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120 Volt Plug in RV Not Working

by Gary Bohn
(San Jose,CA, USA)

120 Volt Plug in RV Not Working

120 Volt Plug in RV Not Working

Is there a 110 plug when running on batteries? I have checked all the plugs for 110 when on 12v but nothing! But I have one plug under the dining table that has nothing even when I on 110v hookup.

The RV is a 33f 1985 Auto Mate Class A. I was told i have a converter on it ! I had trouble with the charging system, the house batteries were not charging. They replaced two relays to fix the problem.

ANSWER Greetings Gary thanks for submitting your question on our free Ask An RV Question Page.


I have been doing a little research on trying to determine what exactly is going on with your RV and based on my research I am going to assume that the model RV that you are talking about is the 1985 Royale. I have come up with a few suggestions on how to resolve this problem.

When it comes to the inner workings of the 120 volt system on an RV there can be many major or minor issues that would cause the problems that you are describing. The inoperable 120 volt outlet in your RV could be something as simple as a tripped breaker on that circuit in the electrical compartment of your RV or as complicated as problems in the actual wiring leading to the outlet.

Even though I am a firm believer in doing it yourself, I am also very hesitant in trying to work on problems with the 120 volt electrical system of an RV unless I have the actual wiring schematics for that particular model. It seems that all RV manufacturers have their own unique ways of wiring their RVs.

Since Auto Mate is no longer manufacturing RVs, I could not tell you where to get these electrical schematics, if you do not have them already. If you go in blindly trying to fix the problem yourself, you may create even more problems that could result in a fire, etc. I would strongly suggest that if you are uncomfortable working with the electrical system that you take your rig to a reputable RV Repair Shop and have them take a look at it for you.

As far as not having power available to any of the 120 volt outlets when not plugged into an outside 120 volt electrical source. You won't have any power to these outlets unless your RV is equipped with a Generator or Power Inverter. A Power Inverter is connected to the RV's 12 volt house batteries and "inverts" the 12 volt DC power to 120 volt AC power so you can run small electrical appliances in the RV.

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You say you were told that your RV is equipped with a Converter. A Converter is different than an Inverter. The Converter works when you are plugged into a 120 volt power source at a campground etc. The converter takes the 120 Volt power source and "converts" it to 12 volt DC to provide power to your RVs 12 volt DC circuits (for interior lights, etc.) and charge the RV's 12 volt batteries. A Converter will not provide any power to the RVs 120 volt electrical systems when the RV is not hooked up to a 120 volt electric source.

The Bottom Line In order to get 120 volt power while going down the road or boondocking, you are going to have to buy a Power Inverter for your RV. Inverters can run as little as $36.00 all the way up to $1,400.00 depending on the wattage you need. Installation on some of Inverters can be as simple as plugging the inverter into your RV's Cigarette Lighter Socket or having to hardwire them to the RV's house batteries. Depending on the wattage of the inverter you buy you can power everything from a TV, VCR, Laptop Computer to Drills and Table Saws while going down the road (we do not recommend using a Drill or Tablesaw while going down the road in your RV).

We have two inverters in our motorhome, one near the driver’s compartment and one in the back bedroom. See the picture to the left to see how it is installed.

We use the one in the driver's compartment to power our laptop computer while going down the road or boondocking. This keeps us from having to run the generator while traveling on the road.

The Inverter in the back bedroom is used primarily when we have our grandkids with us. They have to have that Xbox going even when boondocking.

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The inverters are very easy to operate, they have a simple on/off switch (see picture below) and in our case 3 electric outlets each. Both of the Inverters we have are 600 Watts each.

The one important fact to remember is that these inverters can and will drain your RV batteries when you are stopped or boondocking. Some Inverters will automatically turn themselves off when your RV batteries get below 10 volts. How quickly the batteries drain depends greatly on the wattage you are using.

Where can you get these Inverters? OK here comes the shameless plug, you can get them at The Everything About RVing RV Accessories Store of course. Just go to our store and type Inverter in the search box and you will see we have a large selection of inverters in all price ranges to choose from. OK you can open your eyes now the commercial is over.

I hope the information that I have given you will help in getting your RV's electrical problems resolved. As always our visitors are welcome to add their own comments on this topic by clicking on the Click Here To Post Comments link at the bottom of this page.

Good Luck and Happy RVing.

RVing Al

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