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RV Electrical Systems: A Basic Guide to Troubleshooting, Repairing and Improvement Paperback – October 1, 1994

3.9 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

For RVers who remain mystified by their RV's electrical systems--120-volt alternating current (AC) and 12-volt direct current (DC)--this book is a godsend. It provides a better understanding of what electricity is and what it does.

This problem-solving reference answers questions such as: "Why do interior lights dim or burn out rapidly?" and, "Why won't the batteries recharge after a night without electricity?" It tells you how to repair and improve electrical systems; how to troubleshoot faulty brakes, taillights, and "house" circuits; how to detect dangerous shorts, faulty grounds, inadequate connections, malfunctioning switches, dead battery cells, or current leakage; and much more.

This book could save your vacation, or even your life.

All you need to know about RV electricity, including:

  • How to safely use a campground hookup.
  • How to increase battery charging efficiency.
  • How to take the pulse of your AC and DC electrical systems.
  • How to recognize and correct dangerous wiring practices.
  • How to troubleshoot electrical problems of all types.
  • How to upgrade your RV from fuses to circuit breakers.
  • How to calculate your electrical needs and upgrade your system to meet them.
  • How to select the most effective components--batteries, alternator, regulator, coverter, charger, generator, solar panels.
  • How to recognize phantom electrical loads that can drain your batteries.

About the Author

Bill and Jan Moeller have lived a mobile lifestyle for more than 20 years, during which they have had much experience overcoming problems with and upgrading their 12- and 120-volt electrical systems. At present, as they have done for many years, the Moellers live fulltime in their fifth-wheel trailer and travel the year round. In addition to writing books, including RVing Basics (Ragged Mountain Press, 1995), the Moellers also write a nationally syndicated newspaper column about RVing.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; 1 edition (October 22, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007042778X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070427785
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book descibes electricity, batteries, control circuits et al in the right level of detail to allow the person with basic hand eye coordination to troubleshoot if not fix almost any electrical problem the RV'er might encounter. Many simple diagrams to aid in the understanding of concepts and tracing of problems. The book does assume the reader will have a knowledge of basic hand tools, the skill to use them and an ability to convert the porvided knowledge into action. One must be able to look at the drawings in the book and locate the item on the RV. Highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what makes the electrical system tick in their RV.
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The first thing that struck me about this book was that it explained things in plain, everyday English! Sure there were a couple of sections in the DC half of the book that started to get technical, but the many examples of the real-life problems and the solutions used helped bring these sections into perspective and helped with the understanding of why the technical things exist.
There were a great many tips and hints that were also very practical for those who cannot afford the expensive test equipment and many of the tools could be purchased or built from parts found at the neighborhood hardware store.
This book should be in every RVer's library.
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Format: Paperback
Bought book to help plan an RV electrical system upgrade and it more than met my expectations. Found the book fairly easy to understand with a wealth of specific information about the "whys" and "wherefores" of wire, fuses, circuits, batteries, battery charging, electrical loads, etc. Author also includes a wealth of technical info for tech types who want greater detail.
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I am an RV technician, and I LOVE this book. It truly goes into areas that a technician often doesn't have the time to explore. It exploits typical weaknesses within electrical systems and their mods to fix them. The section on alternators is top notch. It's a little bit like the gravy a technician only gets by talking shop with someone who's been at it for 35 years. For the average RV user... if you have any desire to learn the electrical system, rest assured - this is what you want. It's twice or three times the book I bargained for, and the knowledge within it goes above the calling of it's title. RV's are not always made with the end user in mind, and not only does this book help you learn (or confirm) the ins and outs of RV electrics, but it teaches you how to IMPROVE those systems, big time. I might add, as a technician speaking here... I'm also talking about very expensive RV's at times. They don't always build things like they should, at any price tag, and the author of this book is beyond expert in his understanding of that concept.
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Technology has advanced very significantly over the past 18 years in the motorhome industry. I was expecting current component technology and single line drawings to visually show how the major distribution components work together. The directory of suppliers is grossly out dated. If you are looking to understand basic electricity, this is the book for you.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This publication provides a good overall view. Unfortunately for my situation it did not address my power converter problem. Like most publications out there it concentrates more on the self contained RV or what I would call a Motor Home not the towable. I suspect this is due in part to the commonality of parts and variations in dealer provided options. It dosen't really explain how to test the converter/charger so for DIY it falls short.
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Format: Paperback
As the co-author of "RV Boondocking Basics--A Guide to Living Without Utility Hookups" (available on Amazon) I not only have read, but keep on my active RV bookshelf the Moellers' tome. It's thick, but covers a wide variety of important topics that all RVers, not just "do it yourselfers" need to be aware of.

From low voltage to "shore power" circuits, the Moellers explain in clear language how to maintain, operate, and KEEP SAFE with electricty in and around your RV. Diagrams, illustrations, and photos make it a well-used book around our rig.

A great book!
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This I purchased (along with another publication by Woodalls), as a Christmas gift for one of my brothers, who just got a hold of a late model Winnebago for his new residence. He was very, very grateful and said it was exactly what he needed, to help him with electrical specifics he needed to know, for keeping up maintenance on his Winnebago.
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