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Old 08-29-2015, 07:58 PM   #1
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electrical issue in my Forest River Ultralite 2008

So I bought a used 2008 travel trailer and I am a bit worried I have a lemon here. So far there was black mold under the floor, rotted floors, and now a weird electrical issue, but I wanted to check here first.

So far I have not connected the unit to shore power but have been using a 10 amp line from the place where I am staying, fully aware that I cannot run the AC or more than one appliance at a time. The refrigerator is on and the radio and suddenly none of the light in the bathroom work nor the ceiling fan. The off/on switch for the power in the bathroom is--weirdly enough--suddenly stuck in the "on" position (it worked yesterday) and nothing works in that room. We checked fuses and reset breakers and GFCI switch in bathroom.

Any ideas what this could be?
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:57 PM   #2
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Pull out the bad switch and see if it is burned. There may be a wiring issue right there.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primaldiva View Post
So I bought a used 2008 travel trailer and I am a bit worried I have a lemon here. So far there was black mold under the floor, rotted floors, and now a weird electrical issue, but I wanted to check here first.

So far I have not connected the unit to shore power but have been using a 10 amp line from the place where I am staying, fully aware that I cannot run the AC or more than one appliance at a time. The refrigerator is on and the radio and suddenly none of the light in the bathroom work nor the ceiling fan. The off/on switch for the power in the bathroom is--weirdly enough--suddenly stuck in the "on" position (it worked yesterday) and nothing works in that room. We checked fuses and reset breakers and GFCI switch in bathroom.

Any ideas what this could be?
My understanding is the fridge is switched 110 Volt? The radio is 110 or 12 Volt? The lights in the bathroom are definitely 12 Volt and the 'ceiling fan' is probably the exhaust fan in the bathroom. If this is correct you don't have a problem with your 110 Volt breakers or the GFI at all, it is probably just a burnt out 12 Volt fuse bec. of a bad switch as Lynnmor said.
Locate the 12 Volt control panel or wherever the fuses for the 12 Volt system are located and find the one that's bad and replace it with a good one (same Amp!), a fuse tester can make this process easier. If it burns out again it could very well be the stuck switch, you need to replace it first before you do anything else. Your trailer has very likely a 110 Volt AC system for appliances like the microwave and air conditioner and to supply electricity for the charger/converter to charge the battery. The converter and the battery then supply 12 DC to the lights, furnace, refrigerator control panel, exhaust fan and so on. It is very possible the bathroom lights and the fan are on the same fuse, give that a try first.
Good luck and keep asking.

Edit: Posting make and model of your trailer could make it easier to find a fix .
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:44 AM   #4
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Sorry, didn't notice you posted the make and model .
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Old 08-30-2015, 06:58 AM   #5
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Unfortunately it's a used unit, so it's not a "lemon" in the legal sense.

Do you have a battery on the trailer? If not, your converter may be going out.
You have a 120V system and a 12V system, that are separate, but 12V is usually dependent on 120V working.

If you're not sure the difference, do lots of reading and you'll learn a lot, and be a lot safer when you start trouble shooting.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:16 PM   #6
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crispy switch wires

The switch that was stuck I removed today and it was fried. Going to Pep Boys tomorrow to get the female spade connectors and will cut the burned wire down and connect it. Right now I have removed switch and patched them together and everything is working except one light in the kitchen which was working yesterday...arghh! I had already replaced fuses and checked the breakers etc but I think that switch was causing the issue. How often do switches fry like that in an RV? It looked pretty dangerous to me.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:41 PM   #7
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The switch that was stuck I removed today and it was fried. Going to Pep Boys tomorrow to get the female spade connectors and will cut the burned wire down and connect it. Right now I have removed switch and patched them together and everything is working except one light in the kitchen which was working yesterday...arghh! I had already replaced fuses and checked the breakers etc but I think that switch was causing the issue. How often do switches fry like that in an RV? It looked pretty dangerous to me.
Good thing you found the culprit .
Since you just bought the trailer used you should replace the 9 Volt battery in the smoke alarm a.s.ap. or better replace the whole unit and also check the LP detector - you never know ...
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:15 AM   #8
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The switch that was stuck I removed today and it was fried..
Dang. and here I was going to give you a brilliant deduction as to what the problem was.. You beat me to it
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:52 PM   #9
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more electrical mystery

Hey all thanks for advice on replacing batteries and such. Well, the saga continues....

before I replaced the switch I touched the two female connectors together and the lights went back on, except there was one kitchen light not working, nor was the light over the oven. Then I pulled those apart. Many of the lights did not work when that switch was off (?) but no fuses were blown.

Opened up the converter panel and checked fuses and breakers again. Then pulled the incoming battery lines out of the converter and tested those. Tested battery also. Converter seems to be working fine. Battery looks good. I followed the exact insructions that came with the converter.

I got new conncectors, cut the fried line down and replaced the switch. The bathroom lights worked BUT the kitchen lights did not...low and behold that kitchen fuse had blown for the 4th time. The first was before I owned the unit, and now it has gone 3x. We are wondering if the switch being replaced caused it to blow since there seems to be a short circuit somewhere?

I will call Forest River tomorrow and I have a mobile RV place coming to look at it Thursday. Just their travel fee is $170. Can't wait to see that bill. Also I was supposed to leave for my trip Wednesday, now that is not happening.

When I bought the trailer I was assured everything was in working order so I will email the prior owners tonight. Anyone have any idea about the electric?

Thanks! A
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