How to Find the RV Circuit Breaker

So, you’re out on the open road in your RV and something goes wrong. It could be anything from a blown fuse to an electrical fire. Whatever it is, it’s not good! But before you can get back up and running again, there are some steps that need to be taken.

Finding the circuit breaker might sound like a simple task, but sometimes they are hidden! Luckily for all of us who need this info fast when we’re stranded somewhere with our RV’s lights flickering off and on—here are some quick tips for finding the circuit breaker in your RV quickly so you can get back on the road again soon.

How to find the circuit breaker in your RV

Depending on the type of RV you have, your circuit breakers will be in various locations. The circuit breaker is normally located in an accessible area that doesn’t require any tools for removal or installation: near the floor, beneath the fridge, under a cabinet/pantry, underneath the bed, or perhaps even hidden inside a closet.

Have your RV’s manual handy. This should be the first place you look for this information! If there isn’t a breakers section in it, then check out another source like an online forum or YouTube video. The more sources you have to find the breaker location, the better off you’ll be.

Look around your breaker panel. This is where most people start, but oftentimes the breaker will be in another area of your RV instead.

Look under any cupboards or cabinets you can find inside and outside your RV—especially near appliances like a fridge, furnace (heater), water heater, etc. These are all common areas to look at because they are not only used often but have physical space to put a breaker.

Look under the sink in your bathroom if you don’t find it elsewhere! It might be here but check everywhere else first before checking there.

Don’t forget about closets and pantries—especially ones that are accessible when driving (like on an RV).

If you’re still in the dark about where your circuit breaker is, try looking in an exterior compartment on the outside of your RV. These are usually covered by a flap or door that opens with a latch.

Before you open up any panels, make sure to unplug everything and turn off the power at the main box before touching anything. Some manufacturers will use color-coded wires to help you identify the breakers.

rv circuit breaker panel

What is an RV circuit breaker?

An RV circuit breaker is a safety device that protects the electrical system in your recreational vehicle. Circuit breakers are installed between wires and switches to protect them from overloads or shorts.

The most common type of RV circuit breaker is magnetic, which means it uses electromagnetic force for its function. When an excessive amount of current flows through this part, the LED light will turn off.

The breaker will disconnect the circuit to stop this flow of electricity before it damages other parts in your RV’s electrical system. This is a safety mechanism that helps prevent fires and ensures you can use multiple devices without tripping any breakers or fuses along the way.

A good place to start when trying to find the RV circuit breaker is in your appliance manual or owner’s guide. The diagram that lists all of the breakers in your vehicle should be located somewhere prior to the main distribution panel.

Types of RV circuit breakers

110 Volt circuit breakers

110 Volt circuit breakers are usually located on the power cord for your RV. They are either a plastic or metal casing with two buttons one is red and labeled “line” which means it protects both wires of the electrical wire.

The other button is black and labeled “load” which separates the hot wire from ground wiring protecting you in case there’s an issue that involves grounding . They are usually found in the RV power cord where it joins to your camper.

110 Volt GFCI circuit breakers

These types of breakers protect you from electricity that may travel to you through water or other conductive material (like metal.) These can be located inside an electrical box, separately on a junction box somewhere else in your RV or they can be mounted to the outside of your camper.

12V circuit breakers

In an RV, 12V circuit breakers are used to protect the wiring and devices that run on 12V. They serve as a safety switch because if an overload or short circuit happens, then they cut off power from getting through to prevent damage. Without these switches in place, fires could start due to damaged wires overheating.

12 volt breakers come in both manual reset and automatic reset varieties. Which one is installed depends on what device the circuit breaker protects and how much power it draws from that 12v source.

The two main types of manual reset breakers are:

Blade Type: has a flat tab with three prongs or blades that stick out, which can be pushed back in to reset the switch after an overload.

Slide Type: has an adjustable metal arm that can be slid down to reset the device after it’s tripped on overload.

Automatic Reset 12v Circuit Breakers

These devices have a spring-loaded mechanism inside, which makes them pop back up and turn the power flow back on when they sense current going through again. These devices are great for protecting your appliances and other 12v powered equipment.

These breakers can be divided into two types:

Thermal Type: when there is an overload, the breaker pops due to a heating element inside it that gets too hot from excessive current flow. Once it cools down enough, this type of circuit breaker turns back on and the power will flow again.

Magnetic Type: like thermal breakers, these work by heating up from too much current going through them. However, in this case it’s a coiled spring that gets hot rather than an element inside of it; once they cool down enough (usually after turning off for about five minutes).


The RV circuit breaker is an essential piece of equipment in your RV and it’s really important to know how it works and where to find it