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Old 07-25-2015, 11:52 PM   #1
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15 amp fuse keeps blowing

Hi All,
I'm fairly new to "forums" so please excuse me if I'm in the wrong place.

I live in my Gulf Stream 5th wheel year round, just south of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, so I do have some idea of what I'm doing, except when it comes to electrical issues.

Last Monday we had a pretty bad thunderstorm, with lots of lightening, I unplugged the TV, stereo, etc. and left all the lights off. I forgot the coffee maker, so I know the power flashed off and on a few times.

Since then, I have been having an issue with a 15 amp fuse. It controls the 2 12 volt lights in the trunk slide, as well as a 12 volt ceiling light in the bedroom, it might also be on the same circuit as a small front storage area, ( haven't had the chance to check it).

I can turn on the light in the dining area, and the living room and they seem to work fine, but when I get up in the morning and turn them on, the fuse has blown. It never happens while I'm up, (no, there are no ghosts, lol).

Last night when I went to bed, I deliberately left the light on over the table, and this morning the fuse was blown again. I had thought maybe it had something to do with turning them off and on, but that's not the issue.

I have no idea where to start, and I am definitely not an electrician.

Since I'm set up semi permanent and over an hour from the nearest reputable mobile RV tech, I'm trying to sort this out on my own, hopefully with some help from you all.

Hope I have given you all enough info.

Thank you in advance.

Laurie
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:09 AM   #2
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Look for some pinched wires, under the bed.
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Old 07-26-2015, 01:11 PM   #3
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Look for some pinched wires, under the bed.

The slide outs haven't been moved in over 2 years, but I looked anyway. Under the bed is storage, over top of the enclosed motor for the slide outs. Nothing looked out of the ordinary.
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Old 07-26-2015, 01:57 PM   #4
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Time to check that front storage area. Might have a critter issue. This could take a lot of time and patience. After checking the storage area drop each light fixture or device that is on that line. Inspect carefully. If it is obvious there are wires connected that send voltage on down to another fixture then temporarily disconnect them to see if the short is gone. Take pictures or label with masking tape. You don't want to install a new problem
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:09 PM   #5
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15 amp fuse

Hi, a 12 volt circuit to power only lights, should have a much lower amp fuse. Either, there is a bigger amp user is on the circuit (fan, refrig, heater, etc.) or there may have been blow-out issues, and someone replaced with an over-sized fuse to "fix" the problem. Make sure everything else has power. After that, it is much harder to find the problem. Let's assume it is the circuit wiring, somewhere it is overheating causing the fuse to blow. I would first look at the wiring in the inverter unit (you will have to pull it out). Have a bright light, and look for loose or discolored connections. Then, one by one, you will have to remove each light fixture, and do similar inspection. A much easier fix, leave the nonworking lights alone, and use another source for light, (floor lamp, table lamp, portable battery operated light). An electrician will have to do the same checks that you can do, until he/she can identify the culprit.
Good luck
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:12 PM   #6
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The Critter thing is a good idea. Why not set some traps around different places.

Edmonton in the Winter???? Wow
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:37 PM   #7
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15 am fuses are not at all uncommon in RV's. I have panels full of them.
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:04 PM   #8
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What I would do is make a test lamp to fit the fuse socket,, Then plug it in and go around and wiggle things.. At some point the light will blink on and off as you wiggle things.. Search this area for wire faults.

Things are cable bundles

Also thunk light fixtures and such

ONE problem I have seen (NOT yours I suspect) is with 1141/1156 (Bayonet base) lamps is the insulator in the socket breaks down over time and shorts happen......

I have a box of repair kits.. but as I switch to LED. way less likely to happen.
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
Time to check that front storage area. Might have a critter issue. This could take a lot of time and patience. After checking the storage area drop each light fixture or device that is on that line. Inspect carefully. If it is obvious there are wires connected that send voltage on down to another fixture then temporarily disconnect them to see if the short is gone. Take pictures or label with masking tape. You don't want to install a new problem

I've been busy in there all day. I went to change the fuse again, to see if the light in the storage would work or if it was only the bulb. I couldn't, (or should I say wouldn't), change the fuse. Sparks and crackling sounds came from the panel when I touched the fuse to it. Sorry, but I don't want curly hair. I know that means something is drawing power. I double checked the 3 fixtures inside, but can't be positive if the one in the storage compartment is on or off, that is what I was going to check.

I followed as much of the wiring that I could, until it all went up from the storage to a space between the floor.

This fuse is labelled "Trunk/Slide".

I am on 30 amp shore power.

Thank you, Laurie
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:58 PM   #10
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The Critter thing is a good idea. Why not set some traps around different places.

Edmonton in the Winter???? Wow

Edmonton is quite mild compared to Fort McMurray, where I lived in this RV for 6 years and a much older one for 3 years prior.
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:10 PM   #11
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What I would do is make a test lamp to fit the fuse socket,, Then plug it in and go around and wiggle things.. At some point the light will blink on and off as you wiggle things.. Search this area for wire faults.

Things are cable bundles

Also thunk light fixtures and such

ONE problem I have seen (NOT yours I suspect) is with 1141/1156 (Bayonet base) lamps is the insulator in the socket breaks down over time and shorts happen......

I have a box of repair kits.. but as I switch to LED. way less likely to happen.
I think that is a bit beyond my capabilities, I have never had much to do with electrical issues except to put in a new bulb. Speaking of which, do use the 1141, but they are the type that you push in then turn. Are those the ones you are talking about?
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:28 PM   #12
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Doesn't anyone think it a bit strange that the fuse doesn't instantly blow when it's changed or when the 2 fixtures are turned on at night? I have those 2 light fixtures on any where from 2 to 4 hours at night, before I turn them off. It's only the next night when I go to turn them on that I find the fuse is blown.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:00 PM   #13
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Something you are doing at night or during the day is creating the short or overload.


A shorted fuse will have black in it. An overloaded will be clear.


Anything on a timer? You have to re-create the problem.


Leave the light on, while you go about your day. If it goes out, retrace your steps.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:14 PM   #14
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I checked the last fuse, it's clear.
There is nothing on a timer.
When I turn off the lights at night nothing but the fridge is on. I haven't turned those lights on until approx 9 pm, then off again somewhere between 12 and 2 am. I did leave the 1 fixture on deliberately the other night, and it was off in the morning, fuse blown again. All I was doing was sleeping!
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