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RV Electrical Problems – Get the Monkey Off Your Back!


Many people do not understand that an RV has more than just one electrical system!  I always thought there were two electrical systems in an RV: the 12 volt and the 120 volt. But I missed the fact that there are really two 12 volt systems.  This was one of the first lessons, one of many in my RV life, that taught me when RV electrical problems arise, I needed a basic understanding of RV electrical systems!

rv electrical problems

Imagine you are enjoying a nice evening in the RV: the AC unit is cranking, the convection oven is cooking the evening meal, the electric water heater element just kicked on because the wife is in the shower, and all of the sudden it gets awfully quiet in the RV.

 

What happened?  RV electrical problems may have popped up because of these possible situations: did the water heater kick on and send the electrical system into overload? Did the RV park’s power cut out?  Did your EMS unit shut the power down because it detected a problem?  Did the AC unit and the convection oven restart together?  What should you do?  Here comes the purple monkey!

rv electrical problems

What is a purple monkey?  It’s a big hairy problem that does not seem to have an immediate answer due to a distortion of the facts.  And it climbs on your back and laughs at you while you panic!  If you don’t have at least a basic understanding of how RV electrical problems can arise, then the purple money may visit you quite often!

How to Avoid RV Electrical Problems!

The best way to avoid RV electrical problems is to understand the three electrical systems that you have in your RV and to be able to diagnose a problem by learning how they work together to keep you comfortable in your home on wheels.

 

The 3 Electrical Systems in Your RV

  1. Chassis 12 Volt System: this is the power from the chassis batteries that run the exterior running lights, the stop lights, and the turn signals of the RV.  On a trailer or 5th wheel, this power comes through the 7-way pin connector that attaches to the tow vehicle.  On a motorized RV, this power comes from the batteries that are attached to the alternator, just like in a car.
  2. RV 12 Volt System:  these are the deep cycle batteries that power all the 12-volt lights, the circuit boards of the RV appliances, the fresh water pump, the propane detector, the slide outs, and the leveling jacks.  In order to keep the batteries charged, just like the alternator does in a car, the RV has a converter that takes 120 volts and converts that to 12 volts to charge the deep cycle batteries.
  3. House 120 Volt System: just like in a “sticks and bricks” home, 120-volt alternating current is needed to power the air conditioner units, the microwave, the electric heating element in the water heater, the wall receptacles, the converter, and any other 120 volt accessories the RV may have.

 

Most electrical products have labels on them to tell you what kind of electrical requirements they need and use: volts, amps and watts.  Do you know what these are, and how to figure out what your maximum usage is in your RV?  If you don’t, the big purple monkey may visit you!  So, let me get the monkey off your back!

 

rv electrical problems

 

What are Volts, Amps, and Watts?

Most RV Electrical Problems occur because RVers don’t understand the relationship between volts, amps, and watts!  It is very easy to overload an RV such that you are tripping the breaker in the main panel, or even for the appliance itself.

 

So what is a Volt?  Very simply it is the push that electricity has through the wires of your 12 volts or 120 volts RV electrical system.  In comparison, it is like water pressure to a water system.

rv electrical problems

So how about an Amp?  Amperage is the flow of electricity.  Amperage is the same to electricity as gallons of water flow is to a water system.  The size and length of the wire determine how much amperage there can be. If you try to flow too many amps through a small, or under rated wire, what happens?  It gets hot, right?  The resistance to flow equals restriction, and therefore heat builds up.  The wire will overheat and melt it’s casing, possibly causing a fire.

rv electrical problems

Then, what are Watts?  A watt is the power the electricity has.  If you know that you have 120 volts going into your RV, and you have 30 amp main service inside that RV, then if you multiply the 120 volts times the 30 amps, you get 3600 watts.  So what does that mean to you?

RV Electrical Problems

Real Life Example

 

Mr. and Mrs Smith, and the kids, hook up their travel trailer and head out for the weekend.  They had it plugged in at home and had all the electrical items running before they left.  They unplugged the RV and hit the road. The electric water heater was on, the air conditioner unit was running, the converter was charging the batteries, and the fridge was set to be on electric when plugged in.  Oh, and this is a 120 volt – 30 amp electrical system.

 

So what happened when Mr. and Mrs. Smith get to their destination and plugged in their RV?  Remember, everything was left on!  Let’s examine the load on the system:

  1. Air Conditioner at 20 amps x 120 volts = 2,400 watts
  2. Electric Water Heater at 12 amps x 120 volts = 1,440 watts
  3. Converter at 7 amps x 120 volts = 840 watts
  4. Dometic Fridge at 120 volts x 4 amps = 480 watts

for a Grand Total of 5,160 watts

 

All those appliances were still switched on and were calling for power because the RV was hot inside, the hot water had cooled off, the fridge needed to keep cooling and was switching from propane, and the batteries needed charging.  After a few minutes of being plugged in, the Smith’s were sitting without AC, hot water, and ice cold beer because the breaker tripped. Perhaps it was the main breaker in the RV, or perhaps the breaker at the electrical pedestal.

 

They only had 3,600 watts available to use, at most!  And when an air condition first kicks on, it requires approximately another 500 watts.

 

How could this have been avoided?

 

Some RV Electrical No No’s!

  • The lesson from the example above is don’t unplug your RV without allowing your appliances to cycle off before shutting off the main power. Be sure to turn off your major amp drawing items and you will avoid tripping breakers when you get to your next destination.  Turn them back on when you need them, and not all at once, especially on a 30 amp RV!
  • Don’t plug your RV into a 15 amp outlet, using an adapter, and then try and run your Air conditioner unit.  You will ruin the ac and burn up your wiring. That may be okay to just run the converter to keep batteries charged, but that’s about it!
  • Don’t plug into an RV park electrical pedestal without checking the power source.  If you don’t know how to use a volt meter, either learn or get an electrical management device.  These are designed to plug into the RV park’s electrical pedestal and detect any electrical issues before you plug in.
  • Don’t run all electrical appliances in your RV unless you know for sure what the power requirements are, based on a 30 or 50 amp RV electrical system.  That is 3,600 watts or 12,000 watts of total available power.

 

Would you like to know more about solving electrical issues?  How about all the other issues that come up in your RV?  Would you like to be able to fix 80% of the RV issues that are easy to find, and easy to fix, by yourself? Would you like to save yourself thousands of dollars from the many repairs that will be needed over the years?  What about time off the road because you are waiting for someone else to solve your problem?

rv electrical problems

Jump over to my page that talks about an RV technician course that could help you get the purple monkey off your back!  You can learn how to handle issues similar to these, like a pro!  You can attend this 5-day course live, or take the home study course.

rv maintenance

 

Would you like more information about either the 5-day live course or the home study course?  Please visit my Contact Us page and I will get back to you as soon as I can!

Thank you!!

 

Feel free to leave a comment, or ask a question, before you go!

 

Here’s wishing you happy adventures as you enjoy the RV lifestyle!
Howard and Pam

734 comments

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  1. hoppy

    can I leave my trucks 12 volt system pluged in while I am pluged into 120 volts at rv park

    1. Howard

      Hi Hoppy!

      Great question!! With the setup I had, I never had to worry about plugging in shore power while leaving the truck hooked to the 5th wheel. The three electrical systems were isolated. However, if you want to be sure you can try this: have a voltmeter connected to the truck’s battery and take readings before and after you plug in the trailer to shore power. If the voltage you read is higher after you plug in to the RV park pedestal then the converter in the trailer is charging your truck battery. Is this a bad thing? Well, it could put additional strain on the converter for which it was not designed for. To be completely sure, I would check with your RV manufacturer and get their take on this. Happy Travels!!

      1. Landon

        I don’t know if you’re still answering this feed but….
        Cavalier 32′ rv
        Electric plugs work but none of the light switches work.
        All blade fuses are good.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Landon!

          Not much information to go on, nor what you have tried, but are the lights the only thing not working? They are usually on the 12-volt electrical system. Is every other 12-volt system running off the house batteries working?

          1. Landon

            Great. Your still around. I will illin’ today and now it’s raining. My mom lives in it and she has no lights. The fridge, the microwave and I think all the actual electric plugs work but none of the lights. Weird. Well…. Weird to me.

          2. Howard

            Hi, Landon!

            If just the lights are not working in the entire 12-volt house batteries system, it has to be a fuse, a dropped wire, problem with a switch, or all the light bulbs are bad. I can’t think of what else it could be!

          3. Jimmy

            Hi Howard! We have a 1998 Holiday Rambler Vacationer. Everything was working perfectly! Rig was plugged into 30amp and husband started generator while it was plugged. Everything worked until he turned off generator. Now nothing’s works on 30amp. Everything will still work on generator. Power converter ok. 30amp outlet ok

          4. Howard

            Hi Jimmy!

            If you have a transfer switch onboard, it transferred power from shore power to the generator, as it is supposed to. It now sounds like it will it switch back when shore power is re-introduced. Unplug from shore power, and try again.

            I am assuming of course that you have an automatic transfer switch. If you have moved the shore power cord plug head to the junction box from the generator power, plug it back to shore power.

          5. Chris

            Hey Howard. So I have a bumper pull holiday trailer and when I have it plugged into a generator or a 120volt system everything works great. My lights, water pump, furnace, fridge. As soon as I unplug it nothing works at all. I have a brand new 12 volt battery and a second brand new one as a spare and neither of them will hold a charge or keep anything running. I’ve checked all my fuses, breakers and wiring and everything appears to be in order? What could be causing this?? Thanks in advance for any help

          6. Howard

            Hi, Chris!

            If your batteries will not hold a charge that means your converter is not charging the batteries. If things don’t work as soon as you unplug the RV that tells me the 12-volt house battery system past the converter is not functioning properly. It sounds like the converter is running the 12-volt system when the converter is hooked to 120-volts, but as soon as that power is terminated the converter cannot provide that 12-volt power to the 12-volt house system.

          7. Fay VanHorn

            I have the same problem. Does this mean I need a new converters?

          8. Howard

            Hi, Fay!

            When your comment comes in I don’t know which problem you are referring to. I have hundreds of issues posted on this page.

            What problem are you having?

          9. Al

            Hi. I took my 1996 Fleetwood Flair camping. I hooked up to the campsite power and noticed all my 12 volt interior lights were dimming not holding a charge. I cracked over the engine for 10 minutes and they were as bright as can be. That lasted for about 2 hours then dimmed again. Also, noticed all my holding tank switches were not lighting up correctly only when the 12 volts were not charging. Please can anyone have a clue if it’s the converter? Batteries are fine, fuses fine. Tried process of elimination probably a easy fix. This never happened to my Motorhome before. All appliances work fine. Heater air conditioner fine. Just all interior lights. Please would appreciate any in put to help me resolve this. Thanks Al.

          10. Howard

            Hi, Al!

            From what you are telling me this does sound like your converter is not charging your house batteries. If the panel is showing no charge while plugged into shore power, that would have to be the diagnosis. Also, if the converter has not been working properly your batteries may now be in a more weakened state. You might want to have them load tested once you get them back up to a full charge. If they are older, then the converter has been carrying the 12-volt load for a while. That can sometimes lead to converter problems.

      2. Tracy

        Our shorepower was working fine on our 2007 monico knight. Now we have no shorepower and our charging light is off and it’s stuck on 50 amp. We had been using 30 amp.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Tracey!

          Are you getting any 120-volt power into the RV?

      3. Betty Lease

        Howard, I have a question. I was getting our 5th trailer ready for a trip. Needed a new battery got one. Then went inside to check out all of the 12V lights. None will come on. Checked all fuses they are good. Could you maybe think of something I’m missing.
        Thank you, Betty

        1. Howard

          Hi, Betty!

          Did you hook up the battery just like the old one was? Do you have the main battery cutoff switch turned back on?

    2. Eddie

      I have no dc power in my travel trailer what do you suggest I do and look for ? Thank you

      1. Howard

        Hi, Eddie!

        Are you plugged into shore power? Do you have a 12-volt house battery installed and is it operational at 12.6 volts? Is the main battery cutoff switch on? Can you tell me more?

        1. Luc

          Hi, hopefully you’re still here and could help me out.

          38ft 5th wheel toy hauler sandpiper sport by forest river, Onan generator, 2 6volt batteries, model 555 convertor,

          I’m not getting any of my interior lights or exterior lights to work with the generator off. I can’t even check the levels because it acts as if the batteries are dead BUT, the generator starts up no problem off those same 2 6volt batteries! What could it be?

          I check all the fuses on the fuse panel/convertor box and then are all good. And the battery disconnect switch is on. Still nothing. Thanks for your help!

          1. Howard

            Are you saying the lights will work with the generator and shore power on?

          2. Luc

            Haven’t tried with shore power but everything works fine with generator running.

    3. Mike

      Hey Howard I’m having trouble with camper. Plugged into house and lights are real dim and an alarm is going off. No propane hooked up. Brand new battery.

      1. Howard

        Hi Mike!

        First off, even though you are plugged in are you getting 120-volt power inside the RV! If so, is the converter actually working charging the battery (blown fuse or not operational)? What alarm are you referring to? You mentioned no propane service so is it the LP detector? Is it a solid alarm or a chirping sound?

  2. hoppy

    can I leave my trucks 12 volt system pluged in while pluged into 120 volts at rv park

  3. Cheryl

    I have a problem with the electrical on two RVs plugged into one panel. RV A is on city power from a 30 amp outlet. RV B is dual solar and city power from a 50 amp outlet. RV B is causing a surge to RV A. when testing the 30 amp outlet, with RV B unplugged, we get a reading of 30amps. With RV B plugged in, RV A’s 30 amp outlets tests at 113 amps. Needless to say this caused several issues within RV A, and caused electrical appliances to pop and ‘fry’. If RV B is not plugged in, RV A does not get power, despite there being power to the outlet. We are clueless how to fix this. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Howard

      Hi Cheryl!

      There are so many things that could be going on here it would be impossible to diagnose it from the comments you have made here. I would recommend you seek the advice of a certified RV technician who can be onsite and take a look at all the factors that are creating this situation.

      1. Natalie

        Hey Howard
        I have a 97 Itasca Sunrise Class A.
        A couple of days ago all my outlets stopped working to fridge microwave and plug outlets so can’t use dryers charge computers etc. My lights work because those are on batteries. We are not plugged into shore power and run generator for power. No brakers in rv or generator are blown and fuses are lit up and working. Then the next day my dash heat stopped working nothing is blowing no heat air nothing then same time tail lights stopped working i have break lights but taillights won’t turn on when i turn on headlightsl.
        Generator is running just fine plug is in rv to recharge batteries and run appliances. Generator does have a maintenance code of 14 though. I can’t believe this all happened at once and my family is full time in it and it’s winter. Any suggestions?

        1. Howard

          Hi Natalie!

          It sounds like you have multiple issues occurring with your RV!

          Let’s focus on the 120-volt power. Do you have access to shore power but are not plugged in because it does not work when you do so?

  4. Cheryl

    Thank you. We will be getting a hold of someone on Monday.

    1. Howard

      Hi Cheryl!

      Glad to hear that!!

  5. Daniel kress

    First I have a class a Thor mirmar,every time I get into start my generator I have to jump my battery’s because the are to low.i was at a camp ground and every thing was fine but less then 2 hrs and it won’t start. The dealer said battery was fine I think there is a draw on the unit please help?

    1. Howard

      Hi Daniel!

      With just knowing what you have mentioned here and with the counsel of another individual the following is recommended:

      If the battery is being discharged somewhere there is a short that is bleeding the battery.

      I would suggest the battery be fully charged with a battery charger and then look to see what wires are hooked to the battery terminals.

      If they are no other wires hooked to the battery other than the battery cables the problem could possibly be a charging diode on one of the generator circuit boards. (If someone has done some welding recently on the RV it could have shorted the diode.)

      Or a start relay is hung and creating a path for the battery to back discharge through.

      It is going to take some troubleshooting to locate the discharge path.

      If these suggestions pose a problem for you to diagnose yourself I would suggest the assistance of an RV Tech that could assist you with this process.

      Good Luck!!

  6. Jeff

    I have a camper that I’m have light issue with. My 120 volt is working everywhere on the camper, but part of my front lights stopped working. I have 4 in the kitchen, two on the wall, two in the ceiling, the patio light outside and light on the front outside stopped working. The one in the back bedroom, over the shower and two over the sofa work. I have a deck mounted converter with a fuse circuit board beside it. This happened once while I was camping the same lights went off and after a little time come back on. I trying to plug it in at my house. They did come on for a little bit flickered and went off and I can’t get them to come back on. I checked all the fuses and I checked the gfi breaker, no fuses blown and the gfi works as it should.

    1. Howard

      Hi Jeff!

      Have you tried to check continuity of the wires from the lights back to the fuse box to see if you may have a break in the wire? It sounds like a loose connection to me.

  7. David

    My lights in sunnybrook rv dim way down when more than one is turn on , what’s causing it .

    1. Howard

      Hi, David! Thanks for stopping by our website!

      I would check your batteries, your converter, or both. That would be the first place to start! If your batteries are weak due to age, or your converter is failing, dimming lights can be the result.

      I hope that helps!!

  8. George

    Hi Howard,
    Had a power surge at campground after which we get feedback through our surround system speakers when we run the furnace, power chairs, outside power steps ceiling lights, etc. Any help would be very much appreciated.
    Thanks, George

    1. Howard

      Hi George!

      Sorry to hear that! Are you using an electrical management system that manages your power coming into the RV? Electrical surges will do many things to all your electrical components! We use a Progressive Industries unit that plugs into the RV park pedestal and then we plug our RV into that. It will help to prevent this sort of thing from ever happening again! I have a post on my website in regards to that subject.

      At this point, I would suggest borrowing another sound system amplifier and test things with that unit. If the feedback goes away you know you have to get a new one. If that does not work you may have to flip all your 120v breakers and test each circuit one at a time to see if you get the same feedback on each. You might also focus on the converter by deactivating it and seeing what happens. If you have an inverter, do the same there.

      There are so many possibilities when it comes to these issues! You have three electrical systems in the RV all working together. So, when power surges occur, you have to address each one separately and try and isolate them to test each one till you find the culprit. Unfortunately, it is possible that you may have several of them. Be patient and start with the sound system and go from there.

      Good luck!!

      1. George

        Thank you so much for your suggestions Howard. We really appreciate your feedback and will try your suggestions.
        George

        1. Howard

          I hope they help George! Please feel free to come back to our website and share what you found!

      2. Kyle

        I have a 1984 fleet wood pace arrow and I may have done a no no. I had the rig plugged in to external power with the AC running and kicked over the generator without thinking. The AC quit and none of the wall plugs work. I disconnected from the external power and rant he generator and everything works, but when I turn off the generator and reconnect to external power nothing does. Any sugestions?

        1. Howard

          Thanks for stopping by Kyle! Sorry to hear of your issues!!

          From what you are telling me, it sounds like you may have an issue with the transfer switch. I would check that out and go from there. If you take the cover off and smell electrical smells, you may have an issue with it. That will probably require a qualified RV tech to address.

          Keep us posted!!

  9. Dave

    Hi Howard. Good blog. I tried to replace the exhaust fan in the bathroom of our 2002 Coachmen MH. Every time I turned on the new fan motor, it blew a fuse! While I’m not a mechanical genius, this was a pretty straightforward repair. Or so I thought. Got my brother-in-law to try. He bought a second new fan motor assembly with the same results! Any thoughts?

    1. Howard

      Hi Dave!

      Thanks for visiting our website!

      First, I have to ask, is this the exact same fan motor replacement as the original? If so, it sounds to me like you have a short in the wiring so that when the fan is activated it blows the fuse which is protecting the 12v house system.

      I would look for a short in the wiring to the fan and go from there.

      I hope that helps!!

  10. Dave

    Thanks. Will continue the quest.
    Dave.

  11. Allen Ramey

    I have a 2012 28′ Shadow Cruiser with an electrical problem. When connected to shore power, there’s no power inside the trailer. I verified by electric meter that the power cord works (120 v). When connected to fully charged battery or vehicle, I have power. Any thoughts/suggestion?

    1. Howard

      Thanks for stopping by our website Allen!

      You have to remember that you have three electrical systems involved here. You have 12v house system, the 12v chassis system, and the 120v electrical system. I don’t really have enough information to help you at this point.

      I would take your meter while plugged into shore power, and verify power at the electrical panel inside the RV. You will have to remove the panel cover. It’s best to do this with the pedestal power off. Once the cover is removed, turn the pedestal power on and check the voltage into the main breaker. Also, check for voltage out of the breaker. If that is okay, check each branch circuit too.

      This should help you to start to understand any problems that may be occurring. Keep us posted!! Good luck!

  12. Raylene

    Should you leave your electrical cord plugged to your 5th wheel camper when parking while setting up? Does this keep the brakes activated. Thanks, Raylene

    1. Howard

      Hi, Raylene!

      Unless you engage the brakes via the brake controller or brake pedal, your trailer brakes will not be engaged while hooked to your tow vehicle. The only other way to engage the trailer brakes once unhooked from the tow vehicle is to use the breakaway switch – not recommended! I always unplugged the tow vehicle from the trailer before plugging into the 120v electrical pedestal. I hope that is what you were asking about.

  13. Raylene

    Thank You, helps alot

    1. Howard

      Glad I could help Raylene!

  14. Stacey

    Camper plugged into 30amp at state park, all of a sudden all lights go out, air condition not working, and fridge, plugs work and microwave, checked breaker box in camper looked like air condition flipped, reset but still no lights or fridge or a/c

    1. Howard

      Hi, Stacey!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Let’s see if I can help you out here! In these cases you have to remember that there are three separate electrical systems in your RV: the chassis 12v system, the 12v house system, and the 120v electrical system. They all work together to supply your needs in the RV. Even though you may have 120v power into the RV, appliances may not work because the control boards require 12v power to signal their operation.

      Given the information you have given me, I would first check that you have adequate 12v power to the appliances by use of a voltage meter at the batteries. It is best to have a minimum of 12.6v for the house electrical system. If you have significantly less voltage your fridge and AC will not operate.

      Now you stated things suddenly went out. Could there have been an electrical surge to the 120v system? If so, you may have control boards that were damaged in the event.

      Depending on your skill set and comfort level with these sorts of things you may be able to diagnose the problem based on these facts. However, if in doubt please seek the assistance of a qualified RV technician to assist you. A good one will locate the trouble quickly!

      Best of luck and happy camping!!

      1. Cindy b. Marshall

        Hi my name is Cindy, I’m living in an RV running a heavy duty extension cord to my neighbors house no problems for two years until today, blew the circuit twice, cord is on the ground, please help, I lost my house in a wildfire, valley fire, lake county. Calif., I don’t know what to do, I’m still in a fragile state of recovery, can you help me?

        1. Howard

          Hi, Cindy!

          Sorry to hear that! When you say the circuit blew, which one are you referring to? Is it the house circuit the RV is plugged into, or the breaker in the electrical panel in the RV?

  15. Michael

    The interior lights wont work unless the engine is running is it suppose to be like that. It’s An 84 allegro motorhome

    1. Howard

      If your engine alternator is designed to charge your batteries during travel, and your batteries are weak as well as your converter not working, this would make perfect sense.

      1. Michael

        I thought they ran off the 2 acc batteries in the back

        1. Howard

          They may, but if the batteries are bad or the converter is not working, then your interior lights will not work.

  16. Michael

    None of the interior lights work unless the engine is running it’s a 84 allegro

  17. Tommie West

    My camper shocks you when you touch the frame and the wet grass. Also my gfi plug shuts off randomly and the whole side of the camper shuts down as well. And ideas?. 30amp,5th wheel

    1. Howard

      Hi Tommie!

      You have what is called a hot skin condition! Please unplug the RV from its 120 volt service and call a qualified RV technician!

      1. Jim Stawnychy

        I have a 2011 Hartland Sundance fifth wheel trailer (new to me) while changing a tire with the unit plugged into a 110 outlet. I felt a light electrical pulse so I checked it out with a pen like power tester and there seems to be power running through the entire frame.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Jim!

          Sorry to hear you are experiencing this situation! It is called an RV hot-skin condition. One or more of your 120-volt electrical circuits is leaking voltage to the frame. For safety I would remove the shore power connection until you are ready to diagnose the problem. Someone could get hurt if a strong ground connection is made while touching the RV!

          Here is what you can do: turn off all the circuit breakers in your RV. Leave the main breaker on. Plug into shore power and check with your volt pen to see if voltage is still showing. It should not be!

          Now, turn on each circuit breaker individually and test each one to see if the leaking voltage shows up. If you are picking up voltage at the axle I am sure the entrance door will show a voltage reading as well. In any case, find that area that shows the strongest reading and test each circuit breaker until you find the one that is sending voltage through to the frame.

          I have usually found that water heaters, AC units, frayed wires and faulty internal items plugged into receptacles have been the causes of this condition. Once you do this test the culprit will show up!

          Be careful and please report back on what you found and the process so others can learn from this. I check my RV regularly for a hot skin condition using a volt meter linked to a good ground source. Anything reading from the exterior RV skin over 3 volts should be of concern and worthy of further examination!

  18. Kathy Gilbert

    Brand new RV but not our first one. Went out to dewinterize, forgot to turn the valve for the hose that sucks antifreeze into the system before turning on the pump, so it was sucking nothing (this hose has a cap on it) for a few seconds before it blew the fuse. Turned battery switch in the pass-thru to “off,” replaced fuse (yes, correct 10 amp size and in correct slot), turned battery switch back on, and pump promptly blew fuse again when we turned the pump switch on. Thinking we might have ruined the pump, we took it in to dealer, who said pump was bad and replaced it. Said they checked the polarity and the pump and it was functioning (but they didn’t finish dewinterizing, so I don’t know how long they ran the pump). Same thing happened when we got home and tried to finish dewinterizing. We wanted to use the pump, not city water connection, just to make sure we could.

    My question: Could a kitchen towel rack I put up (involved drilling two small holes in wall) have hit a wire inside the wall and be causing a short? I also installed a couple of clothing hooks in the bedroom and a small fold-up coffee cup holder by one end of the couch, all very small screws, some not even requiring that I drill a hole to get the screws to grab. Seems that chances of two bad pumps that would blow their fuses is remote, especially since dealership claims to have checked them. They will fix it, but I’m wondering if this could be my fault by some quirk of fate that one of my little screws hit a wire in the wall.

    1. Howard

      Hi Kathy! Thanks for visiting our website!

      From what you have told me, I would test the wires that run from the fuse to the pump for continuity between the end of the wire by the fuse and the chassis frame. If you get continuity then you will know you have a short created by possible issues with internal wiring caused by interior modifications. You may need the assistance of a qualified RV technician for this.

      Best of luck in your search for the problem!!

      1. Kathy Gilbert

        Thank you Howard, your blog is very helpful. Thanks for not telling me I shouldn’t have put screws in the wall in the first place – I have decided that was a bad idea even if I didn’t cause any problems. It’s under warranty, and the dealership has it, so we’ll see what they say. At least if they tell me I caused the short, I will have some knowledge of how that all works. Thanks again.

        1. Howard

          Glad to hear the dealership is on it! Happy Trails!!

  19. Taylor Hile

    I have a 2004 Dutchman sport lite. I have a adaptor to plug in to my house. It keeps blowing a 10amp fuse in the accessories. The only thing that I can find that is not working with the travel trailer plugged in and with the fuse blowing is the radio. When it runs off the battery everything works it is very dim tho. Every time I have tried putting in a new fuse it blows immediately. Any suggestions on what I can do to get it fixed properly.

    1. Howard

      Hi Taylor! Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Interesting problem! The 120 volt electrical system should not be blowing fuses in the 12 volt DC system unless there is a short somewhere that is allowing the 120 volt system to react with the 12 volt DC system. Have you checked for a hot skin condition in the RV? Is the outlet your plugged into wired properly? Is it creating a hot skin condition? Is your adapter creating a problem? Perhaps these are some areas you can check?

  20. bob vescovi

    Hi Howard when I plug my rv into a house outlet the digital display says AC overload and kicks the house GFI off what’s the deal it’s never done that before. It’s a 2009 tuscany by thor any insight.

    1. Howard

      Hi Bob! Thnaks for stopping by our website!

      Sorry to hear of your electrical issues! When you are plugging your RV into this house receptacle, what 120 volt electrical do you have on inside the RV? Try plugging into the gfi with the main breaker inside the RV’s electrical panel off. If the gfi does not trip be sure you have every 120 volt electrical appliance off before flipping the main breaker back on. If this all works then you may have had too much load on what I am asssuming is a 15 or 20 amp circuit. If not, you may have an issue with the gfi itself. They do go bad. Check it out and let me know what happens!

  21. char

    hello hope you can help me out. we were camping and i believe there was a power surge from the pole which has blown something so now i can’t run electric at all. i have a 2007 sunset creek 29 ft rv. have tried all the boxes i know of and nothing works. been told there is another panel hidden in the trailer but can’t find it . an inverter.any ideas

    1. Howard

      Hi Char! Sorry to hear that! It sounds like the main breaker tripped. Have you found the 120-volt electrical panel? Check the main breaker and flip it off, and then back on. Try that first. If you have no electrical power at all that is likely your problem. If the surge was great enough it could have taken out your gfci’s and appliances. This would also make it appear that you have no 120-volt electrical service.

  22. David Schickedantz

    Hi Howard, I had to replace my power converter several years ago. At the time, I didn’t know that it was the converter. I was testing some of the ceiling lights with a multi-meter and didn’t do something right. I obviously don’t know how to use it correctly. Half of the 12v ceiling lights now work, but the other half don’t. I replaced the converter but this didn’t seem to affect the 12v system. The ceiling lights at the front of the travel trailer are the only ones that don’t work either on 12v or 120v. All of the fuses in the panel are fine. It is a 2008 Rockwood Signature Ultralite. Do you have any ideas why only part of the 12v lights don’t work? Is there a short in a fixture? Is the fixture bad and not allowing power to reach the other lights? They don’t work on shore power either.

    1. Howard

      Hi David! Sorry to hear of your troubles!

      I would double check the 12-volt fuse that controls the front lighting circuit for continuity and verify that it is okay. I would then head to the switch that controls those lights to see if a wire has come loose for that switch. I am assuming all the light bulbs are good. If the light switch is okay then go to the closest light fixture and check its wiring. You may have to start checking continuity of the wiring between the switch box and the first light fixture in line to the switch. From what you have said here, that would be a good place to start. Hope that helps!!

  23. char

    thank you for reply. when i plug trailer cord into home outlet breakers flip immediately. replaced end plug and it is wired correctly. could this surge have fried my converter? the electrician at camp said wires were fried under ground and there was no power to the box after at all. Without knowing what happened to the box we reset the trip and that is when it fried my trailer. this is leaning towards a converter replacement. wow not fun.

    1. Howard

      Sorry to hear that Char! I would have a qualified RV technician review your situation to be sure it gets fixed correctly. I would then recommend you purchase an electrical management device made by progressive industries. That will save you from future occurrences of this kind. You can find them on my site at http://yourfulltimervliving.com/rv-surge-protector-can-you-live-without-one.

  24. Bryant Bourgoin

    Hi, first time camper at an RV park in Omaha, NE with a 2004 Jayco Greyhawk RV motorhome. Has an Onan Generator, a 12V auxiliary battery, and a Dls-45 Converter/charger. We had left for a shopping trip in the late morning and returned to the KOA Campground site around 6:00 p.m. . We had only left on the room heat on auto low, and the water heater? I was out swapping the supply water hose and hooking up the cable TV wires, so tv and microwave clock were on at this time. When I came back in around 6:30, the lights wouldn’t go on. Tried the bedroom slideout and no power there either. Only the Tv and microwave remained on. When we unplugged the microwave and plugged it back in the microwave did not come back on. When we went to check the aux. battery level lights blinked for a split second the whole tank check and battery check panel went completely out, and the CO/propane monitor is also out. We fired up the generator and still no power at all. We were hoping that the auxiliary battery (no reason for it not to be discharged at this time) would supply us with 12V power, but to no avail. It’s been cold and rainy here the last couple of days. Not sure if the refrigerator properly switched over to propane or not because the refridge panel ligths are out. What can I do before I call in a tech guy to service? Oh, the campground guy did check for power at the power pedestal. If the converter did go bad, shouldn’t I be getting power from generators or aux. battery?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Bryant!

      Sorry to hear of your troubles. From what you are telling me all the problems stem mostly from the 12-volt system. Your microwave situation is curious! I wonder if you did not get an electrical power surge from the 120-volt system that took out some components inside. First off, do you have a battery cut-off switch that just tripped off? Could your transfer switch have gone bad? Have you checked your 12-volt fuses? What about your 120-volt breakers?

      Start at the source of the power and work your way inside the RV. If you have a VOM you can do a lot of diagnostic investigating before having to call a tech. Most of these issues are usually something simple. I hope that is the case for you!

  25. Bryant Bourgoin

    Hi Howard,
    It did turn out to be something simple. :). I must have tripped the battery disconnect as I was walking in the doorway earlier. I didn’t think of looking at that because the switch is always in the off position, even after you turn it on, then to turn it off, you again have to turn it on and it goes to off, is this normal. I think that maybe after I pulled the AC cord from the pedestal, my wife might have unplugged the microwave and plugged it back in. The refridge needed the 12v system to switch over to propane, so it hadn’t. The Air Conditioningand heat needed the 12v to send a signal from the thremostat. I hadn’t really checked all the receptacles during the panic, either. Does the converter need 12v supply? Shouldn’t the 12v from the chassis battery have run the lights, etc? My wife said she started the truck for a few minutes and tried the lights and said they didn’t go on then? Thanks again for your quick response.

    1. Howard

      Glad to hear you got things going, Bryant!

      The converter does not need 12-volts to work. It runs off the 120-volt system and charges the house batteries when you are plugged into shore power. The 12-volt chassis system will not run your interior lights while the battery disconnect switch is off.

      Happy Camping!!

      1. Bryant Bourgoin

        Hi Howard,
        Now I am just trying to figure out why the 12V battery disconnect caused a complete outage if I was plugged into shore power the whole time? Be as technical as you like as I have an engineering background.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Bryant!

          You have three separate electrical systems in your RV: the chassis 12-volt, the house 12-volt, and the 120-volt electrical system. When you are plugged into 120-volt shore power, that will run you appliances and items that use 120-volt electricity. The only link to the 12-volt system is the converter which takes 120-volt electricity and converts it to 12-volts to charge the batteries.

          If you use the main battery disconnect switch, no 12-volt power will be available to run to the RV lights as most of these use a low voltage system. Also things like the ac units, the fridge, the furnace, the water heater will not work because the control boards use 12-volt power to operate them. So even though the ac unit has 120-volt power, if the 12-volt system is not working, the ac units will not operate.

          I hope that helps!!

          1. Bryant Bourgoin

            I understand that now, however, just recently, we have noticed that at a truck stop when we stopped a few nights ago, that within five seconds after stopping, everything shuts down, and the only way to get electricity to the RV is to start the engine, then start the generator, and everything is fine. Now, we are at my daughters’ house and we are plugged into a 20 amp outside outlet so as to keep the fridge running, and the other electrical stuff works, too. (Although we only run the fridge). If I understand what you say is “that if the 12V system is not functioning properly, which it isn’t as I can only gather that the house battery must be dead, that 120V wouldn’t work either, but it does). What am I missing, Howard? Thank you. 🙂

          2. Howard

            Bryant, I would check your house batteries to see what condition they are in. Check your battery voltage with the converter on and with the converter off using a voltage meter. If you do not have at least a half volt of difference between those two readings you will know that they may need replacement.

        2. Linda

          I purchased a 2006 RV for extra income, because I am disabled. Everything worked fine, the gentleman told me he bought a new battery because the RV has set up for six years. When i plugged it into the 110 with the battery hooked up within minutes the propane senor comes on there is no propane on this runs the battery down, the only thing works with the 110 is the wall outlets .My son checked all the fuses and check the converter and it reads 70 volts.Would this be a bad converter.Do you think the gentleman put the new battery in just for everything to work till i drove off with it

          1. Howard

            Hi, Linda!

            Please read my post http://yourfulltimervliving.com/rv-battery-issues-understanding-your-rvs-electrical-systems as I think it will help you better understand a few things that might lead you to a start of diagnosing your problem.

  26. Rich

    I have a camper where plugged into 110 there are no problems. 12v wasn’t working so, since they’d been sitting for quite some time, I bought two new Deep cycle batteries. When I unplug for 110 and try a light or fan either one one goes on for a split second. It’s as if the batteries are discharged but being brand new there must be something in them to power a light bulb at least, no? Also I’ve left the camper plugged in over night which I would have thought would charge the batteries or does that only happen when plugged into the car (which I pretty sure it used to do).

    1. Howard

      Hi Rich! Thanks for stopping by our website! Sorry to hear you are having 12-volt dc electrical issues!

      From what you are telling me, I am wondering if the converter is functional. You might check the fuses associated with that device including the one on the converter itself. Also, if you have one, take your VOM and check the dc voltage coming out of those batteries. 12.6 volts would be ideal. Check it out and let us know!

  27. Ken Schroeder

    I have a 1997 PROWLER 5th wheel camper. It has been in storage for 2 years. The shore power, 120 V works
    but the 12volt power won’t. Just bought a new battery and it is fully charged. Worked the last time we used the camper. Any suggestion of what may be wrong?
    Ken Schroeder

    1. Howard

      Hi, Ken!

      Thanks for visiting our website!

      If the battery is fully charged and you have verified that with a volt meter, I would go to the 12-volt fuse panel and verify voltage there as well as the integrity of the fuses. If you have no power at the fuse panel you may want to look for a battery cutoff switch. Also, since it has been in storage for two years, could it be possible critters got to some of your internal wiring?

      Keep us posted on your progress!!

  28. Jay Meadows

    I have a 1997 Jayco motor home and all the electrical has failed. There is no 120, even though I am hooked up to house current. There is no 12 volt working either even though the house battery is fully charged and showing 12.7 volts. Is there some sort of master switch that I am unaware of?

    1. Howard

      Thanks for stopping by our website Jay!

      For your 120-volt electrical system, I would verify at the electrical panel that you have voltage at the main breaker. If not you need to trace back to you electrical source and see where you first show voltage by the use of a voltage meter. This could be as simple as a tripped breaker or more complicated with possible wiring issues.

      As far as your 12-volt electrical system, I would be sure you have solid connections at the battery, that the main battery cutoff switch is on, if you have one, and then go to your 12-volt fuse panel and check for voltage there. Also check your fuses for continuity to be sure they are good.

      These easy diagnosis steps should help you to determine the problem. Good luck and let us know what you discover!

  29. Elaine Place

    Hi, I have a 2007 Fleetwood Pegasus hybrid camper. It began having electrical problems last year. Had it serviced and finally got everything working EXCEPT it tripped a GFCI where it was plugged in every time. Technician said it was because of GFCI in camper and it would always trip, One overhead light went out just before we put it away last winter, so yesterday I installed a new overhead light, now that one and the next one to it in the bathroom have no power. I don’t know if the bathroom light was working before I replaced the hallway light or not. I checked all the fuses, what should I do next?

    1. Howard

      Hi Elaine!

      Sorry to hear of your 120-volt and 12-volt electrical systems!

      Your GFCI issue could be from two issues: one, the GFCI is bad, or the receptacle you are plugging into has a ground issue that is causing the device to trip. I would test the receptacle with a plug tester, and if it is okay, replace the GFCI. If the situaition continues you may have an internal wiring problem for which I would contact a qualified RV tech.

      As far as your lighting situation, they run on your 12-volt battery system. If one was not working, and you replaced it, and now they both are not working, I would re-check your wiring and verify a correct installation. It may be helpful to have a voltage meter and check for voltage at each light. Depending on the lights you have, sometimes it is just the bulb.

      Pam and I had one halogen light in our 5th wheel that always would go off. All I had to do was tap it and it would come on. I did thta until I was finally able to replace it. So, you might check the light bulbs for continuity to be sure they are working before you start taking things apart.

      I hope that helps! Check back in and let us know what you find so others can learn from the experience!

      Good luck!!!

  30. Barry

    Hello you have a very helpful site and I’m glad I found it.
    I have a question about the electrical in my fifth wheel coachmen. I just bout it a year ago and is an older trailer but everything seemed to work fine last summer. I stored it for winter and now I have a 12v battery and interior lights work great everything is good I plug it into 120 and turn on the lights and the bulbs all blow and the inline fuse to the battery 15a blows also. I think it has something to do with blowing the eyebrow board on my fridge. I tested the wire with the 15a fuse in it while plugged to shore power and it was getting about 40v. I’m not sure what to check next. If you could give me a couple suggestions that would be great thanks.. Barry

    1. Howard

      Hi, Barry!

      Thanks for visiting our website! We are sorry to hear of your electrical issues!

      By what you are telling me, there is an issue with the 120-volt electrical system feeding into the 12-volt electrical system. The main link between the two is your converter. I would disable the converter (flip the 120-volt breaker off) and check your 12-volt system voltage reading again with the RV plugged into shore power. If things look more like they should then the converter is your problem. If not I would suggest a breaker by breaker test of the 120-volt system. One at a time have only one on and then verify the 12-volt system voltage with each breaker you test. That may uncover the issue.

      Best of luck and check back in and let us know what you discover.

  31. Michael

    The roof AC on my 2006 Fleetwood Malard with a new fan motor and cleaned drains was working well but after running for about two hours it simply turned off and now does not run. Breakers and fuses look ok. A tech I called said I might need a whole new unit but can’t afford that. Are there other relatively inexpensive things it might be?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Michael!

      Thanks for visiting our website! Sorry to hear of your AC issues!

      Since you mentioned a new fan motor I am assuming there had been a previous issue. These roof units are unfortunately not designed to have too many parts replaced in them. Once the compressor goes or it looses its charge it has to be replaced.

      I had a roof unit give out on me, and after a bit of studying the history of the problem, it turned out to be the thermostat, not the AC unit itself.

      Is the 12-volt controller okay! Are you sure you have both 12-volt and 120-volt power to the roof unit? Is the thermostat working properly? If all those components are okay it may well be that the compressor kicked the bucket!

  32. Debbie Hollingshead

    We have a 1998 Kit 22 foot travel trailer. Went to get it ready for summer and plugged it into the 120 volt cord.
    The outlets work but no other electrical system. Flipped the breakers but that didn’t seem to help. Any suggestions? Thanks Debbie

    1. Howard

      Hi, Debbie!

      Sorry to hear that! When you say no other electrical system, what specifically are you referring to?

  33. Cindi

    I just had a fantastic fan installed. The ceiling light switch must be turned on for it to operate. The switch is on a panel with 3 other switches(2 flood 1 porch)now those lights do not illuminate. Coincidence. …?? Ceiling light switch will work but nothing from the other 3. Did tech do something???

    1. Howard

      Hi, Cindi!

      It would appear that the tech picked up the 12-volt power for the new fan from one of the ceiling lights. That may have been the only way to access a hot lead without a lot of effort. In the process, it sounds like something got mixed up! Check your fuses and light bulbs to be sure they are okay and that nothing blew in the wiring of the new fan.

      Hope it all works out!!

      1. Cindi

        Do you think the wires are mixed up. …. .???Fuses seem fine. Have the led light beside them light up if their not good. Checked bulbs aok. I was trying to post a pic, but can’t? Thanks!!

        1. Howard

          Mixed up wiring is a real possibility Cindi! When the new fan was installed a wire to the lights may have been forgotten to be re-connected.

          1. Cindi

            Is there a way I can troubleshoot?.

          2. Howard

            Hi, Cindi!

            You may be able to if you know how to use a voltage meter to check a 12-volt circuit and also how to check for continuity of a wire using the same meter.

  34. mark jenkins

    My 02 trail light ,the generator 30 amp reset blows with AC on ,on hot days. But shouldn’t it blow the AC breaker inside if it is drawing to many amps,and its not all the time. and it does fine on shore power. I have tried another generator and tried all other breakers off when it’s hot outside, and the condenser is clean AC cold until it happens, I’m just worried the AC inside breaker not blowing. Thanks

    1. Howard

      Hi, Mark!

      Your concerns are valid! It sounds as though the breaker on your generator may be weak and therefore tripping off. I would check that and also verify the electrical output voltage of your generator, and the frequency as well. You want to be sure you are producing 115 – 120 volts to run that AC unit properly and that the frequency output is at 60hz. If this is not the case the AC unit will require more amps due to a lower voltage and therefore a possible power overload.

      I hope that helps!

  35. Jim

    We have a puma 30 ft bumper hitch, we purchased last fall,used it twice last year.Second time we used it had electrical issues,lights dimmed,ac quit working, fridge quit working in the middle of the night. Messed around with the cord and electrical box, everything started working, figured short or loose wire somewhere. Fast forward to today, got camper out of storage, fully charged battery, and had 30 amp box put on rea pole. Everything worked fine for a day, then it started doing the same thing. So with only the battery hooked up, all the lights work. With just the camper plugged in and the battery unhooked, only the microwave will work. Now with a fully charged battery and plugged in everything works again, for a while PLEASE HELP

    1. Howard

      Hi Jim!

      Thanks for visiting our website!

      From what you are telling me, I would check your converter. It may be located behind your 120-volt / 12-volt panel. I would get a voltage meter and check the voltage at the batteries with the converter on, and then the converter off. If you do not have at least a half a volt difference then you may have a problem with your converter being able to charge your batteries.

      That is why when the battery is fully charged things work, but after a while when the 12-volt DC amp hours have been used up , things stop working. In a properly operating system, the converter works to keep your house batteries charged while you are plugged into shore power. Without adequate 12-volt power the control boards for the 120-volt appliances will not work!

      Check out your converter and let us know what you find!

  36. Cayce Weber

    HI! Great Forum!

    ’96 Minnie Winnie. All 110 works! All 12 Volt works when on Shore Power.

    Batteries fully charged. When off 110 (or Geny), I have no power at the 12 volt fuses.

    The MH is not switching over to 12 volt–to power the furnace on LP, the Frig on LP, the blower for the furnace, or the panel that shows tank levels, water pump switch, etc. Everything that used to, and should work off the Coach Battery is non-responsive.

    Two solenoids near House Batteries. Both have voltage on two sides when testing, except lower solenoid (without the two fuses) one side has no voltage when I disconnect the front battery.

    Voltage does work in all 12-volt applications when on shore power.

    Thanks for your thoughts!!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Cayce!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      How old are your house batteries and do they require distilled water?

  37. Rich McNally

    I have a 2008 Heartland Bighorn 5th Wheel with a 50 amp service. I always hook up my external surge protector purchased from Camping World. Three weeks ago I aparently had a surge when I hooked up to the campground’s pedestal. My compter’s power supply went down (also protected by it’s own gurge protector. The microwave quit, along with one TV, the electrical side of the refridgerator, our Splendide Washer/Dryer and our central vac. When we got ready to leave, the only way I could get my slides in and landing gear was to hook up my truck to the RV electrical, even though I still had the shore power hooked up. Today, we had a power outage and the battery would not power the lights or refridgerator. I took the four month old battery back to the store where they tested it and said it was in working order and measured 12.64V, measured 891 MCA Rated: 750 MCA Temp.: 83 degrees. I put it on my charger and within several minutes it was fully charged. The converter was checked and is apparently working.

    What could be happening??

    1. Howard

      Hi, Rich!

      Sorry to hear about your electrical issues! If you want the best 120-volt electrical protection, check out Progressive Industries EMS units. I think they are better than the Surgeguards.

      As far as your 12-volt issues, some of the problems might have made their way over to the 12-volt side and done some damage. Check your fuses.

  38. Cody

    In having a problem where my tv isn’t working while driving. And my kids want to watch a movie. What should I do

    1. Howard

      Hi, Cody! Have you been able to before? Is it a 12-volt TV or does it need 120-volts? What about the DVD player?

      You could suggest they read a book! LOL

  39. Jay

    Getting 2005 Trail Cruiser ready for this year. Half of 12V circuit is working (front interior lights, radio). 120V is operating fine. GFI working fine. The rear interior lights and fridge are not working. I first checked fuse. The first 15A fuse was bad. Instantly blows upon replacing and energizing the circuit. I’m sure you have seen this before. I’m guessing a wiring issue or connection somewhere. Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jay!

      Thanks for visiting our website!

      Try taking the bulbs out of the lights and try the fuse again. Sometimes it’s that simple: a bad light bulb! Check continuity on each one to see if they are okay or possibly bad.

      If that is not the culprit you may have a short in that circuit. You may have to go from light to light and check wire continuity to see if you have lost a connection. It’s a bit of a process. I have had to do it the problem always reveals itself!

      Is the fridge on the same circuit? If so it could also be the control board. Disengage the fridge from the circuit and see if the lights work or fuses blow.

      You are on the right track! Best of luck! Check back in and let us know how it turns out!!

  40. Scott Stanton

    The 12v systems are not working. Replaced both deep cycle batteries and still nothing. There are two solenoids inside the control panel, the upper has power to both sides (direct to positive on battery) the lower has power on the left (again direct to the battery) but nothing on the right side. I am not sure how these work could the solenoid be bad?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Scott!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      When you say the control panel are you referring to the 12-volt fuse panel that also may be combined with the converter and other things?

  41. Mike gildersleeve

    Hello, i have a small rental business for travel trailers. Im having problems lately with my 2009 starcraft it keeps tripping the breakers when the ac is on. The customer had one of my 4000 watt generator these generators have worked in the past with this trailer but when my customer turns on ac and generator breaker trips and then the main breaker trips in trailer. I had this problem last year had a service tech come out it was determined that a bad anoid in the hot water tank went bad replaced it but its kicking back up same problem…. would a weak battery have anything to do with this..

    1. Howard

      Hi Mike!

      Thanks for visiting our website!

      From what you are telling me, I think you have a condition where voltage is leaking to the frame of the RV when the AC unit comes on. Like the water heater, something is shorting out and tripping the breakers. That is just my first knee-jerk reaction to what you are telling me. If you want to be sure do a hot skin test on the RV to see if you have stray voltage leaking to the frame of the RV. If you find some, switch off the AC unit circuit and see if it goes away. If so, have the AC unit checked out.

  42. Billy

    we have a 2002 allegro bus. what would cause the front ac not to work along with the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen outlets ? we are plugged into electric. I can unplug and turn on my generator and everything works fine. had motorhome into service and they said they fixed this issue,. it ran good for about 24 hours and then we had the same problems. How can everything work with generator but notwork plugged into power? we were going to take off for vacation in the morning, but have to have this issue fixed. Can you give us any suggestions?

    1. Howard

      My first thought is the transfer switch. Did they do anything with that when you had it in for service?

  43. kim

    I just got a 5thwheel and its a 30 amp and with only air running the 30 amp circuit amps kicks off, I feel like I made a mistake in buying it

    1. Howard

      Hi, Kim!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Does your 5th wheel have one or two AC units?

  44. Nicole

    HI – we have a travel trailer. When we plug into the 30 amp we are not drawing power. This has happened at our last 2 sites. We seem to running off the battery. HELP! Nothing is tripped in our fuse box and the power is on at the site. What are we ding wrong??

    1. Howard

      Hi, Nicole!

      Sorry to hear of your problems!

      Try turning the main 30 amp breaker off and back on again. If that does not restore power I would remove the cover to the 120-volt electrical panel and check to see if you have voltage coming into it with a volt meter. If you do then it is possible that your main breaker is needing replacement.

      There are other possibilities but start there first. Keep us posted!!

  45. Laurie B

    Hello Howard.

    I have a question about an old power converter.

    My husband and I own a 1991 fifth wheel trailer that, despite its age, has worked well over the years. We purchased the trailer “used” so we don’t know the exact age of the converter. We suspect it is original to the trailer. Recently, the converter has started to make a terrible grinding noise when we have lights on inside the trailer. This noise lasts for about 30 seconds each time the converter cycles. All the lights seem to be working fine despite the noise. As a temporary solution, I turn off the overhead lights and rely on the stove hood light and plug in night lights to keep the converter from squawking too much. This occurs while the trailer is plugged into 30 amp shore power. Is this noise a warning that the converter is about to fail?

    Furthermore, while traveling, we no longer have power to interior lights, tank gauges or DC power to the 3-way fridge when plugged into our towing vehicle. It appears that the battery is not sending any power to the interior of the trailer. My husband purchased a new battery last year and it was placed in the trailer with a full charge before hitting the road. I’m wondering if this problem is also somehow linked to our power converter?

    Thank you.
    Laurie

    1. Howard

      Hi, Laurie!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      It sounds like the converter cooling fan motor is making the noise you are hearing. If it is the original converter it may be time to replace it. You could try some lubrication but if the motor bearings are done that would just be a short-term fix.

      Your other issue may be related to the converter or it could just be that some maintenance is needed with your seven pin connector from the tow vehicle.

      Bets of luck! Stop back and let us know how it turns out!

      1. Laurie B

        Hello Howard,

        Thank you for your feedback about the issues with our rv converter and battery.

        I know it’s been quite a while since I contacted you, but I finally have some results to share.

        We discovered, as you suggested, that the seven pin plug from our truck had a faulty 12 volt connection. It was easily repaired by our “mechanic” son-in-law. Now the lights and fridge are back to working perfectly when on DC power.

        As for the converter: my husband was not very confident about taking it apart. So, it took a recent trip to an RV technician to resolve the grinding noise in the motor. He informed us that the interior of the converter needed a lot of cleaning but the motor bearings still appeared to be fine. He cleaned the motor and added more lubrication to the bearings; just as you suggested. We’re hopeful that this will prolong the life of our old, but trusty, converter.

        Thank you again for your advice.

        Laurie B

        1. Howard

          Hi, Laurie!

          Glad to hear the issues have been solved!

          Happy RVing!!

  46. Lynn

    Hi, We have a 2006 Rockwood travel trailer and I have one light inside that does not work. The back outside light does not work and now when I turn any other light on there is a high pitch sound that is continuous. I changed the light bulbs (inside and out) and my husband checked the fuses and said they were fine. I’m not sure what to check next. Any help would be appreciated!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Lynn!

      Thanks for visiting our website! Sorry to hear of your troubles!

      Where is the high pitch noise coming from?

      1. Lynn

        It’s hard to tell, but it sounds like it’s coming from whichever light that I turn on.

        1. Howard

          Wow, Lynn! I can’t say I have ever heard of that one before. Sorry!!

  47. Tyler Rowley

    I just bought a 2017 puma xle. We took it out for the first time this weekend and the batteries die within 2 hours with nothing turned on. We also flipped all the breakers off and still have power to everything what could cause this?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Tyler!

      Since it is new and under warranty, I would take it back to the RV dealership and let them address your issues!

  48. Ruth

    Everything is working in our Motorhome except the tv outlets,any suggestions

    1. Howard

      Hi, Ruth!

      Can you be more specific about what your problem is with the outlets? Is this cable TV, antenna TV, or both?

  49. Gary

    Need your help not much of a electrician.I purchased a old 78 class C motorhome. For the most part in good condition.Someone replaced the AC power cord and I’m not sure they properly installed it. I was under it draining the coolant when I got up my hand was on the ground and my arm touched the bumper and I got a mild shock. It only when I have the cord plug plugged in to 110 ?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Gary!

      Be very careful with that! You have what is called a hot skin condition on the RV. I would test each 120-volt circuit to ground with a volt meter. You may have an appliance leaking voltage to the frame or it could just be the power cord. In any case, please try both those things before someone gets hurt.

  50. Kim

    I plugged my camper into my house ! Now nothing works ! The refrigerator will not even cut on with using the gas !! What have I done ??

    1. Howard

      Hi, Kim!

      Sorry to hear of your issues! Can I ask you what you plugged your RV into?

  51. Darren t

    Is it ok to plug my T@B teardrop RV trailer into my vehicle while it is plugged into 120V shore power or should I only have one source plugged in at a time? I noticed that my fridge stopped working once I plugged it into my vehicle when it was alreday plugged into shore power.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Darren!

      Great question! I am not a big fan of being plugged into the tow vehicle and plugging into shore power at the same time.

      But the fact is when you are plugged into shore power the RV’s house system has its own battery charger called the converter. If the trailer is plugged into the tow vehicle some current could flow to the tow vehicle battery as well. If the tow vehicle engine alternator is running, the two sources could push against each other and the one with the highest voltage would push a little current into the lower one. Not the best thing to do, but not especially damaging in a 12-volt DC system. The alternator is probably the higher voltage source. Most car & truck alternators run at 14.4v, while your trailer’s simple charger is charging in the 13.2 to 13.8 range, depending on the house batteries needs.

      Your refrigerator issue may be related to the dual 12-volt source or it could be something else.

  52. Pernell

    My truck no longer charge my camper battery. Could it be my converter?

    1. Howard

      Hi Pernell!

      I am assuming you are talking about when the truck is running that your 12-volt house battery system is not being charged. If that is the case, then there is an issue with the alternator as that should be what is charging your battery while the camper is in travel mode.

      The converter charges the house battery when you are plugged into shore power. I hope that helps!

  53. Brandon

    Can I take the ems off of my rv? It is handwire

    1. Howard

      Hi, Brandon!

      You can change/remove the Electrical Management System on your RV, but I am not sure why you would want to take it out unless you are replacing it with another. The EMS is the best way to protect your RV! It is like having your own personal electrician with you at each campground, or the next best thing anyway.

      These systems will analyze the incoming power from the pedestal, and ensure there are no obvious wiring or voltage issues, and only when the analysis is complete will the unit release power to your RV. Then, the unit continues to monitor for high and low voltage and protect from electrical surges. RV electrical components can be very finicky when it comes to proper voltage, and by using an Electrical Protection System you can take the worrying out of this step of RVing.

      If you are experienced with electrical work on RV’s you can tackle the job, otherwise I would recommend the assistance of a qualified RV technician.

  54. Nancy

    Hi. We have a motorhome. We tow a car. We leave it hooked up if we park over night. Should we disconnect the electrical plugs or is it ok to leave them plugged in over night? Thank you.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Nancy!

      Thanks for visiting our website and sharing your concerns! I am assuming you are concerned about your tow vehicle being plugged in when you stop for the night and hook up to 120-volt shore power.

      The 12-volt chassis electrical system that feeds to your tow vehicle may or may not be disengaged when the RV ignition is turned off. There is no issue with the 120-volt electrical system. It is separate from the 12-volt chassis system.

  55. Regenia

    Howard, When plugged in ( 2009 allegro motorcoach) to shore line 120 a loud high speed fan motor sound is coming from the hard wired surge guard. When unplugged from the shore line, invertor is normal. Plugged back up noise appears to be coming from surge guard. Can it be tested, repaired or replaced. It is a TRC 34560 siurgw guard 50 amp hard wire? Sounds like all my trouble is coming from the surge guard. Thanks , Regenia

    1. Howard

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      I am familiar with the Surgeguard units and also looked up the model. It is now discontinued and replaced with the 35550.

      I am not aware that these units have internal fans in them. I also checked with the folks at TechnoRV (www.technorv.com/?Click=6836) and they also confirmed that fact.

      There must be something else near the unit that the fan sound is transferring from. Inverters and Converters have fans. When an RV is unplugged and the 12-volt house battery system used, once the RV is re-connected to shore power, the converter will come on! Is it possible that is what you are hearing? Your RV may have an inverter/converter combo.

  56. Elvin Rodriguez

    I was trying to put my slide out in while running the AC on my trailer. The trailer is currently connected to my house’s 30AMP RV connector. Without realizing it, my wife was also doing something inside the house that drew too much electricity and the trailer’s general breaker tripped. When I went to reset it, it wouldn’t allow me to reset it, unless the Main breaker was turned off. When I flip the Main breaker on again, it trips the other breaker. What gives? I purchased another breaker, and the same thing still happens.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Elvin!

      Sounds like an interesting scenario and lots of possible causes for your problem!

      Since the main breaker in the trailer keeps tripping I would turn off all the other breakers and see if you can then reset the main breaker so it will stay on. If so, turn on each one individually and see which one may actually be the cause. You mentioned the AC unit when the problem started. Perhaps that has become the issue. I am not sure the slide out had anything to do with it as it runs off the 12-volt system unless something has happened to your converter.

      Check back in and let me know how it turns out. Good luck!!

      1. Elvin Rodriguez

        I can turn on all breakers just fine, but there’s one that doesn’t reset when the Main breaker is on. This one always trips. I also notice that the converter doesn’t seem to turn on. I’m wondering if this breaker has anything to do with it? Thanks for your reply.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Elvin! Okay, it sounds like you are on the right track! Try replacing that breaker and see if it will reset. I think when you operated the slide out, it put a strain on the 12-volt house system because either the house battery or the converter are not functioning properly. I would check both of those too. Check back in and let us know what you find. These are great diagnostic processes that others can learn from. Good luck!!

  57. Gene Bales

    We have a 2006 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 36′ motor home. Having issues with some of our 12 volt interior lights. Mainly, the dual light over our dining table and the 4 reading lights over our bed. Sometimes, we have to hold the on/off button down a few extra seconds to get the light to come on. Sometimes they won’t come on at all, for a while, and then we try them again and they come on (the ones in the dining / living area, anyway). Lately, though, the 4 that are over our bed (reading lights) won’t come on at all. All other lights (bedroom celing, closet lights, kitchen, ceiling lights, exterior lights, etc.) work just fine. It’s just the “sconce” type lights that we have in the dining area and over our bed. Any suggestions? Wiring issue? I’ve replaced a couple of the on/off switches, and that didn’t seem to work.

    1. Howard

      Hi Gene! Thanks for stopping by our website!

      12-volt RV lighting can be touchy, especially the kind they used back in 2006. We had a 2006 Newmar that had the halogen puck lights in the ceiling. Same deal. Sometimes they worked and other times not. If I tapped the light it would come on. It was never the bulb but the goof light fixture.

      After I replaced them with newer ones I never had issues again.

      For now, you could check your wiring behind each fixture with a volt meter and be sure you have 12 volts at each light witht the light switch on. If you do then you know you have a fixture that may need replacing.

      Try that and let us know how it turns out!

      1. Gene Bales

        Howard — I am no electrician, to say the least, but one question — how do you check the wiring behind each fixture? I have a volt meter (really don’t know why I bought one, as I barely know how to change a light bulb), so do you just un-connect the fixture from the interior wiring and apply the volt meter probe to the wires?

        Thanks again.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Gene!

          Yes, remove the screws from the light fixture and expose the wiring behind. You should have two wires that attach to the light fixture. It will depend on the RV manufacturer as to how they connect the light fixture to the wiring that powers the light. See if you can get your volt meter probes on exposed wires to see if you have 12 volts, plus or minus. Since the operation of the light has been sporadic I am suggesting checking the wiring into the light fixture as opposed to the light fixture itself.

          If you are unable to get to the exposed wires you may have to cut the connections and then check voltages, and once confirmed re-wire using wire nuts or crimp connectors to reattach the light fixture.

          I know this may sound like a foreign language depending on your previous experience, but if so perhaps a qualified RV technician can help you out. Or maybe a fellow RVer in your area can help you.

          Continue checking and let us know how you are doing!

          1. Gene Bales

            Hey Howard — thanks for all your advice. Sorry it’s been a long time since initially contacting you, but it took a while to finally find RV interior light fixtures. Once I did, though, I purchased 4 new ones for the bedroom, and sure enough — all 4 work fine now. The original fixtures must have gone bad all at about the same time. Amazing! Anyway, wanted you to know that your advice was spot-on and so far the lights are doing great. I just wish there were more outlets out there that sold good quality and nice looking RV 12 volt lights. You would think Camping World, but no — they have a tremendous inventory of regular 12 volt lights, like cargo bay lights, but nothing to speak of for decoration.

            Thanks again.

            Gene

          2. Howard

            Glad to hear Gene! Thanks for letting us know! In the future, if you need a better choice, check this online source: https://www.rvupgradestore.com

  58. Gene Bales

    Also, is it not good, or even advisable, to run the generator when the unit is plugged in to shore power?

    1. Howard

      You should have a transfer switch on your RV that routes 120 AC voltage from the generator first, even if you are plugged in, and then when the generator is off the power will switch over. Some units automatically turn on the genset when the shore power goes out.

      That being said, I never run my generator when plugged into shore power. I have seen cases where the transfer switch failed and it ruined all the electronic devices inside the RV. So, it’s up to you which way you want to go. I sense you feel as I do.

      1. Gene Bales

        Thanks, Howard. We don’t use our motor home as often as we would like to, so I occasionally go out to the RV and start it up, make sure everything is still OK, and then run the generator for about 10 minutes each time. Somewhere I read that the generator needs to be run at least 10 minutes once a month. Anyway, the last couple of times that I started the generator, the RV was still plugged into 50 amp power, and it made me think “is that really a smart thing to do”? So, I will heed your advice and unplug from shore power next time I check out generator, just to play it safe in case the transfer switch doesn’t work. Thanks again. Great forum!!!!

        1. Howard

          Thanks, Gene! A recommendation on the generator usage and monthly maintenance. Onan recommends that if it is not used very much to run it once a month under fifty percent load for two hours. So, if you have a 7.5kw genset then run two AC units or heat pumps to get to about 4,000 watts. Do that for two hours and you should be fine. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to just go for a two-hour drive as well. Happy RVing and thanks for stopping by!!

  59. Carolyn

    Our camper is hooked up on its own breaker from our home, we live in it and have had no problems at all so far. I was inside it with the AC running, tv, and a fan and I heard a pop. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary honestly when I did a walk around check, and checked the breakers and fuses, but within a half hour everything shut down. No blown breakers or fuses. Cord to the electric outlet works fine. Not sure what to be looking for and Im kind of on my own right now.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Carolyn!

      Sorry to hear of your electrical issues! It sounds like you have a big purple monkey on your shoulder!

      What I would do in this case is to be sure the receptacle that you are plugged into has voltage. Check with a volt meter to be sure there is power going into the RV. Then I would flip the main breaker off in the RV and then back on and see if it resets. Sometimes they can look like they are not tripped but actually, they are. If the power does not return, try that with each individual breaker for the accessories in the RV.

      You may have to replace a the main breaker if the above steps do not get the power back on.

      Check back in and let us know what you find. Good luck!!

  60. Jacqueline

    Is there anything I can do to keep my tv and DVD cords from getting hot in my RV? I have nothing else running, no a.c., microwave, etc. The power cords for both units are very hot after only 30 minutes or so of having them on. Thank you.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jacqueline!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Great question and observation! I know the electronics in our RV appear hot because they sit in the front cap where the sun hits all day long.

      Usually, electrical cords can get hot when there is too much resistance to the flow of electrons. That being said I would suggest plugging the DVD player and TV into another receptacle, and see if the same thing occurs. If you can, bring a 20 amp electrical cord plugged into a 20 amp outside source into the RV and plug the TV and DVD player in.

      This will eliminate any doubt as to any possible problem with the RV’s internal AC wiring. If the same results occur plugged into the outside source, I would contact the manufacturer of the electronics and see what they say.

      Let us know how it turns out! Good Luck!!

  61. Bruce

    My rv was plugged into the 50 amp pedestal, the generator switch was accidentally hit and was trying to start while plugged into the 50 amp pedestal. Now the generator will not do a thing while trying to start it. what did I burn out in the electrical system?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Bruce!

      Sorry to hear about your generator problems! Do you have a transfer switch on your RV? It would be located where your electrical cord is stored and it will clearly state that it is a transfer switch. It’s job is to decide whether the RV gets it’s 120-volt AC power from the generator of the RV park’s electrical pedestal. If it is functioning properly, when that generator comes on it will not be allowed to power the RV because the shore power is plugged in. The only thing I can think of at this point is something got through to your generator and possibly ruined a control board?

      That would be the first place to start looking Bruce. This may require a qualified RV technician to assist you with this one!

      Good luck and get back to us to let us know what you find.

  62. Vicki

    Hi there. We have a 2006 Jayco pop up camper. Last weekend we were camping and had full power, but I noticed a smell when I used the AC. I’m not sure if it was the unit or an outside smell coming in, but it was a cool weekend so we opted not to use the AC. Yesterday we traveled to a different campground, and when we plugged in to the 30 amp service two loud beeps came from the camper. I usually hear shorter versions when we disconnect power. I’ve never heard this plugging in to power. Come to find out, we have no power to the unit. Lights, outlets, and AC are not functioning. We checked the breaker on the campground tower, plugged in to a neighboring sites’ power supply. Checked our electrical panel for tripped breaker, and have had no success. Is there anything else you can think for us to check while camping, or do we need a service tech when we get home. We had brake lights on our trip here, and I’m hoping that is a different, functioning system that will function for our return trip! Thank you. In case it is helpful, we have a Jay Series 1206.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Vicki!

      Sorry to hear about all your electrical issues! It sounds like you have a huge purple monkey running around your camper!!

      Your RV has three separate electrical systems. You have the 12-volt house system run by your converter and deep cycle battery, you have the 12-volt chassis electrical system that works when you are plugged into your tow vehicle, and you have your 120-volt electrical system that is supplied by the RV park’s electrical pedestal. I hope you did not get a voltage spike that took out some control boards in your RV! I would recommend the use of an EMS in the future.

      That you say you have no lights and no outlets or AC tells me two of the three electrical systems are having a problem. Your interior lights run off the 12-volt house batteries. You also mentioned brake light issues which now brings the third electrical system into the picture.

      At this point, I would recommend the assistance of a qualified RV technician before you hit the road back home. Campgrounds usually have folks that they allow to come into the facility and help people out.

      Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

  63. Bo

    Hi Howard
    I removed a light fixture from my motorhome and replaced it with an LED strip.
    It works great when running off the coach battery but doesn’t work properly when plugged in to shore power.

    I will check the polarity of the wires first but do you have any other suggestions?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Bo!

      When you say not working properly, what exactly is happening?

      1. Bo

        With the engine running or just from the battery bank, the RGB LED strip just lights up like normal.

        When you plug in shore power it goes dim blue/green. And you can’t chang the colors.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Bo!

          What kind of voltage are you getting from the house batteries? Do this, while plugged into shore power tell me what DC voltage you are getting from the house batteries. Then, turn off the shore power at the pedestal and then check the DC voltage again at the house batteries.

          If you will do that and report back to me with both of those voltage readings, it may help me to determine if a suspicion that I have is correct.

          1. Bo

            Thanks Howard for the help.

            13.04 v battery
            13.94 v running engine
            13.61v plugged in to shore power at the battery

          2. Bo

            12.85 volts at the light wires plugged in to shore power
            13.08 volts at the light wires on battery power
            14.03 volts at the light wires with the engine running.

          3. Bo

            Sorry to message so much. It the wires that I used from the previous light that was already there. The Led strip works off the battery just fine plugged in to shore power or off the coach battery. Any suggestions?

          4. Howard

            Hi, Bo!

            Those are some interesting readings! 14.03 volts at the light fixture with the engine running makes sense. The vehicle alternator charges the house batteries at about that voltage. 13.61 volts plugged into shore power, at the batteries, sounds about right too. Your batteries in non-charge mode look strong too. No doubt if you wait five to ten minutes and read again you might see less depending on their age.

            But, the 12.85 reading at the light fixture while plugged into shore power is curious! It is the lowest reading of them all. It should be about the same as your 13.61 voltage reading. It does nat make sense for the voltage to be less than the static battery voltage unless there is some issue with the converter. But, your batteries are charging based on your readings.

            Certainly, the lower voltage might account for the dimmer led function and lack of color change. The question is why are you not getting a reading in the mid 13-volt range at the light fixture while plugged into shore power? Are you getting the same readings at other lights in the RV? Tap into some other 12-volt house systems and check voltages there while plugged into shore power.

  64. Nikki

    Hi, I have a 1992 phoenix. Chevy 454 p30 chassis when we run power into the unit generator or power at a site the breaker inside panel gets warm/hot to touch which trips the breaker resulting in no ac, fridge, etc. All the batteries are new and fully charged. Alternator replace. I’m at a lose for ideas

    1. Howard

      Hi, Nikki!

      In my experience, when breakers get hot there is either too much load on them, or they are getting old and need to be replaced because they can’t handle the load that is supposed to be carried by them.

      So, I would suggest replacing the main breaker and see if that solves your problem.

      Check back in and let us know how it turns out!!

  65. Lorice Bernard

    Hi Howard,
    I have a motorhome with 50 amps. 2 roof ac, fridge, microwave and water heater.
    The problem I am having just started and cant figure out whats wrong. IfI run on the generator everything works fine. If i plug in a shoreline in 50amps supply, my water heater, microwave and rear ac will not work even if I shut off the hd front ac.
    Where should I start looking or what could be causing this problem.

    Thank you

    1. Howard

      Greetings Lorice!

      As I read about the electrical issue you are having my first thought is that one leg of your shore power is not getting through to the main electrical panel. The transfer switch may be fine with the generator running but there is an issue when using shore power.

      I would take a volt meter and check your voltage inside the electrical panel at each leg. That would be the voltage from the red and black wire coming into the main 50 amp breaker. If there is one leg missing then trace it back to the power cord to see where you loose voltage.

      This may require a qualified RV tech if your electrical knowledge is in question here. Please be careful when removing the cover to the 120-volt electrical panel while being plugged into shore power!

      Check back in and let us know what you find so others can benefit from this situation! Good Luck!!

      1. Lorice Bernard

        Thanks Howard, the voltage at the 50 amp breaker should be around 240v?
        I will definitely post back as soon as I figure out where the problem originated.

        1. Howard

          Yes, Lorice! You should have approximately 120 volts on each leg.

  66. Tim Lee

    I don’t fully understand the electrical system of my 5th wheel. It’s a Jayco 35 RLTS. I have an issue with the light over the sink, it’s a florescent fixture with F8T5/WW lamps. I thought the lamps were burned out because it just quit working, but had been fine until it quit.

    So according to the lamps, these are 120VAC lamps and so the fixture must be also. So I have checked all of the 120VAC breakers in the panel and all have 120VAC on the secondary side of them. (check them with a FLUKE 87 MM) I then check each secondary side with an old KLINE WIGGY, which puts an actual load on the breaker, and all checked good.

    So what about the fuse panel? Is this not just for the 12DC system or is this part of the 120VAC as well. I haven’t check the fuses to see if any are open, but I will when I get home today.

    I assumed that you have two separate systems in the RV, can you explain please.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Tim!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Please visit my page at http://yourfulltimervliving.com/rv-battery-issues-understanding-your-rvs-electrical-systems. This will help you with understanding the relationship between the 120-volt and 12-volt electrical systems. Your fuse panel is just for the 12-volt system. Some manufacturers package the fuse panel and breaker box, with the converter, all in one but they are separate systems!

      After you have reviewed that article let me know if you have other questions.

  67. Bob

    Howard,
    I have a 2015 bounder classic motor home. I believe something is shorting out my chassis battery. It dies to the point where I can’t jump it and end up taking it out and putting my spare boat battery in. While traveling some electronics will fail to work (wipers, power mirrors, electric steps, and slideouts when I stopped for the night). My controller for the 2 AC units will freeze up and not let me change the settings. The front AC will not work at all sometimes and either unit will automatically change from AC mode to fan. Any suggestions would be great as I have been on vacation for 2 weeks and have 2 more weeks to enjoy if I can figure this out. Thanks. Bob

    1. Howard

      Hi, Bob!

      Sounds like you have some interesting issues going on there! The symptoms you mentioned relate to both the 12-volt DC house and chassis battery systems – the two of the three electrical systems in an RV. I am afraid this is one that will require an on-site tech to diagnose. Since it is relatively new are you still under warranty? Have you tried contacting the selling dealership for assistance?

  68. Rob

    Have 12 to 24 vac to chassis , found cable adapter melt to extension cord (plugged in at my home) 30 amp service found the voltage to earth at the door. Bad connection or other major fault?

    1. Howard

      Hi Rob!

      I would check your polarity at the plug-in receptacle first, then check each circuit breaker in the RV, one at a time with the others off, checking to see which one gives you voltage at the door. Once you find that out you will know where to go next.

      1. Rob

        Thank you will try it will let you know what I find

        1. Howard

          Awesome, Rob! Thanks!!

          1. Rob

            Well.polarity Allright still have current thru chassis with all breakers off noticed the amp draw goes from 2 amps to 14 for a couple of minutes with nothing on

          2. Howard

            Hi, Rob!

            What is voltage to ground at the door? So now, with the main 120-volt breaker on at the RV’s electrical panel and all the branch circuit breakers off, you are still reading voltage? If that is the case the problem is somewhere between where the power enters that RV and gets to the 120-volt electrical panel. Could a hot or neutral wire have insulation that has started to fail and is making contact with the chassis?

  69. Michelle

    Hi, upon fleeing the Sand Fire in Acton Ca, we are currently at the elks lodge. I plugged my 1990 chieftain Winnebago into the camp electricity and due to a leak from the camps water I opted to use my water pump. Well apparently turning on the water pump and the a/c kicking in at the same time overloaded my breaker. I checked to see if it were tripped..it wasn’t. But what I did discover was my electrical cord coming from my converter box has soot on it like it burned out. What do I do now?!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Michelle!

      Your water pump runs off your 12-volt house batteries so that would not have any affect on the 120-volt electrical system. That your cord from the converter has evidence of electrical overload should be looked at. I wonder at this point if your converter is working at all? The only way to tell would be to check battery voltage with the converter on. If operating properly you should see between 13.2 to 14.2 volts depending on the charging cycle the converter is in.

      If you have less than that your converter may need replacement!

  70. Linda Williams

    Hi Howard,
    We just purchased a used Keystone 24′ travel trailer yesterday from an individual. When we arrived home we realized the battery was not connected. Once connected everything seemed to operate however…..the inline fuse area, which is covered with a rubber housing is getting quite hot.
    It has a 30 amp fuse and I was wondering if it is the right size for a 30amp unit.
    Also the positive wire is a very small single green wire where the negative is a large white wire. Could the positive wire have been changed by prior owners who did not use the proper size and would upgrading it possibly solve the problem?
    Would sure appreciate your expertise.

    Thanks Linda

    1. Howard

      Hi, Linda!

      Would it be possible for you to forward a few pictures of what you are looking at to howard@yourfulltimervliving.com? I would like to see what you are describing and then better be able to perhaps assist.

  71. Linda Williams

    Yes Howard I sure will. Thanks so much.

    Linda

  72. Bryant Bourgoin

    Hi Howard;
    I have a confusing issue about my dual LP gas/CO detector, 35 series Safe-T-Alert MTI Industries.
    What happens is; when the battery voltage falls to approximately 12.5Vthe detector goes in a 30 second interval beep phase, meaning there is a fault somewhere in the units circuitry. It will not let me reset it until I start the generator and run for a few hours to get the battery back up above 12.6V. They have sent me a replacement and stated they tested the replacement at 9.8 V for 18 hours. The manual states the operating range at 7 – 15 Volts.
    I recently connected this new one and got it going; the battery was at 12.7; I then turned on some lights and the water pump to slowly draw down the voltage, once again, when the voltage at the battery read 12.48, the detector went into fault mode with the beeping again. Again, I removed the load and let the battery get back up 12.7 + and reset it and it started working normally. What can possibly be specific to my RV that may cause it to malfunction alarm? Isn’t voltage just voltage? That is all the detector can see. Oh, the manufacturer also told me that their units do not measure voltage, they simply detect malfunctions in their circuitry, however, I can predict quite accurately when and at what battery voltage level this thing will go into its malfunction alarm. Essentially, my RV cannot use their detectors, which makes no sense to me. Again, what can possibly be happening in our RV that can cause this to happen?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Bryant!

      A unique situation that you have encountered! I have not heard of this before. Do you boondock a lot that your voltage is always around the 12.6-volt range, or less? Certainly when on shore power you should be up in the 13+ DV volt range because of your converter charging the batteries. And yes, volts are just volts.

      If this were me I would run two wires direct to the house batteries and hook the detector up to those and see if the same thing happens. I bet it won’t, but lets see.

      Try that out and let us know what you found.

  73. Bryant Bourgoin

    Okay, I’ll simply hook the 8″ detector wires directly to the house battery and see what happens. I did notice that when the battery voltage was 12.6 , the voltage right at the detector was around 11.6V, which is still well within operating range. When I unplug from shore power, I’ am at first around 13V, but it quickly settles down to about 12.7V after 45 minutes, then whatever the load I have on it slowly draws it down, as expected. We noticed this on our last trip when we stopped several overnights at the truck stops. Would get the beep, turn on the generator to recharge, then go till morning, hopefully without the fault condition. I did notice that during the nights where the temperatures would drop 15-20 degrees during the night, the battery voltage would fall on its own, even w/o a load, and some of those times fall below the voltage that sets off the fault condition. I’ll let you know tomorrow after I test out your hypothesis. Thank you. Bryant

    1. Howard

      Hi, Bryant! You may also want to consider that your batteries may be needing to be evaluated by a specialist. From what you are telling me they may be on the weak side. Do they require distilled water to be added? If so, have you?

      Also, that you are getting a lower voltage reading at the detector versus at other places seems odd, especially a volt less. Purple Monkeys for sure!!

  74. Henri

    Hi Howard! Just back from a trip with my new North Trail RV. Now that I’m back the electrical isn’t working unless connect to my house power through the umbilical. It works for a short time after unplugging, but then stops. It also doesn’t work connected to my running truck. Last indication I had on the drive home was that my solid batteries were at 2/3s charge. All fuses are good. Any ideas for me? Thanks!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Henri!

      Do you have a house battery cutoff switch that inadvertently got turned off?

      1. Henri

        Hmmm. Where would I find that cutoff switch? The owner’s manual is not as helpful as you might think.

        1. Howard

          Henri, how old are your batteries? I missed the part about works for a short time after unplugging from shore power. That would tell me when plugged into shore power the converter is carrying the 12-volt load, but once that charger no longer has a 120-volt source, you quickly loose your 12-volt system. That it does not work connected to your truck is another issue. There could be a bad connection somewhere in your seven pin setup.

  75. Jeff

    Howard, great site. I was jacking up my 5th wheel and all the sudden it quit working. Now nothing works on the camper unless I plug in my generator. Batteries have 12.57v and don’t charge while the generator is running. Every thing works with the generator. My biggest concern is keeping the fridge running. Please help guide me. I have checked all fuses and circuit breakers and they are all good. Checked battery connections and cleaned them. Can’t figure out what I am missing.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jeff!

      If you are not getting any more than 12.57 volts with the generator running and the converter on, then your converter may not be working. Be sure it is connected to 120-volt power and the circuit breaker controlling it is on. It would not hurt to turn it off and then back on again. With the converter on you should be getting at least 13.2 volts.

      If the converter is the problem you can get by with a 12-volt battery charger hooked to your house batteries.

      I hope that helps!! Check in and let me know what you find.

      1. Jeff

        Howard,
        Thanks for the quick reply. I found the problem. There is some kind of self resetting circuit that went bad. I bypassed it for now till I get somewhere I can buy another one. I will just have to be careful when I am lowering the jacks not to do it for too long at one time.

        1. Howard

          Good to hear Jeff! I am assuming you found a resettable fuse? Safe travels!!

  76. Denis

    I am stumped with an electrical problem and a purple monkey on my back.
    When plugged in to 120V power supply and also when plugged into the 7 pin connector to my car with engine running, all of the normal electrical functions of my AR-one camper are working fine. When I try to use the 12V batterie to power my water pump or lights (120V and car unplugged), nothing works. I probed the batterie and have 12.7V charge. Where can the problem be ?

    1. Howard

      Hi Denis!

      What does your manual say about being plugged into your tow vehicle, 120-volt shore power, and the engine running?

      At this point, I would look for a blown or re-settable fuse to replace/reset so you can re-energize the 12-volt house battery system.

      Brush that purple monkey off your shoulder and get him caged! LOL Good luck!!

  77. Paul

    Hi Howard, I have a 2004 Jayco Greyhawk motorhome. For no apparent reason, the two ceiling lights in the main cabin stopped working. All other ceiling lights work. I have checked the bulbs as well as the fuses, and I also checked the wiring alongside the slide-out, and cannot find any issues. The problem exists regardless of whether the generator is on or off, or if it is plugged into shore power or not. Any suggestions?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Paul!

      Check out the conversation back a few days ago with Gene Bales. It’s a similar situation to yours. The fixtures may have gone bad. In the short term, give them a tap and see if they come on. It happens! Some a made more cheaply than others and they just don’t last!

      If you have 12-volt readings from the wires at the lights, that would have to be your problem.

      Good Luck!!

      1. Paul

        Thanks, Howard, I’ll report back.

        1. Howard

          Please do!!

          1. Paul

            Hi Howard, my last reply seems to have disappeared, so I’ll try one more time. There is no switch that controls the overhead lights; each fixture has an on/off button in the center of the fixture.

          2. Howard

            Hi, Paul!

            Without a switch, it is hard to find where the wires for the fixtures originate. I don’t remember Paul from earlier conversations, did you get voltage from the fixture wires at each location? I think you had mentioned a possible short in the wiring? How did you determine that?

          3. Paul

            Using a voltmeter, I tested the wires at each fixture and there was no power at either fixture. This led me to believe there must be a short in the wiring to those fixtures. The other six ceiling fixtures throughout the RV are working fine, which makes this such a mystery. The only two that are not working are right next to each other in the center area of the RV.

          4. Howard

            Hi, Paul!

            If you had a short the fuse that supplies voltage to those lights would be blown. At this point, I would take a guess as to where you think the wires go. What is nearby that they could possibly pick up power from? Usually, it’s another light, but not always. If you can find that you may find where a wire has become disconnected.

            Paul, at this point it is a guessing game and you are now a super snooper. I don’t think it’s a short but a loose connection. Check all 12-volt accessories in the area of those lights and on the ceiling either side of the lights.

          5. Paul

            Thank you very much for helping troubleshoot this issue; I’ll keep searching for the culprit. You are providing a great service to your fellow RV’ers……thanks again for your time.

          6. Howard

            Thanks, Paul!! I hope you are able to find the disconnect and get that purple monkey out of the RV! LOL

        2. Paul

          Hi Howard, after testing the wires, it appears that there is a short in the wiring somewhere. I have inspected every visible wire that I could find, to no avail. Unless you may know where the wires corresponding to those two ceiling lights may run, I am at a total loss.

          1. Howard

            Hi, Paul!

            Did you read any voltage at the lights? Where ever the switch is, the light closest to it may be where those wires from the switch go to.

            I would start at the switch that controls those lights and verify 12-volt power there. If so, is the switch good – check continuity with it on. Then if that is all good, check the wires for the lights to see if there is continuity from where they leave the switch to where you believe they get to the first fixture. If there is a short, it won’t matter which wire you check while connected to one by the switch. For example, if you have a yellow and white wire and you hook your meter to the yellow wire, and check the white wire where it comes to the first light, and you get a reading, then yes you have a short.

            That being said, you would be blowing a fuse when you turn the lights on. So, check a few more things and let me know!!

  78. Tina

    Quick question, my husband and I are new to RVing and are wondering if the exterior outlet (to run awning lights, etc.) will work if just hooked up to the truck or do we need to be plugged in to shore power? It will not work on RV battery alone. Thanks!!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Tina!

      You mention an exterior outlet which to me means a 120-volt outlet. Yes, you would need to be plugged into shore power unless that outlet is also being handled by an onboard inverter.

      That being said, normally LED awning lights are part of the 12-volt house battery system. You may want to check the voltage at the point the LED lights receive power. If they are working while plugged into shore power but not when unplugged you may want to check your house batteries. They may be weak!

      1. Tina

        Good to know. Thanks for the quick response.

        1. Howard

          You’re Welcome! Good luck and happy RVing!!

  79. Adam

    Hi Howard,
    I recently purchased a used 1990 Layton Skyline 5th wheel. I’m new to the trailer thing and have been researching the operation of each appliance.
    I am curious to know if my 2 way fridge is supposed to work on 12V and propane when the trailer isn’t plugged into 120AC?
    My previous experience was that of a 1968 trailer that had a pilot light for the fridge. Mine doesn’t want to continue running when I’m not plugged in. Is it supposed to be like that?
    If it is, is there a way to power the fridge with LP when not on 120AC?
    Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely,
    Adam

    1. Howard

      Hi, Andy!

      Your RV fridge should be one that will run on 120-volt power and propane. If it is a two or four door model it will most likely not run on 12-volt power. That would be too much draw on the batteries to run the heating element required to run an ammonia absorption fridge.

      But, whether on propane or electric, the fridge still needs 12-volts to run the control board. That way when you are not plugged into shore power the 12-volt control board allows the fridge to run on propane and to control its operation.

      From what you are telling me, I would check your battery voltage when unplugged from shore power. If it is too low your control board for the fridge will not work and therefore not be able to work on propane.

      Check that out and let me know what you find!!

  80. Joanne Cosmo

    Hi we plugged in our motorhome to our house electric with an extension cord and the electrical box was making a fan noise plus it was having heat come from it and the RV lights were hot and we had the air on could this be that we used the wrong plug to our house?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Joanne!

      What exactly did you plug into? A 20-amp circuit, a 30-amp circuit, or a 50-amp circuit? I am assuming you are you referring to the 120-volt electrical panel in the RV? Let me know so I can better assist you!

  81. Gene Bales

    Hello and happy Monday Howard. I have a water heater question for you. This past weekend we took our ’06 Pace Arrow motor home out to the lake for a long 4 day weekend. Friday morning, all was fine — took nice hot showers. Same on Friday night. Then on Saturday morning, wife got in shower and water was not hot. I checked the two switches and the electric switch was still on. Then I tried to light it with propane, and nothing would happen. The red light (ignition sequences) would not even come on. I checked the water heater breaker, and it was fine. I checked all the fuses (that I knew of) and they all seemed fine. Is there a reset button / switch anywhere on an Atwood 10-gallon electric/gas water heater? Thanks.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Gene!

      Do you have a voltmeter? If so, check if you have 12-volt power at the water heater and let me know. If you don’t have a voltmeter, how about a pick light used for checking fuses? That would do to verify voltage.

  82. Gene Bales

    Howard — yes, I do have a volt meter. How and where do you check for 12-volt power coming to the water heater? I’m ignorant when it comes to things like this.

    And, yes, I have the pick light (didn’t know that was what it was called) and checked all my fuses and the green light lit up showing fuses as all good. Again, I am ignorant when it comes to things like this, but when you say “pick light”, is that the small device with metal prongs on it that you can stick to each fuse and check the fuses without actually taking the fuses out? If so, then that is what I have and all are good.

    Thanks again.

    Gene

    1. Howard

      Hi, Gene!

      Yes, I refer to the fuse checker that you describe as a pick light. LOL!!

      If you have the wiring diagram for your Atwood water heater, you are looking for the 12-volt wire that supplies power to the main control board that should be visible when you take off the cover on the outside sidewall of the RV. You may find power at the control board, or not. If so, that control board may have become defective in which case a qualified RV tech may be your next move. If there is no power there then a wiring issue is present given that the fuse at the inside 12-volt panel you checked as okay.

  83. Gene Bales

    Thank you Howard. I’m at work now (YUK!) but when I get home this evening, I will get the owner manual out with the wiring diagram and see if I can check for 12 volt power coming to heater. I’ve already called our local RV tech guy and he is ready to take the coach and take a look at it, but I thought since your forum and posts are so helpful, I’d try here first. I would hate to send in to technician to find out it was only a reset button that needed resetting. Do you know if there is a reset button on the combination electric/gas propane heaters? This one, I assume, is only 10 years old as that is the age of the coach and I believe it is the original heater (we are 2nd owners). I don’t have model number now, but if that is what you need I can surely get that for you and respond back tomorrow.

    Thanks again.

    Gene

    1. Howard

      Sounds good Gene! I have an Atwood water heater as well. It’s a bit newer but I don’t have a reset button that is visible from outside the RV. Again, check your water heater manual for that while looking for the wiring diagram. You may also have a 2-3 amp fused circuit board. That could be an issue too. Good luck!

      1. Gene Bales

        Hey Howard — just now getting back to you. Well, after all the trouble-shooting I could do on the water heater, I had an expert come out and snoop around. I did check all fuses (in fuse panel and on heater itself), checked the thermal cutoff, and even changed out the E.C.O. and thermostat myself (couldn’t believe I did it). Anyway, the whole problem stemmed from the 12 volt wire connection coming loose behind the fuse panel. Just FYI for everyone out there — just because the pick light shows that a fuse is good does not necessarily mean that the fuse is allowing the power to go where it is supposed to. You could have a loose connection behind the panel. That could also be an issue for anyone out there that is having 12 volt lighting issues. However, like you said, if you pull the light fixture off and check the wire at the fixture location to see if power is getting there, then you would know whether or not the wire is “hot”.

        Thanks for all you do.

        Gene

        1. Howard

          Awesome Gene! Thanks for sharing that. That is sure a rare thing to have a wire come loose behind the 12-volt fuse panel!! I have not seen that one yet. Glad you got it all fixed and thanks for sharing that!! Happy Camping Sir!!

  84. Venessa

    So we just bought a 2007 Forest River surveyor. When we bought it we did our walkthrough and everything works fine. Got it to her house and we installed permanent power on our power pole. The RV is a 30 amp RV. I plug the cord into the 30 amp plug on my pole, turn on the breaker, and the only thing coming on is the microwave. No lights no AC no nothing. Could this be a problem with the install of the new plug in my pole or with my rv electrical. Everything worked great on our 2 hour walk through before taking possession.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Vanessa!

      Your lights are part of the 12-volt house battery system. If they are not working I would be checking that system to see if the batteries are okay, there is not a tripped fuse or cutoff switch. Without 12-volt power the AC will not work either. It would not hurt to check the polarity of that new 30 amp plug as well. Good luck and happy camping!!

  85. Kasey

    Hi Howard ! We have a 78 Winnebago , we haven’t had it for very long. When we try to start the generator it makes a sound like it’s trying to turn over , but it does not come on. We have tried making sure there is enough gas in the RV because I have heard if you are under a quarter of a tank it will not come on. We do not even know where to begin , so any advice is appreciated ! Thanks

    1. Howard

      Hi, Kasey!

      Given the generators age and not knowing its service record, you probably should have it serviced by a qualified RV technician unless that is something you all can take care of. My guess is the carburetor is fouled. Good luck!!

  86. Suzzi S

    My Montana 5th wheel was plugged in at home to 50 amp service. Took it to fair , got all set up. Today they turned the power on. My Rv keeps flipping the main breaker at the fairs power box. We plug into another one of theirs it just keeps flipping. I turned all the breakers off in my rv, even turning 1 on it flips at the fairs power source.

    This is my 5th year at the fair with the same power hookups. I have the cord thing that takes it from 50 amp to 20amp. It’s always worked before.

    AC off ,HW Off, Fridge runningn on propane.

    What can I check???/

    1. Howard

      Hi, Suzzi!

      A purple monkey for sure!! Do you have a volt meter? If so I would be checking the voltage and polarity of power coming into the 120-volt electrical panel before it gets to the main breaker. Things change! They may be feeding you reversed polarity, you may have a short somewhere, the plug you are using is no longer working. Start at the source and trace it through the RV into the main panel. Try all the breakers to see if they trip the main. I sure would not try to run a 50 amp RV on a 20 amp service!! You surely can’t run an AC unit without damaging it! If your converter kicks on you have little amps to run anything else! Good luck and happy hunting!!

  87. charlee

    I have a living quarters horse trailer, 30 amp and a Onan 5500 watt generator. I was plugged into a 30 amp rv pedestal a week ago and was sitting in my trailer when I started to smell a strong hot electrical smell. I turned off everything that was drawing off 120. The smell subsided. I also called my rv repair tech and didn’t really find any answers, so I waited a while and turned everything back on, one at a time, and for 1 week it didn’t happen again. I traveled to a different rv park and after being plugged into their 30 amp pedestal for a day and a half, with no problems, all of a sudden I began smelling a strong electrical smell. Turns out it was my Progressive Dyn transfer switch. When I got to it, it was smoking and literally melting the top cover right before my eyes. I immediately shut everything off while my husband hurried outside to unplug it from the pedestal. I let the box cool down and then opened it up. I wish I could post a picture of it. It was fried! I have a load shed device. Any idea why this would happen?

    1. Howard

      Curious Story Charlie!

      I am surprised at the 5,500 watt generator for a 30 amp rig? That’s way more than needed for a 3,600 watt trailer.

      In any case, could the transfer switch have been bad? It’s possible. What does the plug end of the power cord look like? You can send me a picture of both to howard@yourfulltimervliving.com. Replacement is obviously needed. I would recommend a Progressive Industries unit. Their warranties and product are stronger! I would also purchase an EMS unit as well. If there are polarity, grounding, frequency, or over voltage problems, those can take out a transfer switch too!

  88. charlee

    I sent you some pictures. Thanks for your help!

    1. Howard

      No pictures received yet!

  89. charlee

    Yikes! I have come down with another problem! I unhooked my trailer from my truck last night and the hydraulic jack’s worked perfectly. I went inside to extend my slide and nothing happened when I pushed the switch. The jacks and the slide are on the same pump. My husband checked for power to the switch and checked the switch. That seems to all be fine. It was pretty tight quarters last night!

    1. Howard

      Purple Monkeys running around everywhere!! What is the voltage reading of your house batteries?

      1. Charlee

        The meter showed it right around 12v

        1. Howard

          Okay, I think that is your problem. Your batteries are drained because you have not been hooked to shore power. Plug back into your truck and start the engine, Once you get the house batteries back up to around 12.6 volts the hydraulic pump should work.

  90. ken

    I was running fine on generator all the way to the campsite…parked the RV, shut the generator off & plugged into shore power 110…had a storm & power glitch and all worked well till I unhooked from shore & kicked generator on…now only have power from generator on the generator circuit. It won’t run the AC unit or wall outlets like it did before. I checked breakers & all seem to be ok. Guess I need to know what to check next cuz its gotta be sumthin simple I’m overlooking…thnx.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Ken!

      Let me see if I understand what you are saying! You were plugged into shore power, had a storm and possible power surge, but things still worked on shore power. Now, when trying to use the generator, and not shore power, it does not power your RV? You said you checked your breakers at the 120-volt electrical panel. Just for grins, flip the main breaker off and back on.

      Also, check the breaker on your generator. Flip it off and back on. Sometimes that can cure the problem. If that does not cure the problem, you may have an issue with your transfer switch due to the storm. The only way to know would be to test it with a voltmeter. A voltmeter test at the electrical panel may also reveal the lack of voltage going into the main breaker if it is the transfer switch.

      Good luck and let us know what you find!

  91. Andrew

    I have a 2006 skyline nomad weekender. My problem is this. Every once in awhile I loose all 12 volt systems. Sometime for 2 or 3 minutes sometimes for hours. All 110 still operate. I have checked all power for voltage and all fuses are good. If I go to main breaker inside the trailer and reset it I get a short burst of power that restarts the 12 volt for a second before going off. Now I’ve read your blog stating the 3 way set up, but I’ve never had a battery installed on my trailer since I’ve owned it. And never had an issue until this year. Shore power is 30 amp any possible ideas? Thanks in advance.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Andrew!

      Sorry to hear of your problematic 12-volt electrical system! Without the converter on can you tell me what the voltage is at the batteries? When you take that reading be sure all items that use 12-volt are off. If you are significantly below 12.6 volts, with no load, your battery may be the issue! Your ten-year-old battery may need to be replaced.

  92. mike

    hi we bought a old coachman motor home when we hook up to shore power everything works fine when we use genorater we have power to ac and 12 volt lights but nothing else also nother works when generator is off

    1. Howard

      Hi, Mike!

      What is the condition of your house batteries? What kind of static voltage are you reading? How old are they?

  93. Rob

    Power to the transfer box but not to the circuit panel. Verified by electrician but he didn’t know how to fix. What do I do to fix?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Rob!

      Sorry to hear that! In my experience, the only way to solve that problem is to replace the transfer switch.

      1. rob

        How do I do that if i Cant get to it? any instructions you can provide would help

        1. Howard

          Hi, Rob!

          That is something you will probably want a qualified RV technician to deal with. If not properly installed you could damage all your 120-volt electrical components in the RV.

          The transfer switch is usually located where the shore power cord enters the RV electrical bay. Yes, they are hard to get to!!

  94. Kelly

    I have an rv that were having a problem with. First off none of the 12 volt lights work unless the generator is running, and the house battery is what starts the generator. Second, I think the converter is doing something to the lights. They come on, then blow after a few minutes. And if I run the exhaust fan for the stove it blows one of the front blade fuses.

    1. Howard

      Sorry to hear that Kelly!

      I would recommend that you have a qualified RV technician investigate your entire 12-volt house battery system. Based on the evidence there could be many reasons for the issues you are experiencing.

      Good Luck!

  95. Micah

    I have a 2009 Puma 27Sbu toy hauler. My propane detector started beeping. There was no smell of propane at all. When I turned the water pump on the beeping instantly stopped. the marine battery is dead or something is wrong with it so the pump wasn’t actually running. The generator was off as well. Does this relate to a dead battery? I can’t recall if it went off when plugged into the generator. I can’t figure it out.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Micah!

      I would check your house battery voltage with a voltmeter. Check it with the shore power disconnected. If you see less than 12 volts, the battery is probably bad or starting to weaken. Propane detectors will beep when the voltage is low. From what you are relaying I would start with the deep cycle house battery.

      Good Luck!!

  96. David

    Dad is giving me his 5th wheel, that has been sitting couple years unused. Pulled to park and plugged into 50 amp. Both ACs and lights work great. When trying to start refrigerator, then everything powers down and the no power alarm goes off. In a bit and all comes back on, then off, then on, etc.(breakers are not kicking off) Turn off the refrigerator, that never really cooled down and still the goes on and off.. Just guessing, I say the onboard battery is shot, but did not have a volt meter to check at time.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Dave!

      Sorry to hear that! I would say you have the right idea: start with the house battery and go from there. Many times an RV refrigerator will not function properly if the 12-volt house battery is weak! You may also want to check the converter to be sure it is charging the battery properly. You can do that by checking the battery voltage with the shore power on and then off and see if you have at least a half volt diffrence between the two reading taken at the battery.

      Good Luck!!

  97. Devon

    What if there isn’t any electrical on except 2 lights and the fuse box fan turns when the outlet next to it makes a surging noise and dims the lights?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Devon!

      What is the condition of your house batteries: how old are they and have they been maintained?

  98. Rafael

    Microwave and AC won’t turn on…Checking fuses in the morning..I just changed the oil on the generator and the transfer hose was stuck tugged on it might of moved generator..is their a possibility I might of disconnected something?
    Thanks for time

    1. Howard

      Hi, Rafael!

      Pama and I are at the Hershey Show and may be slower to respond: can you give me some more information? If your generator is not working, none of your 120-volt electrical systems would be working. Is the generator starting or not? Is the main breaker on the generator on? Is your transfer switch allowing voltage into the unit?

      If you can share some more details perhaps I can help!

  99. Kimberly Bird

    I wish someone would give a 12 volt troubleshooting step by step when the whole 12 volt system goes off. We’re having an intermittent problem now, twice, of the whole 12 volt going out “at night” (once when plugged in and once when dry camping) ever since we got 4 new house batteries. Then as mysteriously as it goes out it comes back on again. I don’t know what to check and in what order to check. The battery voltage is fine, all fuses are fine. What do I check for next?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Kim!

      My first knee-jerk reaction to what you are telling me is that you have a loose connection in the house battery electrical system – possibly nearer to the batteries than any other place. Since this developed after having installed new batteries, that is all I can think of at the moment. Who installed the batteries? If it was a dealer perhaps you should toss the situation back in their lap and say that this all started after the battery change. Just a thought.

  100. Mike

    We have a 2004 Dreamcoach LQ Horse trailer/RV. We just bought a new GMC with built in brake controller. After 5 hours at the dealership yesterday, they determined it was a trailer problem. What happens is the check trailer connection light comes on in the truck and it won’t stop beeping. They hooked up 2 different trucks (one 2014 one 2016) and each time the truck’s check trailer connection light came on with the beeping. So it is def. in the trailer. I had brought my trailer to a ‘trailer mechanic’ and they spent 2 hours and couldn’t find the problem. We replaced the cord and the plug. What could be going on in the trailer wiring? Thanks

    1. Howard

      Hi, Mike!

      Do you have a short in trailer wiring somewhere? What is the condition of the break-away switch? If it is creating a closed circuit the controller may be thinking the trailer brakes are locked. What is working and not working with the wiring harness hooked up? Check all your systems and see. This may lead you in the right direction.

  101. Mike

    I have a 2004 Open Road and while I was hooked up to shore power, my battery died and had no power. I was packing up to leave at the time, so I thought it was from the campground. I got home and plugged the camper in and had power, but my battery was charged from the ride home. t still drains the battery when I turn my heat on with lights. I have checked how many volts are coming into the camper and going through it, and it reads 124 volts at both. Even with that, the battery still dies and lights dim and furnace blower slows down.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Mike!

      It sounds like your house batteries are weak. I would check those and also if the converter is working to charge them when plugged into shore power.

      Let us know how that turns out!!

  102. Sandy

    Hi Howard, we have a 2011 Puma Unleashed Toy hauler. I go out weekly and check it, it stays plugged into shore power. Everything was fine last week. Yesterday we went to move it and the jacks would not go up, I went inside and the fridge and lights did not work. I checked the brakers and every fuse all were working. Power was tripped at the circuit box in the garage, which we reset (it is 30amp). The microwave and outlets are working. None of the 12 volt is working including the slide. I pulled out the panel and looked at wires, nothing damaged. Any help? They can’t come look at it as the have 19 units waiting to be serviced. Possibly the inverter/converter??

    1. Howard

      Hi, Sandy!

      Thanks for stopping by our website! Sorry to hear of your issues!

      Based on what you are telling me I would say your house batteries are depleted due to not being charged by the converter. That could be because the shore power was off to long and the batteries depleted, or that the house batteries are old and need to be replaced. If they are the originals this may be the case. Check if your converter is working by checking the battery voltage. It should be at least 13 volts depending on the condition of the batteries. If so you will know the converter is working.

      Do some fact finding and let us know what you observe!!

      1. Sandy

        Thank-you Howard, the converter quit working 🙂 All set and back on the road.

        1. Howard

          Glad to hear Sandy!! Hopefully, that was not too expensive to replace.

          Happy RV travels!

  103. Vicki

    Help, need an electrician, hot water won’t work, refrigerator won’t work, awning won’t work, air didn’t work front or.back, came on last night. Park checked electric at pole , said it was correct. Who do I call for my Rv, in Seminole, Florida. Please help

    1. Howard

      Sorry Vicki! I don’t have any contacts in your area. I would check at the RV park office as they usually have a recommendation for someone that is a mobile RV technician that can take care of you. Good Luck!!

  104. Doug

    Hey Howard,

    So I was driving my Class C Tioga in flip flops and my bare pinky toe touched the engine compartment metal clasp and it shocked me but good. And shocked my wife later to a lesser degree. I was shocked first before my wife and mine was a lot stronger. Four days later I am still having intermittent shooting pain and electrical shocks in my toe and foot. Two months ago we had tire blow-out on the passenger rear inside duallie that ripped up a bunch of wires. I called the service manager that “fixed” that issue and he said it was probably static electricity and to check the ground of the starter battery which I did. It looked good to me. I would take it back to him but they are 2.5 hours away. What do you think it could be? Can static electricity build up in the engine compartment? If so, what can I do to ground it?

    Thanks,
    Doug

    1. Howard

      Hi, Doug!

      I have seen people get shocked by the 120-volt electrical system due to a RV hot skin condition, but not from the 12-volt chassis system. Can you put a meter on the area that you have been shocked and read the voltage there? All you need is a voltage meter that has one lead attached to a good ground and then the other test probe at the shock point.

      Let me know what you discover!

  105. Josh

    Howard,

    Great information above, thank you. I now have my own problem and looking for help lol We have a 2012 Sierra 5th wheel by forest river. Just got to our site and did the same old process we have always done.

    Plugged into the pole power on site and I’m only getting external power. All breakers and fuses are good, however no power inside the camper. Only exterior lights and GFI outlets. If I switch to battery power however, the interior will run.

    Not sure why I have power to one area and not the area. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    Josh

    1. Howard

      Hi, Josh!

      That your interior lights work when you turn on battery power makes sense – they work off the 12-volt house system. If you turn that off nothing will work because the lights and most of the RV appliances require 12-volt power to run the control boards of those appliances. If the 120-volt main breaker has been reset and you don’t have internal 120-volt power, there must be another internal switching device that is not allowing power to the main panel. A volt meter and some investigation may be required to see how far voltage gets into the RV.

  106. Tamara

    Hi! Thanks for your help above. Man I hope you can help! I get financially taken advantage of whenever I call anyone for service calls because I’m a woman & don’t know what I’m talking about. If you can give me an idea, of what’s wrong, I can compare that opinion with the person’s I call for this problem.

    I’m a newbie to full-time travel trailer living. No one to teach or help. Have been learning online. The other day I had an electric heater plugged into GFI outlet in kitchen. No problem. Decided to brew coffee at the same time & thought it would be okay since a small coffee maker doesn’t take much power. But I tripped the circuit breaker.

    I looked on converter panel & reset the breaker. Tried the outlet again, but neither the kitchen or bathroom GFI outlets work. All other outlets do work. I can use a lamp for light. Reset button on GFI outlet does not fix the problem. No fuses are lit up in the converter panel.

    Noticed the overhead lights were very dim that night. Now the only thing that appears to be working well with the 12 Volt system is the fridge. But, if I turn even one overhead light on, the fridge light goes off & I get a warning flashing light on the fridge. Turn the overhead light off and the fridge regains its full power.

    The gauge on the wall that shows me the level of my tanks and charge on my battery shows the battery at the lowest. Sometimes it goes up to the next light but never stays.

    Today I turned on an overhead light then turned on the AC. The AC didn’t work right. Seemed to come on but not blow. Turned off both immediately. AC works as long as a light isn’t on.

    So, I think there’s something wrong with the 12 V system. Have flipped the main breaker on converter panel as well. That doesn’t help. What would tripping that breaker with the heater & coffee pot initially have done? Everything started that day. Ugh! Thanks to anyone who can give me an idea. I have a 2009 Four Winds 28 ft trailer.

    Thank you again!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Tamara!

      Given the evidence from the 12-volt house system, it sounds like your converter is not charging the battery. Have you checked its fuse? It is probably located on the back of the converter and may be difficult to access. As far as the GFCI issue, that does not make sense. If the GFCI’s don’t work then other outlets downstream would not work either. This may require an onsite investigation by a qualified RV technician.

      1. Tamara

        Thank you! I have an RV tech coming out today, & his one comment was that the GFI outlet probably got burned out. The other GFI “downstream” doesn’t work either, but the regular outlets do, so maybe they were wired separately. Did not know that the converter had a fuse of its own. I will mention that to this guy of he doesn’t know. Thanks much!

        1. Howard

          Thanks for the update Tamara! Let us know how it finally turns out so other readers can learn from the event as well!!

      2. Robert Adams

        Hi Howard,
        so my lights in my travel trailer were flickering. I purchased another battery and that solved the problem.
        However, I’m sitting in the camper with all the lights on, (just making sure they aren’t going to flicker) when several hours later I notice they’re going dim, then I hear a beep and also notice the clock on the radio has disappeared(which tells me my new battery is dead). I promptly turned off all the lights but one and a minute later, the clock came back on. Is it possible my converter couldn’t charge fast enough to maintain the battery? My a.c. was also running.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Robert!

          Can you tell me the voltage of the battery with the RV plugged into shore power and the converter on?

  107. Dan

    I have a 3006 Rockwood 5th wheel RV and have a disturbing problem with every once in a while part of my interior electric system shuts down for a minute or so and then comes back on. it is a 30 AMP system and all fuses and C/Bs checked good and this has happened at 3 different campgrounds. The battery condition shows full

    1. Howard

      Hi, Dan!

      Which electrical system are you referring to?

  108. Dave

    I have a 2010 Thor Windsport (class A). Coach battery not charging while hooked up to shore power. Everything still works (so far) but control panel shows almost no charge on battery. Checked fuses and had a 30a fuse blown. Disconnected coach battery (at switch) . Turned off power at power pedestal. Replaced fuse. Turned on power pedestal and then turned coach battery back on at switch. Fuse immediately blew, and (of course) coach battery not charging.
    What could be wrong; what should I check or try; or do I need professional help? Thanks!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Dave!

      Thanks for checking in with Pam and me!

      From what you are telling me it sounds like the 30A fuse to the converter is blowing when hooked to 120-volt power. There is either a short in the system or the converter is bad. You could try to isolate it from the rest of the 12-volt system and see if it still blows a fuse. If you are unfamiliar with the relationship between the 12-volt, 120-volt, and the converter, I would probably call a qualified RV technician for assistance.

      Good luck!!

  109. Dave

    Thanks, I’ll get it checked out.

  110. Keegan

    I have a 96 holiday rambler endeavor le everytime I plug it into shore power the breaker pops immediately. I’ve unplugged the refrigerator, hot water heater and microwave just to make sure it’s not a load issue. When the generator is running everything seems to be working as it should. Right now I have it at a state park in Illinois where it only has 30 amp available so I have an adaptor to take it from 50 to 30 amp (I have 2 and tried both). I’ve inspected the transfer switch and can’t see and visible issue. I’ve also tried multiple sites to try and insure that it’s to the pole power. At this point I believe it is a problem with the RV. Any suggestions andor help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Keegan!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      As I was reading this, my first thought was the transfer switch. If everything works fine while using the generator, but not shore power, it could be some issue between your transfer switch and the end of the power cord. What does your plug end look like? Have you had to replace it before? Has something come loose? Also, are you sure the transfer switch is okay? Just some thoughts based on the evidence.

      Let us know what you find!

  111. Michelle

    I have a 5th wheel that requires 50 amp service and have been camping all week at a park that offers 50 amp service. I have had no problems. Due to the distance I am from home I have stopped for the night in a park that offers only 30 amps. I have a 50 amp to 30 amp converter but the electric heat will not come on, the electric fireplace will not come on, the fridge will not work on electric, and some of the plugs will not work. I checked the microwave/convection oven and it will work. I’m not tripping breakers they just will not work. The electric heat gives an error code of E7. Do you have any idea of what is causing this since it’s not tripping the breaker? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Michelle!

      Your 50 amp service has two legs that supply 50 amps of service to two legs in your electrical panel. That is 12,000 watts of power. Your reducer cord sounds like it is set up to supply one of those two legs with 30 amps of power, or 3600 watts. So, with that adapter you are using it will only supply one leg for the 120-volt electrical appliances with power, and you should use no more than those 3600 watts.

      The electric heater issue is due to the lack of 120-volt supply. The reason you are getting an error code is the control board is running off your 12-volt electrical system.

  112. Sam

    I have a 2008 Newmar Ventana that has been in the shop more than it has been on the road this year. New front air and a transfer switch but now the overhead fluorescent light in the bedroom blows the 20-amp fuse. And the purple monkey is lurking around. I took the light fixture out and hooked it up to a 30-amp 12-volt power supply (no inline fuse) and it worked! I put a fuse inline and it still worked and didn’t pop the fuse. I checked the voltage at the wires in the MH with the wall switch on and got 12.4V – and the fuse did not pop. Re-installed the light fixture and blew the fuse again! Is there any connection with this issue to the recent repairs? Should I take the MH back to the repair facility? I am no electrician!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Sam!

      Good diagnostic techniques. I think you are on the right track. Have you tried another light fixture installed in the old one’s place?

      Since the event started after having the front AC installed, and it is in proximity to the roof light wiring, perhaps you can get the dealership service department to look at it on their dime, or at least answer a phone call and offer their ideas of things to try.

      Good luck!!

  113. J Ped

    Hello,
    We tried swapping the old thermostat in my buddies travel trailer with a newer digital one because his was acting up and no longer heated the trailer efficiently. When we started the old thermo worked, we unplugged the power disconnected the wiring and hooked up the wiring in a way we thought was correct. Now even after hooking up his old system nothing is coming on, is there enough info there to get me started??

    1. Howard

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      How many wires are used for the furnace at the thermostat location? Is it just for the furnace or is it also used for the AC unit? Is this a heat pump, a propane furnace, or both?

  114. Edward Harmonay

    I have a 38 foot sportster 5th wheel. I was having trouble with the 12v system and replaced the converter. Now everything works except the A/C, Refrigerator, and the hot water heater. All the systems that use both 12v and 110. I have tested all the power coming into all of those units and they seem to be getting power. Is there anything else I could check that I might be missing. Thanks.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Ed!

      What is your battery voltage without the converter plugged in? Does your furnace work? When you say that you tested power coming into the affected units, which power source do you mean?

  115. Kathleen Weishaar

    Hi. I hope this is the right place to pose a new question. RE: 2007 Fleetwood Bounder 33R 120 volt electrical system. Relatively trouble free year of full-timing averaging 1 to 2 month stays at full service RV parks around the PNW.
    We experienced a nasty power overload last night which ended up frying the circuit boards of our microwave, refrigerator & Blu Ray player.
    The mobile RV tech we had out to check on things identified the culprit as a short in our 50 amp power cord – not a problem at the pedestal (we use a top of the line Sureguard surge protector there) but at the male end of the power cord itself!
    We’ve prided ourselves on doing our homework & taking proactive measures to reduce such risks when known.
    What I’m frustrated about us that in all our reading/studying/prepping we have NEVER hears of the apparently-significant risks associated with what for all intents & purposes looks & (up to now) performs perfectly well.
    Would appreciate your insights. Thanks so much, riled retired risk manager

    1. Kathleen Weishaar

      Re: above query. Embarrassing mistake. The RV tech identified the culprit as the FEMALE end of the power cord.

  116. Jean

    Hi Howard,

    Very helpful blog! Electrical moron here. If I need to switch out the GFI outlet outside the coach on the inverter, how do I ensure that there is no power going to it, similar to hitting the main breaker in a bricks and sticks home? The RV tech said unplugging from shore power and switching the coach battery “should” shut down power, but “should” doesn’t cut it for me when working with electricity!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jean!

      If you are able to cut the 120-volt and the 12-volt power supply to the inverter you will be safe in replacing the GFCI. After cutting the power and before removing the GFCI, use a volt meter to check if you have voltage before replacing it.

      Good luck!

  117. Paul K

    I have a 2007 Nash 29ft 5th wheel and have an electrical problem that has me stumped. I blew my #2 fuse on my 12v lighting circuit and went to replace it and it popped the new fuse before it was even installed, which tells e I have a direct short. What confuses me is I lost two 120v only light with it. How are they tied together? Also I removed the affected light fixtures and capped the wires and still popped a fuse. Any ideas?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Paul!

      Have you checked the switch to be sure it is not shorting out the circuit? As far as your 120-volt lights, they would be on a separate circuit and nothing to do with the 12-volt system unless the wiring is running close together and something is back feeding the system? Can you check the voltage at the fuse panel for that 12-volt circuit?

  118. Chrystale

    Hello, yesterday my husband plugged in a heater in our RV.we have a 79 royals international. We can not find any circuit breakers n what we did find is fuses bt the converter. Where are the breakers?

    1. Howard

      Sorry to hear that Chrystale! Unfortunately, your RV is one that I don’t have familiarity with.

  119. Gerry Denomy

    I work on residential air conditioning and offered to assist with trouble shooting an RV A/C problem. During my testing I found continuity between the hot and neutral. A/C did not work, nor did it trip the breaker, After looking further, I noticed the neutral in the RV was not bonded to the ground as in residential wiring. Is this common with RV wiring systems?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Gerry!

      Yes! The ground and neutral wires must remain separated! They must travel back through the receptacle a back to the main electrical distribution panel where proper grounding is accomplished through eight-foot ground rods.

  120. Lloyd

    My inside lights flickered when I was connected to shore power. In the morning the lights where dim. I had to hook my battery charger to charge batteries to re track slide, when i did the lights went bright again because I was charging battery’s. All outlets where working and so was A/C & microwave. Do you think it’s the converter? I also read of a possible fuse in A frame.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Lloyd!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      What is your battery voltage with the converter on? Then, what is the static voltage with the converter off?

      1. Lloyd

        I’ll check that saturday when I’m off work & get back to you. Thank you for the response

      2. Lloyd Souza

        I charged my battery’s, there at 13.09. Hook up battery’s they drop to 12.53, hook up shore power & they stayed at 12.53. I turn one interior light on & it drop to 12.24 battery alone & when hook to shore power. Also with the refrigerator on auto both green * yellow (gas) lights flash. Before my issue when I plug to shore power only green light came on.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Lloyd!

          It sounds like your converter may not be charging your house battery. Also, since it was not working it weakened your battery to the point that it no longer can carry the load on its own as evidenced by the quick drop in voltage. Check the fuses on your converter. You have to get more than starting voltage when plugged into shore power with the converter on. That 12.53 should have been above 13 volts if the converter was working properly.

          Keep us posted!
          rvtechcourse.com/live-stream

  121. Jessica

    i was running my propane heater i havent ran it yet this year because ive been using a radiator heater well i turn it on but i turned it up to 77 and then next thing i know a hour or two later the lights start going dim and the heater shut completely off but the lights are dim and working but the thermostat is completely off what do u think it could be?;COULD IT HAVE got too cold and drained the battery or what and then my smart safe propane gas detector is beeping but there is no smell or anything and it was going off the other day but i wasnt running any gas

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jessica!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      The propane heater gets its power from the 12-volt house battery system. It does require quite a bit of power to operate. It can drop the battery voltage as much as a half volt during operation. If the battery is weak or the converter is not operating, you will have the kind of problems you are describing. I would check out your static battery voltage and if the converter is actually charging the battery as it is supposed to.

      This will require a volt meter and the ability to check the battery voltage with the converter operating and with it turned off. If things are working properly, there should be at least a half volt difference between the two. A properly operating 12-volt battery at static voltage should read around 12.6 volts.

      Investigate and keep us posted! Thank you.
      rvtechcourse.com/live-stream

  122. Henry

    All the small lights in my camper(except for the one in the bathroom quit coming on. One day the lights above my bed flickered till i turned them off. Then a few days later they all just quit coming on. Got any ideas on what it might be?

    1. Howard

      Have you checked your 12-volt fuses? Check that out and let us know.

      Thanks for stopping by our website!
      rvtechcourse.com/live-stream

  123. Mark Mayer

    Hello,
    Just brought a brand new Keystone 2450rl travel trailer home but am having trouble with battery charging. (I should have gone over the system more with the dealer b4 I brought it home).
    When it’s plugged into my truck and the engine is running I should be able to push the battery test button and get 4 lights showing the coach is getting full power and the batteries are being charged. I only get 3 lights showing the battery is not fully charged but the panel should be showing 4 lights because the house system is running off my truck. Of course there isn’t any 110 from my truck.
    Then I tried the power cord hooked up to a plug from my garage. Ive done this many times with other trailers and have even ran my AC. The lights on the panel still show 3 lights so I hooked up the power cord to my Honda 2000 generator with no luck. When I was plugged into the house I was getting 110 because I plugged in a portable heater in the coach and it worked fine.
    I tested the battery and it showed 12.33 volts. Not fully charged.
    Does the converter have a CB I don’t know about?
    Thanks for any info,
    Mark

  124. Mark Mayer

    I took a quick look at them but will look further.
    I’ll let you know.
    Thanks

  125. Mark Mayer

    Hello again,
    I guess since the power coming in is 110 I figured it would be a 110 cb but there are 2 40 amp DC cb’s and it looks like one is blown and maybe the other. I don’t have any 40 amp cb’s around so I’ll have to get a few in the morning. I’ll let you know how they work out.
    I always carry 15 amp dc cb’s but I ought to carry 40 amp also.
    Thanks,
    Mark

    1. Howard

      Hi Mark!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      It seems like you are thinking it through logically. Now that you have found a blown 12-volt fuse on the converter, replace it and see if that does not give you house battery voltages above 13 volts once you are plugged in and the converter is charging the house battery.

      Keep us posted!

  126. Gene Bales

    Hey Howard — have another “minor” issue. Every once in a while, I can go into my 2006 Pace Arrow motorhome and find that the water pump is on. I turn it off, and go in the motorhome a day or two later, and the water pump is on again? Any idea how this is happening or what could cause the water pump to mysteriously pop on like that?

    Thanks loads.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Gene!

      My first thought is one of the switches is shorting and turning on the pump. Check there first. There could be some internal corrosion or a short in the switch that is allowing that to happen. Research that and we’ll go from there.

      1. Gene Bales

        Thanks Howard. But, when you say “switches”, do you mean the on/off switches for the water pump? There are 4 of them that I know of, so how would you go about checking them? Pull them out of the wall and look for any corrosion or anything “unusual” that would be on the back side of the switch? I’m no electrical wizard, so I need all the help I can get. Thank you so much again. Your help is always appreciated.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Gene!

          Yes, I am referring to your four switches. Depending on the switch, you may be able to observe the internal contacts. Some are completely sealed and have a wire harness attached to the back. Disconnect them and work them on and off a few times. Check the connections on the wire harness too. If they are all the same type you could try buying a new one and replacing it at each location one at a time to see if that stops pump from turning itself on automatically.

          1. Gene Bales

            Hey Howard — thanks again for your suggestions regarding ALL people’s electrical issues. Great forum!! Now, in regards to my water pump mysteriously coming on, I haven’t had a chance to go back out there and check the switches individually, but one more bit of information for you that might help. When the gas heater comes on is when the water pump comes on by itself. Does that tell you anything differently?

            Thanks again.

            Gene

          2. Howard

            Hi, Gene!

            Reminds me of a story: Four techs standing around trying to figure out why when you flush the toilet the TV goes off. No one could figure it out until a newbie tech came along and suggested to check the batteries. You see, when you flush the toilet in drains the voltage in the system and the TV, which operated off of 12 volt, did not have enough voltage to remain on. The batteries where replaced and the problem solved.

            The moral of the story is sometimes thinking outside the box can solve the problem. Focus on your 12 volt DC power system and the solution will present itself.

          3. Gene Bales

            Funny story Howard. Can relate. Anyway, I did have a 12 volt issue a few weeks ago — dead battery, but that was replaced and all is good regarding house batteries. So, guess I’ll start with switches, as your first post suggested. Thanks again.

            Gene

          4. Howard

            Your welcome Gene! Happy hunting. If you work at it methodically, the solution will show up!

  127. Jacky Scott

    How do you tell if a relay is bad in the converter box in your 2007 Jag K-Z travel trailer?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jacky!

      What are the conditions you are experiencing that would lead you to believe a relay is involved with your electrical issue? What diagnosing have you done so far?

  128. jeanette dickson

    I have a 2005 Winnebago Sightseer. . .And a long history of problems with my hydraulic jacks. I have had two circuit boards replaced , and a third one now recommended. The motor has just been replaced, as it would come on at strange times and the last time it burnt out the engine motor as we rode down the highway. Long history of folks trying to diagnose the failing circuit boards. . . and motor. I wonder if there is an electrical problem causing these boards to burn out?
    Jeanette

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jeanette!

      Sorry to hear of your hydraulic jack issues. Over voltage issues would seem to be a logical progression of thought given the history you have had with the system. I would verify the voltage of the 12-volt DC system while plugged into shore power and while running down the road, assuming that your house batteries are being charged by the engine alternator during travel. Then see if you can find the voltage limits on the circuit boards to see if you are within acceptable ranges.

      I did find some interesting discussion on the thread http://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/kwikee-level-best-retracting-issue-210663.html that may help you out too!

      I hope that helps!!

  129. jeanette dickson

    I appreciate your feedback. . . I shall forward this information to my mobile mechanic who is also searching for information at home.

    Many thanks. ..
    Jeanette

  130. greg johnson

    hello howard. thank you for this very informative site. please excuse my all lower case typing as i never learned to find the shift key by touch.
    i am a retired person who lives in a 1984 jayco crane 5th wheel. this past spring i had an incident with one of my wall sockets losing its switch plate top connector. the plate, with the box attached, fell top out from the socket hole in the wall. the bottom of the plate remained attached, but loud zapping and crackling accompanied by arcing “lightening” ensued followed almost at once by a socket fire and a very quick power outage. i got the fire out with my trusty wall hanging extinguisher and got the fire department out to make sure there was no internal fire still burning.
    of the 6 sockets in the trailer, one still works from the bottom outlet only. i still have refrigerator, microwave and air conditioning, but only one working socket.
    my questions are simply.
    is there any way to rewire without tearing out the interior walls? and:
    can the old rv wall boxes be replaced with standard household boxes?
    the one wall box that i have remaining, burns (melts) electrical plugs that i try to plug into the bottom socket.
    thank you again for this service,
    greg

    1. Howard

      Hi, Greg!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Re-wiring the RV without tearing out existing interior walls will be difficult. You will not be able to replace the outlet boxes with residential type as they are not designed for that application. Certainly, anything can be made to work, but they would not be a flush-mount situation.

      Without actually seeing what you else you have going on it would be difficult to offer further advice. Certainly, the services of a qualified RV technician would be a good start, if they are up to the challenge. Given the issues you are experiencing, I would avoid using that 120-volt circuit till a visual inspection by a qualified technician can be rendered.

      Best of luck Greg!!

  131. Catherine Fortenberry

    Hi, my problem is that the refrigerator, air conditioning and lights don’t work but the outlets do. Any ideas on the problem?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Catherine!

      Thanks for checking in with us!

      From what you are telling me it sounds like you are having issues with your 12-volt DC house battery system. When that is not operating properly, even though you may be plugged into shore power, the fridge and the AC unit need 12-volt power to run the control boards and operate properly.

      Check the voltage on your house batteries and also if your converter (the battery charger) is operating properly. Good batteries should register 12.6 volts when measured with a volt ohm meter.

      I hope that helps!!

  132. Spencer Strickland

    Hi Howard
    And thank you for any help you can offer.
    I have checked 120v power from the panel that feeds the plug,and from the plug that feeds the rv panel. All of the voltage is normal, yet nothing works inside. No plugs switchs or appliances. I reset the switch by the panel a time or two just in case (no help). And I would check for any other junction boxes but I have no Manuel as it is a RV that’s has been owned by multiple people. So I dont want to just go to ripping things off looking for issues. Any ideas as to the cause? Thank you very much.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Spencer!

      Do you have a transfer switch in your RV? You did not mention whether this was a motorized RV or not. If so you might look there.

  133. Larry Brown

    I have a Progressive Dynamics 60 amp power Converter with Wizard and it’s charging at full capacity at 14.4 and 14.5 and will not cut back . It’s been charging like this for 3 or 4 days . Is this normal ? Or do I have a problem?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Larry!

      That is the high side of what a converter should run at and only for a little while. I can’t imagine your batteries need that. You might check with Progressive Dynamics and ask them.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  134. Mark Assante

    Hi Howard,
    Thank you in advance.
    I noticed my microwave was not working nor any of my GFCI outlets. I found the GFCI reset button but it would not reset, seems there is no power to the main outlet with the reset button. I changed the circuit breaker which was a tbbd 15/20 amp combo. still no power. Do I need to start pulling outlets?
    The camper has been sitting idle in driveway for winter, all other electricals are working fine.
    Thanks for any help you may provide

    1. Howard

      Hi, Mark!

      Thanks for visiting our website!

      If your GFCI’s are not resetting, you need to replace those. I don’t think a microwave should be downstream of a GFCI circuit, but you never know what some RV manufacturers will do.

      Try that and let us know!

  135. Larry Brown

    Hi Howard my Converter is working fine now ! It kicks back to 3.5 now and once in a while it goes to 4.5 for a while then back to 3.5 again , like it suppose to. We’ve had a cold snap here and the RV Park I’m at has old wireing and meaters , I wonder if I wasn’t getting enough amps and the converter was making up for that ? I’m sure everyone was using electric heaters . I’m plugged into 50 amp plug but I might be only getting 30 amps ? What do you think ? Thanks for your time and input.

    1. Howard

      Hard to diagnose from a distance Larry, but keep an eye on your converter to be sure it is not experiencing internal issues that will eventually lead to failure.

      Keep warm!!

  136. Jeanlou

    2013 RV
    In AC power, some but not all, of the electrical plugs do not work
    Refrigerator needs repair, otherwise everything else is ok.

    1. Howard

      Are some of these plugs GFCI’s or protected by a GFCI?

  137. Laura

    We have one bar in our electric panel that doesn’t work. Had replaced the breaker with exact same type. Put the new breaker in another bar. It works. Can one bar in a breaker box be fixed? The circuit breaker spot is a 20 amp for the washer / dryer combo. next to it is a 15 amp breaker for the refrigerator. A fellow RVer says hook both into the 15 amp for the frig. Problem solved. Is it?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Laura!

      A temporary fix and not recommended. I am assuming a 50 amp service? If so is there 120 volts at each leg coming into the electrical panel? Does it leave both legs of the 50 amp breaker? If I am understanding your electrical issue, I would work from the RV’s shore power cord to the electrical panel and chase why you have lost one leg of service: bad plug, transfer switch, lost connection, etc.

  138. James McKinnis

    I have an RV ( 2006 Forest River, Cardinal. 36 ft. fifth wheel, 50 amp. System ). Every time I turn on the furnis, I blow the 15 amp fuse at the panel. It will turn on and fire up if I unplug the converter. It will also turn on if I leave the converter plugged in but unhook the gas line. But, of course, it won’t fire up with the gas unhooked. I’ve bypassed the thermostat and it performs the same way. I am reduced down to 15 amp shore power, and I use 2 lights, TV, DVD player, Antenna booster and the Furnis.
    I would appreciate any advice on how to fix the problem.

    1. Howard

      Hi, James!

      Does the furnace work with everything hooked up but disconnected from shore power?

  139. Tim

    My 12lites in living room area don’t work,also lite on overhead bed over driver seat. Everything else works

    1. Howard

      Hi, Tim!

      Did you check your 12-volt fuses?

      1. Tim

        Yes I did right away

        1. Howard

          Hi, Tim!

          Are they all on a switch? If so, have you taken the switch out and checked the voltage coming in at the switch? Is the switch possibly bad? How about continuity of the wires between the switch and the first light in the series?

          Just some thoughts of things I would try if the fuse is good.

  140. John Legg

    Have an issue with my flourecent light fixture in motor home. Has two sets of lights in bath room, one is small bulbs 12volt, works fine with on/off switch. Tthe other is a ceiling small tube type (2) flourecent tubes, fixture
    I have replaced the tubes and trouble shooted the switch and wires to the unit and found that only 4.65 volts are present at the unit switch.
    My batteries are sitting at 13.8 volts so have lots of power. All other switches and lights work fine just a problem with the one fixture. The ceiling fixture is the same throughout the coach and they all work fine. When i removed the metal wire cover between the tubes, where the ballast would be on a 120V system i see a small circuit board and diodes. Does this mean its a low voltage unit and runs on less than 12 volts ? If this is the case then it may be the unit, just not sure as all other lights seem to be 12 volt.
    thanks, John

    1. Howard

      Hi, John!

      From what you are telling me, you have other light fixtures like the non-working one. Have you checked the voltages at one of the working fixtures to see what voltages you are reading? That should tell you if the non-working fixture is bad.

  141. Jim

    We are bothered by the noise of the inverter in our RV when we are connected to 120v. Would there be any problems with using a battery charger on the batteries and not plugging the trailer into 120v? Most of our camping is off grid so we are not used to the noise of the inverter and wonder if we could bypass it on those not very often times that we have access to 120v and just hook up a battery charger to keep the battery charged.
    Thanks.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jim!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Do you have an inverter/converter combo unit or are you referring to the converter that is making noise? The converter is what is charging your house batteries. I am thinking you are referring to the fan noise when charging is occurring?

      You can use an auxiliary charger as long as it is designed for deep cycle batteries. Regular automotive chargers are not designed for deep cycle batteries.

  142. Max Rafferty

    I have a 2002 Alpinlite 5th wheel and have it in a RV park hooked up to shore power. The only thing available was 30 amp. Never had any problems until the last year I just replaced the batteries a month ago because they were shot. But I still have the same problem that when I’m using the microwave or an electric heater or toaster the 120 goes out for 3 minutes and comes back on. I’m not running too many things at once because I turn other stuff off before I use them. I have no idea what’s wrong. None of the breakers are tripped. It just comes back on after a few minutes.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Max!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      I am assuming you have a 50 amp RV that you are running on 30 amps. Do you have an electrical management system on your RV? Something like a Surgeguard or Progressive Industry unit, either at the shore power pedestal or mounted internally?

      1. Max Rafferty

        I have 2 different plugs. 1 for 30 amp and a different one for 50. Inside I have a heart Interface Freedom 458 inverter/charger. I’ve had it parked for 3 years in the park because I work 400 miles from home. Everything was fine for the first 2 years. No problems running multiple appliances. I forgot about checking batteries and they ran dry, that’s why I just replaced them a couple months ago. But when the 110 goes out I can hear a clicking in the basement when it comes back on.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Max!

          It sounds like something is cutting out and then cycling back on. My guess is in response to a low voltage reading. I would start with the breaker in the power pedestal and go from there. If you can get the park to replace that then you will either have solved the problem or eliminated a piece of the puzzle.

  143. Kenny

    We have a 2004 Sunnybrook Camper. Last summer, we lost power to our exhaust fans, the oven exhaust fan, holding tank display panel and hot water heater but we still have lights using our 12 volt system. It all started when we tried to light the hot water heater up. We have checked all fuses, relays and breakers and cannot pinpoint the problem. The converter has 12 volts coming out and has a brand new deep cell battery. Any suggestions or recommendations as to where else we can look for the problem? Everything else works in the camper including the slide out. I hope you can help!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Kenny!

      Sorry to hear of your 12-volt electrical issues!

      What is the battery voltage with the converter on and with the converter off? Can you measure those values with a volt ohm meter and share that?

  144. Grace

    Thank you for all that you’re. Doing for everyone.
    I have an a older model 1996 Damon day breaker that I love in

    Our electric went out but my 12 volt system doesn’t seem to be working either so I can not run my propane to my heater or my water heater and my interior lights won’t run.
    I’ve never had the problem.before and have flipped my breaker off and back on.
    My electric doesn’t usually work unless I’m plugged in
    I have a solar panel 60 watt but we haven’t read sun in weeks
    Do you have any suggestions?
    Help

    1. Howard

      Hi, Grace!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      If you are not getting any 120-volt power into the RV with the shore power cord plugged in, you might have an issue with your transfer switch. Can you get 120-volt power with the generator running? If not, again, could be the transfer switch.

      When the 12-volt system is not working that can be from two issues: the converter is not working or the batteries are bad, possibly both. You need to find out what voltage your batteries are currently producing and let me know that value. It would be of interest to know the battery voltage with the RV plugged into shore power and then with the RV unplugged. Have very little 12-volt load when you take these readings with a voltage meter.

      Check this out, report back, and we can go from there.

  145. higgs

    Hi . I was pulling my trailer last night in bad weather rain snow . My lights on my trailer and truck began to surge low light then back to regular light thought it was my alternator scoped and had it check everything was fine so I’m thinking I need new connections on my truck or trailer ?

    1. Howard

      Greetings Higgs!

      It does sound like you have a loose connection somewhere, possibly a short that is developing. I would check your trailer plug, the 7-pin connector that it connects to, and look at the wiring that you can see that goes into both of those devices. Check your fuses too! How are your tow vehicle batteries?

      This is one of those situations where you may have to trace the wiring all the way from the source to the lights.

  146. Jeff

    Hi Howard. I have, to me, a exceptionally confusing issue. Hopefully, it is simple for you.
    I have a large 5’er. We live in it half of the year for work all over the country, and have for the last 5 years. A week ago, the two individual lights in the living room slide went dim. (LED’s)
    This went on for some time despite fiddling with the switches with no change. Then, on their own, they went bright for a few seconds, then dim for a short while, then off. This process more or less repeated for 2 days, then they stayed off. As a side, it seemed that one light was slaved to the other one.
    The same night this started, when we went to bed (which is also a slide), I turned on the reading light to read, which I don’t normally do. I remarked to my wife, who reads all the time, how very bright the LED’s that I had put in the reading lights were. I wanted to show her the difference between these and the original bulbs, and went to where I had stored them to swap it out. I pulled the LED and replaced it with the one incandescent I had found. It didn’t light up. I thought that the filament must have been damaged in storage. I reinstalled the LED, and now it didn’t work! It was extremely dim, barely lit, even worse than the living room bulbs. It had worked perfectly only seconds before. And now my wife’s was barely lit as well (slaved?) Fiddling with the switch on mine a few times, it began to work, as did hers, and I read a little whims, shut it off, and went to sleep. Currently, neither light works at all. And after testing the incandescent in another fixture, the filament is fine. Do you have any idea what is going on here? Thank you for your time.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jeff!

      So many things can be going on here. What year is your fiver? Is it the type of small ceiling fixtures that have the halogen bulbs in them and you replaced with LED’s?

      1. Jeff

        Howard, I apologize for missing your reply and not responding in a timely manner. I checked back for a few days, and then assumed I would be notified by email if there was a reply. Anyway…
        It is a 2005 Fleetwood Prowler Regal AX6 Extreme 385FKQS. And no not halogen, the living room slide lights are the incandescent surface mount, single dome, slide switch variety while bedroom slide has the pivoting/rotating reading light with the rotary switch. All bulbs were replaced with led’s 4 years ago. Being unsure of which circuit these lights were on, I did check the fuses, and all had continuity.

        1. Howard

          Hi Jeff!

          This is an interesting little puzzle you have going on there. I have had similar issues with halogen type ceiling fixtures. What I eventually wound up doing was replacing them and the problem when away.

          Is it possible the problem is in te fixture? Have you tried using a volt meter to check voltage at each light to see what you are reading?

          If I were there, I would check the battery voltage that you currently have available. You can read that right at the batteries. Then I would remove the fixtures and check the voltage coming into the fixture. It should be about the same as the battery voltage you read earlier. If this is so at each fixture, then you know it’s the light fixture and not the wiring. If not, then you have internal wiring issues given you had no fuse problems. Also, if there is no wall switch involved then that eliminates another potential problem.

          Let us know how it turns out!

  147. Sue Hsgberg

    2001 Coachman lost all dash gages then died shortly after. Battery is discharging when on & recharges some when off. Charges enough to start but not a full charge then quickly discharges and dies. Suggestions- comments HELP:)

    1. Howard

      Hi Sue!

      How old is your chassis battery?

  148. Scott

    I have a 2017 fifth wheel..it blew a fuse which only works my bedroom ac and the light switch and lights in bedroom..as soon as I touch a fuse to put in it pops it..any ideas

    1. Howard

      Hi, Scott!

      Given it is a 2017 and should be under factory warranty, I would contact your dealer and get them to take care of it! Why mess with it, that’s their job.

  149. Jeri

    If an RV Park has inadequate power for all how do you bring it up to owners and others so they understand? We think the owners know but are avoiding the expenses to upgrade.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jeri!

      A voltage meter does not lie! Show them. If they don’t understand, then are you required to educate them?

      If this were me, and I brought up that the voltage I was receiving to my power cord was inadequate (less than 110 volts), and they were unwilling to do anything about it, I would leave. There is nothing else you can do if they won’t provide a good power source.

  150. Brian

    Have a issue with my parents travel trailer. The interior lights and refrigerator is not working. The ac is working fine. All the wall outlets work except for two of them. There is no battery hooked up due to battery needing replaced. The trailer is hooked up to 120 at present time. Any idea where to start looking?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Brian!

      You are going to have to have a battery and a working converter to get the interior lights and refrigerator to work. The control board to the fridge needs 12 volts to trigger the electric or propane heating system to operate.

      1. Howard

        Greetings Bob!

        Thanks for reaching out to us!

        Once you find an RV in Florida, reach out to me and we’ll see who is available to serve you. Thank you!!

  151. Howard

    Hi, Brian!

    You are going to have to have a battery and a working converter to get the interior lights and refrigerator to work. The control board to the fridge needs 12 volts to trigger the electric or propane heating system to operate.

  152. Michael G Cunningham

    My shadow crusier pull behind . The power from the battery does not work and it a brand new battery..What could cause it not to run anything….When I’m plug into the 30 amp breaker coming from the garage everything works but unplug it and nothing works on the battery…What could it be

    1. Howard

      Hi, Michael!

      It sounds like when you are plugged into shore power the converter is providing your needed 12-volts but your new battery is somehow not properly installed into the 12-volt house battery system. Is there a main battery cutoff switch that is turned off? Is the new battery hooked up right? Are the fuses good? What is the voltage of this new battery measured at the battery terminals?

  153. Jeff

    Howard, can you please remove my last name from the previous reply on my electrical solution, and maybe if you can, edit “jade” to “Jim” in the first word of my post? Didn’t proofread… Still feeling the sting of the simple solution, feeling like a frustrated dope

    1. Howard

      Jeff Stated: Jade the mobile RV guy come by after I exhausted everything I knew to check. He found the broken wire in the first place he looked, where the harness runs through the hole in the frame going to the middle slide. I feel like an idiot, but am very thankful for Jim’s knowledge.

      That makes sense Jeff given the symptoms that you were describing. Diagnosing the problem is not always that easy though. Chasing wire continuity would have possibly revealed your wire break and further evaluation to find that area where it was found. But, it is not easy. Don’t beat yourself up over it! At least you are back in the light! LOL

  154. Christy

    No sure if you can help or anyone can in anyway but we just bought a 2004 Gulfstream Sun Voyager. Great shape and everything was working wonderful when we bought it last week. We’re leaving tomorrow in it and checked everything out and all the sudden the back running lights and tail lights are not working. The brake lights are working fine and all running lights down side are fine except the back ones. All headlights and everything else works ok as well. It’s only the back funning lights (there’s 5 across the top and 2 on the back corners and the tail lights). We have checked everything, fuses look to be good and we cannot figure out what is causing this. Especially since the break lights work with no problem. Any assistance anyone could give us would be appreciated. We just bought it last week.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Christy!

      Are you sure the fuse to those lights is good? Did you check it for continuity with a fuse tester or VOM? Sometimes the fuse can just be loose enough to not work.

      If that is not the cause then you may have a loose wire that is not allowing 12-volt power to the lights. I would find it hard to believe that all the lights burned out at the same time, but you never know sometimes.

      Good luck!!

  155. Mike

    Hi there,

    I was wondering why when I had my trailer plugged in to my house everything was working. I went out the next day to check on it and had no power to my trailer checked all breakers they where good. But I never had my battery in the trailer yet as I just took outta storage from winter. And was wondering if that may have had something to do with it. I put my battery’s in today and everything seems to be working now like the ac and microwave I’m figuring I needed the battery to complete the circuit?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Mike!

      The converter installed in your trailer is nor designed to run the 12-volt systems in the RV like the lights, the appliance control boards, the water pump, etc. It may handle a small load, but not usually. The battery is your piggy bank, so to speak, that provides the needed power for the system when multiple 12-volt systems are in use. The AC system will not function without enough DC voltage to run the 12-volt control board attached to the thermostat. Same with the furnace, refrigerator, and water heater. The microwave is attached to the 120-volt system and does not require DC power unless it is getting that from an inverter.

      Glad to hear you are up and running!

  156. Sonia Salinas

    Howard Hello,
    I have a 1995 RV, we had been hooked up on 30 amps since Sept 2016. Recently we moved to another city into another RV park with alot more RVs. We’ll my AC started tripping the breaker and now then lights flicker and dim themselves and the AC turns on and off constantly until the breaker trips….we recently added an adapter and connected to the 50 amp. What do I have to do to reslove this issue. And mind you we live in south Texas and it’s getting Hot here

    1. Howard

      Hi, Sonia!

      What voltage are you reading at the park pedestal?

  157. Mike

    I have a problem, I have a sunnybrook camper and I’ve been running the AC unit here and there throughout the day, Mau my if I’m in it, well yesterday my wife turned the AC on and it made a weird ticking noise coming from the filter area, and it’s blowing cold air in zone 1 but won’t cut on in zone 2. What could be causing this? I’ve checked breakers, and it was flipped but I flipped it back and still nothing. We are hooked up with 120 from the pole.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Mike!

      So what you are saying is that your seconds AC unit for zone 2 stopped working? This could be caused by many things. You may want to seek the assistance of a qualified RV tech who can troubleshoot the unit onsite.

  158. Jennifer Byrd

    2007 Montana 33 ft fifth wheel. Every we timewe set up and use the electric jacks, it will work fine until motor heats up and then starts blowing fuses. Any ideas, have replaced switch twice and that’s apparently not it??

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jennifer!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      My first question would be is why is the motor heating up? Did it always do that or is this a new thing. If the motor is getting excessively warm and blowing fuses that tells me there is either too much weight on the system or there is some new resistance that is not allowing the motors to carry the load they were designed for.

      Your thoughts?

  159. Terry

    I’m having an issue with my 2005 Dutchman classic fifth wheel camper! All my running lights and brake lights and turn signals work when setting but as soon as I start moving they flicker and go off and stay off for the most part sometime when I hit a bump they come back on but only for a few seconds and then go back off! I’ve replaced the plug on the camper and I’ve also swapped out the plug on my truck! Should I go through the junction box and replace all the wire ties/connectors? I looked in there and everything looked good?! My next step after going through the junction box is take off every single outside light to see if there is a problem with one of them. Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Terry!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Certainly by what you are telling me you have a loose connection somewhere in the system. Let’s start with something basic. Have you checked your 12-volt chassis fuses on your tow vehicle to see if any are loose? You might check your fuse box connections to see if anything is loose. Also check the fuse/fuses and the connectors they push into.

      Start at the source of the power and go from there. If that is all okay then you are going to have to chase wiring and connection to your plug-in for the camper, then go from the camper plug into the RV and check those connections as well.

      Keep us posted on your progress!

  160. Ely

    When plugged in to 120V, lights/pump/refrig/etc work fine. However, the wfco 3-stage converter or fan in the same location continually pulses on and off every 5 seconds. Unplugging 120V we lose all power with exception of CO detector and tank/battery status check. Battery checked and seems to be fully charged. Don’t understand how power is not getting from battery to lights and why converter fan is pulsating.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Ely!

      Are you sure the battery is good? Given the evidence, I would have it load tested to be sure that it is. If the battery is good and the fuses are all good, more of those 12-volt systems should be working. That the converter is acting the way it makes me wonder if it has been doing its job to keep that battery able to meet the needs of the RV 12-volt systems.

  161. Robin

    We are having a problem with electric awning. The LED lights quite working. The awning still worked. Now it will not roll out. We went to check the fuse. Fuse is good. When we take the other fuses out there is a red light that comes on to indicate fuse is not in. When we remove this particular fuse the light does NOT come on. We tried the fuse in another spot it is good. I do not know much about this & hope it makes sense. Do you have any advice?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Robin!

      Can you get to the wiring behind the fuse panel to see what is going on behind the awning fuse holder?

  162. Ben

    Hey, Howard i have a 34′ sprinter i have 24 volts coming in from house breaker box and 24 volts coming out at the end of cord and 24 volts in camper breaker box but still power in trailer what gives? Pleases help

    1. Howard

      24 volts AC??

  163. Brent Morse

    I have a 2016 Grand Design Reflection 5th wheel. I just installed the remote monitor on my TRC surge protector and was vacuuming afterwards when I noticed vacuum cleaner motor slowing down and speeding up. Checked my new monitor and it said the line had only 105 volts. Have a 30amp outlet in garage and meter showed 120 volts. Checked the end of my power cable at the trailer and it reads 120 volts. Climbed into crawl space of trailer and at incoming end of surge protector read 105 volts. Can 15 volts be lost between twist on connector and surge protector? Since low voltage reading is at input side of surge protector it seems that issue is not with surge protector or monitor but not sure. Connections, cables and wires seem secure.
    12 volt system seems ok.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Brent!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Given what you are telling me, it sounds like between the connector pins that your cord plug into and the wire coming into the surge protector you are losing 15 volts. There must be a problem between those two points: corrosion, frayed wires, etc. Something us reducing your voltage flow at that point.

  164. Nicole

    I have a 5th wheel with the onan 5500 generator. When switching to the generator the tv & microwave do not work, but everything else seems to work. I checked the fuses & they seem to be fine. What do you think is the issue??

    1. Howard

      Hi, Nicole!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      I would like to suggest you check the frequency output of the generator using a volt-ohm meter that is able to read voltage and frequency.

      If you are getting much more or less than 60 hertz, that may be why the electronic on the tv and the microwave are not responding. This is the only issue that I can think of that would make the difference between shore power and the generator.

  165. Kay Lines

    I have a 2015 Keystone Passport…30amp I used a 30-50amp power cord adapter to plug into 50amp power at camp ground..when leaving after the weekend one of the prongs had started melt onto the adapter?? Camper use had not shown us any issues to give us a concern during our time using electric…

    1. Howard

      Hi, Kay!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      I do the same thing with our 30-amp rig. I plug into the 50 amp plug with a reducer to fit my 30 amp shore power cord. When things get hot and melt, to me that indicates two issues: the first is there is too much load on the system (more than 3600 watts being used) or the wiring in the RV park pedestal is not up to code. If either of these is the case, then heat can build up and cause wire/plug melting. Do you use an electrical management device between your power cord and the parks electrical pedestal?

      1. Kay Lines

        Hi Howard

        Thanks for getting back so quick with me, Actually this was our first time out..Newbies. I did not use and type of a surge protector between devices. camper cord to adapter to electric box. I had it plugged in at home for 2 days before leaving to cool fridge and no issues.

        Thanks Kay

        1. Howard

          Hi, Kay!

          It sounds like my second assessment that the RV Park pedestal that you plugged into may have been faulty. In any case, I would highly recommend that you invest in an electrical management system to protect your RV from any possible electrical issues that could damage your RV.

          If the voltage being supplied to your RV dropped from the normal 115-120 volts, down to as low as 105-110 volts, your amperage would increase and could possibly have created the damage to your shore power cord plug end. The circuit breakers do not always respond to such slow changes in power supply.

          Please visit https://yourfulltimervliving.com/rv-surge-protector-can-you-live-without-one for more information on how you can find a good one to protect your RV home from electrical dangers!

  166. Randy Toler

    I purchased a 2015 Heartland Mallard yesterday that was plugged to a 30 amp circuit and all electrical inside the camper was working. Once home I connected to a 20 amp circuit, and then opened one slide. The other slide wouldn’t open nor would any lights work. I installed a 30 amp circuit. Now the microwave and television work but nothing else. Help!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Randy!

      If you have a voltmeter, can you tell me what the voltage is for your 12-volt battery/batteries with the RV unplugged from shore power? Once I know that information I think I will be able to suggest a solution and explain why

  167. Robert

    Hi. I recently added solar power to 84 Fleetwood by Midas class c camper. I have an ampmeeter inline and yesterday with all off, I get a .5 amp draw. Today when I was out there it was drawing 30 watts approx. I have 2 batteries in the camper and ran wires to the 12 volt house side battery with a disconnect. I have made sure all is off in the rv. Im gonna go out there and take some voltage readings I read here. There is a solenoid next to this battery. I figured i would ask as I am clueless at this point. Everything works, its just an abnormal amount of current being drawn. Thanks if you can offer some guidance..

    1. Howard

      Hi, Robert!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      It sounds like yo have a couple of amp draw of parasitic load that you have to identify. I am certainly not a solar expert! However, the principles of DC voltage are the same regardless of the system being looked at. I would try removing one 12-volt house system fuse, one at a time while measuring load to see which circuit reduces the amp draw. This may help identify your parasitic load.

      Just my two cents worth!

  168. Jason

    So I know nothing about 5th wheels or electricity for that matter, but I am renting a 5th wheel ATM and it’s issue after issue, but I have light power just no other power, outlets fridge stove nothing works checked the break nothing blown. But when I did check the break I decided I’d turn every one off and back on again in doing so I nothing started working again but my lights didn’t go off either. I am connected with a converter and an extentsion cord and plugged into the house/trailer. I went outside and discconected the power cord from the converter to the extension cord and yet it still didn’t make not one light go out but still have no power anywhere else. The lady I rent this from knows nothing about it, what can I do?

    1. Howard

      Sorry to hear that Jason!

      If I were there I would be checking the 120-volt power source with a volt meter and then trace it back through the shore power cord into the RV. I think if you do that your problem will become evident.

      Good luck!

  169. Janet

    I am scared. I took my brand new 2017 Winnie Drop out for it’s maiden voyage this past weekend. The last night, a rain storm hit and the power went out. At the time, the A/C unit was running. While the power was out, I set the unit to off. When the power turned back on, the A/C unit would not turn back on. Nothing, no blower, no air. I checked all breakers (both inside and at the power pole outside) and none were tripped. There are 2 50 AMP fuses in the breaker box, neither one were blown. I did not have a surge protector at the main outlet. (First time out and that was on my list of things to buy but I just haven’t done it). Do you think I am looking at having to replace a whole brand new A/C unit? I want to kick myself for not going out in the storm and unplugging the trailer from the pole.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Janet!

      Have you checked the 12-volt fuses too? If the 12-volt system was taken out the thermostat and AC control board will not have the needed power to make the AC unit function.

  170. Ralph Grapoli

    Afternoon, I have a 2017 Thor Freedom elite 22FE. Everything worked when purchased but now the camper power “on/off ” switch does not operate the camper portion power when not plugged in. In other words no light or slide power from the battery. This switch is on a 3 switch panel. One is the power, one is the awning, and one is the interior lighting. When plugged in to shore power I do have full power except only the “on/off” switch does not work. I checked all the circuits, fuses in the camper portion as well as the Ford 450 engine fuses. All good. Battery is full charge too.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Ralph!

      Given it is under warranty, I would take the unit back to the dealer to have them check out the switch. If you mess with it and have a problem, they may not touch it after that.

  171. Becky Taylor

    What would cause the breaker to flip for the refrigerator and the lights? I flip it back and hear a loud buzzing noise under kitchen table.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Becky!

      What is under the table that is creating the loud buzzing noise? Is the noise coming from inside the RV or from a storage bin below?

  172. Jerry

    Just bought a new 12 volt battery for my 1996 Jayco camper. The wires spark and heat up like it’s shorting out. Can’t hook up the battery. Any ideas?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jerry!

      Did you replace the battery with an exact match to what the previous battery was?

  173. Dan

    I hope you can help,

    I replaced my 12 volt batteries with two 6 volts connected in series. (I connected the positive end of battery 1 to the neg of battery 2. The negative end of battery 1 runs to the trailer ground (frame of trailer) and the positive end of battery 2 runs to the trailer electrical system.) There is also a battery charger quick-connect plug connected to positive pole of battery bat 2 and negative end of bat 1.

    Is there anything different to consider for using a battery disconnect switch on two 6volt batteries connected in series? I ran the switch between the negative end of one battery 1 and the wire that leads to my frame ground? My trailer slowly gains a charge lighting up my Co2 detector (low energy alarm and red/green light) when the switch is in the off position. Eventually if I wait longer the ceiling LED light will work too. Bad switch or just connected wrong?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Dan!

      Try hooking the switch to the positive side instead of the negative side.

  174. Allen Blackburn

    Hi Howard, I love your site! I have a problem with a phantom amperage draw that I can’t pin down. I wanted to test how many amps/watts all of my devices/appliances draw so that I can properly size for a new generator.

    I am not plugged into shore power here – only running off of my 12V system for this testing.

    I have turned everything off – fridge, water pump, lights, water heater, stereo, furnace, fans. The only thing I can see that would be drawing any power is my gas leak detector.

    I inserted my voltmeter in series off the negative lead to see what my amp draw was, and found that it is pulling between 8-9 amps! I then pulled out every single fuse to see if this amp draw dropped off, and the 8-9 amps never drops off.

    The only thing I can make of this is that I might have a bad ground or perhaps an exposed wire somewhere.

    Do you have any thoughts on what might be drawing this current?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Allen!

      Thanks for visiting our website! Pam and I are glad you found it useful!!

      Can we approach this new generator sizing issue from another angle? Tell me what kind of RV (make, model, year, additional options) you have and I will get you an answer as to what would be best suited based on your 120-volt electrical load.

      Thanks!!

      1. Allen Blackburn

        Hi Howard – here’s what I’ve got:

        DC:
        Water pump – rated 7.0 amps max; 1.52 measured (voltmeter)
        LED cabin lights – 14 x 2watts ea.; 2.06 amps measured
        Fridge – rated 1.2 amps; 0.62 actual
        Small vent fan – 2.21 amps measured
        Large vent fan – 5.71 amps measured
        Stereo – 0.29 amps measured
        Water heater – 0.77 amps measured
        Slide out – 30.7 amps peak measured; 25 amps average measured
        Furnace – 13.0 amps peak measured; 7.4 amps running measured

        AC:
        A/C compressor & fan – 16.9 amps rated; manufacturer claims 2.5X startup factor, although I doubt this claim. I have used my old 4000W generator to run the A/C many times.
        Microwave – ? I never use it
        Converter charger – label says it is a 45A converter/charger. There are 20A and 30A fuses. Actual measurements show about 4 amps charging rate.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Allen!

          Thanks for the detailed analogy!

          Your DC load is handled by your batteries and converter so the load on the generator will be in the amount that you measured.

          As far as your AC load, I am guessing you have a 30 amp, 120-volt AC system. A 4000-watt generator is more than adequate for the load you are describing.

          Pam and I currently have a 30 amp AC max load RV, and an Onan 4000-watt gas generator. It is adequate for the load when Wally-docking, or boondocking. If that is your setup you will have plenty of electrons (LOL) with that size of generator.

          Happy Genset shopping!!

          1. Allen Blackburn

            Thanks Howard – much appreciated!

  175. Jason DiFranco

    Can I plug my rv with an adapter and two extension cords into an outside outlet to only run my ac powered fridge? If yes can I use a gfi outlet? Thx

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jason!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Yes, you can use an adapter to plug your RV into a 15 or 20 amp receptacle. However, if it is GFCI protected, and there is a chance it could trip and interrupt power if it senses a ground fault in excess of 6 milliamps. So, if you do use that receptacle, keep on eye on it to be sure you have power in the RV.

      Also, be sure you only have the converter and the fridge using 120-volt AC. Be sure all other 120-volt items are off (switch circuit breakers off if you can) so you don’t exceed the amp rating of the circuit you are plugged into. Also, a 12-guage extension cord may be better than a 14-guage cord.

  176. Justin Wood

    Help! I bought a used 2006 Coachmen trailer. The previous owner said the single 12 volt house battery wouldn’t stay charged. I installed two 6v house batteries in series and upgraded all lights to LEDs to give us more ampere-hours off-grid. I just discovered that plugging in to shore power heats up the positive battery lead so much it smokes! When I remove the inline fuse and connect each socket to a multimeter I measure a 13 amp D.C. draw with nothing turned on! Unplugging the shore power, there is still an 0.1 amp draw across the fuse gap. What could it be?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Justin!

      First off, is the wiring for your new batteries up to the task? If things are heating up that tells me the wiring to the batteries may need to be upgraded. Also, is the converter able to handle charging the new setup? Also, these are deep cycle batteries that you installed, right? Just want to be sure.

      1. Justin Wood

        Hi Howard. Thanks for the response. The batteries I installed are Duracell SLIGC115 high capacity golf cart batteries.

        I installed an inline fuse holder so I could use a 25 Amp fuse. The wire of the fuse holder is a smaller gauge than the battery connection cables. I’m guessing it’s only about 12 AWG.

        Since the trailer wiring already has an auto-reset 50A thermal breaker, do I need the fuse holder I added? Anytime I add a fuse, it sparks.

        What do you think could cause a 13 amp draw from the batteries when I plug in to shore power?

        1. Howard

          Hi, Justin!

          It does not sound like your added fuse is needed if you already have the re-settable fuse.

          As far as your 13 amp “draw” when you plug into shore power, that sounds a little backward. I would expect just the opposite. When you plug in, your converter will kick on and should then be charging the batteries, not create a load on them. Not sure what’s going on there!

  177. Jeff

    First, let me say I have owned several campers/rvs of different makes/models. Just recently bought a used truck camper and took it out for the first time this weekend. Similar situation as you described in your article above. Had truck camper plugged in at home (using convert plug . for 20 to 30 amp), no problems. Even the air conditioner worked but I didn’t leave it on long as I know that is not good to do on a converter plug. Loaded up and went to camp ground. Plugged the unit in and click… breaker on pedestal kicked out. Tried several times to reset. Went to RV store and bought a new 30 amp power cord thinking my power cord must be shot. (noticed previous owner had tapped the end so that was a clue). Bring it to the campground and plug it in. Same result. Shut off all breakers in the camper. Plugged it in, everything ok. Switched on each breaker one by one, when I get the last break, the pedestal break kicks out. Not sure what the last breaker was as it wasn’t labeled. Figured we can live without it for the night. Few minutes later, pedestal breaker kicks out. Tried the game again, switching off breakers then turning on one by one. Works until last breaker. Leave last breaker off, works for a few minutes. Move to another pedestal, same situation. Decided to call it quits and came home. Plug it in at home, no problems. Even the AC works.
    The guy at the campground (State Park), said I must have a short and that the campground electrical system is grounded so it will catch those issues where as my outlet at home probably isn’t. That just doesn’t sound right to me. The campground pedestal looks like it needs to be updated. The breakers felt loose when I reset them, easy to trip, and the 20 amp plug was so loose the converter plug wouldn’t stay in the socket when I tried to use it, just fell right out.

    So, any ideas? Do I have a short somewhere? Is it my camper or the campground?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jeff!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      I think your assessment is probably right based on your description of the parks electrical pedestal. Loose breakers that are overused can yield the results you experienced. I have replaced many as an RV park maintenance work camper with these same symptoms!

      See how it works next time you take the camper out.

  178. John Foley

    Howard,
    My AC quit during the night and the heat woke us up. The generator was still running but none of the appliances were working no clock on microwave everything down except the 12 volt lights. The next day I giggled the cord and got it going again only to quit shortly after. Bought a new pigtail and had the main cord checked to see if it was ok and both were carrying a charge from the generator. I even swapped out generators still to no avail. We had the push out extended and needed to get it back in so asked my wife to giggle the cord on the exterior an the electric would come back on for a few seconds and after several try’s I could get it back in. I knew when the electric would come back as I could see the battery charge spike to full for a second or two then go completely dark not even the empty battery diode would come on. Any ideas on what could be the problem and how to fix ? Thinking it might be a short in the rv receptical or wiring.
    Thanks John

    1. Howard

      Hi, John!

      From what you are explaining and have tried, it does sound like the internal wiring at the RV shore power cord’s plugin receptacle.

  179. Brad

    Need a little help. Have a 1998 Terry by Fleetwood. Everything works except my batteries do not charge while I am on shore power. I thought maybe it was my charge comverter but I also noticed a 40amp breaker in line in my manual. Any idea where they would hide this?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Brad!

      I am thinking you may be referring to a 40 amp fuse? You can usually find these on the back of the Converter.

  180. Sheila M Weckman

    I have a Rockwood Mini lite by Forest River, it is on our vacation lot. The temps have been very hot. Tonight I had the crock pot on and my husband turned the air on in the heat of the day and forgot to close the door, so the air was working hard and not cooling. At dinner time everything shut down. My husband checked all fuses and breakers, they were all ok. The city checked everything from the poke to the camper and said it was our camper. Where do we go from here? I am having trouble finding info on line. Yesterday the power went out for a couple minutes and came back on. Today absolutely nothing for hours so far.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Sheila!

      Your situation as explained sounds more like problems with the power pole than your RV. Weak breakers can give the symptoms you are describing. I don’t think you have an inline electrical management system unless it is an external plugin unit. Those, if sensing low voltage at the pedestal will not allow power through to the RV. Now, you were running an AC unit and a crock pot. Both of these units on at the same time, possibly for hours, running constantly, could get you very near your maximum usage of 3600 watts.

      Could you have melted something inside the electrical panel? Could a breaker have malfunctioned? Might be worth a look!

      The trick with these kinds of issues is to start with the basics. Is the power at the pedestal truly okay? A breaker can test fine when not under load, but as soon as there is load it can malfunction.

      From there you have to venture inside the RV and verify that 120-volts is coming into the electrical box. If so, turn everything off that uses 120 volts and see if the receptacles have 120-volts coming to them. Then turn things on. If the power cuts out you may have a breaker issue somewhere.

      Just my two cents worth based on what you are telling me, Sheila.

  181. Cale

    I have a 15k. Btu dometic ac. A week or 2 ago, the ac went out. Installed new one, it worked perfect for 1 week. Ac just stopped running after I adjusted the thermostat. So I began checking power. All breakers are functioning and have 120 going out of them. All fuses are good. I metered each wire of the thermostat and all were in spec. The control box(in the ac) clicks when you turn the ac or fan on but nothing happens. I checked the 120 wires going into the ac box and I have no 120. So I have power coming out of the breaker, I should have power at the ac correct? Or does this run elsewhere before it goes to the ac. I do not think I have an inverter as I don’t have a generator. But I’m not 100% sure. It’s a 2010 keystone montana mountaineer. Thanks.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Cale!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Can you tell me what your DC battery voltage is when you are trying to get the AC unit to operate? Just making sure their is enough voltage to run the circuit board that controls the operation of the AC Unit.

      Also, just for grins, try another breaker in place of the one currently in use. Even of you have to borrow one from another circuit, let’s eliminate the possibility. You should be able to read voltage at the 120-volt junction box for the AC unit if plugged into shore power and the circuit breaker is good.

  182. Don

    I have an old 1984 Rockwood class C motor home, when I turn on the generator if I turn on any lights or plug into the 12 V accessory the light bulbs blow immediately and it burns up anything plugged into the 12 volt power point. Do you have any idea how to resolve this issue?
    Thank you
    Don

    1. Howard

      Hi, Don!

      Strange situation! But when it comes to RV’s, anything is possible.

      The only thing I can think that would make this situation occur when only the generator is running, and not when plugged into shore power, is somehow the AC voltage created by the generator is leaking into the 12-volt system. I am not sure how this could happen other than wires have crossed and when the generator runs you get this occurrence.

      Also, what voltage is the generator creating when running and at what frequency?

  183. Kelly

    Hi Howard,

    Might be a long shot but hoping I get a reply.

    I’m an electrician.

    My inlaws arrived in their 30ft RV with a ton of electrical issues. They recently had some body work repairs finished on the RV and shortly after hit the road.

    Got here hooked up to 30A shore power. Everything in the panel is fine. 120V at all breakers and relays. But, no AC at fridge, microwave, some general purpose plugs and house batteries not being charged. I’ve put in quite a few hours opening things up and getting at hard to access junction boxes underneath appliances and drawers but can’t find the break….

    Panel is under the bed but have not traced everything from there to first locations.just wondering if you have any tips or advice that might make my hunt go a bit faster? It’s 330am and my father in law just started up the rig in our yard (residential neighbourhood) to charge the batteries cause he low level alarm was going off. This is going to drive me bonkers.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Kelly!

      It seems to me that tracing voltages under load, starting at the 120-volt electrical panel is going to be the only way to find where you are dropping voltage. Check voltage into the main breaker, voltage out, voltage out of each branch circuit, and then best you can tell to the first receptacle in line from there.

      I don’t know the extent of the bodywork repairs but I have to think something happened to create that situation which may have also created others. Focus on the repaired areas to see if there are severed electrical lines or junction box?

      This is basically the same thing you would do when you trace these issues in regular residential electrical systems. No shortcuts that I am aware of.

  184. Karl

    Great information. Here is my issue. I have a 2012 Sunline Trailer. All was great when stored. Battery removed and stored. Put battery in and nothing works. I plugged it in to shore power my home and I get 110 out of outlets but the battery gets drawn down to 4.7v and nothing etc the 110 stuff works any Idea where to check 1st

    1. Howard

      Hi, Karl!

      How old is that battery? Is it original? If it is, at five years old, even though you keep it charged, it could be ready for replacement.

  185. Jim H

    Hi! I have an older model (1991?) Fleetwood 29ft pull behind camper. My problem is I trip breakers at the AC source where I am plugged in to when I run much of anything electrical in the camper. It started with the AC and I thought it was a bad unit as it was original and old, I replaced the AC unit with a brand new unit. It still throws breakers. I can’t even run the heat strip on the new unit without it tripping the breaker. Any ideas where to start? The camper is in fair condition but very old and I don’t want to spend a ton of money on it, it isn’t worth it, but I’m willing to troubleshoot and replace some components…. I’m just not sure where to start? Thank you in advance for any suggestions you may have!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jim!

      What happens when you turn off all the branch circuit breakers at the main electrical panel? How about the main breaker at the panel? Then, does it still trip the breaker at the AC source?

  186. Eric

    I have 2008 fleetwood tioga. When on house battery the water pump runs and the switch dims then the lights go off and back on. The status board shows my house batter as fully charged. Once I hook up to shore power I don’t have the issue. Any ideas?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Eric!

      Could you tell me the voltage of the batteries while the RV is unplugged from shore power and the water pump is running?

  187. Eric L

    Hello Howard, i have a 2017 forest river flagstaff on its first outing as I type this. All was fine until i plugged in a walmart fan into the outdoor kitchen plug. It worked for awhile then that plug, and the two plugs that power the tv went out. Fuses are fine, i flipped all the breakers, and reset the gfci, solid green, still no power to 3 those 3 plugs. Everything else still works. Should i replace the plug that i had that fan plugged into?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Eric!

      Since you are under the factory warranty, I would suggest you take it back to the dealership! There could be some bigger issues here.

  188. Mike

    Howard , I’ve recently purchased a1995 Dutchmen 31’ft on a Ford E350 chassis my auxiliary battery which I just purchased and charged fully before installing going dead while RV is not in use volts dropping from 12 to about 9.5 in a couple of days !! Checked to make sure all breakers and lights are off only thing I find is losing leak detector light is on showing it is operating and if I turn the fan switch for the AC from off to any of the settings it clicks like there is power on at AC unit ??? Any input would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance !!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Mike!

      Is this happening while you are not plugged into shore power? Does the battery charge while plugged in? Do you have a main battery cut off switch? Also, is the TV antenna booster off? The AC thermostat is run by your 12-volt system so hearing clicking is a good sign.

      1. Mike Bennett

        Thank you for your help I thought I would go ahead and put a cut off switch on the house battery as well do not know exactly what the blade switch is for on the battery for the engine and chassis functions !!

  189. Mike Bennett

    This is happening while not plugged into shore power !! Yes battery charges when plugged in !! Main battery for chassis has a blade disconnect on it !! I’m assuming the tv antenna booster is in cabinet with a receptical to plug a 12 volt tv into there is a switch on the receptacle !!

    1. Howard

      Yes, Mike! The TV antenna booster should have a button or switch on it to turn that off when not in use. That is another source that bleeds volts out of the 12-volt house battery system. If the battery cut-off switch is available for the house batteries I would shut that off or disconnect the leads.

  190. Wes

    my onan 4000 generator will not even turn over unless I have the Chassis engine running. It will not even make a click. All of the 12 V house works as well as the Chassis 12 V. I did put a meter on 1 side of the starter solenoid (not sure if that is the correct term) and there is no DC voltage until the chassis engine is running.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Wes!

      What is the condition of your 12-volt house batteries? How old are they and what static voltage do you get out of them without shore power?

  191. Craig

    Just bought my first camper a 2006 19ft Salem. When we plug it in the 30 amp connection at the campground everything works. When I turn on the AC all appliances go out and wall outlets stop. AC also does not work and when I turn AC off everything comes back on. I test it at home with 110 everything works ok but AC not very cold. Thanks for your help

    1. Howard

      Hi, Craig!

      Did this only happen at one campground?

  192. Adrienne

    have a 38 ft 5th wheel. We were parked in a field using a generator and then both the DC and AC starting working at the same time. Next thing we know my surge protector blew out black smoke. Then the air-conditioner stopped working as well as the microwave and the hot water heater stopped heating up. We have solar cells on the roof that go to two batteries for the DC. Now that we have packed up and moved when we plugged into the parks pedestal nothing works but sparks flew out of an outlet in the bedroom. Our fan is dead don’t know what else has been fried…. any thought about how to fix this? we are only on our 2 week of a 12 week trip. yes I know that I dont know much about electricity but my husband is too stubborn to ask.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Adrienne!

      Since the use of the generator caused the problem, I can only assume that something is wrong with the generator since it caused things to smoke. In this case, I would recommend a qualified RV technician take a look at your situation. A hands-on approach would be best to prevent a possible electrical fire.

      Best of luck!!

  193. Patrick

    Hello, I read a similar problem earlier on. I have a 2015 Heartland prowler travel trailer. Pulled to camp and got nothing from the batteries, it was plugged into shore power at home before we left. Plugged in generator and everything but slide out works. Put jumper cables on batteries and slide out worked, but they still wouldn’t charge, even from jumper cables. Replaced the batteries and slide out works but nothing else unless the generator is on. Slide out tells me batteries took something out or were a symptom of something else. Trailer won’t switch to battery power even with new batteries.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Patrick!

      When you say “slide out works but nothing else,” what items are you referring to?

  194. Patrick

    Hi Howard! Thank you.

    There is no power, lights, fans or pumps that normally work on the 12v power. Even when I hooked up jumper cables to the batteries nothing else worked. On the other hand, the slide out is the only thing that doesn’t work on the generator.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Patrick!

      If I have got this straight in my mind, from what you are telling me when the RV is hooked up to 120-volt power source, your 12-volt system works. That tells me the converter is working. Now, if there is a battery issue then that would be why the slide out does not work. It requires a lot of power to work which usually means the power from the converter and the 12-volt battery hooked to it.

      I would trace the wiring from your batteries to the converter to see if you lose the voltage. How many volts are you getting out of the new batteries right now? How are all the fuses in the 12-volt house system?

      1. Patrick

        Thanks for the help Howard, you pointed me in the right direction. There were two problems, batteries were bad and a loose connection. Even on shore power everything went dead before replacing the batteries. Once the batteries were replaced, everything worked on shore power only.

        I am not an electrician so after some research I was able to give names to what I found. Right below the batteries on a small busbar was 3 circuit breakers, they did not look like the circuit breakers I am used to. But I was able to verify I had 12.8 volts through the converter on the D/C side when it was plugged into shore power. With shore power off everything was dead inside the breaker box. I had 12.8 volts coming off the batteries and into this busbar. But I lost the voltage across the circuit breaker (looked like a 1″ cube with 2 posts) which was also loose on the side coming from the converter. When I plugged back into shore power I had 13.4 volts coming to that post but not going into the battery. I figured this circuit was bad from the loose connection but when I went to remove this circuit I bumped the black button on the bottom and heard a mechanical click that sounded just like a GFI, I then beat my head against the camper realizing that was it, a little black button that didn’t look like a reset button. Hooked everything up and it works.

        I am an industrial mechanic, not an electrician, and reading through this blog and teaching myself how to use a volt meter through you tube videos was able to find the ridiculously simple problem. So, Thank you!

  195. My name is Pete

    Can the air conditioner breaker be put on its own separate breaker

    1. Howard

      Hi, Pete!

      If you have room in the 120-volt electrical panel you can add an additional breaker just for the AC unit. If this is a 50 amp unit, be sure to balance the load on each leg if you separate the AC unit from its current position.

  196. Linda Fleeger

    Help. 2000 Monaco Dynasty.
    The inverter ( under warranty) has an issue. We had it removed to return to xantrex repair. at the time of removal the RV tech connected wires and all of our 12v supply worked from the batteries.
    That lasted about 4 hours. Now no 12v works at all.
    The batteries read 12.6 and it’s been on a battery charger and they read over 14v

    As a side note when the original inverter died the tech connected wires and hubby says he installed some sort of cable and we had no problem with our 12v system while waiting for arrival and installation of the new inverter.
    We have checked everything we can think of and now we are desperate. Since we are fulltime we need that 12v working.
    What are we missing???
    It could be a month or more before the authorized xantrex service center gets our unit repaired and back to us.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Linda!

      If the system worked for 4 hours and then stopped, that tells me something failed. Any fuses in the line you can check?

  197. Larry

    My trailers lights are dim inside and when I turn on the living area lights or the porch light the marker lights on the trailer come on . the side one is brighter than the rear, if I turn any of the other lights on separetly this doesn’t happen but does seem to be back feeding because at the 7 pin plug I have 4 connections with power instead of just the one (blue one)
    All this happens not plugged into 120V only 0n 12V , could the inverter be bad ? everything works fine on 120V
    Fuse block issue ?
    travel light shorting ?
    Where do I start to test ?
    Thank You
    Larry

    1. Howard

      Hi, Larry!

      The marker lights run on the 12-volt DC chassis electrical system, and the interior lights run on the 12-volt DC house electrical system. Does this happen when the 7 pin is plugged into the tow vehicle or not?

  198. Tori v

    Hey ! I bleached my roof ( trying to get it ready for putting a sealant , then hosed it all off , as i was hosing it off my son told me all the power went out , i have it hooked up to the side of the house I’m very fully aware of not turning on the microwave and not turning the hot water heater on while the AC is running so nothing else is on but the AC and the TV which normally is always fine so I get down and I realize the little cabinet that is on the bumper of my RV is an old RV it’s a 1986 Chevrolet or GM aluminum light lol and anyways the cabinet or the little compartment where the big black power cord is usually stored and where the cord comes from the whole thing was halfway filled up with water where the cord comes from so there’s a little box that has the outlet that looks like a dryer or washer prong type and then the thick black power cord comes out of the box well it was halfway under water and now my electric will not come on how do I go about this what do you think I’m going to need to replace this is my first time owning an RV I wanted to save up and not have to pay rent so I can buy a house next year so I’m having a lot of issues LOL and I know nothing about it

    1. Howard

      Hi, Tory!

      Sorry to hear that! I would get the water out of the box, let it completely dry out, check your breakers inside the RV as well as the breaker to the outlet the RV is plugged into, and go from there. I am sure something has tripped which cut the power when everything got wet.

  199. Ron

    Hi

    There are some question like mine but can not find answer.
    My power problem. All works on 120V, unplug 120v then nothing works on battery when it should.
    check ground at battery, good. Voltage at converter/charger only 0.5 volts, Disconnect power wire at converter and at fuse block and have 12 volts. When power wire is connected to fuse block voltage drops to 0.5. Remove all fuse except one for a light and get 8 volts.
    Do fuse board/blocks fail??

    1. Howard

      Hi, Ron!

      What is the voltage at the battery, with the 120-volt power and the converter on, everything as it should be, then at the battery with the 120-volt power off? Take these readings one right after the other. Let me know what you get.

  200. Casey

    So I have a 2015 Grand Design. The power is kicking off with some of our appliances. Everything will be running great then all of a sudden the furnace stops working. I flick the breaker and it will start up again. The washer will read “no Water”, flick the breaker and it’ll work again. A DVD got stuck in the DVD player, flicked the breaker.. any idea why this is happening? We’re on a 50 amp.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Casey!

      When the furnace stops working, what breaker are you referring to? Same with the washer and DVD player.

  201. John

    Hi Howard,

    My RV has been plugged in since January and haven’t had an issue until this morning. All the breakers are fine I tripped them anyway to make sure. The battery terminals are all good and everything is plugged in. All I had running was the fridge and a fan. Any ideas?

    1. Howard

      Hi, John!

      What’s the issue?

      1. John

        Nothing is working. Batteries won’t charge and lights are very dim.

        1. Howard

          Hi, John!

          If you have a volt meter, can you tell me the voltage of your house batteries with the RV plugged into shore power, and then with the shore power off? Based on what you are telling me I want to see if your converter is working. These readings will help to uncover that issue.

  202. Vicki Nickels

    Just bought a 2016 Nash and we are having problems with the electrical. Worked at home, went camping and nothing works. Reset the GIF, loomed at everything we could think of. Everything was off when we left home. Gave up for the night. 6 hours later all came on. Next day it went off for about 5 min. did it again, and has not come back on. Generator hooked up doesn’t do anything except turn on the microwave. Plugging into the truck doesn’t do anything. Everything is dead

    1. Howard

      Hi, Vicki!

      If everything worked at home but does not work at the campground, one would have to conclude there are some problems that have been created at the RV Park pedestal. I would have the park check your breaker and go from there. If you don’t have an EMS unit you might want to invest in one! https://yourfulltimervliving.com/best-rv-accessories/rv-electrical-accessories

  203. Billy Polk

    Hi howard so my rec work on my camper aswell as my tv and microwave when pluged in to shore power but my ac lights and fridge wont come on did i loose my power converter?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Billy!

      What is the current voltage of your 12-volt house battery? If the converter is not charging it to a level of at least 13.2 volts, then either your converter or battery, possibly both are in need of repair or replacement.

  204. Richard Rocha

    Hi Howard I replaced a LED bulb in one of the 12 volt ceiling lights and 4 of the ceiling lights will not go on. There are 8 lights on the ceiling and 7 were working before replacing one that wasn’t. BTW the light with the replaced bulb is working. Checked all 4 lights by putting them into fixture that was working all good. Been told these are daisy chained what do I check now?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Richard!

      I was recently sitting with some clients inside their new RV while at the dealership. The service manager offered to replace an led light that was not working. He put a new led in and the other lights went off. Upon further investigation, he found that a fuse had blown in the process. So, this sounds a lot like your situation. Did you check the fuse/fuses that support all these lights? Let’s start there!

  205. Deb

    Hi Howard,
    I have no power to my radio and Jacks back up camera not sure what else I did find that under my hood the 80amp breaker and 120amp breaker the arms were no longer connected so I replaced those. also i have a 10amp fuse that blows as soon as I put a new one in. A few months ago I had a friend staying in the rv and the shore plug got wet and melted. i replaced the plug and everything worked that she needed. she never used radio jacks etc.. so i am not sure when they quit working. I can not figure out why the fuse blows before i even get it pushed the whole way in. Hope this helps. I have a 2002 ford gulfstream motor home.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Deb!

      Sorry to hear that!

      Some of the items you mentioned are working off your 12-volt chassis electrical system. The 10 amp fuse that blows as soon as you try to put in a new one, what does that fuse operate?

      The shore power cord issue, whether created from moisture or over consumption, is a separate electrical system from the 12-volt chassis electrical system. I am not sure that issues with it would affect your chassis electrical system that way.

  206. Deb

    It is the Aux start feed ASF the chart says.

  207. todd

    hi I have an 84 Shasta class c just bought it everything worked fine off shore power from my home the night before.shut everything down went to plug it in next day nothing.no lights no outlets ac fridge etc.i have not tried the generator or does it have a battery.im not concerned with that just want to use it in back yard for now.if I run a jumpeer cord to one of the outlets I have power to all lights and outlets and stove fan.no ac or fridge.there is power going to breakers from 30 amp cord but low power where it hooks in to them.could it be the breaker?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Todd!

      If you are saying that plugged into shore power, when inside the 120-volt electrical panel of the RV, you have voltage coming into the panel but not coming out of the main 30 amp breaker that is feeding the branch circuits, then I would try replacing the 30 amp main breaker.

  208. Deb

    the aux start feed (asf) 10 amp the beaker blows weather it is on shore power or if the RV is running.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Deb!

      Is there a relay switch attached to this circuit? Follow the wiring from that fuse and see where it goes, if you can. My guess is this electrical system allows the house batteries to start the RV in case the chassis batteries fail. This system can allow a link between the other electrical systems in the RV. Look for a switch on the dash too. Check if the switch has gone bad.

      This may be one of those issues Deb where what you are trying to diagnose is not easy to access, nor easy to fix, depending on skill set. You may have to hire the services of a qualified RV technician to assist.

      1. Deb

        Hi Howard,
        I did try to get a technician out to the house but local camper place didn’t work on motor homes only tow behinds go figure. I did follow the wire and it was wrapped around some other things I straighten it and it works. I am just going to replace this wire cause I figure all I did was make the wires make a connection if it gets shifted or moved it probably will not work but at least the Jacks are raised and I can drive it 2hrs down the road to dealer where we got it if it needs other work. I need to get furnace checked and gas scares me so the dealer will do that for me. You were right tough it is very hard to trace these wires. Thanks for all you do and info you give us.

        1. Howard

          Thank you. Best Wishes Deb!

  209. Mike

    I own a 1984 Barth and had to replace the old electric Kwikee step with a new Kwikee electric step. The wires were the same colors so I attached them (had the old diagram for wiring and the new instructions wiring appeared to work in same set up) everything works except in reverse.
    The step will go in when you open the door, the step light will turn on when you shut the door.
    confused!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Mike!

      Have you tried switching the wires?

  210. Jake

    Hi Howard
    2003 fifth wheel Dutchmen
    Problem is my GFI rec. they work from master bedroom, then up to front wall of kitchen. Rest are dead. Everything else works too I might add. Have checked everything I know
    Any help would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks in advance

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jake

      How many actual GFCI’s do you have, where are they located, and do you know what receptacles are downstream from them?

  211. Brandon Roberts

    Good morning.

    1996 National Tropical motorhome

    So today I was cooking eggs on a plugged in skillet, making coffee, running the domestic fridge, running the AC, and a box fan.

    Suddenly everything died…I’ve flipped all the breakers unplugged most everything and reconnected the motorhome…

    Still no power at all!!!

    What is wrong?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Brandon!

      When should I show up for breakfast? LOL

      If this happened to me I would reset the breaker at the pedestal and check to see that the power cord was not damaged. If the plug gets hot things can melt and prevent voltage from getting into the RV. If that is okay, reset the main breaker in the 120-volt electrical panel and check to see that the branch circuits are okay. If you still don’t have power, I would try unplugging the RV and run the generator to see if that works. If not then you may have a problem with your transfer switch. Let us know how it turns out.

  212. Tony

    Hi Howard, I have a 2004 ford phoenix cruiser that the starting battery dies all the time. We replaced the battery with a brand new one and it still gets drained from something. My question is, does that battery run anything else other than your typical headlights, radio, dome lights, etc. If it does, do you have any suggestions to look at. And also is the starting battery and the battery in the back connected together. Thank you for your help.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Tony!

      My experience with Class C’s on the Ford chassis is this: The chassis battery only runs starter, lights, ignition, nothing in the house system of the RV, that is handled by the house batteries. Now, when the engine is running the house batteries are charged by the alternator. When the RV is parked, and the chassis battery gets weak, there may be a button on the dash that allows the house batteries to link to the chassis battery to provide additional volts, if needed.

      What are the situations in which the battery gets run down? Is this when you are parked and plugged into shore power or is it while the vehicle sits unplugged? If it’s the latter it is possible the link between the house and chassis battery, handled by relays, may be feeding the house system and running it down, especially if the house batteries are older. Just a thought. If the volts can travel from house to chassis, they sure can go the other way as all the batteries seek equilibrium.

      You may want to check with Phoenix Cruiser for their thoughts.

  213. Chris

    Hey,

    I hope you are still around and able to help me out. So my trailer has been working fine since I purchased it last year, however we always camped at a fully serviced site plugged in. This past weekend I camped with out electric hookup and took my 3000 Honda generator. When we got to the site, I tried to set up without plugging in my trailer first, so using the battery on the trailer to lower the front jack etc. But the only thing that worked in the entire trailer was the front jack. Not a light, slide nothing. So I powered up the generator and everything worked fine. I ran the generator the entire night and the next day I tried using just the battery again for small stuff like lights and running the fridge and hot water tank off propane……not a gig. Now, I can still use my front jack which is wired directly to my battery and it had lots of juice to go up and down all day……..I hooked up jumper cables from my truck battery and ran it to the trailer battery and still no change…….if my converter was toast wouldn’t the power still not work if I hooked my Generator up? What’s the problem here, do u think? By the way it’s a 2016 30 foot Forest River Salem.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Chris!

      What you are describing sounds like a battery that just does not have enough amps to handle the load unless plugged into shore power with the converter helping it out. I would have the deep cycle house battery load tested to see if it is as it should be. Given you have use of 12-volt components while plugged in indicates the converter is working.

      1. Chris

        Howard,

        Thanks for the quick reply, so even though the battery will power my front jack all day long, you still think it’s not strong enough to power anything else eh? Ok I will have it load tested tomorrow, am I able to charge this as boy up or is it a goner of it doesn’t pass a load test?

        1. Howard

          Hi again Chris!

          I am basing my response on what you are telling me and previous experience with issues like these. Unfortunately, even though your RV is a 2016, the battery may be older than that. There are services that say they can make a battery like new again but I have no personal experience with them. Just charging the battery will not bring it back to life. After awhile they just loose their ability to provide voltage pressure and flow. Keep us posted on your progress.

          1. Chris

            Ok I will get it load tested tomorrow,
            Thanks you very much!!

          2. John Brand

            How do I post here??
            I have a 2008 sandstorm. With two 6. Volt new batteries. When I turn on generator the 30 amp fuse got so hot it melted plastic around it?? Overheating fuse area???? What’s causing this?

          3. Howard

            Hi, John!

            Can you send me a picture of what you are describing to howard@yourfulltimervliving.com?

  214. Rich overman

    I have a 2007 dutchman and the power went out in a rain storm there was no lightning with the storm the power came back on and now i have the right side brake light on all the time i have pulled all the fuses shut off the 120 volt breakers and it stays on pluged into my truck or regular power what am i missing that is causing this

    1. Howard

      Hi, Rich!

      Are you saying that with all the 12-volt fuses pulled, the tow vehicle unplugged from the trailer 7-pin connector, and the 120-volt power unplugged, the brake light stays on?

  215. Sherri

    Good Morning Howard.

    I did see your response to a fellow RVer that was getting power to all the outlets and appliances but no lights. I am having the same issue. Everything works in my trailer except my lights will go off Sporadically and then they will come back on sometimes 15 minutes later and sometimes not until the next day. We have of course checked the breaker and turned them off and then on again. Sometimes this works, but mostly not. You mentioned that it may be a dropped wire. What does that mean? We have a 2004 Rockwood 31 foot.

    Do you have any other ideas of what is going on?

    1. Howard

      Greetings Sherri!

      Your 12-volt house battery system controls your lights in the trailer, not the 120-volt system, other than the converter that is running on 120 volts, charges the batteries that power the lights. So, that being said, of the lights come on and off sporadically, to me that means there is a fuse problem or a loose (dropped) wire. I would start at the 12-volt fuse panel and wiggle the fuses when the lights go out to see if one or two of them bring the lights back on. Once you find the fuse, take a pair of needle nose pliers and tighten up the fuse holder and for peace of mind, replace the fuse. There is also a chance that wires behind the fuse panel could be loose too. I have seen that happen. Try that and let us know what you find.

  216. Larry Grace

    I have a 32′ 2006 Durango 5th wheel trailer. I had it plugged into a 30 amp breaker at home. The other afternoon when I got home the breakers were tripped. I reset the breakers and check with my meter and they are hot on the outlet post but nothing is working, no lights, no refrigerator, no AC, what could be wrong here. Hope you can shed some insight on my problem, because I am totally confused.

    1. Howard

      Greetings Larry!

      The 30 amp receptacle that you plugged into: can you get me a voltage reading between the two upper slots? The reason I ask is that in residential applications these plugs are wired for 240-volt applications. If you plugged into that you will have likely fried everything inside the RV and that is why the breakers were tripped and now nothing is working. If the receptacle is 120-volt service then we will have to look elsewhere, but let’s start with that.

  217. Ivy Fitzwater

    Great information! I am new to full timing and have a problem. Everything works, except the outlet to the built in microwave is dead. We removed it and plugged it in elsewhere and it works fine. No thrown breakers or dead fuses. Microwave has its own breaker switch. Have reset all GFI and the breakers. Any idea what it can be?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Ivy!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Does the RV have an inverter and if so does the inverter power the microwave? What I would do at this point is to check the voltage reading on the output side of the microwave breaker and see if there is the appropriate voltage there. If so, then somewhere between the breaker and the outlet there is a disconnect. Pull the outlet from the wall and check the wiring on the backside. It is possible that one of the wires has come loose.

      Keep us posted!

  218. Bill Cowie

    Hello, Great blog! I seem to have cut my power cord from the trailer to my truck, 7 prong. (sharp turn and cut between the hitches) Bought a new one and installed it. one turn flasher worked and the other didn’t cleaned it all up and tried again with no luck. I took out the bulb in the back of the trailer and when i turned it around it went on, but it is not in properly and won’t stay in. I tried it a bunch and eventually none of the tail lights work. I’ve checked and replaced the 30 amp fuse by the batteries (it is a 25′ 2015 Prowler trailer). Now I’m stumped, I believe I shorted out somewhere but can not find where? Any idea what I can do? Thank you!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Bill!

      I never had this happen with our 5th wheel but have had friends who did. Sorry to hear that!

      What I would do if I was troubleshooting this is to have a power source for the 7-pin connection, and then, using a volt meter measure to see where you have 12-volts and where you don’t. That will help you to diagnose the problem.

  219. Nadine Edmunds

    Hello, I wonder if you could point us in the right direction. We have a fifth wheel that is currently being stored. We were in there cleaning today. We had the generator running, the AC unit turned on. We turned the generator off and back on again… Now the AC/furnace will not turn on, no power at all, no fan blowing. The AC is on a twin breaker with the ceiling fan which also does not have power now. Everything else is running. No breakers are tripped, we tried each one, just in case. No fuses are blown, we looked at each one. The AC and the ceiling fan are on the twin breaker, like I said, so we are thinking that this is, most likely, a bad breaker? Is there anything else we should check? Thank you so much for your help!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Nadine!

      It sounds like you have given this problem some thought. If the AC and fan are the only non-functioning item, and you have reset the breaker with no result, try replacing that first. If that does not work then something may have suffered an electrical failure in the surge of restarting the generator, if the RV was plugged in, and the generator not grounded.

      So, try that and let us know if that fixes the problem.

  220. TONY WILLIAMS

    My question is: How can I turn on the “side dock” lights and the “rear dock” lights without trying to start the engine? We have a 1997 Holiday Rambler Imperial. There are two “side docks” (one on each side) and a “rear dock”. I thought when I turn the ignition key to “accessories” and press their buttons that they would come on when needed in the dark. It didn’t happen. I had to turn the ignition key to the right as if starting the engine. It made a very loud whistling noise, not good. Can anyone help me? (PLEASE) My cell phone number is (559) 307-3241. Feel free to call anytime. My name is Tony. My email is: tonywilliams15@yahoo.com

    1. Howard

      Hi, Tony!

      These side dock lights should run off the house batteries, not the chassis batteries. If they are not working, you might check to see if the bulbs, or the fuse that protects them, are good.

  221. Dwain Osborne

    why does my generator go into overload when i run only the a/c in my travel trailer ?? the a/c is 13,500 btu and the 1 generator was honda 3000 and the other one is a predator 3500. it does it to both generators.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Dwayne!

      Does the AC unit work okay when plugged into 30 amp shore power (3600 watts)? What are voltage and frequency values generated by both generators? Let me know and we’ll go from there.

  222. Gregory Smart

    Hi Howard,
    I have a Forest River Sunseeker 2300.
    When plugged into shore power the 110V outlets and appliances do not work.
    When the generator is turned on; everything works.
    A current sensor detected no power after the transfer switch when plugged into shore power.
    Visually inspected the transfer switch (WFCO T30) no obvious damage.
    Any ideas?

    1. Howard

      Hi Gregory!

      When plugged into shore power, have you taken a voltmeter and checked for voltage at the point the wires come into the main breaker? If you have no voltage there then trace back to the point where you do read voltage. That will probably be your transfer switch.

  223. Danielle

    We juse towed our travel trailer home, everything was working this morning before we left the campground. We plugged it in as soon as we got home and now the ac, fridge, and microwave will not work.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Danielle!

      Let’s start with the basics: is there power at the outlet you are plugging into? Are the breakers inside the RV tripped?

  224. Gregory Smart

    Thanks for your reply Howard.
    Just a follow up:
    Checked the transfer switch for continuity with an ohm meter,,,,,it was fine.
    Removed the power inlet and had to take the plug apart before I could see that
    the plug was melted around the blade connected to the black wire, Very subtle, but that was it!!

    Thanks,

    Greg

    1. Howard

      Thanks for checking back Greg! Glad you found it!

  225. Jennifer H

    Hi Howard:

    I went to winterize my camper (Dutchman Sportsmen) today and plugged the camper into an outlet. I have power to the microwave, but not to the lights or the water pump and heater. I do have the batteries unhooked. I have checked all of the inside fuses and none are blown. I have not checked the fridge or water heater yet. Do you have any ideas why I don’t have power to lights and water pump?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Jennifer! Hook up the batteries and see what happens. The systems that are not working require 12-volt power. The converter can’t handle all the 12-volt load.

  226. Misti

    Hi Howard. I’m desperate with longer nights coming.
    Bought a 2004 wildwood 5th wheel in April. Have been full time living in it which was made considerably easier with the addition of a bank of 4-6v batteries. I went 7 weeks with full lights, fridge and water pump before the batteries even drained down to %70. That same day, I went from 70-%0 and even after recharging the batteries to 100, I have no power to the trailer without being plugged into a generator and after unplugging I have very dim lights that fade within 1-2 minutes. I purchased a new inverter, double checked the wiring setup and am flat out of ideas. Any clue what could be happening?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Misti!

      I would check your converter to see if it is charging your batteries as it should. Based on what you are telling me, I would check there first.

  227. Heather

    I have a 2017 28v Forest River Vengeance toy hauler. While hauling our bike, it tipped over and broke out my window, leaning out of the window. After we cleaned that up, we plugged into shore power at campground. Everything worked inside, then breaker tripped at shore power. Flipped breaker, everything came on. 30 minutes later everything shut off except lights. No appliances or outlets would work. Checked breakers and fuses, all check good. Checked outlets and found a loaded neutral at 124V. Even checked distribution panel, found all neutral worse at 124V. All hot wires 124V. Why would all of a sudden, I have 124V at neutral wires? Could the bike have knocked a neutral wire off 1 of outlets? Or a Powe surge? Please help.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Heather!

      Are you saying that when you measure a neutral slot to a ground slot in a receptacle you read 124 volts?

  228. Dan B

    I just purchased a 1999 Thor Four Winds Infinity (Q30). The 2 lamps that are mounted behind the bed and the roof mounted fluorescent light (bedrooom) and the bathroom lights above the sink, and the fan vent (bathroom) were all working fine when i purchased the RV. The first night i had it, I plug the RV into the house and the kids were watching the TV in the bedroom and all the lights were working fine and the front A/C was on. Then the list of lights mentioned above went out (not the A/C). The next day I opened the fuse box and noticed that the 1 amp fuse was blown/melted and the plastic around the fuse holder was melted also. I replaced the one amp fuse and it worked for 10 seconds and blew again, no breakers were thrown. First time owner of a RV, so I don’t know much.
    Thank you

    1. Howard

      Hi, Dan!

      Good explanation of your current situation! Okay, when things heat up and melt, what does that tell you? It’s kind of like trying to jook up a water hose to a faucet that has pressure that is way too high. The hose expands and burst: to much flow and not enough hose. If there is too much load on the wiring: too much flow needed to power the demand, the wiring will heat up and cause damage. So, are the light bulbs in the fixtures rated for them? does everything appear to be original or has a higher power consuming fixture been installed? Is the correct fuse in use for that circuit? Perhaps these are some items you can start investigating and then go from there.

  229. Acker