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I Am An Idiot, Have I Blown A Fuse In My RV?

by Tracey Renfro
(Oakland, MS. )

Let me start off by saying I am a mechanical idiot.

The light bulb over my bed went out, when I went to change it, it broke off, finally got it out and put in a new one, then immediately lights went off at end of bed, lights over bed or at end of bed will not come on.

Have I blown a fuse and if so how do I tell which one to replace? I have 2004 Cherokee Lite (lost owner's manual and have no electrical/mechanical skill...

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

First, let me assure you that you are not an "Idiot". All RVers at one time or another have experienced problems similar to yours in their RV. Let's just consider this a learning experience.

Let's see if I can guide you through getting your lights back on. It sounds like you have either tripped a circuit breaker or may have tripped a GFCI Receptacle. Please follow the steps below:

1. First unplug the RV from electric. Once the RV is unplugged remove the light bulb that you just installed. Look inside the light socket and double-check to make sure that there are no remnants of the old light bulb in the socket; even a tiny metal piece from the old light bulb left in that socket can trip a GFCI Receptacle or Circuit Breaker. If everything appears clean reinstall the new light bulb. Also make sure that you are using the same wattage or lower wattage light bulb then what was originally in that socket.

2. Now that we know that the light socket is not the problem we need to check for a tripped GFCI Receptacle. First plug the RV back into its electrical source. Also make sure that you have not blown the circuit breaker on your RV's electrical source. If you are at a campground the breaker for your electrical source is right where you plug in at. If you are plugged into an electrical outlet from a house, check the circuit breaker in the house. If it was blown reset it and check to see if the lights are working.

Now let's see if we have blown a GFCI Receptacle. The picture below is of a GFCI Receptacle. Yes it looks just like a normal outlet except it has two buttons on it. This special outlet also acts like a circuit breaker. You can have more than one in your RV so look at all of the outlets in the RV to see if any of them look like the one below. If you find one of these plugs press the reset button on it and check the lights. Repeat this process until you have checked all of the GFCI outlets in your RV. If this does not resolve the problem then move on to step 3.

3. Now let's check the RV's circuit breakers. The circuit breakers are normally located in the electrical compartment in the RV. I cannot tell you exactly where yours is located. So you will have to start opening all of the outside compartments of your RV until you find it. In the electrical compartment you will find some circuit breakers just like in a normal house. You will also find a panel that has rows of automotive type fuses on it. We are interested in the circuit breakers only. Reset any tripped circuit breakers and check to see if the lights have come back on.

By following these steps you should get to the bottom of your electrical problem. I hope this information has helped you. If any of our visitors have additional tips for you they can add them to this page by clicking on the add a comment link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Comments for I Am An Idiot, Have I Blown A Fuse In My RV?

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RV house plug in
by: Russ

Plug my RV into house out let blow breaker in house

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