RV Outlets Work But Not Lights: The Best Solutions

Knowing your RV outlet works but not lights is an excellent indication of an issue with your RV battery. Why? Because your RV lights work on the 12v system from your battery. And if your RV outlets work, your 120V AC electrical system is still working correctly. This post will review the common issues and fix each possible reason your lights are not getting power. Some common reasons your lights are not getting power are:

  • Weak or Dead Battery
  • Faulty Battery Disconnect Switch
  • Power Converter
  • Blown Fuse
  • Loose wire

Since your outlet is working and you have a good supply of shore power, let’s start by checking out the battery.

Table of Contents

Weak or Dead Battery

The first sign that your lights are not working is the battery. Your RV lights are powered by 12V DC power, which comes from your battery (or converter, which we will chat about later). Not having your lights is your clue to check out your battery.


First, check you have at least 12V of power in your battery. If you have a weak or dead battery, you will register under 12V. Get a voltage tester and check your voltage directly at the battery terminals. If you have over 12V, let’s continue checking the battery for more potential fixes

Check your RV Battery for a loose connection. This could be as simple as the battery wire is not secured tightly to the terminals. Check those wing nuts or bolts to the battery to make sure they are secure.

Check all wires to and from your battery

Another battery issue is corroded or dirty connections. If you have any signs of corrosion at your battery terminal, this could be causing a bad connection to your battery. Clean your terminals and get that good metal-to-metal connection from your battery to your wire.

For more info on testing your battery and checking connections, visit my RV battery page for more relevant posts.

Faulty Battery Disconnect Switch

While you are at your RV battery, checking your battery disconnect switch is a good idea. Your disconnect switch should be close to your batteries and have a wire going to and from the switch itself. Sometimes these disconnect switches do go bad and can cause battery problems.


Check your disconnect switch is in the “ON” position. With the switch on, that connects the wire from the battery to allow power to flow. Even if the switch looks “ON”, I suggest turning it “OFF” and then “ON” again. The disconnect switch can sometimes appear to be fully clicked to “ON”; it is only partially open, and no power flow is going through.  

For more info, visit my post on RV Battery Disconnect Problems.

Power Converter

 Your RV Converter is also essential to your RV battery system and interior lights. The converter takes ac power from your shore power and converts it to dc power. This converter now supplies the dc power needed to provide strength and charge your RV battery. Without a converter, your battery would continue to drain down and not recharge. Even if connected to shore power, your battery would be discharged completely, leaving your interior not working.


Your converter is located in your breaker box. It is usually built into your panels along with your breakers and fuses. Your converter fuse is typically a cluster of two to three bus fuses with the highest amp numbers. They will total anywhere from 60 to 100 plus amps.

For more information, check out my post on RV Converter Fuse Location.

Blown Fuse

The next common issue is that you have a bad fuse. Your electrical panel will house all of your fuses and breakers. And you may have a bad fuse that has cut the power to your lights. Anytime there is a short or a spike in voltage, your fuse will automatically make that break of power to protect the bulb.

Go to your breaker panel to check fuses

Once a fuse is blown, it is no good anymore and needs to be replaced, unlike a gfci outlet, which can have the breaker switched back on when tripped.


While you are at the converter, now would be a good time also to look at the fuses that supply power to your interior lights. Your fuses and breakers should be labeled and relatively easy to inspect. Pull the fuse to see that it is still intact. If there is any break in the fuse blade, replace it and see if that solves your interior light problem.

Loose Wire

A loose wire can occur anywhere from the battery to the breaker box. Any loose connection from a wire that leads from your battery into your break panel can cause an issue with your battery power.


This solution is a bit more challenging as this could be a loose wire that is not easily detectable. You may have a secure connection but maybe just disconnected enough to disrupt the power flow.

Start by checking the wire that leads into the breaker panel. See if there is a good connection and all the screws secure to the wires. If all looks secure, and the other solutions above did not resolve, I suggest you get a professional electrician.

Final Thoughts

If your outlet and gfci outlet are all working, you have a good source of shore power, and your issue is the RV battery electrical system. Start by checking out your battery for clean and secure connections. Next, check your power converter and the battery disconnect switch are working correctly. Finally, if all else fails, check your fuses and for any loose wiring that is not securing your 12V system power.