Troubleshooting and Repairing RV Electrical Problems for the Beginner

Updated on February 19, 2018
Don Bobbitt profile image

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

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

Electrical Problems in RVs: For the Novice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Electricity Can Kill!

Please remember this when using the information below!

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

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

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

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

Troubleshooting Your RV's Electrical Problems

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

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

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

Some Basic Electrical Information for the RV Owner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Troubleshooting Fuses and Breakers

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

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

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

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

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

Ground Fault Indicators

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

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

Don't Upgrade Your Fuses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Troubleshooting 12-Volt System Problems

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

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

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

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

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

Using a Multimeter

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

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

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

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

 

3. Troubleshooting Problems Coming From the Outside Power Supply

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

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

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

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

Surge Protector, Yes or No?

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

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

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

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

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

4. Troubleshooting AC Current Draws

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

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

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

How Much Current Do Your Appliances Draw?

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

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

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

Estimating Maximum Current

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

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

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

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

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

 

Useful Electrical Terms, Abbreviations, and Data

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

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

One-Letter Electrical Abbreviations

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

Resistor Values and Colors

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

Good Luck Now

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

Questions & Answers

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    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 hours ago from Ruskin Florida

      KamperKen - Sorry to tell you this Ken, but if all you get from your COACH batteries/Converter, is 12.64 volts then your batteries are not charged and they are not being charged by the Converter. You should read around 13.5 VDC if the batteries are fully charged and if they are being charged then they should read around 14.5-VDC. And, you said things work when you are plugged into shore power you should realize that the Converter runs on your 110-VAC when you are plugged in. SO, the Converter is probably working OK. And your generator gets it's starting voltage from your Coach batteries also.

      All of this being said, I suspect your COACH batteries are OLD and cannot take a charge anymore.

      Have a Nice Day!

      DON

    • profile image

      KamperKen 

      25 hours ago

      Don - I have a 2007 31W Tiago Class C unit made by Fleetwood. 9000 miles - remarkable condition. Just bought it. It seemed to be working fine when I brought it home, but now I have no 12v power to the living compartment. Engine starts and runs fine, everything works when plugging up the shore cable, but my generator seems to not have enough "juice" to start. I removed the house batteries, checked the levels (they were fine), cleaned all cables and terminals, charged them, had them checked at a local auto parts store, pulled the ground cable off the frame and ground it down to bare metal, and reinstalled everything. I get a solid 12.64 volts going into the fuse panel and solenoid but nothing inside. I cannot find any disconnect switch anywhere and have tested all the fuses and breakers. Any thoughts?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      Richard - In an RV there is a Power Control Panel. Also, there is a high current Solenoid that has the output of the Shore Power on one connection and the output of the RV generator on the other connection. The output connection goes to the main power panel.

      In the normal mode the Shore power goes through this solenoid to the main power panel.

      If the Power Panel senses that the generator is providing power, it switches the solenoid to the generator input.

      This is a safety feature to assure that the Rv is not getting two potentially opposing power inputs.

      If the generator is turned OFF then the solenoid drops out and the solenoid connects back to the Shore power and the normal mode.

      It sounds like you do not have this solenoid system wired into your Tiny House.

      You need to consider getting your Tiny house wired for this function.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Richard Wertenberger 

      3 days ago

      I have a WFCO 8955 series panel that I have installed in a tiny home. Everything went well during the install but for some reason I am bypassing the main CB.

      What I have found is that I have 120AC going in through the CB and 13.6DC on my circuits (which is correct) But for some reason the CB is "hotwired" and not allowing me to turn power off unless I unplug my shore power.

      I have the shore power wired to the AC breaker and the hot for the converter is tied to that as well.

      I have swapped out 3 breakers thinking maybe they were bad but it is still doing the same.

      any ideas?

      Richard

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      Steven Holland - Do you have power to your receptacles?

      Your Camper Trailer has a Power Cutoff switch that is used when you put your trailer in storage. I suspect that this switch is ON.

      Many people forget about this switch. So, Flip this switch and then check if your appliances are functioning.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      steven holland 

      3 days ago

      i have a new 2018 mallard travel trailer and when i plug it in all i have power to is the microwave but the lights fridge oven and pump works ofd battery its a brand new trailer never been used before so im not sure why its like that any help would be liked thank you

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      I tell everyone that one of the most neglected items in an RV are the COACH batteries. So, check these things; 1- Is your battery over 3-5 years old, 2- Does your battery have water in it, 3- When you check the voltage across the battery terminals is it at least 13.50VDC (charged) or is it around 14.5-VDC (charging). And if it is in the 12-VDC range, it is not being charged by your Converter (charger).

      Check these things before you get into your slide power system.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Bill Reaves 

      5 days ago

      I have a good one for anyone 2002 prowler lynx I replaced the Charger because the voltage was droping under 11 volts light would dim yet everything work and then the slide went out on a trip and when I was getting everything ready the slide wouldnt go in I got nothing i checked fuses power on it all so after about an hour trying to get the thing in I didnt have any batteries so I hooked up the jumper cables to the wires that would normally have the batteries hook to and what do you know the slide work just fine so like i said I replaced the charger but the slide still will not work with out being hooked to the battery does anyone have any idea I did locate in a storage compartment while tracing wiring a cluster of relays and a couple of sealed breakers on a circut board that says power Gear the same thing the slide motor is do you think the board might have took a dive it has a fuse on and it is still good but there isnt a way to check the rest of the board HELP!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      It's unlikely that you damaged the batteries with a loose connection. It might have kept the batteries with the loose connections from charging properly, but otherwise all should be well when you get everything tightened down.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      jumperrn - You're right but; the old one may have been able to operate on a lower 12-VDC than the newer one???? I'm just thinking out loud, because, if it was me, I would measure the DC Voltage on the input of the new unit and call the manufacturers customer service about this anomaly. As you said, if it's a direct replacement there should be No problem.

      The other scary option si that the newer one is more sensitive and you have a minor but detectible LP leak in your RV???

      Have a good day,

      DON

    • profile image

      sherrymac 

      9 days ago

      I recently took my RV in for service. While getting ready to leave, the battery disconnect would not restore the batteries. I had replaced the nuts and bolts to my 8 batteries after adding water. I lost one of the bolts to the very top battery. I brought one home with me so I could match it up at the hardware store. In the meantime, I failed to replace them in the battery compartment. The batteries are all brand new (Oct). RV service is going to put the bolts on tomorrow. Will all of my batteries be okay? The configuration is all correct, it is just that the 2 bolts were not secured on the 2 batteries at the very top.

    • profile image

      jumperrn 

      9 days ago

      Thanks Don. I will check it out. Just seems odd that the previous detector worked fine (0ther than it was too old).

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      9 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      jumperrn - The only difference in your conditions is the fact that when on Shore power, the Converter (Charger) is providing power to charge the RV batteries.

      This would men that all of your equipments that operate on 120VDC would likely have a higher voltage on them as the batteries charge.

      But, your LP detector, as well as your other 12-VDC devices should be designed to handle the normal variations in the 120VDC power as the batteries are being charged. In fact, only an excessive voltage output from your Converter could possibly be your problem.

      Use a multimeter and check the voltage across your battery terminals (after you check your battery for low water).

      This voltage should be around 14.5-VDC if the battery is being charged, around 13.5-VDC when it is fully charged, and the battery is not taking a charge if the voltage across the terminals is around 12.5-VDC or lower.

      Try these things,

      DON

    • profile image

      jumperrn 

      10 days ago

      Sorry for the misunderstanding Don. I am still having the problem as described in the previous post. LP detector works fine on 12 volt power but does not work when the shore power is plugged in.

      Thanks

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      10 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      Glad you fixed your problem.

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      10 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      jumpern - I'm glad you have fixed your problem, and we could help.

      Have a great day,

      DON

    • profile image

      jumperrn 

      10 days ago

      Hi again Don.

      In my previous comment I stated that the LP detector was running off the power converter. It is in fact running from the 12 volt side of the fuse box, 1 amp fuse per Atwood installation directions (and previous LP detector). My mistake. thanks.

    • profile image

      jumperrn 

      10 days ago

      Hi Don:

      I have 1997 Alpenlite truck camper I am restoring. I recently purchased and installed a new LP detector to replace the old Atwood detector. I believe it was the original, still functioned but I had heard they should be replaced after 7 years. The replacement is an Atwood as well and was obtained by a local dealer as the replacement part for the original. I have wired the new one exactly as the old one and it works fine on 12 volt power. However, when I plug the camper into shore power, the detector stops functioning. Unplug shore power and the detector is operational. I even hooked the old detector back up as as a check and it worked fine. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Could I just bypass the power converter and go straight to the 12 volt power bus? The detector is currently running through the converter and a 1 amp fuse.

      Thanks,

      jumper

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      11 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      Kite Mann - From your symptoms you obviously have a wiring error and you said you rewired some in your truck.

      Because of this, I would suspect that you have a wiring error in your Truck Tow connector. Check the connections at the connector for an error.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Kite Mann 

      11 days ago

      When I plug into the pick up, the tail lights on truck and 5th wheel come on, even though the lights are not turned on. Also, the back up lights on truck turn on, but not on 5th wheel.

      We have a 2006 Cedar Creek/Silverback, 29LRGBS.

      I rewired the truck and all circuits work.

      Suggestions?

      Thank you.

      Kite

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      12 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      Amuswoolman - I have to go back to your symptom that your RV worked OK at your previous campground.

      That in itself tells me that your campground power system is the most probable problem.

      Remember, campgrounds are notorious for not maintaining their power sources for campers and especially so this time of the year when everyone is loading their system down.

      I would get a Surge Protector that monitors your voltages and current leakages as well as low and high power surges. This can protect your RV and it can tell you if their power is safe to use and what their problem is.

      Have a Nice Day,

      DON

    • profile image

      amuswoolman 

      12 days ago

      I have 2003 Hurricaine class A motor home. I plugged into a 30 amp shoreline at a RV park. When I went to use an appliance the transfer switch started kicking on and off. Now anything that use that has 110 volts to it no longer works.

      I unplugged the shoreline and started the generator. Everything works fine.

      I plugged the shoreline back in after turning the generator off. I checked the voltage at the sockets for 110 and it did have the 110 volts. When I turned on any appliance, the voltage dropped at the electrical socket down to 40 volts.

      I recently had the transfer switched replaced (10 days ago), tried a new supply cord a and still nothing changed.

      Four hours earlier at another RV park everything was working fine.

      Tried the electrical pedestal in the next lot over. Still does not work.

      Any ideas?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      13 days ago from Ruskin Florida

      George - Your camper van should have a Shut OFF switch that you use to disconnect the equipment in your camper from your batteries.

      In fact, motorhomes will have 2 of these shut off switches, one for disconnecting the MAIN (or Chassis) system and one for doing the same to the AUX (0r Coach) equipment.

      Look for this switch or switches and set it to OFF when you are not using your RV.

      Have a Nice Day,

      DON

    • profile image

      George 

      13 days ago

      Something is draining the batteries that have been replaced in my camper van. Tried to turn everything off, but power is leaving when the camper is parked and shut down.

      Can you suggest a solution or a test to see where the power is going?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Jason - My first question is; Do you have a Surge Protector on your Power line from your Campsite? Often, this time of the year, many campground's power systems just can't handle the load of so many RV's.

      At least a Surge Protector will tell you if their power system is your problem, and it will protect your RV systems from damage caused by both LOW and HIGH power variations.

      All of your symptoms are common for when your AC-Voltage is varying on you.

      So, first of all, get a Surge Protector and then if the campground power is OK, then you can check any problems you might have inside your RV.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Jason 

      2 weeks ago

      My interior light bulbs have been suddenly blowing once I turn them on. My refrigerator check light is on and a few weeks ago my air conditioning breaker kept tripping and feeling extremely hot (its not not though). Last week my GFI outlets tripped also and I reset themthe and they work well now. And guidance will be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Pattie - Your Fridge control panel, your temperature control panel, and your interior lights all operate on your 12-VDC which is supplied by the COACH battery. The Coach battery is kept cahrged by your Converter (Charger), which in turn operates on your external 110-VAC power at your campsite.

      So, first of all use a multimeter and check the voltage across your battery terminals.

      It should read; 1- approximately 14.5 VDC if it is being charged, 2- approximately 13,5 DC if it is charged, and around 12.5 VDC if it is NOT CHARGED.

      I am suspecting your battery, so check its age (they are only good for around 5 years), then check the battery water level (no or low water means a problem). If it still will not take a charge, then replace the battery.

      Have a great day,

      DON

    • profile image

      Pattie 

      2 weeks ago

      Hi Don, We have a 2017 Keystone Elite which has developed 2 simultaneous problems even though the trailer is connected to campground electric: 1) Dometic fridge not working and check light on 2) Dometic thermostat for air conditioner displays E1 error code and air conditioner doesn’t work. Fuses, circuit breakers, GFI all ok, checked with multimeter campground power supply, converter, battery, outlets all ok. Also tried initializing thermostat-didn’t help. Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Your symptoms are a little confusing.

      So, if your Air Conditioner is kicking your power control panel over to your SHORE power from your generator then start-up surge is causing your generator to "LOAD DOWN".

      I recommend that you check if you have too many AC_Voltage accessories and equipment operating for your generator to handle that instantaneous load. You can just turn some of these equipments OFF and possibly eliminate the surge problem.

      Also, when you get the chance, get your generator serviced so that you're confident that it is operating properly.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Janet younker 

      2 weeks ago

      I have a 2001 haycocks c series rv. My ac kicks the automatic transfer switch to shut off. I thought my ac went bad so I bought a new ac and its doing the same thing. When I run it on electric it's ok. I have an onan 4000 generator. Any help as to what this could be is very appreciative. Thanks

    • profile image

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 weeks ago

      Carter - From your symptoms I suggest that you check your GFCI Master receptacle and reset it. IF your AC is working then you have 110-VAC to your RV so if your 110-VAC breaker in the breaker panel os OK, then all you have left is your GFCI.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Carter 

      2 weeks ago

      I have an 2017 Keystone Sprinter 357FWLFT. I’m here in NE. Just had some extended rain overnight.

      All the wall outlets are inop. The light is on in the refrigerator as are all the lights working in and outside the coach. The water pump works. I would half to run all the hot water out of the water heater to know if it is actually inop. I inspected the outside of the couch and in the storage areas. All dry. There is no GFCI on the outside of the couch. Awning, AC, slide outs all work. Signed Preplexed on the Platte.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Kflour - Some of your electrical outlets are on a GFCI circuit, but you said NONE of yours work, so, you need to check that your external power at your campsite is OK? There are breakers in the campsite power box that must be ON.

      Check if your Microwave and Air Conditioners work. If they are also dead, then make sure the breakers in your 110-VAC power box are not OFF.

      PS. Your TV could be operating on a regular receptacle, or it could be operating on a receptacle tied to your INVERTER.

      As to your COACH (AUX) battery cut-out switch, if your interior lights are operating and your two-way Fridge is operating OK on 110-VAC then the switch is ON.

      Have a Nice Day!

      DON

    • profile image

      Kflour 

      3 weeks ago

      Please excuse me as I am a neophyte. 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). Not clear in the manual.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      4 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Dawn Lisinski - You probably already know this, but you do have your Rv in PARK and your Emergency Brake is ON? A lot of people, even seasoned campers will forget these things at times. Other than the switches on these parts of the RV, there should not be anything else that keeps your slide from operating.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      DawnLisinski 

      4 weeks ago

      We have a 2001 Damon Challenger with a power gear slide. It was working fine then after being open for about a week, after doing a check to make nothing was in its path it would not work or even make any noise. Husband did a manual close. He assumed it was the circuit board, purchased a new circuit board, breakers and fuse. Still did nothing. Battery is charged and when hot wired at motor it operates, when hot wired at switch inside it operates. What are we missing?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      4 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Jan Huss - The fact that your generator will not start in the normal mode yet it starts when you use your AUX switch indicates that your generator is OK and your COACH batteries are NOT being charged.

      They get charged by your RV's Converter when you are plugged into external power, so you need to check that the Converter is operating properly. Do this by check in the voltage across your COACH batteries. IF the Converter is charging this voltage should be around 13.5-VDC (charged) up to around 14.5-VDC (charging).

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      4 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Tom - As RV's and their Air Conditioners age certain accessories and appliances age and the AC in particular can become a "current hog". The Compressor in the AC unit will draw more current as it cycles ON.

      You can try to not use certain other appliances when you are operating your AC in a very HOT climate to avoid kicking the breaker, but sometimes, it is more logical to consider having your AC serviced (compressor checked) and if it is bad, replace the AC.

      Also, in HOT times of the day, unplug some of those other things you have operating like; chargers, fans, toasters, electric frying pans, and such to lower your overall current load.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      jan huss 

      4 weeks ago

      I have a 2003 coachman class c when I plug into shore all works well. When I disconnect it has no power. I just put in two brand new batteries that were full charge and my use button will not work I can only get clicks on my generator but that will start by jumping my chassis battery. Generator works good. Can you help?

    • profile image

      Tom 

      4 weeks ago

      My camper 2008 dutchman keeps throwing the breaker when ac is on and you use microwave and loss power to the hole camper

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      4 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      The lights in an RV typically run on 12-VDC and not on AC-voltage. Considering you have the standard AC-voltage 3-wires to this particular light, I assume it actually runs on 110-VAC. The lamps in your new fixture are LED so if your voltage isLOW then they will be dim.

      I would use a multimeter to check the 110VAC at your breaker panel to make sure that the campground power is not low.

      As to your receptacles you should check that your GFI master receptacle hasn't kicked OFF. If it has, then reset the button on the master receptacle to see of the dead receptacles are on that line.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Leasa 

      4 weeks ago

      We have a 2008 Select Suites by Doubletree. One of our ceiling lights stopped working so I went and bought just a simple light set that holds 3 GU10 bulbs. We hooked up the new light and it only lights up very little with a small orange glow. We have the black, white, and ground wires hooked up. We’ve also noticed that we have 2 plug ins that are close by that are not working. But there’s other lights really close that are working. We thought at first maybe it was the light I bought so I went back and bought a second one that was different and it didn’t work either. The light is a reg 120 volt light and I’m assuming that’s why it’s not working. Is there any way to hook this light up to where it will work in an RV. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Leon - A motorhome which has a built-in generator has certain safety measures designed in.

      Your Rv has a power control panel. When your Rv is plugged into external power it will not allow the generator to connect to the Rv circuitry. And, when you start your generator, it will switch a solenoid to your generator and remove the connection to your external power.

      You should check out your generator itself. Remember just because the gas-powered engine starts and runs that doesn't mean the actual electric generator on it is working.

      So, check for a voltage output at the generator output before you get into your Rv wiring.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Leon Hananel 

      6 weeks ago

      We have a '03 Class C with an 4k ONAN Generator. There is a wire plug on the left side that plugs into 110V ..... like in my house. But now when I plug the same wire plug into the back of the RV and start the generator...I have NO power. The converter is working fine charging the batteries while plugged into shorepower. But I have NO power at all from the generator to the batteries or to the 110V.

      The only clues I can offer (as it was working great just yesterday) is that I accidentally left the cover off the generator while it was running. Also...the generator "off/on" switch seems to make no difference....the generator itself works immediately on pressing the 'start' button.

      Any suggestions???

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      RovingRobertsons - As an RV and its AC units age, they draw more current when the Compressor starts up. This can be as much as 3-5 Amps per AC unit.

      As to your other problem of nothing working, check that your MAIn breaker on your RV and the Breaker in your campsite power panel are both functioning properly and are not "kicked off".

      Then, if none of these work you need to have the campground check your campsite power box so you are sure that they are providing you with the appropriate power, before you go inside your RV.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      RovingRobertsons 

      6 weeks ago

      We have a 1990 Itasca. The circuit breaker kept getting tripped on hot days when we used our AC units. We bought a new breaker to replace the old one. Now when we try to plug it in nothing works at all. We're pretty sure we got the same amperage that was needed. Even plugging the old one back and will not turn anything on. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      cacafool - The Inverter in your RV is not intended to provide power to everything in your RV.

      An RV Inverter is typically provided to power a couple of receptacles. Usually it will power the receptacles for your TV sets, and maybe another will provide power for your PC near the dash for the passenger. An Inverter uses your COACH batteries and one large enough to power everything would require an enormous set of batteries.

      And, the Inverter isn't even wired to your MAIN Breaker panel.

      Even if you "boosted' your Inverter power source with a Solar Panel, a typical Inverter is only rated at 800 to 2000 watts, which again, cannot power very many accessories.

      Have a Great Day.

      DON

    • profile image

      cacafool 

      6 weeks ago

      We just bought a 2008 Itasca Sunova 35J. All the plugs work fine with either generator or shore power but not off the inverter. There is power coming out of the inverter and the plugs at the back of the inverter are powered up. With the inverter on there is no power in the breaker panel. I can find 2 GFI plugs in the unit and neither are tripped and all work with either generator or shore power. I can't find a reset on the inverter. We have an aftermarket solar that is plugged into the inverter. Both coach batteries were just replaced. Please help

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Jim Carr - First you should check the voltage across your COACH battery(s). If it is low (less than 13.5 VDC or lower) then check that your Converter (Charger) is functioning properly. Check it's indicator lights and it's fuse. This is your most likely culprit considering your symptoms.

      BUT, you say that everything operates OK while your RV is on its generator??? If this is true then your POWER CONTROL Panel might be bad because the only thing different is this point in your electrical system where incoming ACV power is sensed and allocated to the different circuits in your RV.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Frankc643 - I would suspect your COACH battery(s) first. These lights run on your 12-VDC which is provided by these batteries and they are kept charged by your Converter (Charger). So, you might check the batteries for water? Then if they have water, check the voltage level across the battery terminals.

      Some of the LED light assemblies used in RV's will not operate on LOW levels of voltage, unlike an old incandescent bulb which will just be more dim. An LED bulb is either ON or OFF, so check these possible causes of your problems first.

      DON

    • profile image

      Jim Carr 

      7 weeks ago

      The tire shop blew a fuse or something operating the 10 foot slide on 12 volts. ( I have no idea why they had the slide out)

      Nothing in the 12 volt system works. I can't find a fuse that is blown or GFI to reset. Everything ok on generator. Where do I look next.

      Thanks . . . Jim

    • profile image

      Frankc643 

      7 weeks ago

      Great article and comments. I have a newly acquired 2016 Thor Challenger KT. Recently LED ceiling lights (4) sometimes do turn on with the switch. Sometimes they do? If I leave the switch in the on position, lights will go on eventually. Really weird. Fuse seems okay. Just ordered a new switch to see if that is the problem. The switch has 6 prongs with only two attached. Could not find anyone else with this particular problem. Also when ceiling lights don't turn on, the reading lights do not turn on either. Thoughts.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      J.L. The AUX switch controls a high-current solenoid which connects the two power lines together momentarily. I would find that solenoid (which is probably very near the batteries) and check if it is stuck. Maybe you can just thump it with something and it will break loose if it is stuck. Otherwise, find an Rv service center to take care of this for you.

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      J.L. 

      7 weeks ago

      i have 2005 expedition i had engine huning my wife was letting in slides and hit aux battery swetch now my aux and main battery will not turn off

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Your 30-Amp service input is the rating for your 110-VAC power. I would assume your 12-VDC fuse panel to have a 20-Amp MAIN fuse.

      I'm not sure what a "short-line" circuit breaker might be. Anyway, was this "Rusty circuit breaker" on your DC fuse panel or somewhere else? Was it a circuit breaker or a Solenoid. Did it have 2-wires or four? Were the wires small or heavy and thick?

      Let me know,

      DON

    • profile image

      JaxParalegal 

      7 weeks ago

      Hi Don,

      Upon further examination and with some Google investigation, I think my problem may be due to the short-line circuit breaker which had extreme corrosion and is not the type which can be reset. I removed the circuit breaker and hoped to find the amperage stenciled on the side, but the rust obscured the stenciling. I can only make out the "12 V." My trailer is 30 amp. Would I replace the fuse with a 30 amp fuse?

      Thanks

      Bill Edwards

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      Chuck - Your statement is a little confusing; do you have a Class-C (which uses a truck drivetrain and chassis, or are you towing a trailer. Please provide more information on your problem.

      I will say though that if a slide-out fuse is blowing then the problem is most likely on the slide side of the fuse; which indicates that either your slide is not moving freely causing it ti draw too much current, or your slide motor or slide control board is bad.

      Check these,

      DON

    • profile image

      CHuck 

      8 weeks ago

      i believe my power connection to truck is shorting (causing the slide out fuse to keep blowing) is there a way to test the trailer hook up cable?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

      The good thing is you have probably used up your Bad Luck for a while? LOL!

      DON

    • profile image

      Brenton Friedli 

      8 weeks ago

      Thank you for your help with my 100 questions. Original: AC unit wouldn’t turn on. Found that the power to the Thermostat was week and a loose connection was to blame. On top of that the old thermostat went south. Bought New t-stat, the new t-stat was bad too. Replacemed with a 2nd new t-stat and worked. AC worked for one day then the compressor would only try and kick on for a few seconds and not cooling. Compressor was burning hot to the touch.

      Update: bought new AC unit and works amazingly great. Had that cold drink too, thanks!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

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

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      B J Fischer 

      8 weeks ago

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

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

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

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Jeannine Anglum 

      2 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Edward Adame Phoenix Az. 

      2 months ago

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

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      JaxParalegal 

      2 months ago

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

      Thanks, Bill Edwards

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

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

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      harold echols 

      2 months ago

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

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

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

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

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

      Good luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Isaac 

      2 months ago

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

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

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

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

      Good Luck,'DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

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

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Cathyz - This is a strange one.

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

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

      good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

      DON

    • profile image

      Joe Terry 

      2 months ago

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

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

    • profile image

      Keith 

      2 months ago

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

      This caused my battories to drain.

      What could be my problem?

      Please help

    • profile image

      Longbranch 

      2 months ago

      Evening Mr.Don

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

    • profile image

      Zach 

      2 months ago

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

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

      DON

    • profile image

      Cathy z 

      2 months ago

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

      Thanks

      Cathy

    • profile image

      Wayne 

      2 months ago

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

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

      1- There is the physical step assembly itself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      But, I would check these other things first.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Wayne 

      2 months ago

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

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Paul 

      2 months ago

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

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

      Are you talking about your 110-VAC???

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

      These are the most common causes of such problems.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Josh 

      2 months ago

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

    • profile image

      c.w. 

      2 months ago

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

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

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

      Good Luck, DON

    • profile image

      Greg Deininger 

      2 months ago

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

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      Michael Thomason 

      2 months ago

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

    • profile image

      john 

      2 months ago

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

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

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

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

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

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • profile image

      John 

      2 months ago

      I have 2005 expedition power kill switchs will not turn off

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

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

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

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

      Good Luck,

      DON

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