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Common RV Electrical Problems – Know What To Look Out For!

Common RV Electrical Problems

In order to keep your RV running safely and smoothly for everyone inside and outside, you need to be aware of the common RV Electrical problems that you might need to notice and fix in your vehicle. The systems that comprise the RV electrical mechanisms are made to consume low energy, which is a positive but are also known for a common negative – they are fussy, and can break down without giving any warning to the driver or owner. 

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Knowing the common RV electrical problems can be key to keeping your RV in a safe, reliable, and high-performing state while you take your family on vacations, drive around the country, or have a new place to live. By knowing the electrical problems, you can figure out the signs and symptoms of an issue, how to diagnose the problem, and how to 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 that can be seen 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 are the cause of the power shortage, then the first step you should take is undoing all of the electricity.


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 that you find, 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 so you can prevent burning out the system and harming the electrical problems even more. 


To know what fuses to use, 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. 

12V System


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 that are used to generate 12V power. The electricity is used to power the lights, provide power to the leveling jack, fuel the propane detectors, and give enough electricity to the circuit board. 


In addition, the electricity is used to convert the voltage which turns the 120V into 12V to use, which can cause common RV electrical problems. If you are having some issues with the lighting system, the indicators, or the circuit board, then 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. 

120V System


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 properly is new 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 the watts, and ensure they match the manufacturer’s recommendation and description. 

Overloading the Power System


When you are running multiple appliances and electrical components in your car, this can cause a common RV electrical problem that will need repairing or replacements. Running various appliances at the same time 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 the currents in your electrical system 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. 

Solar Panel


Another common RV electrical problem that you will find in your RV could be due to the solar panels. Since you will be constantly 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 there is 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. 

Circuit Boards


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 which can transmit electricity and cause a circuit, and a common RV electrical problem. 

Common RV Problems


Along with the common 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. 

Burst Water Lines


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 empty the water tanks on a regular basis to keep up with the routine maintenance. 


If you do not empty the tanks for a few days, then make sure you keep an eye on the weather forecast to see how cold it is going to 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 properly, or fix the leak if the lines are broken. 

Tire Blowout


A problem with carrying a substantial amount of weight on the four wheels of your RV is that the tires might not be able to withstand the heavy 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 make sure you check the tire pressure regularly, and especially before you bring your RV on a long drive. 


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, along with the spare tire, on a regular basis 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. 

Toilet Malfunctions


In addition to the common Rv electrical problems that plague so many RV owners, there are also common issues – like toilet malfunctions. The last thing that any owner wants in their precious RV is some toilet trouble. Not only is this unsanitary and uneahlthy, but it can ruin a great trip and the interior of your vehicle.


If you have a problem you will notice this by when the water stays in the toilet bowl or the toilet keeps running water. This is a problem that you need to deal with as soon as possible before anything gets worse. If the rubber seal around the large rim does not look in good shape, then you should look into replacing it very soon.


If you have noticed that the water valve is not able to completely close, then this is another item you will have to change out. Thankfully for RV owners, these water valves are pretty cheap in terms of RV repairs and common RV electrical problems. To avoid this issue, you need to clear and clean the channel around the inside edges and make sure there is no buildup, calcium deposits, toilet paper, and other debris that has been lodged inside.


When you realize that you do have toilet trouble that needs to be fixed, the best thing you can do is immediately act. If the valve gasket leaks, then you need to replace it and take the toilet out. Although this sounds very difficult, replacing the gasket is actually a pretty easy job in terms of common RV electrical and non-electrical problems. 

Common RV Electrical Problems Cost


In order to determine how much you might spend to use one of the solutions to fix the common RV electrical problems we have mentioned, there are average prices to the usual repairs of common RV problems – both electrical and non electrical.


Some of the most expensive repairs are the waste system, with the repairs ranging from $2,400 to around $3,400. For the engine, the repairs can extremely vary, depending on if you need a complete engine replacement or just to repair a certain part, averaging between $1,400 and $30,000 on the high end of the spectrum!


For the transmission, the repair ranges from $1,900 to $12,000, while the generator can also be a common RV electrical problem that ranges between $2,000 and $4,000 to repair or replace. The fuel system comes in at between $600 on the low end and $3,400 at the pricier end, while the leveling system is a common problem that ranges between $500-$2,000.


The slide outs on the sides of the RV for extra space can be repaired between $%0 and $!,700, while the dash air can range from $700 to $3,800. If you have a fifth wheel, some of the common RV electrical problems extend to this extra space as well, like the roof AC costing between $600 and $3,500 and the generator ranging between $2,000 and $4,000 to repair. 

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