12 Volt RV Electrical Systems

In simpler terms:

  1. 12-Volt system is what an automobile uses
  2. 120-Volt system is what powers the outlets in your home

The heart of the 12-volt system is the RV’s batteries.  The batteries are storage devices for electrical energy.  Keystone RV recommends RV deep cycle or lithium-ion batteries.

The 12-volt system can be powered in four different ways: the RV battery, the converter, which changes 120V AC to 12V DC, the tow vehicle’s 12-volt system, or a solar power system to charge the batteries.

Equip your RV based on your camping needs.  If you typically camp with access to 120V shoreline cord, a standard deep cycle battery is sufficient.  If you are camping without access to 120V and relying heavily on a battery to run your unit’s features, you need to consider a deep cycle battery that has a large capacity reserve, or possibly installing two batteries. 

A factory-installed solar system or portable solar kit is a huge benefit in replenishing the batteries. It is important to keep the battery well charged and maintained for proper operation of the appliances and other features. Otherwise, you may experience intermittent or failure of operation with most 12V components in the unit.

Breakers and Fuses

Main power reset breakers are located along the frame rail on 2020 and older units.  Units manufactured after 2021, the breakers are located in the Gigi Box.  Fuses are located in the 12Volt distribution panel located inside the unit.  If a fuse is blown or a breaker is tripped, always identify the cause and correct it before installing new fuses or breakers.  Never install a fuse or breaker with a higher rating than specified.

Further questions

For further questions regarding fuses, breakers, and electrical power, refer to your Keystone Owner’s Manual, your dealer or feel free to contact us at 866-425-4369.