What to do if Some of Your RV 12V lights Stop Working

What do you do if some of your RV 12v lights stop working? Well, that’s a good question and one Katie and I became all to familiar with a couple of nights ago.

Luckily for us we found a pretty easy fix to getting our lights back up and working.

What do you do if some of your RV 12V lights stop working? There are a million things that could've happened but here's a good place to start when troubleshooting.

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It’s important to not that Katie and I are in no way professional electricians. We troubleshot our way through this problem by doing research and taking the approach that made the most sense to us. If you find yourself unsure of something it’d be best to reach out to a professional or do further research. 

What to do if Some of Your RV 12V Lights Stop Working

Katie and I are adding dimmers to a few of our custom made light fixtures. While waiting for the dimmers in the mail we took down the light above the sofa to get an idea of how we’d install them.

Everything was going smooth until we put the light fixture back up. Once we reconnected everything we realized it wasn’t working. No matter what we tried we couldn’t get it to work. What happened?

Dimmers are going on the mason jar lights in the bedroom as well, so we took them down to try in the living room. The main objective here was to see if the problem was with our light fixture or with our RV 12V lights.

Soon we realized it was a bigger problem than our light fixture. Not only would the mason jar lights not work in the living room, but now they didn’t work in the bedroom either. This left us really confused.

Check out the video below where I go through what we did in order to get our RV 12V lights working again:

So there we were with three of our RV 12v lights not working. The first thing we noticed was all the other lights were working fine.

Troubleshooting

Some light fixtures within an RV can have switches located on a control panel. For instance the light fixture above our sofa has a switch near the steps, this is also where our 12v on/off switch is located. The first thing we checked was that the switch was on.

Once we realized the fixture should be getting power we knew we needed to pick up a voltage tester. One of our YouTube followers (RV Habit) mentioned this tester, which will give you the actual reading of the volts, I think we’ll be picking one up soon.

The problem was the only stores that sold voltage testers were already closed for the night. So I toyed around with a couple other options. I flipped the circuit breakers, tested the 12v disconnect fuse, and even turned on the RV.

The circuit breakers didn’t help, the 12v disconnect fuse was in good shape, and turning on the RV didn’t do much considering all the other RV 12v lights were working.

We could’ve used our needle nose pliers to pull out the fuses and see if they were bad. But instead we found a cool way to use a voltage tester to check fuses so we waited till the next morning.

More Hiccups

What do you do if some of your RV 12V lights stop working? There are a million things that could've happened but here's a good place to start when troubleshooting.

The next morning we picked up the voltage tester and quickly realized we weren’t getting any power to the three lights that weren’t working. So we went back to the fuse box in order to try the new technique with the voltage tester.

Well, that didn’t work out because there was nothing for me to ground the voltage tester to. Ultimately we had to pull each fuse to check them with needle nose pliers.

The Problem

We found two blown fuses. I was kind of happy about this because it showed me we in fact had a problem.

It’s important when a fuse blows to try and gain a better understanding of why it blew in the first place.

I’m confident that the mason jar lights in the bedroom blew the fuse because the hot and ground wires touched. The living room light on the other hand was a little more tricky. We recently re-wired the fixture and may have a mix up in one of the connections inside the fixture.

We won’t go into detail on how we fixed that here. But check back in the future because we’re going to explain how we created the light fixtures.

The Solution

What do you do if some of your RV 12V lights stop working? There are a million things that could've happened but here's a good place to start when troubleshooting.

The solution to fixing our RV 12v lights was replacing the fuses. Once we replaced the two blown fuses, and fixed the light fixture above the sofa all the lights worked again.

In this instance it was as simple as replacing the fuses that had blown. But it’s important to note fuses blow for a reason. Luckily for us this time it was just because some wires had crossed. If you notice a fuse continues to blow it’s important to dig a bit deeper to find the cause.

Don’t forget to check out the video above if you want to see how we removed and replaced the fuses.

We hope this information helped get you on the right track to fixing the problems with your RV 12v lights. If nothing else we hope it gives you a good place to start.

Have you ever had issues with light fixtures in your RV? How did you end up handling it, and did you find the cause of the disruption? Any information you have on how to handle a situation like this would be welcomed in the comment section below.


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