Site Links:
Library Contents Search the Library RV Tech Library Help Page Site Map About Us Tiffin RV Network TRVN Classifieds Campground Reviews Photo Gallery TRVN Store
Library Chapters
Appliances Batteries Boondocking/Dry Camping Chassis Clubs & Forums Electrical Electronics Engines Exterior Maintenance Generators Heating & Air Conditioning Interior Maintenance Misc Items Operating Tips Plumbing Red Bay Safety & Health Storage Supplier Contacts Tires and Wheel Rims Towing Transmissions Weighing


Use Caution When Welding on an RV


A motorhome is a sophisticated maze of electrical systems. In addition to plain old "wiring, bulbs, and things" there are a number of high tech electronics devices in our "entertainment centers on wheels". Plus, today's vehicles are heavily dependant upon microprocessor control. Even the transmission has it's own computer.

Whenever you attempt to repair a vehicle by welding, you induce a pretty good current into the frame of that vehicle. Because virtually every electrical device uses the chassis frame as it's grounding connection, you can easily see how this higher voltage stray pulsing current isn't going to help any of those devices, especially the expensive computer based stuff. There's an old joke about all those computer chips being hollow and filled with gray smoke. If the gray smoke ever leaks out, you're computer won't run.

Therefore, whenever having any welding operation done, you must disconnect the electrical system. Naturally this means the 120 volt shore power, but also any 12 volt systems must be disconnected. Look very carefully at the battery bay. Chances are that the main power leaves the batteries and goes to a master disconnect switch. You may have one switch for the house batteries and another for the chassis batteries. These both need to be in the OFF position before welding on your coach. In addition, there may be certain items connected to the batteries before the disconnect switch. Sometimes larger current loads, such as inverters, are connected prior to the disconnect switch. If you are not sure, remove the negative battery cables. By eliminating any connection to ground, you will break the circuit to these items.

Remember, you need to know this even if you are not planning on doing any welding. Someday you may have a repair done by a service facility and the welder may not understand the importance of this so you'll need to make sure that this is done or else you are in for some more repairs.


Submitted by Mark Quasius - 9/17/08

Click Your browser's "Back" button to return to the previous page
 or chose another category from the side menu.


The RV Tech Library is brought to you by the TiffinRVnetwork

Absolutely No Affiliation exists between this group and Tiffin Motor Homes Inc or the Allegro Club. This website neither endorses or discourages the use or purchase of a Tiffin product. All references, suggestions, comments, etc. contained herein are the opinions/experiences of the posters and not those of Tiffin Motor Homes Inc. or the website administrators.

 Freightliner Custom Chassis       Spartan Chassis       Workhorse Custom Chassis       Ford Chassis

©Copyright 2014 TiffinRVNetwork All Rights Reserved