RV Electrical Testing and Discussion
RV Electrical… It wasn’t that long ago that I was stumped by a charge controller that wouldn’t charge my RV House batteries. If you checked the voltage coming out of the charger it was 13.5 but none of those volts were making it to the batteries.
So I took it out of the RV and it worked great. I spent a good 6 days pondering that issue. At the end of it all was a blown in-line fuse. I spent so much time testing each individual connection that I became intimately familiar with a multi-meter.
I use it constantly now in my home, RV, cars, trucks, electric scooters, etc…
Below are the three main electrical troubleshooting tools that I keep onboard my RV. I think its important that you bring at the least each of these three. There are multiple times that I have used these to solve an issue I didn’t think was solvable but with a luck and the right tools we were able to resolve the issue.
- Voltage Detector
- Voltage Tester
- Voltage Multi-Meter
This is a picture of the two voltage detectors I keep in my RV. These are used to detect 120 volt AC current . The milwaukee one has saved me quite a few times from grabbing a hot wire. After having been shocked by electricity and scared really good I have learned to double and triple check that the electricity is turned off. Essentially they work by putting the voltage detector close to the wire or plug and if they detect 120 volts they will light up and provide an alarm. Please note these do not detect 12 volt power. You will need to use a multi-meter or the voltage tester to determine if a line has 12 volts on it
This is the latest edition to my RV Electrical toolbox. This requires no batteries and there are no dials. It just tells you if there is voltage on a line and if so how much. Its important to note that this device wouldn’t be good to tell you if your batteries are charged or if you have low AC voltage. It will simply light up and tell you the max voltage it sees on the line you are testing. I have found it to be very useful.
Last but not least is my voltage multi-meter. This one pictured is a recent purchase from Amazon as other had been asking whats a good multi-meter they could purchase that was inexpensive. I have tested this one side by side with my Craftsman and Milwaukee voltage multi-meters and it just as accurate. This is what I use to diagnose and verify the charging system and voltage found in my RV. It helps with isolating issues. This one does have dials and requires batteries. I do provide guidance on how to use this in my RV Electrical Videos Part 1 and Part 2 which are found in my YouTube channel.