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Identifying Travel Trailer Outlet Problems

Troubleshooting Travel Trailer Outlet Problems: I have a travel trailer which suddenly lost power to several electrical outlets while several others work fine…

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Travel Trailer Outlet Problems
[ad#block]Electrical Question: I have a 38′ Franklin travel trailer which suddenly lost power to several electrical outlets while several others work fine. I have checked breakers & power source. I have isolated the beaker associated with the dead outlets & have swapped it with another working breaker. The problem continues. I have checked 2 of the 4 outlets concerned & connections seem fine. Is there a method of finding the culprit by using a circuit tester? Or what would you suggest?
Thank you, Bill.

This electrical question came from: Bill, a Homeowner from Magnolia, Texas.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Bill.
Bill, you have lost a connection within the circuit. Please see the attached links that will assist you to troubleshoot this problem.

Troubleshooting Travel Trailer Outlet Problems

Application: Troubleshooting an Electric Circuit.
Skill Level: Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester or Volt Ohm Meter.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type and age of the electric service panel and the access to the circuits and wiring to be evaluated.
Precaution: This is a project that should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor and typically requires specific tests of the electrical circuits.
Notice: Repairs to Home Electrical Wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes and installing new or replacement electrical parts or equipment may require a permit and inspections.

The Following links will assist you with your electrical question:

Circuit Wiring

Electrical Panel Circuit Listing

Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring

Types of Electrical Testers

Using Electrical Testers

electrical outlet wiring
Wiring Electrical Outlet for the Home
Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.

electrical circuit
Electric Circuit Listing
The size of the home electrical service panel is designed by calculating the square footage of the home and factoring in the code requirements for the electrical circuits that are required.

circuit breaker
Electrical Wiring Protection using Circuit Breakers
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.

using electrical testers
Electrical Safety and Voltage Testers
When working on home electrical wiring, quality voltage testers can play an important part in electrical safety. Electrical testers enable you to identify electrical circuits and help prevent the possibility of accidental electrical shock.

For more information about Outlet Wiring
How to Install Electrical Outlets
Outlet Wiring
Wiring Electrical Outlets
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Wiring Electrical Outlets with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.

This link is helpful as a Homeowner
Do-It-Yourself Electrical

The following may also be helpful for you:

Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my Online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

4 Responses to “Identifying Travel Trailer Outlet Problems”
  1. Vincent DiLeo says:

    I have a travel trailer hooked up to an electrical fuse box at the house. The trailer is on its own line to the breaker box. I read 120 volt at trailer breaker box without any of the circuit breakers plugged in. When I plug any one of them in I read about 50 volt to 60 volt at the trailer breaker box. What is my problem and what can I do about it?

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Vincent,
    The low voltage reading is most likely due to a lost connection of one of the circuits feeding the trailer electric panel. The power should be shut OFF and the wires between the house and the trailer will need to be tested for continuity, separately and one at a time. If there is a problem with one of the wires then it will require replacing or repairing. If the test indicates that the wires are OK then the wire connections at both the house panel and the trailer should be checked for a loose of faulty connection which will require the appropriate repairs.

  3. Michael says:

    I have a travel trailer that has been plugged into a 15amp plug for about 10 years to keep the battery charged. Until recently everything has been working fine. All of a sudden when I plug the trailer plug in, it blows a fuse. what could be my problem?

  4. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Michael,
    How to Troubleshoot a Travel Trailer Charging System
    A charging system plugged in like this for ten years is a long time, so the system may have suffered some deterioration over time.
    The charging system should be powered down so the wiring and components can all be inspected.
    All connected loads of the battery electrical system should be removed or disconnected during inspection.

    IMPORTANT:Take all precautions for personal protection when working with a battery charging system.

    NOTE: It would be very helpful to take a photo, or produce a wiring diagram or the charging system components before disturbing or removing any electrical wiring.

    Inspect the following locations for burnt wire connections and system abnormalities:
    All points of wiring connections.
    The receptacle outlet.
    The Cord.
    Battery charger connections.
    The battery terminal connections and battery compartment.
    The battery itself may need to be replaced, check the service dates stamped on the battery.

    Be Safe, I hope this helps,