Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Most Roadtrek models have four methods of bringing electricity into the coach:

"Shore Power"
Generator (optional)

The batteries supply 12 volt DC power. "Shore power" or hooking up to an outside electric outlet supplies 110/120 volt AC power. The Inverter has several functions but for now, the inverter changes 12 volt DC battery power into 110/120 volt AC power. The generator, which is noted optional, because you must purchase the generator as an option, creates 110/120 volt AC power with an engine.

I have noticed that there is a lot of confusion about the electric system from new owners. I have had several readers contact me with questions and questions come up on the forums. I am going to explain very basically the electric system in the Roadtrek. I will do this in separate article - each on one of the above sources of electricity. I am seperating it all for simplicity so that if a reader needs to come back to find out about one of these it will not be necessary to wade through an entire article about all of it.

The first place I am going to start is to share a link with you. This is the LINK to the Roadtrek Electric Simulator. This is a wonderful thing put together by a Roadtrek owner with a great deal of talent. It is a visual and working Roadtrek electric system - for each model and year Roadtrek. It is complete with all of the switches and options of running power in a Roadtrek - and they all work and show you exactly what happens in combination. The one thing that is essential to do when using this is to go down the left hand column and find the drop down menu for year and model and make sure you set in your exact year and model. It starts with models in 2000 and goes up to 2010. The 2010 models are the same as the 2011 models and likely the same as 2012 and the newest 2013s. You will find at the top of the simulator page a link to NOTES. Click on that and a PDF file will open with detailed explanations about the system - and this was recently updated in November 2011. The simulator is fun to play with and will help you understand things like what happens if I don't push this button but I do push that - or - what if my engine is running and I don't have the battery switch on. There are so many combinations.

The next article will be all about the batteries.

I had originally thought that I would run each electric system article one week after the other, but I have decided that that may be just too much electric system. What I will do is spread these articles out - and after they all have been posted add links so that they can be read in sequence if anyone would like to do that.






See our Living in the Roadtrek and How To page for other Electric System articles!


  1. I am in and out of my 190 a lot while it is parked at home. I run the fan and the fridge in the summer heat while parked. Could I just leave her plugged into an electric outlet? Should I switch the inverter to off to keep from overcharging the batteries? Thank you VERY much

    1. I need to know what year 190 you have and if recently new if you have any of the new electrical features of the newest Roadtreks. It makes a big difference in the answer to your question. Send me an email - link on the right column = Contact Us. Thanks - happy to answer when I know the year.

  2. Hi guys, I love your articles as they are so helpful. We bought a 2003 RT Popular last year. The electrical system has a new hiccup that I hope that you can shed some light on. When I turn the battery disconnect switch on the electrical outlets no longer work. The over head lights still work off of the battery but not the outlets. They will work on shore power or power from the generator. I suspected that I overloaded the circuit and blew a fuse but I've pulled the fuses from under the bench and they appear fine. Any ideas dear RT gurus? Thanks in advance. Ginny

  3. The outlets in your Roadtrek need to be powered by a 110 volt power source - they do not work with the batteries alone. You need to be connected to shore power or running the generator for there to be power in the wall outlets. The overhead lights are on the 12 volt system and work with the battery disconnect switch on.