help I only have power when the generator is on.

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Feb 16, 2013
Hello all,

I have a 1979 GMC 25' Marque and right now i am not having any power come to my outlets unless the generator is on or I am plugged to a shore power. I have checked ll the fuses and breakers but just cant figure it out. and my father wants to take the rv out this week for his anniversary to enjoy some fishing/camping with his wife. so any help would be very appreciated.
You will not have any power unless it is hooked up to shore power or genset is running. The 120v system needs a feed to supply power to the outlets.

The 12v system that runs off batteries will only supply lights and power to fridge and furnace, until the batteries die.

Look in the Resources tab at the top of the page and find the page on power systems to better understand these systems and what they can do.

What Steve said is correct, unless you have an inverter installed that has been supplying 120vac in the past.

Since this is your first post here, it's difficult to make any real assessment of your coach or knowledge of it's capabilities.
Are you sure it is an inverter, not a converter.  An inverter is usually rated by wattage output, like 2000 watt or something like that. Even then in an older unit it would probably only supply one outlet such as for a tv.

Again we don't know for sure how yours is set up and can only speak in commonalities until we have more info. So, Have you actually gotten power from an outlet without being plugged in to shore power or on gen power?

yes i used to get power in my unit i have roughly about 5 outlets inside and 1 outside. in sure its a converter, i found it and it clearly says converter in the side of the metal box. thanks for your guys input. I know i am new here and i really appreciate the help.
If you have no inverter, there's no way you would ever have power to the electrical outlets when the unit is neither shorelined nor on generator power.

Simply put, a converter changes 110V power into 12V power, whereas an inverter changes 12V power into 110V power.
okay i know i have in inverter because i used to have power when i was camping before. i appreciate the anticipation that im a complete idiot and that it never worked before. but all my outlets used to work until my dad took it out a couple of weeks ago and i haven't had a chance to get around to fixing it. i am a ASE certified mechanic but i only have 4 as i am 21 one years old. i would really appreciate it if people could help me diagnose this problem. if it helps at all i had to rewire all the brake lights and the night time running lights because they are aftermarket as well as very poorly installed. its my first rv and i purchased it for only 4500.
sorry i just wanted to clarify that my outlets used to work when i was not plugged to a shore source and i would have the outlets working with the generator off. because i remember watching tv and the generator is way to loud to not remember.
Perhaps you do have an inverter, but there are some rigs with 12VDC TVs, or it could be that the inverter only runs the TV and, perhaps, one or two outlets (I had a Bounder that way).
What make and model is the inverter? That might help diagnosis.
An inverter usually has its own internal circuit breaker, typically reset with a pushbutton on the inverter itself. It may also have a set of fuses that prevent damage if someone inadvertently reverses the battery connections (did Dad do anything with the batteries?). Last but not least, the inverter won't work if the batteries are dead, but you can still get 12v power when shore or generator power is available.

Since you may have found the inverter (but you said it is clearly marked "converter"), please identify the make and model. If that box does indeed say "Converter", then keep looking for an "INverter". It has to have a relatively short, fat cable connecting it to the batteries, so should be easy to locate.
Just an FYI:  The original post by soysauce49 is two weeks old and he has not been back since then... Moral of the story: watch the dates of the last reply before jumping in as it happens quite often when a new OP thinks he has  found what he needs.
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