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Troubleshooting, Repairing, and Replacing an RV Camper Power Converter

Updated on June 09, 2016
Randy Godwin profile image

Randy is a life long lover of the outdoors and especially camping. This article is intended to help the RVer save money and time on repairs.

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Many RVs and camper trailers use a power converter to operate the lights, refrigerator, vent fans, and perhaps the thermostat on the heating system. The converter uses the 110-volt AC power from the local power source and transforms it into the 12-volt DC these items require.

This article is intended to help you troubleshoot many converter problems and to repair or replace the unit if need be. Since there are different makes, types, and sizes of converters, this article will deal with problems common to most models.

Although electrical knowledge is helpful, it is not necessary in order to be able to check the power converter or to repair or replace it.

For more basic information on how the electrical system on your RV works, see this article.

Safety Alert!

Always unplug the RV from the 110-volt power supply before attempting to repair any electrical components of the power converter unit.

Classic Travel Trailers

1959 Serro Scotty Sportsman
1959 Serro Scotty Sportsman | Source
1954 Airstream Globetrotter
1954 Airstream Globetrotter | Source

Types of Converter Problems

In most cases, a malfunctioning converter will just cease to function with the result being the total loss of power to any 12-volt DC fixtures or controls. In other cases, the converter will produce power, but not enough to run the 12-volt DC electrical system.

But until the onboard 12-volt batteries are exhausted of their charge, the problems will not become apparent. The power converter is supposed to maintain a constant charge on these batteries, supplying variable voltage depending on the amount being drawn from the 12-volt DC system.

Remember that the onboard batteries must be in good shape and able to hold a full charge. One bad battery will draw power from the other good batteries and will eventually cause them to fail also.

To check the batteries, it is necessary to fully charge them and then disconnect them from the others to check their recharging abilities. Check them with a multimeter, after they sit awhile, to determine if one or more is losing voltage.

Troubleshooting the RV Power Converter

The first step in determining the problem is to start from the beginning—that is, the point where the 110-volt AC supply enters the RV power converter.

  • With the RV power supply connected, check the voltage at the point it enters the converter. It should be between 108 to 130 volts. Anything in this range is okay!
  • The next order of business is to check the voltage where it connects to the 12 volt DC breaker box. It should be 11-13 volts to operate satisfactorily. Anything less indicates a bad power converter.

Once we know the problem is a malfunctioning RV power converter, we can check the inner components of the unit.

1. Power Converter Fan

RV power converters use a small fan to keep the electrical components cool while the unit is charging. It should be possible to hear the cooling fan running intermittently while the converter is in use (the fan may operate only when the temperature reaches a certain point).

This fan normally uses the 110-volt AC line voltage to operate. If the voltage to the fan is in the correct range, the fan itself is probably malfunctioning. Replacing this fan is normally an easy project, but finding the right fan might be a problem. Note the make, part numbers, voltage, and any other information on the RV power converter fan motor, for use in obtaining a replacement online.

In some cases, a different make and model may be substituted as long as the voltage and amperage are similar and the motor fits in the space. If the voltage is not getting to the cooling fan from the thermostat, a replacement thermostat is needed. These can be found online as well.

A thermal sensor is used to switch the cooling fan on and off, depending on the operating temperature of the converter components. Make sure the current is getting past this sensor and to the cooling fan before buying a new fan.

If the fan itself, as opposed to the sensor, is not malfunctioning, you should be able to jump the sensor and cause the fan to operate. If this is the case, replace the sensor with one of equal temperature rating.

2. Resistors and Circuit Board

Some power converters rely on a resistor to control the voltage to the onboard batteries and the 12-volt DC system. In some models, the resistor is riveted to the converter box. When checked with the multimeter, the resistor should read from 3 to 13 volts, depending on the present charge of the battery, and which onboard 12-volt lights, fans, and other accessories are being used. If your batteries are not being fully charged, the resistor is often the culprit.

It may be necessary to disassemble the converter box to access this resistor. Be careful if the circuit board requires removal, or you may damage it. Drill out the rivet and replace with the correct replacement resistor.

If the exact replacement part is difficult to locate, you may find a satisfactory replacement at an auto supply store because this type of resistor is used in many automotive applications. As long as the values are the same, almost any 12-volt DC resistor should work. Once this resistor is replaced, the onboard batteries should stay charged with the proper amount of voltage.

3. Replacement

Sometimes it’s just better to bite the bullet and buy a new converter, especially if you aren’t the DIY type of person or just don’t have the time to chase down parts. But actually, it isn’t all that costly to install a new power converter. Installation is very easy too.

Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power converters are fan-cooled and deliver clean, dependable 12-volt DC power to the lights and other appliances in your motorhome or camping trailer. Choose from 45-, 60-, and 80-amp models to fit your particular RV power requirements.

If you’re thinking of replacing the 12-volt DC breaker panel, or updating an older motorhome or travel trailer, the Parallax 7345 Power Center combines the power converter with a reliable breaker system for dependable, clean 12-volt DC power to supply your RV. (For more on breaker systems in RVs, see this article). Parallax also provides 45- and 55- amp converters and breaker panels separately.

A good 12-volt converter system can make or break a camping trip. Learning to repair and understand how the system works will eventually pay off on one of these occasions. Good luck!

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    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 4 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Brian, either the converter is over charging the batteries or the batteries themselves are at fault. Are the batteries no maintenance, or is there a fluid level you can check?

      Randy

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      Brian 4 days ago

      When I plug my 2006 winnibego journey into the 50amp my house batteries get extremely hot and start over charging, any ideas what could be causing this?

    • Michael Lucas77 profile image

      Michael Lucas77 2 weeks ago

      Not once did this article talk about the 40 amp fuses that power the converter. Seen tons pop due to bad service pedestals

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Cjh, it's more than likely a fan making the noise. Either lubricate the fan or replace it.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Cathy, as far as the slide-out is concerned, I suspect the switch, not the battery, is wired backwards. Have you changed anything in the electrical system before the converter became too hot? A bit more info may help me assist you with this problem.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Kathy Mellette 3 weeks ago

      We just purchased our first 5th wheel. We thought we were paying for someone to deliver it & set it up, but the guy didn't know ANYTHING. Left on our on to figure out everything, we discovered the battery (that allowed us to roll out the slides) was wired backwards. We actually had to press IN to get them to slide OUT. Anyway, we got an electrician to cpme out, and he was at a loss. Obviously having no RV experience like us. After exhaustive efforts and suggestions my 5 "dummies" like us, everything came on. However, a burning smell was coming from the "converter" and it was very hot. We have disconnected everything, because we are afraid it will catch fire. Please help with suggestions. (Open Range 2009 Fifth Wheel)

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Nicholas, have you checked the voltage at the battery to be sure the battery is holding a charge? If the battery is bad this will cause the converter to try to furnish all of the 12 volt power to the fans, lights, fridge and the AC/furnace and HW heater thermostats. Also, try cleaning the negative battery cable where it connects to the steel frame of the RV. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      dgttm 4 weeks ago

      Dear Randy, thanks for all your explanations. My issue with my 1988 Ford motorhome Converter looks like this:

      Battery mode: everything is running fine (lights, furnace etc.)

      When plugged in, interior lights are brighter, so it seems power is going through. The roof heating/AC Vent is working, but only for a like 30-45 seconds, then the converter makes a click and shuts off everything. After a few seconds, it switches on and it is then working, but a shorter period (like only 20seconds) and this is repeating. I'll check the converter fan later, but do you have another idea?

      Another issue is, that when I run the furnace on battery without running the engine, it is working fine. But if I run the engine and switch on the furnace, its only blowing cold air. Any ideas?

      I appreciate any hint or tip. thanks

      Nicolas

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Replacement will run at least $100 or probably more. You can find them on this page.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi James, try turning all of the 110 volt breakers off except the main and then flipping them on one at a time until you find the circuit tripping the breaker. It may be the power converter you hear but you'll find out soon enough.

      Randy

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      james carlisle 5 weeks ago

      when i plug my rv in to 120 and then flip the main braker on i hear a click its not the braker its something else and it trip the GFI im pluged into what up

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Chris, have you looked on-line for your particular converter settings?

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      Chris fisher 5 weeks ago

      How do I get the code for the recharge battery setting to my inverter ?

    • profile image

      FlowerChild2 6 weeks ago

      2017 Keystone Montana RV - 5th Wheel with new batteries not getting power to unit. What should I check? Voltage at the battery is good. No power in 5th wheel. All fuses and breakers look fine.

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      shawnak12 6 weeks ago

      Ok I'll check that first. Thanks.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      shawnak, check the voltage at the battery as it should read at least 13 volts if the converter is working properly. If not, the power converter is probably at fault. Try connecting a good battery charger and see if the 12 volt system works with the 110 volt power connected. If so, the converter is at fault or isn't connected properly.

      Randy

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      shawnak12 6 weeks ago

      Thanks Randy for responding, but I meant everything with the battery works fine. It's when we plug into power we get nothing.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello shawnak12, try cleaning the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. A bad ground will cause all sorts of problems with the 12 volt system. Also, follow the positive battery cable to see if there's a circuit breaker located inline going to the power panel. Some campers have such a breaker on them and it could be bad. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      shawnak12 6 weeks ago

      Not sure this is where I post but I recently bought 2004 Thor Citation. The lights all work with battery but when we plugged in to power source nothing. The original owner said it had to be 208 outlet which we have, but still nothing. The owner also said it loses strength with an extension cord which we use. Is there something we are missing?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      I'm pleased I could be of service, Ron. Enjoy your camping days! :)

      Randy

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      Ron 7 weeks ago

      Replaced the converter and the problem of dim/bright/dim lights solved. Also now have an access door to the converter for the future. Thanks for the help

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Pam, do you hear the power converter coming on and have you checked the battery voltage yet? Start by cleaning the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper as well as the frame itself. Then check the voltage at the battery(s). You should get at least 13 volts DC if the power converter is operating correctly. If not, the power converter is more than likely in need of replacement. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Pam 7 weeks ago

      Please help on my travel camper my lights and heater and water heater don't work I've checked fuses I've checked and replaced breakers nothing they still don't work all my plug ins work as well as my florescent lights what can it be?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 8 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again JD, thanks for coming back relating what the problem was. This info may help others in the future with a similar problem. Feel free to visit whenever you like, JD. :) The aim of my many RV repair articles is to help the ordinary person to save money and enjoy their camping trips.

      Randy

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      JD Knudson 2 months ago

      Hey Randy...

      6 weeks ago or so we talked about my converter but it was too cold and wet to chase it any further. I took my batteries down and had them checked and charged... shocked to find out they both survived the overcharge senerio. But still no power from batteries to the home. Long story short after chasing wire looking at grounds and pulling the converter back out I had a thought. IS there another breaker panel somewhere I havn't found? Quick check on the Winnebago sites elec. diagram and there it was, so I check the rig and finally found it in a compartment covered by the BBQ I had in there... Sure enough there was a breaker popped.... reset that and I am back in business... Thanks for the help. Appreciate having a place to go with questions where I can get answers (correct ones at that) without all sorts of ads or misdirects.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Cindi, replace it with a converter of equal amperage. It could be a 30 amps or more depending on your particular 12 volt DC system. The amperage will be listed on the converter.

      Randy

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      Cindi 2 months ago

      Hi. I am trying to buy a converter and only have my seriel #. After the storms in South Ga this week, my lights, A/C and refridgerator wouldn't come on. An electrian checked it and says it appears no power at the converter and fan not on. Probably all the lightening got it. Any idea on how I can find out which model I need to replace it with? # AC04W081601705 Thank you

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      There should be an ad on this page for all size converters, Ron. I sell many and have had no complaints from my readers.

      Randy

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      Ron 2 months ago

      came to the same conclusion. Any recommendation on a brand of easy plug and play 45Amp unit? Thanks for your help.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Ron, the problem seems to be the voltage regulator in the power converter. You may be able to get it repaired, but the cost of repairs may go a long way to simply replacement with a new converter. You may be able to get an estimate if you know a good electronics repairman. Good luck!

      Randy

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      Ron 2 months ago

      Hi Randy ---did the testing at the batteries and the block leading the 12volt into the coach. With the converter off at the breaker, both batteries read 12.7 to 12.8. Turning several lights on drop voltage at the batteries and block to 12.4 to 12.5. With converter running, its 14.2 at the batteries and block, lights on or off. The problem --- with lights on, converter runs about a minute and turns off. Voltage stops dropping as it should, but only drops to 13.8/9 and the converter comes back on in about one minute and cycles again to 14.2. So converter is operating in a narrow 13.8 to 14.2 volts--causing the short time cycling (bright/dim/bright)Is that adjustable some place or what?? Suggestions?

    • profile image

      Ron 2 months ago

      I'll try the batteries first and keep my fingers crossed. There is no access panel for the converter, but if I have to go that way, there will be one when I'm done. Will let you know.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Ron, have you checked the voltage at the batteries to see what the converter output is? If the converter is operating normally you should get at least 13 volts at the batteries. This sounds more like a battery issue to me, but you'll find out when you check the voltage. There is usually an access panel which allows you to get to the converter, either inside or on the outside of the RV. Feel free to ask for more info if needed. :)

      Randy

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      Ron 2 months ago

      Figured out that a 8930/50 is a distribution panel only and finally found the converter --- sort of! It's behind a protective wall inside the storage wall!! Found it with a mirror. Can get to it by taking the wall down, but would prefer not unless it would appear the converter is bad. Any suggestions still would be appreciated.

    • profile image

      Ron Edmondson 2 months ago

      I have a FWCO 8930/50 converter in my 5th Wheel. When any interior lights are on, it runs intermittently for a few seconds at a time. The lights get bright, then start dimming and the converter comes back on a very short time, and the lights brighten again. So I get a very irritating dim/bright/dim/bright lighting. It cycles if only one or two lights are on. All connections are tight including the negative ground at the frame. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Is the converter bad?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Cheryl, sorry you were a victim of someone you trusted, but these things unfortunately happen to good people. Believe me, I've been there.

      As for buying a used converter, it depends on where you buy it. I'd check the reviews of anyone selling a converter on eBay and make it clear you will return it if it doesn't operate correctly. You'll have to make the decision whether to buy a new converter or not as a new converter will have a warranty which ensures your satisfaction and also a return will be guaranteed. As I said, your call. :)

    • profile image

      Cheryl 2 months ago

      Im so aggravated right now ! The guy I trusted to help me with my camper has stolen the plug and converter from me while I was in the hospital for cancer...He stole the electrical plug and hard wired it directly to the electrical pole. My question is...Is it safe to buy a used converter off of eBay or from someone else or should I just buy a brand new one ? La.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      John, sounds like a case of too much amperage in the 12 volt system. I don't know what could be causing this unless the converter is the culprit.

      Randy

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      john 2 months ago

      why do my rv 12v lights keep burning out?

    • Liz Shibahara profile image

      Liz Shibahara 2 months ago

      Thank you gentlemen for the great information!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for the excellent advice, Ken!

      Randy

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      Ken k 2 months ago

      To add a thought to all that are repairing the grounds on your trailer. I advice using a 1/4x20 stainless bolt, with lock washer and a lug that has a set screw depending on wire gauge. and between your connections of the bolt and lug use di electric grease sold at most auto stores. That will prolong the life of the connection.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Liz, the batteries serve to provide extra amperage when many 12 volt items are running at one time. Once the batteries are charged it takes the strain off of the converter and keeps it from running all of the time. So I do agree with the repair guy in this case. Running down the short in the AC, bath light and fan may not be too bad as the AC thermostat and the other items are all 12 volts. Be sure a breaker or fuse isn't off in the 12 volt breaker panel causing the problem. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Don, as long as it handles the 12 volt items on the system it may work fine. I wouldn't use it for full time camping though.

    • profile image

      Don 2 months ago

      Don here again, the charger is a Schumacher SE-5212A. It has a 50 amp engine start, 10 amp fast charge and a 2 amp charge. I believe it's a trickle down type charger.

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      Liz 2 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      The problem was something to do with the camper's ground. The repair guy came over and took up the plate at the threshold at the front door and connected a wire or something. This was very weird because he went right to it. I don't think I will use him as a repair man any more. Things have been working and I replaced my thermostat myself this morning because the old one was not always working. But my A/C bathroom light and bathroom fan seem to have shorted out. Fixing that is more of a summer activity. The repair guy says I should put in new batteries because without the batteries it will make my converter work extra hard and make it go out sooner. Do you agree with that? I guess I can do the batteries later if it is better to have batteries in for back up power and such and to protect my converter. I just don't trust the repair guy because of some other things also. Thanks,

      Liz

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Don, apparently your power converter is bad as the charger is doing a good job of running the 12 volt DC system. There are some risks however in using a charger for any length of time in place of a power converter. Depending on the type of battery charger you are using, it may not have same safety factors and amperage to run all of the 12 volt systems efficiently and protect the battery itself from being overcharged or undercharged.

      Randy.

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      Don 2 months ago

      When camping last summer, we lost our lights and fridge. We connected to a battery charger and everything worked fine. Is it okay to run with the battery? Is that a safe thing to do? Thanks for your help!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Nicholson7, have you cleaned the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper? Even if you are getting 13 volts a bad ground here will cause all sorts pf problems. Ask for more help if needed.

      Randy

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      nicholson7 2 months ago

      Hello sir, I have a Coleman/Fleetwood/mesa popup .The converter has an alarm on it that is going off constantly!My solution was to turn the breaker off on the 12 volt so now the alarm is going off on the gas detection device.The battery is fully charged and I have added LED bulbs to reduce the load on the 12v side and its still going off.?The out put on the converter is 13v ,brand new converter!This was the result of my electrician hooking 2/20 to the old one...

    • profile image

      Randy Godwin 2 months ago

      Steve, check the ground battery cable where it connects to the steel frame of the camper. Both the frame and the cable end should be cleaned well as this is a common problem causing many problems. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago

      Liz, the problem is apparently 12 volt related as the furnace and other items are affected. Check the voltage at the batteries to see if you are getting at least 13 volts. If not, the converter is at fault. You can also connect a good battery charger to the batteries and if everything works properly the converter is bad. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago

      Shawn, this is indeed a puzzle. Where is the 30 amp power source you tried to use?

      Randy

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      Steve Back 2 months ago

      I am having a problem with the light dimming in my fith wheel. I thought the batter was bad so I replaced the battery. On our trip last week the lights started dimming again. I could hear the fan on the converter kicking on and off then one and off and on and off. I thought the converter was bad so I disconnected the battery and checked the voltage on the the converter and it was putting out 13.8 volts. I check the battery and it had 13.8 volts in it as well. Any idea of what to check next?

    • Liz Shibahara profile image

      Liz Shibahara 2 months ago

      We removed the fridge and put in a washer/dryer and mini fridge instead. All of the d/c power went out at that time. I had taken the batteries out over the summer. Would we need to put in something like a fuse or anything where the fridge was? The repair guy grounded the wire and that worked for 48 hours but now everything is off again. Should I put in new batteries and a new converter or do you think it had something to do with the fridge as part of the system? I had them put in a new furnace last month and now that isn't working so I saw you say it is probably the thermostat if the d/c power is out.

    • profile image

      Steve 2 months ago

      I am having trouble with my lights going dim. At first I thought it was the battery bad so I replaced the battery. We went out last week and the lights started going dim again. I did notice that the fan on the converter seemed like it would kick on the kick off then back on then back off. I thought that maybe the converter was bad so I have put a meter on the converter to check to see how many volts the converter was putting out and it show 13.6. When I checked the converter I did disconnect the battery hot wire. I also checked the battery and it has 13.6 volts in it. Any suggestion as to what else may be the problem?

    • profile image

      Shawn 2 months ago

      My rv lights and appliances won't work connected to a 30 amp power source but will from a 15 amp wall socket from my home. What is wrong?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Chris, the voltage at the battery and if you're not getting at least 13 volts then the converter may be bad. Try cleaning the negative cable end where it connects to the steel frame of the camper first before replacing the power converter.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Tena, is everything working well otherwise? Check the battery ground wire where it is connected to the steel frame of the camper. Clean both the cable end and the contact point on the frame. A bad ground here will cause the converter to run constantly as the entire 12 volt system will depend on the converter without the added amperage provided by the battery.

      Randy

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      Tena 3 months ago

      I just bought brand new battery and installed a month ago. Last nite fan was running and is now at mid day the next day. I don't understand why?

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      JD Knudson 3 months ago

      Thank you Randy, I will look into it just as soon as it gets dry / warm enough to crawl under and take a look.. Appreciate your help.

    • profile image

      Randy Godwin 3 months ago

      Hi JD, the low batteries may be causing the low voltage to the batteries as well. The wires from the converter--at least the hot wire--should run straight to the batteries, but in some cases there may be a relay box or breaker in this line. If so, it should be seen close to the battery box. Check to see if it is corroded or blown as the excess charging may have affected it as well.

      I suspect the low batteries may have to be replaced.

      Randy

      Randy

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      JD Knudson 3 months ago

      Randy, have been following your comments and working on my converter. The converter is a Parallax power supply 7345.

      the converter boiled one of the two batteries (and stunk up the place with that battery acid smell). After that I had no 12 volt power in the motorhome at all. I took the converter out and found where the negative wire from the battery had apparently vibrated loose in its lug and heated up enough to melt the wire cover on it and the wire touching it. I think that wire is the 12 volt supply to the board. Anyway, after repairing the wires, bench test showed 120 volts in, and 13.8xx volts coming out. I put it back in the rig and now I have 12volt in the coach, but checking the two leads that go connect to the battery, there seems to be only 4-5 dc volts coming through.

      As the battery wires in the converter are a different size then the ones that attach to the batteries, I am assuming there must be something somewhere that was also affected by the short, but I have no idea what I would be looking for. I am not sure just how the voltage gets from the converter to the batteries.

      So this leads me to ask: 1.Where or what should I look for next. 2. I am charging the batteries independant of the converter to see if they will come back, but with the extremely low voltage in them would that somehow affect the amount of output from the converter?

      3. I would imagine the boiled over battery is probably shot. will not having two batteries in the system make a difference while I try to resolve the rest of the problem?

      Unless I missed a ground connection somewhere, ground to frame seems to be good.

      Thanks

      JD

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      Randy Godwin 3 months ago

      Thanks Mike, yes this info may help others with a similar problem.

      Randy

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      mike schick 3 months ago

      Thanks for your site. I had a problem with no battery power. Checked a few of your recommendations, and it turned out to be a 30 amp fuse in panel labeled charge line. This might be useful to others. Thanks again.

      MS

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Michelle, check and clean the negative battery cable where it attaches to the frame and the frame itself as a bad ground here will cause the problems you mentioned. You should be getting at least 13 volts at the battery if the converter is working correctly. If not, try attaching a good battery charger to the battery and if everything works okay then the power converter may be at fault.

      Randy

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      michelle 4 months ago

      10 year old battery died last week after a cold snap. replaced battery but now fridge and furnace AND water pump will not come on.

      Fridge has light inside that works. Trailer lights work. But just cant get these appliances to power back up. Fridge doesn't get cold and furnace doesn't get hot. I just cant figure out what to do. PLease help. I have visually checked all the fuses on the back of the fridge and the fuses in the breaker box.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Al, I suggest you first clean the negative battery cable where it attaches to the frame and clean the contact point also. A bad ground here will cause all sorts of problems and often this fixes the problem. If this doesn't help, then follow both positive and negative cables from the battery box and see if there is an inline fuse or relay box on either cable attached to the frame.

      Your camper may or may not have one of these, but they man become corroded over time and keep the voltage from passing through, either to the battery, or to the 12 volt power panel. Ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Al 4 months ago

      So I have a converter that has 130 volts going in, 12.85 volts coming out. but when I check my wires at battery it is only 5.7 volts. is there another component between these points

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      Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Rick, more than likely the transformer in the converter is not reducing the voltage due to a short. You'll probably have to replace the converter unless you want to spend a few bucks getting it repaired. It really depends on the age of the converter if it's worth it or not to get it repaired. Like most of todays electronic items, it's often cheaper to simply to buy a new one than repair it. It's your call! :)

      Randy

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      Rick 4 months ago

      I tried to replace my 12 volt bulbs with LED bulbs but they started smoking.

      Many of the bulbs that are in the sockets were burnt out(we recently got this RV from a friend)

      I checked the DC voltage and it shows 22.4 volts, What could increase voltage on a converter?

      Any help would be GREAT !!!!

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      Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Danelle, it depends on your camper. Usually the fridge, HW heater, and sometimes the AC and furnace thermostats are operated by the 12 volt system. Are you willing to do without these items?

      Randy

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      Danelle 4 months ago

      Can I bypass my converter and just use 110v and not any DC?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Steve, it's always better to have a good battery even if the converter does run everything okay. The extra amperage the battery provides takes the strain from the converter also. You'll probably be fine now. Thanks for relating the solution to your problem, Steve. :)

      Randy

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      Steve 4 months ago

      I replaced the battery and so far so good. No more flickering or outages. I also notice that the convertor fan is not running as much or as fast.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Steve, the converter is trying to make up for the shortage of amps because of the dead battery. More than likely the converter isn't providing the amperage it did when it was newer and more efficient. Try turning off the power converter breaker/fuse in the 110 volt AC power panel and using a good 12 volt battery charger and see if the problem continues. If not, the converter needs replacing.

      Randy

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      Steve 4 months ago

      When plugged into a 50 AMP power plug all of my 12V lights and 110AC devices power off and then come back on a few seconds later. I thought we were losing power but it appears that is not the case. My battery is dead and has been for some time. When I turn on multiple 12V devices I can here the convertor fan running. This happens over and over. If i turn all 12V devices off and just use 110 device I have no issues. Any ideas?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      JMeredith--Some campers have both 12 volt DC and 12o volt AC light fixtures. More than likely the ones you see were wired during the remodeling stage with 120 volt fixtures.

      Randy

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      JMeredith 5 months ago

      I have what you will probably think is a silly question, but here goes. We have bought our first RV trailer, and it needs some updating. I keep seeing all these amazing trailer rehabs on Pinterest, and they use some very stylish light fixtures. I can't find any stylish 12v light fixtures, so I am assuming they are using the kind you would buy for your house. Is this possible? My husband tells they HAVE to be 12V, so how are other people doing this? Thanks for your time!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      @ S Coulter--Usually there is a short inside the 110 volt power panel, but a bad receptacle wire may also cause this problem. I'd recommend checking the wiring in the power panel first before checking the recepts. Since campers are often in motion the vibrations can cause the connections to become loose.

      Randy

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      s coulter 5 months ago

      when kneeing down on the ground and touching the frame of camper it shocks me i think i have a short some where how do i find it

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello John, this does sound like a converter problem. First clean the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the trailer as a bad ground here will cause all sorts of problems.

      If this doesn't help then try hooking a good battery charger up to the battery and if this solves the problem the converter is bad. Depending on your on-board appliances, fridge, H/W heater, furnace etc., most of these rely on the 12 volt system to operate the thermostats properly. Let me know if you need further help with the problem.

      Randy

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      John 5 months ago

      I just brought home an old travel trailer and working my way through it getting everything working for this hunting season. I seem to be having a problem with the 12V system. I installed a new deep cycle 12V and that seemed to immediately remedy many problems but then the voltage started to deteriorate. There is a WF-9835 power converter installed but it doesn't seem to put out any amperage. If I disconnect the battery and turn on a load (lighting) the voltage drops to 5-6V. Yesterday I spent time getting the furnace working and it kept cutting out, I think it is because the 12V system had dropped to under 9V (with battery connected but discharged). The WF-9835 measures 13.6V with no loads attached.

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      Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Jim, have you tried using a battery charger to see if the converter is at fault? If the battery charger works, then yes, the converter is bad. Feel free to ask for more info.

      Randy

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      Jim 5 months ago

      I have an evolution 2 fleet wood pop up. I keep blowing 15 amp fuse, which I'm assuming runs the converter since I can't charge my battery with my generator

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Darryl, the fan may run because the converter is overheating for some reason. It's not necessarily a sensor problem. Have you checked the fluid level in the batteries?

      Randy

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      darryl mosiman 5 months ago

      I have a 83 gulf stream motorhome.The coolest fan run all the time to cool the circuit in the converter box.It may be a sensor but do not know where that would be,Can anyone tell me where it would be located

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Steven, the outlets are not connected to the inverter but the lights are unless they are 110 volt. Check the gen/shore relay if you have one.

      Randy

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      Steven 5 months ago

      So today I set up camp and plugged the camper into the generator and instantly smoke billowed out of the basement storage of our fifth wheel. I immediately unplugged from the generator. And try to do further investigating the smoke cleared and nothing seemed to be singed wiring related. So then I figured possibly it was the power inverter. I have power to the lights but not to the plugs or in the fridge it's self in the camper. Would that be a inverter issue?

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      Randy Godwin 5 months ago

      Wiley, GFICs are notorious for going bad so that's something to consider. How many circuits are on the power panel--11o volt? If the charger works well then it is more than likely the converter. Ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      wileyestshepherd 5 months ago

      Help!

      I replaced some outlets in my living quarters horse trailer. Two had never worked and the third and fourth one did (before replacing). Three, I replaced with GFCI's and the other with just a regular outlet. The two that never worked, still don't work. While doing this, I had the battery disconnected and was not plugged in to power. Right after, I noticed my battery wasn't charging. So, I bought a new one, since this one (Interstate) was a few years old. On the road, it is still not charging. I am hooked up to power, so I am good, and have a trickle charger not hooked up to the battery as well. I noticed it is coming up. It had been running down. I am assuming it is my power inverter (Power Max). Could this be coincidence, or could I have done something to my inverter by changing out the the outlets?

      I have already ordered a new inverter. Only $117.00.

      BTW, the outside outlet that didn't work before, which isn't working still, has a new GFCI, which shows power going to it, because the little light is on.

      THANKS for any tips you can give me.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Gary, your camper may not have a battery if there's very few 12 volt items, fridge thermostat, lights vent fans, etc. or the battery may have been removed by the previous owner. The problems sounds like a bad converter if you don't have a battery. Feel free to ask for more info.

      Randy

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      gary t 5 months ago

      may sound dumb but do all rv's have a battery? I have a 2012 KZ sportsman 19bh and am having trouble with the DC power. Lights very dim and fridge wont run. cant find a battery anywhere on the unit, does it have one?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes, Dusty, most companies frown on using universal replacement parts these days. As an old farmer, I'm accustomed to using whatever is at hand to repair things and not being able to find--or create--inexpensive parts is a problem these days. Tjanks again for your input and feel free to contribute again. :)

      Randy

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      DustyMojave 6 months ago

      I try to contribute as much as I gain.

      Another note is that the rocker switch I referred to cleaning the contacts of in my previous post is one that is readily available from the local hardware store or big box store or even local auto parts stores. I like that aspect of the converter I have. Many manufacturers of equipment get wrapped up in making their own stuff and when something simple fails, the entire unit is to be discarded because there is no replacement available or the replacement of one component costs more than a whole new unit.

      My converter, by the way, is a Carson CP16 -FKN. Only 15 amp rating for my tent trailer. Bigger RVs have much beefier converters.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for the info, Dusty. Usually those with a bit of electrical experience--or even those without-- will tinker a bit with the converter connections before contacting me for help. And those who do discover the problem seldom bother to post their successful repairs here unless something I suggested worked for them.

      I really appreciate you describing your repairs as I'm sure others will run into the same problem, Dusty.

      Randy

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      DustyMojave 6 months ago

      Like Rick a few days ago, I have a converter that turns on the lights when plugged into "shore" power (plugged into the house). But no lights off the freshly charged battery. Ground is good. I have 13.25Volt power at the back of the battery/off/converter switch. It turned out that the problem was the connections at the switch. The switch was removable by removing the front plastic panel, then the 4 screws of the inner metal panel. Then pulling out the escutcheon plate some and pulling the switch itself out of the 3 slip connectors. There is no mechanical mounting of the switch other than the 3 electrical connectors. There was intermittent momentary electrical continuity across the switch terminals. Cleaned the connectors, and voila!!! Constant electrical contact. Put it back together and the lights WORK! on battery or on shore power. Just wanted to pass on that no cost fix.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Coleen, check the battery cables, especially the negative which connects to the steel frame as this is a common problem. Clean it and the place it connects to. If this doesn't solve the problem then a new power converter may be called for. Ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Rick, do you have 12 volt power when connected to shore power? If not, then the converter may be at fault. If you do have 12 volt power then you may have a bad negative battery cable ground where it connects to the steel frame of the camper. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      colleen fitzgerald 6 months ago

      I have a 2004 palomina pop up tent trailer,the converter recently started beeping and the lights flash on and off when you plug in the 110 supply any suggestions to what might be wrong??

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      Rick T 6 months ago

      Hi Randy when i shut the generator off i have no 12 volt power to camper batteries are charged converter not switching over i assume? Thank you for your help

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Check where the ground wire connects to the power panel to see if it's loose or badly connected, Jackie. And any other ground wires as well.

      Randy

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      Jackie 6 months ago

      My ground wire that goes into my converter is getting hot when I am plugged in to 110 or 30 amp and run anything. Lights fans etc...it does not get hot when I am just running on the batteries and not plugged in. Ideas??.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Peter, have you tried turning all of the 110 breakers off, starting the generator, and then turning the breakers back on one at a time to see which breaker causes the problem?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Peter, does your camper have a Gen/Shore switch? If so, these can cause problems in some cases. Other than that, you have me puzzled with this problem. I'd be pleased to know what you find out as it may help others with a similar problem.

      Randy

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      Peter 6 months ago

      Microwave not into Gfci but unplugged and put into shore power direct and turned right on so appliance is not blown. Have covered outlet outside but it's not Gfci.

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      Peter 6 months ago

      Randy, using shore power. All breakers have continuity. Can find no fuses blown. Only have the 1 Gfci outlet in kitchen that we replaced but cannot get to work or reset. Yes it is wired correctly. Right now taking out microwave thinking possibly a gfci hidden behind it. Followed all wiring and find nothing burnt. Batteries won working perfectly. Any ideas would be appreciated

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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago

      Hello Peter, have you checked the voltage at the main power panel when plugged into shore power? Or are you simply using the generator?

      Randy

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      Peter 6 months ago

      Hi Randy, Hoping for your help. We have a 2006 Extreme RV 23' Travel Trailer. A few weeks ago we bought 2 New deep cell batteries and then went over to my son's home (mobilehome) and plugged in to his outside outlet. We have done this a few times with no problems. Unfortunately the breaker for his house jumped. I unplugged the trailer, reset his house breaker and did not plug back in. We then left boondocking for 7 days only to find when we plugged into generator we had no power. We have one gfci outlet in kitchen that was tripped. Read the 2 page Manuel that came with the trailer and it suggested the gfci was blown. Drive to town bought a replacement, still nothing. Luckily we had our new batteries on solar trickle charger and made it 7 days. Got home used voltage meter and have power going into converter but not coming out. All fuses good. Wires going into gfci outlet all work but nothing coming out. Ordered and installed new converter. Still no electric. tested power cord coming out of trailer, shows good. Please help. We are at a loss of what to check next.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Kristin, you need to clean the negative battery cable where it is attached to the steel frame of the camper first. If this doesn't help, the converter may be at fault. Try using a battery charger and if everything works correctly your power converter is bad.

      Randy

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      Kristin Kriens 6 months ago

      Just wondering if anyone could tell me why i put a new battery in my camper and while plugged in everything works but battery won't hold a charge?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      It sounded to me like the battery from the very start, Brad. You seemed to be getting enough power from the converter and probably was. Thanks for keeping me up-to-date on the battery situation and hopefully the converter will not need to be replaced at all. :)

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      Brad B 6 months ago

      Randy,

      Just wanted to follow up. Before I ordered the new converter I took the second new battery back to the battery distributor. Apparently the whole batch of batteries from that manufacturer were bad. The acid they used to make the batteries was no good. So I do still have hope that it was in fact the battery. So I will let you know.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Brad, if the converter isn't staying on very long it seems to be the problem after all. The converter is simply a battery charger with a set amperage and a controlled charge so the battery isn't over or undercharged. Using a charger would simply assure you of the converter being the problem, Brad.

      I certainly hope the new converter solves your problem and I appreciate the kind words re my response to you. Feel free to contact me on this and my other RV repair hubs if you need some help in the future. Thanks for your questions. :)

      Randy

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      Brad B 6 months ago

      I checked every single connection on that RV and they were all very clean and tight. I only heard the converter come one twice today..one time was for about 12 seconds and the other was just short of a minute. I want to say how much I appreciate the quick responses and you helping me out through this issue.

      I was going to order the converter tonight but I guess I could wait one more weekend just to be sure. How exactly will hooking up the charger show that the converter is the problem?

      I found the exact one I have online but I'm kind of hesitant to purchase that one again if it did in fact already go out once.

      My gut feeling is saying the converter but you obviously know more about this then me.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I really wish you had a good battery charger to know for sure it's the converter causing the problem, Brad. But I agree with you the converter isn't staying on long enough as it is.

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      Brad b 6 months ago

      Yes, all connections look clean and tight. I will check again tomorrow to make sure. When the converter kicks on it only stays for 30-45 seconds and I only heard it kick on twice over a 6 hour period neither time for longer then a minute.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Brad, 13.4 volts should be fine to keep the battery charged and the 12 volt system running everything with no problem. Have you cleaned the negative battery cable at the point it connects to the steel frame of the camper, and the steel frame itself?

      Randy

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      Brad B 6 months ago

      When the converter kicks in which is very rare. I only know it's on because lights get bright and I hear the fan for the converter running the battery reads about 13.4 volts. I don't have a good charger the only I have only charges up to 10 so it's more of a trickle charger/maintainer but with that on it runs about 12.3. But the battery died completely two times yesterday. It seems it has to be the converter to me. Anything else to try to make sure it's the converter before I order one?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Brad, what voltage do you get at the battery with the converter running? Try turning the converter off and attaching a battery charger--not a trickle type--and see if all of the 12 volt items, lights, vent fans, etc. work properly. If so, the converter is likely the problem. Let me know if this helps solve the problem. If not, we'll go from there.

      Randy

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      Brad b 6 months ago

      Randy,

      I went ahead and bought and exchanged the battery that I purchased for another came up last night and having the same issue. I checked volts at to power from main line and it was 119. Checked the wires going to converter and it was 12.24. Battery is showing the same. After about 6 hours the battery was completely dead. Every once in a while I could hear the converter kick in and everything would be bright but I'm talking 6 times over a 6 hr period and that's being generous. Do you think the converter is bad ??

    • profile image

      Randy Godwin 6 months ago

      Hello again John, and thanks for returning and relating the solution to your problem. Sorry to take so long responding but the mods on this site are very slow in approving both mine and your comments at times.

      About the fridge, the thermostat is controlled by the 12 volt system as is other items in the camper. It's possible you have a bad thermostat in your fridge or a bad control board. Whatever made the converter go out could have also affected the fridge.

      Let me know if I can help your further with any aspect of RV repair, John. :)

      Randy

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      John 6 months ago

      Randy,

      Just wanted to follow up and let you know it was indeed the converter, replaced it and power now good to go on all front. I know its nice for you and others reading this to get confirmation on symptoms and solutions, meant to update earlier.

      Another for you or others. Refer stopped cooling just before (days) complete power lose, assumed it was related, however it still is not cooling. Power is on, lights work but no cold.

      I have it on power/gas mode, was going to try just gas option and see if that worked to narrow it down, just haven't yet.

      Any help is appreciated.

      Nice work again, you are awesome for being so responsive on this site. Most of the times the articles are old and solutions are iffy, not here.

      -John

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Brad, when you get the battery topped off and installed, check the voltage to the battery with a few lights on to make the converter kick on. You should get at least 13 volts if the converter is operating correctly.

    • profile image

      Brad B 6 months ago

      Randy,

      I put the meter on the battery which has been sitting in the back of my truck since Saturday and it is reading 12.0 volts. Does that sound within the normal range?

      I'm just confused cause it worked fine all weekend the first time I went out there.

      Any suggestions on what I should do to diagnose problem when I return this weekend.

      My plan is to top off battery with water, trickle charge it and install when I return and check all ground wires. Look for the converter and test that out with the meter.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Brad, the converter is usually near the power panels. Some converters have the 12 volt panel fuses/breakers built in. Depends on your particular power converter.

    • profile image

      Brad B 6 months ago

      Ok I looked around briefly for the converter around where the battery is and did not see it. Is it behind the fuse box that's located inside of the unit?

      I will post a reply on Tuesday once I determine if the battery was defective.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Brad, if the charger solves the problem more than likely the converter isn't operating properly.

      Randy

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      Brad. B 6 months ago

      Thanks for the quick reply. I have left the camp now so I will not be able to check until next weekend. I'm hoping the battery is no good but it's only two weeks old so I doubt that is the culprit. I will check battery tomorrow.

      Only reason I'm thinking it is not a ground because if I hook the jump box up to the battery terminal post (not the screw on connection where the RV cables are connected) it is good to go so that makes me think that it must be grounded properly.

      So your saying hook the meter up to the battery terminals when the converter is running and that will tell me if its the converter or battery?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Brad, you need to check the voltage at the battery with the converter running to see if the converter is at fault. You should get a reading of at least 13 volts if the converter is operating properly. Otherwise I would suspect the battery or a bad negative battery ground. I would check the ground cable at any rate.

      You can use a battery charger if the converter is at fault till you get a new one. Feel free to ask for more info.

      Randy

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      Brad B. 6 months ago

      Randy,

      I just purchased a 33rls Aspen 5th wheel. Two weeks ago I set it up at the hunting camp, hooked it up to 50AMP power pole breaker and replaced battery. Worked like s champ. Was surprised how easy it was. Turned everything off but left it hooked up with refrigerator running.

      Returned this weekend lights extremely dim Both AC units kept cutting on and off but all power outlets and appliances seemed to be working still. I could hear fan in breaker box kick on when Ac units and lights would return to normal brightness but it would stop when lights got dim and AC kicked off.

      I happened to have a jump box with me and if I hooked that up to the battery everything worked fine. I completely u hooked battery and hooked jump box directly straight to pod and negative cables for RV and again everything worked fine.

      What do you think is causing this ?

      I assume the pos and negative cables are fine because with the jump box no issues. Could this brand new battery he defective or is it the power converter ?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Blake, have you cleaned the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of your camper, and also the steel frame itself at the connection point? Also check the main ground for the 12 volt breaker panel or fuse block.

      When you say the converter is putting out 15.4 amps, do you mean volts instead of amps? If not, then yes the converter may be bad. If you meant volts, then the converter is good. Feel free to clarify or ask for more info.

      Randy

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      Blakehardt 7 months ago

      My camper works fine with 110 volt power but I have a new battery which reads 15.4 amps and I don't have it at the panel. So none of my 12 volts lights, refrigerator, water pump, don't work. I took my battery out and my converter and battery charger out from under the panel of the trailer and ran a wire to it and got 15.4 amps at the converter. I did this to take out of the equation bad wiring from the battery to panel. So I think its the converter/battery charger on my 06 wildwood. Thanks for any information.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Derek, clean all of the ground wires where they connect to the steel frame and to the frame itself. Sometimes a bad ground will cause some weird things to happen. Do you have a fuse block with fuses for each 12 volt item, such as one for the popup another for the lights, etc? If so, remove all of the fuses and replace them one at a time until you find the circuit causing the problem. The main fuse will blow at this point. Check everything on that circuit. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Derek 7 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      Great site! I'm trying to troubleshoot an electrical problem with my popup. The inline fuse on one of the red battery cables blows when I connect to shore power. I am 90% certain I have the cables hooked up right. 2 red wires connect to positive and 1 white and 1 black to negative. The white wire is grounded to the frame, but I could not find the black ground. The black has to be on negative to raise/lower the popup (0ff the battery), so I am fairly certain the connections are correct.

      Could this be a bad connection somewhere? Or, a bad converter? I can feel the red wire getting warm/hot when plugged in.

      There are 2 red wires, 1 black and 1 white that connect to the battery. I have confirmed the black and white connect to negative and red wires to positive. However, when plugged into shore power the inline fuse

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Shenagh-- Make sure the batteries are not at fault as they should furnish enough 12 volt amperage to operate the fridge thermostat even if the converter is not operating correctly. Also clean the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the RV. A bad ground here cause all sorts of problems with the 12 volt system.

      You should get a reading of at least 13 volts at the battery or batteries when the converter is operating correctly. Hope this helps you find the problem.

      Randy

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      Shenagh 7 months ago

      Hi Randy, We have a 36' diesel pusher. In the last week I have gone out to the unit which is in my driveway plugged in to 50 amp service and residential fridge has been off! I check the inverter and if it is off, if turn it on the fridge kicks back on. Why would the inverter turn itself off?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Tim, I have to agree with the battery people unfortunately. If you only have lights, furnace thermostat, etc. pulling 12 volt power, then the converter would furnish enough amps without the battery being needed. Installing a new batter should not affect the converter at all. Thanks for the question.

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey John. yes it does indeed sound as if the converter is at fault if the truck charges the batteries. You can assure this the case if a battery charger is connected and everything operates normally.

      Randy

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      Tim 7 months ago

      Hi Gordon, I'm dealing with an electrical issue and could use some advice. I took my popup in to have a battery added to it before a long trip. We needed the battery to power our furnace at a couple of campsites that did not have electrical hookup. The battery worked ok but I suspect it was not trickle charging while we where driving but I did not know this at the time. When we got to our last site that had electrical I noticed that the lights and furnace where not working from the 110 but only from the battery. I've taken back to the place that hooked up our battery and they say I need a new converter. I'm hesitant because everything worked off the 110 no problem before the battery was installed. They say it is just an unfortunate coincidence but I find that hard to believe. Do you think there is something they could have done while hooking up the battery to cause this problem? Could they have damaged the converter when installing the battery? Thanks for any insight you could give me.

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      John 7 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      Good stuff. You many have answered something like my issues but so many posts I just thought it quicker to ask again. On shore power I get almost now power, some power indicators like on the TV power button, etc flicker. However nothing runs and batteries were run down. Its a class C and if I fire up the truck motor I am able to turn on the lights and it appears the batteries are charging. If I run the generator I don't get any power from the outlets nor does the A/C etc work. I'm guessing power converter but wanted to make sure before I order a replacement.

      Thanks for the good work here!

      -John

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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Glad you found the problem, Randy. Sometimes you just have to keep looking when an electrical problem arises. :) Thanks for returning and telling what you found. This info may help others with similar problems.

      Randy

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      Randy 7 months ago

      Randy thank you for your reply.

      I found the culprit this morning. There is a connector behind the breaker box that connects the 30 amp main breaker wiring to shore power. There was no continuity in the neutral wire in the connection, sprayed it with contact cleaner snapped it back together and all AC appliances worked fine.

      Thank you again,

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Randy, great name by the way. :) I'm guessing there may be a bad ground somewhere either in the 110 volt breaker panel or elsewhere. It's times like this I'd really like to be able to put my hands on the problematic RV so I can see for myself what the problem is.

      Check all of the grounds and positive wire connections you can find and see if there's one either loose or making bad contact. Is there anything else you can tell me?

      Randy

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      Randy 7 months ago

      Hello Randy

      I have a 2001 Wilderness 5th wheel GLX 30 5 G and while camping last we were plugged into shore power and all AC and DC appliances were working fine. One morning while listening to the radio all of a sudden all AC appliances and plugins stopped working. I checked and reset the Campground circuit breaker, and then checked the circuit breakers inside the 5th wheel. None of the circuit breakers were tripped, but I still turned them off and then on, no help. I then checked the voltage coming into the 5th wheel's main 30 amp circuit and had 117 volts, and also checked the bar that holds the circuit breaker and it read the same voltage with the circuit breaker in the on position. I then checked the voltage coming out of the appliance circuit breakers and they also had 117 volts, but no voltage at any of the plugs or appliances. When I got home I used an old extension cord with the female end cut off to check continuity with plug in and the wire coming out of the appliance circuit breaker, and I have continuity, but no voltage when I reconnect the wire to the breaker. All of the DC components work fine, but I would anticipate that the converter is not charging the batteries. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you,

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Gord, apparently the battery has shorted out something when it came in contact with the steel box as you already figured out. Check and clean all battery cables Gord, especially the negative cable where it contacts the steel frame. Also check the positive cable where it leads away from the battery. Often there's a relay or inline breaker going from the battery back to the converter which may be bad due to the short. Feel free to ask for more help if needed. :)

      Randy

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      Gord Flamand 7 months ago

      Good day.

      Thanks for a great page filled with some great information. Unfortunatly I have not found anything here with my problem so I thought I would post it and see if you had any idea what problem is.

      Wildwood travel trailer, bumper pull. Metal tool box attached to front with battery inside, along with odds and ends. Today while packing up trailer I moved the battery to close to edge of tool box, and the battery cam in contact with metal box. After a breif heart attack, was able to put out flame from melting negative wire. Anyways , camper was also pluggen in at the same time.

      Problem is that all the lights, a/c and fridge all worked with shore power but the slide failed to operate while plugged in. Unplugged the shore power and all the lights and 12v stuff will not work, but slide works as per usual. I have checked all fuses etc, and all seemed fine. What would cause the slide to stop with 110, but work with 12v, and lights to work with 110, but not with battery hooked up again?

      Thanks

      Gord

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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Dick, your outlets will not work on the battery as they are 110 volts ac. This sounds like a malfunctioning power converter. Anything else you can fill me in on?

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      JCR--Yes you can use a battery charger to get you through your trip. Get a good one with an overcharge protector and with at least a 30 amp charge cycle. Be sure and cut off the breaker controlling the power converter. Thanks for the question. :)

      Randy

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      Dick 7 months ago

      HI I have a 2003 yukon travel trailer and my outlets will not work on the battery but work fine off the 110 generator. also my battery cables spark when i hook up the battery and my battery will only last about five hours. Any suggestions.

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      JCR 7 months ago

      Just wondering if I can go to Walmart and buy a regular battery charger to connect and get me through this trip. Just got the family out camping and lights have been acting crazy and converter making strange noise. A checked the battery on camper and it had litterly exploded sometime recently! I went to Walmart and replaced battery but still having same problem. I really hate to end our trip already

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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Van, this could very well be a battery problem. More than likely the converter is trying to keep the battery fully charged with a dead or dying cell in it. It could be a converter problem but I'd advise you to check the battery first, especially if has some age on it. Also check the fluid level in the battery if it isn't a sealed type. A low fluid level could cause the same problem. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Van 7 months ago

      The lights in my 5th wheel pulsate when attached to a land line. If running on battery alone the light are constant. Would you consider this a battery issue or converter

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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi E.K., no the power converter fan should not run when shore power is connected unless it's one I have no knowledge of. Are you sure there isn't another cooling fan in the panel which isn't related to the converter?

      Randy

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      E.K. 7 months ago

      I hear the cooling fan in my power panel running whenever the coach batteries are connected, whether or not the shore power is connected. Shouldn't this fan only run when the converter is in operation with 120 AC connected?

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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Don, you can use a multimeter set on ohms to check all three wires inside the pigtail cord. You'll have to disconnect it from the power panel first though. You must be able to use the multimeter probes on the same wire on both ends of the cord to do the check.

      With the meter set on ohms check both ends of each wire. If the wires are not broken you'll get a reading of 000 or simply 0 depending on the meter. If you get a random number the wire is broken somewhere

      Alternately, you can make a new wire from 12-2 and connect it to the 110 volt power panel in place of the pigtail. If this works okay them the pigtail is bad. Hope this helps, Don.

      Randy

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      Don H. 7 months ago

      I have a problem with the electrical in my new to me Lance Camper. Before I bore you with what it is doing, I need to ask.

      When I brought the camper home, and being a newbie, when I drove the truck out from under the camper I forgot to unplug the cord from the truck, of course I felt the tug and quickly stopped the truck to investigate.

      I have to say it looked like a pretty long electrical cord, I reversed the truck, and unplugged it and it seemed to snap back to its original length, however, I am thinking I did some damage to the cord, and that this might be why I am having problems.

      Is there a way to check the that the electrical cord is still in one piece underneath all that rubber wrapping.

      Appreciate the help, and thanks a heap.

      Don

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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Martha, are the two 40 amp fuses the main fuses? Or do they control other circuits such as air conditioners? Obviously you have a bad short or shorts somewhere. Can you give me a bit more info please?

      Randy

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      Martha 7 months ago

      Hi, I have a 2008 trail cruiser 28 ft travel trailer. It worked fine for two months, then blew the two 40 amp fuses, now all still works on the battery with the two fuses out, but as soon as I replace the fuses and put power to it they blow again. Can you help? The 120 stuff, like microwave and toaster still work when the generator is on.

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      @Visuallogic--Check and clean the battery cables, especially the ground where it attavhes to the steel frame. Clean both the ground cable and the area it is connected to. Apparently the converter is powering everything when shore power is connected. Also, follow the positive battery cable as far as you can, often there's a relay or breaker in line between the battery and the 12 volt power pane.

      Randy

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      Visuallogic 8 months ago

      Randy, an RV shop replaced a refrigerator and apparently crossed wires or something. The refrigerator did not work after they were done and a bad fuse was found and replaced. The refrigerator started working again until the shore power was pulled and now I have no 12v power at all to the RV including the refrigerator. I tested all the fuses in the RV including the 2-30A fuses on the converter which were good. The main battery switch is on and the battery was fresh charged but still nothing. Any ideas?

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Debra, are you getting power to the fuse holders which aren't working? Probably not if the fuses are good. There has to be a bad connection for either the ground wires or the hot side of the fuse holder. You'll have to use either a 12 volt test light or a multimeter to find the problem, Debra. Can you switch the light circuits to another fuse which is working?

      Randy

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      Debra Mathis 8 months ago

      Hi Randy,Debra here, On the fuse panel there are three fuses that are not working, tested and changed all three no lights

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Debra, check all of the 12 volt ground wires in the 12 volt power panel. And the hot wires as well. If all of the lights are on a single circuit then there may be a switch you're not aware of that controls all of the lights. Also, check the circuit the lights are on and see if you are getting power to the circuit.

      A visitor had a similar problem and when he chased the problem down it was a switch in the cabinet area he wasn't aware of. He jumped the switch and everything worked fine. Let me know if you need further assistance.

      Randy

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      Debra Mathis 8 months ago

      Hello I am new on here but need to ask a question. We just replaced our converter on our travel trailer and now we don't have the 12 volt lights in the trailer. Everything else works on 12 volt but the lights. Any help would be appreciated.. Thank you!

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Let me know what you find out when you disconnect the battery, J&J. We'll go from there. :)

      Randy

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      JanetandJohn 8 months ago

      Hello Randy, sorry for the delay but our grandaughter visited and ran us ragged the last few days. anyhow to give you more info. on our keystone passport. we just got it and have yet to take it out. we got it at auction. so we have no history. it has one battery, so i will disconnect the battery and test the current and i imagine that if it is reading 19+ i should look at replacing the ac/dc converter? or is that jumping the gun? we will disconnect the power first of course. then plug it back in and test each seperately. i am pretty sure the battery is fried.

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Jane and John--Hi guys, yes this very high voltage at the battery. You should be getting a reading 13 + volts at the battery. Does your camper have only the one battery? Do you get the same reading while at a campground? A bit more info may enable me to assist you further. :)

      Randy

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      JanetandJohn 8 months ago

      Randy, We own a 2013 Keystone Passport. hooked it up to our power at home using a adapter to 110v. when testing at the battery it reads: 29v this does not seem right can you give us some advice?

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      HI Harold, I've never heard of a converter fan running constantly either. It may be that the thermal sensor in the converter is at fault. I don't know how much labor and replacement parts would cost compared to replacing the entire converter, or how long it will last with the fan running all of the time. Your call this time. :)

      Randy

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      Harold 8 months ago

      I have a 2007 Itasca Spirit 29b. Used very little. I just replaced the two coach batteries. All connections double checked. six volt in series. Both are fully charged. When plugged in to shore power the converter fan comes on and after three days of no power usage the cooling fan continues to run. In 45 years of on board experience with converters I have never had one before where the cooling fan didn't turn off at least intermitantly. Does this mean I need a new converter?

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      That sounds like the converter is bad, Ken. Try hooking up a battery charger--not a trickle type--with the converter breaker off and see if everything works okay. If so, then a new converter is required.

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      Ken1960 8 months ago

      When the shore power is connect everything works but the 12v lights are only running on the battery so they continue draw power from the battery vs using 110.

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      So let me get this straight Ken, when shore power is used the 12 volt lights and etc. won't work unless you disconnect the battery?

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      Ken1960 8 months ago

      Randy with the battery yes but when i disconect the battery the 12v lights don't work with 110 being converted

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I thought you said everything 12 volt worked fine, Ken? Am I mistaken?

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      Ken1960 8 months ago

      Randy

      I did clean the battery cable still nothing I'm running out of idea short bring it to the dealer.

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Ken, the power converter acts a battery charger which allows the 12 volt system to power everything using 12 volts. Clean the negative battery cable where it connects to the steel frame if you haven't already.

      Randy

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      Ken1960 8 months ago

      ok thanks Randy

      I do have another question shouldn't the 12v lights work off of 110 when the camper is plug in?

      My lights and slide out won't work with without a fully charge battery even though the camper is plug in to 110.

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      If you're operating several 12 volt accessories at a time--vent fans, lights, fridge, h/w heater and AC thermostats--You may not get over 12.5 volts at the battery, Ken.

      Randy

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      Ken1960 8 months ago

      Randy

      So far no. We just put a new battery in and wasnt sure if the reason the battery went dead was because we weren't getting 13+ volts at the battery. We disconnected the wires that come from the converter to the fuse panel and checked it and got 13.6 v so I assume the converter is doing what it is suppose to. Something else i notice but I'm sure if its an issue is when i pull a fuse out of the socket the red light comes on but i was under the impression that the light only comes on when a 12v switch is turned on. From what i can see there is nothing 12v turned on.

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Ken, are you having a problem with any 12 volt accessories? If not, I wouldn't worry about the voltage at the batteries.

      If you are, then tell me what the problem is.

      Randy

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      Ken1960 8 months ago

      Hi Randy

      When i check the voltage at the converter and at the battery I get 12.5 volts. I have cleaned the ground next to the batter and replaced the 2 post 30amp circuit box which connects to the positive cable and positive cables going back to the box. still only 12.5 volts any other thoughts?

      Thanks

      Ken

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago

      Ken1960-- Sorry about the delay, but his site is having problems causing the comments to be sometimes hours late. They're working on it....

      About your question, this voltage is acceptable especially if you have numerous 12 volt items operating. This includes lights, vent fans, fridge--the fridge thermostat is normally 12 volts, as is the stat in the H/W heater, AC, and heating system.

      As long as everything 12 volt is working fine then I wouldn't worry. :)

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      mrouse--I'm pleased I could help you out with your problem. Check out my other RV repair articles if you need help. Thanks for reading and for the nice comments.

      Randy

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      mrouse1 8 months ago

      Randy, I want to say thanks. I actually had a fusible link, mounted to the underside inside the frame. $10 was the fix, your experience and recommendation priceless. I wish I would have found the site sooner.

      Michael

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      Ken1960 8 months ago

      I have a 7100 series Parallax when I check at the battery I'm getting 12.5 volts is this ok?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Keith, I apologize for my late response but this site is having problems with the comments being delayed, both mine and yours.

      First clean the battery ground cable where it connects to the steel frame of the RV. In some cases the clamp or bolt may be loose or very corroded. A large amount of 12 volt system are caused by bad connections. A bad ground can cause all sorts of weird things to happen and often cause intermittent power for 12 volt motors.

      Also check to see if there's a relay or resistor mounted on the positive battery running back to the converter or 12 volt breaker/fuse panel. These often corrode as well.

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      Keith k 8 months ago

      I have a motor home, good batteries, register 13+ volts, test level says low, won't operate awning, play with 30 amp power, goes into charge mode, everything works fine, it's like somewhere between the batteries, monitor level it's reduced the voltage, any suggestions?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      @mrouse1--You may need to clean the negative battery cable where it connects to the steel frame of the camper. Clean the area of the frame too. Also, there may be a relay between the positive cable and the 12 volt breaker/fuse panel. All campers do not have one, but it should be close to the battery if yours does.

      Randy

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      mrouse1 8 months ago

      So I am having an issue, I can use 120 V and everything works, as soon as I pull shore power, nothing works. I pulled the converter and had it tested at local rv shop and they said it was good. They said I needed to replace the reverse polarity fuses. Well I replaced the fuses and the same issue. I checked the old fuses and they were good. I checked the battery and it is good. I took it to parts house to have them check it and said it was good but could use a charge 12.35V When I have shore power plugged in I am also getting 13.5 V on the main board, As soon as I pull shore power the 13.5 goes to 0. Old converter is 1 year old. Thanks

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      @jurascience--It does indeed sound as if the converter is bad. It could also be a bad battery ground cable where it is connected to the frame. Clean both the end of the cable and where it makes contact to the steel frame of the camper and if you still do not have 12 volt power a new converter may be in order.

      Randy

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      jurascience 8 months ago

      Nice article. Hey we have a popular camper in which I used to be able to run the 12 volt lights using 110 volt power. Now it will run the plugs on 110 volts but he lights only work with 12 volt. It also lets me do both 110 v power and 12 volt power at the same time. It never used to do that. Does it sound like I need a new inverter?

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Christy, you can use a battery charger--not a trickle charger--to keep the battery charged until you can get a replacement converter.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Christy, are you sure you're not just operating on the charged battery? If so, the battery will eventually become discharged if the converter isn't hooked up. Apparently the converter has gone bad and will need to be replaced or repaired. If the converter was working properly you should get at least 13+ VOLTS at the battery. Ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Christy 8 months ago

      Hi Randy, my husband and I have a Keystone Sprindale that has worked well for us at multiple sites for over a year. Last week we went to a nearby CG and hooked up to the 30amp shore power. The instant we hooked up, the shore power breaker tripped. We tried again at multiple sites within the same CG and had the same problem at each site. The camper works at home using an adapter to plug into a regular household 110 outlet. We tried again yesterday at a different local CG and the shore power breaker did not trip, although it did blow the 2 30amp fuses for the power converter/charger (parallax 7355). In an attempt to troubleshoot, we disconnected the battery and plugged into the 30amp shore power. Everything worked and no breakers tripped. So then we hooked up the battery and instantly the 2 30amp fuses blew. The crazy part is that we pulled the blown fuses and leaving the battery connected and still plugged into the shore power, everything works. We are baffled as to what the problem may be. We have tested voltage into the converter @120-125 and out to the battery @ 12.6. Any and all suggestions will be helpful at this time as no service depts. in the area can help us for over 3wks.

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Kim, do you have any GFI outlets--those with a reset button on them--in this area of the RV? Often these go bad or need resetting. You should have one in the bathroom which probably controls the other areas without power.

      Randy

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      Kim 8 months ago

      Hi - we went up to our 1977 35ft Terry 5th wheel over the weekend only to find out that the bathroom, living room and upstairs has no electricity. The kitchen has full electric. Any ideas???

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      Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Sarah, usually the converter is located near--and sometimes combined with--the main 110 volt AC power panel. There should be a breaker in this panel marked "power converter." The wire connected to this breaker will lead directly to the power converter.

      I imagine the converter is now toast after being connected to 220 volts. The wires from the converter also are connected to the batteries or battery. Ask for more info if needed. :)

      Randy

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      Sarah covert 8 months ago

      Where would my converter be located? I have a 1981 Layton 30ft bunkhouse and having electrical issues. I moved the camper from nebraska to Texas and didn't have any problems in Nebraska, when it got hooked up for the first time here in Texas it accidentally got hooked up to 220v and I think it fried something. It's now 110v and when I turn the AC on the lights dim everywhere and the compressor won't come on.

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      Randy Godwin 9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      No problem, Clint. Glad you found the problem. :)

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      Clint Eddy 9 months ago

      Ok. I havent had the camper that long, and I found a dumb battery/aux box buried in a box up front by the batteries. It must have been failing. After I posted I found all kinds of weirdness, and with all things being equal, changed it out, and ALL IS BETTER. Thank you for the help!

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      Clint Eddy 9 months ago

      Its a dometic two way fridge. I just put new batteries in a few hours ago and tested everything, started generator, etc. I came back out to work on it and they were down to 7 volts (2 6 volt trojans). I could watch it dropping on my multimeter at the batteries. I started pulling fuses and when I got to the one that runs the fridge the drain stopped. It took the batteries from full to 7 in 3 hours.

      Im in the process of charging the batteries back up and will investigate further. What ideas do you have for things I should check?

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      Randy Godwin 9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Clint, the fridge thermostat uses 12 volts but I fail to see why it would be draining the batteries in such a manner. Unless of course you have 12 volt heating elements in your fridge. I assume you're talking about a 12 volt fridge fuse. Can you tell me anything else about the problem?

      Randy

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      Clint Eddy 9 months ago

      Randy-

      I just installed a pd4600 and new batteries. After about 3 hours, the batteries were DEAD. I hooked up a my multimeter and started pulling fuses. When I got to the fridge fuse, it stopped draining. Any ideas whats going on?

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      Randy Godwin 9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Stephanie, If you turn off the 12 volt lights and the propane valve then there should not be a drain on the battery. When connected to shore power you can check the voltage output of the converter at the battery. Turn on the vent fans and 12 volt lights and wait a it before checking the DC voltage at the battery. You should get a reading of at least 13 volts if the converter is operating efficiently.

      If so, then you may be looking for a bad ground or a short somewhere. Obviously something is causing the fuse to blow. Check the converter and tell me what you find and we'll go from there.

      Randy

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      Stephanie 9 months ago

      Disclaimer: New RVers.

      Just bought a 2011 Shadow Cruiser along with a new RV battery and hooked it up. At first nothing worked and then we realized that the fuse attached to the positive wire on the battery was blown. First question: Is it normal to have a fuse attached to this wire? We switched out the fuse and everything started working. We weren't sure that the fridge was working as we were in a hurry to take it back to storage. Upon picking it up less than a week later we noticed that nothing was working. Assuming that we had left something on like the radio or a light we headed out camping knowing we had a power hook up. When we returned we noticed that the battery would not power the rv and found the fuse was blown again.

      The manual says that we should turn everything off when switching from shore to battery power and back. We turned off everything we could find but noticed that the clock on the microwave is on and the lights on the stereo come on automatically. Would these small things drain that much battery?

      Would there be a manual switch that we would have to turn when changing between shore and battery that we just can't find or don't know about? Or does this sound like more of a converter problem?

      Thanks in advance for being super informative for those of us needing assistance.

      Stephanie

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      Randy Godwin 9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey MK, and sorry to be so long in responding to your question. I receive notification of a comment being submitted but for some reason it doesn't appear for a few hours. Hope it's merely a glitch.

      As for your question, it could be one of several things causing the problem you're experiencing. The first thing I would check is the battery(s) especially if they're the type which have battery caps. If the fluid level is low the battery may cause the power converter to cycle on and off trying to keep it to an acceptable charge. If the batteries are older then they may need replacing.

      Although it's possible your power source could be acting up, you can easily verify this by asking other campers if they've noticed similar problems. As far as the converter is concerned, as long as you can get a 13+ volt reading at the batteries it should be fine. Hope this info helps but if not, let me know.

      Randy

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      MK 9 months ago

      While staying at a campground recently, we kept getting power dips. Lights would dim, motor sound would kick off by electrical box (converter?), then minutes later it would come back up? 30 amp campground supply problem or us?

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      Randy Godwin 9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Vic, you really need to keep the converter operating whenever you're using the camper. In some cases relying on the converter alone would be fine, but without the battery to furnish extra amperage the fuses or breakers may trip or blow because of a lack of power. Try connecting the battery(s) and see if the fuses still blow. Feel free to ask for more help as always.

      Randy

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      Vic 9 months ago

      Hi, I have a 30' Layton fifth wheel. we purchased last year 6/15. The privious owner was an electrical engineer (I think thats some of my problem), anyway he did a few changes and add ons that i'm not so sure about.

      1) Mounted a generator on back bumper of RV and ran # 12 wire to batt (I diconnected that)

      2) He installed 2 12 v batt in series (I disconnected)

      3) He also had a batt charger hooked up @ batt compartment ?????

      4) He installed a switch @ power converter (master on/off switch) converter plugs into switch box nad switch box plugs into outlet. ( I WOULD ASK HIM ABOUT THESE QUESTIONS, BUT HE HAS RECENTLY PASSED AWAY)

      5) I have the batt dissconected from the converter . I was told since the batt was dead the converter would constantly try to charge it, so it would be best to dissconnect it and use the converter to operate all 12v lights.ect. ????

      6) I have recently had a few issues 1/2 the 12v lighting (3) locations on fuse panel have blown fuses(replaced and blew again) I have not checked with multimeter as of yet. hope it's a bad ground or connection issue.

      theres a few more isses, i have to go to work they will have tobe an other time.

      thank you VIC

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      Frank 9 months ago

      It was the ground. Thanks for the help.

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      Frank 9 months ago

      Thanks I'll check it out and let you know.

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      Randy Godwin 9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Frank,

      I think you may have a bad ground where the batteries ground to the frame. If the 12 volt lights are working fine when the 110 volt supply is connected then this indicates the converter is doing fine. You can check the voltage at the batteries and you should get a reading of 13+ volts if the converter is keeping the batteries charged.

      It's not uncommon for the battery ground connections to corrode where they connect to the steel frame of the camper. Clean them well and the frame itself and try your lights again. If this doesn't solve the problem let me know what voltage the converter is sending to the batteries. Thanks for the question! :)

      Randy

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      Frank 9 months ago

      Randy I just bought a 1977 Avion when it's plugged into 110 the 12 volts lights work fine. As soon as I unplug from 110 and go inside and switch on a 12 volt light it comes on for a minute then goes out. My trailer jack which is wired straight to the battery still functions fine. This leaves me thinking the batteries are okay. You think the converter is the culprit ?

      Thanks, Frank

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      Randy Godwin 9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Jcamper--You apparently aren't getting enough amperage through the system from the generator to run the 110 volt system. With the generator operating check the voltage at the breaker panel. Even if you are getting 110 volts, the amperage may be very low. You really need an amp meter if you can beg, borrow, or steal one. You may also rent one if you have rental store nearby.

      You'll have to either start at the generator and switch or the breaker panel and check all of the grounds and positive connections to run the culprit down. I suspect the new switch but these problems are sometimes difficult to run down. Ask for more help if needed.

      Randy

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      Jcamper 9 months ago

      Hello, Thank you for the article.

      My question; when my trailer is plugged into land power (120v) it runs fine. When I plug it into my Yamaha2000i generator. My generator barely runs. Overloading if I run anything more than a few lights. (Cannot run a coffee maker). When just lights are on it struggles (lights flickers). With my generators paired up it won't run my a/c. I swapped out generator with a buddy's and same problem. (My generator ran his trailer fine(same kind of trailer)). Btw I installed brand new batts. With a master disconnect switch two months ago. Any advise helps thanks

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      Randy Godwin 9 months ago

      CanCamper--Glad to hear your problem is solved and happy if I helped you out in some small way. If you have any other RV problems please check out my other repair articles. :)

      Randy

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      CanCamper 9 months ago

      Hi again, Randy. Just wanted to followup with much thanks for all of your help with my many questions about what might be wrong through to the help getting the right parts and installation. I've installed my new converter and on (very) quick inspection, all seems well. The 110 and 12v function. I haven't tested the outputs with a volt meter or tested that my new battery charges as expected but I have no reason to suspect otherwise. We'll be going camping this weekend where we'll get to enjoy the new converter and ensure everything is working as expected. You are providing a wonderful service to all of us. Again, thank you very much!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Bert, a typical situation when you finally carry it to a repairman it seems like. Check the voltage at the battery(s) and if the converter is operating properly you should get a reading of 13+ volts. Be sure and check the ground wires at the battery and the power converter and also on the 12 volt DC fuse or breaker panel. Also, there may be a relay on the positive battery cable going to the breaker/fuse panel. Ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Bert 9 months ago

      Randy

      I have a 2011 Jayco. Power is fine when plugged in to 110. As soon as I unplug it, all goes dead. It won't switch over to the 12 volt power. After a few hours it will switch and 12 volt power will be there. Plug it back in to 110 and then unplug it it after a bit and the same thing happens. Except today when I was going to take it to a dealer, it switched immediately. Great. Now how do we find the problem. Any ideas?

      Bert

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 9 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Guy, this problem sounds like a bad converter but it may just be a bad ground at the battery or in the 12 volt DC fuse panel. Clean all of the ground wires and where they connect to the steel frame, including the battery ground wire(s) before you go to the trouble and expense of replacing the power converter. If the ground wires are clean you should be getting 13+ volts at the battery if the converter is operating correctly. Hope this info helps but feel free to ask for more info if you need it.

      Thanks for the question and for visiting my pages. :)

      Randy

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      Guy 9 months ago

      Hi guys,

      We have a 2005 Flagstaff 720 tent trailer. Since last weekend, ceiling lights, ceilang fan and outdoor lights do not work anymore. The heating, fridge, and wall outlets work fine. I'm guessing the converter to 12 volts is dead.

      We never used a battery, only the 30 amp.

      The trailer as 4 fuses (20amp, 10 amp, 15 amp and 5 amp).

      I changed all fuses and same issue.

      Some at the camping knew a little about elctricity and verified the fuses and they all work fine.

      Any idea what is wrong?

      What do I need to buy?

    • profile image

      Randy Godwin 9 months ago

      To heck with the torque screwdriver, Can Camper. You can always torque them more if necessary.

    • profile image

      Randy Godwin 9 months ago

      CanCamper--I see no need for a torque screwdriver as the only result would be either a loose connection or an overtightened screw. I'd try tightening the screws very snuggly at first as you can always torque them more if needed.

      Randy

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      CanCamper 9 months ago

      Hi Randy. I've located a new converter in Canada where I am and picked up a couple of new breakers. I got the impression from somewhere (maybe this site) that installation is fairly easy for someone that is handy like myself. The only thing that concerns me is the note on both the breaker and the converter that one should use a torque screwdriver to get the torque setting correct for the connections to the breakers and the terminal bars. I can't find a torque screwdriver anywhere. Ordering one will take some time and they are expensive (towards $100 in Canada) for something I'd need for about 10 screws.

      Do you have a feeling for the necessity for the torque screwdriver? Is it adequate to make the connections "snugly"? Thoughts?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Rob, it really doesn't sound like the problem is the converter unless it isn't keeping the batteries charged up properly. I suspect you may be overloading the main breaker panel in some way. A blow dryer, or anything else with a heating element, pulls lots of amps and could overload the 110 volt AC breakers. It is strange that the breakers--or at least one breaker-- wasn't tripped. Is there anything else you can enlighten me about the electrical system?

      Randy

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      Rob T 10 months ago

      I was recently on a trip. While plugged into a 30 amp plug (RV is 30 amp) I was running air con. coffee maker and my wife had here blow dryer going. All of a sudden we lost power (we had battery power only) I checked the breakers, none tripped. I have power where the wires go into the converter none coming out at the breakers. I fired up my on board generator (toy hauler) approx. 30 seconds later I have full power. I turned the generator off now power again. I pulled the breaker box converter out of the wall to check it out. I am not sure what I did but I went and plugged the 30 amp cord back in and I have power again. I installed the breaker converter box back in its spot. I turn the air con. back on left for several hours and came back to the same problem.

      Does this sound like a bad converter?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again CanCamper, yes the breaker the power converter was on should have tripped and prevented the connecting wires from melting. I would not only replace the converter, but also the faulty breaker controlling the converter power. I too am glad a fire wasn't caused by the bad breaker. Breakers DO malfunction occasionally.

      Let me know if you need anymore help. By clicking on the Ad on this page you can find a converter which will replace your old one. Simply find the necessary values required on your damaged unit.

      Randy

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      CanCamper 10 months ago

      Hi Randy. I'm following up from the help you gave me last season. I just got a new battery, installed it and all worked well as you predicted. The trouble now is that just this weekend something fried. Not sure how or why it happened but the power cable coming in to the converter melted and disconnected leaving us with no power other than the 12 volt from my new battery. We were lucky a fire didn't start! I rigged up a plug to the outlet near the converter and connected it with an extension cord to shore power and have all of my electrical but with no converter I'm not recharging my battery.

      A couple of questions. Do you know why the wires would have overheated, melted and separated from the converter? Shouldn't the breaker have tripped? (Maybe that's an indication that the converter is faulty and indeed the breaker should have tripped but didn't?)

      Secondly, do you have recommendations for a new converter that would replace my original Elixer-30 ?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      @JacksonJack--This may be a converter problem. The generator may be charging up the batteries allowing them to power the 12 volt system as long as the generator is operating. Check the main batteries with the generator off and unless you are getting at least 13 volts at the batteries your converter is not keeping them charged.

      You can also hook up a good battery charger to the batteries and if everything on the 12 volt system works properly then this shows the power converter is not working properly. Ask if you need more info.

      Randy

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      jacksonjack 10 months ago

      Went out today and the camper electrical system was acting strange. All the 110 stuff worked fine. 12 volt lights were vere dim. I decided to try and start the camper generator and not enough power to start it, I jumped it with my truck and when the camper ran off the generator everything worked fine. I figured it was just a bad battery so I put in a new one in. Tried running off 110 again and had the same problem. I would figure that whetther I ran off 110 or the camper generator it still had to go thru the converter to power the 12 volt lights ???

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      How much is "way more" V? If there is a major draw on the system--such as a slide-out operating or some other short the converter should remain in the 13-15 volt DC range. Try turning of all of the 12 volt dc circuits and check the voltage at the battery. Then turn on the 12 volt breakers or fuse one at a time to find which one may be drawing a lot of amps. Let me know if I can be of further use finding the problem and thanks for the question and your time. :)

      Randy

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      10 months ago

      Hi Randy. I'm getting way more than 15 volts out of the converter. What do you suggest?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 12 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi David, it isn't always necessary to have the batteries connected but that is usually the case with the newer model RVs. If the converter itself provides all of the DC current you require and the batteries are disconnected then fine. The resistor you mentioned being hot is probably the culprit although a bad ground could also be the problem. Check and clean all of the 12 volt DC ground wires especially where they contact the steel frame of the camper as they are commonly at fault, especially after a few years of use.

      I hope this info helps you find the problem David, but if not then feel free to ask for more info. Thanks for the time and questions.:)

      Randy

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      David 12 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      I read this entire thread to see if my problem was addressed, and it probably was but maybe not.

      We have only used shore power and have never had the batteries connected, everything worked just fine until half of the dc lights went out, I have a meter and a light and I proceeded to check fuses and grounds and all is well, I checked the converter and it checks out, but I noticed where a resistor on the small board looks like it has been hot, could that be the problem? Also, as I have read this thread as well as others I notice that you and others have suggested that the batteries have to be hooked up and charged for the dc to work properly, even while plugged in to 110? Thank you in advance for all that you do to help those of us that want to learn and make our own repairs!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 12 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Chris, simply check the specs on your old converter and compare them to the choices available on the ads on this page. You'll find a wide range of newer options to replace the old converter/fuseblock models of yesteryear. I vouch for the products and brands on this page as being of the highest quality. :)

      Randy

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      Chris Pudwill 12 months ago

      Hey Randy I want to replace my old converter fuse box combination in my 1983 Nomad it is a B and W 3240 CXT 40 amp what do you recommend?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 12 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi James, I hesitate to advise you on something I cannot personally examine, but if everything is operating normally I would keep a close eye on the circuit board and try to refrain from using any 12 volt lights or other accessories for the moment. Apparently there is a bad ground somewhere and it could well be in the 12 volt DC panel itself. I'd check all of the ground wires and clean them if possible, James.

      Feel free to ask for info if you need it. :)

      Randy

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      James 12 months ago

      I have a 2005 dutchmen motorhome. This evening we smelled electrical burning. An investigation revealed 2 white ground wires on the right side of the circuit board to be blackened and the circuit board itself appeared to have gotten hot. It is a parallax 7300. Everything still works. Any ideas? Am I safe to continue or do I tuck my tail and go home? I have photos but not sure how to n

      post them.

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      jeffrey 15 months ago

      hi randy im having a problem i think with my inverter. when i unplug the inverter from the fuse board and check the volts from there it reads 13.xx volts when i plug it in the board the voltage drops. the batteries were dead i just charged them and now when i plug everything back up the fan doesnt come on and voltage remains 12.5 that is what the battery is putting out what could be my problem because at first all my lights where flickering and btw i have a wfco inverter

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Richard,

      Yes, the two problems may be related in that if the fan is not keeping the converter cool enough it may be shutting off for periods of cooling down time. If this is the case, your battery(s) may not be receiving a proper charge from the converter. I hope this answers your query. :) Feel free to ask for more info if needed, and thanks for the question.

      Randy

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      drahcir yeffets 15 months ago

      Randy, I have a Parallex power converter charger 7300, model 7345. It has been working fine for many years all though recently the fan never seems to come on and recently my furnace also does not come on. I checked all the fuses and they are fine. Only once has one of the 30 amp fuses failed and I replaced it, this happened about the same time the furnace quit working. Could the two problems be related ? How can I resolve this problem.

      Richard S.

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      shamoleasy 17 months ago

      its really vary good article.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Omar, do you have other batteries besides the battery to start and run the engine? If so, have you had them checked for low fluid levels or dead cells? Also check the battery grounds where they are attached to the frame. Some batteries have a relay or fuse on the line going to the 12 volt breaker panel and you can find this inline on the battery cables.

      I really suspect a short somewhere caused by the pothole jolt especially if the 12 volt lights, fan, etc. are working on shore power. If the power converter had gone bad then none of the 12 volt items would work. I'd first check all of the battery cables and clean them well as a bad ground--possibly cause by the pothole bump--will cause all sorts of strange problems.

      I'll be out of internet contact until next Monday on a family trip but I hope you'll let me know what you find out. As always, feel free to ask for more info if needed. :)

      Randy

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      Omar Diaz 17 months ago

      Hey Randy, I have a 24' 1986 Southwind RV with a Chevy 454 and headlights started flickering when I hit a huge pot hole. Then I noticed they flickered every time I hit a bump in the road after that, along with the dash lights on the guages. The voltmeter was going up and down and soon began just going down until the RV shut off at 8 or 9 volts. I pulled the alternator, but checked out fine at the parts store and putting out 15 volts, so in it went again. Now my 12 lights do not come on without shore power and 120v system does not show charging at the panel. Also, when I switched the breakers off and on, charging light would come on for 15 secs then there is a click and light goes off and burning smell coming from panel. I was able to charge main motor battery to move the rig 10 miles to get it home, but voltage still goes down and engine will not restart unless jumped. I have checkec all breajers and fuses and all are good. Oh and my genny will not even so much as click when trying to start it.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Marty, and yes it's possible the voltage from the generator combined with shore power has fried the power converter. Try using an ordinary battery charger and this will confirm the converter is fried if the charger makes everything 12 volt operable again. Feel free to ask for more info if needed. :)

      Randy

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      Marty 17 months ago

      My wife started our honda 2000 generator with the camper pluged in and now we get this bad burning smell coming from the converter while it's pluged in ( generator and or land ) we unpluged it and the smell went away but something killed the battery that night. Do you thing she fried the converter by having it already pluged in at the time the generator was started?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Sandy, be sure the GFI outlets--located in the bath and kitchen most of the time--are reset. These outlets usually control several more without the reset buttons on them. Hope this helps! :)

      Randy

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      sandy 17 months ago

      Hi. I have a 1982 prowler travel trailer. All of a sudden a light above sink, stove light and fan, and my tv power boosters not lighting up and working correctly. Also the panel for telling how much water you have and in the tanks stopped working. What should I check besides all the normal things I already have.?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Rick, but if the power converter is working correctly you should have 12 volt power with shore line connected also.

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      L F Lomore 17 months ago

      Took a while to find the pc- I'm in northern ON- don't have my multimeter- will be back on the weekend to check.

      I don't know if I was clear- all 12 v systems are working well when the generator is on- does this not suggest that the pc is ok or am I missing something?

      Thanks for the quick answer- will check bac with you after I check the voltage out of the pc.

      Rick Lomore

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia

      @LF--Have you checked the power converter to see if it's putting out at least 13 volts to the battery?

      Randy

    • L F Lomore profile image

      L F Lomore 17 months ago

      Hi

      I have a 2010 Heartland Big Country. I run it off a Honda 2000i generator. Recently a problem cropped up.

      The 12 v system is not operational when disconnected from the generator. The battery is new- took it home and charged it- checked with multimeter and it seems to be holding at 12.1 v.

      Checked both fuses in the battery compartment- they are fine.

      White rocker switch in battery compartment seems able to move the slides even when disconnected from the generator.

      I'm stymied- any ideas?

      Thanks in advance.

      Rick Lomore

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Gena, the sound may be coming from the power converter. It could be the power converter fan making the noise as this is not an unusual problem. Try removing the fuse or turning the breaker off in the 110 volt power panel and see if the noise stops. If so, you may need to either lubricate or replace the power converter fan to fix the problem.

      Randy

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      Gena 18 months ago

      Hello Randy, I have a 2008 ultra lite palomino Gazelle travel trailer when I plug in to ac there is a high pitch sound everything still works. I disconnected the battery and pulled the fuse for the lights the sound went away I hooked the battery back up the sound came back with out the fuse for the lights installed any ideas on what to do?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Terry, follow the wires from either the battery or the 12 volt DC power panel. It is usually located close to the power panel.

      Randy

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      Terry trailer 18 months ago

      We cannot find the converter on 1994 22 ft Terry - any ideas?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      @Randy Jones--Hope a new converter gets you goin' again. And thank you for checking out this article. If you have any other RV problems check out my other RV repair hubs on my profile page. :)

      Randy

    • Randy L Jones profile image

      Randy L Jones 18 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      I figured it was converter. It does not show 13v at battery end when it's plugged in to generator or regular outlet. I will get converter coming.

      Thanks again!!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Towbehind--Glad I could be of assistance to you. I'm not an electronics tech but I do have a bit of knowledge about some aspects of the systems used on many RVs. Thanks for returning and letting me know what you found out. :)

      Randy

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      Towbehind 18 months ago

      Hi Randy Thank you for the hint about the 120 Volt transformer on the fridge control board. I installed Ferrite beads big ones on all the power leads go to and from the convertor. I did this on both the AC and DC wires to the convertor. And the right away the problem with the fridge electronic controls stopped. We did multiple tests of unplugging the power and back on again the fridge cycles from electric to gas perfectly. Yes there was some electrical noise coming off the power convertor that was causing the problem. Anyway that has now got me to thinking that the whole system work until lately, so the convertor which is a big switch mode power supply must be getting old and maybe a filter cap or two is drying up. Seeing as my brother already has a new convertor with a bit higher output I am going to get him back over to swap them out and get the old power supply out of there. Thanks for your help I had not seen the connection between the 120 volt and the fridge as being a problem be it was in this case.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again, Randy. No, a bad battery will not prevent the converter to work in some manner or another. It may not store and release the necessary voltage or amperage needed to run everything on the 12 volt DC system, but if the converter is operating properly you should still read at least 13 volts at the battery end.

      If a battery charger is operating everything normally then the converter is likely the problem. Hope this info helps! :)

      Randy

    • Randy L Jones profile image

      Randy L Jones 18 months ago

      Well Randy, I checked power in finally and I am getting 110v. I was checking it wrong. I'm not much of an electrician. Converter still doesn't charge battery. Checked at battery with camper plugged in and was only getting battery voltage at battery. Was not charging. There is a relay it looks like on tongue and I checked on both sides of it and was only battery voltage and seems to me converter was not charging it. I can hook a battery charger up to battery and lights and everything are bright. Never heard converter hum or fan kick on. Can a bad battery cause converter not to charge? I'm gonna put a new battery in anyways because they just put a used one in it when we bought it to get the slides in. Or do you thing converter is bad?

      Thanks sir!!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Towbehind--The control board may use a transformer to step down the 120 volt AC current to 12 volt DC when plugged into the shore power. This could be the problem but I cannot say for sure.

      Randy

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      Towbehind 18 months ago

      Randy A few years back I was adding a circuit to my panel. When I pulled the power pack out of the wall it rattled. I made sure the batteries where disconnection and the ac then proceeded. I found the manufacturer had left a knock out slug flopping about inside the electronics bay of the convertor. About the size of a quarter and metal, really glad I found that before slug bounced into the power dist on the trailer and started a fire while I was driving down the road. Even brand new off the lot needs a careful going over these days.

      My question , My brother has been having trouble with the power converter on his RV. When he is on batteries and not plugged in the fridge works fine. But as soon as he plugs in to ac power the fridge control board shuts down and won't operate in any mode. Now my thought is that these fridges always need 12 volt power to work and operate the control board is that correct? If so I suspect the converter is making some kind of electrical noise on the 12 volt bus that causes the fridge to shut down. I'm an electronics tech so I always suspect that something with a chip in it is causing the problem. What test or fixes should we try. Thank You

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for relating what the problem was, Eric. I'll keep this in mind for the future if similar problems arise. Thanks again! :)

      Randy

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      Eric 18 months ago

      Well Randy I found the problem its on the wfco box the box behind the breakers where the romax goes in to was all burnt up the wires leading out of the power box were the ones fried so now I guess I'll need a new power box and rewire it but I'm not sure why it happened from what I can tell the rest of the wires look fine I tested the voltage going into the rv (122v) so I thought I would let you know what I found thanks Eric

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again, Ed. Some RVs have a relay/breaker in between the positive battery cable and the 12 volt power panel. Trace the positive cable towards the converter or power panel to see if yours has one of these breaker/ relays. If it's tripped or burned it could be the culprit causing the problem.

      Randy

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      Eric 18 months ago

      Hi Randy I talked to you a couple of weeks ago bout no 12v power I replaced all the breakers and also replaced the converter and checked the connections on the shore cord to the panel and I still have no power this one has me stumped there is 110 going to the converter but the fan doesn't come on nothing at all charged the battery and the lights come on I also checked all the fuses and all were good maybe you could shed some light thanks Eric

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      JDW--Does your RV have a battery relay disconnect? This is an inline fuse or breaker connected between the positive battery cable and going to the 12 volt DC power panel. It may be blown or tripped causing the problem. Some RVs have them and some don't. It would be worth your time looking to see. :)

      Randy

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      JDW 18 months ago

      Randy, did some more checking tonight. Seems to be grounded fine, all other connections are good. Everything in the power center and converter looks ok, no melted connections that I see. Unhooked each wire coming off DC fuse panel one at a time and tried breaker, flipped every time, so couldn't narrow it down that way. Everything works fine off just the battery. Not sure how I'm going to find this short....

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      JDW--Obviously a bad short somewhere in the 12 volt system. Check the battery ground and the other connections in the 12 volt DC system. Also, check the 12 volt DC power panel for melted connections caused by the 220 mistake. You'll just have to go with trial and error tests to run the bad short down. Let me know what you find if you don't mind. :)

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      JDW 18 months ago

      Converter is connected properly as far as I can tell, I rechecked everything. I unhooked converter from the breaker and tried it and then it doesn't trip. Hooked it back up and tried it and trips right away, even the 20 am breaker in the house tripped again. Not sure why the breaker in house would be tripping?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Check to be sure the converter is connected properly, JDW. Or disconnect it and try the breaker before reconnecting. This should tell you if it's the converter causing the breaker to trip.

      Randy

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      JDW 18 months ago

      Since replacing the converter. Converter had to be replaced after it was fried plugging in 220V's :-(. So not sure if plugging in to 220v did other damage which may still be causing it to trip? Everything works fine, comes on when I put charger on the battery. Thanks for the insight!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      @JDW--Has this been happening ever since you replaced the converter? Or has it just started?

      Randy

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      JDW 18 months ago

      Randy, having an issue with breaker for my converter tripping right when it is flipped on. Converter is new, just installed. I am plugged into garage outlet on 20 amp breaker. Tripped house breaker as well. Everything else, A/C, microwave, outlets work fine, but when I flip on converter breaker it trips immediately. What should I be checking for? Battery issue? Lights, fridge, pump, etc work and light on converter comes on when I hook battery charger to the battery.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Swamphunter, your trailer has to have a place for a battery or batteries because the converter by itself cannot handle the amps needed at times and depends on those provided by a battery.

      Did the electrician say what sort of noise the power converter was making? It may be possible the converter is operating normally but the lack of a battery may be causing it to kick off by overheating.

      If you have a wall mounted A/C thermostat, the converter controls it as well as the fridge thermostat. Couple this with the 12 volt DC lights and vent fans, the converter may not be furnishing the 12 volt DC system enough amperage.

      I'd start by installing a new 12 volt battery/batteries, whatever is called for in the battery compartment. Only then--if the problem remains--would I replace the converter.

      Feel free to ask for more info and we'll get you straightened out before the end of October. Thanks for the question. :)

      Randy

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      Swamphunter 18 months ago

      Hey Randy, Got some questions which will show you that this is an area I know nothing about. I bought a 1990 33 ft. Terry Tarus Travel trailer. My wife and I plan on moving into it full time for awhile. I had an electrician hook it up to the power where I thought we were going to move in it, but ended up having to move it to another place, a campground. He told me my converter was making a noise and that my roof mount AC and all power would cut off every 10 to 15 minutes. He said for me to get a new converter, but they don't make the kind that is in my travel trailer anymore, I think. I also do not have batteries with this trailer. Can I get the converter replaced and just plug the camper into the AC source? Do I need to purchase a battery? Could I just plug my camper into the AC source and bypass the converter? I noticed that all our bulbs in the trailer are little small DC bulbs. Please tell me what all I need to do in order to get it set up to live in, we need to be out of our house by the end of October, so I want to make sure the camper is ready for my wife and I to move into. Thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I agree with you on the battery possibly being connected wrong, CC. Let me know what you decide to do and how it worked out for you. Good thinking on the battery warranty! :)

      Randy

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      CanCamper 18 months ago

      Hi Randy, I wanted to give you an update on the tone we are hearing from the converter in our 2007 Jayco. You had come to the conclusion that it's the battery and I'm sure you are correct. We've made it this far in the season using shore power that we thought we'd wait until the spring to get a new battery to get 2 camping seasons out of the 18 month battery warranty. All that to say that I don't have a conclusive response to give you, but have appreciated your input.

      As an aside, we've disconnected the battery and looking at it more closely, the ground was connected to the positive and the line from the converter that has the fuse in it was connected to the negative. That's how it was when we bought it and I'm sure that's not right and probably didn't help the battery to get into the state it's in! I trust that the ground should always be connected negative. When we get the new battery, we don't want to mess it up!

    • Randy L Jones profile image

      Randy L Jones 18 months ago

      Yes it's a wall mounted thermostat. I'll check voltage tonight when I get home from work.

      Again, thanks for taking time to answer questions!!

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again, Randy. Check the voltage for the converter at the 110 volt ac power panel where the converter breaker should be located. The 12 volt dc system controls the air conditioner thermostat if it-- the air conditioner--uses a wall mounted thermostat. It also controls the fridge thermostat.

      You can check the voltage at the battery(s) to see if the converter is working properly. The battery(s) should read at least 13 volts dc if the converter is okay. As always, feel free to ask for more help. :)

      Randy

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      Randy L Jones 18 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      I did check my meter on our house outlets and its reading right. Maybe I'm checking the for the 110 voltage wrong? How should I check to make sure I have 110 coming in to converter? I would assume I do but want to eliminate everything before saying converter is junk. I did notice one time when we kicked the ac on that it actually was charging the 12v system for like 5 seconds and then the 12v lights dimmed down but ac was still running.

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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Joey, it may be that you have too many items on the same circuit and this is causing the problem. It all depends on how many amps you are pulling at the same time. Both the AC and microwave use lots of amps so it makes sense to have the microwave on a circuit by itself.

      I assume you have 30 amp service on your RV. Feel free to ask for more info if needed. :)

      Randy

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      Joey alder 18 months ago

      I have 2002 29.5 springsdale travel trailer. Everything work good all year and now this last camping trip im on the airconditioner seems like it is low of power and microwave to. But some times it works fine and go plug something into a outlet at the same time those are on and it will make things like it dont have enough power again. I tried a different power source to make sure it wasnt the power i was plugging into.. I had a issue where my batteries were dead but i forgot to hook ground wire between both batteries. So it wasnt charging my batteries like it need to be. So i dont know if those batteries cause all these problems which i dont think so. But let me know what you think.

    • Randy L Jones profile image

      Randy L Jones 18 months ago

      I will check my meter in the house outlets.

      I got the furnace to work with a little investigating.

      Thanks!! I'll post what I find on the voltage situation.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      You're correct that nothing would operate properly with only 29 volts, Randy. Have you checked the outlets in your home with the voltage tester to see if it's accurate?

      And I'll need a bit more info on the furnace. Whether it works on propane or electricity would make a difference.

      Randy

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      Randy L Jones 18 months ago

      We bought an 06 Coachman Captive 280 EX camper. The converter doesn't charge the 12v accessories. We can plug it in to generator or a 110v outlet and the air and other appliances work. The microwave comes on and acts like it looses voltage and slows down. I've checked input voltage to panel on the 110 side and it only shows 29 volts whether it's plugged into generator or wall outlet. Shows same amount of voltage going to converter. Wouldn't the air and microwave not even work with voltage that low? I am lost on getting this figured out. We weren't shown how anything works when we bought it from the sales guy. Another thing, how do we use the furnace? Do I turn on switch on panel that says heater first before selecting heater setting on panel?

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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yep Eric, you've got a dead short somewhere. Check the shore power cord at the power panel and I'll bet it isn't connected good. If that isn't it, then check the main breaker and if there's power there, then check the other breakers.

      Ask for more info if needed after you check the breakers. :)

      Randy

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      Eric 18 months ago

      Thanks Randy for responding so quickly yes the battery lost power very quickly and there was no power in the trailer except that the lights would come on very low and I could raise the tongue jack very slowly I assume the power was coming from the battery cause it was so slow and no breakers were thrown

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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Eric, start with the converter but if it isn't working properly then the battery will die fairly quickly. Of course, it may be the converter is shorting out because a bad wire and that is the odor you noticed.

      I doubt that it's the converter though as it wouldn't affect the outlets at all unless it caused a breaker to trip in the 110 volt AC power panel. Check the end of the shore power RV pigtail where it connects to the 110 volt AC power panel as it's not unusual for it to be loose or pulled loose and thus short out.

      Ask for info if needed. :)

      Randy

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      Eric 18 months ago

      Hello Randy I was it at a state park this weekend started smelling what was like a burnt wires then bout that time Ac and all electrical components went dead the only power is from the battery. If I'm thinking right its the converter there was a lot of heat coming from below the breaker panel do you think this is where I should start thanks Eric

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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Gdska--The fridge thermostat, the pump, and the lights are all powered by the 12 volt DC system which is comprised primarily of the converter and the battery. You'll have try disconnecting the pump and the fridge from the system--the lights can remain connected if they are turned off--to narrow down what seems to be a dead short in the system. You may have to also disconnect the converter if all else fails. The converter itself may be at fault also.

      If you have any more questions feel free to ask. :)

      Randy

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      Gdskacqasmq 19 months ago

      Sorry to get so confusing but relaying for my son. Anyway what's not working is the fridge the pump and the lights. With converter plugged in would trip immediately

    • Gdskacqasmq profile image

      Gdskacqasmq 19 months ago

      The only thing running in that end was the fridge. After we unplugged the converter it ran for awhile then started dimming the light that was plugged in

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Gdska--What is operating in the kitchen when the breaker trips? By this I mean how many appliances are on the kitchen breaker?

      Randy

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      Gdskacqasmq 19 months ago

      On a jayco camper one end, kitchen end keeps tripping the breaker but everything else works fine.

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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      It's probably interference from the power converter, if turning off the battery switch stops the problem, Terry. I'd first try cleaning the battery negative cable where it contacts the steel frame and the spot on the frame itself.

      Often a bad ground will cause all sorts of problems. Let me know if this helps or not as the converter itself may be at fault. :)

      Randy

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      terry 19 months ago

      the tv is 110 the antenna booster is 12v

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Is it a 12 volt DC or 110 volt AC TV, Terry?

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      terry 19 months ago

      I have a 2006 jazz 5th wheel. model 2870. my tv comes on, but the picture has lines and no sound. I turn on a light or turn off the switch for the batteries and it works really good.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      My bad, Can. I should have told you some RV 12 volt systems have a fuse or breaker at he battery but many older campers do not. Usually when I advise visitors to clean all of the battery connects well, they find the fuse/breaker and often it's blown/tripped.

      I really need to start asking people up front if they have such a breaker/fuse. Please do return and update your experience. :)

      Randy.

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      CanCamper 19 months ago

      I'm starting to think too that the converter is fine. Discovered a blown fuse at the battery and badly corroded connections. Replacing the fuse and cleaning the connections has resulted in better readings and better function. I'll pick up a battery, replace the corroded connector and I'm sure I'll be fine. I'll let you know. Thanks for your insight!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      It tells me you need to get a new battery, CC. I believe the converter is fine but the new battery will tell you for sure. :)

      Randy

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      CanCamper 19 months ago

      With the fan on and connected to shore power I used the meter probes to take a reading at the battery posts. The battery was still connected. The meter barely moved. All of the 12v is working fine (when connected to shore power). None of it works when not connected to shore power, but that is expected since the battery isn't functioning. And in fact we haven't heard the high pitched tone so far this weekend. So with the 12v working, but there is no reading at the battery, what does that tell you?

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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      CanCamper--Yes, turn on one or more of the 12 volt items--lights should be fine--so the converter is working and place the probes on the battery posts while the battery is hooked up normally. You should get at least 13 volts if the converter is working correctly.

      I'd leave the battery in place because some converter use the battery to complete the circuit, especially the battery negative cable which grounds to the trailer frame. You may want to clean both the ground cable and the place where it connects to the steel frame. It's common for a bad ground at this spot to cause all sorts of trouble.

      Let me know how this works out for you if you don't mind. I may be able to help other RVers with similar problems. Enjoy your weekend. :)

      Randy

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      CanCamper 19 months ago

      When you say to check the converter at the battery, does that mean putting the meter probes where the wires attach to the battery at the posts? And do I do this with the battery attached or not (or does it matter)?

      And speaking of attached battery, the 12v should work without any battery attached, right (as long as I'm plugged into shore power)? I was going to detach the battery and see what happens. I'll be headed to the camp on Friday and won't have an opportunity to get a battery for another week, so I was going to do some extra data gathering this weekend.

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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      You really need to replace the battery before you do anything else, CanCamper. I suspect the converter is working overtime because the battery isn't helping to provide enough amperage to operate the 12 volt items properly.

      The converter is used mainly to keep the battery fully charged so enough amperage is provided to run all of the 12 volt lights, vent fans, and any other items required. If after you replace the battery you still have problems then the converter may be at fault. I do hope the new battery will solve your problem. You can check the converter by using a digital multimeter at the battery. If the converter is working properly you should get a reading of at least 13voltsat the battery. Feel free to ask for more info if you need it. Thanks for the question. :)

      Randy

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      CanCamper 19 months ago

      Hi Randy. I've read through much of this post and follow up comments and haven't seen my scenario so I'm hoping you can help me. I'm new to the Pop up trailer world having bought a 2007 Jayco 1207 Pup about a month ago. We were told that the battery was not holding a charge and needed replacing which we have *not* done yet, primarily because we are always connected to 30 amp shore power where we camp. I am now realizing that having a battery would be a good idea during power outages so we'll get one but wonder if that is all we need.

      Currently the battery is still connected, but it is not providing any power. While connected to shore power all is well with 110v outlets always working but we are having trouble with anything 12v: lights, vent fan and the furnace fan. The converter is an Elixir-30 (the original, I'm fairly certain).

      While the 12v items all work, we are noticing nearly every time we turn one on, we hear a high pitched tone coming from the power converter and if it is a light we have turned on, it is less bright.

      To rectify, originally we'd pull the plug at the shore power, but learned turning the 15 amp breaker off worked just as well and didn't involve going outside. So we turn the light off, flip the 15 amp breaker off ... We hear the same high pitched tone that silences in about 5 seconds and then flip the breaker back on. We can now turn the light back on and all is well (no tone and light is expected brightness).

      Generally this fix lasts for as long as the 12v item is on, but pretty much once we turn it off, the next time we go to use it, we have to repeat the breaker fix. This seemed to be happening with increased frequency and then remembered we used to keep the 12v vent fan on all the time and had stopped doing that. So we turned the vent fan on and left it on. Now we can turn 12v lights on and off all day and into the next day without hearing the high pitched sound. It seems once we get rid of the sound, as long as something 12v stays on, we can turn other 12v accessories on and off with no troubles. But then turning all 12v off and we have to do the breaker fix.

      Any idea if the converter is just giving us grief because it doesn't like the state of the (dead) battery and replacing the battery should fix the problem, or does the converter sound like it needs replacing too? Is there some troubleshooting I could do? I'm handy in general, but this is a new area of expertise I have no familiarity with!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Muchelle, try cleaning the battery ground(s) where it is connected to the steel frame of the RV. Be sure to clean both the cable end and the steel frame itself so you'll be assured of a good ground. If this doesn't solve the problem then check the DC voltage at the battery(s). If you aren't getting at least 13 volts you may have a bad power converter. Feel free to ask for more info if needed. :)

      Randy

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      Muchelle 19 months ago

      We are driving a 2014 chalet truck camper. We have power going to our microwave and to our gfi outlets and but no DC power at all. We had all power after we hooked up to the electric at a campground and came back and everything is out. We checked all fuses and circuit breakers and the batteries are all good.... Any ideas

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Stone, Did you mean to say you "found one burnt fuse?" You need to check the main 110 v0lt breaker as well as the other breakers in the power panel with a digital multimeter to see if they are working properly. Sometimes the breakers will show as working--not tripped--but they can go bad. Let me know if you need more info. :)

      Randy

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      stone 19 months ago

      i have a question regarding power in camper-everything was working fine, then turned on air on ceiling and in about 10 minutes it shut off...then all wall sockets and microvave shut off too...found one burnt amp, replaced it and still nothing works. What is the next step? Lights on ceiling work from battery I am assuming, HELP

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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again, Jon. I'm very pleased you didn't have any serious damage and the new converter solved the problem. I hoped you'd use the new fuse block as the old one may have given you trouble sooner or later.

      I'm always around to answer any questions you may have on this or any other of my RV repair articles. You can find them via my avatar at the top of the page. Thanks for coming back and letting me know how the new converter worked out. Progressive Dynamic is my best selling converter over all.

      I hope you and Susan have a great time in your camper and give me a holler if you come this way. :)

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      Jon Waldhuetter 19 months ago

      Good evening Randy, Good news, at least for now. Replaced the WFCO with the Progressive Dynamic 4600 series convertor and put in the new fuse block that came with it. Unit came with excellent detailed instructions for removing the WFCO unit and installing the PD unit. Everything was a perfect fit and I was done in about 2 hours. Pluged the shoreline in and could not believe it. Everything appears to be working properly, Did not run things for any length of time and I still want to do that but I'm feeling a bit relieved at this point. The PD convertor automatically went into Boost mode and was putting out 14. 5 volts into the Battery. Appears the only damage we suffered was the main breaker and the convertor. Can't Thank you enough for your help and for pointing me in the right direction with Progressive Dynamic. Maybe once my wife and I hit the road we may have a opportunity to meet. Take care and again THANK YOU!!!!

      Susan and Jon Waldhuetter

      Port Washington, WI

      Keystone Passport 24.5

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      Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again, Jon. I think you could bypass the new fuse block but why not simply utilize it since you have it. It's up to you, of course. Not sure why the 30 amp main is showing power when it is off, but then, sometimes strange things do happen with electricity. Does it cut off the power to the other breakers when off?

      I agree the Progressive Dynamics converter appears to be the better of the two units. :)

      Randy

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      Jon Waldhuetter 20 months ago

      Hello Randy, update #2. I ordered a new 30/20 tandem main breaker and installed it. For some reason I am still reading 117.8 volts on the 30 amp side in both the off and the on position, Not quite sure why unless it is some how related to the converter . I've run 110 into the trailer and all the breakers except for the 30 amp main, operate properly and read 117.8 in the on position and 0 in the off position. Tested all the fuses on the 12 volt side and only pull a reading of 3.9 volts. Next step is to replace the converter. The original converter is a WFCO wf8955 . 55 amp and it is readily available. I have not ordered it yet because a lot of the information I have recently read on line indicates that many RV'ers are not pleased with the performance of the WFCO converter and are upgrading to a Progressive Dynamic series 4600 55 amp converter with the charging wizard. I am leaning to up grading with the PD convertor. Do you have any thoughts on upgrading. The PD 4600 series comes with a new fuse board. If I install a PD converter can I just splice it in to the existing wiring and do I need to go through the hassle of installing the new fuse board or will the original fuse board do the job. We presently know that the TV, micro wave and interior outlets have power. the refig. and radio do not. The interior lights do not work and I have not tested the AC, water heater. furnace, stabilizers, awning, water pump and tongue jack. The 12 volt battery is fully charged. As always your in put is greatly appreciated. Once I order and install the converter I will retest the fuse side of the panel and test out the remaining components. Tis a real learning experience to be sure.

      Again I Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience

      Jon Waldhuetter

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      Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Jon, sorry to hear about the converter but things could have been worse. You may have to replace the main breaker as it seems to be fused in the on position. You cannot tell yet about the other items controlled by the 12 volt system until you get the new converter installed.

      Lert me know things progress and I'm always available to help you if you require more advice. Thanks for the update. :)

      Randy

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      Jon Waldhuetter 20 months ago

      Good evening Randy, thought I would give you an up date. . Connected 110 to the trailer and tested the breakers as suggested. All breakers registered 117.6 +- and no breakers tripped. I have not put them under load yet. The 30 amp main breaker registered 117.6 in both the on and off positions which surprised me and does not seem right. The 15 amp breaker that tripped when I screwed up with the 220 is the breaker that is connected to the converter. I was not able to get a 12 volt reading any where on the fuse side of the panel. The convertor is a WFCO model WF8955, 55 amp convertor and I have been able to locate an exact replacement at American RV at a excellent price. I was not able to pull readings off the original convertor so I think the best next step is to bite the bullet and replace it. Once that's done I will start testing out the electrical appliances. The big concern right now is the fact that the 30 amp main breaker showed load in both the off and on positions. Any suggestions for testing after the convertor is installed. Any and all input is greatly appreciated.

      Again Many, Many Thanks

      Jon Waldhuetter

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      Jon Waldhuetter 20 months ago

      Many thanks Randy. I will keep you informed

      Jon

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      Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Jon, and I'm sorry your dream plans has started off so badly. Hopefully the damage is not as bad as you suspect. The first step is getting the correct breaker for the shore power and perhaps you've already done so at this point.

      Start checking the voltage in the 110 volt power panel with all of the breakers flipped off. Then starting with the main, test each circuit for the proper voltage.by turning them on one at a time. Hopefully they will have power now and the breakers may have done their job. You may be correct as to the converter being toast. You should be able to get the required voltage requirements on the old converter and there are some great deals for power converters on this page. There are many available sizes and models and the Amazon link will take you to more options.

      Let me know what else I can help you with when you d oa bit more checking. I'd like to know what damages you suffered for future similar problems.

      Randy

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      Jon Waldhuetter 20 months ago

      Good morning, my wife and I just purchased a beautiful 2009 Keystone Passport for our retirement travels. We have not RVed before so we are real newbies. First task was to install a 30 AMP outlet outside our home for the shore line. You can guess where this in going. Installed the breaker and outlet, no problem, plugged in the cord and heard this loud ZAP at the rear of the trailer. No power to the trailer. Checked all fuses and breakers and found one 15 AMP breaker tripped. Rechecked all wiring for the outlet, all good, reset breaker, plugged in shoreline and ZAP again. Time for a little research. Didn't take long to figure out I am an idiot of the highest degree. the breaker I installed was an existing 2 pole 30 Amp breaker from an electric range (220!!!!!!) not the single pole 30 AMP (110). As you can imagine I managed to cook the convertor and I am not sure what other electrical components are now toast. MY questions, where do I start testing all the appliances. outlets, lights, stabilizers, AC, water heater, furnace, awning, pumps, electrical panel................

      From what I have read in the last week there is a strong possibility that I took out everything (just ordered more checks for the check book). My wife is very concerned about the actual trailer wiring and potential damage to it. ( I know this because we are now talking again in an understandable fashion)

      How do I size a new power convertor, we have a 30 AMP system. Do you have any recommendations. I would like a good charging system, we eventually would like to add solar and I think a high quality surge protection system would be in order (ya think). Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. I am competent and can do a lot of the testing but if you feel the time has come to bite the bullet and haul our new baby to the nearest qualified service center I will understand ( as will my marriage, she's wonderful woman and I'd hate to loose her to a trailer)

      We are also considering having a Fan-tastic Fan installed and switching over to 6 volt batteries instead of the current 12 volt battery. Any advice here. Thank you in advance. We can't wait to get on the road and experience more of the joys of RVing. Can't wait to empty the Black and Gray tanks for the first time.

      May your day be Blessed

      Sincerely

      Jon Waldhuetter

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      Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Jerry, the 12 volt DC system requires a battery to complete the circuit from the converter to operate correctly. Does the 12 volt lights work when the battery is hooked up? Check the voltage at the battery when the shore power is used and the lights are operating to see if the converter is putting out at least 13 volts. Ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Jerry Dooley 20 months ago

      Hello, would anyone know why all my camper electronics work except my ware pump and slide out when ac is pluged in without a battery hooked up and only slide out and water pump when only the battery is hooked up???

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Glad you narrowed the problem down, JD. Thanks for letting me know what the solution was as it may help others in the future. :)

      Randy

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      jdtravel 20 months ago

      Success! It was the water pump for the reservoir at the back of the trailer. I never use it so I cut the wires and all is working as normal. Randy thanks so much again. I appreciate your help.

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      Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for relating what the problem was, JD. I trust you'll find the culprit causing the strife. :)

      Randy

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      jdtravel 20 months ago

      Ok; I discovered the problem to be located within the hood above the stove. After dropping it I disconnected the plastic wiring plug. Voila! All I need to do is isolate which wire using test wires. Inside the hood are wires controlling the exhaust fan, the stovetop light, water pump and one or two other yet-to-be-discovered items.

      Thanks again for your support Randy.

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      jdtravel 21 months ago

      Thanks Randy. Will do. Enjoy your 4th!!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      You should hopefully find the overload by jumping the main fuse or breaker, JD. Just be careful while doing so as a fire could result. Good luck with the search and I'm very interested in knowing what you find out.

      Randy

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      jdtravel 21 months ago

      Thanks Randy. I'm still struggling with why the amp meter I am using evidently short circuits and the light goes out. Nevertheless, I believe I need to have power going to the circus to test them and the fuse blows everytime I do it. So what I'll do is just hot wired with a pair of needle nose pliers temporarily. And I will a lead from the power and the other lead to a known ground. Perhaps that may reveal which is the culprit. I disconnectrd the stove exhaust fan, which is also on thr circuit. No difference. With a load pulling I may see where it is. Ill also follow the lead from the panel, under the camper, to see if it is grounding.

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again, JD. I'm not away this fourth so feel free to ask for more info if needed. Like you, I don't suspect it is a circuit block or converter problem you are dealing with. I still suspect a circuit drawing excessive amps on one of the 12 volt circuits.

      Randy

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      jdtravel 21 months ago

      Happy 4th Roy. I checked the voltage at the circuit board and everything is 12 volts. I hot wired the fuse culprit and was getting 12 volts at each circuit. I was unable to test with an amp meter because the light or the circuit turned off. I am an amateur at this as you may know so please read the terminology I use loosely.

      I am reluctant to change that converter or circuit board as I'm not sure that is the problem. I realize also this is the fourth of July weekend and you are probably vacationing. I appreciate any assistance you may provide. I don't know if you receive phone calls or not but if so please leave me your phone number. Have a great 4th

      With great appreciation, JD

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      JD, I really didn't think the lights were the culprit but they still have to be checked to eliminate them from the process. Unless you have access to an amp meter you'll just have to try one circuit at a time and hope to find which one is drawing too many amps. Do you have any overhead vents or other 12 volt items which may be at fault?

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      jdtravel 21 months ago

      Thanks so much Randy. When I check each circuit with a meter should I find a stronger draw from one than the others? Removing all the light bulbs didn't resolve the issue. Should it have?

      JD

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Andrew, sorry to respond so late but my computer bit the dust this weekend. thanks for the update and the info about the Bussman switch going bad. Some RVs have them and some don't and I seldom run into a problem concerning them. I'll keep that in mind in the future and thanks again for the update. :)

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey JD, when you say the "entire circuit panel," I'm assuming you are referring to the fuse block. There is apparently something on the circuit which is drawing an extraordinary amount of amps to cause the fuse panel to get so hot, and to cause the 30 amp fuse itself to blow.

      You need to check each item on the circuit--one at a time-- to see which is causing the problem. You should be able to tell which one is the culprit when the panel gets excessively hot. Ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again, Dick. Your assumption is correct if the fridge, A/C and furnace, as well as the HW heater are controlled by the five DC fuses. The thermostats on these items are often on 12 volt DC power.

      RG

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      jdtravel 21 months ago

      Randy, the 12v lights in the kitchen/dining area of my camper were unusually dim. I checked the fuse. It was VERY hot. I checked later and the lights were off, and the fuse had MELTED! It was a 30 amp fuse - probably too much. The entire electric panel had cooled down considerably. Evidently the circuit finally gave out as the panel had been quite hot since I'd owned the camper -- 2 years.

      Any suggestions?

      Thanks, JD

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      Dick Hannigan 21 months ago

      Randy,

      Thanks for feedback on checking for a bad converter. Bought a digital voltmeter and AC plug adapter (to plug into my 110V house power). The trailer chassis ground is good. Installed a brand new battery reading 12.5V at the posts. A soon as AC was applied to the trailer, the converter kicked in, the converter fan started whirring and I read 13.4V at the battery posts. I would say the converter is doing its job. Here's the kicker...I removed external AC power, disconnected the battery black negative lead and measured current flow between battery and cable with my digital meter. It read 1 milli amp. (Enough to make a spark rubbing the cable against the post.) I pulled all five DC fuses ( for lights, fans, etc) with no change in DC current flow. I might be wrong but I don't think there should be any DC current flow when a trailer is at rest with no lights or fans turned on (and AC power disconnected.). Is that a correct assumption? Thanks for your consideration.

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      Andrew 21 months ago

      Hi Randy. I thought I would send you another update. My power converter was definitely bad as I explained before (it was crackling). Once I replaced it I still had the problem of two or more lights under battery power only causing the power to cycle off and on over and over again. I finally figured it out. It was the over current protection switch mounted to the a-frame of my trailer right behind the battery. It was a Cooper/Bussman CBC-50B switch. It was most likely corroded too much causing too must resistance and drawing current. It would trip, cool down and auto reset itself. I replace that and everything is fine now.

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Dick, have you checked the voltage at the battery when the 12 volt lights are on yet? If the converter is working properly you should get at least 13 volts on a digital multimeter at he battery. I assume you've already cleaned the battery ground good where it attaches to the trailer frame as a bad ground can cause this problem.

      Try connecting an ordinary battery charger to the battery--not a trickle charger though--and see if it brings the battery up to a full charge. Zero ohms simply means the circuit is complete from the converter. Is the converter fan operating at all?

      Randy

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      Dick Hannigan 21 months ago

      I have a 26' Thor Travel Trailer which I presently don't use. I recently had the 12 V battery and Converter replaced. It was in storage for a year and when I retrieved it, the battery was dead. I replaced the battery and again within a month the battery went dead. I got poking around and found that the resistance between the positive and negative cables leading to the converter reads zero ohms. Are we talking another bad converter or is there other components that might cause this short circuit? Thanks for letting me vent.

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi David, it does indeed sound like a bad converter as the AC thermostat is controlled by the 12 volt system if you have a wall mount thermostat. Try connecting a battery charger to the batteries and see if it makes a difference in the power to the trailer. If so, the converter is at fault. If you have some jumper cables you can try using them instead of a charger.

      Randy

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      DavidAZ 21 months ago

      Hi, here's my tale of woe. We packed up and headed out to a full hookup campsite on Wednesday. Before we left we noticed that the stereo in our travel trailer wasn't working either on shore power or battery. We weren't too concerned though. Our battery is usually hooked up to a trickle charger but had been off of it for a few weeks prior to leaving. We also noticed that the battery didn't appear to be charging while in the trailer. We spent a full day at the camp on 30 amp power running the AC and microwave without a problem. Then last night our trailer stopped accepting shore power. I checked the breaker on the pedestal and it wasn't tripped. I disconnected the battery but we get no power into the trailer. We still have 12v power, until the battery dies. I'm guessing that the converter and the power center died. It's an Atwood 55 amp converter / charger. I've checked every breaker/fuse I can find and they all look good. Can you think of any other troubleshooting I can do in the field with limited tools? Thanks.

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I was hoping it was just the fan, Andrew. It is good to know what the cracking sound was caused by. I'll keep that in mind for future reference. Good luck with the new panel and thanks so much for letting me know what the problem was. :)

      Randy

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      Andrew 21 months ago

      I know it is not the fan because I slid the converter out while it was crackling and the fan had not kicked on yet. When the fan does kick on, it is a normal fan sound.

      I called WFO this morning and the tech help said that the windings in the transformer are probably going bad. He said they have a high pitched hum when they start to go bad. Mine started doing that intermittently a couple of years ago. When I told the tech help guy I had crackling in addition to the high pitched hum he said that replacing the converter board would be the solution. So, I'm going to buy the whole converter panel because it is actually a little cheaper than buying just the main board assembly.

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for coming back and relating your experience with the converter system, Andrew. The hum may be a bad bearing in the cooling fan and if so, it won't be long before it stops turning altogether. You may get by with replacing only the cooling fan since the voltage from the converter is in the normal zone.

      But realistically, unless you want to do the repairs yourself, you may be better off with a new converter. I'd look online for a new fan just to see what it cost as I imagine it simply plugs into the converter chassis.

      Update when you get a chance, Andrew. I'd love to know if it was indeed the converter causing the problem. :)

      Randy

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      Andrew 21 months ago

      Hi Randy, as promised here is my update. I took my batteries off the camper, charged them overnight and had them tested today. Both are bad. So I bought one replacement. Before I hooked up the new battery, I plugged in the camper and tested the output of the converter. It was 13.67 volts at the converter and 13.65 volts at the battery cable terminals. So it looks like it is working fine. However, it was making the crackling sound again and as it warmed up, it changed to a very high pitched but not so loud hum. Then it stopped. It never used to make this sound. I hooked up the battery and nothing changed. I'm thinking I should by a new converter because mine might be on the way out. It is a WFO WF-8955AN converter. Thoughts?

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      Andrew 21 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      Here's the update. I have WFO WF-8955AN power converter. I took the batteries off last night and charged them. I took them to autozone and they both tested bad. I bought one replacement. Before hooking up the battery i plugged the camper in and tested output voltage of the converter. It was 13.67 at the converter and 13.65 volts at the battery cable terminals. It was still crackling without the battery hooked up. As it warmed up it changed to a high pitched hum and then quieted down. I'm thinking i should buy a new one and have it at the ready. Thoughts?

      Thanks!

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Lisa, all fuses are connected to the positive side of the battery as these fused circuits protect items from being damaged during an overload of some sort. It could cause problems if connected to the negative side of the battery.

      RG

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      Lisa 21 months ago

      This might also be a silly question but on the battery for the camper is a blue wire with a fuse attached I am unsure if that would go to the neg. or pos of the battery. I also have been having issues with 12volt but tested my converter and all is good there just wondering if that wire was on the neg if that would have been making it so my battery won't charge or sending a false signal to the converter

      Thanks

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      Andrew 21 months ago

      Ok Randy, will do! Thank you.

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      It may be worth your while to check the batteries and clean the ground, Andrew. A bad ground causes all sorts of weird things to happen, some I've never experienced before. As the batteries are so old, they too need looking at.

      I agree you should exhaust all of the possibilities before removing the converter since you seem to have no problem with the 12 volt system. Let me know what you find out so I can assist others if they have a similar problem. Thanks for the question and your time, Andrew. :)

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      Andrew 21 months ago

      Before I go down that path, I will definitely get the batteries disconnected from the converter and see if the sound stops. I'll also get the batteries tested. Do you think a bad ground out at the batteries could cause some arcing back in the converter? I'm only a basic house electrical system skilled person...not so great at troubleshooting electronics.

      Thanks!

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Andrew, yes I try to save my visitors a bit of money and trouble if I can. It does indeed sound as if the converter may be going to the bad after all these years. Possibly time for a replacement or a trip to the shop. Usually the fan would be the only thing making noise enough to notice but this sounds like some sort of short in the converter. Sorry to not be more precise but I haven't run into this type of sound before.

      Randy

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      Andrew 21 months ago

      Also, the converter/travel trailer are 6 years old.

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      Andrew 21 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      Wow, you seem to be quite helpful to people.

      I have some crackling noises coming from my power converter. I slid the converter out of the panel and verified that is where the sound is coming from. I also verified by turning the 15 amp circuit breaker on/off to the converter the sound would stop with the breaker in the off position. The crackling also continues with all the 15 amp DC fuses pulled. Should I suspect the converter is bad or my batteries? The sound is crackling like the sound a bunch of small sparks would make. It's not the typical high pitched humming or the sound of a fan. I do have one of those marine style rotary battery switches between both of my batteries. The batteries are probably 4-5 years old.

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Obviously a short of some kind, Aren. You can't find it now that it's working..or not as easily at any rate. :) Just returned from 2 months camping on Jekyll Isle, but I'll be ready again this fall.

      Thanks for the question and if you find out the problem, please drop in and tell me. Enjoy your camping trips. :)

      Randy

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      Aren 21 months ago

      Right?? But then my confusion is why some of the power and 12 volt lights were working. Either way, we've got lights and power. Let's go camping!

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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Ha Aren, must've been a bad connection in either the cord or the male plug from the camper. There is also a ground from the camper plug to the 110 volt power panel which may be corroded or loose.

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      Aren 21 months ago

      So....completely randomly, the lights are now working! We didn't get a battery (yes there is a spot for one), and we didn't change any wiring. The only thing that happened was that my husband was cutting the grass and kicked the extension cord out of the way to mow the lawn. He noticed the lights on shortly after. Completely random. I'm stumped. And they are still working.

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yo Garnet, you can turn on several 12 volt items--lights, vent fans, etc.--and check the voltage at the battery to see if the converter is operating correctly.

      The voltage as read on a digital multimeter should be at least 13,5 volts DC.

      Yes, there are some parts of the converter which may be replaced but often the repairs equal or exceed the cost of replacement. And yes, we are now living in a throw-away society. :(

      RG

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      Garnet 22 months ago

      hi Randy I have one battery and yes the battery is new and the I checked the fluid level and it's good. The make of the converter is World Friendly 45 amp. Can the converter be tested and fixed or does it need to be replaced

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Aren, I assume you've checked the 12 volt power center or fuse block to see if the power is getting to and through the breakers or fuses. If one of the 12 volt lights is working properly then all of the circuits should work if the fuses and breakers are not tripped.

      Is there already a place for a battery, Aren? If so, this may make a difference and how the converter reacts and cycles. You can look at the guts of the converter, but if one 12 volt light works then I suspect the converter is okay.

      This really sounds like bad connections of some sort. Have you tested the voltage at the lights themselves? Be sure to get a good ground other than using the fixture itself if you can. Some ground may have come loose during the move causing the problem. Don't give up! :)

      Randy

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      Aren 22 months ago

      Hi Randy! So, our friend could not find a solution. He wants to get a battery installed to see if that will run the lights. If it does, we will know it's the converter and not the wiring (as you suggested). The only thing confusing him is that there is a 12 volt light receiving power and running fine on the outside of the trailer. Which is making me suspect wiring. Do you think with my little to zero knowledge I could take the front panel off of the converter? It looks like it's just four screws. I would just be looking to see if there is a loose wire that needs to be tightened. I will unplug the trailer first!

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Garnet, and thanks for dropping in. The first thing I would check is the fluid level in the battery or batteries if you have a multiple battery system. RV batteries can develop a memory of sorts especially when reaching the end of their recommended life.

      I'm merely assuming the converter is trying to keep the battery(s) up to peak charge and this why it is cycling in that manner. Let me know if this isn't the case and we'll examine other possibilities. :)

      Randy

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      Garnet 22 months ago

      Hi Randy when lights are on in trailer they are a little dim, fan on the converter comes on and lights will brighten but fan will only run for 30 seconds then shut off for 60 or more seconds and continue to cycle. What do you recommend

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Aren, would love to know the outcome! :)

      RG

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      Aren 22 months ago

      I'm not sure if I know the answer, but I believe the interior lights are 12 volt. The wires come out of the converter. Power coming in to the converter is good. I need to find our multimeter to see about reading the out flow from the converter.

      We have someone coming over tonight to look and give an opinion. Will check back in tomorrow with feedback! Thanks so much for your help!

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Aren, are the lights not working 12 volt or 110 volt? Have you tried using a digital multimeter to check the circuits in both the 12 volt and 110 volt power panels to see if the power is going to the circuits which aren't working?

      About the extension cord, if you aren't running the AC unit then a larger cord probably wouldn't help. Lights shouldn't pull too much power to be the problem. feel of the cord and you can tell if it's the problem if it gets very warm or hot. If not, then a more heavy duty cord isn't necessary.

      Randy

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      Aren 22 months ago

      There is one outdoor 12V light that is working on the 110V power connection

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      Aren 22 months ago

      Thanks for the quick reply!! There is no battery with the trailer. Previous owner never had one. He came over and could not see what the issue was. I'm also wondering if I need to get a 10 gauge extension cord. I'm not sure what the quality of my current cord is.

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Joyce, have you checked to see if the GFI outlets--usually in the kitchen and bath--have been tripped? They have a reset button on them and if one is tripped the other outlets and lights on the same circuit will not work unless you press the reset button on the outlet itself.

      If this isn't the problem come back and tell me and we'll try other remedies till we run the problem down.

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Aren, can you tell if the 12 volt lights are working or not? I doubt the problem is a pinched wire but it is possible. Try connecting a battery charger to the battery and see if the lights work then. If so, the problem is probably the power converter. If indeed that's the problem then come back and we'll go from there. :)

      Randy

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      Aren 22 months ago

      We recently purchased a used tent trailer. The interior lights were working in the seller's driveway, but not ours now that we have it set up at home. Electrical outlets are working fine. Do I need to have a 30amp extension cord or should my regular old outdoor extension cord work? If it's not the extension cord then I'm guessing we somehow pinched the wires for the lights on transport.

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Good morning, Spenser. And thanks for returning and letting me know what you found to be the problem. I never suspected the HW heater being the culprit because most of the RV water heaters are powered by propane and do not use an electric element. They only use the 12 volt current to control the thermostat.

      I couldn't see why the generator didn't also kick the breaker as the shore power did. I'll keep this in mind if someone else has a similar problem in the future. Thanks again for your info and for your kind thoughts re my loss. :)

      Randy Godwin

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      Spencer 22 months ago

      Issue solved.... After a long trial and error process we narrowed it down to the line for the HW Boiler. Very small crack in the element which I assume expanded with heat and let water in to ground the trailer. I am only guessing that this is why when testing the line sometimes it did not show a break or ground out. Either way... Once it was replaced all is well. Thanks for your help and sorry for your loss !!

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again, Spenser. This is a puzzler alright. I've been trying to figure this one out today but with all the funeral arrangements going on 've been sorta stressed out. The only thing I could think of is a bad ground, perhaps in the 110 volt power panel or elsewhere.

      A generator may not be grounded in the same manner and therfore may not trip the breakers. Just a thought. If you solve the problem please let me know what the cause was so can help other RVers from your experience. Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance. :)

      Randy

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      Spencer 22 months ago

      Family always comes first.... As for the trailer issue, no, I don't think I have a switch that changes from Shore to Generator (At least I don't have a manual one). If you or anyone else has suggestions on what to try next please send it along.

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Do you have a switch which controls when you use the generator, Spenser? Sorry I'm not able to check back in here when I usually do to answer questions, but my wife's mother died unexpectedly Sunday morning and everything is in confusion around here at the moment. I'll try and think this problem over and get back to you when I'm able. Thank you for being so patient with me. :)

      Randy

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      Spencer 22 months ago

      Not having much luck Randy.... I replaced the power converter and still having issues. Everything works perfectly on Battery power... Also, everything works perfectly if I unplug from shore power and plug into my 2000 Watt Honda Generator. As soon as I plug back into Shore power the breaker on the shore power trips. I also tried 3 different outlets for the shore power and they all trip.

      Any Suggestions?

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      The old converter should be marked, Spenser. If not, try adding up the amps of the fuses or breakers in the 12 volt DC power panel or fuse block and be sure to get a converter with more amperage than the/fuse breakers total.

      Randy

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      Spencer 22 months ago

      Hi Randy... I have the power converter taken out and looking to order a new one, but how do I tell what the Amps are for the converter?

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Spenser--Replacing the converter/panel should be a relatively easy job if you have a a bit of electrical know-how. It's merely disconnecting and reconnecting wires for the most part. You can find a similar replacement by clicking on the converter ads on this page and save some money doing it yourself if you so choose. Good luck!

      Randy

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      Spencer 22 months ago

      My RV is all setup on a season site and I am reluctant to move it now... Is it a big job to replace this unit (i.e. should I bring it to the dealer)? It looks like my unit is one complete unit with Breaker Panel,Fuse box and Power converter all in one. Not sure if that makes it harder or easier. What are your thoughts?

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes, the 12 volt fuses are powered by the converter along with the battery. The converter also keeps the battery(s) fully charged. There has to be a breaker for the converter and the unlabeled one fits the bill.

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      Spencer 22 months ago

      I'm thinking that the unlabelled one that trips it every time is the power converter breaker. Every other breaker is labelled (Main, Microwave, Gen, Water Heater, A/C). Would this be why none of the things that uses the fuses work?

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      It may be the power converter then Spenser, I was about to ask if it tripped the breaker also. Probably due for a new one.

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      Spencer 22 months ago

      For a split second when I flip on the unlabelled bottom 15 amp breaker the fan tries to start in what I am assuming is the converter. Than it trips on the breaker on the pole ourside.

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      Spencer 22 months ago

      it varies... once the main 30 AMP breaker is on it will also be ok if I turn on the 15 amp breaker for Water Heater, the 15 amp for the GFI, the 15 amp for microwave (Clock comes on but microwave will not work). The very bottom 15 amp breaker which is not labelled will not work at all. This bottom breaker will trip the breaker on the outside pole even when all the others are off. Also, no lights, no fridge, etc. Basically anything that uses fuses do not work at all ever when on a power source.

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Spenser, what size is the breaker on the pole that trips when you use more than a couple of circuits? Do you know which circuit on board trips the pole breaker? Just trying to narrow the problem down a bit. Anything else you can tell me?

      Randy

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      Spencer 22 months ago

      Hi Guys... Looking for some help. I have a 2010 Springdale BHS 267. When I am on Battery Power the lights work fine as well as the fan from the propane furnace and also the Slide. When I hook up to a power source I can only have a couple breakers on, as soon as I turn on more than a couple I trip the breaker on the power pole outside my trailer. Also, when on power hookup no lights work at all.

      Any Help appreciated.

      Thanks

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Are you sure it was't the wrong ground post, Gavin? Only one of the battery grounds isn't hot when 2 batteries are hooked up in series.

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      gavin 22 months ago

      Ok. So I connected a wire, and I'm not sure if the type of wire would make a difference or not, but I used an automotive post to post connector, and here's what happened. The end that connected to the frame sparked on contact and after a few seconds it shared to turn orange. I immediately pulled the wire and removed the nut (which was very hot) from the battery. The wire was connected to battery post that shares the trailer wire. No fuses blown, no breakers tripped. This is baffling to me.

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      One reason the wire may spark is because of the possible bad ground, Gavin. The worst that could happen is a blown fuse or breaker I'd think.

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      gavin 22 months ago

      I have not checked voltage at a fan or light because they don't work, but I will do that tomorrow. I considered putting a wire from the frame to the battery but it sparked and made me nervous so I didn't proceed. So long as you say it's okay I'll give it another try. Thanks for all your help thus far, I really appreciate it!

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Okay Gavin, if you are getting power to the fuses then everything should work unless there is a bad ground somewhere. Have you checked the voltage at a fan or light fixture?

      You might try adding another ground at the batteries by attaching a wire to the last ground in the series and clamping it to the frame in some manner just to see if the problem is a faulty ground wire.

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      gavin 22 months ago

      I thought the converter housed the breaker panel and fuse block. It's the 7300 series... there's a picture of it above. I can follow the battery wires to it and also the 110 plug which connects to it also. There's 3 breaker boxes on the left for the 110 and a row of fuses on the right with 2 30 amp fuses that came with it slightly above the row of fuses. Is there something I'm overlooking perhaps?

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I'm confused, Gavin. There is usually fuse block or breaker panel with fuses/breakers to the lights, fridge, overhead vent fans, and sometimes the AC and heater if the camper has a wall mounted thermostat. There should be a main breaker or fuse which could be tripped or blown which sounds like the problem you are experiencing.

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      gavin 22 months ago

      The wires under the fuses... is this not where to check that? If so then yes, I have 13v when i test each wire to the negative post. If not then i don't know how to check that. If there is another fuse panel or breaker panel that I'm unaware of then I don't know. I thought the breaker box and the fuse panel on the converter was the only one.

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      You didn't mention if you had voltage to the 12 volt fuse panel or breaker panel, Gavin.

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      gavin 22 months ago

      I've definitely got 13 at the batteries. I get 13 when I touch the + & - where it connects to the converter, and also 13 when I touch the wire below the fuse with the negative post at the converter. The 120 side gets power to the breakers. The only thing that works is the plug ins. No fridge, furnace, or lights. There is 2 wires that connect to a fuse harness as well on the 12v side, not sure what that's for but it was on the old one.

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Gavin, if you have 13 volts at the batteries and the converter, as well as in the 12 volt power panel, the problem has to be a short somewhere. You do have power to the 12 volt fuses, correct?

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      gavin 22 months ago

      There is a blue wire mounted to the 12v breaker panel... it goes to inside the converter where the fan is located below, maybe that's ground? I have 13v off the batteries and 13v present at the converter. All fuses are fine. The 110 side has power, and it seems that I also have 110 to all the plugs. This is a parallax 7300 series replacing a 6300 series just for reference.

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Perhaps the ground is made by a wire from the 12 volt fuse or breaker panel, Gavin. I've never encountered a battery system that didn't ground to the frame at some point. Have you checked the voltage at the batteries yet? And all of the fuses/breakers in the 12 volt power panel? If the converter is working properly you get a reading of 13+ volts at least. Also, check the converter breaker in the 110 volt power panel to see if it is tripped.

      Just trying to eliminate a few things before suggesting other fixes.

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      gavin 22 months ago

      Hello again kind sir. I cannot locate a wire attached to the frame. There is the black and white wires coming from the trailer connected to the battery, but if I follow them in the trailer they are sleeved and continue running staight to the converter. I'm able to get 120 from the plug ins, but nothing else. When I pulled the radio, there was a blown fuse so I replaced it and it blew again right away. Can I run a ground wire to the frame? And if so, how?

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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Gavin, the ground wire or wires have to connect to the frame for the 12 volt DC system to operate correctly unless your camper has a whole new design of some sort. I bet that the problem is a loose ground keeping the system from working properly if you can locate it. Also check the 12 volt power panel or fuse block grounds for shorts. And no, you may still get voltage at the converter with bad battery grounds.

      Please let me know what you find out and ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      gavin 22 months ago

      Wow. Thanks for the speedy reply! I am getting 12 volts at the converter and also 120 when plugged in. The batteries are run in series. I'm confused as to why nothing is working and everything is new. I traced the wires from the battery to check how clean things were but the wires went into the trailer. Nothing was connected to the steel frame. I assume if this was the issue I wouldn't be getting voltage st the converter?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Gavin, and thanks for the kind words. This how I make a few bucks but really, I enjoy helping fellow campers solve their problems and hopefully save a few bucks at the same time.

      Okay, I assume you have a 12 volt DC system and have the batteries hooked up in series to achieve the 12 volts needed? If so, if you haven't done so then be sure the ground or grounds from the battery where they attach to the steel frame of the camper are clean. Where they come in contact with the frame needs to be clean also.

      After you clean everything then check the voltage at the power panel. If that doesn't do the trick let me know. Thanks for the question.:)

      Randy

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      gavin 22 months ago

      I can't believe you are still replying to all comments years after writing this article. You rock. I just bought a 2002 rustler trailer which was parked for a couple years. I bought 2 new 6 volt deep cycle batteries and a new power converter. Nothing works. Any thoughts?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Sharon, is it the main breaker that is tripped? If so, you may have to replace it because of the excess voltage having damaged it. You may have damaged other aspects of the 110 volt system also. Was the AC on at the time?

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      sharon 22 months ago

      I have a jayco 2007 jayflight camper I put the wrong power to it 220 elect. the breaker tripped so it should have been 110, I put it on 110 elect but now it still keeps tripping the breaker can you help me

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      colin 23 months ago

      After some research and trial and error it ended up just being a blown fuse. When i put the battery in 2 weeks ago i had the cables backwards, the white one confused me. Must have blown then.

      Great page you have here!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Colin, it may be the power converter if all of the 12 volt system applications are not working properly. These include the fridge and furnace thermostats, some light and vent fans, and the AC if it has a wall mounted thermostat.

      You might try cleaning the battery ground where it is bolted to the frame of the trailer before checking the voltage again at the battery(s). If the problem still exists, you may have to replace the power converter. I believe I have some for sale on this page. Thanks for the question and good luck with the repairs or converter replacement.

      Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      colin 23 months ago

      I have an 07 zinger travel trailer, when plugged into 30 amp nothing seems to work. The furnace turned off in the middle of the night, the fridge makes a clicking sound like its not getting power and the battery power reader shows 1/3 power. Whats wrong? I put a charger on the battery and now my furnace works and such. Im new to this stuff.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Check the voltage at the battery, Steve. It should read around 13 volts at the very least while the converter is operating. The converter voltages varies.

      RG

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      Steven Paul 23 months ago

      We just bought a 77 Skamper Popul and it has the original converter in it. I tested the 12 volt output and it shows 17+ volts coming out when we are plugged into shore power of 120. Is this something fixable or am I looking at replacement? Thanks for any help and great article! Please email me at Steve.s.paul at gmail . Com

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Do you mean to say the 12 volt system doesn't work at all, Bob? If so, have you checked the voltage at the 12 volt power panel? A bit more info may allow me to assist you with your problem.

      Randy

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      Bob 23 months ago

      I have a horse trailer. The AC works everything fine the Generator works everything fine when I try to use the batteries nothing. They are charged. I have two 12 V with a battery separator. Checked all the grounds they are good

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Steve, and sorry to be so long in responding to your questions but I'm on a camping trip and haven't checked in today.

      Your problem seems to be with the 110 volt system and not with the 12 volt system. I say this because the fridge thermostat, bunk lights, and kitchen lights--if they're not 110 volt by chance--are all 12 volt. So the problem is not with the power converter.

      Have you checked the 110 volt power panel with a digital multimeter yet? Also some of the 110 volt outlets may have a reset button on them, especially the outside outlets and those in the kitchen and bath. make sure they are reset properly as they affect several outlets in the camper. If you have added info feel free to ask for more advice.

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      Steve 23 months ago

      Here's another

      3 way fridge, working on LP only

      Inside and outside 110 receptacles not working.

      Ac furnace no heat but fan

      Overhead a/c not working

      Microwave not working

      but I do have bunk lights and kitchen lights.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Glad you got the problem solved, Joe. Not sure about the reverse polarity fuses though. I imagine those are for non-Amercan RVs, so you probably don't have to worry about that.

    • JoeCephus profile image

      JoeCephus 2 years ago

      I replaced my converter and things seem to be working ok. The old one had a capacitor bulging and the wires going to the cooling fans were melted. Thanks for the great advice.

      I do have a question though. It reads "Reverse Polarity Fuses" 30 amp. Is there such a thing because the fuse would have to have a diode in it I believe.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Shop well, Joe! I think there's a few on this page. :)

    • JoeCephus profile image

      JoeCephus 2 years ago

      That's what I thought. I guess I will order a new one. BTW, I occasionally call it an inverter instead of a converter, sorry. I know the difference because I get my AC from shore power.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Joe, it seems the converter isn't keeping the battery at full amperage, especially if the battery is good and the contacts are clean. There's not much else to be at fault it seems.

    • JoeCephus profile image

      JoeCephus 2 years ago

      I came out to the camper and the battery showed full charge. I turned several lights on and the furnace. The converter was showing 11 volts output to the battery and from the leads coming from the inverter. The longer I sit here the lights are becoming dimmer and now the voltage has dropped to 10 volts to the battery. Do you think it is the inverter before I buy one. I believe the grounds are all making contact.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for the questions Joe, and please let me know when you eventually find the problem as others may benefit from your experience. It could well be the control board in the frige causing the trouble. Drop in anytime on any of my RV repair hubs as they can be found on my profile by clicking on my photo at the top of this page. Thanks again!

      Randy

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      Joe Compton 2 years ago

      I hadn't thought of that but will check it out. I will keep studying how the converter change stages from fully charging and supplying the refrigerator with voltage. Maybe the control board on the refrigerator is the culprit. This has been a very pleasant blog and you are very knowledgable in what you do. I look forward to picking your brain again.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      It really shouldn't go off if the battery is down a bit because the thermostat draws very little amperage, Joe. It may be the thermostat in the fridge causing the problem. Have you considered this?

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      Joe Compton 2 years ago

      I cleaned the neg terminal and the frame. Will the refrigerator go off if the battery is below full charge?..

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes, this is puzzling, Joe. The battery should not be losing 1/4 of the charge unless the converter is malfunctioning in some manner. Have you cleaned the battery ground where it contacts the steel frame of the camper? Sometimes a bad battery ground will cause all sorts of weird problems. Don't worry about aggravating me, I'm married and used to it. lol!

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      Joe Compton 2 years ago

      Randy, I checked the battery terminal like you mention and it was 13 volts. I did check the converter when the check light was on the refrigerator and the convertor showed showed 13 volts. I noticed after the battery was fully charged the refrigerator works but once it goes down to 3/4 charge reading on the wall the check light comes on on the refrigerator. I hate to keep aggravating you but this has me puzzled.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Check the voltage at the battery, Joe. Turn the lights on first and allow a few minutes for the battery to require charging. if the converter is operating properly you should get a reading of around 13 volts at the battery.

      The refrigerator thermostat uses the 12 volt system to power the thermostat, so yes, if the battery gets low the fridge will not operate correctly. I hope this answers your question.

      If you also have a wall mounted air conditioner thermostat it will also run on the 12 volt system.

    • profile image

      Joe Compton 2 years ago

      Thanks randy for the quick response. The battery is new so the water level is ok. If the battery is dead will it kick the AC off going to the refrigerator. I thought if the refrigerator tried to light the propane and didn't or if it detected AC that it would operate on AC. I can't figure out why the inverter would cut the AC from the refrigerator. If I need a new converter can I replace the inverter part only and not the AC part.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Joe, there is obviously a problem with the converter kicking on to keep the 12 volt system fully charged. By turning on several 12 volt items--the fan or AC thermostat is operated by the 12 volt DC system--it causes the converter to kick on and start charging.

      Have checked the battery(s) fluid level to see if it is low? Sometimes this will cause the problem. Ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Joe Compton 2 years ago

      I have my camper connected to 120VAC. When I turn my refrigerator on it will work for a few hours and then the check light will come on. If I turn a few overhead dc lights on the refrigerator check light will go off. I have the propane tanks turned off.

      Also, sometimes my overhead lights are a little dim but if I turn on the Air conditioner or circulating fan the lights will get brighter.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks a bunch for reporting what the problem was, Sadie Girl. Others may benefit from your experience. Often it is the simplest things which cause the problem.

      Happy camping! :)

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      Sadie Girl 2 years ago

      The electrical problem we reported a month ago at this website is fixed. Our R-Vision MaxLite had one circuit of lights that weren't working after intermittent problems.

      The problem was a loose wire connector from the lights to the fuse bar. Apparently, this is a common problem with R-Vision units, and, perhaps with others as well.

      All good now.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Lewis, check the battery connections to be sure they are making good contact, especially the ground cables. Does everything work correctly on the 12 volt power supply?

      Randy

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      Lewis 2 years ago

      I changed my coach batteries the other day and now I have a beeping sound coming from my power converter area. Any idea what would be making that sound?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Rob,

      Check the battery ground(s) first because if the ground cables aren't making good contact with the steel frame of the RV, the power circuit is interrupted and nothing will work properly. I assume you've checked the converter breaker in the 110 v0lt AC panel already.

      Feel free to ask me further questions if this doesn't solve the problem.

      Randy

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      rob 2 years ago

      I came to my trailer and batteries were almosr dead so i jumped one battery from my trhck jjst long enough to get my interior lights powered so i could see..next thing i know , everything goes out and batterjes oower nothkng nkw even after runnj g generatkr for 6 hrs tk charge..any suggeststions ?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Sadie Girl, You need to check the ground wires in the 12 volt breaker or fuse box as a loose ground will cause such problems as you've described. Also, check the voltage in the breaker/fuse panel also. I assume you've cleaned the battery grounds where they connect to the steel frame of the RV because a bad ground there will cause all sorts of problems.

      Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

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      Sadie Girl 2 years ago

      Hi Randy, We have a 2006 R-Vision trailer and are hooked up to a 30amp power supply. We are not towing, we are using it as our residence full time. We use only the 30 amp service for power. The lights, appliances etc. were all working then we noticed a few lights were dimming sometimes going out completely. Then we lost lights to the front (bedroom area) and the overhead lights in the living room area of the trailer. The back of the trailer still has power everywhere. We checked one of the side lights next to the head of the bed on a voltage meter it came in at 14, but still will not light a bulb. Checked all the bulbs they are good. Any ideas?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Brandon,

      The converter doesn't power any of the 110 volt items on your RV. The AC and heat may use the 12 volt DC power to run the thermostat if you have a wall mount model and this goes for the fridge stat also. Anything using a regular outlet--such as a TV or other appliance doesn't use the converter power at all.

      This problem sounds more like there is something wrong with the 110 volt power circuits. Have you checked the voltage at the power control box?

      RG

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      Brandon 2 years ago

      I have a 1993 5th wheel mobile scout and I just recently replaced the converter with a 9200 series progressive dynamic 45 amp converter. The converter is working just fine when it comes to The battery operated things but when it comes to the a.c. stuff like funny a.c. or heater or anything it is running really really slow like there's not enough power to power any a.c. type things this includes tv's which shouldn't have to use alot of power. Any kind of help would be great. Thank you.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Jeff,

      Probably a bad ground on the battery as it powers the running lights. Try cleaning the battery ground(s) and the metal connection where they connect to the steel frame of the RV. All sorts of crazy things can happen on the 12 volt DC system when a bad ground occurs. Thanks for the question, Jeff. :)

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      Jeff stickley 2 years ago

      I have a 2007 hurricane. While hooked up to shore power the marker lights come on a low glow is this battery or converter.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Dave,

      I see what you're saying, and I see no problem with your idea if the inverter is protected by a fuse of some sort. It'd be much easier to rig up a cigarette lighter type plug and use the car fuse system. Good luck! :)

    • profile image

      dave 2 years ago

      Hi. Im looking to buy a Go Power 2000 watt inverter off of craigslist. Never used in box is the claim. I want to test it when i see it. If I were to have a set of jumper cables one end cut off, making it a two foot run from my car battery to the inverter, could I just plug in an electrical appliance of some sort to see if the inverter is working? I'm sure theres a better way, but was just wondering if this would work.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Tim, more than likely the converter is fine and the problem is a bad ground where the negative battery cable is attached to the steel frame of the RV. I'd recommend cleaning this cable end and the frame too where it is attached before trying anything else. This is a common problem with older campers when the cables get corroded over the years.

      If this doesn't solve the problem then we'll go from there. You might also check the ground in the 12 volt DC breaker or fuse panel as it may be corroded or loose and cause the same problem. Thanks for the question and good luck finding the problem. :)

      Randy

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      Tim 2 years ago

      Randy,

      I have a 1992 prowler. I have 110 shore power but I am not getting 12volt when removed from shore power. I am confused because I have check both battery's and they are fully charged. If the charger/converter was bad, it would not be charging on shore power would it? any help is appreciated

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Tony, have you checked to see if the converter is putting out voltage to the batteries? Use a digital multimeter at the batteries to see if the converter is putting out at least 13 volts DC. You may try cleaning the negative battery cables and the steel frame they are attached to. If the cables are corroded at this point the batteries may not take a proper charge. If this isn't the problem I suspect the converter is on the blink.

      Feel free to ask for more info if needed. :)

      Randy

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      tony 2 years ago

      I have a 5th wheel camper I just moved it to another location I plugged it to shore power and nothing is coming on my battery is dead so I put jumper cables on and all the lights work but when I unhook the jumping cables all the lights go off I'm confused

    • profile image

      Charlie 2 years ago

      At one time I had a battery, But the cables broke couple years back (gotta love loaning things out). I never repavedthem forthe fact didn't know it necessary when using shore power. Been hooked to show power ever since and never had a problem till now. Which could possibly be it.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Charlie, are you sure you don't have a battery somewhere? The battery is supposed to store a charge from the converter especially for those times when more amperage is needed from the 12 volt system.

      Randy

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      Charlie 2 years ago

      Ok I have a 2006 Keystone sprinter, wf8955an converter, it is on shore power an does not have a battery unless there's a battery Somewhere I don't know of. Just started having issues with the lights. Think I read someone with the same issue but want to double check. When I first turn the lights on they are bright After 5 minutes they go dim quicker depending on what's being ran. They stay dim till the lights have been turned off for a while.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Sorry I can't help you, maker. I am surprised the company couldn't help with this info as they would certainly have a schematic to peruse. But these days repairs are about replacing the entire circuit board when there is a problem. More's the pity....

      RG

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      maker102 2 years ago

      Yes but no luck. Tried the company talked to John about a week ago he advised that the capacitors and resistors were matched and could not change them out without software. I asked for the values anyway he said he was busy and to send him an email requesting the values. I did that yesterday and he wrote back again stating they were matched. No values. I am not the brightest bulb in the park, so not sure if I am being fed a line or not. Either way I would have thought they would provide the info with a disclaimer of some sort. I just hate pitching something because of a $1.00 worth of parts. The sad part is they are fried beyond being able to tell what they were.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Afraid not, maker. Have you tried finding a schematic for it online?

      Randy

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      maker102 2 years ago

      Hi Randy by any chance do you have the values for Resistor R-11 and capacitor C-18 on a WFCO Model WF-9855‏ converter? Thanks for your help.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Have you cleaned the battery grounds where they are bolted to the frame, John? All sorts of strange problems may occur when the batteries aren't getting a proper ground.

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      jdceltix33 2 years ago

      Actually the batteries show about 12.66 after I let them rest and the rv is unplugged. They show 13.22 when the rv is plugged in and the converter I assume is in trickle charge mode.

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      jdceltix33 2 years ago

      I bought new batteries a year ago. I have the rv plugged in right now and the converter is not clicking now. I checked the batteries and there both showing about 12.66 volts. The converter seems to be working now. It seems to reset itself if I unplug the converter,take out both fuses,reinsert them and plug it back in. You ever hear of anything like this?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Have you checked the battery(s), John? If the battery is going bad the converter may be clicking on and off to maintain the proper amperage in the battery(s). Try using a known good battery and see if the converter still clicks.

      RG

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      John 2 years ago

      I have WF-9875 power converter in my 2009 Quantum fifth wheel. The converter is making a clicking noise constantly. I unplugged the unit and checked the two fuses and they were good. I plugged it back in and it stops clicking. I checked the output voltage and it is 13.3 volts. Is this unit on its last legs?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Jon,

      You need a battery to ensure you have enough amperage to power the lights, the thermostats of both the AC and fridge--and in some cases power the fridge, as well as power any vents and overhead fans in the RV.

      A power converter is basically battery charger which keeps the battery(s) charged to full capacity and also furnishes added power when needed. And yes, in your camper the battery is needed for there to be 12 volt power to the different appliances.

      Thanks for the question. :)

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      Jon 2 years ago

      In my 2007 Dutchman, my lights got dim and A/C kicked off. its hooked up to a 110 campground on a 30 amp service. Checked all breakers and none were thrown. Disconnected battery and everything went out. hooked up a different battery fresh off the charger and everything works fine now. Im new to the camping world but some friends of mine have travel trailers that don't even have batteries. Does my battery complete the loop of wiring in my camper? Why do i need a battery?

    • profile image

      Dennis 2 years ago

      Thank you.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Dennis, the squealing noise may be the fan which cools the power converter. I believe this is one of the few moving parts in the converter. There may also be a disconnect on the converter should you wish to unplug it from the breaker to see if this is indeed the problem. Ask for more info if you need it.

      RG

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      Dennis Doud 2 years ago

      There isn't a converter breaker on this one. The converter operates off the breaker which controls the AC. Unplugging it shuts off the AC. The other day, everything on that one breaker shut off (not tripping breaker). My wife told me yesterday evening, she could hear the converter making a squealing noise. It is no longer doing that but everything is still working. Not sure if I have a loose connection somewhere in that circuit or if it was just the converter.

      By the way, thanks for the response.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      It's possible Dennis as the converter pulls power from the 110 volt system. You might turn off the converter breaker and see if this is indeed the case.

      RG

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      Dennis 2 years ago

      Can a bad power converter cause intermittent electrical shortages to the 120 volt system?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @Randy--check the battery ground but still I suspect the converter is bad.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @Chris--possibly burned out the resistor in your converter or either there may be a reset instead.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Al, sorry to be so late answering you but I'm on vacation and my computer chose this time to conk out on me. Check the battery ground to ensure it's making good contact with the frame and if so, then I'd suspect the converter.

      Randy

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      Randy Mordick 2 years ago

      I have a 2002 palomino pop up camper all the lights work off the 12v battery ( ceiling lights). When you unhook the battery anything 12v does not work. What could cause this?

    • profile image

      Chris 2 years ago

      110 30 amp plug was pluged in to 220 lots of smoke , unplugged then plugged into 110 , have 110 in all outlets but no fridge,or air

    • profile image

      Al 2 years ago

      Sorry forgot to say that I am hooked up to a 30 amp plug right now

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      Al 2 years ago

      I have a 2007 forest river Salem le. With wfco 3 stage converter my frige keeps going into check mode and my battery's seem to not be holding a charge they had a full charge last night and now only have a 1/3 of a charge

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Not sure where to find the resistor on your converter, Jack. Try to find the wiring diagram for your particular model on the net. It should be easy to find.

      RG

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Tony, it's entirely possible that everything 12 volt was running on the power converter and not the battery. If you weren't pulling many 12 volt amps then this could be the case.

      Randy

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      Jack 2 years ago

      After reading quite a few of your problems and answers I believe we may have a bad resistor. We own a 1999 overland Laredo. It has been losing its charging of the batteries. And after about 2 days of camping the batteries are dead.. Checked the amp and it reads 13.5. Batteries charge up just fine on tenders. Where is the resistor located on the converter and what does it look like.?

    • profile image

      Tony Kollar 2 years ago

      Last time camping I tried to charge an old battery only to find it verry hot after about 10 hours.I removed it and then installed a new battery but hooked it up wrong half the camper blacked out after the AC The Frig and outlets after I fixed the connection to the battery every thing started working with the battery connected. I have a cut off switch for the battery and I turned it to off the half of the camper went dead again. My problem is the entire camper was working before the short happened and there was no battery connected. I am pretty sure the camper ran off the battery and not the power from AC how can I verify this and your best guess what is wrong?

    • profile image

      Chris 2 years ago

      Randy, I found the culprit, the surge protector that I was using was tripping every time I put a load on it, took it out of the equation and now everything is working again. Thanks for the help!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      You can try a battery charger to see if this is indeed the case, Chris.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Chris, if you have a wall mounted thermostat it is probably controlled by the 12 volt system, as is the fridge thermostat also. It could be that the converter isn't keeping the battery charged and this is affecting the thermostat. Hope this info helps. :)

      Randy

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      Chris 2 years ago

      Randy, I have figured out my converter is tripping my breaker on the Shore power, my main question is, will a bad converter cause the AC and heater not to work? when I place the thermostat to Cool, I hear a click and nothing else, same with the fan motor. From the way I see it, the AC gets it power from the main breaker and does not run thru the converter, but is there something else? I also checked the fuse in the AC as well and it was fine.

      It all worked until the other day when I got a hot terminal on the shore power connection, it melted on of the prongs on the plug, had to replace it as well. (triple check the wiring and it is good)

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Anytime Bob, and check out my other RV repair articles if you have other problems with your camper. :)

    • Bob Peplow profile image

      Bob Peplow 2 years ago

      Thanks again for all the advise it's nice to be able to have someone answer questions

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      It's because the converter isn't working properly is my guess, Bob. You'll know for sure when the converter is working again. Thanks for the question and your following info, Bob. :)

    • Bob Peplow profile image

      Bob Peplow 2 years ago

      Thanks for all the help. One more thing troubles me. When I bought it, I never had to turn the battery switch on for power inside. But now I do since all this happened. Only time I turned the switch to on is when we traveled

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Try the charger, Bob. It'll get you by till you can get the converter fixed or replaced.

    • Bob Peplow profile image

      Bob Peplow 2 years ago

      Thanks. I was leaning that way as well. Unit is only 8 months old. I'm thinking a power surge got it.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      First clean the negative ground cable from the battery(s) where it connects to the steel frame of the trailer. A bad ground will cause the battery not to charge properly and affect everything operating off the 12 volt system.

      If this doesn't solve the problem then use a multimeter to check the voltage going to the battery from the converter. If the voltage is low--below 12 volts--or almost nonexistent, then you probably have a bad converter.

      You can also use an ordinary battery charger--not one of the trickle type--and see if everything works okay with it in use. If so, the converter is at fault as it acts as a charger itself.

      I hope this helps you with your problem Bob, but ask for more info if needed. :)

    • Bob Peplow profile image

      Bob Peplow 2 years ago

      Microwave works and ceiling fan works. Nothing else. Battery won't take a charge

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