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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 need help with an issue; my 2095 Allegro Bus is failing to start. All details were noted in a comment submitted moments ago. I wait to start, and the light comes on after turning the ignition key, but no cranking. The batteries are charged, I have a nearly full tank of gas, etc. The weather has been frigid here, with lots of rain and wind last night. We are stuck in a Walmart parking lot. What should I do?

Answer: When a diesel is in "Wait to Start" mode, it is heating the engines' "glow plugs" before it tries to crank the engine. If your engine battery is low, then the typical diesel will not start.

Does your engine have a 110-VAC heater coil built in? If so, try to start your diesel generator, and then plug your engine heater coil into a receptacle. This will warm your engine block after a while. You should have some diesel status lights o your dash to tell you when things are OK to start.

Question: How do I get my hot water heater in my RV to stay on? We have a 1993 holiday rambler free spirit 5th wheel. The hot water has only worked a few times. The switch on the battery panel is on, however, there is a hot water on / off switch cover but it's just on the counter and I have no idea where it's supposed to be mounted.

Answer: The typical RV Hot Water heater operates on either 110-VAC when you have it plugged into a campsite power source, and it will switch over to your propane when you do not have 110-VAC for your RV.

Also, the control circuitry of your Hot Water Heater senses if it has water in the tank, and if not, the heater will not operate.

Question: We all of a sudden have an electric issue. We are on a campground with full hook up; 50 amp, but the lights, water pump and AC stopped working. What could have caused it?

Answer: Check your COACH batteries. Your RV's interior lights, water pump and the control panel for your AC's all operate on your 12-VDC which comes from the COACH batteries. Check the following;

1- do the Coach batteries have water in them?

2- Are they fully charged by your RV's Converter (Charger)?

These two things are the top most common causes of your problem.

Question: I have a 1999 Winnebago. I lost all power on the riders side, when plugged into outside power (50amp) but everything works with the generator. Could it be the outside power inverter?

Answer: First, check if these receptacles are on your GFCI circuit and if so, check if the GFCI Master receptacle needs to be reset.

Next, check your campsite power box on your campsite to see if one of the breakers in it has kicked.

If this is not the problem, you should then check the 50-AMP connector to your camper to make sure you have both sides of the 220VAC from the campsite power box. to your cable.

Question: I have a 2019 Keystone Passport Ultralight. I have it plugged into the house (no batteries), and the interior lights will randomly turn on by themselves. I shut them off, and a few days later they are back on. What would cause this?

Answer: Remember that your camper has a battery and a CONVERTER that uses your 110-VAC to keep that battery charged.

Your interior light are 12-VDC lights and they, like a number of our other interior items such as your temperature control panel, your CO and gas alarms as well as your 2-way Fridge (if you have one) all run on your battery.

Because of this, most RV owners will keep the battery in good shape and let it power the interior item it is wired to.

If you do take the battery our, or allow it to degrade, then your interior items will be operating on the CONVERTER, which is typically not designed to carry the load of everything that runs on 12-VDC.

It will be a lot simpler to get that battery in there and running than wiring in a 12-VDC power supply.

Question: I have a Fleetwood Terry 29 Ft 5th wheel. Both the heater and A/C stopped working. I assumed the thermostat was the problem, and replaced it with the same Coleman model. I had 12V to the thermostat, and the fuse is good. Still, both don't work. All other systems and appliances work. I had the furnace igniter board checked out, and it was good. The only other thing I noticed is the 12V lights seem to be flickering slightly when connected to 115V. What do I do?

Answer: Those flickering interior lights tell me you most likely have either a bad coach battery or it is not properly charged by your converter.

You should check your battery for adequate water and that it not just old (5+ years).

If these are OK, then you should use a multimeter to make sure the Converter is keeping the battery charged.

Check the voltage across the COACH battery terminals. If it is at 13.5-VDC to 14.5-VDC, then it is being charged.

Question: My 2019 THor Hurricane 35m has a "zone 1 temp sensor error" on my LED screen. Should I change the temperature sensor in my RV or is there more to the issue?

Answer: Your motorhome has two interior "zone" temperature sensors that are used by your Temperature Control panel to manage the Cooling and Heating systems.

Check that you have not blocked the area in front of these two sensors first to make sure they are getting airflow around them.

If the sensors seem OK, then the most logical problem would be that your 12-VDC battery is not fully charged and may not be powering the temperature control panel properly which can cause it to give you errors.

If that is OK, then your temperature control panel may be suspect.

Question: I need to replace a GFCI outlet. How do I know which circuit breaker to shut off?

Answer: The safest thing to do is to turn OFF your MAIN breaker thus making sure ALL AC power to your RV interior is disabled.

I've replaced a couple of these GFCI receptacles over the years on different RV's, and that's what I did, turn off the Main. It only takes maybe 5-minutes to do the job if you have the right tools. I use a flat-blade screwdriver (with insulated grip) for the terminals and a good pair of needle-nosed pliers (with rubber covered handle) to bend the wire ends onto the screw heads.

Question: So I have a 2005 Fleetwood Pegasus with a solar panel. Everything in the RV was working except for the furnace, AC, and fan which is all controlled by the same thermostat. I have power at all of my fuses and breakers, and I wasn't sure if the thermostat was my issue. But then we had a cloudy day and noticed the lights were going dim and the low voltage alarm went off so the batteries must not be charging from the 30 Amp RV plug. Any ideas?

Answer: Your batteries are kept charged with the built-in CONVERTER, which in turn is powered by your 110-VAC. So make sure you have 110-VAC connected to your RV and then check that your Battery is good, has water in it, and is being charged.

Your Temperature Control panel is also powered by your 12-VDC from your battery.

So, I would suspect your battery and then if it is OK, the Converter.

By the way, your Solar panel is usually there to apply a "trickle charge" to your Coach battery while it is kept in storage or is just sitting idle for a day or so, it is not designed to keep the battery charged and handle a motorhome's power load.

Question: I have a 2016 wildwood xlite and the GFCI by the sink tripped, so I reset it. After that I now have 2 outlets that won't work, checked fuses and can't find what caused it. Any ideas?

Answer: Of course, you already know that your GFCI system consists of a "Master" GFCI receptacle which has a TEST and RESET button on it, but it also has one or more "Slave" GFCI receptacles which are powered by the Master GFCI. Check if the problem receptacles are GFCI slave units? If they are they should have power if the master one is resetting properly. If they are not on your GFCI circuit then it is a regular receptacle somewhere else in your RV. If it a regular receptacle then it is powered by one of your 110-VAC breakers in your AC Powerbox.

Then you would check if one of these AC breakers has kicked OFF.

By the Way, your fuses in your RV are for your 12-VDC circuits only, while your AC Breakers are for your AC Appliances and equipment.

Question: All AC power has stopped working in my 1962 GM 4106 Conversion. There is no generator or shore power; only battery power. Do you have any idea what is wrong?

Answer: I'm not familiar with 1962 designs for conversions, but the newer ones will have a power control panel that senses the presence of generator power and then operate a solenoid that connects to the generator and disconnects the exterior shore power. This power control panel requires that your 12-VDC be good to operate properly.

So, make sure that your battery is fully charged.

Question: I have issues with the lights on my awning: they won't shut off. I pulled the switch out and they still stay on. Any ideas?

Answer: OK, let's start with the question; what switch?

Is this switch and your awning light system something that was installed by the manufacturer?

Has this awning light system and this switch operated properly in the past, and has just started to not work properly?

If the answer to the last question is yes, then you most likely have one of two things; 1- you may have a bad control switch, or 2-you may have a damaged wire in the harness that goes from the awning lights and into the RV.

Question: I own a 2011 Keystone Laredo 291tg. Lately my overhead lights will turn off and I lose power to most items. The TV remains on but I lose DVD etc. Battery was checked at an automotive store and found to be fine. No breakers or fuses are showing that they are blown. I was going to test voltage on convertor but not sure where to attach voltage meter. Convertor seems very hot but fan eventually kicks on. Anything I could be missing?

Answer: OK, First of all, if your RV's battery(s) are original, then you need to test them properly.

1- Check that the battery(s) have water in them

2- Check that all wires attached to these batteries are tight and not damaged.

3- Use a multimeter, connected to the terminals of the battery to check the voltage;

a- with the lights and other 12-VDC accessories turned ON, the converter should be charging the battery and the voltage should be around 14.5 volts or so. If the voltage is down at around 13 volts or lower then your converter is not charging.

Once the battery is charged the voltage (with everything turned OFF) should settle in at around 13.5 volts or so, never down at 12.5 volts or lower

As to your accessories, I wouldn't get distracted by them until you have your 12-VDC system functioning properly.

Question: I moved my travel trailer, and now none of the outlets are working. I already flipped the fuses. What's wrong?

Answer: Well, the first question I would have is; Is the external power cable plugged in securely? At both ends? The next question would be; did you check if the campsite you moved to actually has power at the connectors and that the breakers on the power pole? These are your most likely problems.

Question: Do you have any idea why suddenly my motorhome slide in / out switches are working in reverse?

Answer: On motorhomes and trailers, your slides are each controlled by a module that manages the movement of the slide.

Considering this, and if you have not made any wiring modifications to your RV, the direction of the slide movement should not change, unless your slide control module is malfunctioning.

Question: I have a 1992 Prowler. I replaced the slide controller and switch about four weeks ago. The water pump is now blowing fuses. It worked when I replaced the controller. It looks like the other electrical items work. What could be causing the short?

Answer: Your water pump runs on your Coach 12-VDC system. If everything else that runs on this system is operating OK, then I suspect your water pump motor is the problem. A long shot is that, considering the age of your RV, there is a loose wire on one of your water pump control switches to ground. You should check for this first, then the motor.

Question: My 2003 Gulfstream scenic cruiser did not have dc power to one control panel. I then solved that problem. But now the thermostat has power but the air conditioner or heater won't run. I reset the ac breakers, still nothing. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: First, make sure that your COACH batteries are in good shape and fully charged. They provide 12-VDC power to your interior lights, 2-way fridge control panel, temperature control panel, alarms, and more, so always make sure they are charged.

Your roof AC units operate on 220-VAC but again you need to have that 12-Volt battery charged. By the way, if you use a multimeter and measure across the COACH battery terminals it should read around 13.5-VDC. not 12-VDC. A reading this low would mean the battery is not charged.

Question: I have a 2008 Springdale by Keystone (30 ft pull behind trailer). I've been running my heater on automatic, as the heater shuts down, the lights start to flicker, the fuses look fine, and even the breakers look fine. I'm new to all this and I really have no idea what's going on. Any ideas?

Answer: Check your COACH battery in your RV. It powers your lights as well as your temperature control panel. among a number of other pieces of equipment in your RV.

Even though your furnace runs on Propane, it also uses a little of your 12-VDC from your battery.

So, check that the battery has water in it. Then remember that it is kept charged by the Converter in your RV which in turn runs on your campsites 110-VAC power. This battery is the heart of your RVs internal electrical equipment and it must be kept charged.

Question: My son has a travel trailer that the breaker keeps popping in it. All he is running is the air conditioner. He is in an RV park. What could be the problem?

Answer: I would first reset the breakers in the campsite power panel.

Then, I would turn OFF all of the breakers in the breaker panel, and then, turn ON the breakers for the AC unit. If it functions OK, then I would turn the other breakers ON, one by one and see which one has a load on it that is enough to overload your travel trailers main breaker.

Question: I have a 5th wheel with a 1000 watt xantrax inverter. I accidentally reversed the polarity at the battery. Fuses were blown on devices within the rv that run on the DC current. My problem is the inverter isnt working. Did I fry the inverter or is there a breaker that protects this device. I replace the fuses in the main panel, but wasn't sure if there was added protection?

Answer: Typically, the Inverter in an RV is wired directly to the COACH battery(s) and not through the 12-VDC Fuse panel. This is because Inverters built into an Rv by the manufacturer are usually built with their own internal fuse for protection. You should check the Inverter for a fuse holder mounted on the end of the unit.

A quick look at similar Xantrax Inverters does not show a fuse holder but they do have a fan which should always be running if it is operating, and it has a digital display which should indicate the voltage. If neither of these are operating then your Inverter is most likely bad. especially if you use a multimeter and measure the presence of 12-VDC on the input terminals of the Inverter.

Question: Why would the receptacle for my full size refrigerator stop working?

Answer: If your Fridge is a full-size commercial home Fridge, then it is powered by an Inverter, which in turn is powered by either your COACH battery or a separate battery just for the Fridge.

So, if you do not have power at your Fridge receptacle then either your Inverter is bad, or the battery is not fully charged.

Use a multimeter to check the voltage across the terminals of your COACH battery and it should read around 13.5-VDC if the battery is charged, or around 14.5-VDC if it is being charged by your Converter.

Many of the RV manufacturers will just connect the Fridges Inverter to the COACH batteries and they will only have 4-6 hours of Fridge operation if the battery is not being recharged.

Question: On a 2004 Dutchman Express, with new 12 volt battery and all wiring tight with zero corrosion, what would cause only the negative 12 volt DC connection on the circuit board to get hot enough to start melting the plastic coating on the wire and only do so while air conditioner or furnace are running but NOT blowing the fuse on the positive 12 V side that control the furnace and air conditioner?

Answer: Your 12-VDC COACH power system has a fuse panel that is wired with; 1-a 30-Amp input line that powers all of the 12-VDC circuits which goes directly to a 30-Amp fuse and 2- multiple wires from all of your fuses to the individual 12-VDC circuits in your RV including your Air unit and Furnace.

Any ground wiring on your fuse panel would be for some special circuitry on the fuse panel itself, and not for your AC and Furnace which only use 220-VAC for the AC and Propane for the Furnace, functionally.

But, your Temperature control panel does use 12-VDC to manage the AC and Furnace.

So, back to your "HOT" common wire on your COACH fuse panel. If you have a multimeter, you should check the connection on the fuse panel and se if it has any voltage from the connection to a good solid ground. If it does, then it is a hot wire and maybe someone has swapped a fuse ot with one that is a large value and does not blow. Many people will replace a blown fuse with a larger one and forget they did this which can be quite dangerous for the RV owner, and can even cause fires.

Each fuse in an RV is a certain safe value that is designed to blow only if the circuit draws more than the safe amount if current.

And one more thing, your situation can be dangerous and does need to be resolved as soon as you can.

Question: the wiring for my dc lights on my main slide comes apart when the slide is out. How can I repair/replace?

Answer: I would look for a good auto mechanic who has a soldering iron so he can repair your problem. And there is always your nearest Camping World service department.

Question: Why would my RV's 120v work but my 12v doesn't?

Answer: I must assume from your sparse symptoms that you have an RV that is plugged into campsite power? If so, then check the following;

First, make sure your Cut-Off switch is in the right position.

Second, Check your COACH battery and make sure it is fully charged.

Question: I have 240 volts coming through the electrical outlets. Why would that happen?

Answer: A situation like this is very serious. You could damage many of your appliances and accessories. So immediately unplug every appliance you have including your microwave, Fridge and other built-in appliances.

Then, unplug your Rv from your external power source which I assume is a campsite.

Then you should check the voltage at the campsite; or call the campground office and have them come down and check their campsite power box.

My assumption is that you are using a standard RV external power cord and that no one has rewired anything inside your RV????

Question: No ac/dc power! Breakers, fuses, batteries, gfi all working. Generator starts but shuts down immediately! However when I unplug from shore line and plug converter straight to shore 12 volt works and generator will run. Is this a short?

Answer: I am assuming that you are saying you have no-AC-to-DC power, but all of your AC systems operate properly. But, when you select your generator, it shuts down after it actually starts??

Well, with this being the case, I would suspect your COACH batteries. They provide power for the RV's Power Control Panel which detects if the generator is started and running and if this is so, it will switch the RV systems OFF of the Shore Power and onto the GENERATOR.

I suspect that when you connect your Converter alone to power, it is able to operate your DC powered circuitry, but with the COACH batteries being bad, they are loading your Converter down and without that 12-VDC available, so the Power Control Panel switches the RV circuitry back over to your Shore power.

How did you check your batteries? Was it under load? If not, batteries may show they have voltage, but they will not be able to support a real load.

So, Check those batteries and replace them if necessary.

Question: I have a '69 holiday rambler that I bought and rebuilt in 2016. I also rewired it. Only was it this past year, I couldn't plug it into a generator. I burnt up mine. I then burnt up another one of a friend's. But then got another one that had some kind of breaker built in and it did throw it every time I plugged it in. Do you have any ideas what could be wrong?

Answer: Here's a question for you:

If you turn everything that operates on AC-Voltage to OFF, even unplug anything in the receptacles, and even turn your AirConditioners to OFF, does it still kick the generator's breaker?

If it does, then the problem is definitely in your RV wiring. If not, one of your electrical appliances, or the Air Conditioners, is your problem.

And, if the problem happens when everything is OFF, you need to examine your wiring closely.

By kicking the generator's breaker, your RV must have one of your AC-voltage lines shorted to ground.

Here are a few things to check;

1- check your power cord from the generator to the RV for damage or bad connections.

2- check that your AC-Voltage breakers are operating and work properly.

3- check that where you rewired things there are no loose wires that might be shorted to other wires.

Question: After returning from a weekend trip where everything went great, I plug in my camper to the outlet at home and it trips the GFI breaker. I have moved out the cord and it is ok. also turned off all breakers in the RV and home cable from the reciprocal to 50 amp breaker it is fine as well. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: Remember that your GFCI system is designed to detect very small current leakage between your GROUND and COMMON lines.

Your problem could be something as simple as your house GFCI breaker being old and more susceptible to a slight current that was always there before.

Or it could be just some slight induced current in your RV cable.I can say that I have had the same problem with my motorhome and my house GFCI circuit and I replaced the GFCI receptacle itself. This fixed things for more than a year and then it started up again, so I just moved my cable to a non-GFCI receptacle in my house, and I haven't had a problem anymore.

Again, this problem is really hard to detect with just a multimeter, so rather than chase a ghost if you understand that your RV cable is a pretty long run of wires that handle high currents (50-AMPs) and just crushing the wires closer together somewhere along the length or getting oxidation or "char" from arcing on the contacts can change the way the cable looks to your GFCI system.

Question: My shore power 50 amp breaker trips out frequently but none of the breakers inside my 2019 Puma trailer trip when this happens. My power is coming from a 200 amp service with a dedicated 50 amp breaker. I have been in this location for two years, this is a new issue. I have changed the shore power 50 amp breaker. I have checked for loose wires and checked voltage at outlets. How can I further diagnose my RV's electrical problems? Is there any chance of my 12-volt system being involved in my RV's problems?

Answer: To answer your last question first; No, the 12-Volt system in your Rv should not cause your Main Breaker to kick Off. Your 12-Volt system is powered by your COACH batteries and they are in turn charged by your Converter which operates on 110-VAC. So normally, if there was a problem with the Converter it would kick Off the one breaker that powers it, and not the Main.

Now, your problem with your Shore Power indicates to me that you most likely have a Grounding problem. Considering you have been hooked up and not traveled for 2-years, this tells me that you may have a problem with Corrosion or Oxidation.

Over time, if you are not traveling and "shaking" things around, thus getting a rub at your contact points, you will have these corrosion/oxidation problems occur. So, check your external power cable contacts for any buildup and clean them back to shiny metal.

Then you might have to check the contact points on the inside of your external power connector to your chassis.

Question: I just installed new LED lights in my Coleman/Fleetwood Westlake pop-up camper. The previous owner said the lights didn’t work and that they replaced the bulbs. The bulbs became extremely hot, melting the cover plate and blowing the bulb. I then installed new LED light fixtures, but after two minutes, one side on each fixture smoked the LED. What in the world is going on?

Answer: From what you describe, I assume that your pop-up was connected to the towing vehicle and thus was using the auto's voltage to the lights.

If the previous owners selected the right replacement lamps, they should have been safe and should have operated properly on the auto's 12-VDC. I suspect that the previous owner used the wrong lamp.

If the LED assembly and lights are a standard design, then they should never have been in danger of burning out.

This leads me to suspect the pop-up wiring. First of all, pop-ups are notorious for having poor ground connections, so make sure the light fixtures are well grounded, and that there is no corrosion on the ground connections or loose wires. LED lamps are designed to operate on 12-VDC and can work properly up to maybe 14-VDC, but above that their protective circuitry can burn out.

I would also check the DC voltage without having campsite power plugged up.

I do know of one RVer who contacted the LED lamp manufacturer, and they apologized because they had sent them an LED that wasn't designed for the variations in voltage you experience in an RV.

If the lamps are the proper ones they should never burn out, which would indicate a high voltage.

Question: The GFi outlet in my RV trips on generator power, but works fine on shore power. What do I do?

Answer: A GFI senses if there is ANY current between the COMMON wire and the GROUND wire of the GFI system.

The best thing to check first is to turn OFF all of your Generator power (for Safety) and check the connections coming from your generator. At the generator make sure the connections are tight, and there is no oxidation at the terminals.

If they are OK, then you have to do a little wire tracing to the high current solenoid that the power control panel uses to switch between the shore power and the generator. Near that location, the manufacturer may have cut the ground and common wires and used terminals where there can be loose connections. With the symptoms, you described these checks should find your problem.

Question: why does my RV's breaker trip when I'm plugged into the house for power? It does not trip the house breaker. I'm using the same power chord I usually run the RV off my Generator while camping, and it never trips?

Answer: Not sure which breaker you're talking about, so I assume you're talking about your AC MAIN breaker.

And, considering that you say your RV power works appropriately when you are camping and using your generator, I would have to say that the only new variable you have introduced is the wiring of your HOUSE receptacle.

So, you need to check that your house receptacle is wired properly, especially the GROUND and COMMON wires.

Question: I have an adventurer camper, and the brake lights are not working, the top running lights do but no taillights? I tried replacing the bulbs, and I checked the fuses. Is there something else I can try?

Answer: Your Tail-lights and your Brake lights get their power through your dash light switch, as do your running lights, so I will assume you have power to this switch.

Check that each of the wires from the switch gets power, first of all, to assure your light switch is good.

From your symptoms and investigation so far, I would suspect this switch, if the fuses are good. By the way, you know in some models of the Adventurer there is a fuse panel in the dash area in addition to what you have under the hood?

Question: I have continuous problems with my board going into the furnace; this only seems to happen when I plug into power. I've had the board replaced three times; it works well on dc put as soon as I plug in it works for a bit then burns out, any thoughts on that?

Answer: Your Converter could be generating a voltage to charge your COACH battery that is too high (over around 14.5 VDC). If this voltage is high enough, even for a few seconds, it could harm any of your 12-VDC appliance control boards, alarm boards, interior lights, etcetera.

Try to check this voltage at the terminals of your RV COACH battery itself and look for "spikes" when you plug the Converter into 110-VAC and turn it on.

Question: I have 2016 Flagstaff Classic Super Lite, and the Water Pump switch will not turn off. What can I do?

Answer: Most campers will have multiple Water Pump switches usually located; near the kitchen sink, in the bathroom and outside in the service centre. They are wired so that anyone switch will start or stop the water pump. Knowing this, try one of the other switches, and if they do not turn the pump OFF, then you have a problem at the Water pump itself. I would check that the wires at the pump are still connected?

Question: I have a 2000 Safari Continental Panther 425. Where can I find the flasher module for the turn signals?

Answer: Wow! Now that's a very product-specific question. I honestly do not know where the module is, but I can say that if you stop and look at your Rv as a truck, you should find the flasher module under the dash or under the hood. It just doesn't seem logical to run the wires for a flasher module far from the signal light lever switch.

Question: why would my A/C and ceiling fans not turn on in my motorhome?

Answer: Your ceiling fans run on 12-VDC while your Air Conditioner runs on 220/110-VAC. Your Temperature control panel operates on 12-VDC so you could have a problem with your COACH battery being charged.

Check this first.

Question: I have a 2000 Fleetwood Pace Arrow. Everything works on the unit, and I don't have any electrical issues. I notice a clicking coming from under the Hood ONLY when I park the unit, and it is not connected to an external power source. When I do plug it in at the Campground, the clicking stops. I am told this is draining my batteries and will eventually burn up my solenoid. Do you know what is causing this and if so, is it an expensive repair?

Answer: Your motorhome has two 12-VDC systems, and the engine battery powers the engine and its accessories the same as an automobile. But, it also powers the step, the power awning, the exterior spotlights and running lights.

The external power source is not connected to any of these systems and should NOT affect anything under the hood.

When do you park your RV do you also use your SHUTOFF switches to turn ON power to your AUX equipment and turn OFF power to your MAIN equipment? Check these things out.

Question: I have no 12 V when the motor does turn and I am not connected to 120 V AC. The main and auxiliary batteries are ok. I changed the BD relay ( intellletec 01-00055-000) thinking that the problem was coming from that device. Now I suspect the solid-state muli battery isolator, but I am not sure. Could the battery isolator be the problem with my RV?

Answer: Your 12-VDC for your Rv engine is your MAIN battery. If it drops to zero when you crank the engine, its voltage level should not drop to zero. Your AUX battery is also called your COACH battery, and it powers all of your Rv's interior 12-volt accessories. You should check your "storage Cut-Off switches" that they are ON, and that your batteries are fully charged.

Question: My battery to the engine is boiling and hot. The alternator is good. What could short this battery to get hot?

Answer: First of all, turn OFF the engine and after things cool down, replace the battery as your battery probably has an interior plate that has collapsed and is shorting to another one. This can happen with an old battery, or when you haven't checked the water level in the battery. Either way, when a battery is boiling, you need to assume it is bad and replace it.

But, when you do replace the battery, make sure to use a multimeter and check that the new one I operating correctly and check that the alternator is not "over-charging" the battery.

Question: My trailer, when plugged into shore power, has no power. I have checked the power at the main breaker, and I am getting 120. When I open up any of the other breakers, the neutrals all become hot. I still have 120 when checking for heat at the main breaker, but when checking any other breaker to the neutrals, they all read 0, meaning the neutrals are hot. What could be causing this?

Answer: You didn't say but I assume that your trailer is wired for the standard 30-Amp service.

First, check your neutral wires to a good ground. This should never show any voltage reading.

Assuming that your trailer's power system has worked normally in the past, I would check the following;

1- Is the external RV power cord that is plugged into the campsite power box OK? Is there any damage to the cord or any oxidation on the contacts?

2- If the cord is OK then I would contact the campground and have them check out their campsite power box wiring.

Question: Does the TV outlet in an RV require a fuse?

Answer: If you're talking about the 110-VAC outlet that the RV TV plugs into, then yes, it will get its power from one of the 110-VAC breakers in the typical motorhome.

Question: We purchased a one yr old Mercedes motorhome with 6000 miles on it from an RV dealer. We are on our first trip to Yellowstone from WV and fridge quit. We had it plugged in at home, and the fridge was extremely cold. While driving, it showed it was running on gas, and the light was not flashing, so we assumed it was ok. When we stopped to eat, the temperature inside the fridge was 60. It works when plugged into electric. Any idea of what we can try? It is evening now, and nowhere is open.

Answer: When you are traveling and are not plugged into 110-VAC, your 2-way Fridge will operate on propane, but it must have 12-VDC from your COACH battery, which is charged only when you are plugged into 110-VAC.

So, you should check that COACH battery for adequate water level, and always keep your RV plugged into 110-VAC when you are parked at a campsite. This way the COACH battery will have a full charge and easily keep your Fridge and other 12-VDC accessories running for a full day and night.

I believe this will take care of your problem. When you are traveling, so keep that COACH battery charged before you take off.

Question: I have a 2005 Terry quantum 295rlts. During the day when its hotter my panel keeps tripping the main breaker when the a/c is running. I took some basic readings with my voltmeter and all I can tell is that the current spikes to high once the main breaker heats up. We bought it used and I know that my battery is not new and I've also found that someone removed one of the outlets and left the cord cut under the trailer. How can I stop my RV's a/c from tripping the main breaker?

Answer: You can be suffering from a number of small problems that are adding up on you on hot days.

With an older RV, you must keep your COACH battery relatively NEW and full of water and fully charged.

Your Air Conditioner will age and eventually, it will draw several AMPS more current to start up and to run, so keep the air filter clean and you could even get up on the roof and clean the coils for better airflow.

Next, on those really HOT days, you should take precautions to only use your necessary appliances and make sure you unplug the things that are not necessary during the peak periods of heat during the day. Read my article on How to Keep Cool in your RV for tips.

Many people don't realize that breakers that kick out often can eventually weaken ad not be able to handle the load they could when new, so consider replacing that MAIN breaker to get a couple of more Amps during these peak periods.

Question: We purchased a 2003 RV. We ran a cable so we could have cable TV at the campground. We got the TV working, but now the cab fans (metal driver and passenger fans) will not work. Any suggestions on what to check? They worked prior.

Answer: First of all, your fans over the driver area are usually powered by the CHASSIS (engine) 12-VDC. So, I would check the internal 12-VDC fuse panel which provides power for these internal dash equipment.

Question: On my camper, the battery is fully charged, but the lights in the camper will not come on. When hooked up to my generator, everything works fine. What is the problem?

Answer: First of all, is your 12-VDC Cut-Off switch turned OFF so that you have voltage to your interior lights?

Secondly, while on Shore power, is your Converter operating? It should be trying to charge your Coach battery and if you use a voltmeter across the battery, you should read around 14.5-VDC if the Converter is charging the battery, around 13.5-VDC of the battery is charged, but if you read around 12.5-VDC, then your battery is not charged, and the Converter is not trying to charge the battery.

It's strange but from your symptoms with everything working great when on Generator power, and with the lights not working when on Shore power, I would suspect that either one of your breakers in your campsite power box is OFF, or your power supplied by the Shore campsite panel is really low. You can check the battery, and you can have the campsite check their power to your camper.

Question: Everything works except the starter will not turn over. When I arrived at the RV I started the diesel and lifted up the leveling extensions and slide out room was retracted and everything works except the ignition. What is the cause?

Answer: You didn't mention some pertinent information, but let me give you a few hints of things for you to check.

1- Most motorhomes will not start if the emergency brake is not engaged so check yours.

2- Diesel motorhome engines are very high compression motors, and it takes a lot of currents to turn them over. So, check your engine battery (s) and make sure they are fully charged.

These two things are the most likely causes of your problem.

Question: Recently, my bedroom lights started flickering but not losing power- like a half current. I changed the light toggle on/off switch - which did not change anything. How should I further diagnose my RV's electrical problems?

Answer: This kind of problem that occurs often when your COACH batteries are not holding a charge and you are normally running on your Converter.

But when the Converter turns OFF the battery drops voltage quickly and the Converter has to come on again.

So, check your COACH batteries. Do they have water, are they holding a charge?

Question: My RVs stabilizing jacks will not extend, do you think it's electrical?

Answer: Some questions you should review when considering what the problem with stabilizing jacks could be:

1. Are your stabilizing jacks powered or manual?

2. I assume they're electrical, so check if your camper's battery is fully charged because the jacks operate on this power source.

3. Is your RV a motorhome or a trailer/fifth wheel design?

4. If your RV battery is fully charged do you have a "Shut-OFF" switch that's normally used when storing your camper in the right position to allow the use of the battery?

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.

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.