Where is the Circuit Breaker in My RV?

If you’re ever in an RV and don’t know where the circuit breaker is, this guide will help you find it.

An electrical issue in your RV (camper, trailer, motorhome, etc.) may prompt you to check the RV circuit breaker. If it trips, you must know exactly where it is to turn it back on or replace it. Also, if the issue is with one particular part of the rig, you will need to know which specific breaker is responsible, as there are several minor ones too.

To locate the circuit breakers in your RV, look for the RV breaker panel. It is usually located on a wall near the floor and covered by a plastic sheet. It may be behind or under a refrigerator, bed, cabinet, or pantry. In some RVs, it will be hidden inside a cabinet or an exterior storage bay. Once located, you can proceed to deal with the particular issue.

Locating the breakers should not be difficult, but you may also need to know how to deal with a certain situation involving one of them.

RV Breaker Panels

The circuit breakers in an RV are to be found inside the breaker panel, so you need to know where the panel is first.

The panel is usually located at a low level nearer the floor on one of the walls. However, it is usually kept out of sight, hidden behind, or even under something. It may be the refrigerator, bed, cabinet, or pantry. In some RVs, it is concealed inside one of the cabinets, or you can find it in an exterior storage bay.

If you are still unsure or can’t find it:

  • If it’s an old RV, look under the vehicle’s flooring.
  • Have you looked inside the cabinets and exterior compartments to see if it’s not behind any appliance?
  • Look in the vehicle’s owner’s manual if you still can’t find it. In certain RVs, you may find it in an unexpected place, such as under the steering wheel or inside the load center surface.

You should know where the breaker panel is situated beforehand so that you can deal with any electrical issue immediately when it arises.

RV Circuit Breakers

Like all circuit breakers, an RV breaker is also designed to interrupt the electrical supply in case of a sudden power surge.

This helps to protect people from getting an electric shock. It also protects the rig from damage or fire due to a fault in the electrical system. When a breaker trips, something must have caused it, so you will need to investigate that too. Or, if there is a loss of electricity in a certain part of the rig, the breaker may need to be replaced.

Inside the breaker panel, you will find:

  • The main breaker (110V) controls the entire supply.
  • Several smaller, usually 12V breakers, for your RV’s various devices and appliances.
  • A power pole, an exterior breaker for use as an additional power source, is provided in some campgrounds and parks for RVs.
  • Fuses for specific devices and plug-ins.

Below, I’ve covered some common issues that may arise so that you know how to deal with them.

Common Issues with RV Breakers

Before thinking the issue is related to your RV, ensure there isn’t a power outage in the area and that the breaker at the pole is not tripped. Usually, you will only need to access the RV breaker panel if one of the breakers inside it has tripped or fails to work.

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Be careful when switching a breaker back on, as you will be working in an area of high voltage. If you need to tinker more inside the breaker panel, ensure the main power switch is turned OFF first.

Here are some common issues that cause an RV breaker to trip:

Overloaded Circuit – If you have multiple devices or appliances on the same circuit, and the breaker trips, switch it back on, but this time, use fewer devices. If the appliances include a microwave, air conditioner, or other high-power-consuming appliance, they should be on a dedicated (not shared) circuit.

Damaged Cord or Outlet – If you notice any damage to the cord or outlet, you must fix the problem first or replace it before switching the breaker back on.

Short Circuit – If a short circuit occurs in an appliance, the problem is the appliance, not the breaker. Switch the breaker back on, but check the appliance before using it again.

Bad Breaker – If there is no apparent reason for the tripping, the breaker might need replacing. Only do this after first turning the main power supply off.

If the problem is not one of tripping but a loss of power supply while the breaker is still on, then it might be faulty. In this case, you may need to test and replace it altogether.

Wrapping Up

This article was about finding the location of circuit breakers in your RV.

You will find them in the breaker panel. You should know where this is in case one of their trips fails to work. The panel is normally on a wall nearer the floor, often covered by a plastic sheet. It may be behind or under a refrigerator, bed, cabinet, or pantry.

However, in some RVs, it may be hidden in an unexpected place. See the section on RV Breaker Panels above to know where best to look.

Video Reference

My RV Works, Inc.

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About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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