Saturday, June 11, 2011

HELP! My coach's electrical outlet isn't working.

I returned home from my trip and put off cleaning out the coach for a couple of days.  Didn't feel like vacuuming all that sand out of there.  A couple of days later when I decided to clean, I turned the generator on and waited a few minutes then turned the AC on.  Nothing happened.  I plugged in the vacuum cleaner and nothing happened - yet all lights worked.

I checked the breaker box and all was fine.  Went out to the electrical plug where I am plugged in to myself and it was unplugged.  Must have shaken loose on the way home which explains why the lights were working but not the outlets.  I plugged it in and went back inside the coach.  Started the generator again and the AC came on and I started to vacuum.  A  few minutes later everything shut off.  Went outside to check the electrical cord of the coach and it was still plugged into itself.  Did I burn up something?

I turned each circuit breaker completely OFF and then back ON.  Nothing helped.

I got out my extension cord and plugged the coach into my house outlet which made the electrical outlets work.  I turned on the AC (which I know you are not supposed to do on a regular house outlet) just to see if it would come on.  It did.  I turned it off.

I let the coach stay plugged into my house outlet overnight.  This morning I unplugged the extention to the house and plugged my cord back into the coach itself.  Turned on the generator and tried the AC and still no power.  The overhead lights all work but no outlet is working.  What in the hell does that mean? 

This is so frustrating.  I fear that I will have to take it to Camping World for repair which will cost an arm and a leg for something that may be really simple that I am not doing correctly.

Can anyone help me?  Please?

Read a post on RV Doctor which suggested I check the GFCI and the generator breaker.  I tried to push the reset button on the GFCI outlet to reset it but it will not engage.  I looked for a breaker button on the generator but did not see one.

OK... so now I have to get the Onan Generator book out and read it  :-(

Be right back....

Well... do I feel foolish about now.  There is a clearly marked diagram of the breaker switch on the generator in the booklet.  I flipped it, went back in the coach and turned on the generator and all outlets are now working.  I tried to push the GCFI button in to see if it would now engage and it still did not but a red light did come on when I pressed it in.  So, I guess all is well once again.

My thanks go out to all those websites who answer questions on their forums.  They had my question asked all over the Internet which shows that I'm not the only one who has had to ask for help on this problem.   


  1. I had the very same thing happen my first night out. I got out the Onan generator book, and it said the breaker might need to be reset, so I went out, reset it, and whatd'yaknow? It worked! I felt like a pro!

  2. Barbara... I'm just glad that all this is happening to me while I'm parked in my driveway. Just maybe I'll have experienced most of the upsets that can happen before I go "further down the road" - if you know what I mean.

  3. Electrical problems make me nervous. Hope you get it figured out soon.

  4. Your lights were probably working off your battery bank and that's why they worked when the plugs did not...just a thought. Glad you got it all figured out and are back in business.

  5. Gypsy, the two times Mel went 'dead' I did the same search you did and nothing resolved the problem until I finally remembered that pesky generator breaker. You have now mastered another step in your RV101 education. Congratulations, you'll soon be an old pro.

  6. Jeana, I got it all back to normal.

    Donna, Yes, my lights were working off my house batteries. I knew it wasn't my batteries as I had left a charge on all night.

    Joe, hands on RV 101 education is probably the best education to get that "old pro" status. In my short time of RV ownership I've had my share of problems. Don't mind telling you that I felt a little proud of myself when I realized that I did it on my own and it didn't cost anything ;-)

  7. It's surprising how little you can run with the air conditioner or microwave on. I am always turning something off so I can turn something else on. I was using my house vacuum in my previous motorhome and burned out the convertor. Now if I want to use my house vacuum I run an extension cord from the house.


  8. Martha... That's what I do now as well. However, when I'm out for a couple of weeks or a month at a time, I will want to vacuum and will have to plug into the coach. We'll see.