How to Diagnose Trailer Electrical Problems

How to Diagnose Trailer Electrical Problems
A generator is used to provide travel trailers with electricity, so passengers can enjoy cool air, warm food and standard conveniences such as watching television and listening to the radio. If the circuit breaker in your RV trips or you experience electrical problems because of a faulty generator, there are a few steps you can take to diagnose the problem.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Mulitmeter
Step 1
Diagnose circuit breaker problems. Determine the electrical load on the trailer's power supply. Check the data plate on each appliance for the exact amount of amperage required to operate it. Refrigerators, microwaves and air conditioners draw the most electrical power, so if the circuit breaker in your trailer trips, you most likely have overloaded the trailer's power supply. Unplug appliances that are not in use to solve the problem.
Step 2
Diagnose a weak power supply. Using the wrong extension cord length to plug in an appliance will cause power leakage, which can interrupt the electrical supply to the appliance and flip the circuit breaker. Unplug the appliance from the power cord and plug it directly into a trailer plug or generator receptacle. Contact the manufacturer of your RV to learn the appropriate size power cords to use for standard appliances.
Step 3
Diagnose a faulty electrical system. Check the generator battery for appropriate electrolyte levels and check that the battery cables are securely in place. Tighten if necessary.
Step 4
Diagnose defective fuses with a mulitmeter (a hand-held device used to measure volts and troubleshoot electrical appliances). Replace defective fuses.

Tips & Warnings

Cut down on electricity by unplugging appliances that are not in use.
Always exercise extreme caution when handling electrical devices.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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