Wednesday, November 29, 2023


New Winegard antenna installed but now roof AC and microwave do not work

Dear Dave, 
I just had a Winegard antenna installed where the old antenna was, but now I have no power to my A/C or microwave. Everything else has power. The breakers all work and none were tripped. Any ideas? —AJ, 2019 Northwood Artic Fox

Dear AJ,
I assume you had a Winegard Air 360 installed, which is a permanently mounted dome-type antenna. Here is a photo of one that I installed on a 2015 Thor Challenger. I would also assume your old antenna was mounted fairly close to the roof air conditioner, as this one was.

All of Winegard’s antennas are powered by the house 12-volt DC batteries and not 120-volt AC power. The old antenna should have had a 12-volt power wire already installed that runs the booster, so no new wiring would be required. Also, no new holes are needed to swap out the old one with the new Air 360, as there would be a hole already in the roof for the cable whether your old antenna was a crank up “batwing” style or pedestal. Here is the hole for the Thor we worked on.

Troubleshooting 120-volt power to the roof air conditioner

First and the simplest step is to verify the shoreline cord is plugged in and there is power going to the distribution center. 120-volt power for the roof air conditioner comes from the distribution center with a dedicated circuit breaker and traditional Romex power cable going to the unit. If the unit is not plugged in, the roof air conditioner will not work. This may sound elementary. However, the components you find that are working could be powered by the house batteries or an inverter taking 12-volt house battery power and providing 120 volts to components like the refrigerator or other outlets.

Next, check the circuit breaker. Just because a circuit breaker does not look like it is tripped, doesn’t mean it has not faulted. The first thing I would do is push the breaker back to the off position and then fully to the right, or on, to see if it clicks back on. If not, use a non-contact voltage tester to verify power from the shoreline cord plug, through the cord, and to the circuit breaker at the distribution center.

You can purchase one of these at Amazon here along with a GFCI tester that we will use for the microwave. More on that later.

If no power at the circuit breaker

If you do not have power at the circuit breaker, then you will need to verify the wiring inside the distribution center going to that breaker. But if there is power at the circuit breaker, open the air return vent directly under the roof air conditioner and test for 120-volt power at the Romex wire going into the module board. This can also be done with the non-contact voltage tester.

If you do have power here, then the next step would be to troubleshoot the thermostat and check the 12-volt fuse in the distribution panel. Even though the roof air conditioner runs on 120-volt power, the module board up in the unit is powered by 12-volt power from the house batteries through the distribution center. The thermostat is also powered by 12 volts.

If there is no power at the unit and there was power at the distribution center, then there is an open circuit somewhere between the two.

Microwave troubleshooting

The microwave oven is plugged into a residential outlet and powered by 120-volt power through the distribution center. Use the GFCI tester and verify if there is or is not power at the outlet.

If not, check the test button and the circuit breaker at the distribution center as described earlier. If there is power, your microwave is bad.

I doubt the installation of the Winegard antenna directly had an impact on the two components that are not working, but rather that something was shut off prior to the installation to verify there was no power going to the antenna and then it was not reset after the installation.

 You might also enjoy this from Dave 

Why did RV’s lights and fridge stop operating on generator?

Dear Dave,
Recently I turned the generator on and, like always, it came on, but my inside lights, fridge and all did not come on. I plugged in my shore plug, and all came on. What could be the issue? Any troubleshooting I can do? This has never happened in my years of owning it. Doesn’t appear to be blown breakers or fuses on hallway floor panel. Help. —Janis, 1995 Rexhall Aerbus

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Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

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Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. He has been in the RV Industry since 1983 and conducts over 15 seminars at RV shows throughout the country.



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Dave Solberg (@guest_261671)
11 days ago

Hi Everyone, I agree, wish more of the original posters would list a comment on what they found. The roof air conditioner would never be connected to a GFCI as it has a high amp start up and would trip every time. It is hard wired to the circuit breaker. Sometimes the microwave oven outlet is connected to the GFCI circuit depending on where it is located. RVIA code dictates any outlet within a certain distance to a water source must be GFCI protected. 

DW/ND (@guest_261658)
11 days ago

Ditto what Snoopy and Neal said. Are the AC and Microwave connected to any of the Ground Fault outlets in the Rv? (I note you said a GFCI tester, however, I am not familiar with that unit). I have two or three GFCI’s in my Class A. Tripped one yesterday with my compressor on the outside outlet! (Maybe the Gemlins got him!)

Neal Davis (@guest_261638)
11 days ago

Thank you, Dave!

Dave (@guest_261627)
11 days ago

Hi Dave, I all most always read your “Ask Dave” & most of the times its very informative! Though it would be great to have a follow up from the OP who was having the issue as to resolving it or did they need further help! Like todays with no 120VAC power to AC & microwave, you gave some really great information, but your readers don’t know if the issue was resolved!
Your loyal reader

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