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RV Lights Flickering When Plugged In

RVs, or recreational vehicles, have become a popular choice for travelers seeking adventure and the freedom to explore.

These vehicles provide all the comforts of home while on the road, including lighting systems that ensure safety and convenience during camping trips.

However, some RV owners may encounter a common issue – flickering lights when their vehicle is plugged in.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the reasons behind this problem and provide practical solutions to resolve it.

So, let’s shed some light on why your RV lights might be flickering and how you can fix it!

RV Lights Flickering When Plugged In: What Causes It?

RV lights flickering when connected to an electrical source can be attributed to several factors.

Understanding the root cause is essential in determining the appropriate fix.

Let’s explore the most common reasons for this troublesome issue:

Insufficient Power Supply

When an RV is connected to a power source with low voltage or inadequate current capacity, the lights may start to flicker.

This situation often arises when using generators or campground pedestals that cannot deliver the required power to sustain all electrical appliances simultaneously.

Loose or Corroded Electrical Connections

Over time, electrical connections inside the RV can become loose or corroded due to vibrations and exposure to the elements.

Such faulty connections disrupt the smooth flow of electricity, leading to flickering lights and other electrical problems.

Faulty Light Bulbs

Sometimes, the flickering issue might be as simple as having a faulty light bulb.

As with any lighting system, RV bulbs can wear out, causing inconsistent illumination.

Incompatible Light Dimmers

Certain RV models are equipped with dimmer switches to adjust the light intensity.

However, using incompatible or low-quality dimmer switches can result in flickering when set to specific levels.

Overloaded Electrical System

When an RV’s electrical system is overwhelmed by excessive power demands, such as running multiple high-energy appliances simultaneously, it can cause lights to flicker due to inadequate power distribution.

Problems with Inverters or Converters

Inverters and converters are essential components of an RV’s electrical system.

Issues with these devices, such as malfunctions or improper installations, can lead to flickering lights.

Wiring Issues

Defective or damaged wiring within the RV can disrupt the flow of electricity, leading to flickering lights and even safety hazards.

How to Fix RV Lights Flickering When Plugged In?

Now that we’ve identified some common causes, it’s time to learn how to fix the issue and ensure a stable and well-lit journey in your RV.

Follow these practical solutions:

Check the Power Source

Begin by checking the power source.

Ensure you are connected to a reliable and adequate power supply, especially if you’re using a generator or campground pedestal.

Consider investing in a high-quality surge protector with voltage regulation capabilities to safeguard your RV’s electrical system.

Tighten Electrical Connections

Inspect all electrical connections within your RV, including outlets, circuit breakers, and the main electrical panel.

Tighten any loose connections and clean off any corrosion using a contact cleaner.

This simple step can significantly improve the electrical flow.

Replace Faulty Light Bulbs

If you identify a flickering light bulb, replace it immediately with a new one compatible with your RV’s lighting system.

Always carry spare bulbs during your travels to ensure uninterrupted illumination.

Upgrade Dimmer Switches

If your RV is equipped with dimmer switches and you’re experiencing flickering lights, consider upgrading to high-quality, compatible dimmer switches.

This upgrade can provide smoother control over your lighting system and minimize flickering issues.

Manage Power Consumption

Avoid overloading your RV’s electrical system by carefully managing power consumption.

Use energy-efficient appliances and avoid running multiple high-energy devices simultaneously.

Distribute the power load evenly to prevent flickering lights and potential electrical issues.

Consult a Professional

If you’ve tried the above solutions and the flickering issue persists, it’s advisable to consult a professional RV electrician.

They possess the expertise to diagnose and resolve complex electrical problems, ensuring the safety and reliability of your RV’s lighting system.


Can flickering lights in my RV cause any other problems?

Yes, flickering lights can indicate underlying electrical issues that may lead to further problems, such as damage to appliances, electrical shocks, or even fires. Promptly addressing the flickering issue is crucial to prevent more significant risks.

Are LED lights less prone to flickering in RVs?

LED lights are generally more resistant to flickering compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. Their energy-efficient nature and advanced technology make them a reliable choice for RV lighting, reducing the chances of flickering issues.

Why do my RV lights flicker only when plugged in and not when running on batteries?

When running on batteries, RV lights receive a consistent power supply from the onboard battery system. However, when connected to an external power source, such as a generator or campground pedestal, fluctuations in voltage or inadequate power supply can cause lights to flicker.

How can I prevent flickering lights in my RV during camping trips?

To minimize the chances of flickering lights, ensure you have a reliable power supply, maintain proper electrical connections, and manage power consumption effectively. Regular inspections and maintenance can also help identify and address potential issues before they escalate.

Should I be concerned if only one light is flickering in my RV?

While it’s essential to investigate the cause of a single flickering light, it may not necessarily indicate a severe problem. Start by replacing the bulb and checking the connection. If the issue persists, consult a professional to assess the electrical system’s integrity.

Can I fix flickering lights in my RV myself?

Some flickering issues can be resolved with simple DIY solutions, such as tightening connections or replacing bulbs. However, if the problem persists or you’re unsure about handling electrical repairs, it’s best to seek professional assistance to avoid potential hazards.


Dealing with flickering lights in your RV can be frustrating, but armed with the knowledge shared in this article, you now have the tools to tackle this common issue.

Remember to start by checking the power source, tighten electrical connections, and replace any faulty light bulbs.

Manage your power consumption wisely and consider consulting a professional if the problem persists.

By addressing flickering lights promptly, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable journey in your RV, free from electrical glitches.