rv electrical problems

9 Common RV Electrical Problems You’ll Face (And How to Solve)

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There’s nothing quite like the peace and quiet of the great outdoors…until your RV’s electrical system decides to act up. But don’t worry – we’re here to help. We’ll discuss some of the most common RV electrical problems and how to fix them. So pull out your toolbox, put on your troubleshooting hat, and let’s get started.

rv electrical problems
Photo: welcomia / Getty Images

Common RV Electrical Problems and Troubleshooting

Anything that runs on electricity is bound to have some electrical troubles sooner or later. There’s no way to prevent them. All you can do is to make sure that they don’t occur often.

Let’s take a look at the common RV electrical problems and how to tackle them.

Dead Batteries

If your RV’s batteries are dead, you won’t be able to start the engine or use any of the electrical systems. One common cause of dead batteries is a faulty battery charger.

To test your RV battery charger, use a voltmeter. First, find out what the voltage setting on the charger is. Touch voltmeter’s black lead to the charger’s negative lead. The reading should be similar to the charger’s voltage setting. If not, the charger is not working and you need to replace it.

Corroded battery terminals can cause a number of problems, including weak or dead batteries. To prevent this from happening, clean the battery terminals regularly with a wire brush.

common RV electrical problems
Dead or weak batteries can cause many RV electrical troubles.

Another common cause of dead batteries is leaving lights on overnight. To prevent this from happening, make sure to turn off all lights before going to bed. You can also install motion-sensing lights, so they turn off automatically after a certain amount of time.

Also, don’t forget to charge the batteries regularly and replace them when they get too old. Sometimes, depleting them too much reduces their functionality. Keeping the batteries in good health will prevent many electrical problems.

Electrical System Overloads

If your RV’s electrical system is overloaded, it can cause the batteries to overheat and eventually die. This problem can be caused by various things, such as using too many appliances at once or using an extension cord that is not rated for RV use.

If your RV’s electrical system is overloaded, try unplugging some of the appliances that you are not using. Also, make sure to use an extension cord that is rated for RV use.

Tripped Circuit Breakers

If the circuit breaker trips, it means that there is too much current flowing through the electrical system. This can be caused by a number of things, such as a short circuit or an appliance that is drawing too much power.

If a circuit breaker trips, try to identify the source of the problem. If you can’t find the source, call a qualified electrician.

Loose Connections

Loose electrical connections can cause all sorts of problems, from blown fuses to fires. To prevent this from happening, make sure all of the connections in your RV are tight and secure.

Similarly, bad wiring is a serious safety hazard that can cause fires and electrical shocks. If you suspect that there is bad wiring in your RV, it needs immediate fixing.

It could be challenging and dangerous for anyone to identify and tighten loose wires without any mechanical knowledge. Take professional help if required because safety should be your first priority.

Faulty Outlets

Faulty outlets can cause all sorts of problems, including electrical shocks to fires. If you plug appliances into these outlets, there’s a high chance of them going out of order.

If any of the RV outlets cannot supply electrical power as they should, you need to repair or replace them as soon as possible.

To protect your electrical system and appliances from potential damages caused by low/high voltage or sudden electrical spikes, it’s highly recommended to equip an RV surge protector.

Flickering Lights

Flickering lights are common RV electrical problems. Several malfunctioning elements, such as loose connections or bad wiring, can cause this problem. A dying battery could also be the culprit in this case.

Check every possible source of trouble to see what’s causing this particular problem.

Issues with the Roof AC Unit

Several things could be responsible for troubles with the camper roof air conditioning unit. For example, the unit might not be getting power, or there might be a problem with the wiring or the fan motor.

Check the power supply and AC unit’s internal components. Call a qualified RV technician to inspect the unit if everything looks okay.

troubleshooting RV electrical problems
Electrical problems can cause the roof AC to act up. (Credit: RV Repair Club)

12-Volt System Problems

The 12-volt system in your RV is responsible for providing power to the lights, appliances, and other devices. If this system is not working properly, it will create many issues.

Troubleshooting RV electrical problems related to the 12V system does not take much skill. Start by checking the fuse box. Do you see any blown fuse there? If yes, you need to change it and install a new one. If the circuit breaker has tripped, reset it and see if the power comes back on.

No Power At All

If your RV has no power at all, it could be due to a number of things, such as a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. There could also be issues with the external shore power since you are drawing power from such a source.

There could also be battery issues or bad wiring. In fact, so many things could be faulty to cut the power supply completely. If you find it hard to pinpoint the source, call for professional help.

Conclusion

These are just some of the common RV electrical problems that you might face. By being aware of these problems, you can be prepared to deal with them if they ever arise. And if you ever have any doubts, always call a qualified electrician. Stay safe out there!

Did we miss any RV electrical problems? Let us know in the comments below. And be sure to share this article with your fellow RVers to help them stay safe on the road.

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