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

      Clark, I don't understand what the outside switch controls. Do you have any 12 volt items which work when the switch is off? Or does the switch control all of the 12 volt items?

      Randy

    • profile image

      Clark Griswald 

      3 days ago

      Hi Randy, I have a 2016 Keystone, on DC power only, with a fully charged battery, everytime I turn the outside switch that allows power from the battery to the camper I blow my 40 amp fuses on the inverter. Any thoughts as to why? While plugged into 110v power everything works fine but I have to keep that outside battery switch off to prevent the fuses from blowing again. Thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Luisa, I have had other campers complain about different RV parks having low voltage/ amperage during the heat of the summer when the demand is greatest.

      But it could also be the particular RVs you mentioned experiencing converter or other electrical problems.

      I'd call the power company first because they should want to check the voltage at your park anyway. This should tell you if the power is weak or it's just the few campers with problems.

      Hope this helps! :)

      Randy

    • profile image

      Luisa 

      5 days ago

      Hi Randy I manage an RV Park in Texas the weather is getting pretty hot here, a have 2 tenants complaining about the electricity is not working the same in the RVS, it seems a little weak I was wondering if is the converter they are using or is the actual electric box outside, do you think I should call an Electrician or tle the Electric company

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      8 days ago from Southern Georgia

      Brian, if you leave the converter breaker off, do your other 110 volt outlets work as usual? If so, try connecting a good battery charger up to see if the converter is indeed the problem.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Brian 

      8 days ago

      Randy, great article! Kind of in a crunch. Camper worked two weeks ago. Plugged it in to get ready last night and a it kicked my GFCI. To trouble shoot I shut all breakers off and turned them on 1 by 1. (Top to bottom) Main, Microwave, AC, water heater. None of those appliances are on, when I flip the converter cb, the gfci pops every time. Bad converter? I tried an different circuit in house with same result. I was actually able to run microwave yesterday, but as the night wore

      On, that also popped the gfci. Unfortunately local shop can’t get to it for 2 weeks and I leave tomorrow. Arg!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Ronnie, which power works for a few seconds? The 12 volt system or the 110? Try turning the converter breaker off and see if this makes a difference. If so. this may be a converter problem.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Ronnie 

      2 weeks ago

      Have always plugged my 30 amp fifth wheel with a 15 amp pigtail into my garage. Everything would work in trailer, but the ac. Now I can't get any power to trailer. When I plug in it comes on for a few seconds to goes out. Is this a converter problem or a main power plug problem. No problems before

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Octoson, this voltage isn't unusual as the converter normally puts out over 13 volts.

      Unless there's a power surge, I can't help you unless you want to install a voltage regulator of some sort.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Octoson 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi Randy, I find my porch light doesn't last very long. Then my vent fan died. Thought I had inferior parts. Recently the front fan died. Contacted the fan mfg and they asked me to check voltage. 13.66 V at both fans....assuming it's this way at the porch light as well. Fan mfg suggested it's a little high and probably what ended the fans life early. How would I reduce this? 2018 Winnebago Vista LX

      Thanks much!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Kristina, try turning off all the breakers except the main, then turn on the breakers one at a time until you find the breaker causing the problem. Let me know which one it is and we'll go from there.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Kristina W 

      4 weeks ago

      Hello Randy so we have a 97 Skyline Nomad Bunkhouse and when we bought it last September it was completely functioning everything was working great we got it home and plugged it in everything came on it trip the breaker few times and then stop tripping breaker we went to step on the stairs and got shocked call the camper guy he came out charge $200 said we had a bad converter. So we just purchased the brand new exact fit Parallax converter and everything is wired properly weave double triple checked it and yet you plug it in and it trips the breaker and we have no power to the camper. We have also replace the cord and cord end that plugs in turn the camper to a power source. Do you have any ideas as to what's wrong or what we can do? We're supposed to leave for the campground on Friday for Memorial Day weekend.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      No problem, Nathan. Good luck!

      Randy

    • profile image

      Nathan Brown 

      5 weeks ago

      Thanks randy!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Nathan, check the battery ground cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper first. This is the main ground for the 12 volt DC system and if this connection isn't clean and tight, then all sorts of weird 12 volt issues may appear.

      If this doesn't solve the problem, then connect at least a 20 amp battery charger up to the battery(s) and if everything works properly, then the converter is probably toast.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Nathan Brown 

      5 weeks ago

      When plugged in to ac power I have 120 going to my breaker box. All recepticales and the microwave work fine. Everything else lights, fridge and ac do not work. Can this be my converter? Im new to campers and dont understand how the electrical works exactly. An uth help would be greatly appreviated!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Chad, first check the negative battery cable where it connects to the steel frame of the camper. This is the main ground for the 12 volt DC system.

      If the connection is okay, then connect a good battery charger--not a trickle type-of at least 20 amps and if everything operates fine, then a new converter may be in your near future.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Chad 

      5 weeks ago

      Randy when I unplug from a power source my 12 volt system doesn’t function is there a switch I need to hit? 1979 gmc c class unit. Thanks chad

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Ed, leave the converter breaker off and connect a good battery charger up instead. If everything works as it should, then a new converter is probably needed.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Ed 

      5 weeks ago

      Connect to power source when I turn the breaker on for converter, the main breaker keeps blowing?

    • profile image

      Brian 

      5 weeks ago

      When I have my camper plugged in, all my outlets work but the lights and the air conditioner is running on the battery still when the battery dies the lite and air conditioning quit working

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      Judy, could be, but check the battery ground cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. If this connection is corroded or loose it can cause all sorts of issues with the 12 volt DC system.

      If this doesn't help, then connect a good battery charger--not a trickle type--with at least 20 amps and see if the problem goes away. If so, then yes the converter may indeed be at fault.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Judy barrow 

      5 weeks ago

      Our lights are very dim.we just had a new battery put in.would that be the converter

    • profile image

      vbrodeur 

      6 weeks ago

      Thank you so much for your quick reply :)

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      6 weeks ago from Southern Georgia

      vbrodeur, check the negative battery ground cable where it attaches to the steel frame of the camper. This connection is the main ground for the 12 volt system and it should be clean and tight.

      Randy

    • profile image

      vbrodeur 

      6 weeks ago

      plugged into shoreline 120v -batteries will not charge through converter and my furnace blower will only run off DC will not convert to AC? Just replaced old converter with new converter

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Sherry, the converter only powers certain 12 volt items such as some lights, the AC and H/W heater thermostats, etc.

      When the camper is not connected to a power source the AC, outlets, or none of the items using 110 volts will work.

      And the fan will only operate when the converter is charging the batteries up to their fullest pointand then the fan will stop.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Sherry Gjonnes 

      2 months ago

      My converter inverter box has two 40A fuses. I replaced them and the fan starts but won't keep going. When plugged into electricity everything works. Unplugged the receptacles, microwave, air conditioning won't work. Replaced the inverter converter box and both house batteries a few now. Ago. Replacedtruck battery a week ago. 2015 coachman leprechaun 31' class C motorhome. Batteries are 12.6 charge. Help.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Amie, no benefit unless you're adding more 12 volt items to your camper.

      Randy

    • profile image

      Amie Nelsen 

      2 months ago

      Thanks Randy! Is there any benefit to going higher than 45 amps? The panel is wired for 40 amps but I am still trying grasp conversions, amps, volts, AC/DC (not the band!) I am also trying to keep my power use under control as power fees where I live are very high and so is the cost of propane (yes I live in Canada!!) I have done the propane regulator and hose replacement myself but the converter is a little past my knowledge at this point. Thanks!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Amie, yes a 45 amp converter will work fine. As long as the replacement converter provides as many or more amps than the original, you're good to go!

      Randy

    • profile image

      Amie Nelsen 

      2 months ago

      I have a 1991 Terry Resort and the converter is very loud. I am doing some updates so though I would replace the converter but I can't find the same one (I am sure its the original) and I know very little about updating at this point, learning fast! It has a MagneTek 40amp 120V AC 12V DC 40 amps max, and apparently it is not made anymore. What can I replace it with? Can I go up to 45amp 110V? I do not plan on plugging every appliance known to man in the unit, and I am installing a 100W solar panel as well. What is my best option? Thanks!!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Angela, check the main 12 volt ground where the negative battery cable connects to the steel frame of the camper. This connection should be clean and tight or all sorts of 12 volt problems may occur.

      Also, try connecting a good battery charger up if the ground isn't the problem. If this works then the converter may be the issue,

      Randy

    • profile image

      Angela Cordova 

      2 months ago

      We have a 35 foot 2000 south wind . When trying to use slider in back it started to go out and then stoped and then all lights went out . We just bought it and can not figure out how to fix.

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 months 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 months 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 

      3 months 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 

      3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      bSirius, sounds like my luck! :o

    • profile image

      Ameliaolive 

      3 months ago

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

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      3 months 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 

      3 months 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 

      3 months 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

      3 months 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 

      3 months 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 

      3 months 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 

      3 months 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 

      3 months 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 

      4 months 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 

      4 months 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 

      4 months ago from Southern Georgia

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

      Randy

    • profile image

      Randolph Jones 

      4 months 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 

      4 months 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 

      4 months 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 

      4 months ago

      Thanks again!

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      4 months 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 

      4 months 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 

      4 months 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 

      4 months 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 

      4 months 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 

      4 months 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 

      5 months 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 

      5 months 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      6 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 

      6 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 

      6 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 

      6 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 months ago from Southern Georgia

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

      Randy

    • profile image

      Laura Kolkman 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 months ago

      when does the fan in the converter suppose to run

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 months ago

      How do you reset

      A converter

    • Randy Godwin profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy Godwin 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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!

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