Why Is My RV Lights Not Working When Plugged In? [Troubleshooting Guide]

You flipped the light switch of your RV, and it’s not working. You checked the power supply and whether you plugged it in correctly. Yes, you did plug in everything, and everything is fine!

But, the lights are not working. You might question, Why is my RV lights not working when plugged in?

There could be a few reasons, such as a broker fixture, blown fuse, converter not working correctly, faulty circuit breaker or GFI, the switch being broken or not connected, and bad wiring. These are common reasons.

Don’t worry! We discussed everything you need to know, where the problem is, how to find them, and how you can solve your issue.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in!

How RV Lights Work: Basics

RV Lights Not Working When Plugged In

There are three electric systems in an RV. RV lights use either 110V AC or 12V DC systems to run. We already discussed how electricity works in an RV in detail.

There are different types of lights you have in your RV. A few lights work directly using these systems (110V AC or 12V DC) and need a constant power supply.

On the other hand, some of the lights only work when they are connected to a battery. These are usually for emergencies.

Besides, you also have options to connect your lights to a solar panel power supply. But, the essential things in these systems are two things;

  1. The fixtures.
  2. And the compatibility of the system and the lights.

Now, most modern RVs have all the power systems available. And, with the different power supplies, the compatibility is also different. 

If you plug a DC light into an AC system, the lights won’t work. Similarly, AC fixtures won’t serve the purpose of providing power to the DC lights. 

The lights will only work when the right fixtures and power supply are correctly connected. And all the components are compatible with each other.

And if the lights aren’t working for some reason, the reasons are behind these things. And fixes are there too.

It is crucial to understand how these lights work, their reasons for not working, and how you can fix them. Here, we will learn these in detail.

But, before that, you need some tools to fix the problems if you want to fix them by yourselves. Let’s take a look at them!

Tools You Need To Fix When Rv Lights Not Working

There are some common light fixes that you can do yourselves. And fix those issues, you need some essential tools. 

You can find these tools in your nearest shop or online.

Here is the list of all the essential tools that you might need;

A screwdriver is a vital tool for fixing anything related to electronic problems! All sizes of screwdrivers are must-haves in your toolbox. There are many excellent options, such as Magnetic Ratchet, BLACK+DECKER Magnetic, Amartisan, WORKPRO, etc. 

The second important tool to have is knives. There are many options, but a pocket knife and a hobby knife are convenient. 

Just with these two types of knives, we can cut plastic or vinyl materials, one of the most common things when it comes to fixing these things. 

Besides you can also cut ropes, wires, paper, and even wood with these. Also, these knives have protective shields that will keep you from harm. 

CIVIVI Pocket Folding Knife, RoverTac Pocket Knife, MulWark 16-Piece Precision Hobby Knife Set, and Nicpro 123 PCS Hobby Knife Set are great options out there.

Wire cutters are the most crucial tools. If you need to cut wires, wires are made of copper or iron and other materials that you can easily cut with knives. BOOSDEN or IGAN-330 are very popular in the market.

Socket wrenches are another essential tool.  There are some issues when the screws are not connected with the fixtures or wires are loose. In these situations, you can use socket wrenches, such as DEWALT or Egofine are great if you’re confused about which one to choose.

Other than these tools, you might need Standard Pliers, such as WEDO Cutting Pliers or IRWIN. Besides, you need a Claw Hammers and a drill set to help you fix your situation.

Now that we have all the tools, we can enter the main section.

Why Is My RV Lights Not Working When Plugged In? [Reasons and Fixes]

Why Is My RV Lights Not Working When Plugged In

There could be many reasons your RV lights are not working when plugged in. Whatever the reason, you can fix those issues quickly if you have the proper guidance. Sometimes, you might need the help of a professional, but don’t worry!

Now, let’s discuss all the problems and reasons and how to solve them, shall we?

Broken or Overused Fixture

The fixture is a very common problem for the lights not working. So, your first task is to check if the fixture is okay or not.

If you find it broken, then you need to fix it. Besides, sometimes the fixtures are just overused for a long time. In that case, you need to change the fixture as well.

You can just buy one and replace it with the broken one. Now, there is a proper way to install the fixture. Here’s how;

  1. Your first step is disconnecting the system’s power that connects to the circuit breaker.
  2. Unplug the screws with the screwdriver.
  3. You will find two wires in there. You must connect the black wire to the black ones and the white ones with the white ones of the camper.
  4. After connecting the wires, join all the screws, and that’s it! You’re done replacing the new fixture. 

That’s how you solve your fixture problem.

But, sometimes, reasons lie somewhere else, such as in the wiring system, circuit breaker, GFI, fuse, converter, etc.

Fuse Problem

There are fuses for each part of the appliances in your RV. Now, to find out if the problem is in the fuse or not, you need to do a few things.

Unplug the fuse that connects to the wirings and the light system. Every fuse has a metal thingy in the back part. If you find that metal broken or blown up, you only need to change the fuse. 

Converter Problem

As we already know, the converter is crucial for every camper. Because you will only be able to use your appliances when the converter does its work. It converts the battery’s energy into a direct current (DC) and supplies it as an alternating current.

You can check if the converter is working or not, and you can use a multimeter. If the output result shows zero, the problem is in the converter. You will find many excellent options in the market, such as PowerMax, RecPro, NGNWOB, etc.

If you’re not highly skilled with this stuff, we recommend you take it to a professional who can help you solve your problem.

Circuit Breaker Problem

Sometimes the circuit breaker is the main culprit for this to happen. The circuit can’t handle everything all at once when your power supply is serving too much power. 

For example, your AC, fridge, and other big appliances consume too much power. When you run them all together, the circuit breaker might trip, or it could overheat to the poor wiring system and eventually get broken.

It’s possible that when you’re using too much power, your lights suddenly go off. That’s the moment your circuit breaker tripped off.

The solution to this problem is easy. You just need to reset the circuit breaker to restore the power. That will result in providing power to the lights again.

But, if that doesn’t work or the circuit breaker is completely gone, then you need to replace it. Just go for Bussmann, Xenjum, Ampper, or any other circuit breaker you prefer, and replace by yourself.

But, do remember not to make the same mistake again.

Light Switch Problem

Yes, you guessed it right! Sometimes the light switch itself is the problem. The buttons or switches are fragile and stop working correctly after prolonged use.

Don’t worry! You can just buy a new one and get rid of the old broken one.

Wiring Problem

Wiring problems can be a headache. Not just can bad wiring cut off the power system from the entire supply system, but it can also create short circuits. 

You can fix damaged or bad wiring quickly. If the problem is dispersed in a large area, we recommend you consult with a professional.

Ground Fault Interrupter Problem

Lastly, the GFI or ground fault interrupter could be one of the issues. The primary purpose of the GFI’s is to regulate the electricity flow through the entire power system. If it finds any irregular activity, it cuts off the power supply. 

Now, if the GFI’s is faulty or broken, it could be why your lights are not getting electricity even when it’s plugged in.

The solution is to reset or replace the component. If the damaged part is messy, you should replace it rather than try to reset it.

Besides, you can get hurt fixing it if you don’t know what you’re doing. Better to ask a professional to help.

Now, sometimes the RV lights can be old and outdated. You might consider changing it over rather than spending your precious money to fix all the problems. So, what should you do?

Things You Need To Consider Before Upgrading The RV Lights

It’s a good idea to upgrade the light system. That might save you a lot in the future rather than investing in the old system and fixing it repeatedly. 

But, before that, there are two things you might want to consider;

Type of the Light: There are a few options available in the market, such as RVZONE, Super Bright, Miady, Antline LED, NYLL, Camco, and Raycharm fluorescent. And GRV, Dream lighting, and Bayshe halogen lights are also available.

Fixture: Choosing the correct fixture for your bulbs is essential. If you’re careful while buying fixtures, you will have to spend your precious money again.

That’s all about it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do My RV Lights Dim And Brighten When Plugged In?

There could be a few reasons your RV lights dim and brighten when plugged in, such as a broken switch, bad wiring, a battery, and an overused fixture. You can quickly fix these problems.

What Would Cause Lights Not To Work?

The causes of lights not working are blown a fuse, converter problem, GFI twisted, and bad wiring. Besides, circuit breakers and overuse fixtures could cause the situation.

Why Do I Have Power But No Lights?

The reason could be the wiring of your lights has gone bad, which is why there is no power supply. Besides, overheating could blow a fuse, or the light switch could also be faulty. 

Final Words

We hope this article answers your question. As we can see, most of the problems can be difficult. But, the solutions are simple.

We provided the necessary information on how you can fix the RV lights when they are not working. Let us know if this article helped.

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