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Troubleshooting, Repairing, and Replacing an RV Camper Power Converter

Updated on April 6, 2017
Randy Godwin profile image

Randy is a lifelong 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 2 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Miriha, the negative battery cable has to be grounded to the camper frame in order for the 12 volt DC system to work properly. You may have to look underneath the camper or look at the converter end of the negative cable.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Miriha 2 days ago

      Randy there is no other wires coming from the battery other than the pos and neg. Should there be one? I cannot see where it goes once it hits beneth the floor of camper.

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

      Hello Mirihi, have you checked the negative battery cable where it is attached to the steel frame of the camper yet? If this connection is corroded or rusty you may not be getting a proper ground. Check this first and get back to me if it doesn't help.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Miriha 2 days ago

      Good Evening Randy,

      So I think I have more than a converter problem.

      Converter was replaced back in April and new battery last saturday. I have very dim lights and can no longer run the on board dvd/radio. I checked voltage on converter which is 9.93 and battery is now reading 9.83 do I need a new battery again along with converter. What could be draining/burning up both. My fridge is a 2 way with 12 volt thermal panel. Could that be part of my problem. Looked for an inline fuse on pos powerline but can't see one. I am beyond confused and fearful to add another 300.00 converter. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Have a 2006 Fleetwood mallard 24' travel trailer that is parked permanently.

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

      Chris, they should give the dimensions for the new converter but there's usually a bit more room than provided for the old one.

      Randy

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      Chris 3 days ago

      Thanks Randy. Do you think a progressive dynamics 45amp unit will connect ok. Provided there is space.

      Cheers chris

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

      Hey Chris, yes the converter is more than likely toast. And a new 45 amp should be easy to install as well.

      Randy

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      Chris sims 3 days ago

      Hi Randy

      Would love to hear your thoughts on our problem. We have a 2005 trail cruiser travel trailer. It has an atwood distribution panel and a converter charger. Its been working fine. However, We hadnt been connected to shore power for several days until yesteday. When we plugged in we noticed the lights were super bright and hot and things like our extractor fans were running extra hard/fast. We also noticed the converter fan running constantly. We didnt think much of it but this morining i noticed our house battery was boiled dry and wrecked. I disconnected the shore supply pretty much straight away. I tested the voltage at the shore supply and found that good at 120v. I tested the 12v dc conections on the distrubution panel and found them running at 22 volts.! Eek. So i assume thats why the battery got cooked and the lights and extrs bright and hot. The other thing i noticed was the fan on the converter stops whe n the battery is completely disconnected when on shore power. Iam assuming i have a failed converter that will need replacing. Is there any other tests i should do? We have also been on some rough and dusty roads so could dust be causing this and it just need cleaning?

      If it needs replacing will the progressive dynamics 45amp converter charger be ok? Our existing unit is 45amp? I assume from your post that removal of the old unit and replacement is fairly straight forward - almost a like for like change out?

      Many thanks cheers chris

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

      David, You'll need to check the wiring on both furnace and hood vent for a dead short of some sort. Do you know if any other items are on the same circuit?

      Randy

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      David P 5 days ago

      I have 2 circuits blowing fuses . 1 is my furnace and the other the hood vent . Everything else is good . Fuses blow immediately when trying to insert new ones . Where to start ?

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

      lika, yes you can use another power converter, just be sure the amperage requirement is the same or better than the old converter.

      Randy

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

      Amy, what does the thermostat control?

      Randy

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      Ilka 7 days ago

      hey, we have a '98 slide in camper and when we bought it all electrical was working fine even after sitting for a while before our first trip everything was fine. So we packed up and got on the road. Arrived at our destination the fridge the light above the fridge and and the ac was not working only the the lights on the other side of the camper. I am suspecting the converter but i am not sure. The camper manufacturer has gone out of business so what am I going to do if it is the converter? Can i use an other brand?

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      Amy 7 days ago

      we have a 2007 Fleetwood Cobalt Pop up-we just bought "used" with a plug in thermostat (plugs into overhead light). When we plug in the battery digital thermostat the furnace blower comes on and then the thermostat burns up?

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

      Rick, sounds like a power converter problem. Try attaching a good battery charger to the batteries and if everything works fine then the converter is bad.

      Randy

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      Rick 8 days ago

      I have a 2009 Arctic fox camper. The fridge, furnace and light above the table all quit working at the same time. Everything else appears to work fine.

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      Mark woodruff 8 days ago

      I lost my rear a.c. all 12 volt lights refrigerator microwave and antenna booster. 110 plugs and tv still work. When I hooked the battery to a charger everything came on

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

      I hope a new converter solves the problem, Al.

      Randy

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      Albrejo 10 days ago

      Thanks Randy - considering all the symptoms I'm experiencing, I guess it's time to replace the converter. I appreciate your advice!

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

      Albrejo, yes a bad converter can cause a dead cell in a new battery.

      Randy

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      Albrejo 11 days ago

      My camp trailer converter seems to work intermittently. Battery state varies between F,G, and C throughout the trip while I am plugged in to shore power. Converter model is wfco wf-8735-p.

      Also, last month we had a brand new battery completely die after sitting unused for 2 weeks. Can a bad converter kill a battery to a point it can't hold a charge?

    • profile image

      TMVaughan 2 weeks ago

      Well that's good to know. So maybe when we get the converter, the A/C and fridge will work ago. I confused you. All the Outlets ARE working, that's the trouble. But neither TV that are plugged into the outlets will come on. So they must have gotten damaged. We will be replacing those over the weekend. But now you've given me hope that we won't have to replace the whole A/C unit and/or the fridge too!

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

      TMV, the AC thermostat is controlled by the 12 volt system if you have a wall mount thermostat. Don't know why the outlets aren't all working.

      Randy

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      TMVaughan 2 weeks ago

      Yes, Randy, thank you. We checked all the power supplies with voltage meter. The converter is definitely not powering out and on this model, the breaker panel and converter are one unit, so we are replacing the whole thing. Fingers are crossed. But we are concerned because we are plugged into shore power, so we would think the A/C and the refrigerator would work, whether the converter does or not. All the DC plugs have full 110 power and neither of the TV's work either. So something definitely got fried. Weird that the microwave works fine.

    • profile image

      Sda79 2 weeks ago

      I haven't checked this is the first camper I've ever owned did not know where to even start looking for the problem was told by some people at the nearby the camper parts place that sounded like I need the new converter

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

      Sda, do you have 110 volts at the power panel?

      Randy

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      Sda79 2 weeks ago

      Just bought a used camper with hot battery 12volt things work however no 120 volt items work with it plugged in and hot battery

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

      TM, this sounds like some of the breakers are damaged beyond repair. You may have to replace some of them. I assume you've already checked the power to the breakers and it's okay. Am I correct in my assumption?

      Randy

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

      Hi Tonie, the installation of a power converter is normally a matter of connecting a few wires. Make sure you remember the former wiring and you should be fine.

      Randy

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      TMVaughan 2 weeks ago

      We own a 2015 Flagstaff Superlite. This morning lightening hit nearby. Now the Refrigerator, A/C and TV's don't' work. Neither do the attached interior lights. The outlet plugs work and the microwave works. It's almost like it's only getting 1/2 power. I checked the fuses, one looked damaged so I replaced it. The rest look ok. I've unplugged and plugged the whole unit and turned the breakers on and off, both at shore power and inside the camper. HELP! Mom-In-Law lives in it behind our house. She's 94 and we need to get her home back up and running!

      Thank you

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      Tonie 2 weeks ago

      Hi Randy I need some quick advice. I have a 1986 Avion. Our breaker panel melted due to a back breaker? or inoperable fan? not sure but we have decided to replace our entire control center. I have picked out the boondocker 1260 PC but not sure if the installation is something I can do myself. i can't find any videos to give me hope. Is it challenging to do this?

      Thanks for your helpful advice.

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      Carrie 2 weeks ago

      Thanks Randy, I put the battery charger on last night like you recommended and the charge was good this morning so the converter it is :)

      I appreciate the help!

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

      Carrie, the problem may be the power converter. Try connecting a good battery charger--not a trickle type--and if everything works okay then the converter needs replacing.

      Randy

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      Carrie 2 weeks ago

      Have a 2010 Class C RV and was having trouble with the battery keeping a charge. Replaced it but still having trouble with this. While camping we plug into a 110 box and by the 2nd day we begin to lose power and not able to run lights and A/C at the same time. When I put a trickle charge it seems to work but I would love to find the source of the problem. Any suggestions?

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

      Articfox, the rheostat, which controls the charging of the batteries, is more than likely at fault.

      Randy

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      Arcticfox 3 weeks ago

      My converter over charges my batteries. What causes this

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

      Hi Tony, your camper may have an in-line breaker on the positive battery cable leading to the power converter. Not all campers have such a breaker but yours may be one. This breaker is normally near the battery box or the converter. Hope this helps.

      Randy

    • tony509 profile image

      Duarte Fernandes 3 weeks ago from Yakima Wa

      I have a 1995 Coachmen Catalina RV. Two months ago I replaced the old power converter with a new one and everything was working fine untill few days ago.

      Here's the things i checked:

      1. Checked the output voltage in the converter. Has 14 V

      2. Clean all the chassis ground to converter and batteries.

      3 . Checked all the fuses and breakers and GFI's. All OK

      4. When I run the engine it charges the batteries normal @14V

      5. Because engine charges battery and battery is new i assume battery is OK.

      6. when I am plugged to shore line and disconnect the posi cable from battery everything dies including 12v lights, i was thinking it would stay on since i was plug to shore line!

      I don't know what else to check.

      Thank You.

    • profile image

      Korey 3 weeks ago

      I have a 2007 pioneer spirit I have it hooked up to 120 coming from AC power but I'm not getting no power inside the camper doesn't even show me the battery light can you please help

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

      Northernmale--more than likely the inverter you used was not carrying enough amps to operate everything on the 12 volt system. A power converter will control the amperage needed and has a protective phase thatcontrols the amount of charging needed. You probably need a new power converter.

      Randy

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      Northernmale 4 weeks ago

      i Have a 2006 Custom Coach Westwind 24' Fifth wheel....Bought this used and missing some parts that i first didn't notice till i started trying to figure things out.

      Plug in power via extension cord with 115 adapter operates: AC, Plugs. and nothing else.

      Previous owner had removed Converter/ Inverter unit so when plugged in to Wall i don't have the ability to create 12 volts for Fridge, Furnace, Water Heater, Lights and whatnot

      I found a small 10 amp inverter and hooked it up where the unit is supposed to be set up and wulah it turned on power 12Volts for furnace and lights, plus stereo...but as soon as i disconnect power from AC plug and switch to Battery power via switch on floor , No 12 volt to anything but Lights. and after a few minutes a smell of pant or rubber brought me to Small inverter i hooked up, 12 volt battery was back-feeding or something and cooking it....some type of back-feed

      Do inverters have some type of limit or shut off so power does not back feed????

      Is something wrong with my distribution box?

      And why would i get some type of back-feed?

      Shouldn't my furnace, water heater, fridge work off 12 volt dc without having to be hooked up to power source???

      What am i doing wrong???? Please Help !!!!!

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

      Todd, usually the black wires are grounds and the white and red are positives.

      Randy

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      Todd 4 weeks ago

      I hAve a 1999 coachmen that loads into my truck .I just bought it for 500 so it looked like a great deal because it hasn't been used in 12 years and covered. So problem at had I have wires to the battery that wasn't there. So I've looked everywhere in owners manual and nothing . So I don't won't to blow anything, so I'm hoping you could help,wires that are direct to battery's are black and red and 2 smaller wires white and black so how would it help to hook it up

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

      Hi Lisa, this sounds like a bad converter. Try connecting a good battery charger up and if everythingnworks then a new power converter may be in your future.

      As far as the switch is concerned, I think the switch should be in the off position when running the generator. but usually the switch is listed as batt/gen.

    • profile image

      Lisa 4 weeks ago

      Good Morning! I am having an electrical problem with my Gulfstream RV. I lost all power to the lights, even when plugged into electric. I found that one of two 30-amp fuses was blown on the converter box inside the RV. I replaced the fuse and it seemed to solve the problem for a bit but now not only do I not have lights (and the battery doesn't seem to be charging), but the plastic on the fuse appears to have melted. I am also noticing a constant sound that I don't remember hearing before coming from the converter.

      Also, to the left of the control panel is a metal switch that says Battery and has an ON and an OFF position. I seem to remember that someone told me this had to be in a certain position when running the generator? Can you explain what this switch does and how I should operate it?

      Thank you soooo much in advance!

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

      Carpenterrich, Try connecting a good battery charger to the batteries and if everything works okay then the converter is more than likely toast.

      Randy

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      carpenterrich 5 weeks ago

      I am having trouble with the slide outs after I hooked the battery up backwards. I have changed the motherboard and breakers still blows the 5amp fuse on the board The motorhome is a Holiday-Rambler 2002 vacationer31.5 ft

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

      Pat, one of the lights isn't properly grounded causing the other two to malfunction as well. I'd check the first light that went dim to see if it's properly grounded. It's not uncommon for this to happen as a camper gets jostled around during towing.

      Randy

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      Pat 5 weeks ago

      3 of my 12 volt lights have stopped working The first one got dim then gradually stopped working then two other lights stopped working. The rest of the 12 volt system works as does the 110.

    • profile image

      Heather Gardner21 5 weeks ago

      Thanks Randy will try that

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

      Hi Heather, this sounds like a converter problem. Try connecting a good battery charger up and see if everything works correctly. If so, a new converter is called for. You may tell him to clean the negative battery cable where it connects to the steel frame of the camper. A corroded ground here will cause the same problems you mentioned. Hope this info helps!

      Randy

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      Heather Gardner21 5 weeks ago

      AC and water heater and frig issues. AC won't blow cold, water heater and one frig not working. Just hauled it to Salt Lake for a job and he is living in it, can't take to dealer and no mobile people available. He's a handy guy, but has no time to research. Can you help with suggestions and I can pass info to him? working 15 hour shifts and no cell service in mine so trying to do the leg work for him. Thank you

    • profile image

      Monica 5 weeks ago

      *Sigh* No, but we did try another 2017 Chevy with the same results. Unfortunately I am not at the campground any longer and don't have access to any of those vehicles. Thanks for the tip. We will look into it. I will keep you posted.

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

      Monica, check the ground wire on the tow harness--both on the tow vehicle and the camper--as this sounds like a ground problem. Have you checked the 2017 Chevy with a test light or multimeter yet?

      Randy

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      Monica 5 weeks ago

      Randy, I know nothing about the electrical system in my RV... but I am curious to know why my slides would work (in/out) when I'm plugged into my tow vehicle a 2011 Chevy or an 09 Yukon but not work when I'm plugged into a newer 2017 model Chevy? It also works with older model Ram 1500 but not a new 2017 Ford F350. Is this also a converter issue as well?

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

      Jeremy, there should be a breaker or fuse on the 120 volt power panel which controls the fan. It does sound like a bad thermal component in the converter.

      Randy

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      Jeremy 5 weeks ago

      My power converter fan will not turn off unless I disconnect the 12v output wire. Leaving the wire connected will not stop the fan even with the battery disconnected all all breakers and fuses off. If it was a thermal switch problem I would assume the fan would remain on even with the load disconnected. Any ideas? Thanks.

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

      Mike, it doesn't hurt to have a bit more amperage than actually needed, especially if you want to add more lights or other 12 volt items to the system in the future.

      Randy

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      mike 6 weeks ago

      Is there any benefit to replacing 30 amp converter with 40 amp converter, converter went out and rv shop only had 40 amp converter. I can get 30 amp if I wait.

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

      Aaron, this not the first time I've heard this happen. Do let me know what the damage is.

      Randy

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      Aaron 6 weeks ago

      Mr. Randy wanted to give you a update, I have checked things out and unfortunately the shore power I hooked to was 240 volt and I apparently have fried toe convertor and microwave. Hopefully that is as far as the damage is. will know later as I start to test things :(

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

      Wayne, some campers have an in-line breaker or fuse on the positive battery cable leading to the converter. It's usually located near the battery box or the converter. Not all campers have this fuse/breaker but I've discovered some do.

      Randy

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      Wayne 6 weeks ago

      Grounding to the camper frame is good. Checked post, even used a meter to check from positive battery post to frame. 13.4 dcv. Other suggestions?

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

      Brian, check the ground on the connector cable and the negative battery cable where it attaches to the frame of the camper. A bad ground will cause all sorts of trouble with the 12 volt system.

      Randy

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      Brian ward 6 weeks ago

      Hi Randy, I recently bought a 94 camper and everything was working great. Yesterday I unhooked from shore power and towed to its new resting place where I have no shore power. During the trip, the 7 pin connector cable fell and got cut in half. Since then, there is no power to anything in the camper even though the battery is fully charged. I can't find any broken wires anywhere else or short circuits. Any ideas? Any help is much appreciated.

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

      Aaron, try connecting a good battery charger--not a trickle type--and if everything works correctly then the converter is more than likely bad.

      Randy

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      Aaron 6 weeks ago

      Mr. Randy I hook my camper to shore power and found that I had power in the receptacles only, no lights or any other power was present. I had a dead 12 volt and replaced it with a charged battery, the lights came on and the a/c fan came on and would work on low. High it would trip the breaker, the compressor sounded like it was trying to come on but go right back off. Really not sure what direction to take next. Not sure if this is needed info but it is a 2009 Gulfstream

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

      Hey Kevin, try connecting a good battery charger up--not a trickle type--and if the problem is solved, then yes, the converter is probably at fault.

      Randy

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

      Wayne, clean the battery ground cable where it connects to the steel frame of the camper. A bad connection here may be the cause of your problems.

      Randy

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      kevin 6 weeks ago

      Randy - to add to my previous question, I think I should mention I had the AC running, but during the really hot parts of the day (90 degrees) the compressor would turn on but shut off after about 15 seconds, then turn back on after about a minute, repeating the cycle. The cooler parts of the day it ran fine.

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      kevin 6 weeks ago

      Randy - just saw this web site, hope you can help. I have a 2007 Niagara popup. All DC things - with or without house power - except the interior lights: radio, LP detector, water pump, heater fan, outside light, all work. Everything except the 4 interior lights. After spending the last two very hot days trouble shooting, I don't recall the converter fan kicking on at all. Could these two be a related issue with a faulty converter: no converter fan/interior lights? Thanks!

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      Wayne 6 weeks ago

      I have a 2016 AR ONE. Power to everything on shore power (although the motorized awning is slower than it was) but nothing on the fully charged 12 volt battery or thru the hitch hook up that used to power 12 volt accessories inside. Outside travel lights ( brake, running, signal) all working fine. The cooling fan on the fuse box doesn't seem to be operational either.

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

      Mary, there should be an access panel near the 12 volt breaker/fuse panel. I could be either interior or exterior.

      Randy

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      mary 6 weeks ago

      Where is the converter box for fridge on 1992 four winds rv

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

      Jesse, check the negative battery cable where it is attached to the steel frame of the camper. This connection often corrodes and it needs to be clean, both the cable end and the steel frame it's attached to. Also, there may be an in-line breaker on the positive battery cable leading back to the converter. Normally it is located near the battery box or the converter.

      Randy

      Randy

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      Jesse 7 weeks ago

      Hi Randy,

      I have a 2007 coyote rv. The power went out on a recent camping trip while running off battery. When testing at home the batteries were charged but the lights still wouldn't come on. I plugged into shore power and disconnected battery and AC + microwave worked but no lights. I assumed something was wrong with the converter so replaced it (WFCO 8955 lower section only). Now when plugged into shore power everything works...but when running on battery only nothing works. Batteries are charged. I've also checked all the fuses in the converter box. Any ideas?

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      Randy Godwin 7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Leta, if you're getting no reading from the power leads it's a good bet the converter is at fault. Try connecting a good battery charger to the battery and if everything works okay then the converter is bad.

      Randy

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      Leta 7 weeks ago

      I own a 2001 Aliner with Elixer 30 amp converter. When I plug into power the converter alarm goes off. None of the lights work, but the air conditioner does. Alarm never goes off until i unplug it. All of the fuses are good. I get no reading from power leads of converter. Seems like the converter is bad. What do you think.

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      Randy Godwin 7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Ron, more than likely the bad ground was the problem as this is not uncommon for the battery ground to corrode. |I wouldn't hire an electrician unless you have more problems.

      Randy

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      Ron 7 weeks ago

      Randy, I unplugged the house line and decided to complete the battery install while waiting for a response or taking to a service tech. I sanded a clean spot on frame for the new negative wire connected them and connected the positive wire to battery post. Immediately the radio came back on which made me smile. So I returned to the house line and reconnected and went into camper and turned the AC on. It came right on so I assume the ac side is working again and what ever happened corrected itself. When the battery line arced could the convertor have switched to DC power that wasn't there? Regardless it's time for licence inspection so I think a full electrical check up by a qualified service department wouldn't hurt if you think I probably still have a problem? Enjoy your Sunday and thanks for your advice. Ron

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      Randy Godwin 7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Ron, you may have an in-line fuse on the positive battery cable leading to the converter. It may be located near the battery box or the converter. Do you have a wall mounted thermostat?

      Randy

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      Ron 7 weeks ago

      Newbe to camping. Fixing up a used 2002 bobcat and have had house power connected everything running fine including AC. I was connecting a new ground wire to frame for a duel battery set up and saw a small arc between frame and screw. I stopped and looked and the positive wire was resting on the positive post. Lost all power? I can hear the convertor hum and the cord seems fine. I reset all breakers but I assume a surge poped one of the fuses on the 12volt side? The batteries are not connected yet so why is power not resetting with the ac breakers which were not tripped? Any help appreciated.

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      Randy Godwin 7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Loretta, this doesn't sound like a converter problem. I'd have the capacitors checked first.

      Randy

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      Loretta 7 weeks ago

      My problem is I turn the ac on and it runs for a while and then the lights get low and sometime the breaker trips. Any ideas what could be causing this? We are new at this Rv thing. Where is the power converter box? Lol

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      Randy Godwin 7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Paul, this may indeed be the converter not cutting off when the battery is already fully charged making the fan run and the battery hot.

      Randy

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      Paul 7 weeks ago

      My 2008 Summerland got a new battery last year. Camping today, and the converter, or fan, is constantly whirring, even with everything off. Checked the battery, and it is hot. Thoughts? Bad converter or battery? All fuses are good.

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      Randy Godwin 8 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi John, you seem to have the polarity reversed. Try switching the wires on the converter.

      Randy

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      John Bledsoe 8 weeks ago

      I installed a new covetor . Everything is working but backwards . The slide outs come in when u push out and the levelers extends when u push retract . All seems backwards and fridge no longer works any suggestions

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      Randy Godwin 8 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Most power converters have a cooling fan, Michael. So rest easy, and go Falcons! :)

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      Michael Patrick 8 weeks ago

      Wonderful info, all I needed to know is if there was a cooling fan on the power converter because the manual did not address this. I could hear and feel the fan and just needed reassurance this was the norm. But I really enjoyed the info that I am reading. TKS and Go Packers.

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      Randy Godwin 8 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Gary, what about the main power panel? Is there power to the breakers?

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 8 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Michael, this may be due to a bad negative battery cable connection. The negative cable is connected to the steel frame of the camper and often this connection gets corroded or loose. check this connection and nake sure both the cable and the frame is clean and tight.

      Randy

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      Michael 8 weeks ago

      Randy I have a 1993 Gulfstream motorhome. Our coach lights operate fine if the coach is plugged in. However the lights only work sometimes when we switch to battery. The batteries are in pretty good shape and there are no popped fuses.

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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Drew, the problem may be the battery and not the converter. Let me know what you find out as this has me puzzled.

      Randy

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      Drew Stokes 2 months ago

      Thanks Randy. The ground connection looks good. I'll unscrew it and clean it anyways.

      I took a look for an inline fuse but couldnt track one down. I'll look again tomorrow a little closer.

      Another piece of information, the leads which connect to the battery are reading 13.85 as well when disconnected. When I attach them to the battery they are moving rapidly between 3-8 volts. The battery was completely dead when I did this. I am now throwing the battery on charge for the night. Maybe it just needs a little juice and the shore power will start charging it?

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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Just read your added comment, Drew. Check the negative battery cable where it attaches to the frame. A good clean connection is critical here and the battery won't charge if there's a bad connection here. Also, some campers have a breaker inline on the positive battery cable going to the converter. If your's has one it should be located near the battery box or the converter. Hope this helps!

      Randy

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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Drew, yes the converter sounds like it may be the culprit. You may be able to have it repaired if you know someone who'll do it cheap, but usually the repair cost is prohibitive and replacement may be the better choice.

      Randy

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      Drew Stokes 2 months ago

      And an edit to my post below...

      That 29.6V was the AC voltage reading... The DC is 13.84, so it is reading in the correct range.

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      Drew Stokes 2 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      I have a Trail Cruiser 21RBH.

      When I connect a charger to my 12V or when it has any juice left in it everything in the trailer works.

      The converter does not charge the battery though when hooked up to shore power, so I am constantly having to hook up to my truck to charge the 12V whenever it gets low.

      I have disconnected the battery and checked the voltage at the converter while plugged into shore and am reading 29.6V, rather than in between 13 and 14 as required. When the battery is connected the voltage bounces rapidly between 10 and 15 volts.

      Any ideas? I am assuming at this point the converter is shot.

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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Sue, take the battery out and a battery supply will furnish you with the proper replacement.

      Randy