[5 Fixes] RV Outlets Work But Not Lights

Undoubtedly, an RV is a pretty convenient option for long trips or camping. It has almost all the accessories and power supply to make it a mini home. In terms of power supply, an RV has power outlets and a 12V battery system. But sometimes it has been found that even though the RV outlets work fine, the RV lights won’t work. But what’s the actual reason behind this? Does it have any solution?

Basically, when this issue occurs most likely it’s related to the battery. The simple reason is that RV lights consume their power from the 12V battery and if the lights aren’t working, that means the problem is with the battery. 

This post contains all relevant information about this issue that can help you to fix this problem. All you need to do is read the post till the end without skipping any part. So, let’s begin!

RV Outlets Work but Not Lights

Why the RV Outlets Work but Not the Lights?

There are some particular reasons that your RV lights aren’t working, or we can say, aren’t getting power. Those are –

  1. There’s a fault in the  battery
  2. The battery disconnect switch is defective
  3. There’s an issue with the power converter
  4. The wire gets loose
  5. The fuse is blown

In the following section, you’ll get the fixes regarding these causes. So, without delaying any more, let’s get into them.

How to Make the Lights Work When the RV Outlets Work but Not Them?

Each fix is related to one specific cause. So, if you can find out the cause in your case, just apply the fix that goes with it. Otherwise, try the fixes one by one until the issue gets fixed. Here are the fixes –

Fix 1: Ensure the Battery Is Okay

As the RV battery is the main power source of your RV lights, you should check for it first. Start by checking the voltage of it. If the battery voltage is under 12V then most likely the battery is weak or dead. Sometimes, an eroded terminal can also cause this issue.

Therefore, make use of a voltage tester and check the voltage from the battery terminal. Make sure the battery has a full charge and the terminals are free of dirt and corrosion. 

Fix 2: Ensure the Battery Disconnect Switch Is Okay and ON

In general, the battery disconnect switch should be placed near the battery and a wire must connect to and from the itself. If the switch is faulty or in the OFF position, this issue occurs. 

Therefore first make sure that the switch is in good condition. Otherwise, you’ll require a new switch. If the switch is okay, check if it’s in the ON position as it’s necessary to keep the switch in the ON position to ensure power flow. If it doesn’t then keep it in the ON position. And if the switch is already ON, make it OFF and then ON again for better assurity. 

Fix 3: Ensure the Power Converter Is Okay

An RV power converter converts the 120V AC current to a 12V DC current in order to charge up your RV battery. It comes with the breakers and fuses, built into the panels. Without using it, the battery charge gradually drains and can’t recharge itself, even though it’s connected to shore power. 

So, check for the RV converter and make sure it’s okay. You can find it in the breaker box. Otherwise, replace it with a new one.

Fix 4: Ensure the Battery Wire Is Okay and Firmly Connected

The battery has a wire that goes from the battery to the breaker box. If it somehow gets loose anywhere or torn, this issue occurs. That’s why you need to check for a loose connection. 

In this case, you’ve to check the entire wire to find any torn or damaged parts and check where the bolts are screwed to secure the wire to find a loose connection. If you find the wire with damage, replace it with a fine one. And if you find a loose connection, make sure to tighten it. 

Fix 5: Ensure the Fuse Is Okay

Last but not least, check if the battery fuses are fine. These fuses in the battery system protect the battery from an electrical overload. If any of the fuses get blown, the battery won’t operate to power your RV lights. 

Therefore, look for any blown fuse. If you find one, there’s no other solution but to replace it with a new one. 

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers – FAQs

How can I reset my RV power?

To reset your RV power, start by unplugging the power-hungry components. Then reset the circuit breakers and GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlets inside the RV. After that, reset the power outside your RV. These are the necessary resets. Now, check the circuit breaker on the generator if they’re okay. Finally, replug the components. 

Why there’s no power to my RV while plugged into shore power?

The most possible cause can be the primary GFCI outlet has been tripped. Typically, when the circuit is overloaded, the GFCI cuts off the power; and that’s why you can’t get any power to the RV. In this case, it’s better to reset it. 

Why are my RV plugins not working?

There are a few possibilities behind your RV plugins that aren’t working. Those are – the power source is defective, there’s a problem with any circuit breakers, or the GFCI outlet gets tripped. In this case, you need to replace the faulty part in the power source and reset the circuit breakers and GFCI outlet. 


Thus far, we’ve shared all the relevant information regarding your RV lights that aren’t working while the RV outlets are working fine. If you successfully apply the appropriate fix according to your cause, the problem will be solved and your lights will again get power from the battery. Let us know which fix does the work for you.

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