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Old 10-23-2009, 10:24 AM   #1
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120 lights not working

I have a Class A motorhome. The 120 flourescent lights (4 sets of double flourescent bulbs) do not work. I have replaced the bulbs but none work. Can someone help me? I checked the breakers for the lights which are ok. Is there a list of checks that I can check or a troubleshooting chart?
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:47 AM   #2
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Flourescent fixtures have a ballast as part of the fixture. I have a small flourescent fixture in my coach that would not work. When I checked for power with a multimeter I found there was power to the fixture but not past the ballast to the bulb. I ordered online and replaced it for about $10 less than the cost of a new fixture.

Most of the flourescents in my coach are wired to 12v ...don't know about the one large fixture. The bulbs are the same whether 12v or 120v, but the right ballast must be there for either 12v or 120v service.
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:59 AM   #3
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If all four fixtures are not working, that indicates a problem with your 110v circuit or the on/off switch. Does anything else using 110v work? Wall panel Breakers? Inverter breaker? Try running them from the generator and shore power.
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:07 AM   #4
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Everything else works on the 120. They all have separate switches. Maybe all 4 ballistics were fried at one time? I was in Iraq for over a year. Sister and her friends were using the RV.
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:21 AM   #5
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Go to the Winnebago Web site, the wiring diagrams for your coach are there. I believe the flourescent lights in your coach are 12V, but I could be wrong.
Manuals & Diagrams This is the WEB site. I would check the 12V circuit breakers.
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:28 AM   #6
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If they're Thin-Lites they're more than likely 12 volts. Not sure about other brands.
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:51 AM   #7
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As others have suggested first find out if htey are 12 or 120 volt. Most lights in an RV are 12 volts, Florcesent's the 12 volt DC "Ballast" is in fact an inverter that kicks the voltage up to what the lamps need. Usually at well over 60 hz by the way (Since it works better that way)

Now. IF they are 12 volt do other 12 volt things. Water pump, furnace, other 12 volt lights, et-al work? (if they are 120 volt then do the other 120 volt things work)

Once we have the answers there we can go to the next step but here is a clue

In my coach most 12 volt connections are flag/tab type at the distribution panel. but a blown fuse could shut them down and I've had 12 volt fuses just plain go bad for no reason.

120 volt I found most of the screws in my distribution panel loose, some of them as much as 1 1/2 turns to tighten them down. And of course a tripped breaker

DO NOT MESS IN THE 120 VOLT SIDE WHILE PLUGGED IN.

And remember there are 3 colors there, all 3 need checking, Black, WHite and Green/bare
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:17 PM   #8
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Are You sure that there isn't a "Wall Switch" that might be turned Off! On My Unit all the Florescent Fixtures have individual switches , But also have Wall switches that control them!
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Old 10-23-2009, 02:11 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your replies. I got three of the four going. I took the Thin-lites apart to see that one was all burned up (the one I started troubleshooting by putting new bulbs in). When it didn't work with new bulbs I kind of figured there must be something going on with the entire circuit. Come to find out the one I started with had a burned up circuit board. I took the center cover off to expose the circuit board underneath. Looks like I will have to order a new one. I went through replacing all of the bulbs in the other 3 units getting them to work. Thank you for the thin-lite page. Anyone know where the model number is located on the thin-lite units?

Again thank you all for your replies.
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:42 PM   #10
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Most RV fluorescents are 12 volt with an inverter to make 120. Go to solarseller.com for Thin Lite stuff and more.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:01 AM   #11
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I was once told that if the bulbs start getting black on the ends they should be changed.A bad bulb causes an overload on the circuit and will fry the circuit board.Not sure if it is true but I change them.
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:18 PM   #12
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Can't help you with the bulbs, others giving out advice, just wanted to say one vet to another, glad you're back from Iraq 'safely'!!
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:20 PM   #13
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Thanks Dave,
It's great to be back. It's getting hairy over there again since we are out of the cities. You can't really trust the Iraqi islamics to protect the American christians.
Bill
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