Knowing the common RV electrical problems can be key to keeping your RV in a safe, reliable, and high-performing state while taking your family on vacations, driving around the country, or having a new place to live.
What To Look Out For In Your RV
By knowing the electrical problems, you can figure out the signs and symptoms of an issue, diagnose the problem, and fix the issue – not to mention knowing the steps and maintenance needed to avoid the common RV electrical problems in the future!
Fuses and Breakers
One of the main RV electrical problems in your vehicle is the fuses and breakers. If the fuses and circuit breakers cause a power problem, then you should first look at the circuit breakers to determine the cause of the issue. If the fuses and breakers cause the power shortage, then the first step you should take is undoing all of the electricity.
Replace the Fuses
Unplug all of the electrical connections and systems connected to the power breaker so that you can reset it to the default settings. Replace the damaged fuse, whether it is damaged, worn down, or has broken, and then replace it with one matching the amperage. You need to make sure the amperage is correct to prevent burning out the system and harm the electrical problems even more.
Recognize the Types of Fuses
There are standard color-coding systems that can alert you to what fuse you need to use in your RV. Black is 1A, Grey is 2A, Violet is 3A, Pink is 4A, Gold is 5A, Brown is 7.5A, Red is 10A, Blue is 15A, Yellow is 20A, Clear is 25A, and Green is 30A, so you will be able to know how much amperage and voltage is going into your RV.
Another common RV electrical problem that you might run into as an owner is the 12 V system. The RV that you own has a series of different kinds of batteries to generate 12V power. The electricity powers the lights, powers the leveling jack, fuels the propane detectors, and gives enough electricity to the circuit board.
The electricity converts the voltage, which turns the 120V into 12V to use, which can cause common RV electrical problems. If you have some issues with the lighting system, the indicators, or the circuit board, you can tie the problem and the root cause back to the 12V system. If this is the case, you should manually use a tool, like a voltmeter, to test if the batteries need replacements.
Car Battery Function
The car battery provides electricity to power the electrical components within your vehicle. Without the battery power from the car’s internal battery, no electrical component will work, leaving you without lights, radio, and power windows. If your car battery shows not enough volts, there might be an issue with the electrical system. If you find the electrical system is at fault, you need to learn how to tell if a car battery has a dead cell.
The chemical reaction occurs in the battery system, transforming the chemical energy into electrical energy to deliver voltage to the starter. In addition, the battery stabilizes the voltage to keep your engine running consistently and constantly. Without the battery, the car would not have the energy required to start and maintain the power to run your vehicle.
Incorrect Battery Reading
In some cases, a common RV electrical problem is that you may have an incorrect battery reading affecting the 12V system. The chemical reaction occurs in the battery system, transforming the chemical energy into electrical energy to deliver voltage to the starter. In addition, the battery stabilizes the voltage to keep your engine running consistently and constantly. Without the battery, the car would not have the energy required to start and maintain the power to run your vehicle.
A battery’s resting voltage will settle after 1-2 days of being removed from the charger and lowers after being removed, coming down to about 2.1 volts instead of 2.2 volts per cell. The incorrect reading means that your 12-volt battery can read as 13.2 volts instead of 12 when it is not fully charged. A common reason as to why your battery is showing an incorrect reading is that your battery has a dead cell.
Another main cause of a common RV electrical problem in your car is the 120V system. The main cause of this system failing or not working is newly-installed home appliances in your RV. check the description and the manuals for these new installations and make sure they are using the right power sources and amounts. Check the required voltage, amperes, and watts, and ensure they match the manufacturer’s recommendation and description.
Overloading the System
When you run multiple appliances and electrical components in your car, this can cause a common RV electrical problem that will need repair or replacements. Running various appliances simultaneously can quickly drain power from your electrical supply system and leave you in a blackout and without any power in your RV.
A large amount of stress and demand on your electrical system’s currents can cause the circuit breaker within your RV to trip. Make sure that the following components are not running at the same time, like small electrical appliances in your car such as the hairdryer, microwave, air conditioner, or other chargers for your computer or phone.
Outside Power Supply
If you test the batteries in your RV and they seem to be working well and providing enough charge and power, the problem if your RV might be an external one that is causing the common RV electrical problem. If your wires are damaged or have broken down over time, like the wires are ungrounded or corroded after substantial use, they might come in contact with other appliances in the RV and cause a short-circuit and failure.
If this is the case, make sure you drive your RV to a different site and try an alternative power supply to test if the 12V system and the 120V system is working in the proper order.
Another common RV electrical problem that you will find in your RV could be due to the solar panels. Since you will constantly be driving your RV to and from vacation spots and on the highway, the solar panel will be more prone to damage due to the constant movement.
If you experience some electrical issues in your car, you should check with the solar system and the connections before assuming another issue. Consult a professional mechanic or an auto body shop that will determine whether the solar panel and connections are present in your RV.
To make sure the circuit board isn’t responsible for one of your common RV electrical problems, you will need to analyze and check your circuit breaker panel. This mechanism in your electrical system is usually located near the 12V batteries in your RV. Close all monitor and minor circuit breakers and the main intake circuit breakers to make sure the connections are intact.
Make sure there is no acid accumulation on the board. If there is, clean the board with a solution of water mixed with baking powder to clean the electrical system. Acids have the right amount of ions that can transmit electricity, cause a circuit, and a common RV electrical problem.
Most Common RV Problems
Along with the common electrical RV problems that can plague RV owners, there are other common problems that owners should keep an eye out for so they can recognize the signs and symptoms, and know the direct solution to the issues.
Water Line Damage
First, burst water lines are a common occurrence within RVs. Broken water pumps or burst water lines are pretty common but can be avoided by storing the RV properly during the cold months and the winter season when you are not driving the vehicle. To avoid this common RV problem, you will need to regularly empty the water tanks to keep up with routine maintenance.
If you do not empty the tanks for a few days, make sure you keep an eye on the weather forecast to see how cold it will be. In addition, make sure you empty the tank before the first freeze. If you already know you will not be driving the RV or using it during the winter months, it is necessary to take care of the water lines to prevent them from bursting when you put it in storage.
If the water lines do burst and you have this common RV problem, you should apply sealing lubricant to keep the lines working, or fix the leak if the lines are broken.
A problem with carrying a substantial amount of weight on the four wheels of your RV is that the tires might not withstand the heavier weights, leading to common RV problems. If you frequently drive your RV over rough terrain, poor roads, or bumpy roads, then your tires might not be able to handle the terrain.
A tire blowout is dangerous since they are very heavy and can influence the driving quality and cause you to run off the road while driving. To avoid this problem, you need to regularly check the tire pressure, especially before bringing your RV on a long drive.
Avoid Tire Blowout
To avoid this tire blowout and this common RV problem, you need to make sure that you have a spare tire and wheel with you wherever you are driving your RV. make sure you check the pressure of all of your tires, including the spare tire, along with your routine maintenance. If you do end up having a spare tire blowout, then you should pull over your RV immediately to prevent your RV from veering off the road on a busy street.
RV Living on Property
To prevent the most common RV electrical problems, you need to keep your RV in a specific place to get the right power supply and not break any local laws. Let’s figure out the options you have for living on a piece of land in your area.
The easiest way to own land so you can successfully answer the question of “can someone live in a trailer on my property” is to purchase a lot in an RV co-op park. You can decide whether you want to purchase a lot for life, for a season, or multiple years. These parks always include amenities for permanent living, like water hookups, sewer, electric, and hygiene facilities.
The negatives of choosing co-op parks are the proximity of your neighbors. You won’t have the solitude of parking your RV in your private property in the mountains or the woods – you will be close to your neighbors, and you will frequently have to interact with other people.
Rural land zone area
These are generally unincorporated land, where officials allow residents to add to their tax base and remain lenient about what happens on the property -this means the answer will be ‘yes’ to the question of “can someone live in a trailer on my property.” With this option, the negative is that you are farther away from other people or help, so you are on your own if something goes wrong.
Neighborhoods with Allowances
When you want more space to park your RV and roam free, certain land spaces around the US have neighborhoods for zoned living. These lots have RV connections in place and hookups for you to avoid the most common RV electrical problems.
Diagnosing the most common RV electrical problems can help you prevent the fuses, 12V system, 120V system, breakers, water line, circuit boards, and solar panel from malfunctioning and harming your vehicle over time!