Troubleshooting, Repairing, and Replacing an RV Camper Power Converter

Updated on January 24, 2019
Randy Godwin profile image

Randy is a lifelong lover of the outdoors and especially camping. His articles are intended to help the RVer save money and time on repairs.

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

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

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

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

Safety Alert!

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

Classic Travel Trailers

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

Types of Converter Problems

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

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

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

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

Troubleshooting the RV Power Converter

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

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

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

1. Power Converter Fan

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

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

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

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

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

2. Resistors and Circuit Board

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

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

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

3. Replacement

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

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

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

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

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Amelia, the converter may have the circuit breakers as part of the package. Some converters come this way.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Ameliaolive 

      3 days ago

      Randy, I checked all outer panels, the only one having anything to do with electric is the one with cord and plug. I think it is located under the circuit breaker box inside. Thought you might know how to remove panel below it. Thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Amelia, I'm not familiar with this camper, but it should be accessible through an outer panel.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 days ago from Southern Georgia

      bSirius, sounds like my luck! :o

    • profile image

      Ameliaolive 

      6 days ago

      Need to replace converter on 1989 bornfree. What is the easiest why to get at it?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 days ago from Southern Georgia

      David, check the negative battery cable end where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. This connection should be tight and clean.

      If this isn't the problem, then connect a good charger to the batteries, and if everything works normally, then a new converter may be the solution.

      Randy

    • profile image

      David 

      7 days ago

      My camper works on gen power or hook up to electricity but does not work on battery, battery is good is this maby a converter issue?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      11 days ago from Southern Georgia

      E, have you checked batteries for low fluid levels yet? This sounds like the batteries are causing the converter to work harder to keep them charged.

      The wall outlets shouldn't be affected by the converter unless they're on the same circuit. If you have any GFIC outlets, they're prone to go bad and cause the other regular outlets on the same circuit not to work. Hope this helps!

      Randy

    • profile image

      11 days ago

      Randy,

      My problem is that the fan on the converter runs for an extended period and then the lights and 1/2 the receptacles do not work. The breakers are not tripped, just no power. I turn off the main breaker on the power supply to the camper for approx. 30 seconds and the lights come back on. I have replaced the interior breakers, but still the same issue.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Billie, be sure the main ground for the 12 volt system is clean and tight. This is normally the 12 volt battery ground cable where it connects to the steel frame of the camper.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Billie 

      2 weeks ago

      I have a 2008 Fleetwood 38V. My heat went off and with further investigation I discovered all DC power was out. I checked the reset button on the MS2012 Inverter but still no dc power. I checked my 4 6-volt batteries and yes I committed the cardinal sin of not watering my batteries.

      I watered them but they were shot (6 years old). Today i replaced them and the inverter remote panel shows full charge indicating floating. I still don't have any dc power anywhere Help!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      bSirius. too bad about the converter, but at least you found the original problem. Thanks for the update! :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      bSirius 

      2 weeks ago

      Hi Randy,

      Thought I'd check in with you. Yes, my converter is blown but the real power problem to begin with was.....where my 50A shorepower cord attaches to the female receptacle down in the bay next to the sewage stuff. If it moves the wrong way.....bingo no power. Thanks for all your help....

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Terry, this doesn't seem high enough to damage the control board, but then, I don't have the specs for your Maxair. You should be able to find the specs online with the model and serial numbers.

      Also, you can check the input and output on the converter itself. I'd do this first before replacing the converter. Hope this helps in some manner, Terry.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Terry Meadows 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi Randy,

      I'm currently experiencing to high of voltage. Just wondering what your thoughts are.

      Stationary 5er. have a 80 amp converter.

      The problem comes in where my Maxair fan stop working and it appears the control panel for them have burned. This is what the tech guy said from the help center. He had me read the voltage and I'm getting 13.6v. he then said the safe operation range is 10.6 to 13.2v. Does this sound like I need to replace the converter?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Randy, do you still have a power converter operating when the engine isn't running?

      Randy

    • profile image

      Randolph Jones 

      5 weeks ago

      I have a 22ft 1984 chevy lazy daze that has a 3 batterys system the old owner linked all 3 batterys to run off of each other and im wanting to put it back to the way its suposed to be the starter battery starts and run the RV engine and charges up the starter battery up and charges up the other 2 batterys the on under the hood on passanger side and the other battery thats in the back side compartment how do I do that how it origanally is suposed to be set up to be can you help me out and tell me how im to do this?my number is 909-233-0005 name is randy thank you.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Judy, the converter with the panel is very easy to replace in most cases. There are so many different converters and campers that finding one exactly like yours would be lucky.

      You may look on YouTube and get lucky.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Judy 

      6 weeks ago

      We have a Keystone Outback RS21 at the lake. It is stationary so we have to have someone come out to do any type of repairs. Problem is finding someone who is mobile. We need to replace the World Friendship WF8955AN Power convertor panel. At first we purchased the Converter only and thought we would replace it ourselves, but we could not remove the small wiring from the panel. So we gave up on that idea. Then we found that we could purchase the Same converter but with the panel as well. Before we do it we wanted to make sure that it is a simple task. One repairman on the phone told me it was only two wires to disconnect and reconnect. Also is there anywhere on internet that has step by step instructions on how to replace.

    • profile image

      Aaron Pigue 

      7 weeks ago

      Thanks again!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Aaron, just be sure the LEDs are rated for 12 volts and you should be fine.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Aaron Pigue 

      7 weeks ago

      Thanks a lot for the advice. I was wondering if this could potentially be the problem as well?

      https://www.rvtravel.com/led-bulb-replacement-dang...

      I have a 1977 Vogue Coach and replaced the old lights with LED. Is it possible I should take the LED lights out and go back to the old style?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Aaron, first check the voltage at the batteries. You should get a reading of 13+ volts if the converter is working properly. Any more than that means a problem with the converter.

      Be sure and check/clean the negative battery cable end where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper as this is normally the major ground for the 12 volt system.

      Hope this helps.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Aaron Pigue 

      7 weeks ago

      I bought a power converter and after using it for one month, I noticed the fan stopped working and the LED lights I installed along the ceiling will begin to flicker and then start smoking. Any advice on how to fix this problem? The converter is practically new.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      There should be some info on this page, Austin. I sell a lot of converters through Amazon and have had no complaints so far.

      Try connecting a good battery charger to the battery or to where the converter connects to the 12 volt powere panel or fuse strip ,and if everything works properly, then yes, you need a new converter.

      I assume you've already cleaned the negative battery cable where it connects to the camper frame as this is the main ground for the 12 volt DC system.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Austin 

      7 weeks ago

      Hey randy, I just purchased a 93 Jayco CT travel trailer, none of the 12v is working. And the converter is making a loud humming noise. There was a small water leak prior to me purchasing said camper, which may have damaged the converter. Im having trouble trying to figure out where to purchase a replacement converter. Any suggestions?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      8 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Diamond, you should get only 13+ volts DC if the converter is operating properly. Apparently the converter is producing too much voltage and possibly amperage as well.

      Try removing the converter fuse and connecting a good battery charger up. If everything works normally then a new converter is needed. Hope this info helps.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Diamond 

      8 weeks ago

      Hi I am new to pop up camping and purchased a used 2008 Starcraft pop up camper and might have an issue with my converter. I took it out for the weekend and when I hooked up to both the AC and battery the converter started to smell of a burning smell and then the fuse closest to the battery pop so bad that it melted the fuse together. The fuses in the converter and breaker did not do anything and are still fine. I disconnected the battery and used the pop up camper only on AC which I just lost the use of my interior lights, water pump and porta-potty water release. Wasn't too bad as we were hooked up to city water anyways and didn't need the pumps.

      Well now I am home and want to find out the problem. First off I have two red wires coming out of the camper and one white. The white I know for sure its a ground and I did a test with my volt meter where it beeps when I touch to metal. One of the red wire has reading when I test it with the volt meter and the lights turns on but the other one has no reading. I don't really know what the other red wire does.

      Well when I hook up everything again like I did before, both the red wire to the (+) and the white to the (-) everything works fine. Then I plug in the AC power and did a volt meter test on the battery and see that the voltage is slowly increasing all the way up to 18v. I then unplug it and did not want to see how high it was going to go.

      I have an Elixir ELX-25 and works fine only on AC or only on DC but not together. I will take it to a professional but just wanted to know if its something simple I am doing wrong before I have the converter replaced if that is in fact the problem. Thank you.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I'm retired as well Terri, and understand about having to hire an electrician. If you have a voltage tester or digital multimeter, check the voltage at the battery. If the converter is working properly, you should get a reading of at least 13 volts DC.

      If not, then connect a good battery charger and see if it makes a difference in the lights and other 12 volt items in the camper. If things operate normally, then a new converter is needed.

      Let me know if this helps or not.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Terri 

      2 months ago

      Thank you for the great article I'm having trouble because I'm 65 + First Time RV and I live in it and I got some advice already from this site to place my batteries and connect them and I did that and half the lights came on the TVs that my refrigerator didn't most of my lights and plugs not all of them I'm checking things out my son found the cord that plugs to the outside into my RV with that so he sent for a replacement anytime I still have half of everything and I've been reading all your articles not sure where my converters at to look at it and I definitely don't know where my gfw is that's right initials I do have a reset button in a plug-in on the outside but when it goes out it usually just takes plugs inside and only two of them sure could use some help on Social Security and just can't pay the electrician thank you

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Anna, I'm not familiar with how your fridge is assembled, but you may be able to access the back from the outer access panel.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Anna Rhoades 

      2 months ago

      our 2016 Cameo Samsung refrigerator leaks water into the vegetable bins. I've researched before and was told it's probably the heat transfer probe behind the inside back panel. My question is, how do I get the back panel off without harming the refrigerator

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Melisa, turn the converter breaker off and connect a good battery charger to the battery. If the lights and other items work properly, then the converter needs replacing.

      If this doesn't help, get back to me and we'll try some other fixes.

      Randy

    • profile image

      melisagarcia 

      2 months ago

      hello , i have a question.

      i bought an 2018 RV and i connected to the power to stay for a couple months and in a couple of months all the lights started to failed and then the kitchen fan and now the furnace, what you think it can be causing the problems

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Lee, you may have toasted the converter if there aren't fuses or a reset button to prevent this from happening. You may be able to get it repaired, but in most cases, it's almost as much or more costly than simply replacing the converter.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Lee Morgan 

      2 months ago

      I replaced my battery today but i hooked it up wrong and smoke came out from where the converter is which is hard to get to but i turned the disconect and it stoped got the battery connected correct does the converter had fuses to protect things just thinking if that is where the smoke was from.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Andreia, try turning the converter breaker off and connecting a good battery charger to the battery(s). If the noise stops and everything is working normally, then the converter is the problem.

      Randy

    • profile image

      AndreiaSimon 

      3 months ago

      Hi Randy, my husband and I own a Casita. We were plugged into shore power at the house, and suddenly noticed a loud vibrating noise coming from near the battery and the power converter. We unplugged the power, opened up the battery box and saw that the wire from the negative terminal had come disconnected. We unhooked the battery altogether and the vibration stopped. We thought the battery might be the cause of the problem, so we plugged it into shore power without the battery to see if it still made the vibrating noise, and it did. We’re guessing it’s the power converter. Any thoughts?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Don and Dan, first check the negative battery ground where it connects to the steel frame of the camper. This connection should be rust free and tight for a proper ground. This could be the problem if you're sure the battery(s) are good and holding a charge.

      Let me know if this doesn't solve the problem and we'll go from there.

      Randy

    • profile image

      donanddan21@yahoo.com 

      3 months ago

      when pluged into 120 volts every thing works when un pluged I have no 12 volts in coach where do I look for prob

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Fasttimes, glad you found the problem. I noticed what I took to be a relay but must be the breaker you mentioned. Thanks for coming back with the info as it may help others with a similar problem. :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Fasttimes 

      4 months ago

      Randy, issue solved I believe. There breaker in that junction box was the issue. After talking to my local RV shop they showed me that there were two types one with a manual reset and one that you replace if broken. Turns out mine is the manual reset type as I saw there was the tinniest tip of a toothpick size button that when I pushed clicked in and stayed and sure enough now everything is working.

      The majority of the wires floating around in there were the lines coming in from the RV to Car plug and their connections to the trailer lines. The main wires coming in from the top were from the converter and the wires coming in from the lower right were from the battery side.

      Thanks for the assistance, relieved it wasn't more major.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Fasttimes, wow what a jumble of wires you have there! Is this box in place of 12 volt power panel? I can see a ground bar is the reason I'm asking.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Fasttimes 

      4 months ago

      Ok, I think I've narrowed it down to the junction box area. The converter is sending 13.7 there on the top positive connections, but the bottom positive connections are not getting any power to the post. Only if I connect the battery up do I get a reading which is 12.7 from the battery to that post. If I remove the connections to the battery and test the lines to the battery they do not have any current, so I was incorrect and the battery is not charging.

      Am I missing something on these junction boxes? Could it just go bad and not be sending power to the second bottom post?

      http://davidchristie.net/images/misc/camper/box_op...

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Fast, try connecting a good battery charger--not a trickle type--and if you have power then the converter may be bad.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Fasttimes 

      4 months ago

      I'll have to check tmw, but I don't recall seeing any fuse. I just see the power line from the battery going into that junction box where all those connections are. From there I basically cannot see the power line after. To the left of the junction box are 4 black wires that look to be grounded to the frame as well, they are not very large gauge wires though and are in pairs in red rubber protectors.

      Looking at the inverter, I can see a red power line coming in and attached to the circuit board. I'm not sure if this is where I should check for 12 power coming from the battery? The inverter does seem to be charging the battery though.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Fast, look for a relay/fuse on the positive wire leading back to the converter. You may or may not have one but some campers do. If this is blown or tripped, it won't let the current flow either to or from the converter to the battery.

      Normally it's located near the battery box or the converter.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Fasttimes 

      4 months ago

      Randy, I've read through the article and the comments and I"m trying to trouble shoot an issue. The coach only has power when connected to shore power. The inverter seems to be charging the battery, but just not using it when I need it with no connection. I see no blown fuses and have switched back and forth all of the circuit breakers.

      From the comments I read here, I removed the thick white ground wire going from the battery to the frame and took a dremel and really cleaned well the connectors on all ends as well as where the wire is screwed to the frame but no change.

      The inverter is a WFCO WF-8955PEC and seems to be common. How do I test that 12v power is getting to the inverter? I see the end of a thick red cable posted to the circuit board, but not sure if that is for 12v or the shore power line?

      http://davidchristie.net/images/misc/camper/batter...

      http://davidchristie.net/images/misc/camper/frame_...

      http://davidchristie.net/images/misc/camper/invert...

      There is also some type of junction box, but I see no issues looking in it, but not sure really about it.

      http://davidchristie.net/images/misc/camper/box_op...

    • profile image

      Laura Kolkman 

      4 months ago

      Yes I did it isn’t exactly like the new converter we received though

      We took all the wires and make sure all the connections are good and tight

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Laura, did you get a wiring diagram with the new converter?

      Randy

    • profile image

      Laura Kolkman 

      4 months ago

      Thanks for the reply Randy you’re talking about the white one that’s going from the fuse box panel to the converter I assume. I will check that connection tomorrow. Also we picked up a new battery and when we hooked it up the 30 amp fuse that is in the wire that goes from the battery to camper got so hot that we couldn’t even pull it out.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Laura, the white wire may be an extra ground. Have you checked the negative battery cable to make sure it's connected to a clean and tight connection to the steel frame yet?

      Randy

    • profile image

      Laura Kolkman 

      4 months ago

      We just bought a new converter the one you mention above. When I hooked it up there was an extra white wire coming from the fuse panel that I don’t remember unhooking when I took the converter off. There was only three a black a white and a copper now we have very dim lights no furnace. The battery is not fully charged though. Please help I wonder if I have it set up correctly. The fan on the converter is not moving either. Could I snap a pic and send it also?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Ron, the fan normally runs when the converter is charging the battery(s). If the fan is running constantly it may be due to weak batteries or a bad ground on the negative battery cable end where it is connected to the steel frame of the camper. Make sure this is a clean and tight connection. Hope this helps!

      Randy

    • profile image

      ron 

      4 months ago

      when does the fan in the converter suppose to run

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      David, are you sure the hookup at the previous site didn't have a power failure? I don't think the coffee maker and microwave being used at the same time had an effect on the system unless the power at the site was bad.

      Randy

    • profile image

      David Garren 

      4 months ago

      2018 Starcraft BH 26’. Suffered a total loss power! No breakers tripped. GFIC not tripped. When we returned to storage facility, and hooked up to shore power, everything working again. Microwave and coffee brewer were being used at same time when loss of power occurred. They are on different lines, so this is confusing.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Jim, check the main 12 volt DC ground for looseness or corrosion. This is the negative battery cable which attaches to the steel frame of the camper. Clean this connection well. If this doesn't solve the problem, then connect a good battery charger up and if everything works normally the converter is probably bad.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jim Nesbitt 

      4 months ago

      I have a 2001 Coleman Pop-up camper, Mesa model 3551. We were camping this weekend. All was working great. While under 12V power, everything just went dead. Battery is brand new. Had and extra battery as well. Would not work on either battery. Checked connections, no problem there. We had a generator with us so we had 110V power. Everything worked fine. When the power went out using 12V, I had one light on and had just turned on the water pump when everything quit. Pump worked fine with 110V.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Jamie, try cleaning the main 12 volt ground. This the negative battery cable where it attaches to the frame of the camper.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Jamie 

      5 months ago

      We have no power to tip outs, ac/heat, water pump etc. only a few lights and outlets work, changed plug in generator and changed 50 amp breaker in camper, any suggestions?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Sandra, if you don't have a reset button, then I don't have a clue? Sorry! You may have a toasted converter.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Sandra Parker 

      5 months ago

      How do you reset

      A converter

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Dan, this may be a bad ground in the 12 volt system. Try cleaning the main ground located on the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. This is a common problem. Even if it appears to be tight and not corroded, it can still be bad.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Dan-E22 

      5 months ago

      There are moments where I hear a buzzing noise from my speakers when I have a certain combination of lights on. Why is the stereo doing that? I'm at a loss

      I’m considering trying to just disconnect it all together. It’s driving me bonkers!

      Thank you in advance!

    • profile image

      Dave 

      5 months ago

      OK

      Tracked it down to this:

      It will only run when:

      2 of the white wires are disconnected from the bus bar.

      & the water heater breaker is off.

      Now I just need to figure out what those 2 white wires go to.

      Thanks for your help!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Dave, turn off the main and check the power inside the 110 volt power panel. You have a dead short either in the power panel or in the pigtail itself. Good luck!

      Randy

    • profile image

      Dave 

      5 months ago

      Turned off all the 110 volt power breakers in the camper including the main. Plugged the camper to the AC outlet it in and it immediately tripped the breaker in the house.

      So look into the connections/wiring of the pigtail (which I am assuming to be the large black wire on the camper that plugs into the 30 amp female outlet at the RV park)?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Dave turn all the breakers in the 110 volt power panel off, even the main. Then start by turning the main on and if it doesn't trip immediately, then turn on the other breakers one at a time until you find the circuit causing the problem.

      If the main trip with no other breakers on, then check the pigtail and its connections.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Dave 

      5 months ago

      I had my camper plugged in at an RV site during the whole month of June and everything was fine.

      I got it home and plugged it in (where I always do) at it immediately tripped the breaker in the house. Nothing electrical was turned on in the camper and it doesn't matter if all the breakers in the camper are all on or all off. It trips the breaker immediately as soon as the plug touches the outlet.

      Any ideas?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Snelson. apparently the converter was defective as it supplied more voltage than was intended for the 12 volt system.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Snelson600 

      5 months ago

      We had a new converter put in our RV after the original one failed. About the same time, we purchased 2 brand new Yamaha generators. For the next seven months, from the get go, we had trouble with the generators. Surging when just running the converter and the refrigerator, overloading easily, etc even when using them both in tandem! During this time, we had the generators checked out by 4 different shops, never found a problem with the generators. (Unfortunately, we never had them tested when plugged into the RV). We never seemed to have an issue when running directly off AC, plugged in.

      Then, one day we plugged the shore cord into a 30 amp pedestal at a campground using our Surge Guard surge protector. The Surge Guard went through its countdown test of the pedestal with on faults. As soon as it allowed power to go to the RV, the converter fried! The tops of the capacitors in the converter blew off and small low volt items in the RV that were not even turned on (battery charger, mattress warmer) took a hit and fried. There was no fault recorded on the surge protector.

      After we replaced the converter again, the generators ran beautifully.

      I would love to hear your opinions on what you feel our issue was. My gut feeling is that the converter was faulty, but since I don't completely understand their operation, don't know if that could be the case if it operated correctly when plugged in to AC receptacle but not when plugged into the generators.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Michael, usually there's a converter breaker or fuse in the 110 volt power panel. If you can't find it, don't worry about it. Go ahead and connect the charger up. Hope this helps you find out if the converter is bad or not.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Michael 

      6 months ago

      thanks so much for the info, when you say turn breaker/fuse off, are you meaning all three breakers and fuses, or is there a separate switch because I havent seen a separate switch except the three breakers and the fuse panel. sorry I am not much on converter concept yet but learning, I am pretty good on normal electrical lol. Thanks again.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Michael, try connecting a good battery charger with the converter breaker/fuse off. It needs to be at least a 10 amp or better charger. If everything works normally, then yes, it's more than likely the converter.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Michael 

      6 months ago

      Hello, I have read the article about the converter and I think I understand, but let me give you my senerio, I was at the camp ground and all was great for four days and then out of no where I noticed my AC was not cooling, blowing but not cooling. I then check breakers flipped them, turned off AC and turned it back on and it worked good again, then the next day AC running great until I turned on ONE over head light and all shut down, AC Shuts down but light are really dim. I turn light off and turn AC back on good, until I turn on the light again. I thought it was the camp ground shore line, packed up when home plugged in my home light still same problem, but now I find my brand new 12 Volt battery is dead. do you think it is a the converter? I have a parallax 7100 Sysem in my camper..Any recommendations?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Dan, more than likely it is the converter making the noise. You should be able to determine if it's caused by a bad fan motor, or if it's an alarm of some kind. Check the negative battery cable end where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. A loose or corroded connection here will cause all sorts of 12 volt problems.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Dan 

      6 months ago

      I noticed a buzzing in my 5th wheel sometimes, then if I turn on another light or turn off one that is already on it goes away. Is this normal or could it be the converter going bad?

      The buzzing is driving me nuts and would like to do whatever I need to in order to get it to stop.

      Thank you!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for the solution to your problem and also the info about repairing the converter, Richard. I would not be surprised if this happens to many converters after a few years of being trundled up and down the road.

      Randy

    • profile image

      boulanger@citlink.net 

      6 months ago

      It appears it was the converter. One capacitor completely broken from the board. The other capacitor was not in complete contact as the solder had been cracked from vibration. No capacitors to smooth the current caused arcing across the 5 resistors that set voltage. The board around these resistors was burned and showed visible arc trails, on the underside of the board. The top of the board was discolored light brown.

      The capacitors, each the size of a D sized battery. Standing vertically. Had nothing to reduce vibration. So the “legs” broke off in one case, or broke the solder joint in the other.

      If you have a Parallax 7345 converter. I would check to see if you have broken or loose capacitors. If the resistors have not been fried yet, you can solder the capacitors back in place. Then apply some silicone, around the base of each, capacitor to stop vibration damage.

      In our case we chose to replace the converter. The old 7345 converter could be repaired. Wouldn’t be pretty, but it would work and be safe.

      Still waiting on word from Sooner about a schematic.

      Richard

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      boulanger--It would be nice if you could relate the solution to your problem when you finnaly figure it out. It may help other RVers with a similar problem.

      Thanks,

      Randy

    • profile image

      boulanger@citlink.net 

      6 months ago

      Still have not been able to trace out the ground. As you say it has to be there someplace. LOL.

      Update: Performed a charge on the battery with a battery charger. Battery showed 12.61V, straight off charger. After two days of charging from the converter the battery showed 12.66V, after about 40 minutes unplugged. It looks like it all might be fine now.

      Trying to get a wiring diagram from the manufacturer to find that ground. I suspect it might be in the control box for the powered foot. An 8 gauge ground goes in there, as does an 8 gauge power.

      Again, thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      No problem, Boulanger. :)

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      boulanger--There has to be a ground on the negative battery cable as it's the main ground for the 12 volt DC system.

      Randy

    • profile image

      boulanger@citlink.net 

      6 months ago

      Probably buy a new battery next season.

      Thank you for your help. Wish I had seen all this before I started trying to fix it. It would have saved me time.

      Thank you for your article and your time.

    • profile image

      boulanger@citlink.net 

      6 months ago

      There is no frame ground that I can find. It traces back to the power panel. There are only two grounds one goes to the powered foot, it's a pintel mount. And the other disappears into the wall next to the battery mount. And it shows up at the fuse board in the power panel. All of those are clean and tight.

      So guessing we may have to replace the battery again.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Boulanger, cleaning the ground may do the trick and yes, a battery can go bad if not kept fully charged by the converter.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Kathy, thanks so much for the info on the reset. I'd be pleased to view the photos. There's an email contact on this page at the top.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Kathy 

      6 months ago

      Hi Randy -Thank you for your article as we have been having the same issue as many, on our brand new 2018 Forest River Cherokee Grey Wolf (patriot edition) toy hauler. I would like to share our finding with you and everyone else. Recap - With generator plugged in EVERYTHING works, switch the generator off, brand new fully charged batteries, nothing works, Checked everything you mentioned (my husband has an electrician background) and spoke to our dealer. Dealer told us if we don't see a big red button inside the front door, then we don't have a power re-set switch. They are WRONG! There is a switch, but dang, it was hard to find AND covered in dirt! My husband persisted and followed the battery wires back to the frame of the Toyhauler and next to the silver electrical box, (button was NOT in the box), there are wires that connect next to the box, 4 yellow capped ones and above the screws that hold that contraption to the frame is a tiny black button, (I mean tiny, like the size of a ballpoint pen tip). Ours was covered in dirt, so my husband it the first 20 times he was under the trailer. He pushed it and it reset the power!! I have photos I would love to send you so you can post.

    • profile image

      boulanger@citlink.net 

      6 months ago

      Been having these problems on a 2003 Sooner living quarters horse trailer. Looked at the converter.

      It was a Parallax 7345 cabinet, and one capacitor was laying on it's side and the other sparked when I touched it. Both has been broken or loosened by vibration. The resistor bridge was also burned, probably from the capacitors damage.

      Battery was only charging to 12.2V max

      So we replaced the converter yesterday with a 45RU unit. The battery is still not showing a full charge after an overnight charge. Cleaned the battery connections at the battery today. From reading here I guess the next step is the ground to the frame.

      The battery was replaced new in March. Wondering if it has been damaged by undercharging.

    • profile image

      John 

      6 months ago

      No joy. I must be missing a breaker, relay or something.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Mike, the converter is usually located near--or sometimes part of--the 12 volt power panel. You may also follow the 12 volt positive battery cable to the converter.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Mike Matheny 

      6 months ago

      2013 montana mountaineer 337

      How do i locate the power converter?

      Everything ive been told or read is not accurate.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      John, sounds like a bad battery ground. Clean the negative battery cable end where it connects to the steel frame of the camper. This is the main ground for the 12 volt system.

      Randy

    • profile image

      John 

      6 months ago

      Replaced the battery on my minnie winnie and now no interior lights or power to anything else. When I plug in the ac power, everything works. ??

    • profile image

      Randy I 

      6 months ago

      Randy I believe it is the electronic inverter,converter, charger all in one. This on starcraft popup trailer no seperate components.so if turn o ff the breaker the sound will stop because that is the power source . Thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Wayde, try turning the converter breaker off with the lights on and see if the squealing stops. If so, this shows the converter is the problem.

      Randy

    • profile image

      wayde 

      6 months ago

      only when lights are on does it squeal not when refrigerator,microwave, nor air conditioner everything seems fine until you turn on any light

    • profile image

      wayde 

      6 months ago

      switched wires to different breaker and made no difference still squealing. checked all wiring in every light and connections at the converter everthing is secure

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Wayne Nelson, more than likely the fan motor in the power converter needs lubricating or replacing.

      Randy

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