RVs are wonderful things to own, but they’re complicated vehicles that can frequently have issues. Keep reading to learn 6 of the most common electrical system issues but also what you can do about them.
1) Check The Breaker:
This is where you should start all of your troubleshooting. Breakers are designed to shut down the power outlets in order to avoid fires, shocks, and overloads. There are also likely ground fault indicators or GFIs on the actual power outlets too, and they do the same thing, since they cut the power off for an outlet if they sense that there’s too much electricity going through. Fortunately, these particular outlets come marked with ‘Reset’ buttons. If you trip such an outlet, just unplug everything from it before pressing the Reset button. Then, plug everything back in and you’re in business. If in all this you ever need to replace a physical fuse, do so with a fuse of identical amperage; using one with higher amperage numbers could burn out electrical systems or even ignite a fire.
2) The 12-Volt System:
The 12-volt system of an RV is a collection of what are known as deep-cycle batteries. These are what provide juice to the leveling jacks, propane detectors, circuit boards, and the 12-volt-light. Most RVs have a converter inside that switches 120 voltage into 12 voltage. The batteries of the chassis have to use power in order to run the exterior lights and turn signals. If these lights don’t blink right when you try to signal, then these batteries are likely the issue.
3) The 120-Volt House System:
The majority of household appliances use 120-volt current, so in the RV, that’s what gives juice to the microwave, air conditioner, and electric water heater. If put a new appliance into your RV recently, consult the manufacturer to be sure it’s a good fit for an RV. Its documentation should be labeled in terms of its volts, watts, and amps. Just like in permanent homes, issues in house electrical systems are a result of new appliances.
4) External Power Supply:
If your RV is plugged in but doesn’t have any power, then the issue might be due to outside factors. Campgrounds are unfortunately well-known for ungrounded and even corroded wires. Drive your RV somewhere else so you can plug the RV into a better source.
5) AC Current Draws:
There are times that issues only happen if you are simultaneously operating more than one appliance. If this is the case, then be sure your family or travel group avoids running any two or more or your water heater, hair dryer, microwave, and air conditioner all at the same time. These are the biggest sources of power drain. Should you run any two at once, you’re going to trip a breaker.
6) The Circuit Boards:
Find your electrical circuit breaker panel, probably right by the 12-volt DC battery bank. Open it, and then open all of your circuit breakers. Then, close them all, with the main input breaker last. Disconnect your 100-volt AC power from its pedestal, and remove any screws around the electrical panel so you can put it out. Check the terminals and connector tabs for acid accumulation. If necessary, clean it off with 12-fl.-oz. of water that’s mixed up with 1-tsp. baking soda. Dry every surface completely before you attempt to restore power.
When you do any troubleshooting in regards to RV electrical issues, use these 6 steps to rule out most issues first, since they’re the most common issues. If you are still having issues, then Fleet Tech can help. Find out how to get your RV looked at for repair. Call us today!