Troubleshooting, Repairing, and Replacing an RV Camper Power Converter

Updated on April 6, 2017
Randy Godwin profile image

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

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

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

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

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

Safety Alert!

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

Classic Travel Trailers

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

Types of Converter Problems

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

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

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

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

Troubleshooting the RV Power Converter

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

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

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

1. Power Converter Fan

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

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

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

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

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

2. Resistors and Circuit Board

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

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

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

3. Replacement

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

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

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

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

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    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      9 days 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 

      9 days 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 

      3 weeks 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 

      3 weeks 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 

      3 weeks 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 

      3 weeks 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 

      3 weeks 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 

      3 weeks 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 

      3 weeks 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 

      3 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

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

      Randy

    • profile image

      Laura Kolkman 

      4 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks ago

      when does the fan in the converter suppose to run

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks 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 

      5 weeks 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 

      6 weeks 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 

      6 weeks 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 

      7 weeks 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 

      7 weeks 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 

      2 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 

      2 months ago

      How do you reset

      A converter

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      No problem, Boulanger. :)

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 months ago

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

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 months ago from Southern Georgia

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

      Randy

    • profile image

      wayde nelson 

      3 months ago

      get high squealing noise when turning on the interior light or lights

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Bill, check the fuse/breaker in the 12 volt power panel which controls the lights. May be a bad ground or loose connection.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Bill 

      3 months ago

      I am looking into buying a used jayco jayflight 27bh. But it has an eletrical issue the light will only work off the battery. Once it is pluged into 120 everything works but the lights

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      JustinOAK--All of the items you mention not working are controlled by the 12 volt system. The thermostats for the furnace and fridge use 12 volts. The fuses/breakers in the 12 volt power panel control these items.

      I assume you've cleaned the negative battery cable where it connects to the steel frame of the camper already. If not, try doing so.

      Randy

    • profile image

      JustinOAK 

      3 months ago

      I have a 2016 Forest river travail Trailer and we have lost power to the refrigerator, the Stove vent van, and now the furnace will not light. The refrigerator will not turn on at all when plunged in or off the batteries. I changed the LP regulator this weekend to see if that would get the furnaces to run because we could not get Gas to stove to stay lit and thought it might be why the Furnace was not working. After changing the regulator the stove works fine but not the furnace. Just seems odd all of this happened all at once on and all the components are in the same area of the coach. BTW this weekend we where hooked to 220 power. I have checked the Ground, All fuses I could find (behind fridge, Converter panel, Under fridge next to furnace with no blown fuses of breaker. The GFI in the restroom works fine and so does microwave.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Krcjjck--Check the negative battery cable where it connects to the steel frame of the camper as this is the main ground for the 12 volt DC system. Make sure it's clean even though it may appear clean already.

      If this doesn't help, then connect a good battery charger up and if everything works properly, then yes, the converter may be bad.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Krcjjck 

      3 months ago

      My coach is losing power just got brand new batteries and still have low power signal. Could it be my inverter that is bad?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Mark, check the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. This connection is the main ground for the 12 volt system and may be corroded or loose.

      Randy

    • profile image

      mark willingham 

      3 months ago

      Hey randy, I have a powermax pm3-45 converter. Everything has worked well for several years. Now the positive battery lead is getting scorching hot. I have 2 gauge wire about 3-4' long and all the ends are good. No corrosion or breakdown in the wire. I was concerned it could be the battery so I replaced with a known good battery. Converter will run for a few minutes before positive battery lead gets hot then my surge protector that the converter is plugged to trips. Any idea?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Doris, your battery may be getting weak or is low on fluid. This may cause the converter to run all of the time to try and make enough amps since the battery can't hold a full charge. Hope this helps!

      Randy

    • profile image

      Doris 

      3 months ago

      My fan keeps running on my converter box in my camper but the converter is charging my battery

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Morgan, this does sound like a bad converter if the charger made everything work as usual.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Morgan G. 

      3 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      We have a 2014 High Country that is having issues. We came home to a home with nothing 12v working. We hooked up a battery charger and that fixed the problem...for about 8 hours before everything died. Im going to give the battery and connections a good clean. We also have had this battery for less than 6months. Does this sound like a rotten converter and battery?

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Ray, as long as the camper is connected to the truck it's using the truck to power the lights. Check the battery negative cable--even if you have no batteries--where it connects to the steel frame of the camper. This is the main ground and is often corroded. Clean it well.

      Connect a good battery charger and if everything works okay, then yes, the converter may be at fault.

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Ashley, have you checked the battery voltage to see if the battery is indeed dead? The lack of extra amps the battery supplies may be making the converter work more than it's designed for. Try connecting a good battery charger with the converter breaker off and this will tell you if the converter is working properly or not.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Ray 

      4 months ago

      Hi Randy, I recently bought a 10 year old camper trailer from my nephew. Currently it doesn't have any batteries, however when its plugged into my truck the lights work. My daughter wanted to borrow it and I told her just to use the the generator. Well she said that she plugged it into the generator and the lights don't work, only the microwave works. She plugged it into ac with the same result. Is the converter bad?

    • profile image

      Ashley 

      4 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      I did originally have the battery connected and it was doing the same thing. So I disconnected it as I was worried that the battery was not holding a charge and causing it to run constantly. I also have now noticed if I run the lights for a longer period of time, the squealing eventually stops but the fan turns on, pulses and then turns off. Over and over as long as the lights are on! It doesn’t seem to run constantly. It’s very strange.. I’m not sure why it’s suddenly doing this. The fan has never run in the past when I had my lights on, and I have never heard the squealing before until this camp site!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Ashley, have you tried the 12 volt system with the battery connected? The converter may be telling you that your 12 volt system requires the added amperage a battery supplies.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Ashley 

      4 months ago

      Hi Randy, I have a WF-8735 converter in my trailer. I am plugged in at a campsite, and the converter is emitting a constant high pitched squealing sound. It gets louder when I turn on the lights, but is constant even when I have nothing running except the fridge. When I turn on the lights or draw any additional power, the squealing gets louder and the fan kicks on. The fan does not run unless I am drawing additional power. I have noticed that through the day, the converter gets hot, as the fan isn’t running so I have been positioning a small fan in front of it to keep it cool. It has not done this before at any other camp site. I disconnected my battery as I don’t need it. My connection cord says “this connection is for 110/125 volt AC, 60 Hz. 30 ampere supply” and the tower I’m plugged into says “volts 120/240, amps 15/30, HZ 60.” Do you have any advice on what could be wrong, or how to make the squealing stop? Thanks! Ashley

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Peter, connect a good battery charger--not a trickle type--and if everything works normally, then the power converter may be bad. You may also clean the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper as this can also cause this problem.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Peter 

      4 months ago

      My rv outlets work perfectly good also my microwave and fridge..... The problem is the a/c and lights wount turn on checked breakers and bought new fuses.... still no lights or ac

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Don, check the voltage at the batteries to see if the power converter is working. You should get at least 13 volts dc if it is. You can also connect a good charger to the batteries and if everything works normally, then converter may be bad.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Don 

      4 months ago

      last night my ac, fridge and micro wave went out. all of my outlets seem to be working. I have no lighting operable.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      RJack, check the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. A corroded connection here will cause all sorts of problems with the 12 volt system.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Bill 

      4 months ago

      My RV power will not switch over when generator is being used. No powers to outlets. What do I need to check?

    • profile image

      RJackBR549 

      4 months ago

      I have replaced the converter, and the battery. But it is still not working. No powder this morning??

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Aaron, check the caps!

      Randy

    • profile image

      Aaron 

      4 months ago

      Turns out that my batteries were the issue. Got two new batteries and generator fired right up. Now I need to get a better converter that charges better when driving and running the generator. Probably get a few solar panels as well.

      Tried my AC after firing the generator but it wouldn't come on so that's my next problem.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Megan, check the negative battery cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the trailer. This connection is prone to causing your problem. Make sure this connection is clean.

      Also, you may have a fuse/breaker on the positive battery cable leading to the 12 volt power panel. Not all 12 volt systems have this fuse/breaker.

      Randy

    • profile image

      meganwarnick 

      4 months ago

      Hi Randy!

      I have a 2014 Lakota horse trailer with living quarters. Everything functions perfectly when hooked to normal power or a generator. Trying to run it on just batteries, nothing works. We just replaced the batteries because we thought the batteries weren't charging. That did not fix the problem. We then thought the power switch had gone bad because it was a little worn. That still did not fix the problem. Breakers and fuses appear to be good. Does this sound like my inverter is bad? How can I test this?

      Thank you!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Aaron, sounds like the converter is bad.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Aaron 

      4 months ago

      I think the batteries are not charged enough and that is preventing the generator from starting. I'm going to try and charge them longer.

    • profile image

      Aaron 

      4 months ago

      Hi Randy, correct.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Aaron, is the generator not starting even when the batteries are fully charged?

      Randy

    • profile image

      Aaron 

      4 months ago

      Hi Randy, I did not have a charger hooked up, I pulled the batteries and had them charge. Even if the Converter is bad which appears to be the issue because of the low power warning, what would that have to do with the generator not starting?

      I appreciate your input.

      Aaron

    • profile image

      Aaron 

      4 months ago

      I took the batteries out and took them to Autozone where they speed charged over 3.5 hours. I installed them back and then tried the generator and that's the last post.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Aaron, when you had the charger connected--hopefully not a trickle charger--did you try the generator? If you have at least a 30 amp charger, it will tell you if the converter is working properly or not.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Aaron 

      4 months ago

      Batteries charged to 11.7 probably damaged them I would imagine from going to zero.

      Generator tries to turn over but acts like it's not getting enough power clicks, tries to start, clicks, etc.

      Started main engine to help but didn't work. Now my low power COT warning light is back beeping and the check X on the fridge is back on after that attempt. Argg

      Checked the battery monitor and dropped to 11v.

      Ideas?

    working

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