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How to repair your RV Electrical problems, Electrical Tips and Reference Data for the Beginner

The Novice and Electrical problems

An RV is a complicated Electrical machine

The RV that you see today is a complicated machine with a lot of built-in electrical devices.

And, along with these devices comes complicated electrical control and protection circuitry.

This article is written to provide some basic but valuable information for the typical RV owner to help them with defining and repairing Electrical problems efficiently and safely.

Electrical Safety comes First!

ELECTRICITY Can KILL!

Please remember this when reading the information listed below.

The information provided here is for you to reference, and in no way should it be abused or used by someone that is unqualified to perform electrical repairs..

Electrical SAFETY:

First, when you start opening panels and messing around with Electrical systems, in an RV/Camper or at home.

There are several warnings you must observe;

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 back off and call your RV manufacturers Service Center for advice.

Typical Coach Bateries

This is a typical pair of coach batteries and their connections. These are the same as on my motorhome and are two series 6-VDC batteries.
This is a typical pair of coach batteries and their connections. These are the same as on my motorhome and are two series 6-VDC batteries. | Source

Know the difference in a Major and a Minor electrical problem

Is there a Major Problem?

The RV owner, or especially the RV renter, should always make a walk-around inspection of their camper before they go on the road.

And one of the main things that they should be familiar with is the electrical system of the RV.

Oh, I'm not talking about knowing how to perform major maintenance on complex electrical gear and appliances, but rather know how to inspect for problems, and determine if the problem is major or minor.

A major problem might be having the fridge quit working and deciding whether to get into the wiring and propane management circuitry on the back of the fridge or not.

The electrical novice needs to stay away from such repairs, themselves. They are too dangerous and you should always contact a qualified service tech for resolving such problems.

But, a minor problem could be something as simple as re-setting a breaker that has "kicked out", or replacing a blown fuse that is easily accessible, or some other simple problem.

Useful Electrical Terms and data

I have provided a long list of Electrical Terms and color codes for fuses, along with other useful data designed to help the novice be more comfortable with what they are doing when an electrical problem does occur.

Electric Multimeter

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.

 

Electric Multi-Meter:

One handy device for the RVer to have is a good Electric Multi-Meter.

There are very simple electric devices that you can plug into the wall, and an LED lights to indicate that there is power.

And on the other end of the spectrum of electrical testing devices is the Electric Multimeter.

This Multimeter is capable of measuring DC Volts, AC Volts, as well as electric current and resistance.

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

.

Think before touching Electrical contacts

THINK First:

I cannot stress this enough. Your Camper or RV was designed by professionals who planned things out pretty well..

They designed the electrical systems with Safety in mind, as well as for your convenience.

Each electrical device was installed on an electrical line that could safely handle the load.

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

1-The first reason is to protect the RV and you the owner from harm if an appliance or other electrical device or even an electrical line fails and draws too much current.

2-The second reason is to protect your RV and it’s 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 it’s equipment.

So, when you get a blown Fuse or a kicked Breaker, your first thoughts should consider these highly probable causes. Especially, before you go tearing into your electrical system, and personally re-designing it by installing a larger than specified Fuse or Breaker.

Think, Think, Think, and then Think again.


Electric Usage Meter

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.

 

Some Electrical abbreviations and so forth

The world of electricity has it's own abbreviations and definitions that are used on components and parts. Below are some of these that might help when you need to replace a bad part.

AC-------- AC is the designator for "Alternating Current" The voltage in your home is AC voltage, and typically, in the US is assumed to be 115VAC. Alternating current reverses polarity and flow alternately in both directions in a circuit.

Amp------ The name Amp is used to designate a measure of electrical current.

Capacitor- A capacitor is an electrical component that can store electrical energy, in other words it has a specific electrical 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 Circuit Breaker is a device that is designed to open up or "throw" itself, when the current through it exceeds it's designed limit. Unlike a fuse, a circuit breaker can be reset when it throws. FYI- many people do not realize that, if you have as circuit breaker that has kicked our regularly, it probably is no longer functioning at the original current level. It is a electro-mechanical device, and after repeatedly kicking out, it will often suffer from mechanical stress, and not be able to hold at the original designed current.

DC--------- DC is the designator for "Direct Current". Direct current flow constantly in one direction, commonly from the Positive lead to the Negative lead of a battery for instance.

Diode----- A Diode is an electrical component that allows current flow in one direction and impedes current flow in the opposite direction. The ends are designated as the Cathode and the Anode. The Cathode is usually marked by a stripe at the cathode end, and it allows current flow is from the cathode to the anode.

f----------- The lowercase letter "f" is a designator for the value of a capacitor called "Farad". Ex: 1uf mean 1 micro-farad.

Fuse------ A fuse is a device that is designed to destroy itself or "blow" when the current that passes through it, exceeds it's designed current limit. It is 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.

GFCB----- A GFCB or Ground Fault Circuit Breaker is designed, similar to a regular circuit breaker, to "throw" itself off when the current through it exceeds its designed current limit. Additionally, a GFCB will throw itself if even a small amount of current is detected between the "Hot" leads and the ground lead of the circuit breaker.These specialty circuit breakers are required in areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and garages. These places are sites where the user of an appliance could possibly be physically touching ground through plumbing, metal or concrete floors, etc, and using an appliance that is not insulated properly. They are life-savers.

I------------ The uppercase character "I" is the designator for electrical current or the Ampere, or Amp. Current can be calculated by using the formula: I=V/R, or Current equals the voltage divided by the resistance.

K----------- The uppercase letter "K" is a designator for Kilo" or numerically 1000 would be one Kilo-unit. Ex: 1-KW means one Kilo-Watt.

m---------- The lowercase letter "m" is a designator for "milli" or numerically 0.001 would be one milli-unit. Ex: 1-mW means one milli-Watt.

M---------- The uppercase letter "M" is a designator for "Mega", or numerically 1,000,000 would be one Mega-unit. Ex: 1MW means 1 Mega-Watt.

n---------- The lowercase letter "n" is a designator for "nano", or numerically 0.000000001 would be one nano-unit. Ex: 1-nf means 1 nano-farad

ohm------- The word ohm is the a value of resistance to current flow.The resistance can be calculated using the formula: R=V/I, or Resistance equals Voltage divided by current.

p----------- The lowercase letter "p" is a designator for "pico", or numerically 0.000000000001 would be one pico-unit. Ex: 1-pf means 1 pico-farad.

resistor---- A resistor is a passive component used in electrical circuits to provide resistance to current flow.

resistor color codes: Resistors sometimes are round with a lead coming gout of each end, and often they have colored stripes around them. The color codes are as follows;

  • 1 = Black
  • 2 = Brown
  • 3 = Red
  • 4 = Orange
  • 5 =Yellow
  • 6 = Green
  • 7 = Blue
  • 8 = Violet
  • 9 = Gray
  • 0 = White
  • Gold - is an indicator of a 1% tolerance on the value.
  • Silver - is an indicator of a 5% tolerance on the value.
  • No color - is an indicator of a 10% tolerance on the value.

u---------- The lower case letter "u" is a designator for micro or numerically "0.000001" would be one micro-unit. Ex: 1uf means 1 micro-farad, a value for a capacitor.

V---------- The "V" upper case "V" is the designator for an electrical unit of Voltage. Voltage can be calculate using the formula: V=I x R.

W--------- The upper case letter "W" is a designator for Watt.

Watt------ A Watt is a measure of electrical power. DC Power can be calculated using the formula: W=V x I.

Wire Gauges----- Wires used in electrical circuits come in many sizes. The size of a wire is selected by the designer to handle the specific current that passes through it, with minimal resistance to the current. Standard wire sizes or gauges go from 0 to larger numbers. The larger the gauge number, the smaller the wire size.

The Problem is not Always Electrical

There could be other causes for your problem

This is a very important thing to consider when you have a blown Fuse or Kicked Breaker in your RV. Remember, as I mentioned already, that your RV is a complex home on wheels.

Many of the appliances in today’s RV operate using; AC-voltage, DC-voltage, and Propane Fuel either individually or in combinations..

Often, even when in the Propane Fueled mode, the appliance will require DC-voltage for the Logic circuits.

And 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.

Digital Multimeter

Tekpower TP4000ZC PC based RS232 Interfaced Auto Ranging Digital Multimeter, MS8220R Alike, Computer DMM
Tekpower TP4000ZC PC based RS232 Interfaced Auto Ranging Digital Multimeter, MS8220R Alike, Computer DMM

I don't own this model but a good friend and fellow camper has one he uses in his RV and loves it.

 

FUSE RATINGS for replacing blown Fuses

In case you do not know this, standard Automotive Fuses are color-coded according to their Current rating, so what I have below is short list for your reference.

One note here though; If you have a blown fuse, replace it with the same rating blown fuse. NEVER use a higher rated fuse in place of a blown lower rating fuse.

There are so many things wrong with this, but there are 2 things at the top of the list that can happen; 1)- You can cause an electrical fire and destroy your RV, and 2)- You can cause the equipment fed by that fuse to be permanently damaged. Always remember, the fuse was designed for a normal operational load. And if it blew, something has changed.

COLOR AMP Rating

BLACK 1

GRAY 2

VIOLET 3

PINK 4

GOLD 5

BROWN 7.5

RED 10

BLUE 15

YELLOW 20

CLEAR 25

GREEN 30



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4.3 out of 5 stars from 12 ratings of RV Electrical Tips

How to Calculate Current for most Appliances

The table below lists the approximate MAXIMUM current drawn by the referenced appliances in your RV, They are not exact and may vary by manufacturer, but the currents are listed here, with some notes.

Air Conditioner – 13,500 – 15,000 BTU ----- 12-14 Amps

This is the start-upPeak Amps, and Compressor Cycle Maximum Amps. As mentioned in other Blogs, while an AC might run at around 5-8 Amps, it takes a strong surge of current to start the AC and its Compressor.

Coffee Pot ----- 8-10 Amps

This is the Max for when the pot is perking. The current should drop, when only the hot plate is on, after the Coffee is perked. On many pots you can turn the hot-plate temperature down, which will result in a lower operating current.

Hair Dryer: ----- 8 – 15 Amps. The wife and I argue a lot on whether we should keep the “Mega-Amp” monster she loves to use, or get a lower Amperage (and thus heat) rated one for our RV.

Crock Pot: ------ 1-2 Amps. This is a great tool for cooking many foods in an RV.

Food Processor: ----- 3 – 5 Amps

Frying Pan (Electric): ----- 7 – 11 Amps

Hand Vacuum (small): ----- 2-Amps

Iron: ----- 8-10 Amps

Microwave Oven: ----- 8 – 13 Amps

Microwave Mode/Convection Mode, with Conv. Mode being at the highest.

TV Digital: ----- 1.5 – 5 Amps. Dependent on the Manufacturer, Size, and type of technology.

Water Heater, 120 VAC Mode: ----- 11 – 13 Amps

If you are unsure of what an appliance draws use this simple method to calculate the Current:

1- Check the label on the Appliance, if that’s not available, check your Owners Manual, or contact the manufacturer, and find the power rating of the appliance in WATTS.

2- Divide the Watts number by 120 (the AC Voltage), and the result is the max CURRENT rating of the Appliance.

Some Electrical Tips for the RV owner

When all is said and done, there are some things that every RV owner needs to realize about their "home on wheels".

Traveling and Vibrations

A camper, regardless of whether it's a motorhome or a tag-along trailer, vibrates a lot when in transit. And, these vibrations will, at times, literally shake electrical connections loose.

How to Use a Multi-Meter

More by this Author


Comments 199 comments

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

Excellent information! I have to admit that I leave solving the electrical problems to my husband who seems to be able to understand all of this, but I'm thinking that this article would be a great thing to print out and keep with the RV manual for reference. Voted up and useful! Tweeted.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

Thank you for sharing this useful information. Voted up and shared with followers.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Thanks Stephanie for your kind words about this Hub. It does have a lot of technical terms in it, but I tried to keep the information simple and useful. Happy travels, by the way. I am still sitting here in Florida with my Rig waiting for to do something with it. LOL!

jainismus, thank you so much for sharing this with your followers, maybe they can save themselves a little heartache when they read it.


Jeff 3 years ago

Hi Don,

Do you offer advice to folks who are experiencing problems? If you do, I'll save a step (if not I've wasted some keystrokes): I've got a Travel Trailer that we use throughout the year, we've had it 4+ years and usually keep it hooked up to 110 shore power when not in use. Came home last night and the power cord is fried the plug is melted the prongs are gone, the adapter is melted and nearly fused to my 30A service plug and that outside of the trailer is smoke damaged by the event. We had the 'fridge running, a small space heater set to 50 degrees (we live in the wet PNW) and the usual detectors activated. This has been SOP for most of the time we've had the rig. Any thoughts? could rain have shorted things out? I'm obviously not an electrictian, but I think that I'm a notch or two above a novice, (I have a multi-meter and know the basics to using it.)


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Wow, Jeff! You are a lucky man, I think. Honestly, from your description, it sounds like you had a power surge on your line or even a lightning hit nearby.

First of all, I assume this kind of damage kicked your inside main breaker? I would check that the interior wiring is OK behind the 30-Amp plug in the wall of your Camper. I would check this feed wire all the way to your breaker box to make sure there was no damage to the insulation. Then, I would check inside the breaker panel for damage. If the main breaker didn't kick, then it is a bad one, anyway.

If it kicked, the fridge has a chance of being safe, if it didn't kick then i would get the fridge checked out, if it runs on 110VAC. Also, if you have an Inverter then you need to test it for possible damage, also.

The good thing is that you can buy that 30A service plug almost anywhere, and if the breaker did its job, then everything else in your camper should be OK too.

One little note. Electrical surges will follow the lowest resistance line to the ground, so check all of your electrical accessories. Hopefully, it jumped right over to the ground at your camper wall and back to ground in the cord.

Also, Why didn't the campsite Service Box breaker kick? It definitely should have.

Anyway, Good Luck!


Jeff 3 years ago

Thanks for the tips Don, I'll start assessing the damage.


Marva 3 years ago

Hi Don!

Thank you for such a detailed troubleshooting list. It is most helpful and informative. My question: My husband plugged in ac power to our camper and when he went inside and turned on a light, the bulb blew. He turned on another, and that bulb blew. He immediately unplugged the power source, replaced the bulbs and switched to DC for power and the bulbs did not blow. He is afraid to plug back into the camper with AC power, thinking he may cause damage to the power converter. Just a note; we manually turn the battery power ON with a key switch when we want to use battery power and turn it off when we want to use AC power. If the key switch is ON for DC would that have caused a surge when the AC was plugged in that caused the lights to blow? Or do you think the problem is in the power converter? Thanks for your help!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Marva- Thanks for the read of my Hub, and the question.

First of all, if you had multiple bulbs blow, that had to be from too much voltage, never from too little.

Second- Is the power cord, one that he has always used before? If so, then doubt the source of AC power.

If you are in a campground, call them immediately to check and repair their power problem.

It sounds like you were getting 220AC instead of 120AC to your Rig. (On 50Amp services, it is often standard to wire both 120VAC halfs of 240VAC into your camper and then split it to different 120VAC circuits in your campers power panel.)

As to your power switch question? I do not know what model your camper is, but usually, they are wired in a way to avoid any such problem, for safety purposes.

So, the highest probability of a problem would be your having a bad power source, with the wiring of the cord from the power source being the next probable culprit.

Anyway I hope you get your problem worked lot.

Good Luck, DON


Marva 3 years ago

Thanks, Don. We are actually using a 110VAC power cord, so it is a mystery. The strange thing, it did not kick a breaker or blow fuses before blowing those lights. We are going to trouble shoot it a bit and I'll let you know what we find out. Thanks for all your help!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Marva- Just a thought.

That key is probably operating a high current relay to switch between your converter and your outside power. It's a long shot, but the relay could be bad and connecting both?? Either way, as a rule of thumb, Current blows fuses and Voltage blows bulbs.

Good Luck, again.

DON


Andrea 3 years ago

my lights will go off on there own and then come back on but the plug ins stay working any idea what can be wrong


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Andrea- Not much info here, but remember that your camper lights run on your 12-volt batteries and not on your 110-VAC system. So, they will have a fuse in your 12-volt fuse panel. I would recommend that you check for a loose fuse first. If they are OK, then check your connections on your batteries. The worst case is that you have a `12-volt battery going bad.

DON


Andrea 3 years ago

Thanks Don will check that


Harold 3 years ago

I have a Holiday Rambler motor home. I keep it plugged in to keep it he batteries charged and ready. Got in rig batteries were dead everything in refrigator was thawed. Recharged batteries but cannot operate slides or anything else in rig. Don't know what problem might be.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Harold, Your Fridge uses 12VDC as do your slides and much more. First, check that your Inverter is working. IF it has AC to it then it should be putting out DC to your 12VDC Fuse panel which then distributes 12V to your whole Rig. That would be my best guess as to the culprit.

If it isa blown fuse on the Inverter then you are lucky. But, remember, something caused the Inverter to overload?

DON


Stan 2 years ago

DON, We have a 1995 Aljo by Skyline. The slide and jacks work by 12 volt DC but none of the 12 volt lights will burn unless I have the camper plugged into AC power. Checked all fuses, all checked good. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Stan


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Stan- Wow! This is a strange one. First of all, I am not familiar with your particular camper, but I can address how pretty much all other campers are wired.

Knowing that your Slide and jacks work tells me that your wiring from the battery to these two high-current accessories is OK.

And, knowing that your 12V lights work when the AC is plugged in tells me that the AC wiring to your Inverter/Converter is OK and that the DC wiring from your Inv/Conv to your fuse panel is OK.

That leads me to say that you do not have a DC connection between the battery to your fuse panel. Normally there is a DC connection between the DC output of the Inv/Conv to your fuse panel AND TO YOUR BATTERY to charge it when the AC is plugged up.

Question-1: Does your fridge work? It uses 12V-DC for its control circuitry by the way.

Question-2: Are your Slide and Jack DCV fuses on the same fuse panel as your lights?

I would check my Inv/Conv and see, perhaps, if it has more than one DC output wire, one to the fuse panel and one to the battery?

If so, check if the Inv/Conv has more than one fuse.

This is a good one, let me know how it goes.

DON


Roger Thompson 2 years ago

Dear Don,

We have a 1997 Pace Arrow 37' with one slide. Just today we started having electrical issue(s).

I was woken at 3am to hear the CO detector going off. Checked around and found no signs of fire, checked the levels center, and found the propane to be nearly empty, and the Aux battery to be nearly dead, I flipped all the breakers and re-set them, rechecked levels and found full aux battery and propane. I do know the chassis battery may need replacing and am not sure about the house batteries, they are 2x 6volt. Everything was fine but it happened again, this time I noticed the lights went to about half strength. Reset as described and everything ok, this happened about 3 other times, do you think this could be due to the batteries or someother problem.

Thanks in Advance

Roger Thompson


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Obviously your House DC voltage is dropping, and your Inverter is not turning on to recharge your batteries and keep the house voltage up to par.

Check your house batteries for low water levels first. Second, if you have a voltmeter, check the battery voltage LOADED and UNLOADED, per my chart. Third, if the batteries are OK and are just dropping under normal load, you need to check your inverter; first the fuses, second the connections, and third call the manufacturer. This third option is not the one you want.

Keep me posted.

DON


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

dave smitty- Replace that original battery. It is overdue to be changed. Second, As you know, your converter charges the battery and when there is no AC power the battery runs your lights and other 12VDC accessories.

If you melted the plastic covers on certain ones of your lights then they were getting far more than 12VDC, which is bad.

I would normally have someone test your converter for damage. But at the same time, you said that all of your other lights were working OK?

The clicking in your AC when your furnace is on leads me to suspect that you have a grounding problem in your 110VAC somewhere. I am assuming that you have a 50-Amp service and that means that you have two AC lines and a common ground.

Keep me posted.

DON


dave smittty 2 years ago

don

checked the shore line front to back nothing there checking for mice

they love to chew wires to make a nest. nothing

the camper has been plugged into my house 2007 never had a problem

it is just a basic out door plug same as you would use in your house

have not checked that out yet but will for the ground

could it be just the battery or both

have never had a problem its plugged in 24/7 before why now

or lets say the battery is dead don't understand why this would

make a difference its getting power all the time

if not were do I start with a a voltage meter


dave smittty 2 years ago

don

thank you as a vet I have family members that have served thank you

dave smitty


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Dave Smitty- Lets step back and start over here.

First, If I understand, Your Camper has been plugged into 110VAC House receptacle since 2007.

Second, everything has operated properly until recently?

So, I would do the following;

1-- Flip your house breaker to OFF then to ON.

2-- Remove RV Power cable and clean any oxide from the plug contacts with steel wool and plug back into receptacle.

3-- At your breaker panel, turn OFF your main camper breaker, reset ALL of your other camper breakers and then turn ON your main breaker. Check that no breakers kicked OFF. If any breakers kicked OFF then that will narrow dyou own the camper system with the electrical problem.

4-- Check if everything is operating properly. If NOT then you have established that problem is most probably in your Camper, electrical equipment.

5-- OK, At this point you need to turn everything in your Camper OFF.

6-- Turn your Fridge to ON and put into the AC mode let it run for a few days. If it and the Freezer operates properly, then change the operating mode to GAS. In this mode your Fridge uses Propane to Cool and 12VDC in the Control circuitry. If it operates properly for a couple of days then your 110VAC and 12VDC is OK to the fridge.

7-- Using a Voltmeter, check across your battery terminals and check the DC Voltage level. If the Converter is operating properly and you have a good battery, then the battery will read at least 13.4 VDC and if it is taking a charge the voltage could be as much as 14,5VDC. If the voltage is not within this range then the most probable culprit is your battery. Check the water level or as old as yours is, replace it.

8-- If you replace the battery and the voltage is not between these levels then your Converter is not operating properly.

At this point, let me know the results before we move on.

PS. we can continue this on my Blog www.rvandcamper.org.

Just go there, FOLLOW me and leave a comment about the problem and I will work with you there.

Let me know, this one is intriguing me and maybe my Blog followers will get a little help themselves.

DON


Nels 2 years ago

I have a trailer that the 12 v lights seem to go dead, I replaced the battery and it seem to fix it for a few weeks but now it's back to going back to having very dim lights, I had the converter checked and it seemed fine, not sure what else it could be. We are plugged in at a Rv camp ground at all times


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Nels - I suspect your Converter is the culprit, but you can confirm this relatively easily.

First of all, being in a Campground the whole time, and being hooked up, the following should be happening;

1- your lights run off of your battery, but typically do not draw a lot of current, so your converter should be only turning ON when the voltage of the battery drops.

2- when the voltage drops, the converter charges it up to full charge and then, it turns itself OFF.

With this being the case, and the fact that you have already changed the battery, the most probable situation is a bad converter, or, it could be loose wiring to your fuse panel, or even oxidation at a connection in the same wiring.

My recommendation is to do the following;

A- Read my article on RV Batteries. It has a table of the actual battery voltage and the level of charge on it.

B- Either borrow or Purchase a cheap but good multimeter to read the voltage across the battery. A multimeter will cost you from $10 to $50 or more depending on the accuracy you require. I recommend the one shown on this article.

If the Battery has a reading below 75% charged, then the converter should have turned on and recharged it. If not, check the connections between the converter and the battery for a problem, if all is OK, then your Converter is the most likely problem, Sorry!

Let me know how it goes.

PS, I have a link on this article that tells the novice how to use a multimeter. Check it our also.

DON


Robert 2 years ago

Thanks for sharing these valuable information.Great for RV owners.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Robert- I am happy that it may be of some use to you and our fellow campers. As you grow older, you realize that ou have a lot of useful information in your head. I am lucky enough to be able to write it down where others can find it and share it.

Thanks for the response,

DON


nelson 2 years ago

I have a 2007 coachmen encore rv coach 40ts electrical problem. this unit has 3 slides . never gave me any problems until now . the slides all stoped working fortunately they are all slid in for now so that is no problem and the awnings have stopped working also . they are also rolled in . now I have been reading your responces and I like your posts . what do you think I should do to chase down this problem . the converter is charging the batterys to full and seems to be functioning fine but for some reason the slides and the awnings will not operate. I have checked fuses in the panel in the bedroom they are all fine I have shut down all the breakers and turned them on again they also seem to be fine . I have current to all the lights and plugins and I am on a 120 volt cable from the rv to the garage here at home . I just pulled in from a winter in florida and that is when the problem started everything worked fine in florida I appreciate you help in this


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

nelson - Thank Goodness that you got to shut dow and made it home OK before your problem showed its ugly head.

SO, first, does your coachman have a toggle switch in the side of the entrance for shutting down Coach power when you are not operating? I know this is too easy, but it has been one of my personal problems several times, when the big-current parts seem to stop working.

The next thing I would check is to hold a voltmeter on my coach batteries and have someone press the OUT button for one of your slides. The voltage should be fine but drop a half a volt or more when the button is pushed. of course you should hear that awful noise a slide makes. If this does not happen, your power is not getting to your slides, and for it to be missing on all 3 slides and your awning, should make you extremely suspicious. With no voltage sag or slide noise, I still wonder about your wall Power switch, .

One other thing does come to mind, but you said your lights worked fine. That would be your Master Coach Power switch back in your engine compartment.

Strange, and please let me know what you find, or if you get ay more data.

DON


nelson 2 years ago

thanks for your response . I so much appreciate that . I spent the day just searching the operating manuals and seen that there is a way to reset the inverter . so I did that then turned on the charger and did the reset thing on that . I let it charge for around 14 minutes or so and when I hit the button on the slide it worked so all three slides worked fine as did the awnings this thing never ceases to amaze me I learn things everyday so now all the electrical in the unit is working fine . batteries are charged up to their limits and seem to stay there . no drop in power to speak of when I hit the button for the slides as there is a voltage meter on the panel with the switches on it . so I can tell what the draw is on the battery the charger is kicking in automatically as it should so I guess what ever gghost in there has been eliminated for now at least . the roads up here are in really bad shape and rough as can be so I bet something shook loose or lost conection or something . glad it is ok now . I will be taking it in for service soon and have transmission serviced etc. I will ask they check the batterys for me I am not able to check them one of them may have went bad . least that is what the book says . it is 6 years old now so it is time for the batterys to betray me . again that is all I know for now . took me most of the day of reading to find what to do with it but guess it is worth the time . thanks for what you do I have you in the favorites so who knows we may visit again sometime NElson


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Nelson - I'll be Darn! Reset the Inverter? Well Done. BTW, if your build-in voltmeter showed over 14-VDC, then I suggest a calibration. With that much voltage you should definitely had some slide movement. Get someone's digital voltmeter (a really good one) and place it directly on your battery terminals. IF fully charged you will have around 14.6 volts. Then look at your built-in voltmeter and write down what is shows. Do this at several levels of charged batteries, and keep the numbers as a reality chart for future use.

THnaks for the feed back,

DON


Sophie 2 years ago

Hi Don, I've had my RV for 4 years, bought it new... Never any problems... This year after the first few days of use my two 30 amp fuses blew... not much was on besides lights... the batterie than drained, recharged batterie, new fuses, all good... few hours later, same thing... got new batterie as it may be shorted?? again, new fuses... same thing?? I'm stumped, we've been at same spot all those years, nothing has moved or changed.. Any advice?

Thx, Sophie


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Sophie - I need a little more data here. The 30-amp fuses are for what? Normally a camper that is only 4 years old will have main service breakers and not fuses. So, are these fuses 110VAC fuses or are they 12-VDC fuses? And, I can't think of anything that runs on DC voltage that would have 2 30-amp fuses.

Typically, the largest DC fuses used in campers are 20-amp.

So, are these AC voltage fuses? Could they possibly be for your power input lines? Let me know a little more.

DON


Sophie 2 years ago

LoL I'm not really sure of anything here Don but in my breaker panel inside my RV I have a buch of fuses ranging from 5+ amps for different appliances etc that are just like a car fuse box... there is two main green ones 30 amp each on top of all others that r not labeled... Those are the ones that keep b;owing yet no breakers jump...

Sophie


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Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

OK then, if they are green Automotive fuses then they are for 12-volts DC. The first thing I would check is if the Inverter was working OK because it should have charged your battery automatically and kept it charged whenever your battery dropped below a full charge.

In campers, the things that run on DC are; your Inverter, your lights, your control circuitry for your Fridge, your TV video selector box, your water pump, your slides,your power awning, and all of those CO2 and Carbon Monoxide alarms in your camper.

The highest probability problem is your Inverter because all of the other DC users do not normally draw a lot of current and if they had a problem they would not draw so much current.

So, check out your Inverter.

Let me know how it goes.

DON


Sophie 2 years ago

Thank you Don,

First of all is the inverter same thing as a converter?

If not where would I find the inverter?

If yes, I've been going through all my paper work, manuals etc from my camper and found that I have The Parallax 7100 Series electronic power converter that is maintenance free. it just says to call an electrcian if I suspect that is the problem lol

Sophie


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Sophie- Yes, they are the same.

It is usually hidden in one of your storage compartments and near your batteries.

And it will be an electrical box with some heavy wires going to it, It will usually have a couple of indicator lights on it and a few connectors.

Just a note. It takes a lot to blow a 30-amp fuse, and you have both being blow at one time. I would check the wiring of my site power cable for damage if the cable is OK then I would check the heavier (higher current) wires going to the converter and to the batteries and to the panel for damage or loose connections.

You said that your camper sits at its site all fthe time, and maybe you have had Mice or Squirrels gt inside and they do like to chew on wiring. Its a long shot, but after a good inspection, you might just have to call an RV repair service.

Sorry,'DON


Sophie 2 years ago

Thank you for your reply Don,

I have more information, I downloaded the owners manual on my power converter. The two fuses that are tripping are the main converter "reverse battery polarity" protection fuses in the DC panel. It says they trip when battery is reverse connected although I'm sure I plugged the old one same as i always do, than second, new one, the same. and is it normal that everything worked fine for a couple days before tripping and drainning battery if it was reverse connected or chewed wires???

Manual also mentiones to turn AC power to the converter off before replacing fuses?? Is that the main breaker in AC panel?

And also could it have anything to do with the GFI? test\reset plug in bathroom? Should I try anything with that?

Thank you for your time...

Sophie


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Sophie, you might have something there.

First make sure that the + battery connector has the RED cable connected to it.

Second, If not, you may have smoked your new battery.

Third, lets back up.

You said that you did nothing and all was well for a few days and then you changed the battery and replaced the fuses?

If all was unchanged, then the new battery would have charged up from the converter and all would have been OK.

But, if the battery was connected "reversed" then things would have operated on the converter and tried to charge the new battery until it would have self-destructed internally.

So, check the battery connections. If they are OK then it is most probable that your Converter is not operating properly.

Or, this is a long shot, but campgrounds are famous for having screwed up AC power. If this voltage were too High or too Low, or if a ground was missing, this could make your Converter not operate properly. Call the CG office and have their maintenance people check your power box.

I;m putting my money on; 1- Campground Power, 2- bad Converter, and 3- reversed battery.

DON


Sophie 2 years ago

Thx Don will check all that out today and will let you know.

Sophie


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Trish-

Honestly, the first thing you need to do is tell your campground management that they need to provide safe and full power as they advertised. It it is supposed to be 30-Amp, the provide it. If it is supposed to be 50-Amp then provide it. That is their responsibility. And, if your GFI is kicking then y=they not only have low power, they they have an unsafe ground condition they they are legally responsible for.

They need to; 1- check your site breaker and your site box ground for safety, and if that is OK, you need to tell them you want your money back, and will find another campground. And,tell them that you will be warning other campers about them on the campsite review sites on the web. And, you will tell their county that they have illegal and unsafe wiring in their campground. Threatening to have their license pulled with the county.

It really irritates me to hear about campgrounds that think you should live under unsafe conditions while they flounder around avoiding a fix.

you see, this kind of problem will probably require that they dig up their underground power lines and replace/repair them and this costs money.

Stand your ground!

DON


Sophie 2 years ago

Hi Don,

So I've determined it was not reversed battery and not campground power as I had it tested and everything is fine. The campground owner says I need to change my breakers in my converter...

Before I go purchase these, I would like your opinion... Since everytime I plug to shore line, my two 30 amp fuses blow right away but no breakers trip?? Could it just be as simple as that? Bad breakers? I've been told its very easy and inexpensive to change I could do it myself?

And what causes breakers to go bad out of the blue?

Thx again,

Sophie


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Sophie- So Sorry that your problem is still with you. As to your Converter.

Here are the facts:

1-The 12VDC output of your Converter goes through your two 30-Amp fuses that feed your 12-Volt fuse panel.

2-The Converter uses your 110VAC that goes through your 110-VAC Breaker panel, from your campground power, to "convert" and generate your campers 12VDC directly to these two 12VDC fuses.

3-You already told me that none of your other 12VDC fuses in your fuse panel were blown. This says that none of your accessories are drawing too much current.

4-You have checked and your batteries are installed properly and you see no "shorted wires going to the batteries.

So, where does that leave us?

A- Your wiring is OK and not the cause.

B-Your accessories are OK and not the problem.

C-Your campground has confirmed their power to your camper os OK so this is not the problem. (I have my own meter and check their power because too many times I or one of my fellow campers have found that they are not the brightest electrical people in the world).

D-With all of this being true, everything points to your converter being bad. Sorry,

......................

You see, to instantaneously blow both 30-amp fuses it takes a healthy short on the fuse panel side of the DCVoltage lines, or, your Converter is putting out an extremely high DCVoltage causing a protective circuit on the panel to kick in and place a short onto the panel side of the fuses intentionally for protection.

Suggestion: After the fuses have blown, can you get someone to measure the DCVoltage and the AC Voltage on the input side of the blown fuses. This would confirm if your Converter is putting out the wrong voltage.

Sorry,

DON


Trish croal 2 years ago

Thanks Don....It fixed itself in the morning. ..I guess just needed to dry out..our campground doesn't supply power...I just parked by the bathhouses to connect into theirs...so no one to blame there...but thank you :)

Cheers

Trish


Harvey King 2 years ago

I was working on my 5th. wheel and I noticed a small electrical current in the aluminum frame on the access door to my water tank and pump. I do not have the battery hooked up, just the 110v power cord. Any ideas?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Harvey- First of all, Aluminum is notorious for oxidizing and building up a layer of resistance at electrical contacts. That's one reason homes can no longer be built with aluminum wiring.

I would check (carefully) for loose ground connections to your chassis and/or to your hot water tank, especially if it is one that is capable of running on gas and AC-voltage.

Actually, this could be the problem with any of your accessories that run on ACV.

Your water pump runs on 12VDC as well as the control circuitry for your hot water tank.

Anyway, I would definitely suspect a bad ground connection.

BTW- Are any of your 110VAC ground fault breakers kicked?

Good Luck,

DON


New Explorer 2 years ago

I have a head scratcher for everyone here, hopefully someone can give some insight! I have a 30 amp AC breaker system side by side with the DC fuse block and converter below. When i plug the trailer in i understand it only powers the higher drawing devices, like the outlets, a/c, etc. And my lighting, blower fan, etc. all run off of the DC fuse block. The problem i am having is my lighting and such is not coming on with full power unless i start up my truck, even when plugged into a AC source. I am new at this, but it is my best guess that the converter is possibly bad??? Battery is less than a year old too.


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Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

New Explorer- Welcome. First, check your camper battery water level. If that is OK, then check the output fuses on the Converter. And, yes, the converter powers your DC fuse block and keeps the camper battery charged at the same time. You said that the lights came on but were low except when you turned on your truck, and this tells me that your camper battery is not fully charged.

Let me know.

DON


New Explorer 2 years ago

It was indeed the battery charge. There was a fuse blown out, that i am assuming at this point, wasn't allowing the battery to charge when plugged into the shore line cable. Thanks for the assistance. Will definetly know where to come in the future with my troubleshooting needs.


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Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Nw Explorer- Thanks for the kind words. I was glad to help. If you get the chance, check out and follow my blog called rvandcamper.org. I have hundreds of postings of information that campers can use.

Thanks again,

DON


Stephen S 2 years ago

Hey Don

I have a 2007 pioneer camper that I have had no troupe out of and I moved to a new campground and plugged in my 30 amp cord and everything worked fine.... Well a week went by and I came home from work and everything was off no breakers were flipped outside or inside so I looked at the electrical plug and it was burned up inside my camper and nearly welded to the power supply.... I replaced the cord and now has been a week again and I have lost all power yet again and no breakers are flipped the wires are fine and not burned up and the plug is fine.... Just wondering if u may have any idea what could be happening


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Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Good Morning Stephen S.

The very first thing I would do is demand that the CG send their electrician out and make sure their power box breaker is working properly AND that it has a good ground connected.

Because it took about a week, I suspect that your lights were running on your battery and the converter was not re-charging the battery. So, I would check that the converter has not been damaged. Specifically, check the fuses on the front of the converter.

Let me know how it checks out. I am suspicious as to why the CG power breaker did not kick out if you actually had the burn damage you say you had.

DON


Granny Ridge 2 years ago

Hi Don,

We have a 2006 Jayco and we've been experiencing our fuse to our Bathroom area blows when turning on the bathroom shower light. There doesn't seem to be a problem with any other switch or electrical outlet on this fuse. Could there be some sort of short with this specific light or switch? Hope this makes sense. I'm a beginner in all senses of the word. Also, my husband refuses to use a surge protector when plugging in the rv; either to the house or some campsite hook ups. Can you help me to explain why this is important? Thanks!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Granny Ridge- First of all, your lights are 12VDC lights and are not on a GFI system like your 110-VAC bathroom circuit is.

So, you have a short somewhere that is blowing the fuse.

First, I would remove the bulb and then turn on the switch and see if the fuse blows. If the fuse blows again, then you have a short somewhere between the switch and the light fixture, most likely at the light bulb fixture. If it doesn't blow the fuse, replace the bulb and try again.

I would recommend that you pull the light fixture and check the back where the wires connect and look for a short either there or possible a build-up in the bulb holder itself.

WARNING: Make sure that you observe the appropriate safety precautions when working with electrical problems.

let me know what you find.

DON


Bill 2 years ago

I have a 1995 Westport by Fleetwood 5th wheel. Last week the interior lights stopped working all other lights work. The 20A fuses are good, but no voltage gets to the rear interior lights. I suspect an open circuit to the lights but don't have a clue as to where it might be any insight you may give would be appreciated.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Bill, Thanks for reading my article. So, first of all, I assume this is a new problem for you with your Camper. As to your other lights, I assume these are appliance and 115VAC exterior lights????

From this information, I should mention that your interior lights are 12VDC and run off of your battery which is kept charged by your power inverter when your camper is plugged into 115VAC. And, seeing as your "other" lights and I assume appliances, are working then I would say you need to check your battery (how old is it? is it dead? is it dry?, etc.).

And also, I would check that your inverter is working properly and that it is delivering 12VDC to your battery and fuse panel.

Let me know what you find?

Thanks again for the comment,

DON


bmcd028 2 years ago

The batteries are less than 2 years old. The converter is working and delivering 12vdc to the fuse panel. The internal volt meter reads 13.4 volts under load. I have 12vdc on the load side of the fuse for the rear interior lights but 0 volts at the light sockets. I can see the wire leaving the fuse panel but dont know where it goes from there.


Bill 2 years ago

The batteries are less than 2 years old. The converter is working and delivering 12vdc to the fuse panel. The internal volt meter reads 13.4 volts under load. I have 12vdc on the load side of the fuse for the rear interior lights but 0 volts at the light sockets. I can see the wire leaving the fuse panel but dont know where it goes from there


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Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Bill, Interesting. AS you have voltage on the load side of the fuse and not at the fuse socket the problem gets a little trickier. Remember one thing. There is a HOT wire and there must be a GROUND wire for the light to work. Often, over time ground wires can corrode at the connection to the chassis. Some Campers will run both wires in the harness to each socket, while some will save money by only running the HOT wires and running a separate ground to the chassis. First thing I would do is connect a long wire to my multimeter back to a ground screw at the fuse panel and then check the light socket for voltage.

This will eliminate the ground being the problem if there is still no voltage at the socket.

Typically, camper manufacturers will run a HOT line (with Ground) to wall switches for lights and for those lights without a wall switch, the connection will be directly to the light fixture.

If you have the lights on a slide, the wiring to the slide is bundled and is long enough to flex when the slide is closed and opened.

I am assuming that your camper has been sitting and this problem just showed up; so, having travel vibration cause the problem is not the highest probability.

So, the highest probability thing to look for is LOOSE connections at your 12VDC fuse panel/circuit board, even possibly one of the ground wires at the battery to your chassis?

Curiouser and Curiouser, as the Cat once said.

Keep me posted, DON


Bill 2 years ago

Hi Don

I'm not sure if my post got to you so here it is again.

The batteries are less than 2 years old. The converter is working and delivering 12vdc to the fuse panel. The internal volt meter reads 13.4 volts under load. I have 12vdc on the load side of the fuse for the rear interior lights but 0 volts at the light sockets. I can see the wire leaving the fuse panel but dont know where it goes from there.


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Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Bill, I replied a couple of minutes ago. It should be visible to you.

DON


Bill 2 years ago

Don

A little history :

The Camper has been on site for the past 3 years, Without problems until about a week ago.

One light on the slideout was slow coming on and and then stopped lighting completely.

I changed the switch and still no light. I measured the voltage and discovered 0 volts at the light.

The rest of the light in rear of the coach weren’t checked and I was surprised to find they no longer worked either.

TODAY

I connected a wire from the ground side ot the lights to the fuse box chassis as suggested and found no change.

I decided to back feed 12 volts to the lighting first to main coach and those lights worked, but not the slideout lights. I then back feed the slide out lights and they worked leading me to think an open circuit after the fuse panel and before the coach lights, but where?

Everything else in the camper seems to work properly.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Bill, First if all, Good Data! And, yes, your problem is most likely in the wiring harness before the HOT wire splits into two, one for the slide lights, and one for the chassis lights.

So, do you see any sign of mice? They love the insulation on wires. And, they can get into your camper so easily. Look for feces and cardboard food containers that they have chewed on to get to the food. I had to put traps out last year and there were two of the little pests that I had to get rid of.

Considering your camper has been on a site for so long and not moved, I can only think of three causes for your problem; 1- Mice, 2-Serious oxidation/rust at a chassis connection (which you eliminated with your ground tests), and least likely, 3- the flexing of your opening and closing of your slide has flexed a connector loose or actually pulled a wire loose. So, can you check your slide harness where it flexes. This is a long shot if you do not open and close your slide often.

Keep me posted. DON


Nick 2 years ago

First, can I just say how impressed I am with this blog?? Wow!! Now, about me... I have a 2005 Cheateau Thor. I was at Havasu and it was about 3 million degrees today. I was running my air off the generator full blast, cooking some burgers, lights on, kids yelling (not sure if that contributed) ect. I stuck some bacon from breakfast into the micro for the burgers. The generator seemed to really bog down bad. About 3 or 4 seconds later, pop. No more air conditioner. Now my wife was yelling. I went to the bedroom where the fuses are (about 10) and the breakers (4). The fuses all looked good and none of the breakers kicked. The rig is now 9 years old. Is it possible to have fried the main breaker? I would think it would kick before frying. I flipped it about a thousand times (wife not happy). Anyways, we ended up leaving and enjoying the robust Ford air conditioning from the cab. So should I replace the the breaker? Thanks for all you do for us RVer's on a budget!!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Nick- Thanks for the comment to my article.

OK, First of all, I assume your generator still runs? If so, check the output breaker on the generator, It should have one.

If the generator works then do the other 110-VAC appliances work? Like that Microwave you mentioned? And your TV?

If they work, then your AC MAIN breaker is OK.

You should have a separate breaker for each AC unit, which you should reset, of course.

Your camper is designed for the breakers to kick out when you draw too much current whether using a campsite power source or your generator.

So, again, if your generator runs, and your other appliances are working, then your main breaker is OK.

With RV AC units, which are essentially like small home AC units there are several things that can be the problem.

If you can turn on the fan of the AC but there is no cooling, then you obviously have 110-VAC to it, if not then you will need to have someone with a multimeter and electrical repair experience to help you.

Here are the most likely problems;

1- The "Capacitor" in the AC blew when the AC tried to cycle.

2- The Air Cond breaker is actually bad; this is possible ,but not likely.

3- The Air Cond compressor went on you.

Regardless, (WARNING!) do not mess with AC Voltage circuits unless you are a skilled electrician.

Other things a desperate person should check; A-some camper cooling/heating systems have a thermostat that should be reset or the cover removed to check of there is a small fuse on the circuit board.

B- Check all of the 12-VDC fuses, just in case there is a 12-Volt circuit being used by the Air Cond. control circuitry.

That's about it, my friend, Let me know if your are chillin' or not. If not, check my site rvandcamper.org for my article on How to keep COOL in your Camper.

Good Luck,

DON


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

Shared this all over for you.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Thanks Lady G! I try to help people who have questions as best I can from what information they give me. Having owned a number (looking back, too many) RVs over the years, and being a retired EE, I think I have experienced almost everything that can go bad with a Camper, myself, and I do love to help people.

DON


Nick 2 years ago

Thanks for the advice Don. I made it back home to LA from Havasu. I went out this morning to start trying your suggestions. First thing I did was plug into the house power and magically everything is working now. I guess the heat in Arizona was too much for the breaker board? I don't know but everything is back to normal. Thank you for your time.


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Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Nick, That's great to hear. But, I am very afraid that this one is coming back to haunt you in the future.

A few suggestions for you;

1- Service your generator. You will be surprised how much better it will run with an oil and filter change.

2- Disconnect your external power and turn your generator and everything that runs on AC to ON for a half hour or so to see if the problem repeats itself.

3- Check the things I mentioned in my previous posting to root out the problem, while at home rather than on the road.

Good Luck!

DON


ken 2 years ago

We have had a long winter, cold and wet in the mid-atlantic. Both our batteries ( house and engine) were affected. We replaced our engine battery. Our house battery is charging and working OK. However, our house electric lights are not working. We do not think our fuses (if related) are not working. We have no lights in our RV home. Do you have any suggestions?


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Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Ken- As you know, when you are not plugged into external power and the generator is not running, then the interior lights, run on the house battery.

If you are plugged into external power or are running your generator, then your power source is running your Inverter which, in turn, keeps your house battery charged, and your lights ON.

So, If your house battery is charged, then your lights should operate.

Question-Did you turn ON your House Power switch on your RV after the long winter? Many people forget to do this. On most RVs, this switch is located right inside the door for convenience.

Otherwise the most probable problem are; 1- the house battery is actually bad, 2- the Inverter is not functioning properly.

Let me know what you find.

DON


jeremy 2 years ago

Slide out lights not working..was working i seen them go out.. cant fimd problem checked all switches. . Domt see slode out wire. .


jeremy 2 years ago

Rv slide out lights not working


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Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

jeremy- Sorry for the delay in responding, but my wife and I were traveling in our Rv from VA to FL, our home. So, with weather problems, and campground WIFI problems, we were not online.

If I understand you, your battery is dead? You need to fix that, first.

Your 12V stuff runs on the battery and the converter, which keeps the battery charged. So, if your battery is dead, then you are running on the converter itself, which is not normal or good, in the long run.

If I understand your three comments, everything 12V worked, and you battery has always been dead? Then suddenly, only your slide lights stopped working? Normally, your 12V DC fuse panel does not control distribution of 12V in cases of heavy loads, so I can only suspect that your old dead battery is sucking too much current for your converter to handle, so disconnect the battery to see if it is the culprit first.

Let me know if this works.

DON


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Don Bobbitt 23 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Randy- This is a common problem for some people who keep their Camper at a site for a long time.

First, even though the fridge in a camper can run on 110-VAC, it used your 12-VDC for the controls and circuit board.

So, her are the highest probability problems for you to check;

1- Is your battery good? Does it have water in it? Is it fully charged?

2- If you determine that the battery is good, then check your charger, it could be bad.

Usually, if the battery is bad, you will get the symptoms you have. The DC voltage to your DC lights and other accessories will "sag" at times when the load on the charger is high because the battery is dead and not holding a steady charge.

Let me know if there are any other problems?

DON


Randy 23 months ago

Thanks Don, I will check as you said. You think one of these two problems could cause the frig to stop cooling too? Is there a scenario where the electrical power of the frig goes bad and the gas will still cool it? I would think that If the frig is bad its bad for either, am I right?


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Don Bobbitt 23 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Randy- Actually NO! Your Fridge is a called a 2-way, in that its cooling unit can be heated with 110-VAC or by Propane. But, as I mentioned, if your 12-VDC, that comes from your batteries, gets low then the control circuitry of the fridge will shut down and the fridge will not be cooled at all, regardless of which method you are using.

So, you need your 12-VDC batteries to be good and for your charger to be functioning so that your batteries are properly charged.


Babs 22 months ago

I'm living in my pace arrow rv this winter while my house is being built. It's plugged into 50 amp source on the house's temporary power pole. Lately, when you open or close the door this annoying buzzer sound starts and sometimes buzzes for awhile, sometimes just a few times. Also, the switch for the water pump seems to have a short...it turns itself off and will work again if I hit the switch off and on again. Could I be overworking the circuitry with my space heater? If I overloaded the system running the microwave, laptop, space heater, and more wouldn't it blow a fuse? Or trip the breaker?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 22 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Babs- Interesting Problems.

First- the Door.

Your RV door has no electrical connections, but if you look, you will see a switch on the inside, usually down low) that the door will open or close. This switch is for opening and closing your power steps when the door is opened or closed. You should also have a switch on the wall, near the door that is used to turn off the steps when you are in a site for a long time. Just open the door, let the steps extend, and flip the Door switch to OFF.

Second, Your Water Pump-

Your water pump has a built-in pressure sensor that once you turn the power to the pump on, it will then operate the water pump whenever you use enough water to drop the pressure. It sounds like your water pump might be going bad on you.

Third, Your Batteries-

Remember that your interior lights, water pump, door steps and many other things operate on your 12-VDC batteries. Your whole problem might be with your batteries. When you are plugged into 120-VAC your RV has a charger that keeps your batteries charged. I would check my water level in my batteries first.

Let me know what you find.

DON


Babs 21 months ago

Don, you are my hero and would kiss you if I could!


Jerrykil 21 months ago

I have a 12volt problem,all my lights in my living area and one room turned black and blowed.my battery is charged.have shore line hooked up,microwave works tv works.checked all fuses and brakers that I can find and that are good.my shore runs a long way to my house,had a house fire and we are rebuilding,that's why we are in camper


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 21 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Jerrykil- As you know those lights are 12VDC and with several going bad at one tim and turning black than I would immediately suspect a power surge.

Your breakers are not fast enough to handle a true "power surge" so thats probably why they didn't kick out.

This is such a problem at a lot of campgrounds and many people will purchase a surge protector at their local camping supply store or on Amazon just to protect from this.

The less probable problem would be that your AC/DC Converter (charger) is acting up by raising the voltage on your batteries. I would check all of my 12VDC connections from the charger to the batteries and make sure they are secure and not corroded.

Good Luck.

DON


Bill M. Texas 21 months ago

I have a American Star 5th wheel 1999 modle in very good condition. The problem I am having ,the electrical outlets in 1/2 the trailor quit working at first I thouhgt It was the GFI outlet so I changed it but that did not work . I have checked and rechecked fuses and brakers with no completed fix do you have any suggestions


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 21 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Bill M. Texas- OK, this is a good one. So, the Breakers are good and not kicking out? And the GFI is not popping out? Right?

So, your Fridge works properly on AC voltage?

And your Air units are working OK?

Also, your TV's run OK? Because they all run on 110-VAC.

If all of these items DO WORK PROPERLY then your problem is truly a unique one.

I would normally suspect one side of your 30-Amp input to be bad or even possibly a bad ground at the service box. Check out your AC accessories i mentioned above, one or more may not work.

Let me know what you find,

DON


Mark Outback 20 months ago

Hello Don,

We brought our trailer out of storage and had full power from tow vehicle for slides, lights etc. Everything was working.

Parked trailer at home, disconnected truck. Installed battery (small sparks on neg side) but all seemed normal. Battery has full power. No power to anything. Reconnected truck, no change, nothing working. Interior battery test switch blinked power empty just once, then no response a second time. All dead. Fuses all OK. Have not tried 120v as I could find the adapter.

It would be my intention to start from the front checking wiring connections, look for inverter or other reset switches and try the 120 supply. Would this be the best course?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 20 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Mark Outback- Interesting! Typically, you would connect your battery with the Main DC switch (breaker) OFF. Sounds like you connected the battery with the Main switch ON and the load is what caused the spark (maybe).

Along with the main breaker, there will be a couple of "main" fuses on the DC fuse panel that may have gotten zapped.

I would not suspect any of the other fuses because you said that "nothing" worked.

And, because "Nothing" worked when you reconnected your Truck, I would go to the main breaker and those main fuses as the likeliest problem.

PS: Hopefully you didn't connect the battery backwards?

let me know what you find.

DON


Colleen 19 months ago

I live in a 86 Pace Arrow. I have only one electric plug that works, the kitchen. The fridge works and the micro. No other outlets work. Advice??


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 19 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Colleen- The most probable cause of your problem is that your other receptacles are GFI receptacles. If so, then one of them is the master with the "reset" button. Just reset the button and check out the other receptacles then.

DON


Claire 19 months ago

Hi I have a 2014 Hurricane. I am having a problem with the electrical pannel. I only have power to one 30 amp and onlt a fwe of fhe 15 amps. If I put the generator on everythingworks we replaced the transfer switch its got power from out side and the fan woks on the converter fuses are all ok.

I am not sure what esels to do.


claire 18 months ago

Sorry its a 50 amp. Another question My husband says only one 50 works because we are hooked up to 120 at our house and if I hook up at a campsite with 50 amp serbive every thing would work is this true?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 18 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Claire- Sorry for the late response, but we were on the road and are now set up in our campsite.

Your question was a little confusing, so let me explain how an RV is set up.

First of all, if your RV AC-power work throughout your camper when the generator is running, then that says that your problem is not inside your RV.

Your RV has a Power Control panel that senses what your input power is (30-Amp or 50-Amp, 20-Amp, etc.). It also allocates this power to your appliances and outlets, etc.

Your first problem is that, from what you tell me you are using an adapter from your 50-amp cable to a standard 120-VAC receptacle at your house.

So, if this is so, you only get a limited amount of current available for you to use in your RV. You need to turn things OFF that you are not using, and avoid any extra loads.

When I am hooked up like this, I will only run my Fridge and a few of my 12-VDC lights. No microwave, no TV, No satellite, etc.

But, even with this limited power, ALL of your receptacles should have power. If not, check that your master GFI receptacle has not kicked OFF. If it did, this will turn OFF power to its slave receptacles.

If this isn't the case, then I would suspect that your adapter cable (50-amp to 20-amp?) is not wired properly and you have a ground problem.

Let me know what you find.

DON


Bon&John 18 months ago

Woke up this morning, and both receptacles in bedside (his & hers) are powerless. Hubby uses his for his CPAP machine, and yes it was working until about 5 am when he got up. I took my shower and went to dry my hair and discovered outage. But it's confined to only these two outlets, outlet on other side of coach is functioning! All GCFIs have been tested and reset. No breakers are blown, no fuses blown. Got any idea what is happening?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 18 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Bon&John- I don't know long your coach has ben plugged in at your site, but sometimes you can have problems at the sites power box.

First I would turn off the main switch and remove the cord. Then I would flip the breaker (without load) several times, then reseat the power cord into receptacle and firmly turn on the breaker.

The reasoning for this is that the connections inside the breaker, in the socket and the tips of your power cord are outside and will often build up oxidation over time.

My second best guess would have been the GFCI main receptacle, but you checked that.

Good Luck,

DON


Jeanne 18 months ago

We have a 2005 Nomad 5th wheel and our two outlets controlled by the GFI are not working. We have replaced the GFI but still not working. Everything else works fine.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 18 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Jeanne- GFI stands for Ground Fault Indicator. Here is how it works.

There are three wires in an AC outlet. One is the HOT wire (typically the black one). One is the Common one (typically white), and then there is the ground wire (typically bare wire).

A properly wired and safe receptacle will not have any current flow between the common and the ground wires. If there were current flow you might get an electrical shock if you plugged up an appliance and it had metal you could touch.

So, if current leakage is sensed, the GFI "kicks out". and needs to be reset.

With all of this said, if your GFI was replaced and still kicks out, then you have either a bad receptacle on your GFI circuit, or you have a wire in your camper that is bad. But, I would suggest that you actually have a bad ground connection at your campsite connection. Hopefully, you can re-seat your connections or get the campground to check their box.

Good Luck,

DON


ow 18 months ago

Hi, was just looking for some expert guidance. My trailer is a 2010 wildwood. The problem is with the bathroom fan/light circuit. The circuit occasionally goes to reduced power (7 volts) mainly happening when its really cold out. /you will hear an audible click when it turns itself back on. I have changed the two 30 amp thermal fuses near the battery. The converter is a wf-8900 which has an automatic voltage reduction if there is a short. I can't seem to get a tech out when the problem is current. Any ideas that I can take? Should I just try to feed new wiring?

Thanks,

Brad


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 18 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

OW- Sorry for the late response , but we have been traveling in our RV for the past two days, and I am just catching up on my emails.

This problem is an interesting one, all right. Before I got into messing with th wiring, I would do the following;

1- if you have a multimeter, I would clip it to a different light bulb and wait. Then the next time your bathroom light does its trick I would check of I still had 12-VDC on the other bulbs. If you do, then you are dealing with a problems in your light.fan assembly. If it drops to 7-VDC also, then you most likely have a converter problem.

My opinion is you have a bad fan/lamp assembly and will probably need to replace it.My suspicion is that, at cold temps. the motor housing is distorting and the rotor assembly is binding in the housing.

Let me know what you find.


brad jubinville 17 months ago

Thank you Don, I will feed back results once it happens again. The last 2 weekends, it has not gone out.......


robert 17 months ago

I have a class a motorhome, have hooked to 30 amp from time to time , all plugs worked. I recently used a30 amp and only half my plugs work, went to my breakers and only have power to every other breaker, have checked gfis all are good. what am I missing.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 17 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

robert- Considering that you have confirmed you are only getting one half of your 30-Amp service, it is most probable that you have a connection problem.

Either your 50-Amp-to-30-Amp adapter is bad (one leg is not connected) or your 30-Amp site has one leg that is not connected properly. Keep me posted.

DON


Brutee 17 months ago

I have a 2003 Keystone Sprinter travel trailer. I have a consistent problem when I hook up to AC power provided by a 30 Amp GFI circuit.

Sometime, just plugging in will trip the source GFI, but I can not run AC or the microwave without tripping the source, whether at my house or at the camp ground that provides power on a GFI. Everything works fine when connected to non GFI power.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 17 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Brutee- First of all, you probably already know that a GFI system is a safety device. It is designed to sense of there is any (even slight) current flow between the 110VAC "Common" wire and the actual "Ground connector" of any device plugged into it.

So, on to your problem.

Considering that just plugging your camper main power cord into a source, two different ones in fact, will kick your GFI breaker, I am sorry to say; this indicates to me that you have current leakage in your actual camper wiring that the GFI is sensing.

Sometimes, this can happen from a 110-VAC wire with its insulation scraped off, allowing a common wire to touch the ground of your Camper.

Sometimes, this can be caused by the same kind of problem in an appliance that you have connected (either wired permanently or plugged in) to your 110-VAC system.

First, I would suggest that you unplug ALL AC appliances that have a connector.

Then, I would throw all of my AC breakers to OFF, including the AC Main breaker.

Then I would plug in my camper to the campsite or home power and check if the GFI kicks. If so, then you probably have a cord or main input wiring problem.

If the GFi doesn't kick, I would throw on the MAIN breaker. Check the GFI again. If it kicks then you have an AC Power panel problem, Call a qualified electrician.

If this doesn't happen, then throw ON each of the AC breaker to see which circuit is bad.

Oh, and sometimes, the GFI breaker itself can go bad.

Keep me posted.

DON

Then I would plu


Nickole Gazan profile image

Nickole Gazan 17 months ago

Hi there and thank you for your Hub~

So, after reading all of your comment/trouble shoots, i will give you a list of what is happening...

Dutchman voltage toy hauler/5th wheel

- 7/4, wifi stopped working, Unplugged, checked boxes, checked gfi's, tested (pushed buttons) main gfi, test not functioning, replaced it. Still not functioning. Flipped breakers again, unplugged main cord hooked to main power, main power installed and inspected by power co.) plugged back in after wait~no change.

~ hot water electric doesn't work now, gas does.

~ 7/5 woke up to alarms, and beeps for vent fans (3) and frig flashing LP (battery low) stopped cooling! Lights dim, However, plugged in fan works! Unplugged main cord again, waited, plugged in... No change.

~ turned off the batteries...

~ plugged in fan still running ( regular outlet)

~ it's been exceptionally hot, 106, in Oregon. I had run my air conditioning for a few hours off and on.

~ we had thunder and lightning a week ago, I know was hitting right here.

~ no breakers were ever tripped and haven't check fuses...

Not sure if this gives you any clear picture~ I appreciate, in advance, your time and knowledge!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 17 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Nickole Gazan- OK Lets start with what we can assume does work; 1-The power Co. has confirmed your Main service is working. (PS how did you get them to come on the fourth? LOL!).

So, my first suspicion is usually the main power line to your RV. It is not uncommon for there to be site problems, believe it or not. And, to that end, I would borrow a multimeter and check both sides of your power input (you will have two lines that measure 120-VAC to ground).

As you know the GFi detects low current leakage between the receptacles common line and its actual ground line.

Add the fact that your How Water heater is not functioning on electric, and a plugged in (regular receptacle) fan operates, and the fridge showing (battery low) (this probably means that your converter is not getting VAC),

I am still betting that your input power has a problem.

So, try this, Unplug your power cord and check the contacts for any sign of arcing (black residue), then reseat them properly. Turn OFF and then ON the campsite switches. Watch your power distribution control panel in your camper and it should cycle and then distribute your available power throughout your camper.

I think you will find that one of your 110-VAC lines has an intermittent connection, and this is a real pain, but your campground just might be having power load problems and their voltage may be "sagging' at certain times of the day. Keep me posted on what you find.

DON


Nickole Gazan 17 months ago

Ok~ so, it is all pointing toward transferred switch and/or converter.

~Power is good to trailer,

~Hooked up battery chargers and some lights will work but some will not...

Lol! And no, the power co-op didn't come on the 4th! I meant it was inspected after having been installed... They did come Monday morning and determined all is still as it should be~

Now my challenge is finding a mobile in the Hood River/ Portland , OR are that will deal with a 3rd party warranty...

Thank you for your help,

Nicki


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 17 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Nicki- Camping World accepts most 3rd party insurances and they are everywhere.

PS, Almost all Converters have a fuse or two on them, and some cheaper ones will not operate properly without at least a 20-25% load.

Anyway, good luck. Sorry I couldn't help.

DON


Nicki 17 months ago

No sweat~ (actually there is quite a bit of sweat! It's really hot here!)

I really appreciate your time on this~ it will get worked out!


Gary Schwenke 16 months ago

I have got a Prowler camper. I have developed electrical problems. My camper is set up permanently running on 110 ac current. Just recently when I turn my lights on, they come on for a few seconds then go off then back on and so on. All of my receptacles work fine. Also, when I turn my air conditioner on it will come on for a few seconds then go off. When I switch to the fan only, the fan will run continuously without turning off. What's up? Can't figure it out. Can you help?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 16 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Gary Schwenke - I suspect your problem is your 12VDC system. Even if you have permanently hooked your camper to 110-VAC, you still have a lot of things that operate on 12-VDC, such as; your interior lights, the control circuitry for your Fridge, possibly even the control box for your Air Conditioner control panel.

I would first check your battery. is the water level low? wil it take a charge, etc.

Then, I would check of your converter is keeping your battery charged. It runs on 110-VAC, and it provide the power to charge your 12-VDC battery.

Let me know how it goes.

DON


Don DeRose 16 months ago

I have a 2006 sportsmen sportster 5 th wheel camper. I keep it plugged in to the house when not in use. I hooked up to my pickup and drove it to get new tires, when I got back home I could not get the legs down, I have no power what so ever. I tried plugging it back into the house and still nothing.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 16 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Don DeRose- Well, your Jacks are 12-VDC. But your receptacles are 110-VAC. You said you had no power at all.

If the AC doesn't work, along with your DC stuff, such as lights, etc. then You need to go back to your input service. The problem should be at AC Inlet where your power cord is connected, or the cord itself.

Look for oxidation at the contacts, if they are OK, then check the cable for continuity with an ohm-meter. If that is OK, then check the wiring from the connector to the AC breaker panel.

DON


Gary Schwenke 16 months ago

I do not have a battery hooked up in my camper. There hasn't been one for over 10 years. I have found that the outgoing wire from a 15 amp breaker to the light circuit is bad. We had a bad lightning storm the other night. That's when the problem started. The lights go on and off and the air conditioner kicks off, receptacles work. There is not enough of a surge to kick a breaker. Still at a loss. Thanks for you help.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 16 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Gary Schwenke- Well, that's a first for me with a commercial camper. They have ALL had batteries for the past thirty-plus years.

But, OK, yours is wired for 110-VAC only, and all of your lights have been wired (rewired?) for 110-VAC rather than 12-VDC?

So, I recommend that, considering your recent storm, just before everything going bad, you check your input power ground system. Remember, you always need a good solid ground connection with a camper (or any home) not only for safety, but also so that your 110-VAC Hot and Common lines do not "float" without having a good ground reference.

A bad ground can cause such things as voltages being there, with no load, and "sagging" when a load is applied. Oh, and your AC compressor is not going to start up if you have a ground problem.

DON


Gary Schwenke 16 months ago

Thanks. I've already check the ground wire at the supply box at the street. I've checked all voltages coming and going. They are all consistent. I've got an idea what it might be. I'm out of town right now but when I get back I've got something to check. I'll let you know if it pans out. Thanks so much for your time.


Gary Schwenke 16 months ago

Well Don, in your thirty plus years I'll bet you have never experienced what I am about to tell you. I checked everything I could think of and checked again everything you told me. Nothing. The last thing I did before going home was to disconnect the breakers in the camper from their connection in the box and snap them back in place. Again nothing. Threw up my hands and left. Oh, by the way, my camper is equipped with the battery capability but I don't use it. We are in a permanent campground with a permanent roof structure front porch. On my porch there is a refrigerator, chest freezer and fans and lights. All of these and the camper are being supplied by one 30 amp breaker box at the street. Crazy huh. I am gonna now add more breakers to the box at the street so that I can have the camper on one 30 amp line by itself. So, that being said came back to the camper last night, praying all the way for God to intervene knowing that everything else had failed and that I couldn't really afford any major expences right now. Well, EVERYTHING is back to normal. Lights work, air conditioner works. Wow! I'm not discounting any of the knowledge that I've had at my disposal. You, my son who is an electrical engineer and all the engineers at his company and my 64 years of being able to figure out things on my own. So, Thank you Lord! I really appreciate all of your input and your vast knowledge. I would appreciate closing thoughts. God is good! Thanks so much. Gary.


Keith 16 months ago

pulled camper out of storage. everything working but air/heat and fridge. fridge has check light on and air/heat had thermostat cover off and hanging by wires with black mark on wall from fuse blowing??


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 16 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Keith- Strange! Did you just et this RV? Or did you already own it? Why would your thermostat cover be like that? Did you do it?

Does your Fridge work on Propane or not at all? Get your owners manual out and check the fridge for error codes first of all.

Its not a good thing to have wires hanging and black marks on the wall. Does your power control panel come up and distribute AC power to everything when you plug the Camper into AC? I would replace the thermostat, regardless.

Send more data.

Don


Keith 16 months ago

thanks for your response. 2002 keystone hornet. i have owned for 8 years. never a problem with either fridge or air other than the gas part of the fridge has not worked. previous owner said he didn't use it because he was in a permanent spot. i never wanted to use that way so never bothered with it. all was working fine when stored for winter last year (outside). we had a storm here about a month ago that for some reason the front jack was moved off of the block and tongue of camper was on the ground. not sure if wind/lightening caused this. when plugged into 30 amp service all outlets work. microwave works. lights all work. thermostat was not like that when stored. I found it this way when i brought home. Cover was hanging by wires. I am a machinist but know very little about electricity. thanks again for responding.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 16 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Keith- OK, so, your Air Cond. runs on AC-Voltage, so they should work if your microwave and outlets are OK. If not, your 30-Amp wiring input could have one side bad. By that I mean that, most likely, you either have one wire loose or burned open, or you have a bad breaker in your AC breaker panel. IF this is true, it could be the cause of both the AC and the Fridge not running. Check that the power input to the camper is OK and the AC breakers work OK. You should have two lines that are 110-VAC each when measured to the common line, or 220-VAC ACROSS the two input lines. If you are not comfortable with this, get a pro or a friend who knows what he is doing around electrical power.


Keith 16 months ago

Okay thanks. I will let you know how it turns out


Inferno 15 months ago

Question, my '13 inferno trailer has started making noise out of conv box, it goes chugs chuga chuga chuga chuga chuga chuga chuga, sounds like the breaker is kicking off and on really fast, the lights flicker but then it stops when I go to look at it ( like at 11 o clock at night ) but it does it in the day too, I have unplugged the trailer( 50 amp service) and plugged back in, I just don't know what causes it? I don't hear anyone else's trailer do it? The park has recently had work done to their power lines and moved elec boxes to the main park.any help much appreciated .


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 15 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

inferno- As you know, your converter only turn on when your battery is low. Then the converter turns ON to charge it back to normal.

First, have you checked your battery? 1-Does it have water? 2-Are the connections tight?.

Second, Do you use a Surge Protector on your AC input? If you voltage is changing dramatically, at times, the Converter may not be operating properly.

Put a meter on your Trailers input voltage to se if the voltage is dropping during certain times of the day.

Good Luck,

DON


Marvin Kean 14 months ago

I have a 2013 Alpine 3500RE. The water heater, refrigerator & all Kitchen plugs sockets have just stopped working. All other electrical equipment/appliances are working well. Water Heater and fridge still work on propane. Have checked the breakers and fuses. All appear to be working well. What else should I check?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 14 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Marvin- SO, I assume you have 110-VAC for other things such as your Microwave, TV's and even some 110-VAC sockets in other parts of your RV.

When this is the case, You should turn your campsite power breaker off and then back on. Then, you should unplug your main power cord at both ends and reseat them.

Often, your cord can get loose, and sometimes one side of your power input can get a power surge and partially kick the campsite breakers.

If you have a voltmeter you can unplug your power cord and measure the voltages. Between ground and two of the connections you should get 110-VAC, and between the two 110-VAC connectors you should get 220-VAC. If not, then you have a bad campsite power box.

Another thing a lot of people forget to check is their master ground-fault receptacle and reset it. Although your fridge doesn't use ground-fault power.

DON


Carmen 14 months ago

I have a blown capacitor on the converter. Can the capacitor be replaced or do you recommend replacing the whole converter. And what causes a capacitor to get damaged.

Thank You.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 14 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Lots of unknowns with your statement.

But, without knowing anything more than what you have told me, I would say, yes, if you can get a direct replacement and know how to change such a part, then sure, go ahead and change it.

Generally speaking again, power converters use large value electrolytic capacitors and many of them will just age, and also others will get a voltage surge that arc's over the plates and causes them to fail.

Goo Luck,

DON


Sheila 14 months ago

Have 1995 f350 460 24 ft corsair motorhome, cannot get any 12 volt power to back of coach, but it works on 110.

Also, we have been travelling and the signals quit but 4 way flashers work. Take to dealer, shut off, go to restart and they work again. What would the problem be. Would appreciate response as soon as possible.

Thanks


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 14 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Sheila- First of all, your emergency flashers are wired direct to the switch because they must work.

Second, You Rig has worked OK for a long time, so I would assume your problem is a recent development.

I would suspect one of the relays in your truck's fuse box that is under the hood, based on the fact that it resets itself.

The RV's 12-VDC line from your truck's system has probably caused this kind of failure.

Good Luck, DON


Becky 14 months ago

We have a2013 fun finder travel trailer with two slides.one of the slides would not go in.we overrided the motor and the slide it went in.myquestion is how much will it cost to repair the electrical shortage ?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 14 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Becky- So, you closed the slide manually????

If so then first check that all of your wiring is in good shape. if so, then the part that goes bad with these slides is usually the electrical motor. This can run over $500 just for the part. I recommend pulling the motor, and taking it to an electrician who can check if it is bad or not, before you gt some camper repair shop to start swapping parts. Often, the motor is relatively easy to replace.

Good Luck, DON


Grace 13 months ago

We have a 2008 Itasca rv. We have a table lamp plugged into a receptacle in the living area and began noticing the light dimming and then returning to original brightness. Also have a nightlight plugged in in the bathroom which dims in concert with the lamp. Everything else seemed to work fine. This evening all of a sudden tv, air, microwave and receptacles on 110 quit working, frig converted to lp. Noticed, however, that receptacle for my washing machine seems to work (at least the lights on the panel come on). Control panel for the rv indicates that we are getting 50 amps. Also, when we started the generator, everything functions. We live in the rv and are plugged into a dedicated 50 amp service. Any suggestions?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 13 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Grace - Considering the act that everything works OK when you turn on your Gen, check the following;

1- The dimming of the 110-VAC lamps is usually indicative of your site power varying. So, go out to your campsite power box and reseat your connector and then reset the master switch. Oxidation often occurs on these contact, and in many campgrounds, there will be periods that their power "sags" due to the number of people in the campground.

2- The failure of these lamps, the Fridge, TV and air, at the same time indicates that you lost one half of your 220-VDC source from the campground. So, call them if the suggestion above doesn't reset things.

3- BTW, after they fix your power, you will probably have to reset your GFI receptacle, also.

Good Luck,

DON


amberstrain 13 months ago

I have a 2005 keystone tail gator travel trailer that I been living in for past two years. I've had trouble with part of my lights before and it turned out to part of a bad wire to light switch. Now were having problems with all my lights. They'll go off on their own and come back on in a few minutes. If you bump the breaker box which is under my closet and drawer or shut the closet or drawer it causes the lights to go off. Also if you accidentally drop something on the floor it causes them to go off. What could be the problem??


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 13 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

amberstrain- it's not unusual for an Rv to have electrical problems, especially in the 12-VDC system which is what all of your trailer lights are.

Your camper has a 12-VDC battery with a charger built in to keep it charged. This battery is your main source for your camper lights, your Fridge control circuit board, and your TV input amplifier, among other things.

I would go all the way back to your battery, check it (water level, age, etc.) Once you are confident that it is good, and the wires are firmly connected, then check your charger, that it's output wires are not corroded or loose. After this, you might suspect your 12-VDC fuse panel for loose connections or oxidation on some of the contacts.

Good luck.

DON


Grace 13 months ago

Don, you nailed our problem! It turns out the wires in the power box had loosened and gotten hot. We made a repair and things are working fine now. As soon as possible we want the entire box REPLACED however! Thank you very much! The entire repair cost $14.00! BTW, the "campground" is the side yard of a residence so no one to complain to. LOL


amberstrain 13 months ago

My husband said we don't have a battery. He says there is a place for one. My father in law bought this from a guy and brought it home and hooked it up to a 110 outlet and has been for past two years.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 13 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

amberstrain - OK, o Battery. But that means your lights, which are 12-VDC are running straight off of your charger. Regardless of what your problem might be, putting the battery in there will add a "buffer voltage source" for your lights and other 12-VDC appliances.

As to your problem, from what you are telling me, I would check for more bad connections, either loose or oxidization on contacts. These would be your most likely causes.

Good Luck.

DON


Ted 12 months ago

Hi Don,

I'm in my Coachman Concord for the next 62 days since Nov 1st - a 10 hour drive from home.

Today the breaker box kicked off twice in 10 min. but every thing had been fine for the last two hours.

I know nothing about electric stuff but am sure i have a problem.

Your advice.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 12 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Ted - You didn't give me much info, so here's what I would do.

First of all, your Rv is limited to 50-Amps of current, Once you hit this limit, that's when your breakers kick out.

So, look t the section of this article and notice the current your different appliances in your RV draw. When your main breaker kicked out, were you drawing current near this 50-Amp limit?

Are you in a campground? Many campgrounds at this time of the year, especially those in the south, are loaded up and they often have overall power problem, so ask your fellow campers if they are seeing problems with their power.

Good Luck, DON


Ted 12 months ago

Thanks Don!

At the time when the breaker kicked off (twice) we were running the AC, fridge, water heater, & microwave. My best guess based on the amp pull you listed is we should not have exceeded a 35-40 amps.

We are at a full Florida State Park with lots of big rigs.

Thankfully, the breaker has not kicked off in the last 28 hours of using the same appliances. We did switch over the water heater & fridge to run off propane.

Based on these details, do you think i can conclude that i experienced either an internal amp overload or a camp ground power issue?

Ted


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 12 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Ted - I assume your Microwave is a Convection model.

First, Hot water. My wife and I make a habit of onoy turning our Hot water heater on about 15-minutes before we need hot water. At other times, you are just wasting electricity.

And the Microwave? Well, a convection can draw a lot of current when you are actually cooking with it in this mode.

Our biggest culprit is my wife's hair dryer. Turn that baby on and you are really using some current.

With your AC units? We have a 2-zone system, so we set the two units 2-degrees apart. Whichever room we are in, we set for our comfort, and the other zone, we set a couple of degrees warmer. I mean, really. why do you need the bedroom area to be cold, for instance if you are both in the living area during the day? Doing this, the 2 units will cycle at different times.

Have a good day.

DON


Ronda Bellinger 12 months ago

I have a 99 wilderness GLX 54L. Today the vac on both slides went out. No tripped fuse, only had my puter and monitor on. The vac is working in the front portion (Bedroom/Bath) and also in the back section. Only the two slides facing each other has no power. All the dc works fine. Is there a connection other than the fuse panel that is different for the slideout portion of the trailer?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 12 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Ronda Bellinger - First of all, your slides operate on 12VDC, and not AC-Voltage. And with a motorhome,this would be the engine battery. Of course, with a travel trailer, it would be your DC batteries, typically on the front of the trailer for convenience. Check the battery for low water, and even check if it has a good voltage output.

Good Luck,

DON


Ronda Bellinger 12 months ago

Sorry I wasnt clear. It is the AC receptacles and lights that are not working in the slide areas. I did find that the GFCI receptacle at the bathroom sink had gone out. After resetting it I had power to the AC light in one slide but the GFCI receptacle went out again and lost power to the light. It was late so to be safe I shut down the breaker to that part of the trailer. Could it be a faulty GFCI reseptacle?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 12 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Ronda - Actually, your interior lights are usually DC and operate off of your chassis (or aux) battery which is recharged by your AC charger. You can tell what is powering your interior lights by pulling one of the bulbs. All AC lights use the same standard screw-in end as those in your house, while the DC ones can be using one of several flat or "twist" base mounting.

If you have a house-type light plugged into a regular receptacle (in your slide) your problem could be your GFCI. Your main GFCI does power the slide receptacle on most RVs.

In fact, I just had to replace mine because my wife had plugged her hair dryer into the bathroom GFCI receptacle and the connector was large enough to block the built in breaker from operating, and it burnt itself out. So, I can say that its' only a twenty dollar or so part available at Lowes or Home Depot stores.

good luck,

DON


Ronda Bellinger 12 months ago

Thank you for your help, I bought a new GFCI today but before I replace it needed to know if I need to also replace the one by the kitchen sink since it has no reset button and is probably tied into the other one in the bathroom.

Once again thank you hope that fixes the problem.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 12 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Ronda - Sorry, my bad! I should have mentioned that one GFCI receptacle will usually have three or four standard receptacles that are tied to it. This master receptacle senses any current leakage with the other "slave" receptacles.

DON


Patti 11 months ago

I have a 95 Fleetwwod Flair. At first my husband could not get the radio to work recently. On his last trip the brake lights stopped working also but all other lights still work. He checked and changed fuses but still nothing. Could it be a battery problem?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 11 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Patti- First of all, your dash radio is just another automobile type of radio. But, if your Flair is like most RV's you have a switch on the dash that selects whether to power the radio with the chassis battery, or with the coach battery which powers your RV's 12-VDC accessories like the interior lights, etc. Check that the switch is in the right position.

Now to your brake lights.

In case you didn't know, you will have two DC fuse boxes in your Flair. One is for the coach accessories, and can be located in a number of different places. Check your owners manual for the location of this one. Then, there is a panel for your chassis accessories, which includes the exterior operating lights such as your brake lights.

Once you find the specific fuse for the brake lights and if it doesn't fix the problem, then I would suspect a loose or broken wire going back to the bake lights.

ONE OTHER THING!

When is the last time you checked the water in your coach battery. This is one of the most neglected items by RV owners.

Good Luck!

DON


kirkwh 9 months ago

I have a 2006 Keystone Montana. Stored for the winter. Placed charged battery(12.36 V) reading I do not have 12VDC lights done center of my RV. 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom (fan works), 1 over steps to bedroom, center rear(back window), kitchen fan not working. All other lights work (bedroom slide). New converter installed, no breakers tripped, no fuses blown. All same even plugged into 50 amp at home. All outlets work, GFCI and non GFCI. At a loss. Your advice is awesome.

Thanks


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 9 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

kirkwh - WOW! OK, first of all, your receptacles are 120-VAC as well as your Converter.

Your Converter (or charger) keeps your battery charged, so it must have at least 12-VDC, up to 14.5-VDC if it is charging, on it's output lines.

The output of the converter should go directly to the battery and to the 12-VDC fuse panel.

I can only assume, from what you toldme that if you take a multimeter and measure the voltage going into the fuse panel and it must match the battery voltage. The same goes for the output side of the individual fuses.

Also from what you have said, your most probable cause of some lights not working might be a bad ground conection, so use your multimeter to check the voltage at the light sockets after removing the bulbs.


Rick 7 months ago

We have a 04 holiday rambler Endevor. The gfi keeps popping when we r using the invertor. I have replaced the gfi 5 times in the last few days. It doesn't happen when we r on shore power only when we have to use invertor.

Am at a loss.

Thank you for this awesome help you give to everyone here!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 7 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Rick - As you know, a GFI detects current leakage between the actual ground pin of an AC plug and the Common pin. This is a protection for people in areas where they may be using 120-VAC and there is a chance of your body being grounded (touching; water, metal, etc.).

I am assuming that your Inverter has operated properly with devices plugged into your GFI in the past. Well, with this assumption, plus the fact that all is well when you are on Shore power, I feel that you have one of two problems.

But first, check that the GFI doesn't kick out with nothing plugged into any GFI receptacle. If it still kicks out then you definitely have a wiring problem most likely inside your Inverter. or possibly in the ground connections of the wiring from the house batteries to the Inverter.

Good Luck, Let me know what you find.

DON


Mary lambert 7 months ago

I like your advice for electrical. We just bought a diplimat Moreno motor vehicle. We went out last night and left the ac and one light burning. When we returned we had no light or air. Now every time we close our door the lights and ac cut off. It even does it with generator running. We have checked batteries fuses and breakers. Do you have any advice?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 7 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

OK, lets think about this.

1-When you open or close your door, it activates your Power steps. They use your 12VDC battery power.

2-Your lights use 12VDC battery power.

3-Your AC used 120VAC power (but the control panel uses 12VDC).

4-You have a Converter (charger) in your Coach that uses 120VAC and generates 12VDC for recharging your "Coach" batteries on demand.

So, I would check the following;

A- do you have water in your coach batteries?

B- how old are your coach batteries?

C- are all 12VDC wires connected tightly?

D- Put a voltmeter on your batteries and then open and close the door, if the voltage changes dramatically then its your batteries, or your charger.

Good Luck.

DON


Chris 6 months ago

Hi there, I just bought a used camper a Jayco Jayflight 33 RLDS and the 12v lights work, the slide outs work and all sockets when plugged in to the house. However neither the fridge, furnace or A/C are working. The main breakers don't trip but a fuse blows as soon as I put it in. Also have tested to see if all the appliances had power going to them. I have no idea where to check but I hope it's something simple.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 6 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Chris - This could be a simple one for you. First of all, a lot of people don't realize that your RV Fridge, Furnace and AC need 12VDC to operate, even though the AC and Fridge used 110VAC to operate.

The Fridge can run on Propane, or 110-VAC, but it's control circuitry operates on your 12VDC. And even though your Air runs on 110VAC, and the Furnace runs on Propane, your temperature control circuitry runs on 12VDC also.

And you mentioned that a fuse had blown, and RV's usually have breakers for ACV and fuses for DCV.

So, your problem is obviously with your 12VDC.

Your fuses should be labeled, or you should have a picture of the fuses in your owner's manual. So figure out which one blows first of all, and then you can find your problem.

PS. Batteries age and go bad, and the water levels get low in them. These are the main 12VDC problems, so check out your battery first.

Let me know what you find.

DON


Daniel 6 months ago

I have 4 GFC outlets on my trailer, 2 outside and 2 inside. They have stopped working. No breakers have popped and no fuses blown. The reset button works but still no power to outlets. Do you think I should call expert or you have money saving answer to my problem?


Ryan 6 months ago

Don,

Have a 2011 Jayco-Has a new fully charged RV battery and new propane CO detector-when I turn on a couple of lights my light panel goes from 4 down to two- another light on and the panel goes to one light which sets off my detector could i have a bad panel?

Thanks


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 6 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Daniel - If you have a multi-meter, check that master receptacle for AC Voltage then press the RESET, then check it for voltage again. If there's no voltage then you need to replace your master GFC receptacle itself.

Don


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 6 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Ryan - First of all ; What Light Panel?

Now to the CO2 Detector going off when you increase your DCVoltage load. It;s simple, your CO2 is going off because your DC Voltage is dropping too low, and it's going low because your battery is not fully chargesd and/or it has a low battery fluid level and cannot take a full charge. Does your Jayco have a Converter that keeps your battery charged when you are plugged into Shore Power? IF so, and your battery really is new, then you rConverter is suspect. I'm betting on the Battery being the problem.

DON


Dave 5 months ago

Hi Don

Set up for summer with 50 amp at pedestal. After big rain converter blew and fried lot of appliances. Have surge protector at pedestal. Replaced converter and all electric checked out ok.Two weeks later no rain but light smoke from near AGM battery compartment. Converter blown again. Called electrician out checked out motorhome and all was ok. He said it was pedestal. Campground owner called electrician who said everything checked out and could not find cause of problem. Desperate for ideas as to cause. Tree roots growing out of pedestal. Other campers on same electric loop have no problems.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 5 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Tree Roots growing out of Pedestal? Really?

Well, first of all your Converter uses 120-VAC to generate 12-VDC for your RV.

From your description, I am certain that your Campground power, at least at your site, has a problem with the voltage itself and/or the grounding.

Your Surge Protector, should have kicked before any radical increase/decrease affected your camper electronics. But, if there are grounding problems then your two 120-VAC can end up without having a proper common and ground so your electronics equipment may get up to 220-VAC on them.

Either move to another campsite, or get the owner off of his butt an have him check out the wiring inside the pedestal, especially the Ground and the Common lines.

Just because a tech puts a meter on each of the 120-VAC connectors and they measure OK doesn't mean that the Common and Ground are safe,

Good Luck,

DON.


Sarah Smith 5 months ago

My dad owns an RV but it currently has no electricity. Thanks for the advice about how this constitutes as a major problem, since my dad's considering taking apart the electrical system, and needs to be handled by a professional. I'll have to tell this to my father and help him find a good electrician. http://directcurrent.us/commercial.php


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 5 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Sarah Smith - Always take the cautious and safest approach when dealing with electrical problems. Bad decisions can really be deadly to the untrained.

Tell him to get a professional to look at the whole electrical system and tell him what needs fixing. Then he can make some intelligent decisions about repairs and possible upgrades.

Thanks for the comment,

DON


James 5 months ago

My brother has a 1992 Fleetwood Prowler 5th wheel. The original propane fridge gave up the ghost and a replacement costs too much $2000 CAD. So he purchased a small bar fridge from Walmart and plugged into the same receptacle that the original fridge was plugged into.

He had also disconnected 2 grey wires and 2 white wires that came out of the ceiling and were screwed somewhere on the back of the old fridge. Now his bathroom fan won't run and my multi-meter doesn't pick up any current from the wires leading into it.

I suspect that the bathroom fan was powered by piggybacking onto the the fridge's power supply. All fuses are ok. Joining the 2 grey wires together, and separately joining the 2 white wires has no effect. Do you have any advice as to how we can get the bathroom fan reconnected to the power supply? Thanks


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 5 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

James - That old fridge had DC and AC connections to it. The DC connections were for the controller board that operated the fridge itself. The AC wires were provided power to the ice-maker when the camper was plugged into AC power at a campsite. I assume he used the AC power for the new fridge.

The DC wires should not have affected at the function of any other things in the camper.

It would ot be standard wiring procedure to run a voltage source to the fridge and to the fan. but if this was done, then there should be a DC fuse for the fridge that would be blown. Check this first.

DON


James 4 months ago

Hi Don - thanks for your insight and advice, very helpful to resolve the problem- much appreciated. When I mentioned earlier that the fuses were "ok", it was done by taking them out individually for a visual inspection. This time I used a proper fuse tester and found a burnt 15A fuse. Lesson learned: a visual inspection of fuses will fool you even if there are no physical signs of burn-out :P

The circuit with the burnt fuse had a grey wire to it -positively identifying that it fed the old fridge (and the bathroom fan) as you deduced. I suspect the fuse popped when my brother removed the connections from the back of the old fridge. I joined the two sets of gray and white wires that were hanging from the ceiling, replaced the fuse and the bathroom fan was back in business again. The replacement fridge is exclusively powered by the AC receptacle.

Thanks again for everything :)

James


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

James - Glad I could Help! And good luck to your brother and Happy Camping!

DON


Kenny Mitchekk 4 months ago

Travel trailer, when I disconnect AC power the DC power system goes out. Lights go out.

I still have power to the young Jack and slide out ??


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Kenny- Not a lot of information here, but the most common problem with these symptoms is a dead battery on the trailer. If you have a built-in Inverter, it would charge your battery when you plugged the trailer into 120-VAC. Still, check out the battery. For instance, does it have water? Are the connectors tight?

DON


MEL 4 months ago

My power source keeps blowing 30 amp fuses even when the circuit breakers are in the off position in the rv. I disconnected the power cord at the rv breaker box and put wire nuts on the naked wires for safety and connected the power cord. i t did not blow the fuse. I had previously checked that all appliances were unpluged when trying to figure out why the fuse kept blowing. Every thing was working fine prior to the fuse blowing. Thanks


MEL 4 months ago

Hi, previously asked question about blowing fuses even when circuit breakers are off.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Mel - Not sure of the type of camper, so here goes. What is your power source? Campground power? An extention cord plugged into a home receptacle? Need more info.

But, If you actually pulled the cord loose from the camper wiring and your problem went away, and if the 30-amp fuses are the DC fused that's one kind of problem, Check your camper (house) battery to se if it has gone bad (shirted cells), and check your inverter to see that it has not gone bad.

Your AC goes through the breakers, and not the fuses on almost all RV's today, so if your fuess are blowing I suspect that the problem is the battery or the inverter.

Good Luck,

DON


Randy 4 months ago

Hello Don,

I have a 2001 Wilderness 32 foot 5th wheel, 30 amp service. While camping last week we were plugged into shore power and all of the appliances AC and DC were working fine. One morning while listening to the radio all at once the AC appliances and outlets quit working, the DC appliances worked fine. I checked and reset the main breaker at the camping site post but no help. I then checked the main 30 amp breaker in 5th reset it and no help. I then checked the voltage coming into the 30 amp breaker and it was 117 volts and the main panel bar in the breaker box also had 117 volts with the main breaker on and "0" volts with the breaker off. I then tested the voltage coming out of the appliance breakers and they all had 117 volts with breaker on, and "0" volts with breaker off. The appliances still worked when I ran an extension cord from shore power and plugged them in directly. When I got home I took an old extension cord with the female end removed and checked for continuity between the outlets and the leads coming out of the appliance breakers and I have continuity. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Randy


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Randy - Good job of trouble-shooting.

And, from what you have indicated, my first guess is that you have a GFI problem.

As you know every RV has certain receptacles that are on one special GFI receptacle. That's usually the one with two buttons on it, one to TEST and one to RESET.

Check if yours has "kicked" OFF and if so reset it. Then check that it doesn't kick again when you plug in your appliances. If it still doesn't work, you may have to replace the GFI receptacle itself.

Good Luck,

DON


Randy 4 months ago

Thank you Don for the reply. This morning I was able to find the culprit. Earlier when I was testing for voltage I only tested the hot lead and not the neutral side. When I tested the neutral side I had no voltage. Traced it down to the connector behind the breaker panel that connects the shore power coming in to the main circuit breaker, sprayed some contact cleaner reconnected and all AC appliances are working.

Thank you again,

Randy


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Randy - Excellent!

Glad you found the problem finally. This problem is a relatively rare one but I suggest that you keep an eye on the situation because I think something else might be a potential problem behind that panel.

Good Luck,

DON


Marcelo 3 months ago

I have a Class A RV Hurricane 2003 I am having some issues with the coach and chassis switches the won't disconnect and also everything works when plugged in but when I disconnect the RV it has no power to the coach and I cant disconnect the chassis or coach when plugged in or not. I am currently charging the coach batteries and will load test to see if bad or not. What are your thoughts on this problem. Thanks in advance also much appreciated.


Marcelo 3 months ago

Hello Don on my previous comment I forgot to mention also that the Class A RV Hurricane 2003 also does not work when I have the generator running no refrigerator, AC. Also I can't disconnect the coach or chasis. What could be the problem and again thanks in advance.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Marcelo - First of all, some RV's have mechanical switches, but may use a low-voltage switch to activate a higher current relay (or solenoid). With thee your batteries must be good.

So, the first thing I recommend is that you check your coach and chassis batteries. Check them for water, and that they take a charge properly, and there are no loose connections.

The fact that nothing operates when you run your generator makes me think you have a problem with your power switches , like you suspect.

Good luck,

DON


Bob Freeman profile image

Bob Freeman 3 months ago

Hi Don, wow so much good info here! I have a q that may have been covered but here goes...I have a Jayco trailer with the standard 12v/AC setup. The 30amp fuse wired in right at my batteries blows as soon as I replace it.....any ideas? Many thanks if so ....


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Bob Freeman - First of all, disconnect your battery. Then, check if it has fluid in it. If not, your plates can get hot and even shirt out.

IF this is not the problem, then check your Inverter. If your batteries are "DEAD", the inverter can try to overdrive the battery charge voltage and blot this DC fuse. If you have a meter, then you can check this voltage, if not, disconnect the Inverter and put a regular car charger on your battery to confirm the battery doesn't have a wire on that's shorted to ground.

Good Luck,

DON


Marcelo 3 months ago

Hello Don I have an issue with my rv. I cant turn off my chassis or my coach they stay on. All my fuses are good and nothing works but everything works when plugged in yet I still can't disconnect chassis or coach. Also I can run the generator and sometimes it might run everything and sometimes it wont.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Marcelo - I need more info. What kind of RV is it?

Do you mean that you have a motorhome with a separate switch to turn your Coach or Chassis voltage to be OFF and ON?

Most of those switches get their voltage from your batteries. Check them for; full of liquid, and fully charged.

Once you know you have GOOD batteries, then let me know what the situation is with your generator?

DON


Dana 3 months ago

Hi Don,

I have a 2003 Starcraft travel trailer and it has been sitting but plugged in for about 8 years. There is no battery hooked up to it. Everything was working until it was moved to a different location and then we plugged it back in and we have electrical outlets, microwave and nothing else - no refrigerator, a/c or lights and cannot open slide-out. Can you please help!!!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Dana - No Battery? Really? All Travel Trailers have a battery, unless you removed it. And, of course, the battery supplies power for everything 12-VDC, such as your lights. Motorhomes and some travel trailers also have an inverter which keeps the battery charged. Your Fridge is usually a "dual-mode" one which uses 12-VDC for the control circuit board, and without it it will not operate. Your AC controller also uses 12-VDC for it's circuit board.

So, By chance your Inverter may have been powering these DC equipments, before.

I would add that missing battery, or if it is there, then I would assume it has "died" Check it for fluid levels and that it will take a charge.

Good Luck,

DON


Dave 3 months ago

Hi Don, we have a 2013 Creekside 23 BHS. The power cable is fused to the trailer recepticle. Any ideas on how to get it off?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Dave - First of all, let me remind you that your connector on your camper is a "twist" connection. Turn to right to kep it in place and turn to the left to remove.

Now, with that said, when you say fused, check that it turns first, like I mentioned above. If not then there can be a very serious problem with your power system and the current required to "fuse" that connectors pins to your campers receptacle had to have been very high, and you could have some serious wiring problems inside your camper.

So, I would get an electrician out to your camper to check out the damage before I tried anything myself.

DON


Keith 2 months ago

my front and back jacks stoped working i put them up and they dont work now and the front one are not all the way up there electic


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Keith -Not much info here, but ....

What model camper do you have? What model jacks are installed? Please give me more information and maybe I can help.

But, check these things; is the main fuse for the jacks blown? Can you reset your jack control panel? (see the owners manual) Is your RV in Park and is the emergency brake ON? Is your battery fully charged?

Let me know more?

DON


Nicole 2 months ago

Hiya!

So we just got this camper in the last four months and have been getting all the things we need in order to move and start living in it full time. Found out recently that it had no batteries so we bought two 6v batteries and hooked them up in a series. Before doing this everything worked off shore power with no issues. When I switched to using just the batteries for power the Test switch, the radio, and the fridge did not work. Switched back and everything worked fine except the radio. looked in the fuse box and found a shorted fuse so i switched it out and tried again. now its the opposite. everything that was working just on shore power, now only works just on battery power, except the radio which stopped working completely. I bought a volt meter and found that the battery system is putting out 11.99V and the charging system is putting out less than a volt. I'm not sure what happened, but I was very careful when i hooked up the batteries, I've checked that they are connected right several times. any advice would be helpful thanks!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Nichole - First of all, your camper uses Shore power to drive your Inverter. (charger), and to provide 12-VDC to your camper lights and other 12-VDC accessories. See the chart and you will see that if you only have 11.99 volts at your batteries, the inverter is not working. When the batteries are low on charge the inverter should put out roughly 14.5 VDC to the batteries and drop down as the batteries are charged.

So, check the following; 1-Is the fuse on the inverter blown? 2-Are the Main DC fuses blown?

If all is wired properly, and the Inverter is operating properly than you would not have this problem. I suspect that your Inverter is your problem, and for a short while your new batteries drove your accessories, but as the battery was drained, your accessories went haywire without enough voltage to them.

Good Luck,

DON


Sharen Macgregor 2 months ago

Hello...we own a 2001 Itasca Suncruiser. The running lights and low beams have stopped working, although the high beams come on. Have checked fuses, all okay. Any ideas?


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Sharen - Your running lights and your low beam lights get their power through your dash light switch. Your high Beam lights are the same except that, with many motorhomes, there is parallel wiring so that the driver can turn the high beam lights on and off with the lever on the steering column.

So, I suspect a bad dash light switch, or connection to the switch.

Good Luck,

DON


Jeff 7 weeks ago

Hello, I have been having trouble with the 12v light bulbsin my camper blowing,(99 jayco eagle) also noticed the lights seem very bright so, suspecting too much voltage, I checked the voltage at the bulb socket with my multimeter and am getting a reading of 21.3 volts. Is there an adjustment or some other way to regulate the power coming from the converter?

Any other ideas as to what may cause the excess voltage?

Thank you for any advice you may have, Jeff


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 7 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Jeff - Obviously the voltage from your converter is far too hih=gh. In fact, with a voltage like this, your 12-VDC batteries should have boiled over and even possibly, melted, so I am assuming that you don't use a battery in your Jayco?

So, the first thing I would do is check your power input and that the ground is connected properly. With the two different 12=VDC wires, and a ground wire, your power isdistributed properly, but when you lose your ground, some converters will appear to put out 220-VAC.

The problem you have will either be a bad ground connection or a bad converter. PS. if this voltage is actually 21-VDC, it can harm your fridge control board also.

Good Luck,

DON


Brandon 2 weeks ago

Hi Don, I tripped my main breaker and now My main breaker switch will not stay in the on position. I have unplugged everything and tried to switch it on and it will just not stay on. Why can't I reset it and can I replace just that one main breaker switch? I have a 6300a parallax.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 weeks ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Brandon - First of all, unplug your camper from the campsite power. If the breaker will not reset, then it is bad and needs to be replaced.

If your camper is plugged up to external AC power, and it still kicks without any of the other breakers kicking out, then your problem should be with your Charger/Inverter. or in your camper wiring you have a serious short to round.

Your MAIN breaker should absolutely NOT kick OFF without another breaker going first, with the exception of there being such a short in your power distribution system.

Let me know what you find.

DON

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