How to Repair a Camper Travel Trailer Electrical System

Updated on March 25, 2016
Randy Godwin profile image

Randy is a lifelong lover of the outdoors and especially camping. This article is intended to help the RVer save money and time on repairs.

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Electrical System Design

Most RV’s and camper trailers utilize the same types of electrical systems as those used for an average small home. But in addition to the 110 volt electrical supply, there may also be lights, fans, a refrigerator, or other electrical devices which use a 12 volt supply, like that of a car or truck.

A 12-volt DC system powers the RV refrigerator to keep food cold while the RV or camper trailer is moving from place to place. The same goes for the lights and fans. It also keeps the on-board batteries fully charged. This system relies on the 110-volt AC electrical power supply for amperage.

It is possible to pull a 12-volt power supply from the RV or camper trailer's electrical system or 110-volt campsite power supply. Then the 110-volt supply can be stepped down to 12 volts after it is run through a power converter and to a particular appliance.

Rewiring a Classic RV

A classic 1946 Spartan travel trailer.
A classic 1946 Spartan travel trailer. | Source

Most of RV systems will switch from the 110-volt AC to the 12 volt DC supply automatically when there is a power interruption. These two electrical systems are treated independently from each other when diagnosing electrical problems, except for determining power to the converter. This translates to:

  • 110 volt power-- > converter-- > 12 volt power-- > 12 volt breaker box -- > refrigerator or lights

As in a home, the 12-volt system has its own set of breakers to control each circuit. The lights, fans, or refrigerator may each be on their own circuits, depending on the amperage required. If the converter is supplying 12 volts to the breaker panel and the breakers test positive for voltage, this leaves the wiring or the particular appliance at fault.

A 1956 Serro Scotty classic.
A 1956 Serro Scotty classic. | Source

Essential Tools and Resources

  • If you are not familiar with electrical wiring or troubleshooting electrical systems there are some very good books available to help you understand and repair common RV electrical problems. I would recommend RV Electrical Systems: A Basic Guide to Troubleshooting, Repairing and Improvement to any novice and experienced electrician alike. It will be an enormous aid to understanding RV electrical systems.
  • Another must for tracing down electrical problems is a voltage meter. This handy tool will allow you to check the circuits for continuity and for the correct voltage required for each breaker. A simple test light can be used but will not test for broken circuits caused by bad wiring or other electrical problems. Both of these tools are inexpensive to own and will more than pay for themselves over time. The voltage meter can be used for home electrical problems as well as any other electrical related problem. Both are offered on this page for a reasonable price.

Troubleshooting Common 110-Volt Problems

  • The 110 volt outlets used in some RVs and camper trailers are prone to shorts because of the way they are installed. Some are merely clipped onto the wiring by cutting into the wires. These types are notorious for not working correctly. Replace these types of outlets with standard house types to put and end to loose connections. Since some of the walls are so thin, a smaller receptacle box may be required for the outlet to fit flush in the walls.
  • Ground fault interrupter outlets are another common cause of electrical problems. These are located in places where a possibility exists of someone touching them with wet hands. They automatically break the circuit when moisture comes in contact with the outlet to prevent shock to the person touching them. A simple reset button must be pressed for the circuit to once again be completed. On occasion they will need to be replaced or the other outlets on the line will not work either. Pay close attention to the instructions when replacing these GFIs.
  • In older RVs and camper trailers you may still find fuses instead of circuit breakers. Since the advent of many new electrical devices, these older fuse systems may not provide enough amperage to handle a microwave or other high amp appliance without blowing a fuse or kicking a breaker. Simply replacing the fuse or breaker with a higher amp substitute may be all that’s required. Replacement of the entire breaker box may be the only option remaining if this doesn’t solve the problem.
  • The newer RVs and camper trailers may have two RV A/C rooftop units which require more amperage than the older models to operate without kicking the standard 30-amp power supply used by many campgrounds. Fortunately, many campgrounds and RV parks now provide 50-amp service for these types of units. When making reservations or checking in, be sure to ask about the availability of a 50-amp hook-up if you own a unit with multiple A/C units.

Keeping your electrical systems in good and safe working order insures a trouble free camping trip with no sudden power outages to ruin the trip. Most problems can be repaired easily if you understand how the system works. RV electrical manuals along with a few inexpensive tools are well worth the cost of their purchase.

If you are completely confused by electrical wiring there are also some very good basic books to start you off. It isn’t very hard at all to check electrical circuits, switches or outlets with an inexpensive voltmeter. Just remember, when touching any wires be sure the power to that particular circuit is off. If in doubt, turn off the main breaker or unplug the RV or camper trailer from the power supply. Happy camping!

Replacement Power Converters

Progressive Dynamics PD9270V Inteli-Power 9200 Series Converter/Charger with Charge Wizard - 70 Amp
Progressive Dynamics PD9270V Inteli-Power 9200 Series Converter/Charger with Charge Wizard - 70 Amp

Power converters for all makes and models of motorhomes and camper trailers available.

 

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    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      45 minutes ago from Southern Georgia

      Michael, unless you have a wiring diagram you're simply guessing at what the box is for. I'd work around it.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Michael 

      7 hours ago

      I bought a older coachman cub cadet camper

      Someone butchard the wiring system, i have started the repair process but it seems i have a box , but a missing piece. Poss abreaker or 2 brkrs. The box is wider than a common receptacle wall mt box.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      36 hours ago from Southern Georgia

      Cathy, check the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. Make sure the connection is clean. You may also connect a good battery charger to see if everything works normally. If so, the converter may be at fault.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      36 hours ago from Southern Georgia

      Melissa, check the battery ground cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. This connection needs to be very clean in order for the 12 volt system to work properly.

      Also, you may have a breaker or fuse inline on the positive battery cable leading back to the 12 volt converter or 12 volt power panel. Not all campers have this, but you can check for sure.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Melissa 

      38 hours ago

      I have a 2015 classic c sportsmen by KZ travel trailer that has no power coming from the battery and we just bought a new battery today for it what could it be

    • profile image

      Cathy 

      44 hours ago

      I have a 99 Dutchman Sportsman model 2704, I have problems with the 12V lights in the living area, and no water. A woman NEEDS water. Can you help me?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Michael, when connected to shore power the converter is producing a 12 volt DC charge to the battery which power the running lights and tail lights.

      There's probably a bad ground somewhere, and more than likely, it's the battery ground cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. This is the main ground for the 12 volt system and all sorts of weird stuff happens on the 12 volt system when this ground is corroded or loose.

      Try cleaning this connection well and see if this fixes the problem. Good luck!

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Chad, I don't now the layout of your 12 volt system, but you should have power coming from the battery on a red cable or wire. Apparently, yours has a break or short somewhere. Or there's a fuse/breaker you cannot find, Sorry I cannot be of further help on this problem.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Michael Gully 

      7 days ago

      I have a 1989 Scamp. The battery seemed to be getting weak, so I bought a new one. When I hooked it up, the tail lights and running lights came on. I unhooked the battery and plugged in with 30 amp, and the tail lights came on again. Now whenever the battery is connected or the trailer is plugged in to electricity, the tail lights and running lights are on. How can 120 volts power the tail lights? Thanks!

    • profile image

      Chad 

      7 days ago

      I have checked the ground with a multimeter and is good. I tried to find an inline fuse but the pos cable goes into the floor and im not sure where it leads to. I have an converter with a red cable that does not have power when hooked up to only batteries and also have a red cable going back to fuse panel. Which one is from batteries and where are some likely spots for them to hide the inline fuse? Thank you for your help.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Chad, there are two things you need to check first. There is a negative battery cable connected to the steel frame of the camper. Make sure the connection is clean on both the cable end and were it contacts the frame.

      Look for a fuse/breaker inline on the positive battery cable leading back to the converter or power panel. You may have tripped the breaker/fuse. Hope this helps!

      Randy

    • profile image

      Chad 

      7 days ago

      I have a 1996 Nash 20n. Accidently hooked up batteries in series instead of parallel and now I am not getting any power from batteries which are still good. Checked all fuses I can access/find and nothing seems to be at fault. Everything works fine when plugged into 110. What are your thoughts.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      8 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Megan, if you have any GFIC outlets, check them to see if they will reset or if they have power going to them. These outlets, usually in the bath and kitchen area, will go bad and cause the other regular outlets on the same circuit not to work either.

      Let me know if this doesn't work and we'll go from there.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Megan Buchanan 

      8 days ago

      Hey, Randy me and my husband were camping last week and the camper would not switch over from the battery to electric. We called camping world and they told us we need to buy a new converter so we bought that and put it on and it fixed it but the bedroom outlets do not work and our refrigerator will not switch over from propane to electric and we have no idea what to do we have checked the breaker and the outlet for it and they are fine. We have a 2017 27 foot mallard and are 20 days over the warranty. Its a 30 amp camper or atleast thats what we have used the last year and never had any problems. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated thank you in advance!!

    • profile image

      Fred A Morse 

      10 days ago

      Thank you Randy have a great day.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      10 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Fred, changing the converter is not a difficult job which you should be able to handle.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Fred A Morse 

      10 days ago

      So if the converter is bad it can cause multiple problems?I have had a small cheap charger on it but it don’t keep things going for long.Is the converter something I could possibly change myself.Thanks for your help.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      11 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Fred, try connecting a good battery charger and if everything works normally, then yes, the converter is at fault.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Fred A Morse 

      12 days ago

      2006 nomad camper. The 12v lights stay dim an the battery won't stay charged. The water will only stay hot for a couple seconds. Do the lights always run on 12v even f you you plugged in to 110? There is only one light in the camper that will work with 110. Could it possibly be a converter problem? We are hooked to 30 amp power. Thank you for any help.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Everette, there may be a plug which has come loose when the slide-out was activated either n or out. There's usually an access panel where you can see the wiring connections located near on in the slide-out.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Everette Branch 

      2 weeks ago

      Have a 2015 Sunset Trailer 32BH Camper and the slide out in dinning area of camper, the lights will not work and receptacles are dead also. They were working and just stopped, all fuses and breakers check good, any ideas on what or where to check

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Patrick, as long as they use a regular 110 volt outlet, any micro will work.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Patrick Ryskey 

      3 weeks ago

      Hey Randy finally got converter changed out everything working great, except microwave, are they standard units as long as we can find the same size or are these built specifically for campers?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jim, have you checked the outlets for the fridge and microwave yet? Is there a GFCI outlet in the kitchen with a reset button? If so, it may be bad and on the same circuit as the fridge and micro.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jim 

      3 weeks ago

      I have a 1996 Kit 24 ET. When I moved the trailer and plugged into a 110 source, I heard a pop, and now the refrigerator and microwave won't work. Any Ideas? All the breakers are on unless there is another box somewhere.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Kirsten, this sounds more like a bad gen/shore switch. If the battery is charging the converter is not the problem.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Kirsten 

      3 weeks ago

      We have an Onan generator that has been working fine both while driving and parked when we have place to plug-in. However, we just stopped this evening and can not seem to get it to run. We also have an external generator, so started that up and still no power coming to motor home. But there seems to be juice to the plugs. Living tonight on battery. Thinking maybe converter, but not sure where to start eliminating problems. Did notice that the GFCI in bathroom will not reset. Any thoughts? We are in middle of long road trip and growing frustrated...

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Rhonda, I suspected something was awry with the wiring. Thanks for relating the problem, and for reading as well. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Rhonda 

      3 weeks ago

      Randy, I found the problem. I had a broken neutral coming in where I replaced the inlet power plug on the outside of the rv. I thank you so very much for your help. You are a blessing.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Rhonda, the AC is not on a DFCI breaker so you may have another problem with the power not getting to the system. If you have power to the panel main and to the other breakers, look for a loose ground in the breaker panel.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Rhonda 

      3 weeks ago

      OK, will do. The breakers are not GFCI breakers. Does the 20amp a/c unit also depend on these 15a GFCI receptacles? Sry, for all the questions and really appreciate your help. Thank you.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Rhonda, I don't know if your 110 volt breaker panel utilizes GFCI breakers, but they should be marked as such if so. No Need to remove the panel. Try changing the GFIC outlets first. This may not be the problem but you'll find out for sure.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Rhonda 

      3 weeks ago

      Thank for responding. Is this GFIC located beside or behind the breaker panel? Is there a main GFIC or are we talking about the individual plugs? Do I need to take the breaker panel out to find this GFIC? Again, I appreciate your help, thanks.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Rhonda, replace the GFIC first as they are notorious for going bad.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Rhonda 

      3 weeks ago

      Hello, need some help please. I have a 2004 Rockwood by Forest River. I experienced circuit breakers tripping and they were really hot. The converter was very hot (think the fan was bad). I replaced the converter and put in a new Battery (RV Deep Cycle). I notice the hot leg on the power cord was fried on both ends. So I replaced the 30a box with an RV box and bought a new power cord. My problem is now I have 110v at the breakers but nothing 110v has power. The 12v system works fine, but no 110v at receptacles. Have reset GFCI rec. Not sure where to go from here...

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      John, the microwave is probably toast now. It received twice the voltage required to operate it. The control board is a goner! Sorry!

      Randy

    • profile image

      John Whitney 

      4 weeks ago

      Pluged the trailer into 220 out let microwave was on then a breaker in the trailer triped. now no microwave even after i fliped the braker back on

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Baallen, yes it could have damaged your converter as it received double the required voltage.

    • profile image

      Baallen34 

      4 weeks ago

      Thanks Randy. This was a question I had for you or Jason. Could inalso have hurt my converter?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jason, you more than likely toasted the microwave.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Baallen34 

      4 weeks ago

      Jason Saucepan or Randy Godwin. I had the same thing happen to me when I hooked up my 30 amp plug to 220 power. What fixed your problem? My microwave will not come on . 2015 dutchmen aspen trail

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Patrick, as long as it is 110-120 volts input it should be fine. It's usually better to have more amperage than needed.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Patrick Ryskey 

      4 weeks ago

      Hey Randy I figured out I fried the converter, now I'm trying to figure out if I can replace it with Intella power 9200, it's a 45 amp system and my camper is 30 amp, think it will work?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Landon, I've had this same question from other campers with a GFIC at home which trips when the camper is plugged in.

      I think it may be due to the way a camper is grounded which makes the GFIC trip, especially if the GFIC doesn't have the necessary amps to supply everything needed.

      I haven't heard back from any of those with a similar problem so It's a bit of a puzzle at this time. Perhaps you can solve this mystery, Landon. I have no way to check for this problem as I cannot duplicate it.

      I'd be pleased--and so would others I suspect--if you let me know what you find.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Landon 

      4 weeks ago

      I have 1999 Skyline Nomad. Everything worked great last fall when i winterized it for the winter.

      This spring I plugged it in to the house and tripped the gfi on the house right away.

      After plugging it into a non gif outlet everything will work.

      I did some testing and have it narrowed down to the water heater and the fridge. Even after I turn off the switch to the water heater the gif still trips with the fridge. Yet the fridge will run on the battery and gas. Any thoughts on what could be the issue?

      I'm thinking the water heater issue is the heating element.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Andrew, the fridge and H/W heater have a thermostat which operates on the 12 volt system. Check the battery negative cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. A bad connection here will cause this problem.

      Also check the positive cable of an in-line breaker box or relay. Not all campers have this relay.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Andrew 

      4 weeks ago

      we have a 2006 puma I have it plug in to 30 amp 110 I cant seen to fig out how to get the fridge microwave or the water heater to work the fridge will not cool on gas or electric the micro wave is just blank I have checked all the breaker and they are all in the on position fuse are all good I am new to this r v repair as this is my step daughter camper and I told her that I would help to try to get things in good operating order but we have no manuals or literature on how to repair or operate things like the fridge or hot water heater. I know where the micro wave plugs in we don't have any voltage.so any help would be appreciated Thanks Andrew

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Patrick, try turning off all of the 11o volt breakers excluding the main and see if it still trips.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Patrick Ryskey 

      4 weeks ago

      Yep just tried and as soon as you plug in the breaker snaps

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Patrick, have you tried resetting the breaker with the camper unplugged from power? If it still won't reset the breaker is indeed bad.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Patrick Ryskey 

      4 weeks ago

      Not sure if you got my second question but I have a breaker tripped that will not reset its listed as con kit, I think this is all my problems any idea also 3 gif outlets have no power

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Patrick, be sure the negative battery cable is clean where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. A bad connection here can cause all sorts of problems with the 12 volt system.

      If the 12 volt converter is furnishing enough power with the battery it should still work fine, but it's better to have the extra amperage a battery provides.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Patrick Ryskey 

      4 weeks ago

      We have a 33' fifth wheel sandpiper o6 I believe, being plugged in it doesn't charge the battery, also should it work being plugged in and no battery?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Chontell, yes the wires are color coded so this should be an easy fix.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Chontell Anderson 

      5 weeks ago

      I have a 1986 33ft Chevy Southwind moterhome that smashed into a redwood tree & the right rear brake light wire's were all severed. Do I just reconnect each wire to it's matching wire or do I need any special kit to replace it

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Rob, check the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. A rusty or corroded connection here will cause all sorts of weird electrical problems.

      Also, some campers have a fuse/relay on the positive battery cable leading back to the converter or power panel. Not all have them but you may check for it. Good luck!

      Randy

    • profile image

      rob bottner 

      5 weeks ago

      '95 skyline layton with no interior power. All fuses/breakers intact. outside running lights work when hooked up to vehicle. no obvious loose connections/burnt wires. Was working when plugged into 110v. help.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Melanie, this may be a bad ground. Do you have a 50 amp hook-up?

      Randy

    • profile image

      Melanie 

      5 weeks ago

      We have a 2016 keystone outback. We had a power outage that killed some of our kitchen appliances, but the only other issue we had was the bathroom's electrical outlet---I went to plug my hairdryer in and the current was too much, and started to make the hairdryer burn up. This was after pressing the reset button on the outlet. Have you ever come across this before?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Tom, if you're sure the breaker itself isn't bad, you'll have to inspect everything on the circuit. If there are outlets on the circuit, you can buy a small plug-in circuit tester to see if the wiring is at fault.

      Randy

    • profile image

      tom 

      5 weeks ago

      i have a qualeridge by riverforest park model and i have a breaker that wont reset how can i trace this problem

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Great news, Jason! Glad you found the problem and came back and reported the solution. Thanks a lot.

      Randy

    • profile image

      JASON SAUCEMAN 

      6 weeks ago

      I got lucky the problem was in the campground power supply. Someone had removed the neutral wire.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Jason. :)

    • profile image

      JASON SAUCEMAN 

      6 weeks ago

      Ok yes going to start at the plug and follow through out. Will let you know what is found.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jason, you may have to check all of the grounds in the breaker panel. As you said, there seems to be a dead short in the system. Check the pigtail connection as well as they can sometimes work loose during travel. I'd be pleased to know what you find as others may benefit from your experience.

      Randy

    • profile image

      JASON SAUCEMAN 

      6 weeks ago

      Camper is setup for either. I used 50 amp service last year. But the campsite doesn't have 30 amp service only 50. Still trying to figure out the bleed over in the common side. Only thing I can determine is dead short somewhere.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Your camper may not be set up for a 50 amp 240 volt connection, Jason. Why not simply use the 30 amp 120 volt hookup at the campsite?

      Randy

    • profile image

      JASON SAUCEMAN 

      6 weeks ago

      Had it on an 15amp 110v breaker.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      What amp breaker did you have it plugged into at home, Jason?

    • profile image

      JASON SAUCEMAN 

      6 weeks ago

      Camper has 1 ac unit. But was designed for either 50 or 30amp

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jason, are you sure you need 50 amp service? 50 amps requires 220 volts as 30 amps is standard 120 volts. Do you have two or more AC units?

      Randy

    • profile image

      JASON SAUCEMAN 

      6 weeks ago

      I have a 2017 Forrest River Cherokee. I apparently have a dead short. Power feedback through neutral. When all breakers are off except the main. It shows 220v. Right side of bus bar shows 48v when any breaker is turned on. Left side shows 140v when any breaker is turned on. Any ideas where to start. Was working good on 110v volt at home. When hooked to 50amp service heard a loud pop and saw smoke coming from breaker box. No wires appeared burnt. No breakers tripped. No fuses blown. It was first trip of the year. No issues last year.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Mike, check the negative ground wire where it connects to the steel frame of the camper. A bad connection here will cause this problem. If this doesn't help then check for a relay/fuse on the positive battery cable leading back to the power converter.

      Not all campers have this fuse.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Mike Bieler 

      6 weeks ago

      plugged rv in at campsite and at home..electrical works, unplug, battery doesn't work..charged battery on portable charger, checked fuses and circuit breakers, all good...ideas?

    • profile image

      Jay Sevy 

      7 weeks ago

      Thank you for all of your help. If you ever visit Oregon, lunch is on me. Thanks again

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jay, yes you should at least get 12 volts with good batteries. When you get the new batteries first check the voltage with the converter breaker on and the lights operating. If you're not getting at 13 volts at the batteries then the converter may not be operating at full capacity. Hopefully the new battery(s) will do the trick.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jay Sevy 

      7 weeks ago

      Thank you very much for your quick response. With the breaker off the batteries were at 9.3 volts. With the breaker still off and a good charger hooked up, I’m getting 10.7. With the breaker on, they were at 10.3, without the charger. So if I’m reading your comment correctly, my batteries need to be replaced. Correct?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Jay, first check the battery voltage with the converter breaker off. If the voltage is low then a new battery may be called for. If it's not, with the converter breaker still off connect a good battery charger--not a trickle type--and if everything works normally then the converter is bad. You should receive at least 13 volts at the battery with the converter breaker on if the converter is good. Hope this helps.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jay Sevy 

      7 weeks ago

      Hi, I recently moved. When plugging my trailer house in at my new (old) home, I noticed things don’t work the same. The lights go from bright to dim, the furnace no longer works and the power converter has a hissing sound with an occasional fan turning on. I hired a licensed electrician to come install breakers at the power source along with new wiring. The problem didn’t go away. I had the power source checked and everything seems good. The electrician suggested the power converter in the trailer, but also assured me he is not an expert in that field. Could he be right? Prior to moving 2 miles everything in the trailer worked perfectly. The power converter brand is Parallax series 7300. Thank you

    • profile image

      Finch85 

      7 weeks ago

      Gotcha, thank you for the prompt responses. Much appreciated!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Finch, I don't know how many amps a CO2 detector draws, but if you can plug the camper in on occasion this should keep the batteries charged between trips.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Brandon, check the converter to see if the 2 white wires are going to it. I assume the red and black wires are battery cables?

      Randy

    • profile image

      Finch85 

      7 weeks ago

      Thanks Randy. One more question, I've read that the CO detector pulls a constant draw on the battery even if all breakers are off. Some have said enough of a draw that would drain the battery between trips. Thoughts?

    • profile image

      Brandon 

      7 weeks ago

      I got 2000 coachmen Catalina pull be hind and some their stole my battery and cut the wires going to the battery. I don’t know which wire goes where bc there’s a red 2 white and a black wire. I’m almost certain the red is positive and black is negative but the 2 white wires I have no clue and I can’t find any details online.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Most converters do have overcharge protection, Finch. There's no need to disconnect the batteries between trips.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Finch85 

      7 weeks ago

      Thank you sir. Are you familiar with the converter that I stated is currently in my camper? Once the battery reaches its full charge, does it stop charging it? If not, should I be concerned about it being continuously charged when it is not needed? One other thing. When it is "camping season," do most people leave the batteries connected and in place or do they remove them until the start of each trip?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Finch, the converter seems to working properly at 13.2 volts, so it probably is the battery at fault. More than likely the previous owner didn't maintain it properly. If adding distilled water doesn't solve the problem then a new battery may.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Finch85 

      7 weeks ago

      Hello. I just purchased a 2013 Rockwood Freedom 1940 LTD pop-up. The seller stated they he had already replaced the converter and I verified this by looking at the date code. The battery is only a couple years old but it appears to be bad but I haven't completely verified this yet. I noticed that when the popup is on shore power or when hooked to my truck with the popup's trailer plug; I can hear the battery sizzling and it appears to have boiled over. I obviously keep it unplugged now. I was thinking of adding distilled water and charging to see where I'm at with it. Is it possible the converter is overcharging my battery causing it to do this? How do I know exactly? Also, I don't know how well the battery was cared for before I acquired the camper. I measured the voltage on the battery when it was charging and it was 13.2 volts or so. I know some of the converters are a little more sophisticated than others and stop charging once the battery reaches a certain level. My current converter is a WFCO WF-8725-P. Thanks for the help!

      Donnie

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Sallie, the only thing you can do is find where the short is occurring in the circuit. Have you checked for a bad light fixture in the line of sockets yet? One bad ground will cause all of them to not work properly. Trial and error is the only solution in this case if you're sure power is available to the breaker.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Sallie Miller 

      2 months ago

      We have a 2007 Trail Bay TT, that all of the sudden does not have upper running lights. We have checked the fuses, and tested all of the wires that are accessible. Do you have any ideas what we should try next?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Rockney, if you haven't done so yet, clean the negative battery cable where it connects to the steel frame of the trailer. A bad ground here will cause your problem. Also, check the positive battery cable for an in-line breaker or fuse. Some campers have one and some don't. Hope this helps!

      Randy

    • profile image

      Rockney 

      2 months ago

      I have a 2006 star craft travel trailer. I am having a DC power problem. When Im plugged into a into external power everything works, when i unplug and try running off of batter is when Im having problems. All of my led lights work but when I try using anything else (ie water pump, frig, or even radio) the lights go out and and i get an alarm and gauge shows batter is 1/3 charged. Brand new battery by the way. when i check battery voltage with meter at battery it is 12 volts. when i check the voltage at the terminals where the battery connects at the converter it measures 9.5 volts. If I disconnect the wire coming from the battery at the converter and test voltage it is 12 volts. when i connect back to external power at the converter i read 18 volts where the battery connects to converter. Now im not sure where the problem is but it looks like the ac to dc converter is working could the problem be just the board all the DC wires are connected to? My camper uses the ELX-45. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Misty, if there's a ground wire attached to the frame then it may be corroded. Make sure it's clean and making good contact. Also, check the button for corrosion or a loose wire from the 12 volt system.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Misty 

      2 months ago

      Rear Jack is stuck down. It is power button driving. Front and tongue jacks are working. What could be the problem.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Robb, check the battery ground cable where it attaches to the frame. It may need cleaning.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Robb wahlstrom 

      2 months ago

      I just bought a 2007 30 foot and i have a problem with the battery not working with the system but when it is pluggex in everything work fine. I checked the battery voltage and it was at 2 volts but with it pluggex in its at 12.56 volts

    • profile image

      jumperrn 

      2 months ago

      Hi Randy:

      The negative comes from the battery into a distribution buss under the sink. I guess I am not sure ultimately where the ground from that buss terminates. Some where on the frame? I will poke around and see what I find. Thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Lane, have you checked the negative battery cable where it connects to the steel frame of the camper? A bad ground here will cause all sorts of problems with the 12 volt system.

      Randy

    • profile image

      jumperrn 

      2 months ago

      Hi Randy.

      Having an electrical issue with 1998 Alpenlite truck camper. Issues with the furnace and the exhaust vent fan for the stove. Both of these work fine with shore power. However, on 12 V, the furnace fan works, but the furnace will not get hot. The fan on the exhaust vent runs, but does not have enough oomph to open the plastic vent cover. Is this an issue with the converter? New deep cycle 12 V battery is in place with full charge. Water pump works fine, refrigerator (Dometic) works fine as well. No apparent issues with lights. Any thoughts would be appreciated. This is a great site by the way.

      Lane

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