2020:

Ian - On most motorhomes, the entrance light switch is only for the ceiling light nearest the door. Considering you have no other problems, and that the light affected operates with its manual switch, I would go to my DC Fuse panel cnd check for a blown fuse.

Good Luck,

DON

Ian Couzens on July 22, 2020:

I have a 2006 tifften allegro bay and all the lights work from there swiches but not the swich as you enter the rv. tested the swich and the swich is good

I have a black wire and a yellow wire.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 22, 2020:

Margie - Your camper should have a built-in battery that must be kept charged. It powers these lights and other interior electrical equipment that operates on 12-VDC. Also, make sure that the LED lamps you used are direct replacements for your old incandescent bulbs.

Good Luck,

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 22, 2020:

Richard, Typically on motorhomes, the exterior light over your entrance door is powered by your Engine (or Main ) battery. In trailers, it is powered by your COACH (or AUX) battery. Either way, if the switch is not functioning, check that it has 12-VDC voltage on each side of the switch.

DON

MARGIEJAZ on July 21, 2020:

We just acquired a 2002 kiwi 21c. The outside auxillary lights dont work. I replaced fuses, check breaker, replaced lights with led ones, checked wires and connections. And still not working. Can you advise?

benjamin lamb on July 21, 2020:

RV house batteries are new and 13.5vdc. the input house dc power at the front fuse panel is 10.6vdc. what is causing this voltage drop?

Richard Wolf on July 20, 2020:

Light switch which controls outside lights stays on as well as the lights outside. Will not turn off.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 20, 2020:

Good, but you could still have either loose connections or bad oxidation where the wires inside the RV are tied to the body, as I mentioned.

Good Luck,

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 20, 2020:

Rarejul - First of all, remember that your lights operate on your AUX battery(s) in yoyr camper, so make sure they have water in them and that they are fully charged. This is the most common cause of your problem.

Next, you should check that your campsite power box is providing the proper power to your RV; 1- check that your external power cable is fully plugged in on both ends and 2- that the pins on the connectors are not oxidized and in need of cleaning.

Good Luck,

DON

Richard Tucker on July 19, 2020:

thanks,ill try that,the cord thats on it is the cord built into the rv that you pull out of the side of camper

Rarejul on July 19, 2020:

Question, I took my 20013 fun finder out and plugged into shore power at campground. Turned on my light over the sink and realized I had a blown fuse. Replaced fuse and the lights work. Problem is that the fuse panel starts to light and I get dimming and fluctuation with the light on, or using the GFI outlet on this circuit. Any ideas where I should start looking.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 19, 2020:

Richard - As you know, a GFCI will kick if it detects any minor current leakage between the COMMON wires and GROUND.

And, many older portable generators do not have a GFCI protected output.

As to your camper trailer, it is wired with a solid ground to the chassis.

The next thing to consider is that your cable from the RV to the generator may be too long because it could have some induced current between the common and ground wires that a new more sensitive GFCI could detect.

TRy grounding your generator and purchasing a cable with larger wires in it to reduce any potential current losses from it

Also, 1-disconect the RV and see if just having the cable connected works, then 2- turn OFF all of your AC-Viltage breakers, including the MAIN, and then try to run the gen with the RV connected.

then 3-chek inside the RV, near the external power connector and examine where the GROUND and COMMON are connected to the chassis.

Good Luck,

'DON

Richard Tucker on July 19, 2020:

i had my trailer running on ac at home with everything fine.took the trailer 4hrs to site,no electric on site.plugged rv to brand new briggs 6500 watt gen. and it instantly stapped gfi receptical on gen,tried over and over and it did it every time.i have run it on a different gen before with no prob.i dont ground the gen. but i never have,didnt know what might cause this.woudering if the was a short somewhere from travel

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 16, 2020:

Brenda - With a Lightning hit you never can tell just how much it was damaged without a thorough physical inspection of the interior wiring before you try anything.

If it is new, you should contact the manufacturer and check what they tell you is how they recommend it be covered under their warranty. And you should also contct your insurance company about what they recommend.

The problem for you is how potentially dangerous using it might be before it is used again without a professional going over it for you.

Good Luck,

DON

Brenda on July 15, 2020:

Our son's new 5th wheel with slide outs was indirectly hit by lightning on the ground near it.

My question is will the be 5th wheel be repairable? Or are the electrical wires fried?

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 12, 2020:

Gordon - You have a number of power modules in your RV for controlling different electrical equipment.

You hae a breaker panel in your Rv that has breakers that turn ON/OFF 120-VAC to a number of electrical equipment in your RV.

So, as to your Air units, they are controlled (on/off, temperature, etc.) by your temperature control panel, which is powered by your RV's 12-VDC battery(s)

I recommend that you check this battery voltage and that it has water in it. The battery must be fully charged for a number of electrical equipment to function properly, so check that your Converter is functioning properly and has your batteries fully charged. This is the top problem for most RV's with interior electrical equipment. Of course, your AC units run on 220-VAC, but they are controlled by this panel that operates on 12-VDC.

Good Luck,

DON

Gordon Cachola on July 12, 2020:

I have a 2011 Montana with 2 AC units that have trip the brakers and not able to reset, I have a code that stated: loss of 120 VAC power to all power module boards on the system. Are these module boards within the AC units of is there an external power distribution penal for these units? One AC unit is factory install and the other was installed 6 years ago that is not controlled by the thermostat.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 11, 2020:

Robin - No Problem. I love helping my fellow Campers.

Have a Great day,

DON

Robin on July 11, 2020:

Thank you.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 10, 2020:

Ray - Let me first say that with your electric leveling jacks you should first check the fuse in your fuse panel that should have blown and protected your wiring.

Each jack is essentially a sliding center rod that is driven up and down by your Jack control panel. One problem that occurs often is that the jack can become jammed. When this happens, the electric motor for each jack can draw too much current and thus possibly melt your wiring, if the fuse does not blow.

I recommend that you take pictures of the wiring and contact the THOR customer service and demand that they fix this problem. If the fuse in the fuse holder is the proper value then the it would have blown and this would not have happened.

Good luck,

DON

Rey on July 10, 2020:

We have a 2019 THOR Quantum that has two rear electrical stabilizing jacks. The Right side works, the Left doesnt. I looked at the wiring to the main header for the jacks and noticed one of the wiring connections (yellow wire) was burnt and melted the snap connect fitting. This is the reason behind the Left side not working I'm sure even though I'm not an electrician or claim to be one. Is this something that I should attempt to fix or should I take it to an RV shop and have them fix it as I'm wondering why it burnt out and is it a fire hazzard concern as the other wires and connection is looking like it too is starting to discolor the red wiring to the other wire fitting. Thanks and any advise is greatly appreciated. Rey in Colorado

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 09, 2020:

francesca - your rv has a standard RV external power cord. And any external receptacle you use for power should be able to match the connection on that power cord. I suspect that your household 30-amp cord is not wired the same as is required for an RV, so you should get the wiring done properly at the house and with your cord. PS. a 100-foot cord would have a lot of current loss, unless it was wired with very large wire.

Good luck,

DON

francesca plotino-graves on July 09, 2020:

We have just had a dedicated 30 AMP receptacle added to our garage so we can use shore power when we are getting ready to go on a trip. We also bought the BEST we could find, 30 AMP extension cord @ 100 FT.

We plugged this in for the first time today and we have no power. so we turned on inverter and now the Air conditioner (only thing we're running) keeps going on and off.

We're newbies to this 2013 27N Vista Winnebago as well as the RV world.

What are we missing or not doing correctly?

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on July 09, 2020:

Jack - Each of the lights you mention are powered by the engine electrical system.

You should first check that the engine batery(s) is fully charged, and then go to your fuse panel under your hood. Check that all of th fuses are good and if they are, then you should get a multimeter and measure that you have voltage to the fuse panel and also out of each fuse.

Cold you have a ground problem? well, in most rv's, just like in your automobile,each type of accessory is usually tied to the nearest ground point on the chassis.

Good luck,

DON

jack on July 09, 2020:

my headlights, dash lights and turn signals do not work on my 2002 Ambassador motorhome. I changed the headlight switch and now the dash lights work but my headlights and turn signals still do not work. I'm thinking it might be the ground wire? If so where would the ground wire be located for my Ambassador?

Christopher on July 02, 2020:

2001 Aerolite Cub had the inverter system fail and no longer charged the battery -- purchased a replacement DC inverter/AC breaker assembly and carefully duplicated the wiring hookups from the original.

In the old setup, the AC panel and the refrigerator were both hooked into the same breaker. Now, if the breaker is switched off, the AC panel works- lights turn on, etc- but the fridge doesn't work. If the breaker is switched on the fridge works, but the AC panel doesn't.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on June 30, 2020:

Dave - You must hae your COACH batteries in your Rv and they must be kept fully charged. These batteries power such things as; your interior lights, your 2-Way Fridge control ciruit board, your alarms, your tenperature control panel, and your power management panel. The batteries are kept charged by your Converter and it is powered by your 110-VAC Rv power.

Get those batteries operating properly and your problems will likely go away.

Good Luck,

DON

Dave Hasler on June 29, 2020:

We recently purchased a 1996 Fleetwood Prowler. We had it plugged into our home, (No batteries are connected). Everything worked great for a few weeks, and now nothing EXCEPT the microwave runs. There IS power to breakers, and fuses. GFCI is not tripped. Any ideas?

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on June 28, 2020:

Robin - boiling batteries is never a good thing, and fixing this should be your first priority.

From your symptoms you mention that you recently changed your batteries. I suggest that you go back and check that you took care to check that you wired the batteries back EXACTLY like they were before. Not wiring the new batteries properly is a top problem for the uninitiated RV owner.

Your RV has a Converter which is designed to keep your batteries charged, but NOT to apply so much voltage that a bettry would boil.

Good Luck,

DON

robin talbot on June 27, 2020:

hi don ,have a 2008 astoria 38 feet 6.7liter engine , Electrical problem ,when connected on shore power rv power goes out intermitted ,blackout completely, indicates E5 OL on board inside rv ,batteries are new . Lost my marker lights outside too . noticed that batteries on inverter seem to be boiling is this normal thanks

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on June 24, 2020:

Stephen - When contractors rewire an RV for Solar Power, asn your symptoms indicate has been done to your RV, they do some custom wiring that I cannot see.

But, speaking generally the number one problem with batteries is that Rv owners do not wire them back the same as they were when they change to new batteries. The number two problems is that people do not maintain their batteries and they become low on water.

SO, I would recommend that you go back and make sure you have everything wired exactly as they were.

Good luck,

DON

Stephen Leech on June 23, 2020:

I have a Challenger Mageo Rv 2.3. 2 leisure batteries in the back and a starter battery underneath the drivers seat. I recently renewed all 3 batteries but now the control panel will not register the starter battery only when electricity is hitched up.

I have tried disconnecting and reconnecting all 3 batteries alternately, checked every fuse with a multi meter including the 2 bolted down 50 volt fuses and the 70 volt and also the 32 volt...all registering OK. I have tried every fuse on the control panel...all good and the fuses that the mechanics added for the 2 solar panels on the roof.

There is no reset button on the control panel but everything else is working fine including registering the leisure batteries, water pump etc and as I said the starter battery when hitched up to electricity.

Im at my wits end with this one

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on June 22, 2020:

Roger - As you know your Fleetwood motorhome has either;

1-two 6-VDC batteries for the engine, and two 6-VDC batteries for the COACH compartment electronics.

Or, 2- it has two 12-VDC batteries for each function.

Of course, the wiring would be different in the battery compartment depending or which battery type was used.

But as I think about your symptoms, I cannot imagine a way you could have wired the batteries into the RV that would cause the ignition to stay on (ie. engaged starter), unless the ignition switch was "fried" or the ignition solenoid is stuck ON.

I would disconnect the wires from the solenoid and see if the solenoid "drops out".

Good Luck,

DON

Roger Pletan on June 22, 2020:

I recently purchased a 1999 Fleetwood RV. The engine batteries were low so I took them out and charged them up. I made an error in reinstalling them. I have now got everything working except the ignition stays on without the key on. Can you help.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on June 21, 2020:

Kyle - Your COACH batteries power a number of 12-VDC items in your camper, and they are kept charged by your Converter.

If you do not keep good fully charged batteries in your Rv then things will have to run on the Converter alone. Your problem will be that your Converter is not designed to run all of your 12-VDC appliances, so you will have times when certain equipment will not operate.

Good Luck,

DON

Kyle on June 20, 2020:

Both of my batteries are bad in my camper but i am plugged into the house where i am staying. Am i hurting anything by not having batteries or is it ok to run my camper this way?

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on June 20, 2020:

Sherri - Check those battery connections again.

Your COACH batteries are kept charged by your CONVERTER, which in turn operates on your 110-VAC. From your symptoms, you may not have your batteries connected properly and are operating on your Converter when your Rv is plugged into external power.

Good Luck,

DON

Sherri on June 18, 2020:

We have a 2018 Thor chateau. We took it out of storage and connected the 2 batteries and we have no power. The main switch does not have any lights. Checked batteries and both have over 12 volts. Checked the 2 40 amp fuses and both are fine. However, we have power when we plug it into the house. Help?

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on June 16, 2020:

Ginny - Did you install the new AC or did the dealer? Your symptoms state that the old AC worked but was no longer cooling. So, I would suspect the installation.

Go back and check that all of the wiring was done properly. The thermostat wiring to the AC should be the same as with the Zone-1 AC unit, so you can use it as a guide, but BE CAREFUL! If you get into the AC unit there is AC-VOLTAGE in the unit and you could be hurt, or worse.

Good luck,

DON

Ginny Upton on June 15, 2020:

We purchased a new heat pump for zone 2. The old wasn't cooling. We could set temp etc and actually could use zone 2. Now, after installing new, we have no zone 2. We have 12 volts when the power is off at the thermostat but 6 when it's on. Thermostat doesn't recognize zone 2. 2007 Coachman Sportscoach. Duo Therm Heat pump changed to Penguin Heat pump.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on June 13, 2020:

Pat - This often raises red flags for me because so many people make their own external power cables and adapters and quite often, they do not wire them properly for an RV. But you said that everything worked normally for you for quite a while, so I would discount this as being your problem.

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on June 13, 2020:

Pat - The first thing you need to keep in mind about your RV is the fact that you have a number of appliances, lights, alarms and other devices that operate on your 12-VDC COACH batteries. So, you need to keep it (them?) in good condition, full of distilled water and fully charged.

If you have a multimeter then you should check the voltge directly across the terminals of the COACH battery. Typically, if you read around 14.5-VDC then your Converter is running and trying to charge the battery, If you read around 13.5-VDC then the battery is fully charged, and if you read around 12.5-VDC the battery is not fully charged and the converter is not charging it.

Your Converter runs on your 110-VAC so it could be your problem if the battery voltage is low.

These were the easy things to check that are the more common problems, now to your breaker.

If you have a breaker that will not reset, then you either have a bad breaker, or you have something on that circuit that is drawing lot of current.

Your Fridge is called a 2way Fridge and it will operate on either 110-VAC or Propane, and it has a control panel that operates on your 12-VDC. So check if it will switch over to propane, and if not then you may have a battery voltage problem. If it does operate on propane then the 110-VAC is most likely missing.

Your Tank Level display also operates on 12-VDC which indicate th battery or Converter?

GFCI receptacles are commonly found in your bathroom and kitchen areas because these areas are where you may get shocked by touching metal appliances with electrical problems. Your bedroom and living area receptacles are typically just regular receptacles.

With all of this being said, I ope you can deduce what your real problem is.

From your symptoms, I would unplug everything that is plugged into all of your receptacles and see if the breaker resets. If not then you may have a bad breaker that needs replafing.

Good Luck,

DON

Don Bobbitt (author) from Ruskin Florida on June 13, 2020:

Larry - Before you go any further, make sure your RV's COACH battery is fully charged because your temperature control panel is powered by your 12-VDC. If your battery is not fully charged then the thermostat can do some strange things.

You may want to read my article on HubPages "How to Service Your RV Furnace" and go through the steps to see what might be bad.

Good Luck,

DON

Pat Smith on June 12, 2020:

I need to add my motorhome is plugged into a dedicated RV 50 amp, complete hookups here at the house. Thanks again.

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