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The DC Power Is Not Working On My Travel Trailer

by Charlie
(Vancouver, WA USA)

I have a 1980 Kit Companion travel trailer. All of a sudden the interior lights, range light/fan and water pump won't come on. The AC works just fine...ie, frig and outlets. For some reason the porch light works with just the batteries or when I'm plugged into AC, however. I don't know if my converter is going bad or I just have a bad ground connection somewhere.

I cleaned up the main ground to the trailer frame but that didn't help. I can't find any other places the circuit grounds to. When I put a light tester to the light fixtures they light up when I ground the light to my oven. So I'm thinking I have a ground problem. Also, both the white and black wires to the bathroom light fixture are live when I put the light tester to them. I'm baffled as to what is going on. I would appreciate any ideas.

Thanks for your time...


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

The symptoms you are describing do indeed sound like a bad ground. Since you say that you have located and cleaned the main ground on the trailer frame then my best guess is that the problem lies somewhere between the main ground on your trailer frame and where it connects into the 12 volt circuits in your RV. The fact that your 12 volt porch light works could be because it has it’s own separate ground.

I would start tracing the ground

wire from where it is grounded to the trailer frame and keep following it. I would check for any obvious damage to the ground wire itself. I do not believe that the problem is in your Converter.

It also wouldn’t hurt to check all of the connections on your house batteries for loose or corroded wiring. If you are unable to find the problem, I am afraid that you may have to have your trailer checked out by an RV Technician.

There are some great RV Maintenance and Repair books available for Do-It-Yourselfer RVers such as yourself that could be useful in situations such as yours. I highly recommend the 3 books below for any RVer that would like to save some money by performing their own RV Maintenance and Repairs. You might want to take a look at these highly rated books to see if one of them would work for you. Just click on link to the book to get more details on what they cover.

RV Repair and Maintenance Manual: Updated and Expanded

RV Electrical Systems: A Basic Guide to Troubleshooting, Repairing and Improvement

The RV Handbook: Essential How-to Guide for the RV Owner, 3rd Edition

Obviously these books are able to go into a lot more detail then I can when answering questions on this website.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Comments for The DC Power Is Not Working On My Travel Trailer

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by: Anonymous

my fridge and furnace and hot water and also gas detector does not work of battiers all at once. but plugged into elec stuff works have checked everything fuses grounds and such any help????

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