Troubleshooting RV Electrical Systems

RV stands for Recreational Vehicle. Call it a caravan or a campervan as it is referred in many places, nothing is more disgusting like an RV electrical system problem bringing your road trip to a sudden stop.

Remember, the refrigerator, lights, in-house appliances, and other electrical machinery run on electricity. Therefore, you can easily carry out electrical motor home repairs when you face an RV electrical problem. That is why we are here to help you with any RV repairs that you may encounter along the way.

Here we go!

How Many Electrical Systems does an RV Have?

One important thing to know is that there is more than one electrical system in your RV. There are actually three of them—two 12-volts RV electrical system along with a 120-volt RV electrical system. To help you understand them, we will give you a little information about each.

The RV 12-Volt System

At the heart of the 12-volt RV electrical system is the deep cycle batteries that give power to the 12-volt water pump, lights, leveling jacks, and all appliances' circuit.

The Chassis 12-Volt RV System

This system's power is driven from the chassis batteries powering the stoplights, exterior lights, and turn signals of your RV.

The House 120-Volt RV Electrical System

This RV electrical system is just like the AC system in your residence. The system powers the microwave, air conditioners, water heaters, wall receptacles, converters, and other accessories run by the 120-volt system.

Common RV Electrical Problem

Many RVs have 30 Amps and 120-volts running in their primary service. To get the power in watts, you simply multiply the voltage value with the current value. Multiplying 120 by 30, you get 3600 watts.

So, what happens when all the RV appliances run at the same time? Here is a breakdown of the power they consume.

              Air conditioner@2,400 watts

              Hot water heater@1,440 watts

              Converter@ 840 Watts

              Refrigerator@480 watts

In total, 5,160 watts will be needed to flow through the circuit, and your RV only produces 3,600 watts. Of course, the breaker will trip. This is a simple physics 101 lesson to help you understand your RV electrical system better.

Mind these Warnings

Before you start conducting RV repairs or even opening your RV panels, mind the below warnings.

              Refrain from touching any RV part if you are not sure what you are doing.

              If you are carrying motor home repairs for your RV like replacing a fuse or socket and it does not work, step aside and involve a professional.

RV Electrical Motor Home Repairs Do’s and Don'ts

Most of your RV electrical system issues come from the format in which you use your power. For instance, some of the factors include what appliances and accessories are plugged in, the location they are plugged in, and whether they are on or off status. The best solution is always to remember to switch off the appliances after you unplug the RV. Turn electrical devices on only when you want to use them.

More importantly:

              Avoid plugging the air conditioner directly. Always plug it through an adaptor; otherwise, you could fry or burn your air conditioning unit.

              Before you carry any RV repairs, find appropriate parking, and examine the power sources.

              You can use a voltmeter or source as electrical management devices. Electrical management devices will advise you of any RV issues before damages occur.

              Do not use any electrical accessory or appliance unless you are sure about their power requirements. Use the equation we stated earlier: Number of watts=Volts*Amps to determine the power or read the specifications from the manufacturer.

For more information on troubleshooting RV Electrical Systems, Contact us