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I Shorted Out The Electrical System On My Travel Trailer, HELP!!!


How to Reset the Electric in Your RV

How to Reset the Electric in Your RV

I shorted out the exterior plugin on my 1998 Wilderness Travel Trailer with a bad cord. This also shorted out my GFCI Receptacles 2 of them in the kitchen; they must be on the same circuit. No breaker or fuse is blown in the fuse box.

What can be done to fix or how to reset these plugs? Oh, the outside plug has not worked since the incident. Am I missing a fuse box somewhere? I bought this camper used it has no manual.

ANSWER: Hi, the first step you need to take is resetting your GFCI Receptacles. A GFCI Outlet (pictured at the top of this page) acts as a circuit breaker in your RV for individual circuits. Depending on your RV's construction, you can have a GFCi Outlet in your RV's kitchen and/or bathroom. Even though you say that you have reset them, you need to double-check that you used the right button to reset them. A GFCI outlet has two buttons on it; one is a test button, and the other is a reset button. You need to press the reset button on both outlets (see the picture at the top of this page showing the reset location). The electric outlet on the exterior of the RV may be wired into one of these GFCI circuits, and that is why it is not working.

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From your description, I am not sure if all the 120-volt electricity in your Travel Trailer is not working. If all the electricity in your travel trailer is not working, then you should check the circuit breaker for the circuit you have your Travel Trailer plugged into. If you were plugged in at a campground, you would check the circuit breaker at the electric box you have your travel trailer
plugged into. If you were plugged into your home electric, you would have to check your house circuit breaker for the circuit you are connected to.

I am assuming that when you say you checked the fuses and breakers that you were talking about the fuses and breakers located in your travel trailer's electrical compartment. I would suggest that you go back to that compartment and manually turn all of the circuit breakers off and then on again and then press the reset buttons on your GFCI outlets again. See if this procedure has solved the problem.

If you still have some 120-volt electric working in the trailer, you do not have to worry about the steps outlined above.

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You say that you blew out both GFCI Receptacles and you assume that they were both on the same circuit. Standard use of GFCI outlets is never to have 2 GFCI outlets hooked up in series on the same circuit as they can interact with each other and cause them to trip more often. So, I will assume that each of the GFCI outlets in your kitchen is protecting their own individual circuits.

If the above procedures do not work, then it is time to call in an expert to diagnose and repair your electrical problem. Below is a list of possible problems they may find.

1. They may find some burnt or shorted wiring.

2. The GFCI Outlets may have been damaged and need to be replaced.

3. If you are getting no 120 Volt power in the trailer at all, the Trailer's Electrical Converter could have been damaged.

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This is the best I can do without being there to actually see what is going on with your trailer. I wish you the best of luck.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Comments for I Shorted Out The Electrical System On My Travel Trailer, HELP!!!

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Power outage, can't get power back on, found issue FINALLY
by: Melissa

Literally just had same thing happen minus the GFI. Found out there is an entirely different box, transmission box, under panels in the storage area. When I found the box all seemed to be fine but when I opened the box I saw burn marks. This transmission box holds the wiring to all the big electric (ie- ac, tv, microwave, etc). Definitely needs to be worked on by a professional but glad to finally know what the problem is. I am currently still dealing with this situation bc of warranty issues just wanted to share in case anyone else has this issue. Also the night the power went out my hubby n I smelled something and weren't sure what it was...now we know😕

by: Ron

Have a used 1989 Palomino tent trailer and when i turn on inside lights the outside lights on tent trailer come on as well. Is there anywhere someone can find a wiring manuel for a 1989 Palomio hard tent trailer? My wife thanks you... 😆

It worked
by: Anonymous

Whoever made the comment about the bathroom outlet...thank you...ours just did this ...and the "stupid bathroom" reply worked!!!!!

go to the bathroom
by: Anonymous

As stupid as this sounds. The only gfi reset outlet with a reset button maybe in the bathroom. Go press it and the outlets will work.

Plugged RV Into 220 vs 110
by: RCAircraft

Many good comments already. Just wanted to add, from my background in RV'ing for 35 years, degreed electrical engineer and journeyman electrician the damage could be extensive as you have noted. In addition there could be hidden damage including the battery charging system and electrical cable and connections depending upon how long the 220 VAC was connected.

As noted in other posted comments your RV should be checked/tested/ by a certified RV technician whom should be most familiar with your rig.

My gut feeling is that the damage is limited to devices that are always connected to the mains and other devices such as your microwave and perhaps the GFI outlets. Some devices could be rated for up to 250 VAC while others are limited to their intended operational voltage.

I am also concerned that the electrical grounding of the RV could have been comprised which could lead to serious, or worse electrically related injuries when touching conductive surfaces such as the RV's frame and hitch areas.

Your safety and those visiting/staying in the RV are well worth the cost to having a qualified/certified RV technician go over your rig and the piece of mind knowing all is okay.

To George that mis-matched pluggs....
by: Anonymous


If you don't know enough not to mismatch these plugs, you absolutely need someone qualified to diagnose your situation. 120 will get your attention, but 240 will kill you.... Don't fool around with this.

I feel you pain my friend, but DIY forums are not the answer for you, until you become better educated. A few bucks spent on an electrician, is better than many thousands on hospitals, trailer repairs and funeral expenses.

Good luck

actual question not a comment
by: George

accidentally plugged my trailer on to 220. microwave gone,ac wont come on,lights and slide motor wont work, all i got is power on outlets of course on 110 now.where do i start?thank you

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