RV Ceiling Fan Not Working (Troubleshooting Guide and Tips)

Ceiling fans are decorative but only if they are operational. They do not look or do any good if they are not working. These are simple devices that do not take a lot to get them up and running again. With a little advice, a few tools and you should be good to go.

A ceiling fan is an electrical device so the first locations you need to search to rectify this problem are electrical sources. Once you get done with those possibilities, look at the motor of the ceiling fan. The power supply is one of the keys to look at.

To learn more about RV ceiling fans and why they are not working, just continue to read our article. It is filled with the information you want to know about so you can troubleshoot your own non-working fan and get it running again.

Why is My RV Ceiling Fan Not Working?


We could be here all day just listing all the electrical possibilities that interfere with your ceiling fan’s operation. We will list a few of those possible sources in this section:

1. Breaker tripped- this can happen for a number of reasons. There was too much power going through the circuit at the time. Or there is a short in the system that shut the breaker off. But check the breaker to see if it tripped or not, then flip it back on to see exactly where the problem lies.

2. Blown fuse- if your ceiling fan has a fuse installed to control the power flow, this is a common possibility. Check the fuse and use a multimeter as sometimes visual inspections do not see the problem. Then replace it with a new fuse once you determine that is the source of the lack of power.

3. The power source is lacking- the above two possible sources will cut the power source off from the device. However, those are not the only source of the lack of power. You could have a dead battery in your RV which needs to be recharged before the ceiling fan will work again.

4. Motor not working- the motor can overheat or it can just wear out over time. Either way, this is an important component to look at and it should not be overlooked. It is always a possibility including total burnout of the motor.

5. Wiring issues- wires play an important role in any electrical device. That is why you should carry a multimeter along with your vacations. You could have a loose or bad connection or the wires can be damaged in some way. A multimeter will give you an idea if the wires are bad or not.

6. A bad remote- either the remote stopped working or the batteries are out of power, or you have signal interference. The latter can come at any time due to the high amount of electrical components that operate on different frequency levels.

Common Ceiling Fan Issues in RVs

There are other common issues that were not mentioned in the last section. These are quite common ones as ceiling fans tend to use the same components no matter which brand makes them.

1. Bad capacitor- when you are checking out the motor, do not forget to check the capacitor. It is easy to assume the motor is bad when it is just this one small but vital part of the assembly that went bad.

The signs of a bad capacitor are- a slow-moving fan, a slight humming sound, not all speeds are working, and the blades only spin when pushed by hand. Replacement is the only option.

2. Broken switch- this can happen at any time as well. The switch takes an accidental hit and it just snaps. Sometimes you can see the damage and other times you can’t.

Or the switch is a pull chain and the chai came loose or whatever, and you can’t turn the fan on. Check the switch by removing housing and wall plates and look for physical damage.

The signs of a bad switch are: the popping sound when you turn it on, all other switches turn on their respective electrical items, the switch is loose and needing to be jiggled to turn it on, and you either got a positive voltage result when checking it with a multimeter or lights are dimming.

3. Broken flywheel- in some ceiling fan models you may have a rubber part called a flywheel. This little part attaches the blades to the motor. If it is broken the light will turn on but the blades will not spin.

To get the ceiling fan working again, you would have to replace that rubber part.

4. Automatic turning on and off- this may bother you some when you see it but there are times when the ceiling fan will turn itself on or off. This is a sign that you may have power problems.

The remote may be bad, or there is a problem with the internal wiring. Check the remote and its batteries first before going into the ceiling to check the wiring. Repair or replace the source of the problem.

5. The ceiling fan not responding to the remote- dead batteries will be one source of this problem. Check those batteries first and replace them if they are out of power.

If it is not the batteries, then it could be the receiver or the remote that is bad. Check both items and replace the one that is failing you.

6. Ceiling fan making noises- the sources for this problem vary and they include a non-level set up, loose parts, a worn-out motor, or dirty blades. The repair will depend on what is causing the noises. Be prepared to replace the motor though.

RV Ceiling Fan Troubleshooting


The first step is to look at the signs and symptoms. These will provide you with the clues you need to identify the correct source of the problem. Because the ceiling fan is an electric device, you will need a multimeter nearby to do some checking of the circuit, etc.

Make a checklist of the possible sources and then go through that checklist one at a time until you find the source. Rarely would you need a technician to help you as ceiling fans are made from basic electrical formats.

If you can handle working with electrical problems then a basic knowledge of electricity is all you need to handle this task. The key to troubleshooting the electric ceiling fan is to have someone help you control the power.

You want it on while you do your tests but you want it off when you start working on the different components. You can’t be in two places at the same time so having a helper is essential.

Buying RV Ceiling Fan Parts

Finding replacement parts for your RV’s ceiling fan is not going to be that difficult. Unless you are in a very rural area and no outlets are nearby. The first step would be to look at the manufacturer of the fan.

Then once you have the name you can type it into your browser’s search box and look at the company’s website. If they sell directly to the public, then chances are they will have spare parts available.

The only drawback to this method will be discontinued models. Then you may have to search used RV parts and accessories outlets or eBay and so on. RecPro is one of those manufacturers you can try.

Orr, if you have a newer RV or trailer, you can check e-trailer, and other RV parts and accessory outlets that sell new items. You can always talk to the big box stores and similar stores to find generic parts that will work on your brand of ceiling fan.

RV Ceiling Fan Motor


These are simple devices that are not as strong as you would like them to be. Under normal conditions, these motors will last you a long time before burning or wearing out.

When they do, you can go to the company that made it and get a replacement motor. RecPro sells a replacement motor for $44.95 plus shipping. Most electrical outlets that also sell lights and ceiling fans should have compatible motors for your RV’s ceiling fan.

What needs to be said here is that there are two types of ceiling fans. There are those that run off 12-volt DC power which is the standard in most RVs. The other type is the standard house ceiling fan.

The house ceiling fan runs off of 120-volt AC power. That means you just can’t run out and buy a house ceiling fan for your RV or trailer. You would have to do some special wiring to get those models to work right.

12-volt RV Ceiling Fan Switch

These items will not be hard to find either. E-trailer sells the La Salle brand switch for that ceiling fan brand. Again, you should go by who manufactured the ceiling fan to get the right switch for your specific ceiling fan.

Amazon has a wide variety of 12-volt DC switches but whether they will work for your ceiling fan or not remains to be seen. You may have to go through a number of pages before finding any compatible options.

If that fails, electrical supply stores should be able to set you up with a replacement switch. The trick to finding a replacement switch would be to make sure the switch can operate multiple-speed RV ceiling fans.

How To Oil a Motor in an RV Ceiling Fan


You may not realize it but some ceiling fan motors need lubrication. The test hole to find out if it does need oil or not, is in an awkward spot. Look for the little hole near the down rod and it should be at the top of the motor.

Two things that you will need for this search and checking the oil will be for you to turn the power off to the fan and a step ladder or small step stool. Then take a pipe cleaner and fold it till only a small part is in the shape of a hook.

You will need several bends in the pipe cleaner to reach the hole. Once that is in the right shape, put the hook end into the oil hole. Pull it out after a second or two and if there is oil on the pipe cleaner, you do not need to add oil.

If the pipe cleaner comes back clean, then use the oil hold to add some more oil. You are supposed to use the oil recommended by the manufacturer. You may only need to add 1 or 2 ounces of oil to lubricate the fan’s motor.

How To Clean a Paddle Ceiling Fan in My RV

This task will be exactly like cleaning your home ceiling fan. There is no difference between the two tasks and if you know how to clean the home fan, you know how to clean your RV’s fan.

Use the right cleaning sprays and a soft cloth so you do not scratch the blades. Then just spray on the cleaning solution and wipe clean. The housing should take a different cleanser to clean it and the cleanser should be compatible with the metal on the housing and blade holder.

This task should not take that long to do and it should be over in a matter of minutes.

Some Additional Words

Electrical devices always have the same common sources when they do not work. Do not expect the RV ceiling fan to be any different. If you have basic electrical knowledge and tools, then you should be able to find the source of the problem with ease.

It will be the rare occasion when you won’t be able to troubleshoot your ceiling fan problems. If you can’t do not be afraid to ask someone with greater electrical knowledge for help.

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