RV Ceiling Fan Not Working – What To Do?

A ceiling fan is an excellent addition to any RV. On hot summer days, any extra cooling system makes the inside of your motorhome more enjoyable. The last thing you want is to have your ceiling stop working. If this happens to you, don't worry. We researched this very topic, so you know exactly what to do when your RV ceiling fan is not working. 

There are several reasons why an RV ceiling fan may stop working. Here are some of the most common problems:

  • Capacitor problems
  • Motor problems 
  • Remote control issues
  • Broken switch
  • Dead battery 

You probably still have questions about your ceiling fan. Keep reading to find the solutions to your ceiling fan problems. This article will provide more information about RV ceiling fans and how to troubleshoot fan problems.  

Old ceiling fan in white. RV Ceiling Fan Not Working - What To Do

What Would Cause A Ceiling Fan To Stop Working?

Most ceiling fan issues are mechanical and are easy to fix. However, a broken ceiling fan may indicate an electrical issue or something more serious with your RV. Let's take a look at the most common reasons a ceiling fan in your motorhome might stop working. 

Problem: Broken Fan Capacitor 

Capacitors are an important part of every ceiling fan. This piece of equipment makes the fan self-starting. This means the capacitor causes the blades to rotate, so no manual force is needed to get the spinning motion to begin. A broken capacitor means no air circulation in your RV. 

What Happens When A Ceiling Fan Capacitor Goes Bad?

When a ceiling fan capacitor goes bad, the fan blades do not rotate. The fan continues to receive power, and the motor works. But, the fan will not function properly. Here are some signs of a bad or failing capacitor: 

  • The fan runs very slowly. 
  • The fan doesn't run on every speed setting.
  • The blades spin if manually pushed, but they do not spin otherwise.  
  • The motor hums, but the fan does not work. 
  • The capacitor case looks melted or burned. 

Solution: Replace The Fan Capacitor 

Ceiling fan capacitors are relatively straightforward to replace. Even with little mechanical experience, most people can replace a capacitor on their own. First, you have to remove the old capacitor. This is easily done with a wire cutter and a pick. Next, check the manual of your ceiling fan or RV to determine what model and type of capacitor you need to buy. 

Then, you need to install the new capacitor. Connect its wires to the existing wires, and secure them with electrical tape and caps. Remember, you should always consult an electrician for a guaranteed fix. 

For a better visual demonstration, watch this video:

Plusivo Soldering Iron Kit 

This tool kit has everything you need to install a new capacitor. It is nice to keep a kit like this in your RV for electrical and wiring repairs. 

Click here to view it on Amazon. 

Problem: Broken Motor 

Over time, ceiling fan motors may break with regular use. If your fan lights work, but the blades don't spin, the motor might be broken. As mentioned above, this can also indicate a capacitor issue. The key difference is motor problems are typically accompanied by strange mechanical sounds or no sound at all. If it is only a capacitor issue, you should hear a low hum when you put your ear close to the fan. 

Solution: Fix Or Replace The Motor 

Once you determine your fan motor is broken, the next step is to replace or repair the motor. Most people can replace the motor on their own. However, repairing a broken motor is more difficult. It is always a good idea to have an electrician or mechanic look at your fan. They can confirm a motor problem. They might even be able to repair the current motor, which can save you money. 

Are you having problems with your flush tank as well? Check out this blog post for more info: RV Black Tank Flush Not Working – What To Do.

Problem: Remote Control Issue 

Many new RV ceiling fans are remote controllable. You may think your fan is broken when there is a problem with the remote instead. If the remote control does not make your fan work, try to use the pull chain instead. If your fan turns on, then you know it is a remote issue. 

Solution: Replace Or Reset The Remote

First, change the remote batteries. If the fan still doesn't turn on, try to reset the ceiling fan/remote frequency connection. If this doesn't work, then you will have to replace the remote. Luckily, many fans have warranties, and the company will replace your remote for free. Contact your ceiling fan company to find out about your options.

How Do You Reset A Ceiling Fan? 

It is easy to reset a ceiling fan. First, remove the back of the remote and the battery. You should now see the DIP switch. This is a set of programmable buttons. Next, set a new combination by sliding the buttons up or down. Then, you need to find the DIP switch in the fan housing. Once you find it, set it to the same combination as the remote. Place the battery back inside the remote. The frequency is now reset, and the fan should work again. 

Here is a helpful video to watch too:

Problem: Broken Switch 

Switches wear down over time. Most wall switch problems don't happen overnight, so you have probably noticed sticking or delays up to this point. Damaged switches are very common and simple to replace. 

How Do I Know If My Ceiling Fan Switch Is Bad?

If your ceiling fan does not work, and you notice the following signs, then your ceiling fan switch is most likely bad. 

  • The other electrical outlets and appliances in your RV work.
  • There was an audible pop sound when you turn the switch on/off.
  • You usually have to jiggle the switch to make the fan work.
  • You previously noticed dimming or flickering lights.
  • The voltage reading was positive when you checked the wiring.  

Solution: Replace The Switch

Wall switches are affordable and easy to replace. If you are 100% sure the switch is broken, then buy a new one and install it. If you have any doubts about a broken switch, get a professional to look at it. There could be a deeper electrical issue. It is not good to tinker with electrical wiring if you do not have experience or training. 

American Technology Components On-Off Switch

Here is an affordable switch compatible with most RV electrical systems. If you need a replacement, this is an excellent option. 

Click here to view it on Amazon. 

If you notice problems with your motorhome refrigerator, too, check out this blog post: RV Dometic Fridge Not Working – What To Do?

Problem: Dead RV Battery 

Often, RV batteries die. You can not operate a motorhome ceiling fan with a dead battery. Batteries lose their charge for a variety of reasons. If none of the electrical appliances are working and you can not start your RV motor, then your battery is most likely the problem. 

For more information about dead RV batteries, read this article: RV Battery Not Working: What To Do?

Solution: Charge The Battery 

First, jumpstart your battery. Then, turn on the fan. Hopefully, it is working now. However, if your ceiling fan and other appliances still do not work, there is probably a deeper issue. Bring your RV to a mechanic to get a professional opinion on the issue. 

Are RV Ceiling Fans 12V?

Yes, most RV ceiling fans operate at 12V. Your RV battery can support 12V, so you don't always need shore power to operate your ceiling fan. Just remember to monitor how long you run your ceiling fan when you use your own battery to power it. It is easy to turn on your fan and forget about it. This can quickly drain your battery. 

Do Ceiling Fans Have Fuses?

No, ceiling fans themselves do not have fuses. The circuit breaker connected to your RV ceiling fan has a fuse, but there is no fuse located inside the ceiling fan. 

Time To Fix Your RV Ceiling Fan

Don't keep sweating through the summer heat. Use the information from this article to help you fix your motorhome ceiling fan. Typically, a broken ceiling fan is an easy DIY fix. But, don't hesitate to take your RV to an electrician or mechanic if you suspect a more serious issue with your vehicle. 

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One comment

  1. 2011 Montana mountaineer. Just moved our camper into our camping spot, Now ceiling fan, microwave and the outlets in the bedroom do not work. And suggestion
    Thank you

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