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RV Outlets Work but Not Lights: How to Fix?

RV Outlets Work but Not Lights: How to Fix?

RV’s are an excellent option for traveling around, but sometimes they can have issues, and this can include electrical issues. One common issue that you might face is that your RV power outlets work, but the lights don’t. This can be frustrating and may make it difficult to see inside your recreational vehicle, especially at night. However, no need to worry; this blog post will provide solutions on how to fix RV outlets that work but not light.

RV Outlets: What They Are and Why They Are Needed

Have you ever wondered how you get power in your RV? Perhaps you have noticed those strange-looking outlets on the campground pedestal and wondered what they were for.Let’s explore RV outlets, what they are, and why they are essential. We will also discuss the types of RV outlets you might come across and how to use them safely when powering up your RV.

RV Outlets

RV outlets are specialized pieces of electrical equipment designed to supply power to RVs. They typically look like small electrical boxes with outlets on one side. These boxes are mounted on campground pedestals or other designated areas in campgrounds or RV parks. RV outlets are different from common household outlets because they are designed to handle the higher voltage and amperage needs of RVs.

When it comes to powering an RV, there are different types of outlets that you might come across. One of the most common types is the 30-amp outlet, which is used to power smaller RVs and travel trailers. The 50-amp outlet is used to power larger RVs with more electrical needs, such as air conditioning units. These two types of outlets are the most popular, and you will find them in most campgrounds and RV parks. [1]

Plugging your RV into an RV outlet requires the use of a specific electrical cord designed for RV use. These cords are not like the standard extension cords you might use at home. They are thicker and have a special plug that matches the RV outlet. Using the wrong cord or adapter could result in damage to your RV’s electrical appliances or cause harm to yourself.

It is essential to use RV outlets safely and responsibly. Before plugging your RV into an outlet, make sure the circuit breaker is turned off. This will prevent any electrical surges from damaging your RV’s electrical system. Always use caution when handling electrical cords and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.

RV outlets are a vital part of powering your RV when camping or traveling. They are specialized electrical equipment designed to handle the higher voltage and amperage needs of an RV and come in different types, depending on the size of your rig. Understanding how to use them safely will help protect your RV and ensure a safe camping experience for you and your family. Remember to always use caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use when handling electrical equipment in and around your RV. Happy camping!

Types Of RV Outlets

Traveling in an RV is one of the most exciting ways to explore the world, but it can be confusing to understand the various electrical outlets that come with them. You’ve probably noticed different outlets with varying shapes and sizes, but what do they mean and how do they work? Let’s explore the different types of RV outlets and provide you with the information you need to properly utilize them on your next adventure.

15 Amp Outlet (or Household Outlet)

This type of outlet is commonly found in homes and is the same outlet that you’ll find in your bedroom or living room. It’s designed to provide 120 volts of power and is often used to power small appliances like air conditioners, TVs, or charging smartphones. However, it’s important to note that this outlet may not provide enough power to handle larger appliances like microwaves or air conditioning units in your RV. [2]

30 Amp Outlet

The 30 amp outlet is standard on most RVs and provides up to 120 volts with a maximum power output of 3,600 watts. It’s used to power all of the appliances in your RV, including the air conditioning unit, refrigerator, and water heater. It’s important to note that you’ll need a different kind of cord to plug into this outlet, so make sure you have the right equipment before plugging in. [2]

Amp Outlet

50 Amp Outlet

The 50 amp outlet is used for larger RVs that require more power to operate. This outlet provides up to 240 volts with a maximum power output of 12,000 watts. It’s often used to power the larger appliances in your RV like the washer/dryer or high-powered air conditioning units. Again, it’s important to have the right type of cord to plug into this outlet, so make sure you check and have the right equipment before plugging in. [2]

Generator Outlet

Many RVs come equipped with a generator, which provides power to your RV when you’re not near any electrical hookups. The generator outlet is located on the exterior of your RV and is often a 30 or 50 amp outlet. It’s important to familiarize yourself with your specific generator and outlet setup to ensure proper usage and maintenance.

Solar Outlet

Solar power is becoming increasingly popular with RVers. A solar outlet is used to connect your RV to a solar panel that will provide power to your RV batteries. This outlet can be located on the exterior of your RV or in a convenient interior location.

RV Outlets: Common Problems And Solutions

As an RV owner, one of the most common problems you may experience is issues with your power outlets. Not having access to electricity in your RV can put a damper on your trip. Knowing how to identify common outlet problems and their solutions can save you time, money and frustration. Here we have prepared the most common RV outlet issues and how to resolve them.

Loose Power Outlet:

Loose power outlets can occur due to regular use or faulty installation. This can cause a risk of electric shock or short circuits. To fix this problem, first, turn off the power source and remove the outlet cover. Check for any loose wires or screws and tighten accordingly. If the outlet is still loose after tightening, you may need to replace it entirely. [3]

Blown Fuse:

A blown fuse prevents power flow to the outlet. You can identify a blown fuse by checking if the corresponding circuit breaker has tripped. Locate the fuse, remove it and replace it with a new one of the same size. If the outlet is still not functioning, there may be a bigger issue with the wiring or the electrical system.

Trip GFCI Outlet:

A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet stops the flow of electricity in case of a fault. Sometimes the GFCI trips, and the outlet stops working. If this occurs, you can reset the GFCI outlet by pressing the “reset” button. If the outlet trips repeatedly, it may be time to replace it. [3]

Corroded Electrical Connections:

Over time, your RV’s electrical connections may corrode, causing power outlet issues. Corrosion can occur due to moisture or heat. To fix corroded electrical connections, turn off the power source and remove the outlet cover. Clean the corroded areas thoroughly with a wire brush or sandpaper. Reconnect the wires and screws, and replace the outlet cover.


Overloading occurs when too many appliances are connected to one power outlet, leading to circuit breakers tripping. To avoid overloading, use power strips with surge protection and multiple outlets, spread out the load of appliances, and plug in high wattage appliances into their designated outlets.

Understanding RV outlet problems and solutions can help you have a stress-free RV experience. Always practice safety precautions and turn off the power source before inspecting or fixing any electrical issues. Remember, if you are not confident in electrical repairs, seek help from a professional electrician. With proper maintenance and care, your RV power outlets will function smoothly, and you can get back to enjoying your adventures without interruptions.


RV Outlets Work but Not Lights: Step-By-Step Guide on How to Fix

RVing is an enjoyable and adventurous way to travel. It’s no surprise that RVs have become increasingly popular. When on the road, it’s essential to make sure that everything is in working order, especially the electrical system. Once in a while, you may face such a problem when the RV outlets are working but the lights are not. It can be quite frustrating, but don’t despair. There are a couple of steps which will help you.

Step 1: Check RV battery and circuit breaker

The first thing you need to do is check your RV’s battery and circuit breaker. Make sure that the battery is fully charged and that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. If the battery isn’t charged, plug it in and let it charge fully. Once charged, try turning on the lights. If the battery is not an issue, it’s time to check the circuit breakers. Locate the circuit breakers and make sure they are not damaged or tripped. Reset any tripped breakers and check the lights.

Step 2: Test the light switch

If the battery and circuit breaker are not the issue, the next step is to test the light switch. Locate the light switch and turn it on. If it’s not working, there could be an issue with the switch. If possible, replace it with a new one. Test the lights again and see if they work.

Step 3: Check the fuse box

If your lights are still not working, it could be an issue with the fuse box. Locate the fuse box and open it. Check if any fuses are blown or damaged. A blown fuse can cause the lights to stop working. If you find any blown fuses, replace them with new ones. Ensure that you use the same fuse size as the one you’re replacing.

Step 4: Check the light fixture

If you’ve followed the above steps and your lights are still not working, it’s time to check the light fixtures. Sometimes, light bulbs can burn out, and the fixture may need cleaning or repairing. Turn off the breaker and unscrew the fixture. Check if the bulb is damaged or if the fixture’s wiring is loose. Replace the bulb or call a professional to fix the wiring.

RVing is a great way to travel and experience adventure. Ensuring that all your RV’s electrical systems are in working order is essential. If you face the issue of RV outlets working but not lights, don’t panic. Follow the above step-by-step guide to troubleshoot the problem effectively. However, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable working with electrical systems, seek professional help. With this guide, you can fix common electrical issues in your RV and enjoy your travels without any interruption.

Check the light fixture

Safety Tips

When it comes to RV travel, ensuring safety on the road should be of utmost importance. One aspect of safety that is often overlooked is the proper use of RV outlets. Using faulty or outdated electrical outlets or equipment in your RV can put you and your family in danger. With these RV outlet safety tips, you can stay safe on the road and enjoy your travel experience without worry.

Be Mindful of Overloading Outlets

One of the most common mistakes RV owners make is overloading outlets, which can lead to a fire or electrical shock. Make sure you know the capacity of your RV’s electrical system and don’t exceed it. Try to spread out your electrical usage over different outlets, and unplug appliances when not in use to prevent overloading.

Check Your RV Outlets and Equipment Regularly

Before each trip, be sure to inspect your RV’s outlets and electrical equipment for any damage or wear and tear. If you notice any issues, have them addressed by a qualified electrician or repair technician before hitting the road. This includes checking the condition of your power cord, extension cords, and surge protectors.

Use Surge Protectors

Using a surge protector in your RV can protect against electrical spikes and surges that can damage your RV’s electrical system or start a fire. Invest in a high-quality surge protector that can handle the electrical demands of your RV and that has built-in safety features such as a circuit breaker that automatically shuts off power in the event of an overload.

Avoid Using Cheap Electrical Equipment

While it may be tempting to save money on cheap electrical equipment for your RV, it’s important to invest in high-quality equipment that is designed specifically for use in RVs. Cheap equipment is often poorly made and can be dangerous to use in your RV, leading to issues such as electrical fires or shock injuries. Stick to trusted brands and products that have a good reputation in the RV community.

Turn Off Electrical Equipment Before Plugging or Unplugging

It’s important to turn off any electrical equipment or appliances before plugging or unplugging them to avoid any electrical shock. This also applies to your RV’s power source. Always turn off the breaker or unplug your RV before connecting or disconnecting from power outlets.

Making sure your RV’s outlets and electrical system are in good working order is an essential aspect of RV safety. By following these RV outlet safety tips, you can minimize the risk of accidents and damage to your RV, giving you peace of mind as you travel. Remember, safety first, always before hitting the road!

Turn Off Electrical Equipment


Why do my outlets work but not my lights?

If your outlets are working but your lights are not, there could be a problem with a circuit breaker or fuse. Begin by checking the circuit breakers that control the lights. You should be able to easily switch the breaker to the “off” position and then back on again. If this does not solve the issue, check the fuses that control the lights. They may need to be replaced.

Why are my outlets not working but the breaker isn’t tripped?

If your outlets are not working but your breaker has not tripped, there may be a problem with the outlet itself. First, check to make sure that the outlet is securely plugged in. If it is not, doing so should solve the issue. If the outlet is plugged in securely and still not working, switch off the power source and remove the outlet cover plate. Check to ensure that all of the wires are securely connected.

Where are fuses located in RV?

Fuses in your RV are typically located in the same place as the circuit breakers. Check the owner’s manual to determine the specific location. If you cannot find the manual, you may need to do some digging. Fuses could be located under the hood of your RV or behind a panel or cover in the living area.

Useful Video: RV Outlets Not Working: Troubleshooting Tips & Precautions


In conclusion, RV outlets working but not lights is a common issue that can easily be resolved with proper diagnosis. Always make sure to check the obvious culprits such as loose connections, damaged switches, and blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. If all possible fixes fail to work, don’t hesitate to contact a professional electrician. Maintaining your RV parts and electrical system will ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip. Happy traveling!

  1. https://www.mortonsonthemove.com/rv-plug/#:~:text=What%20Is%20an%20RV%20Plug,30%20amps%20or%2050%20amps.
  2. https://rvlifestyle.com/types-of-rv-plugs/#:~:text=affiliate%20disclosure%20here.-,3%20Main%20Types%20of%20RV%20Plugs,most%20common%20questions%20regarding%20them.
  3. https://www.jeffsetter.com/rv-outlets-not-working/#:~:text=The%20two%20most%20common%20causes,restore%20power%20to%20your%20outlets.