Don is a retired engineer and long-time motorhome owner who enjoys helping readers deal with the increasingly complex technology of RVs.
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:
- Fuses and breakers
- The 12-volt system
- The power source
- 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:
- 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.
- 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:
- You could cause an electrical fire and destroy your RV.
- You could permanently damage the equipment that is supplied by that fuse.
Always remember, the fuse was designed for a normal operational load. And if it blew, something has changed.
With these warnings in mind, below is a table of fuse colors and what ratings they indicate, in case you go shopping for replacement fuses.
Standard automotive fuses are color-coded according to their current rating; below is a short list for your reference.
|Color||Amperage rating (amps)|
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.
Air conditioner (rated 13,500 to 15,000 Btu)
Peak use when starting up
Normal rate after it gets going
Coffee pot (maximum use, while perking coffee)
Once the coffee is brewed, the hot plate under the pot uses much less power, especially if you turn its temperature down.
Less powerful hair dryers might be better for RV use.
Crock pots are useful for cooking in RVs.
Electric frying pan
Hand vacuum (small)
1.5 to 5
Depending on the size, the manufacturer, and the technology.
Water heater (in 120-volt AC mode)
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
The measure of electrical current
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.
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 flows constantly in one direction, commonly from a positive lead to a negative lead.
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.
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
Like a regular circuit breaker, the GFCB "throws" itself off when the current through it exceeds its designed current limit.
Ground Fault Indicator
Same as above
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.
The measure of electrical power.
DC power can be calculated using the formula: W=V x I.
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
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
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: Is there more than 2 fuse boxes in a 2012 winnebago, and what would trip the fuses?
Answer: Typically Yes, there will be a FUSE box in your motorhome for the Engine, and the will be another one for the internal 120VDC accessories. By the way, you need to understand the difference between FUSES and BREAKERS. Breakers are for your 110-VAC power accessories, while Fuses are for your 12-VDC powered accessories. Anyway, the engine fuse box will be in the engine compartment or under the dash while the interior fuse panels can be placed pretty much anywhere it was convenient for them to install it.
Question: 2 out of 6 of my main RV lights are working. They are all on the same light switch, and the bulbs are all working. What could be the problem?
Answer: Which lights? Your interior lights? Your exterior Running lights? We are talking about an RV, Right?
Well, assuming that you're talking about an RV and a series of the interior lights that are wired to a single ON/OFF switch, I would check the following;
1- Your interior lights operate on your 12-VDC from your COACH battery.
2- The Coach battery is kept charged by your built-in Converter (Charger), which in turn is powered by your 110-VAC.
3- Use a multimeter and check the voltage across the battery terminals. The voltage should be; 1- approximately 14.5 VDC if it is being charged, approximately 13.5 VDC if the battery is fully charged, and 12.5 VDC if the battery is not charged.
Question: I was camping and had a surge protector on, but lightning hit the campground. Now, I have no AC. What does the E1 code mean?
Answer: You did not provide a lot of information, but I can tell you what to check when you have lightning hits.
1- Start at the source. Have the campground send someone down to verify that your campsite power box breakers and wiring is still functional, and you haven't lost one side of your 220-VAC.
2- If the campsite is OK and the problem still exists then bypass your Surge protector and make sure it has not been damaged.
3- I the SP is OK, then reconnect it, and check that your cabling and internal wiring from the external connector and to the breaker box is Ok by checking the voltage at the input of ALL of your Breakers.
I suspect that you have lost 1/2 of your 220-VAC to your AC.
Question: I have a 206 LTD pop up with Carrier AC. When the ac is turned on there is a loud sound that sounds like an alarm. Any clue what the problem could be?
Answer: A Pop-Up will typically have a Smoke Alarm and a CO Alarm, and they should not be affected by your AC units operation. You should check your AC unit for a possible fan dragging in its shroud?
Other than this, your Pop-Up should not have anything that might give you an actual alarm sound that the AC unit would cause.
Question: I have a 2011 Jayfeather. I found that only the microwave and receptacles had power when the trailer was plugged in. All breakers and fuses are good. When the trailer was unplugged nothing worked. The battery is good but 30 amp fuse on the positive line coming from battery is blown. The replacement fuse blew as I attempted to replace it. This was while shore power was disconnected. What would cause 30 amp fuse on a battery to blow?
Answer: If you are talking about the "Fuseable Link" (or fuse as you said) that is inline in the main Hot wire from the battery to the fuse panel, and it is blowing then you do have a direct short in your 12-VDC electrical system. Your 110-VAC electrical system has nothing to do with your problem.
First, you should remove ALL of your fuses from your 12-VDC fuse panel (write down which fuse went where).
Then you should inspect this main wire for damage or shorts and then and trace it to the 12-VDC fuse panel.
If you do not find any damage or shorts then replace the inline fuse and see if it blows without there being any fuses in your fuse panel.
If it blows then you have a short to ground somewhere on your fuse panel. If it does not blow then replace your fuses one by one until you find the circuit that has the problem, then trace the wiring from that fuse.
Question: What causes your 12 volt system to shut down when you stop your engine?
Answer: Actually, your motorhome Engines running or not has nothing to do with your RVs interior 12-VDC system.
If your COACH batteries are good, and are fully charged, and your CUT-OFF switch is in the right position, your 12-Volt system should be powering things as normal.
So, your symptoms are strange unless you are talking about some of the electronic items in the dash that are powered by the engine system?
Without more information, I really cannot give you any more than what I have listed.
Question: All electrical power (lights and outlets) have stopped working in our slide- out RV. The fuses and breakers have been checked. What would be our next step?
Answer: Check that your converter is fully charging your RV coach battery. If you measure the voltage across the battery and it is LOW (only around 12-5 VDC) then check that the battery has water and is taking charge from your Converter. This could be the problem with your lights.
As to the outlets, first check if they are slave receptacles to your MASTER GFCI and if they are, does your GFCI need resetting? This is a common problem for many RV owners; to forget that their coach battery(s) need to be checked regularly.
Question: I have a 2018 Coachmen Ultralight Freedom Express. One USB outlet (with two USB receptacles) is not working. All other USB outlets throughout the trailer work fine. I am also an engineer and was wondering if you know a way to isolate this problem. Is there a central circuit board that supplies power to all of the USB outlets in an RV like mine? Or is the USB power generation distributed with individual circuit boards?
Answer: Actually, running multiple USB connectors off of one cable is common using the circuitry on the panel to sync the two signals onto one cable. The main limiting technology is how much current you can provide for driving multiple USB devices off of one driver/cable.
There should be a main circuit board that will probably operate off of your COACH 12-VDC for power, and it would have multiple USB output connectors for your USB panels. As to the one panel with two connectors, I suspect that if you pull the cover, it will have a single cable driving each of the two connectors, and the circuitry could be bad.
Question: I have a 17 Thor ACE Class A. I have it on 50a shore power at home. I had the battery disconnect in disconnect mode, and now my chassis battery is dead. I trickle charged the chassis battery, and it stated fully charged in about an hour. I disconnected it and when I came home that day the battery was again fully discharged. I placed the battery disconnect switch to use, and it did not charge the chassis battery. Do you have any suggestions?
Answer: Most motorhomes have two power disconnect switches; one for your CHASSIS Battery (commonly labeled MAIN and the other for your COACH batteries (commonly labeled AUX).
Now .... the Chassis battery should never discharge so fast unless you have something like your; stereo, Awning, Power Step, or other Dash electronic devices turned ON and drawing current.
On the other hand, if you're talking about your COACH batteries, they will not discharge so quickly for the same reason, but interior lights or other electrical device drawing a lot of current.
Either way, check all of your batteries for proper water levels and the manufacture dates to make sure they are still Good.
Question: I have a 2009 Holiday Rambler and none of my electrical plugs work nor does the tv come on. I am also trying to understand which way to activate the battery cut out switch (push button up or down). It's not clear in the manual. Any suggestions?
Answer: You should check out the RV's Power control module. It operates on 12-VDC from your COACH batteries. Your batteries could be either bad or not being charged by your Converter.
Your 2-way Fridge control panel also runs on 12-VDC and just flip the switch to see if the display lights up or not.
Question: The air conditioner and microwave of my RV do not work with the generator running, but it works fine on the campground power. I have checked all of the breakers (including the generator) and they all seem ok. What might the problem be?
Answer: You did not mention the type of generator or the year and model of your RV, but I can say a few things that could be causes of your problem.
First of all, your microwave, if it is a convection model can draw a lot of AC Current the same as your Air Conditioner can.
Then your generator does not operate under NO LOAD conditions, but will typically operate better when a load is applied. In fact, the generator installed in a motorhome is designed to handle the total load of all of the equipment in the RV.
With this said, and from your statement that everything operates properly on Shore power, I have to say that your generator needs to be serviced by a certified tech.
But, before you do this you can do a few things yourself that should be done on a regular basis;
1- change out the generators fuel filter and fuel pump.
2- change out the generator's air filter
And, of course, you have plenty of gas right? And, you know that if you get below 1/4-tank, your generator fuel line will not get any gas from the tank, right?
Question: Ram tow control intermittently says to check trailer wiring and shuts off and on. Sometimes it comes on and sometimes not causing me to stop and pull and replug the wiring harness. What is causing this problem? Hard to stop this trailer without brakes...2017 Imagine by Grand Design.
Answer: Pull the tow cable and check the contacts on each end for oxidation build-up. You may have to take a brass wire brush and clean the contacts until the dark oxidation is gone. Also, if that cable is loose, it can get pulled slightly loose from the sockets.
So, to fix this, you can often use a pair of plyers and SLIGHTLY bend the contacts so that they mate better in the socket better.
In one of my motorhomes, I had bought a tow cable that was just too short, so I had to purchase a more costly but longer one.
Also, I have a friend who was so concerned about this happening to hem that he put a "strain" relief on the cable ends for piece of mind.
Question: What would cause all TV and refrigerator plugs to stop working?
Answer: First of all, if you have a 2-way Fridge, then it's control circuit board operates on 12-VDC from your COACH battery. And, your TV's operate on 110-VAC provided by your Inverter which in turn gets its power from your COACH batteries. So, from your symptoms, I would recommend that you check your COACH batteries to make sure they are fully charged. You should also make sure your Power Cut-Off switch is set to the right position.
Question: We just bought a vintage 1975 Fleetwood wilderness and cant locate the bathroom light switch. Can you help?
Answer: On many of the older RV's you will find they have interior lights that are operated by a rocker switch on the light fixture itself.
It's cheaper to not run extra wires in the walls.
Question: Would a bad battery have done something to my water heater?
Question: I have a 1993 Newmar Kountry Star where I just replaced the transfer switch on. I also replaced the house batteries ( from 2 12V to 2 6V, wired in series. Now a new problem, the house batteries drain after 24 hours. Yes, the batteries are shut off inside. When taking the cables off the posts, the multimeter shows a 4 amp draw. Would a short be the cause of my RV drawing amps?
Answer: You should not have any current flow if the cables are not connected to the battery. I can only assume you are reading current supplied by your Converter?? You should also recheck that you rewired your 6-volt batteries properly.
Question: What would cause my house electrical outlets not to work when my generator is on? My air conditioner works but the outlets don’t. Please advise, have checked fuses and breakers.
Answer: If I understand your question, you are talking about a HOUSE? and not an RV? This makes my response a lot harder because I am not familiar with how you had your house wired when you added the generator.
I will say that, if everything works normally when you are using the standard power company's input and only the receptacles do not work when you turn on your generator, I would suspect that your problem is in the switching system you have in your house. If your Air Conditioner works then this indicates that you do have 220-VAC from the generator to our house, but one side of the 220-VAC may be open in your control wiring.
Question: Does the engine battery power the AC and fridge in the room?
Answer: No. In a motorhome, the 12-VDC for the Fridge and for the temperature control panel comes from the motorhome's COACH batteries.
Question: I have a Coleman Fleetwood pop up camper which had a blown 15 amp fuse. I replaced the fuse but besides the fridge is a GFI plug which won’t reset. The fridge and outside plugs do not work, any ideas?
Answer: Your Fridge is NOT on your GFCI circuit.
So first you should unplug anything that is plugged into the receptacles controlled by the GFCI Master receptacle including the outside ones.
This should allow you to check if your Fridge starts to function. If the Fridge does not operate on Propane, then you may have a COACH battery that is not fully charged.
Your symptoms make me suspect your COACH battery first.
Question: While hooking up a fan outside our RV, I inadvertently made contact between a plug and metal. Now, have no 120 power to front half(bedroom and bathroom) outlets. I have narrowed it to a single circuit, and it sounds like a GFCI has tripped, but I can't find the GFCI itself. Any help?
Answer: Your GFCI Master receptacle will normally be in your bathroom or over the kitchen counter area.
And, your outside receptacles should definitely be on a GFCI circuit.
You should also reset all of your breakers to make sure they are all fully engaged.
Often they will "kick out" but not throw the lever all of the way. So, it's a simple thing to do.
Question: 99 Layton 3710. Fuse for DC lights melted and the wire that goes into it. There is a burn mark in the fuse panel around that fuse. We pulled the fuse, the smell went away, the wire and panel cooled. We haven't yet replaced the fuse. Everything else works fine. If we replace our RV's fuse panel, the fuse, and splice the wire to remove the melted section will that solve our problem? Is the burn on the fuse panel indicative of a short somewhere? Is this placing extra load on anything else in the RV?
Answer: First of all, the fuses for each circuit that they protect, are designed to blow rather than have anything melt, or worse.
Some RV owners will have problems and place larger value fuses in the fuse panel than are allowed. The result is what you have, a melted fuse holder.
So, the first thing you need to do is try to find out what the original fuse value was supposed to be.
Then you obviously need to repair the fuse holder and the wire.
Once your fuse system is back to normal, then you can chase down what, in your lighting system is blowing the fuse. Possibly a lamp that is the wrong type?
Question: I had no power in my trailer at all. The fridge stopped running, and nothing would work. I checked all breakers and fuses, and all were good. Hooked up booster cables from my truck to the trailer battery and everything was working. I was told it was for sure a bad converter in the trailer. I purchased a new one and changed it out, and still, nothing changed, and I had no power. Is there a chance all I have is a bad battery and would that cause nothing at all to work in my trailer?
Answer: From your symptoms, I would almost bet that your trailer battery is either bad or dry. And it's the logical reason why your Converter cannot charge it. Remember to reset your Converter when you get your battery repaired.
Question: We just took our new Hybrid trailer for the first camp trip. We used lights and water pump sparingly, and the battery did not last even the first night. Connected to the tow vehicle for 30 to 45 min, and not much change. then the fridge light was flashing showing low voltage apparently. Now, not even the LED lights will work. Shouldn't a new battery last longer than that? (plugged in for 3 days before the trip.)
Answer: Yes, a good battery should power all of your 12-VDC equipment in your camper for several days.
All of your symptoms indicate a low charge on that battery though.
I can only ask; do you have an Inverter that provides 110-VAC to your Camper?
An Inverter is powered by your battery
And, if so, this could draw a lot more current from that battery.
Also, you should set your 2-Way Fridge to Propane and not to Auto or AC.
Check these things and if necessary, you may want to put a parallel battery on your Camper.
Question: I have a 2010 Winnebago sightseer that won't start. had a guy come out and replace the starter still won't start. What could it be?
Answer: Your symptoms are a little sparse, but With a problem like this, you need to add a few facts.
Do you get any kind of clicking sound, or does the starter actually turn the motor?
If none of these are true, then you need to use a multimeter and check the voltage on the terminals? Is it around 13.5-VDC?
If the battery voltage is OK, then use the multimeter and measure the voltage on the hot terminal of the starter. IS the voltage on the starter terminal 0-VDC and then when you turn the ignition key to start is there 12-VDC on this terminal? If the voltage is there, then the starter should turn the motor.
Question: Some of the electrical wiring for a teardrop trailer is grounded to the trailer chassis, will the 12 volt LED lights and other things only work if the trailer is hooked up to the truck?
Answer: Your question is confusing, but if you're asking "IF a teardrop trailer is grounded to the trailer chassis ....." then my answer is;
Your trailer uses your onboard battery to power all of your 12-VDC accessories including the LED lights, and the negative wire is hooked to the chassis for a good ground connection.
And, if you're operating only when the tow truck is hooked up then your battery may be dead. So, check it out; does it have water in it, are the cable connections tights, and do you have a built-in Converter in your trailer that keeps the trailer battery charged when you are plugged into external 110-VAC?
Check these things for the source of your problem.
Question: I have a 2013 Starcraft trailer. When I unplugged the shore connection I realized that none of the lights or appliances (e.g microwave) were working. My battery is charged up. All circuit breakers and fuses seem to be okay. Any ideas?
Answer: Your appliances in your camper run on 110-VAC, so when you disconnected the shore power it and your other 110-VAC appliances should NOT WORK.
But, your interior lights operate on your 12-VDC battery. And, the battery will run down if it is not fully charged. The Converter keeps your battery charged.
So, check the water level in your camper battery and make sure it is fully charged, under load.
Question: The air conditioner in my RV doesn’t work well. My toaster won’t brown the toast, even after seven minutes, and my microwave takes four mins to heat a small coffee. I’m sure the campground circuit is overloaded as I’m not getting the full 30 amps. Everyone in the campground is having the same issues. Is this low amperage damaging my camper?
Answer: If you're not getting 110-VAC to your RV, and when you operate an appliance it loads down the voltage, then you could be damaging your appliances or other electrical equipment.
The campground must provide adequate power to everyone's campsite, or they should tell their campers that they need to leave because their power source is dangerously low.
This is a problem for the campground, and if they don't accept responsibility for any damages, then I wouldn't go there again.
Question: The lights on my '09 Puma 26fbss keep going out then coming back on. They flicker a few times before they come back on. What do you think the problem might be?
Answer: If you're talking about the interior lights, then you should understand that your coach battery powers them. If the battery is discharged, then the converter will turn on if the RV is plugged into external power and you attempt to charge the battery. If the battery is very low, the converter may have to cycle several times until the dead battery has enough charge so the converter can operate properly. In hindsight, you should always use a good, relatively new deep-discharge battery for the coach and keep it charged. When it is not in use, and your RV has a cutoff switch then use it to remove any of your equipment from the battery so it will not discharge when not in use.
Question: My refrigerator will run on electric, but not LP. The burner has clear blue flame coming out the burner, but then turns off. How do I get this fixed?
Answer: Because you say the burner has a good flame and then turns off, I would suspect that your propane supply is low.
Or, the valve mounted near the burner is not working properly.
Also, make sure that your propane hoses are in good shape.
Question: I just plugged in a small electric heater, and the power went out. I flipped all the switches on the breaker box, and the power came back on to everything but three outlets. Now, there are only two outlets that work. Why won't those outlets work now?
Answer: It is likely that you plugged your heater into a GFI receptacle and probably, the initial surge current kicked the breaker.
First, reset your "master GFI" receptacle, and that should get your power problem fixed.
Second, never use a high current (wattage) portable heater. Most people make sure they get one that is safe form; tipping over, causing fires, and drawing excess current.
Third, Never plug a heater into a receptacle that is protected on a GFI circuit.
Question: We returned home from a camping trip, and I noticed the awning would not roll out, the awning led light strip would not turn on and the door porch light would not turn on either. Everything worked great at the campground. I'm a long way from the dealership, can you help me?
Answer: All of these items run on your RV battery.
So, one cause could be that your RV engine battery is dead.
More likely though is the possibility that you have turned OFF your RV's "MAIN" switch which would turn OFF power to these accessories. This switch is normally used when you are storing your RV and don't want the engine battery to be drained by these accessories.
Question: We have a 2018 Reflection Rv. I turned the refrigerator off, and it is still running. What do I do now?
Answer: You did not give me enough information, but consider this:
1- If your fridge is a 2-way that runs on propane or 110-VAC then you need to check if it switched over to propane? If you pressed the ON/OFF switch though, it should have definitely turned OFF.
2- If you have a "household" fridge then your Rv could be set up with an Inverter that runs off of its own battery. The battery is kept charged by your RV's Converter (charger), so check that you are not still hooked up to your campsite 110-VAC and the charger/inverter system isn't getting power.
Question: I didn’t have power to the thermostat. I pulled out the converter replaced it, and while it was out, I ran DC power to my thermostat and a new ground. Thermostat now has power, but still nothing. So I pulled the thermostat replaced it and ran straight to the control box with new wire. Still nothing, I put a multimeter on the control part of the neg and positive on the cooling and get negative 5.12 MV. I’ve also jumped the control box bypassing the thermostat, and the A/C kicks on. What is the problem here?
Answer: Your trouble-shooting information is interesting. But if your A/C kicked ON when you bypassed the control panel and if you already replaced the control panel with a new one then your problem must be with your 12-VDC battery and/or Converter which keeps the battery charged. So, is the battery good? Does it have water in it? Is it fully charged, is the Converter running? Check these things out on the net.
Question: I accidentally installed the batteries in reverse polarity, ever since my jack motors, awning and beds operate slow. Would the converter be bad? Has new batteries
Answer: Well, I assume you corrected the reversed polarity of the batteries quickly. And Yes, with the batteries reversed, they place a very high load on the Converter, and it could be damaged along with the batteries that you wisely replaced. But, this kind of load should have blown the fuse in the Converter.
Just to be cautious, disconnect the Converter and place a regular battery charger in its place just to check that the batteries are being charged properly.
If that works then you can concentrate on the Converter and check it out. First, look for a fuse and replace it. Second, under load, it should be generating around 14.5 VDC when the batteries are being charged, around 13.5-VDC when the batteries are fully charged and if it is around 12.50VDC then the batteries are NOT being charged, and the Converter should be removed and checked by a technician, or just replaced.
Question: I have a sailing vessel, someone took my splitter connected one to my boat and the other to another boat. I guess you could call it sharing my splitter. When I arrived, my a.c. panel showed lights on a.c. 2 but a.c. 1 had no light or power. The breaker was not tripped. I moved my cord to the splitter appropriately but still no power. My a.c. in the main cabin had no power. Would my sail boat's electricity problems be related to a bad breaker?
Answer: I have to tell you that you need to check that your "splitter" is good or not. They can blow with too much current being pulled. Disconnect both boats and the check that you have voltage at each output with a multimeter.
If both outputs have voltage, reverse the connections and see if the other boat is experiencing the same problem. Then the problem is in the splitter. If it not then the problem is in your boats electrical system.
Then check your 110-VDC breaker panel and make sure the breakers are OK, and you have voltage from all of them.
Question: I have a 2011 Lance 2185 travel trailer where the fuse for the fridge and rear interior lights keeps blowing even after replacing it. It does have a solar panel that trickle charges the batteries. Any suggestions?
Answer: Neither your Fridge (control panel) nor your interior lights draw very much current so normally they would not be blowing your 12-VDC fuse.
Your solar charger should not be a cause of your problem as they deliver very low power to your battery.
While traveling, your fridge to switch over to propane, normally, and back to 12-VDC when you plug in at a campsite. It's a long shot, but you could be getting a "surge" on your 12-VDC line to the fridge when it switches over from propane operation. If this were the case, it could be that your COACH battery is slowly losing its charge while you travel, and when the load changes on a "low" battery, there could be a higher current drawn momentarily.
So, the best suggestion I could give you with these symptoms is to check your Coach battery; does it have water, is it over 3-4 years old, and does it take and hold a full charge?
Question: Why is my fridge not working in my 2013 Springdale Keystone RV?
Answer: Your Fridge is most likely a 2-way Fridge. It's called that because it operates on either 110-VAC or Propane.
But, many people do not realize that it also uses the COACh 12-VDC battery power for its control circuit board.
If the Fridge doesn't operate on either 110-VAC (when plugged into external power, or Propane then I would suggest that your COACH battery is not fully charged.
Check that the battery is in good condition, the wires connected to it are tight, and that it has water in it, first.
If this doesn't fix your problem, then check that your Converter is operating it properly and keeping the battery charged.
Question: I am trying to figure out a problem with a WFCO 8955. It is connected to a 120VAC 30A service and the voltage checks good at around 122VAC. I am not getting any 12VDC power until I turn the breaker off to the unit, and I get over 13VDC for several seconds. What would cause this?
Answer: If your Converter is still connected to its load (the Coach batteries) and there is NO voltage reading on the output connectors of the Converter, then this would indicate that your COACH batteries would be dead and the Converter would not be operating at all.
So, do you have any 12-VDC in your RV, such as interior lights, alarms, 2-way fridge? If they are working, then your batteries have some level of charge, and your symptoms would indicate that they are not connected to your Converter?
Question: On my RV, I don’t have Neg 12VDC coming in where I should just positive. How do I get the Neg 12VDC in the Neg 12VDC spot from the thermostat to the control? I only have positive.
Answer: There is no neg 12-VDC in an RV, so I assume you mean the 12-VDC COMMON wire? And measuring from this wire to your RV ground you should NOT have any voltage measurement. If you do, this could be problematic and unsafe.
If you have a voltage from the NEG (DC common) wire to ground, then check that the large Ground wire on your battery NEG terminal is tightly connected to chassis ground. IF not, this could be your problem.
Question: I have a 2016 travel trailer and the lights over the dining table and the recliners, both on the same 15A fuse, are blowing it occasionally. When it does the lights over the recliners are completely off, but the ones over the dining table come on very dimly. When I replace the fuse, with the same size, both sets of lights work fine. What's up?
Answer: First of all, if you have multiple lights on the same fuse and the fuse blows and some of the lights are still ON, then you have a wiring problem to your lights.
You should have a hot wire that goes to one side of both lamps, and a separate Ground wire going to the other side of your lamps.
And, if they are wired properly there will be NO power to either of the lamps if the appropriate fuse is blown.
I would examine the wiring connections at the lamps to make sure there are no loose or shorted wires.
As to your fuse blowing, are the lamps in the lights incandescent or LED? Incandescent lamps can draw a lot more current than their LED equivalent. Most RV owner will replace their incandescent lamps with LED to save on power used.
Question: I have a 2018 Bounder, and it sat all winter plugged in with power and now my steps do not work, nor will my awning. Do you have any ideas?
Answer: On your Bounder, the steps and the awning operate on power from your engine battery.
It probably just needs a charge.
Your coach batteries are kept charged by your converter which gets its power from your 110-VAC, but your engine battery does not.
You should start your engine around once a month and let it run for 30-minutes to keep the battery charged.
Question: Whenever the 120vp0wer is disconnected from my fifth wheel, the battery dies in a week or so. I have checked for shorts and even replaced the converter. Any Ideas?
Answer: Your fifth-wheel camper's battery is charged by your built-in Converter. This Converter runs on your 120-VAC and if you disconnect from the campsites external power, of course, your Converter will not operate.
So, realizing this, you need to have that 120-VAC hooked up regularly for these power systems to operate for you.
Question: My water heater no longer makes hot water. Can it be a fuse?
Answer: The water heater in your Rv runs on 110-VAC when you are plugged in at a campsite, and it also runs on Propane when 110-VAC is not available.
In both modes, the control board in your Water heater uses 12-VDC from your COACH batteries.
So, first check if your water heater works in one or both of these modes. If it only works on Propane, then check your breaker for your water heater. If it doesn't work in either mode, then check the fuse for the water heater on your interior 12-VDC fuse panel.
And be aware that if you do not have any water coming into your water heater, then the controller will not allow the heater elements to heat as a safety measure.
Question: I am at an event park. My trailer is a 26-ft. Jayco. The floor is vibrating. What is causing this?
Answer: Well, the only thing in your camper with a motor would be your water pump. Check if your water tank is empty if your water pump is running constantly trying to maintain pressure.
I suspect this is your problem, so turn your water pump off to see if the vibration goes away.
Question: I have a 2017 Jayco Jayflight 32BDHS, I am experiencing 2 receptacles which are hot on both legs with no neutral, any ideas?
Answer: Are these two receptacles by chance on your GFCI circuit? If so, press RESET and then press TEST to make sure your GFCI system is functioning properly.
If they are not on your GFCI circuit then you may have a COMMON wire that has become loose?
I would use a multimeter to confirm the symptoms first of all though. Bad wiring is not common in a newer RV such as yours.
Question: I have a 1992 Tioga Montara motor home with a brand new house battery. Some of the lights and the range hood fan are not working. Also, When not plugged into AC power, the gcfi will not reset. They do when plugged in. All fuses are ok, and no breakers are tripping. Could it just be a loose connection somewhere?
Answer: First of all, your GFCI does not use 12-VDC, and the GFCI reset circuit is a mechanical function so it should reset even without 110-VAC applied to it.
Your interior lights and range fan are both on your 12-VDC provided by your COACH batteries.
So, even though you have a new house battery, I would have to assume that it was not being kept charged by your CONVERTER, which operates on your 110-VAC.
Your two most likely problems are either; 1-the battery is bad, 2- the Converter is not functioning and you need to check its fuse, or 3- You have a loose or damaged wire on the battery from when you changed the battery.
Question: I have a new Control board, converter, t-stat and wire for my RV. My t-stat works because I now get power to control board 14.5v and when I turn on cooling it gets power there, and when turned off it has no power same with the fan. But is my freeze sensor suppose to have 14.5v to both wires? Any other thoughts? Could the new board is broken?
Answer: I am not sure what model you have or how they wired it internally, but I do know that a lot of electrical systems will have power applied to a component, (such as your freeze sensor) and will switch the ground onto and off of the component. When you check the component, because the ground is not connected, it will show the voltage (14.5 VDC??) on both wires. But, as I said, I don't know if the freeze sensor is a switch that closes or one that Opens when activated.
If your AC is a name brand such as Dometic, you can contact their customer service and ask their technicians for help.
Also, please try to clarify if the voltage is there on the AC and the fan, but the AC is not working.
Question: I just bought a 2001 Forest River Reflection motorhome. I have not had an issue with the slide out until this morning. It will not slide back in, and we are not hearing any kind of clicking it anything when we try the switch. We have checked a lot of things but can not find the problem. What could it be?
Answer: First of all, you should check if there is a blown a fuse in your 12-VDC fuse panel, because the slide operates on your coach battery.
If the fuse for the slide isn't blown and there is voltage out of the fuse box, pin for the slide, then check if there is voltage on the slide motor when you operate the switch for the slide but the motor doesn't turn or click then your slide motor has a problem.
I would suspect the fuse in the fuse panel as your culprit or your coach battery voltage. When is the last time you checked the water in your coach batteries, how old are your coach batteries, and what is the voltage reading across your coach battery terminals? Hopefully one of these things is your real problem.
Question: How to fix magnetic brake assembly on Arctic Fox camper slide out?
Answer: This kind of problem is very product specific.
I recommend that you search for the contact information for the manufacturer's Customer Service department.
They will often either have a number you can call or an email address that you can use to get specific information on such product specific problems.
Question: I have a 2004 Grand Junction travel trailer. What may cause the wall outlets not work? I have checked with a meter, and the voltage reads way above 125.
Answer: Your receptacles get their power from your breaker panel, except for your GFCI receptacles.
Your camper will have several receptacles that get their power from the Master GFCI receptacle, which has a reset button on it.
Check that this reset hasn't tripped.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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???
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
Robin on July 11, 2020:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.