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Troubleshooting, Repairing, and Replacing an RV Camper Power Converter

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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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Comments 799 comments

mike schick 2 days 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

Randy Godwin 10 days ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


michelle 10 days 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

Randy Godwin 12 days ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Al 12 days 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Rick 2 weeks 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 !!!!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Danelle 3 weeks ago

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Steve 4 weeks 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

Randy Godwin 4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Steve 4 weeks 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

Randy Godwin 5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


JMeredith 5 weeks 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

Randy Godwin 5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia Author

@ 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


s coulter 5 weeks 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

Randy Godwin 6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


John 6 weeks 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Jim 6 weeks 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

Randy Godwin 7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


darryl mosiman 7 weeks 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

Randy Godwin 7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Steven 7 weeks 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?


wileyestshepherd 2 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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


gary t 2 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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


DustyMojave 2 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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


DustyMojave 2 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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


colleen fitzgerald 2 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??


Rick T 2 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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Jackie 2 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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Peter 2 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.


Peter 2 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


Randy Godwin 2 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


Peter 2 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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Kristin Kriens 2 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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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. :)


Brad B 2 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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Brad B 2 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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


Brad b 2 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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Brad B 2 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

Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Brad b 2 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 ??


John 3 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

Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


Brad B 3 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

Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


Brad B 3 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

Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy


Brad. B 3 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

Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Brad B. 3 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

Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Blakehardt 3 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

Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Derek 3 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

Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Shenagh 3 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

Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Tim 3 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.


John 3 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy 4 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy 4 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Gord Flamand 4 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Dick 4 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.


JCR 4 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 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Van 4 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


E.K. 4 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?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Don H. 4 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Martha 4 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

@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


Visuallogic 4 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 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Debra Mathis 4 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Debra Mathis 4 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!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy


JanetandJohn 4 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


JanetandJohn 4 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?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Harold 4 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?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


Ken1960 4 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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?


Ken1960 4 months ago

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Ken1960 4 months ago

Randy

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Ken1960 5 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 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Ken1960 5 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 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Ken1960 5 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


Randy Godwin 5 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 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


mrouse1 5 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


Ken1960 5 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

Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


Keith k 5 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?


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Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

@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


mrouse1 5 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

@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


jurascience 5 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?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy Godwin 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Christy 5 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 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Kim 5 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 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Sarah covert 5 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 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Clint Eddy 5 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!


Clint Eddy 5 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 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Clint Eddy 5 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 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Stephanie 5 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 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


MK 5 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 5 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Vic 5 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


Frank 5 months ago

It was the ground. Thanks for the help.


Frank 6 months ago

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Frank 6 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Jcamper 6 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


Randy Godwin 6 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


CanCamper 6 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

Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Bert 6 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

Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Guy 6 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?


Randy Godwin 6 months ago

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


Randy Godwin 6 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


CanCamper 6 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

Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Rob T 6 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

Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


CanCamper 6 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

Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

@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


jacksonjack 6 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

Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


7 months ago

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


David 8 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

Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Chris Pudwill 8 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

Randy Godwin 8 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


James 8 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.


jeffrey 11 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

Randy Godwin 12 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


drahcir yeffets 12 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.


shamoleasy 13 months ago

its really vary good article.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 13 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Omar Diaz 13 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

Randy Godwin 13 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Marty 13 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

Randy Godwin 13 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


sandy 13 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


L F Lomore 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

@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 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Gena 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Terry trailer 14 months ago

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


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Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

@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 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Towbehind 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Towbehind 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy


Eric 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Eric 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


JDW 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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. :)


JDW 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


JDW 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy


JDW 14 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

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Swamphunter 14 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

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


CanCamper 15 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 15 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy L Jones profile image

Randy L Jones 15 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Joey alder 15 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 15 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

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy L Jones profile image

Randy L Jones 15 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?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Eric 15 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Eric 15 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Gdskacqasmq profile image

Gdskacqasmq 15 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 15 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

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy


Gdskacqasmq profile image

Gdskacqasmq 15 months ago

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


terry 15 months ago

the tv is 110 the antenna booster is 12v


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


terry 15 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

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


CanCamper 15 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

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


CanCamper 15 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?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


CanCamper 15 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


CanCamper 15 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

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Muchelle 15 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

Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


stone 16 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 16 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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. :)


Jon Waldhuetter 16 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 16 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Jon Waldhuetter 16 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 16 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Jon Waldhuetter 16 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


Jon Waldhuetter 16 months ago

Many thanks Randy. I will keep you informed

Jon


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 16 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Jon Waldhuetter 16 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 16 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Jerry Dooley profile image

Jerry Dooley 16 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

Randy Godwin 16 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


jdtravel 16 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy


jdtravel 17 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.


jdtravel 17 months ago

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


jdtravel 17 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


jdtravel 17 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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?


jdtravel 17 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


jdtravel 17 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


Dick Hannigan 17 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.


Andrew 17 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Dick Hannigan 17 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


DavidAZ 17 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Andrew 18 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Andrew 18 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?


Andrew 18 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!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Lisa 18 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


Andrew 18 months ago

Ok Randy, will do! Thank you.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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. :)


Andrew 18 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!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Andrew 18 months ago

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


Andrew 18 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Aren 18 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!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


Aren 18 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Garnet 18 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Aren 18 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!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Garnet 18 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

RG


Aren 18 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!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Aren 18 months ago

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


Aren 18 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Aren 18 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Spencer 18 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 !!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Spencer 18 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Spencer 18 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?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Spencer 18 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?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Spencer 18 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?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


Spencer 18 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?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


Spencer 18 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.


Spencer 18 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Spencer 18 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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


gavin 18 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


gavin 18 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!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


gavin 18 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?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


gavin 18 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


gavin 18 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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?


gavin 19 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.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


gavin 19 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?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


gavin 19 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

Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


gavin 19 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

Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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?


sharon 19 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


colin 19 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

Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


colin 19 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.


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Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Steven Paul 19 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

Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Bob 19 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

Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


Steve 20 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

Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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 20 months 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

Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


JoeCephus profile image

JoeCephus 20 months 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

Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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 20 months 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

Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Joe Compton 20 months 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

Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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?


Joe Compton 20 months 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

Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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!


Joe Compton 20 months 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

Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


Joe Compton 20 months 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

Randy Godwin 20 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Joe Compton 20 months 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

Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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! :)


Sadie Girl 21 months 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

Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Lewis 21 months 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

Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


rob 21 months 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

Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Sadie Girl 21 months 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

Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Brandon 22 months 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

Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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. :)


Jeff stickley 22 months 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

Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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! :)


dave 23 months 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

Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Tim 23 months 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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


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


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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy


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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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.


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.


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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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. :)


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?


Dennis 2 years ago

Thank you.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Dennis 2 years ago

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


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?


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


Al 2 years ago

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


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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


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.?


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?


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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

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


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

May be the converter but it only powers the lights, fridge thermostat, and in some cases, a wall mounted thermostat which controls the AC. It sounds as if you've also lost power to the 110 volt AC panel also and it would affect the converter if so. Please clarify if both 12 and 110 volt power is out. Thanks!

Randy


Bob Peplow profile image

Bob Peplow 2 years ago

Hi Randy. I have a 2014 Sanibel fifth wheel which recently lost power going to everything inside and out. No light on the magic wizard button on the breaker panel. Battery has now gone dead. Converter?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Have you cleaned the battery ground cable where it connects to the steel frame of the RV, Kraller? A bad ground can cause all sorts of weird problems in an RV12 volt system.

It sounds as if the converter is operating correctly but you can try using an ordinary battery charger to see if it makes a difference in the now dim lights. If so, the converter may not be operating efficiently. Let me know if this advice doesn't help and we'll try something else.

Randy


Kraller507 2 years ago

Hi Randy, so glad you have this forum. I just charged my 2 batteries, my converter shows 13.04 battery charge and when I flip the breaker it shows 13.13, not much change but I'm assuming it is charging. The problem I have is that most of the light bulbs are showing 12.4 volts at the socket, but I have 4 that run down the center of my trailer and are dim when I turn them all on. I'm on shore power and they read 10.4 volts at the socket...any ideas?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Thomas, yes if the fan isn't working on the converter you probably need to replace it as it controls all of these items.

Randy


tomas 2 years ago

Hi Randy, quick question my rv was working just great and the Ac,Fridge,microwave,stereo,water heater went out. I checked all the fuses by the converter and they were good what can.be the problem I need a new converter or new batteries. Fan on converter wont start


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Dan, a few comments above there was a guy who also had a problem with getting the 12 volt DC power to the breaker panel. He had a blown fuse--it resembled a small box--on the battery positive cable leading to the 12 volt DC power panel. It was located near the battery and attached to the steel frame.

Randy


Dan 2 years ago

Hi Randy...here's a head scratcher. I have 12 Vdc coming right out of the converter but not getting to the DC distribution panel nor the battery. Now that my battery is dead, I have no working DC appliances/fixtures. I suspect a broken cable coming from the converter, but before I start dropping the belly under the RV to have a look...do you think there's a 50 Amp fuse/breaker somewhere on that cable that I cannot see?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Good for you, Alex! Glad the fuses were the problem. :) Yes, the inverted connections will do that. Thanks for telling me what you found out.

RG


Alexander 2 years ago

Thanks Randy.

I tried to use the charger and it works find. So I went to the converter's website and I found that there are 2 x 25A fuses hidden under the appliance, and both are blown up. I guess that I inverted the connections on the battery poles during the procedure..... I'm pretty this is the problem. Thanks for your help!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Alexander, have you tried using an ordinary battery charger to see if the converter is indeed the problem? If the battery charger causes the 12 volt DC powered items--lights, fridge thermostat etc.--to operate normally then yes, the converter is probably at fault. Feel free to ask for more info if you require it and thanks for the question. :)

Randy


Alexander 2 years ago

Hi Randy

I'm experiencing problem with the 12 DC power. When I'm hooked-up to the 110V, only the 110V appliances (TV, Microwave) and the power outlets are working. It looks like the converter is not charging up the battery, because when I open the lights or the fans, maybe half of power is provided to the accessories (for instance, the lights are slightly less brilliant than when the 11oV is working well), so I guess they are getting the power from the battery instead of the 110V. Now, I disconnected the battery, I left the 110V hooked-up and again, only the 110V appliances and the power outlets are still working, nothing happens on the 12V.

Do you think the converter or the panel need to be repaired? Or only a braker? All fuses are fine.

Thanks for your precious help, it's much appreciated.

Alexander


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Ryan--Thanks for coming back and telling me what your problem was. This is a new one on me but I'll remember this for future questions from other RVers who may also have this problem. Enjoy your camping season! :)

Randy


Ryan 2 years ago

Randy,

Just wanted to let you know the circuit breaker did do the trick and I now have power from battery. Thanks for you help and input.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Monica, the problem may be with the heating element in the WH and not with the converter. If the element is old it may be shorting out and causing the converter breaker to trip. On the other hand, these elements draw a lot of power so you need to check the converter output to be sure. I do think the WH should have its own breaker but I'm not positive about it in your model RV.

Randy


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Thanks Ryan, let me know if the new circuit breaker works for you!


Monica 2 years ago

Hi Randy. We have a 2008 Wildwood. We have always ran the water heater on LP and it works fin, but just recently tried to run it on electric for the first time. At first it seems to be working, it gave hot water, but after awhile I noticed that the lights were dimming, and it seemed like the battery was dying. I found that very odd since the trailer has been plugged in. After checking things over I discovered water heater/converter breaker had tripped. After I reset it the lights brightened again, so I know the converter is ok. I tried it again today and after the wh ran for a while it mada a loud click and shut off and the breaker had tripped again. The only things runner besides the wh was the fridge and a couple of lights. Would that be enough to overload the converter, and shouldn't the wh be on it's own breaker?


Ryan 2 years ago

The the fuse or circuit breaker or whatever it is attached to frame. Positive line comes from battery to breaker and then on into camper itself. I did find a replacement at local auto store and it is described as circuit breaker. Just got this morning before work so have not had an opportunity to install. I will check the battery ground cable wire as well when get home. Thank you for your help and input.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

@Ryan--The voltage detector you are using will often give false readings, especially when the frame itself is used for the 12 volt DC ground. Use a digital multimeter to check it before getting too worried about it. Does the suspected fuse holder--or whatever it is-- attach to the frame itself and end there, or proceed back to the 12 volt power panel?

Have you cleaned the battery ground cable yet? Where it attaches to the frame must be clean or all sorts of crazy stuff may happen. Sorry if I've already suggested doing this, but I receive so many questions on this and other of my articles I tend to forget sometimes.


Ryan 2 years ago

Took the unit off. Saw on another website that look similar that it may be an inline fuse. Does look shot. However, after completely disconnecting battery and inline fuse (or whatever it is) I put an AC voltage Detector near frame. (After plugging back into outside electric source. (using a adapter to plug into outside home outlet box 110) The Detector is One of the ones that if detects voltage will sound alarm and there is still at least a small amount of current in frame. As far as my description of shock I would not even really characterize it as that. More like when I was a young boy and sticking a almost dead 9 Volt battery on tongue and just barely feeling that little jolt of electricity. I haven not had a chance to replace the fuse yet but I am a little worried about the small amount of electricity going through frame. Actually the detector goes off anywhere near the entire camper unless I step into the camper itself. (aluminum siding) What is your thoughts? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Ryan, if you received an electric shock by touching the frame then this may be the problem. As the battery itself is grounded to the frame this would cause a direct short I'd think. I'd try jumping the resistor--if indeed that is what it is--or at least detaching it from the frame and checking it with a multimeter to see if power is passing through it.

Randy


Ryan 2 years ago

Replaced battery in camper. Plugged in camper to outside electrical source and everything works. However, no power when just trying to run on battery. Was trying to just look at visible connections around battery and noticed a small unit about an in square that was attached to frame of camper and wired to positive to battery. This unit is a bit rusty. Could this be a resistor? when I leaned in for a closer look and touched frame got a small jolt so there is current going through frame. Sorry cant give more information at moment I was working in dark last night so couldnt much and I am not at home to look at camper to see if there is anything written on the possible resistor. Could that unit be the source of problem or do you have other suggestions. I am not an electrician and have very little knowledge regarding this type of wiring. Thank you.


Dyane 2 years ago

There is no battery actually, we borrowed one to get through the weekend!! The breaker was checked. Looks like new converter is needed. There was a power surge here, we are the third trailer to need a new converter.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

@Dyane--Have you tried cleaning the battery ground cable where it is bolted to the steel frame? Sometimes the ground cable will corrode and prevent the converter from charging the battery(s) properly. I assume you've already checked the converter fuse/breaker in the main power panel.

I'd also recommend checking the voltage at the battery after cleaning the ground cable before replacing the converter. To answer your question, no it isn't difficult to replace the converter. Good luck with your repairs and please ask if I can help you with anything.

Randy


Dyane 2 years ago

Ok so it's not 220. Haha, I'm new at this. We are thinking converter as well. We are trying to et the ought he weekend with the battery controlling the lights and furnace and a trickle charger charging the battery, which is plugged in to the main plug at the camp. Fun times. Hoping this can be fixed by us? Looks like a relatively easy job to pull out one converter and put in another?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Dyane, since the lights, furnace, and fridge is controlled by the 12 volt system I'd think your problem lies with the power converter. I'm confused by your stating the 220 isn't working because you shouldn't require 220 volts to operate your RV. Am I missing something here?

Randy


Dyane 2 years ago

Hi randy,

110 not working but 220 is. We have no lights, furnace or fridge but all plugs are working. It's a 2013 trail master trailer. We are currently running a battery to use the 110 And the 220 is working fine. Thoughts?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

@Btyboop--Start out by checking the voltage at the battery(s). When the converter is operating correctly it should read at least 13 volts at the battery. You might check the ground at the battery to be sure it is making good contact with the steel frame. A bad ground could be the problem. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

Randy


Btyboop78 2 years ago

We replaced our water heater today that froze & now fridge, AC, furnace & water heater all don't work while plugged in to our house. Where should we start looking for problem?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

I assume the battery needs charging after a while of it being used in the "battery" selection? Just being sure the converter is at fault after all before you buy a new one. Your choice on whether to try the repair or not.

Randy


Justin D. 2 years ago

OK so I did a few more tests. When bench tested without a load it is putting out 13.3v dc. As soon as you add a load as small as single light bulb the dc output drops to around 6.8v dc. This model does not have a resistor. It has the transformer going right into a bridge diode with a capacitor. I can get the capacitor and diode for around $20 but it would probably just be better to upgrade to the WFCO WF-8735-P for $99.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

More than likely it is the resistor which is at fault, Justin. When you say you cleaned the ground wire was it on the battery end or the converter? The converter when operating correctly should put out at least 13 volts DC.


Justin D. 2 years ago

No I have a 12v deep cycle battery on the trailer tongue. One the 12v side the converter has 2 blue wires (2 12v circuits output), a ground wire, and a 12v+ input from the battery. When everything is connected and the 3 way switch is on "battery" everything works fine. When I switch it to "converter" it only puts out 6-8 volts. But if I bench test the converter without anything plugged in it puts out 12v. I have the schematic for the converter which shows the capacitor and diode (http://www.parallaxpower.com/6400_6600/6606_6612.p... Could one of those be bad?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Are you referring to the battery wire from the towing vehicle, Justin? If so, apparently the converter isn't working properly or I'm misunderstanding your problem. A bit more info may help me advise you.

Randy


Justin D. 2 years ago

Randy,

Good afternoon and thanks in advance. I have a 96 Coleman Fleetwood Yukon with a Magnetek 6612 Converter. When I have the battery hooked up, and the switch on battery everything works fine. When I switch it to converter I was only getting 6-8 volts at the lights and furnace and right at the converter dc out (even without a dc load). The odd thing is if I unplug the DC Positive wires to the camper, and measure the voltage it comes out at 12v. I checked the ground and it was a little corroded so I wire brushed everything back to bare metal and regrounded it. I'm not sure what else to do. I was thinking a short in the wire but why would it work fine on battery?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

This problem often occurs when the battery--I assume there's only one by your info--isn't grounded properly to the steel frame of the RV. Usually cleaning the place where the negative cable from the battery is bolted to the frame solves this problem.

It could also be the converter itself causing the problem as they do go out on occasion. You can use a regular battery charger hooked to the battery to keep it charged until you get a replacement converter or have yours repaired. Checking the voltage at the battery after cleaning the ground should tell the tale, Davis. Feel free to ask for more info and let me know what you find out, if you don't mind. Thanks!

Randy


Davis 2 years ago

I went camping this past weekend and had no 12volts to run lights fridg, hot water heater. I had just installed a new battery on Wednesday, but by Thursday night I had no 12volt lighting , fridg or hot water, even though I was hooked up by the shoreline. But after using my battery charger to recharge battery, I had them for a little while, nevertheless, my wife was not a very happy Camper!!!!!!!!!!!!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

You can test the battery with the 12 volt lights on and it should read at least 13 volts when it's operating properly. You may have to check the battery voltage several times as the converter may cycle on and off. Are you having problems with some of the 12 volt lights, fridge, or AC thermostat not working properly?


Davis 2 years ago

Yes the battery is right outside of the door and I could see the wires that was going to the battery. Randy, what sort of testing is required to check too make sure that the converter is working.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

There are also wires leading to the battery(s) from the power converter, Davis. You might be able to follow them to the converter.


Davis 2 years ago

Yes, it is located right inside the door down by the floor, there is a removable panel right above it. I removed the panel and was able to see the back side of my panel box and a lot of wires but did not see the power converter, thanks Randy


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Davis, and thanks for the question. Since the power converter receives the 110 volt AC charge it steps down to 12 volt DC from the main power panel it is usually located close to the main breaker panel. Sometimes it is located beneath a bed or in another hidden place. Have you found the main breaker panel yet?

Randy


Davis 2 years ago

Hi Randy, I have a problem with my 2006 fleet wood prowler. First I have not been to find the power converter on my 5th wheel. Any ideas.?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Let me know how it works out, Iris. :)

Randy


Iris 2 years ago

Hi Randy,

Thanks a lot. I am going to install a mini-fridge and will bolt it down. Will try the AC when fridge is out...

Iris


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Iris, I've replaced the former 3-way fridges with ordinary small household models with no problem at all. It is necessary to bolt them to the floor and put some sort of strap on the door during travel though. You'll just have to try the AC and fridge out and see if there's too much voltage required to run them but I believe you'll be fine. Ask if you need any other advice and thanks for the questions and your time.

Randy :)


Iris 2 years ago

Hi Randy,

Thanks for your quick reply. The original 3-way fridge was down, I am going to replace it with an electronic one. Also, there was no AC (but have AC plug), I am going to install an AC. With this two extra appliance, do you think the wiring works?

Iris


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

You should be okay if you use the same items or appliances you originally had on the same circuits, Iris. The converter should work just fine. Thanks for the question! :)


Iris 2 years ago

Hi Randy,

I have a 1991 Fleetwood treval trailer. The converter needs to be replaced. The old converter is 40 AMP, I bought a Progressive Dynamics (PD9260CV) 60 Amp Power Converter with Charge Wizard. If I replace it with 60 AMP converter, my question is "do I need to replace the wiring with thicker guage to support more AMPs?"

Thanks,

Iris


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Holly, this is obviously some type of resistor which is probably not performing as it should as it's not allowing enough current to reach the fixture. It may be possible to reroute another wire from the 12 volt panel to the fixture to fix the problem. Any 12 volt source should do the job.

Randy


Holly Hoskins 2 years ago

Hi Randy,

I have checked the light fitting. It is clean and free of corrosion but the voltage at the fitting is only 5.6v.

I pulled out the fridge and checked the leads from the battery and they are receiving the correct voltage. So I traced back to where I think the problem is. The positive and negative leads from the batteries goes into some sort of sealed joiner thing (looks like a very small sealed motherboard) and one wire comes out which then goes to the light compartment. It is at this gizzmo that the voltage drops.

I have tried to source some wiring diagrams to try work out what this gizzmo is and while I can find some similar diagrams, I can't find one exactly like mine.

Holly


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Larry, and thanks for the question. It's possible the thermostat in your fridge is bad and is preventing the unit from starting up properly. There certainly should be a fuse or breaker controlling the fridge somewhere but it is usually located in the 12 volt DC panel.

It is also possible the circuit board was damaged during the aforementioned storm as this isn't an uncommon problem. I'd also recommend using a digital multimeter to check the voltage from the fuses as a test light won't show the strength of the amperage.

RG


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Holly, I haven't heard of this problem before when the fridge is still working properly. Have you tested the voltage in the light receptacle yet? If the bulb is dim then is apparently not getting enough voltage from the receptacle. There may be a short somewhere in the receptacle causing the problem. Let me know what you find out voltage wise.

RG


Larry DeBlieux 2 years ago

I have an electrical problem that I haven't been able to diagnose. I have a 2000 Monoco Lapalma that was plugged to a 50 amp outlet at RV Park. Two days were fine and while I was out for a few hours my wife said the Norcold N8411M stopped working. When I looked at the refrig it seems the controls are not working due to maybe 12v system not letting controls work as there is no indicator light that the frig is on. All of my other 12V systems seem to work like vanity lights and other lights which are 12V. Another puzzle is that my carbon monoxide detectors are blinking at two different locations as they are hard wired. I have read if 12V system batteries are low it might do this. I checked my test switch on status shows battery is fully charged though. I cracked my generator and the refrig came on but when I turned off my ignition key the generator will die. Something else seems that the generator is not getting a 12V system signal to allow it to run after I turn the key off. Any ideas of what can cause this? I took a test light to where my breakers are and they seems to be okay and then tested the 12V post where the fuses are and everything is okay but noticed there is no 12V fuse for refrig or alarm systems in there so they maybe in different panel box. Can't figure out why it would do fine for two days then quit. Also was storm going on at Rv park but no loss of power as far as I know.


Holly Hoskins 2 years ago

Hello. My issue is slightly different. I have a 12 volt refrigerator in my houseboat (same as an RV except it's on water) and the light in it is very dim. The refrigerator itself is working fine. I have replaced the light bulb with a new one but it has made no difference.

The refrigerator is wired directly to the battery bank on a circuit of its own. There are no other known issues with other electrics.


Emma 2 years ago

Hi Randy, you seem to be quite helpful so perhaps you'll shed some light on my issue...! Battery disconnect switch engaged, then a few weeks later it wouldn't turn back on. Plugged in to 120v, 120v circuits worked but no 12v power. I don't know how to isolate it to the battery disconnect switch/ converter/ elsewhere. I bought a voltage tester, there's power from battery but not to the board.

So:

Bsttery disconnect switch didnt turn back on;

No 12v power even with shore power;

Confirmed good battery (tested) and connections from battery good;

Found a blown 5amp fuse under hood on "ignition proof coach chassis" setup, replaced it, no change;

No power to 12v fuse box but 120v circuit breakers work.

96 class c coachmen.

Any next steps for me? Be much appreciated :). I guess I'm thinking whatever the converter is, but not sure where it is... Is it part of the ac panel board/dc dist panel?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Butch, have you checked the circuit breaker that controls the power converter in the 110 volt AC control panel? I'm a bit confused by the statement "unless something is plugged into an outlet." Could you explain what you mean by this?

Thanks,

Randy


Butch Stearnes 2 years ago

rv converter will not charge battery unless something is plugged in to a 110 volt outlet in motorhome


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

It does seem strange that both wires should not have continuity but it does happen I suppose, Dan. I can only assume there is a back up wire in case one of them is broken for some reason. I'm glad you found a way around the problem and I will remember this for future similar problems. Thanks for the question and for relating the solution you used.

Randy


Danl 2 years ago

Thanks for the response, Randy. My DC board is like any other. I just replaced it as part of the converter update kit. I switched circuits with other DC circuits and the problem follows the wires to the monitor panel so I'm sure that the problem is in the wires. I ran an external wire and the monitor panel worked fine with that. I just can't think of a good reason why there are two wires instead of one.

Thanks for your time and input!

Danl


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Dan, I'm sorry but I'm not familiar with how the DC board on your converter works, or why there are two positive wires on the converter connecting to the same point on the DC board. I'd check all of the DC breakers just in case one of them are tripped. Are you certain the board is operating correctly?


Danl 2 years ago

Hi Randy,

I just replaced the converter in my truck camper. Everything works great except my system monitor panel which monitors fresh, gray, black water tanks and battery charge level. With a meter, I tested for continuity from the DC board to the monitor panel on both of the black (positive) wires. there is no continuity, so I assume I caused a break in both wires during the converter upgrade. I suppose I'll need to run a new wire from the DC board to the monitor panel. Question: Why are there two positive wires running from the same point on the DC board to the same point on the monitor panel?


Mandi 2 years ago

Thanks so much Randy, we're heading down to get a charger today and we're going to check the grounding. I will let you know if we find anything.


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