Troubleshooting and Repairing RV Electrical Problems for the Beginner

Updated on January 24, 2019
Don Bobbitt profile image

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

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

Electrical Problems in RVs: For the Novice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Electricity Can Kill!

Please remember this when using the information below!

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

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

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

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

Troubleshooting Your RV's Electrical Problems

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

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

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

Some Basic Electrical Information for the RV Owner

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

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

  • The AC (alternating current) electrical system (generally 115 volts), which runs the air conditioner and some other devices.
  • The DC (direct current) system (12 volts), which runs the lights, switches, slides, and thermostats.
  • In addition, refrigerators and some appliances run on propane fuel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Troubleshooting Fuses and Breakers

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

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

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

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

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

Ground Fault Indicators

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

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

Don't Upgrade Your Fuses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Troubleshooting 12-Volt System Problems

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

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

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

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

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

Using a Multimeter

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

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

Klein MM200 Auto Ranging Multimeter
Klein MM200 Auto Ranging Multimeter
When my old multimeter died, I selected this one for its functions, ruggedness and ease of use.
 

3. Troubleshooting Problems Coming From the Outside Power Supply

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

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

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

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

Surge Protector, Yes or No?

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

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

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

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

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

4. Troubleshooting AC Current Draws

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

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

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

How Much Current Do Your Appliances Draw?

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

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

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

Estimating Maximum Current

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

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

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

P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor
P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor
If you suspect an appliance of drawing too much current, use this handy meter and monitor what it actually uses. This is a valuable tool for your toolbox.
 

Useful Electrical Terms, Abbreviations, and Data

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

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

One-Letter Electrical Abbreviations

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

Resistor Values and Colors

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

Good Luck Now

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

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

  • Why would my fridge light come on when we open the fridge if it isn't on in my RV?

    I assume your Fridge is one of the 2-Way Fridge units that uses your 12-VDC to power the control circuit board.

    The light is powered by this 12-VDC, and is controlled by a small switch that you cn find at the door. Check this switch and make sure it is operating properly, and the light goes out when it is depressed.

  • My RV's generator is generating power but the outlets are dead. Could the breakers be bad?

    I assume you have power in your RV when it is plugged into campsite power? And when you start your generator, the RV does not switch over to its power? If this is the problem then your RV's power control panel may not be functioning properly as it senses which power source is available and then selects the appropriate solenoid to connect only ONE of the power sources for your RV. And when the generator is running it should have been selected.

    As to your outlets, are you looking at ALL outlets or just the GFCI ones? Make sure that your GFCI main receptacle has been reset if only GFCI outlets have no power.

  • I just changed the battery rack of my RV. Now, I have no inside power. I cant run the slides out, nor can I run the AC. Why is this?

    Go back and check your wiring of the batteries and make sure you have not rewired things improperly. This is easy to do.

  • Does it matter which way the RV's blade fuses go into the converter?

    No, it doesn't matter.

  • 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?

    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

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    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      Jose - Most RV slides can be "hand cranked". The manufacturers have a "bolt-head" on the end of the shaft that you can use to crank the slide out, using a wrench or power drill.

      But, you have to crawl under the slide and find the bolthead.

      One other thing though; your rv hould have a "Cut-Off" switch that you can use to turn OFF the power to the an RV when you put it in storage. Make sure this switch is in the right position so that your slide and other DC-Voltage powered devices have power to them.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Jose 

      3 days ago

      I have a leyton 1994 rv model 3611. Yesterday i tried to extend the slide but nothing happen when i press the switch. Battery is charged but nothing. Fuses are ok. Someone told i can crank it manually. Where supposed to be this part to do it. Is a reset button? Where? Where is the motor?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      William - Actually this happens quite often with RVs after they get older.

      Most likely you have a ground wire at your external power receptacle and inside the RV that has either developed a buildup of corrosion or has oxidized.

      Most Rv owners will clean the wire contact area and the bolt on the chassis to eliminate this "current leakage".

      Just make sure your external power cable is unplugged while you do this, and make sure you securely tighten the nut on the connection after you clean everything.

      Have a Great day,

      DON,

    • profile image

      William Patterson 

      12 days ago

      I have a 2005 four winds on a chevy express 3500 chassis. When working under the chassis and the rig is plugged into shore power I get a tingle feeling as if there is electricity running between the chassis through me to ground. I unplugged the shore power and it stops.

      Where do I start to find the problem?

      I understand electricity and have a multi-meter to test with.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Dwan - Your 2-way Fridge operates on either 110-VAC or Propane, but a lot of people don't realize that the Control Circuit board on the bck of the Fridge operates on your 12-VDC from your COACH batteries.

      So, your Coach batteries are kept charged by your Converter which is in turned powered by your 110-VAC, from either your external power source or our generator.

      What you call the "Kill Switch" is actually a shutoff switch for your COACH battery when you put your RV in storage.

      Your symptoms indicate that your COCH batteries are not fully charged, so check the water level and that it is being charged properly by your Converter.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Ray - Your 2-way Frige actually operates on either 110-VAC or on Propane. What a lot of people do not realize is that the Control Circuit board on the back of the fridge actually operates on your 12-VDC from your COACH (House) battery.

      Your Converter operates on your exterior 110-VAC and it keeps your COACH battery charged when your RV is plugged into external 110-VAC power.

      And, your Converter is not designed to handle your RV's full load of 12-VDC devices, only to keep your COACH battery charged, when plugged up, and with a full charge these COACH batterie should handle everything for several days of normal travel and use.

      Your Engine battery, by the way is part of the "Truck's" electrical system and not the Coach equipment.

      From your symptoms, your Fridge not working when you plug into external 110-VAC would indicate that your COACH battery is not fully charged so check it for adequate water levels, and that it is taking a charge.

      Your Ignition switch should have NO effect on the Converter.

      Motorhomes do have a switch that is labeled AUX, and when it is pressed, the COACH battery is connected in parallel to the Engine battery if it does not have enough juice to start your engine.

      Realizing all of this, you should then re-evaluate what is and isn't functioning properly again.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Dwan 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi! I have a 93 coachman class a rear diesel pusher I just bought and the frig won’t run unless I have the generator on. I replaced the kill switch next to the door and cleaned some very oxidated wires next to the transfer switch but I still can’t get it to run on propane. I can do mechanics but electrical terrifies me and I’m a loner female with no money. Thanks for your help!

    • profile image

      Ray 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi Don. I really appreciate the fact that you are so willing to help others, like you do.

      I have an old 1983 Lindy Class C RV on a Chevy van that has an electrical problem: When I plug the RV into 110VAC from our home, the lights in the RV come on and everything in the interior of the RV work fine...except the fridge.

      I discovered that the voltage converter (an old B-W 3230-UL model) doesn't show any output from the battery charging circuit (which also seems to supply the fridge), if plugged into the house with the ignition switch off. So my immediate suspicion was that the converter was bad; however, if you turn the ignition switch on, everything works fine, including the fridge.

      To repeat, the output from the converter that supplies the interior circuit (lights, etc.) works fine, no matter if the ignition switch is on or off, so that part seems ok.

      Here is what I have since found, using my VOM:

      1. I know there is an overload protector real close to the battery, so I checked it (it's good).

      2. Under the hood, there is a button labeled 'Auxiliary Battery, Press to Reset' so I checked it for continuity and voltage on both sides (good), and in series with that, there is a fused relay that I suspect is an ignition relay of some sort (the fuse is good). When I switch the ignition on & off, it activates with a loud 'click,' and there is 12 VDC on both sides (good).

      Obviously, there must be a wire from the ignition, somewhere, although I don't know which one it is or where it goes. However, it must be okay, if things work when the ignition is turned on, right?

      So that's where I'm at. I first discovered the problem when I went out to see if the fridge was working after sitting all winter, only to discover that the house battery was dead and the fridge wouldn't fire up.

      According to the fridge manual, the fridge requires a fully charged house battery to work, even if it is being used on 110VAC. So, I then thought that simply charging the house battery would cure the problem; however, after bringing it up to full charge, the fridge still wouldn't come on, unless, as stated, the ignition is turned on.

      Any ideas? I realize that there are probably many different wiring configurations for all of the years, makes, and models of RV's, and I don't have a wiring diagram for this old beast, so I know it's a long shot to think that you could, hopefully, be able to figure it out, but, at this point, I'm out of ideas as to what to do, so you're my only hope.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Frazer - If your COACH batteries are fully charged but none of your 12-VDC electrical equipment is working (ie. Interior Lights) then you may not have your Power Control Switches turned ON. These switches disconnect your 12-VDC batteries (AUX) and your 12-V-Engine battery (MAIN) when you are not using your RV, such as when in storage so that the batteries do not discharge quickly.

      These switches are often located over or near the entrance door and they actually operate a pair of relays that switch the higher current lines.

      BTW, if the engine doesn't crank, then you should check the battery under the hood that is for the engine and make sure it is also charged. Remember the MAIn switch controls the power to the engine and the AUX switch controls the power to the interior equipment.

      I hope this helps!

      Have a Great day,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Doozy - Yes, Your CONVERTER operates on your RV's 110-VAC power. It "converts" this to 12-VDC for keeping your COACH batteries fully charged. When you pull out, you do not have 110-VAC in your RV unless you have a built-in Generator that you can run when you are camping in the wild or are on the road.

      Have a Good day,

      DON

    • profile image

      Frazer 

      5 weeks ago

      Great article Don- I have a 2003 Fleetwood Southwind 32v (30amp service) I am able to get the 12 volt system (lights etc) to work when i'm connected to shore power but wont work when unplugged. My batteries are nearly new and have 13.4 volts when tested, I have changed out the power converter and checked this is sending power to the batteries. I have also checked all the 12 volt fuses and main breakers and found nothing wrong with them- I cant even start the generator (the motorhome "salemen" switches are also turned on)- any advice or guidance would be very helpful- many thanks!!

    • profile image

      Doozy 

      5 weeks ago

      Does Power converter have to have 110 voltage at start engine startup Also where does converter get It’s in the shop hour to start

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Ric - You didn't give much information about what kind of RV we are talking about, but with newer RVs there are built-in computers that monitor that everything is functioning properly.

      This Error implies that you possibly have a connector that is loose and the system is not operating properly. I would check under the dash for cables that look like they may not be fully plugged together. Often, these connectors can vibrate loose when you are traveling and might need to be reconnected.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Ric 

      6 weeks ago

      I have a message on my control panel saying com fault check wiring ( HELP )

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Kris - If your camper is a motorhome then our Exterior lights; signals, brakes, etcetera are powered by your engine battery, and if you have a travel trailer then they are powered by your towing vehicle, via your tow cable that you connect between the two,

      So, you should make sure your cable is fully plugged in at both ends. Also, your lines are fused inside the travel trailer, so check them.

      From your symptoms, I would suggest that you make sure you have good ground connections at both ends of your tow cable.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Kris 

      7 weeks ago

      My camper is getting power to the outside lights but none of them work. The running lights, indicators and brake lights? I tested power coming to them but when I put bulbs in....nothing

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      David Ayers - Often these fold up beds have a contact switch that opens the power line to the mechanisms motor when the bed is fully down or up. These depend on the proper alignment of the bed to the switch, so you should check this.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      david ayres 

      3 months ago

      the motor that operates the rear bed in my toy hauler will not shut off

      how do i fix

      thank you

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      David Boci - Your RV's interior lights operate off of your 12-VDC COACH battery(s). If they are the older incandescent bulbs, then they will just im down as our battery voltage gets low.

      BUT, If they are LED then they will operate down to a certain voltage and then they go OFF, there's no dimming with LED bulbs.

      And often, the bathroom lights are at the end of your light wiring harness and the voltage to these could be just a little lower voltage at these sockets. that those closer to your battery source. Maybe!

      So, I sugest that you check that your COACH battery is fully charged first, then maybe the light bulb type?

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      David Boci 

      3 months ago

      The lights in my fithwheel RV bathroom stopped working yesterday. Everything else works fine. I have checked the circuit breakers and fuses everything is fine. Is there any way I can troubleshoot this problem?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Jeanine - First, your stove ignitors are electrostatic and require no power. So, you should get spark, if you look closely you should see it.

      As to your Furnace, you should check two things. 1- Do you have Propane in your tank, and is it turned ON? 2- If you can smell propane when you open the control for a burner on your stove then turn it OFF and check that your COACH battery is fully charged. It power your Temperature Control panle as well as a number of other devices in your RV, but if the charge on the battery is LOW then your thermostat may not work properly.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Jeanine 

      3 months ago

      The gas stove top electric ignitors and the gas furnace are not working

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      4 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Tom Schmidt - Before yu go into anything else, check your COACH (or house) battery. It must be fully charged to power those slides, so check the water level in the battery, and then check that it is fully charged by your Converter.

      A low battery is the most common problem for slides not operating properly, so once you are confident that your battery is fully charged and if the slides are still not operating properly, with some RVs you can swap the control modules between slides. I would recommend this if the other slide is operating properly.

      That click sound is usually the switch applying power to a solenoid that actually applies the higher current needed to move that heavy slide.

      So, from your symptoms, and after confirming that your motor does operate properly and moves the slide, i go back to the battery being your most likely problem.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Tom Schmidt 

      4 months ago

      I have an Alpenlite Ridgewood 30RK. The Main slide quite working after deploying about 2 feet. Reversing the lever on the slide motor allowed me to disengage so I could manually retract the slide. After testing the motor from my battery directly, the motor works and is not the problem. Toggling the slide switch in the unit, I get a faint click sound behind the wall or probably in the storage area directly behind and below. What is the clicking telling me? How do I resolve the issue?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      4 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Check my Hub named RV Towing and Electrical and then check if the extra wire (pin-7???) goes to Auxiliary Power or Backup Lights as the article says.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Art Folsom 

      4 months ago

      Sorry: You where right. I matched the yellow wires you pointed out. This is a 7 pin connection with a black wire and a white ground. There is an extra black wire of a smaller gauge that tests as a ground. Cant figure out its purpose. It comes from the camper harness.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      4 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      First of all, your Slides operate on your 12-VDC from your COACH battery in your Camper. So check that battery to see if it is fully charged.

      Secondly, You mentioned all of the proper wire colors for a standard 6-pin connector for RV; except there is no Black wire but normally there is a yellow wire for your left turn signal.

      I would not want to guess why your wiring is different without taking a multimeter to your towing wire cable,

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      art folsom 

      4 months ago

      The one way connection between the truck was torn out at the camper junction box. I have the color matched the green, red, white, blue, and brown. There is an extra black wire coming from the camper? Also which blue wire goes first to break away switch?

      2015 puma 205BH330K

      Also the back slide works but the front doesn't.

    • profile image

      Steph Janicek 

      4 months ago

      Rocker panel switches for in door lights and flood lights along with porch light stick on a 05 Montana 5th wheel what could be the problem?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      4 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Steve1266 - You have a COACH battery that must be kept charged. Check that this battery has water in it, and that it is charged. IF not, it powers a number of control panels, alarms, the fridge, and more items in your RV that all operated on 12-VDC.

      Also make sure your CUT-OFF swith is in the right position. for amping and not for storage.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      4 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Leah - From your new symptoms, everything that is not working uses 110-VAC. So, you should reset all of the breakers in your breaker box to make sure one is not kicked off, but you also need to check the breakers in your house for the circuit you are plugged into.

      Once you are sure that you have good 110-VAC going into your RV then everything should be working for you.

      Bot remember, that battery is kept charged by your Converter in your RV, and it is in turn powered by your 110-VAC, so always make sure your RV is plugged into a good 110-VAC source.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Steve1266 

      4 months ago

      2006 Puma 30DBSS.... I am having issue with getting power. I’ve plugged into campsite but nothing. Checked all fuses, still nothing. GFCI found in the bathroom, fixed that issue which was tripped. Still no power. Campsite manager check to make sure there is power to the site, which is good!! When hooked to my truck, I get some power from the battery, which doesn’t last long, when disconnected. What am I missing? Thanks

    • profile image

      Leah Peters 

      4 months ago

      Hi Don... we love your post and it has helped us through today. We are staying in our fifth wheel while our home is being built. We have a 2008 Montana Big Sky Fifth wheel. In the middle of last night half of the rig power went out from the heater, fridge, microwave, to the bedroom. After reviewing your website and posts we had to purchase a new battery. Now everything is working except the water heater, microwave, Three outlets in bedroom, and air conditioner. We verified that the gas is running to the water heater but it won’t ignite. Fuses appear good. Gfi isn’t tripped either so we are currently at a loss and since we are residing in here currently we can’t just take it in to the shop. Any ideas would be tremendous help.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      4 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      David - This series of events, up to the engine problems are pretty standard.

      When your 12-VDC COACH battery is nit charged, then the generator will not start, nor wuill you have interior lights. In fact there are several devices that will either not operate at all or will act strange, including your 2-way fridge, your temperature control panel, nor your Power Control panel.

      Your engine electrical system is not a part of your motorhomes COACH 12-VDC system. So, if your motorhomes COACH battery is not charged then check that it has water and then check if your Converter is trying to charge it.

      Once all of this is fixed, then you can check out what happened to your engine and its systems.

      Have a Nice Day,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Mike - With no more information than you have given me I would first say that you could wire your Solar panel directly to your COACH battery terminals.

      Otherwise, just to confirm this, you should get online and do some Google Searches for more information on our Solar Panel and its actual capabilities??

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Mike jordan 

      5 months ago

      I have a 20 ft. 1998 Nomad bumper pulled trailer and wanting to know how to wire a 200 watt solar panel into the built-in factoy enverter/ converter

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Randy - Your interior lights in your motorhome are powered by your 12-VDC COACH battery set.

      And your 2-way fridge circuit board also operates on this same 12-VDC.

      Your motorhome has a fuse panel, often under the dash of some RVs, that uses automotive fuses and you most likely blew one of thee fuses.

      So,find that fuse panel and you will find your blown fuse.

      Have a Nice day,

      DON

    • profile image

      Randy 

      5 months ago

      I have a 1997 Discovery motorhome, while changing a light fixture, I had a spark, it blew out all the DC elect in the kitchen, including the referator, I have checked all the brakers in the kitchen all seem ok, is there any other place to check?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Rob - First of all, I have to assume that you wired your electrical systems the same as a;most all RV manufacturers do.

      If so, then you have a seperate COACH battery and a Converter that keeps the battery charged?

      I say this because your symptoms are those if a typical motorhome owner who has a COACH battery that is not being charged, or is not taking a charge.

      The Converter runs on 110-VAC T\that is typically provided by your external campsite 110-VAC power.

      When your battery is dead, then the Converter can handle a lot ot the load from your motorhome equipment, but not all of it. Thus, if your COACH battery isn't taking a charge after a while things will shut down because of the limitations of your Converter.

      This situation is complicated somewhat when you also have SOlar power hooked in to the system, but you get the gist of what I'm saying, right?

      Gave a nice day,

      DON

    • profile image

      Rob 

      5 months ago

      We have a 2018 Ford Transit converted to a campervan. The van has a 30 amp system as well as solar power. Each system generates power to the fridge, interior lights, 10 spd fan; when on shore power we can use electrical outlets for hot water kettle. There is no AC (air conditioner) in our van. We have been in the van full time since April. Here's the issue: for the past two nights we have been dry camping and relying on solar to power the fridge, lights and fan. Woke up this morning to find no power to fridge, lights, etc. I put the key in the ignition to see in the van had power, it did. I then started the van and all power to fridge, etc came back on. I checked the power monitor (JRV micro monitor) and all lights were green. An hour later no power to fridge, etc, started the van and all power back on. We have been one day without shore and not driving, but this is the longest period without shore power or driving (2 days). Thoughts? Best regards, rob

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Frank - On most RVs I would say that you had a bad fuse in your fuse panel, probably the one under your dash.

      No offense, but Thor has a reputation for their "creativity" with their designs, and often, they do things that drive the owners a little crazy.

      Anyway, because your symptoms indicate that the problem is "after" the actual blinker unit in the wiring system (the rear lights blink), and it affects the camera, I would suspect that the ground wire is either loose, or the contact is oxidized.

      But, because you say the running light on the same socket works, you may have the connection problem with the hot wire, inside the RV.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Frank 

      5 months ago

      2016 Thor Challenger KT. Having an issue with left front driver side blinker. Rear is working. Tried changing bulb but no help. Running light on same socket will work. This also affects the mirror mounted camera on the driver side. Didn’t find any blown fuses. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Jess - Strange problem, because all of these external lights on your Class-C should be on the same fuse panel.

      Check the vehicle fuse panel under the hood as well as the fuse panel that is often under the dash somewhere.

      Have a Great Day,

      DON

    • profile image

      Jess Brenner 

      6 months ago

      I have a 1993 Winnebago Warrior. The clearance lights do not work. Tail lights, turn signals, running lights, brake lights, back up lights, all work. Can't find a fuse for clearance lights.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Todd - Your Thermostat is actually powered by your 12-VDC COACH battery as well as your radio.

      Your interior lights also run on your battery, but you have a Converter that keeps this battery charged when you are plugged into campsite power.

      But, the Converter cannot power everything and keep the battery fully charged, so some of the DC-equipment will start to operate strangely or not at all.

      I suggest that your COACH battery is either bad, or it is low on water, or it is not at full charge, and thus causing your problem.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Todd Pruitt 

      6 months ago

      I have a 2008 cougar fifth wheel I have no power to thermostat furnace or AC or radio all the lights microwave refrigerator work . Can you help please

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Robert - OK - Lets break this down.

      1- Your Emergency power switch controls a solenoid that connects your Engine Battery to your Coach battery.

      2-When the engine is running charging is ONLY going to the Engine battery.

      3- If you are connected to shore power, (110-VAC) then your Converter will charge your COACH batteries.

      Knowing these two facts, you should relook at your symptoms because these are two different 12-VDC systems, which are never connected to each other except when you press that "emergency" or AUX button.

      GoodLuck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Robert Crossley 

      6 months ago

      OK I am 1.5 weeks in to my 1st 2 week trip In my new rv It is a 2005 cruise master by Georgie boy 35' long with a Chevy 8.1 liter engine Put 3 new batteries in 1 4 the engine and 2 for the coach Way I turn the key in the Ignition to start I have no power or dashboard lights Way I hit the emergency power on the dashboard it starts rite up I tested all batteries they show proper voltage and even pass the load test when engine is running there is charging going to all batteries coach and emgine While it is running every thing works including all lights and dashboard lights and gages Just no power when I simply turn the key on On 2 occasions in 1.5 weeks of traveling All lights came on on the dashboard and the gages dropped down to 0 as if there was no power That lasted for 3 seconds It had no effect On the operation of the vehicle during those 3 seconds Any help or information would be greatly appreciated

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      You give very little information for me to help you but I can give you a few things to try.

      First, check if you have power at your campsite power box. These boxes have breakers that may need to be rest.

      Second, check that your camper external power cord is firmly inserted in the receptacle at the campsite power box and at the RV.

      Third, check that your ACPower breaker box has all of its breakers ON by reseting them.

      This is all I can suggest with so little information.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Joe 

      6 months ago

      No power inside my RV 1988 Fleetwood

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Cael Smith - If I understand your symptoms you are saying;

      1- you replaced the transfer switch because it was bad.

      2- you now have external 110-VAC coming into your main breaker panel and out if it?

      3-but nothing operates in your Dutchstar RV after this?

      At this point I can no longer interpret your symptoms, Sorry.

      Have a nice day.

      DON

    • profile image

      carl smith 

      6 months ago

      I replaced transfer switch ,it was bad ,now with shore line on and power to main entering and leaving , are hot but nothing works it ducthstar ,unplug connect the two battery 110 receptacle are hot then neg post on battery gets hot ? anyone have a suggestions ?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Amanda - All of your symptoms point to your COACH battery as your most likely cause.

      So, check that the battery is in good condition and is kept fully charged by your Converter. A low 12-VDC can cause all of the problems you mentioned. The slide runs on 12-VDC. The metering control panel uses 12-VDC. Your AC temperature control panel that controls your AC function operates on your 12-VDC. And of course your water pump operates on 12-VDC.

      Then there is the generator. It should not have any trouble operating and providing the appropriate AC-Voltage for an AC unit. Use a multimeter to monitor your 110-VAC when the generator is ON, and then measure again when you turn all other 110-VAC appliances OFF. The change in load should not change the AC-Voltage reading.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Amanda Bird 

      7 months ago

      Hi Don, I’m hoping you can point me in the right direction with this problem. We have a 2012 Itasca Impulse silver qp that has a few electrical issues. I’m convinced they’re all connected, but husband isn’t.

      1) built in generator works but doesn’t give enough power to keep the air con running. This problem was discovered this summer.

      2) last week we were boondocking and the water pump fuse kept blowing 15 amp fuse

      3) while trying to fix that we noticed we also did not have any power to the slide and the control panel showing the levels of our tanks had no power.

      Could this be due to a bad coach battery, or should we investigate something else?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Copewithus - OK, first, go back and look at your wiring and make sure you put everything back like it was, including the polarity of the battery (s). If all looks good, then make sure your CUT-OFF switch in your RV is in the right position. Did you turn it OFF when you changed the battery?

      Check that your Converter is functioning and keeping the batteries fully charged.

      Your interior lights do operate on your COACH batteries, and if they are not taking a charge then you could be operating on your Converter alone, and it is not designed to handle all of your 12-VDC load, only to keep a charge on the batteries. When your batteries are not fully charged you can get some of your 12-VDC powered gear in your RV to start acting funny.

      Also, your generator must have a fully charged battery to start, so with all of this said, I am suspecting your new batteries and/or your wiring connections first.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Daz1379 - I am assuming that you are using a standard campground campsite and its electric power box?

      Also, I am assuming you are using a standard power cord, that is designed for RVs?

      If these are true, and you still hive your problem, then you should turn your Rvs MAIN electrical breaker in your RV breaker box and then try plugging into your campsite power. Then, with there no longer being any load on your campsite power box, the campsite power box breaker should not kick off. If it still kicks off, then I recommend that you go up to your campground office and have them send their electrician down to check their box for a wiring problem.

      Hve a nice day,

      DON

    • profile image

      copewithus 

      7 months ago

      Have a 1999 winnebago suncruiser 36' ft. Problem with 12 V system. Coach batteries died and replaced them, Interior lights will not come on-disconnect from shore power. Batteries measure 13+ volts.

      When plugged to shore power, all interior 12 V lights will operate sometime so I think converter is working. At other times, they will not operate.

      Also when I start generator (shore power totally disconnected) , it will s start and run a few seconds (kindly like fuel line is clogger). However if I hold down start button generator will continue to run until I release start button.

    • profile image

      Daz1379 

      7 months ago

      Good afternoon.we are having problems with are RV electric hook up.every time we connect it up to the RV it trips out on the site electric box.any help would be greatful

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Dena Brooks - Wow! Your combination of problems don't make sense at first sight. But let's attack the problems one at a time.

      First, leave the generator out of the equation and plug your RV into campsite power. Then check that your Converter is operating properly and is it charging your COACH battery? You can check this by using a multimeter and measuring the DC Voltage across your COACH battery terminals. You should read between 13.5-VDC (fully charged) and 14.5-VDC (being charged).

      If the Converter isn't working then check your rewiring to make sure it was done properly.

      If it works, then check your GFCI Master receptacle and reset it. If you have 110-VAC then it is good and move on.

      As to your Generator, if everything else is now working in your RV, then your Power Control Panel should be working and you should be able to able to start your generator. You have a built-in Power Transfer switch which, when the power control panel senses that you have started the generator, will switch your RV over to the generator and off of your external power system. This is a safety feature.

      Oh, and your Inverter uses your 12-VDC Coach battery and converts the DC Voltage to a 110-VAC voltage for your TV set and maybe one or two of your receptacles where you would plug your PC into it.

      If your generator is still not "generating" any electricity but is "running" then you probably need to first check all of the re-wiring you have done to make sure it was don properly. If everything looks like it is wired properly then you should take your RV to the nearest generator manufacturer certified service technician.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Dena Brooks 

      7 months ago

      1982 Chevy Shasta motor home. The first time the gfi outlet in the bathroom tripped & there was smoke from the converter, my genorator quit. I purchased the same converter, wired it up, had to jump start the generator. everything ran for about an hour, I heard a pop, converter stopped working & generator stopped making power. Went & bought new coach batteries, new gfi plug, a battery charger because I couldn't get a new inverter where we are & now the generator will start but is not making electricity?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Arthur - It sounds like your CAOACH battery may be bad. Check it for water, and tight connections.

      I dont know what your mention of 50 volts means. A Converter uses your 110-VAC electric power to generate a charging voltage for your COACH battery, which in turn powers your interior 12-VDC accessories including your interior lights.

      You should measure between 13,5-VDC to 14,5 VDC cross your COACH battery terminals if everything is connected properly and the battery is charging or already charged.

      Have a nice day,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Without more information, I am assuming you have kicked the Master GFCI receptacle OFF. You can reset it by pushing the reset button on the receptacle. This control receptacle is usually found in your bathroom or your kitchen area.

      Good Luck,'DON

    • profile image

      Arthur Butler 

      7 months ago

      Our motorhome has no interiors lights. We put a new conferter 50 volts,it still is not working

      Alll the fuses check out good.Every appliances work inside except the lights.

    • profile image

      willyousee@hotmail,com 

      7 months ago

      how to restore power to a line of outlets. on the ac lines

      not all outlets not working

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Maude - Before anything else, check your GFCI Master receptacle and make sure it hasn't tripped. If it has reset it.

      Normally in an RV your Kitchen and bathroom receptacles are on a GFCI circuit. You did not mention what Rv you are talking about, so I cannot help much more than this without more symptoms.

      Have a Nice day,

      DON

    • profile image

      Maude 

      7 months ago

      Outlet by stove and the outlet the refrigerator plugs into doesn’t have power. All Fuses work. No breaker tripped?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      You should check that your Cut-Off switch is in the right position. It is used to disconnect your COACH battery from any internal load when the fcamper is in storage.

      Your Converter is usually mounted near the COACH battery and it uses your external 110-VAC to keep your COACH battery charged.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      John from Indiana 

      7 months ago

      Me and my family just got a 2007 max light made by our vision and we are trying to figure out our battery. The battery will control the slide out but none of our lights on the inside are coming on. We went and got a new marine battery for the camper I also tried to locate any type of in-line fuse but found nothing. I also checked the plug-ins inside the camper for any type of GFI switch as well. I am having no luck understanding why the battery will continue to work the Slidell but it will not give us power inside the trailer. I hope you can help us in the right direction. I’m not sure about the converter I don’t even know what it looks like or where to locate it to see if that is the problem

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Kevin - Considering you have replaced the Converter, I think you should check your Coach Battery and make sure it is in good condition and has the voltage from the Converter across the battery terminals (around 14.5-VDC if charging). If it isn't, then check the connections to the Converter. IF it is then wait for the battery to charge and for the voltage across the terminals to drop to around 13.5-VDC.

      This would mean that the battery is taking a charge.

      So, hopefully your problem is either the battery itself or possibly a wiring problem when you swapped out the Converter???

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Kevin 

      7 months ago

      My cardinal 5th wheel has 120 power but no 12 volt. Replaced the converter. Checked fuses. Cant figure it out

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Robert - First of all, you would only have 110-VAC in your camper if you have an Inverter which would use your COACH battery and convert it to 110-VAC for certain receptacles.

      As to your adding a generator to your RV, you should consider the cost of; the generator, the installation modifications to your camper body to make room for it, and the cost of installing a safe electrical connection and switching system into your camper.

    • profile image

      Robert 

      7 months ago

      I have a 83 Toyota sun raider. Should I have 110 when I am running or do I need to get a generator?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Heidi - Your Inverter and your interior lights and your temperature controller operate on your 12-Volt COACH battery.

      I would suspect that your battery is either; low on water, old and bad, or is not being kept charged by your Converter.

      Check that this battery is functioning properly.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Heidi 

      8 months ago

      Thor Hurricane 29M lights and furnace came on all by themselves and on the panel there is an inverter fault

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Glen - I don't know if I can help much without knowing your system.

      But, Your Converter is simply a battery charger that uses your 110-VAC to keep the COACH battery charged. Normally, it will be near your RVs COACh battery and you can trace the wire from your battery hot wire to the output of the Converter.

      But considering you do not have 110-VACi nto your RV, then I must assume your Solar system is powering a converter or other type of charger that in turn keeps your battery charged??

      But, your problem may be damaged circuitry in the output section of your solar panel itself.

      You need to start somewhere, and I suggest you call the solar panel manufacturer and ask them if they have a way to troubleshoot the panel itself.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Glen Meredith 

      8 months ago

      I have a issue. I was off-grid - no electical service. Battery was charged. I mistakenly plugged my 95W solar panel plug in upside down to jack on RV. Was that way for quite a while till I checked and saw battery wasn't charging. I then removed and plugged in correctly. However I think damage was already done. No juice to run propane fridge or lights or water pump. I then plugged into truck (like towing). I then had 12 volt power available for all above. However battery still doesn't charge. once home I had battery checked and per guy the polarity was not reversed. I have since fully charged battery. I did verify all breakers were not flipped and all fuses good. I am not getting any "on" lights on solar panel when it was plugged in correctly even. There is a larger metal fuse that i can't verify is good as it is sealed. You mentioned a converter. could that be an issue? WHere in the front of RV would it be? Outside? thanks, GLen

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Carrie - Search on the web for "Install Bay 500 isolator" you will find a diagram that shows the proper wiring connections.

      Have a Nice day,

      DON

    • profile image

      Carrie 

      8 months ago

      Which wires from a power line isolator ( alt,main,and aux) coonnect to which bolts on my install bay 500 isolator

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      The wrong wiring may have damaged your Converter, which keeps your COACH batterie charged, which in turn power your interior lights, and your control panel on your temperature control as well as your 2-way Fridge control panel.

      SO, I recommend that you check your Converter for a blown fuse (hopefully?), and a battery that is not fully charged because of he Converter?

      You may have gotten lucky if this is all of the damage you have suffered.

      PS- This kind of problem is the reason a lot of people purchase an inline Surge Protector.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      John N Mansfield 

      8 months ago

      I have a 2011 Forest River Wildwood RTravel Trailer. We had a power surge (the rv park mataince guy told us the pole outlet needed to be charged).

      After making the change we pluged into the outlet and heard a pop. The heater, A/C and 12 volt overhead lights will not come on. What does still work are all the 110 receptacles. The GFCI for the reseptacles had tripped and was reset.

      After that happened (other maintenance guy) looked at the wiring of the 30amp outlet and found it was wired with both legs having 110volts. The outlet was put back to original,  however we still have no heater (propane) or A/C or 12volt lights.

      Where do you think the problem is?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Ray Siever - Your generators starter is powered by your COACH battery. When you press the GEN START button on your dash (or on your GEN itself) then this button applies power to the generators starter.

      The fuse for the GEN should be on that fuse panel under the dash.

      But before you do anything you should check your COACH battery and make sure it is fully charged. This is the most common problem for many motorhome owners.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Ray Siever 

      9 months ago

      I have a 2006 Majestic (Four Winds) 24ft RV on a Ford F350. The generator is an onan 4000. The hot wire to the starter solenoid has no current. Where is the fuse located. I have a fuse panel in the engine compartment and another panel under the dash.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Bigmac5 - The battery switch you are talking about is, I assume, your CUT-OFF switch for use when you put your RV in storage, and it is not for totally removing power.

      Your battery is kept charged by your Converter, and it must not be getting 110-VAC power.

      When you want to plug your camper into a campsite you use your standard RV power cord, and you plug it inot a standard campsite power box.

      A very common problem for many people is they will use a receptacle at their home that is not wired to match your RV wiring.

      I suggest that you investigate what you have hooked up and make everything standard. Remember you have 4-wires, 2 seperate 110-VAC lines, a Ground and a Common line.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Bigmac5 

      9 months ago

      I have a 2004 29' Keystone Sprinter, just bought it used and it appeared to be in great shape. My wife and I were getting ready for a trip, so I plugged the trailer into my house power, so I can run everything and everything worked, or so I thought. I noticed the battery wasn't charging. I checked the trailer electrical panel and noticed the 2-30amp fuses were blown, I went to replace them and the new ones blew also, I unplugged house power and put in 2 more fuses with the battery switch OFF, then I turned the house power on

      (which is a dedicated 30amp circuit) and again they blew. Right now I can run off house power without the fuses, but something is not right.

      Any ideas?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Helen Wright - Your RV leveling Jacks are powered by your COACH battery. S, furst make sure your AUX CUT-OFF switch is in the right position.

      If that doesn't fix the problem, then check the fuses on your AUX fuse panel, which is usually under the dash of a motorhome, or near the other fuses and breakers in a camping trailer.

      Also, as a long shot, pull the leveling jack panel and check that the cable is still connected to the panel.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Helen Wright 

      9 months ago

      Hi my jacks won't work there is no power to the display panel, one day they worked the next they don't can you advise please

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Natashia - As I said before, your outside (basement) receptacles operate off of your GFCI circuit because you may be on the ground and could get shocked if you used an improperly wired appliance.

      Now, with that said; even if the receptacle you have your vacuum plugged into isnt a GFCI one, it would then be using a standard receptacles which in turn would be powered by one of your AC-Voltage breakers.

      So, check if anything will operate on that receptacle, a lamp or something. If it does, then the problem is your vacuum, if it doesn't then the problem is in the receptacle or the wiring to the receptacle. This is just logical, right?

      One other thing though, some vacuums are powered when the hose is plugged into the vacuum input in your RV. They use cheap spring contacts on the vacuum side that could be not making contact.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Natasha 

      9 months ago

      Need help im not super knowledgable with electrical, but i also do not want to be screwed around or ripped off, the problem is my 5th wheel has a vacuum built in, it was working fine untill we moved camp now it no longer runs along with the out side plug ins. I have switched all breakers and checked all fuses, as well as reset, the plug inside bathroom. Still nothing we are running off a generator and everything else works fine, all plug ins all lights inside. So i can only assume its a short in the one set of wires or a disconnect somewhere, i pulled out vacuums receptacle its still connected proper but. Thays as far as i have went as i am not confident to look further unles i know where i would be looking.

      I have no problems bringing it to a professional but i have had my fair share of scammers that just se a woman and try and take advantage. So the better i can understand the less likelihood i get ripped off

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Nick Paxon - Your Air conditioners ru on 220-VAC and will not run if your are using an adapter to 110-VAC.

      Sorry, but of you want to run those AC units, then you need to have an electrician wire up a proper 220-VAC-30-AMP (minimum) power breaker and exterior receptacle box for your motorhome.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Jimmy - The symptoms on your MW are indicative of a low voltage situation. If you are plugged into a campsite power box, then have the campground home over and check their power box. If you are plugged into a home receptacle, then make sure your home receptacle is wired properly.

      Also, if you are plugged into a 110-VAC receptacle, at your home and using an adapter to your 30-Amp exterior cord, remember you only have 110-VAC to your camper, and not the normal 220-VAC you get from a campsite.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Nick Paxon 

      9 months ago

      Hey Don,

      just wondering if you could answer a quick question.

      I had my 40' 2000 holiday rambler endeavor plugged into house power 120V and flipped my ac on. following this

      - The Transfer switch started buzzing loudly

      - I could no longer float / trickle charge my batteries

      - No power to any outlets except one

      - all breakers/fuses/gfi's are good (not damaged)

      - Generator power does not engage the transfer switch to be used to charge the batteries

      - power to the motherboard on the transfer switch is at a steady 1v

      - The invertor is left on "searching" mode

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Jimmy 

      9 months ago

      Howdy Don, I have a 1994 Aljo 24 ft camper I just purchased.

      The problem I am having is with the microwave. When the rv is plugged into shore power (with the approved 30 amp plugin) the microwave takes on a life of its own! Meaning it shows random numbers in the display and often starts beeping randomly.

      I removed the mw from the rv this am and was going to replace it, I decided to try it on household current in my garage. It works perfectly! Any ideas what to look for? Thanks J

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Paul West - The spark is telling you that you have wired something wrong.

      Let me try to tell you how to hook those 4-6-volt batteries up.

      1- you should have the positive terminals of two of these batteries placed near the main hot wire in the RV. You should have a short heavy wire connected to the POS terminals of these two batteries.

      2- Connect the NEG of each of these batteries to the POS of each of the two other batteries with the short heavy wires you have.

      3- Connect the NEG of these other two batteries to each other wit the short heavy wire you have.

      4- At this point you can now connect the Chassis Black wire to the NEG terminal of one of these two batteries.

      5- Now you can connect the COACH RED (hot) wire to the POS terminal of the two batteries mentioned in step-1 above.

      6- You could have a wire from your Converter to the POS terminals of your COACH batteries, and you could have another to your Generator for starting it, and you could have a wire to your Inverter.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Paul west 

      9 months ago

      My coach battery’s 4/6 volt batters I put in 4 new ones problem one wire for ground . Coming from wall will not hook up to ground . I run my. _ to + to get 12 volt all + are were they should be but the two ground wires on the wall only one can hook up the other spark to bad

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Kenneth - One of the more common causes of receptacles not working is the fact that RVs have a GFCI system which includes a Master GFCI receptacle which has a reset button, and it controls from 2 to 4 Slave receptacles. These GFCi receptacles are usually in your bathroom and kitchen areas because of potential shocks to people. So, first of all, check that your GFCI has not kicked off.

      As to your AC units, your temperature control panel is powered by your CAOCH battery, along with your Jacks, interior lights and such equipment.

      So, you should check your COACH battery and make sure it is OK, full of water and fully charged, which should be a multimeter reading of 13.5-VDC or higher if your Converter and battery are good.

      Have a nice day,

      DON

    • profile image

      Kenneth Miller 

      9 months ago

      I have a 2010 Jayco Designer 35 RLTS and the plugs, slides, and power landing gear works in the back. The ac in the front doesn’t come on and some of the plugs don’t work alone the front wall. The converter is working. Any suggestions

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      10 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Nancy - The good thing is that your Dodge Coachmans wiring (the automobile parts, are exactly the same as with a Dodge van.

      I would check the fuse panel under the hood for a blow fuse, or even the other fuse panel, usually under the dash that is for all of those 12-VDC things in your Camper that are not part of a standard van.

      If you cannot find the problem, after what you have already replaced, then you can take it to a Dodge dealers service center and they should be able to easily fix it for you.

      I would still suspect a fuse being the problem.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Nancy 

      10 months ago

      I have a 1977 dodge coachman rv cant seem to get turn signals and break lights to work have replaced the dashboard insturment assembly and all bulbs new or tested now will try the turn signal switch and help would be so much appreciated thank you

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      10 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Lidia - You have two 12-VDC systems in your motorhome. One is your COACH (or AUX) system and the other is your Engine (or MAIN) system.

      So, furst make sure you have your 2 Power Cut-Off switches in the right position for operation and not storage.

      Your Jacks and Powered Nightshade, along with your temperature control panel are powered by your COACH battery.

      Your Dashboard equipment, is powered by your Engine battery, just like in a regular automobile.

      I recommend that you use a multimeter and check the voltage across the Coach battery terminals. You should read around 13.5-VDC of it is charged, around 14.5-Vdc if it is charging, and if it reads around 12.5-VDC or lower then your battery is not being charged by your Converter.

      The next question is; Does your Engine start and run? If it does not then you also have a problem under your hood.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Lidia 

      10 months ago

      Hi Don

      I have a 2018 Miramar Thor 35.2, I have no power to the dash board. Everything working well in the back, appliances, lights, but No AC or fan, can’t put the jacks up, can’t roll up the powered night shade. Battery is good but Seems like there is no connection/electricity between the battery and the fuses box.

    working

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