Essential Guide to 120-Volt Power Converters for RVs

The power converter is an essential component in an RV’s electrical system. Typically, coaches have two essentially separate electrical systems; one that provides 120 volts AC to high-power consumption, high-wattage appliances such as coffee makers, microwave ovens, hair dryers, air conditioners, etc. The other, low-voltage part of the electrical system provides 12 volts DC to lights and other items which don’t have high current draws, and are sometimes powered by onboard batteries (which provide power when you’re not hooked up to an outside power source or generator).

Power Converter
Top left: Parallax Series 7300; top right: Iota Engineering DLS Model; bottom left: Progressive Dynamics Model PD9250c; bottom right: Xantrex Truecharge 2-40a

When you are connected to campground power or running off a generator, the power converter changes the 120 volt AC power to 12 volts DC, which is compatible with the low-voltage electrical system and batteries. This electricity supplied by the converter can take the place of the power from the batteries, and can also recharge them.

Many basic single-stage converters, typically found in older and lower-priced coaches, are still in use. They don’t have the sophisticated internal circuitry to properly charge and condition batteries. Some converter models supply only a fixed voltage of around 13.2 volts, which prevents batteries from reaching full charge and also shortens their service life. Modern multi-stage charging circuits typically include four operation modes: boost, normal, equalization and storage (or float).

Related article: RV Battery Basics: A Beginner’s Guide

Batteries have become quite expensive, and faulty charging by the converter can be both inconvenient due to loss of power, and costly in terms of ruining batteries. It’s likely that the majority of RV batteries succumb to sulfation, rather than actually being worn out, or dying of old age. Sulfation occurs when lead sulfate forms on the internal plates and reduces or even halts the battery’s ability to accept and hold a charge. When batteries are stored in a partially charged or discharged condition, and/or are improperly charged, sulfation occurs.

Batteries are sensitive to charging voltages and require multiple charging stages to get a full, proper charge. Multi-stage power converter/chargers that have an equalization stage are needed for effective battery charging.

One of the best things you can do for the life of your battery/ies is to familiarize yourself with the type of power converter you have in your coach. Many owners don’t even know where their converter is located. Typically it’s a metal box a little bigger than a large box of facial tissues and is situated adjacent to the fuse panel, near where the wiring comes into the coach. When it is powered up, it gives off a humming sound, which can help you locate it. Usually the make and model and power ratings are written on the case. You can also look up the ratings in the manuals that come with the RV.

Modern converters operate automatically and have become more efficient. Some newer models combine an inverter, which provides 120 volt AC power that’s produced electronically from 12 volt DC battery power, when the coach isn’t connected to an outside source of electricity. These add convenience and many owners upgrade to inverter-type power supplies when replacement time comes.

Troubleshooting Power Converters

If you have some DIY skills you can perform basic troubleshooting on your power converter. Power converters require sufficient voltage input to operate.

  • Begin by checking voltage at the outlet the RV is plugged into. Use a handheld multimeter to check voltage at the campground outlet. It should range between 108 and 130 volts, preferably 120.
  • Next, check to see if the circuit is protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). If so check if the GFCI is tripped, reset if needed.
  • Then check for power going into the converter inside the coach. See if it has fuses on it; replace burned out ones with exact replacements.
  • If everything checks out, listen; the unit should hum if it is operating.
  • After that, measure for DC voltage (which requires a different scale on the meter) where power comes from the converter into the 12-volt DC breaker box. It should be around 12 to 14 volts if it is operating properly, if it’s lower you may have a faulty power converter.

Converters also have a small fan which cools the internal components during operation. The cooling fan should go on and off during converter use, controlled by a temperature sensor. The fans usually run on 120 volts AC, so be careful when measuring voltage and use the 200 volt AC meter scale. Make sure voltage is getting through the temperature sensor to the fan motor before condemning the motor. If the fan motor is good, you should be able to jumper wire the sensor and get the fan to operate. In this case, replace the sensor.

Replacing a Converter

Power converters are available in various amperage output ratings, designed to meet the RV’s 12-volt DC system demands. The larger and more amenity-filled the coach, the higher the power requirement. Converter 12-volt power output ratings generally range from about 20 to 100 amperes (amps), although small campers may have less. Usually the original unit is sufficient for the electrical loads of the RV as it came from the factory, but if you have added 12-volt electrical lights or other items, and find that there’s sometimes not enough “juice” you may need an upgrade.

A major reason owners upgrade is to get more modern multi-stage charging features with an equalization mode, to improve charging and extend battery life. Batteries are also sensitive to extreme temperatures; they lose power at low temperatures and outgas and give off more water during charging at higher temperatures. Some converter manufacturers offer models which have temperature compensation circuitry, which adjusts voltage and charge rates according to temperature. This feature is not only convenient, but extends battery life.

Some folks always have their RV connected to shore power, and find it a nuisance to have to install, maintain, and replace batteries. With many power converters, the 12 volt DC current they provide is not smooth and free of AC “ripples” and voltage variations which cause problems with some sensitive DC electronics. Batteries soak up ripples and small voltage spikes to protect these devices. However, Iota Engineering has a DLS converter series which produces smooth DC power that’s compatible with sensitive electronic circuits and can therefore be used without a battery in the system. Iota also offers the IQ4 Smart Charge Controller which adds multi-stage battery charging capability if you do decide to run batteries.

When it comes time up update your converter, take your time shopping. There are many useful features, and some models can be upgraded rather than being replaced. With all of the models available, you can tailor your power supply to your RVing needs.

Popular Sources

Iota Engineering
www.iotaengineering.com
520-294-3292

Parallax Power Supply
www.parallaxpower.com
800-730-2557

Progressive Dynamics
www.progressivedyn.com
269-781-4241

Xantrex
www.xantrex.com
800-670-0707

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Discussion
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64 Responses to “Essential Guide to 120-Volt Power Converters for RVs”
  1. Gary

    RV Make: Pilgrim International, RV Model: Legends 5th wheel, RV Year: 2008

    Company I out of business. Wonderful trailer, but I need owners info., e.g., type of converter, water drains, dryer prep location, etc. I’ve tried on-line with no luck. It is a 37 ft, 4-slide.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Gary. To provide more specific information on obtaining information on your rig we need the make, model and year. This has been a common problem with the RV industry over the years as manufacturing companies “pop up” in the good times and close down with no documentation or technical service available down the line. Most of the owners manuals from these companies were pretty much worthless as they were so generic they did not cover the type of converter, water drain locations, and other items. If it’s a 37’ with 4 slides I would guess you might have an Alfa See Ya? We should be able to find manuals on the appliances as they are still being used by other manufacturers.

      Reply
  2. William C Sallai

    RV Make: Newell Coach, RV Model: 45-102, RV Year: 1996, Brand: Heart, Model Number: Freedom 25

    I live almost exclusively on battery power, charging the batteries using my diesel genset or from the main engine while traveling. I have A/C units, residential refrigerator (not energy star rated), convection microwave, and wall outlets which power coffee maker, toaster, and electronics such as TVs, cellphone chargers, and laptop computer. My inverter/charger is rated 2,500 Watts and do not know if it is capable of multi-stage charging. In either case, I would like to see if I can upgrade to more power available from the inverter when on batteries (eight Series 8D AGM Deep Cycle type). The batteries are new, about a month old. Any suggestions apart from changing the refrigerator. I was told that current inverter/charger would fry circuit boards in new refrigerator.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, William. WOW, you have a battery bank that most RVers would die to have if they had the space! I don’t think changing out the refrigerator to an “Energy Star” model will really make a lot of difference, just check the usage on the data plate. Most inverters over 2000 watts do have a multistage charger, however without knowing the make, model, and year I can’t be sure. I would suggest contacting Xantrex to upgrade your inverter. Here is the site: http://www.xantrex.com/industry-solutions/recreational-vehicles.aspx
      And, the current inverter/charger should not fry the circuit boards in your new refrigerator as most larger inverter/charger provide true sine wave power which is cleaner than the raw, ripple power of a portable generator. You have obviously invested good money in 8 AGM batteries, it’s a good idea to talk to the experts at Xantrex for the right inverter.

      Reply
  3. John Lozyniak

    RV Make: Georgie Boy, RV Model: Pursuit, RV Year: 2006

    As a rv tech I think this article is extremely important for rv owners and users to know abojt their battery’s. I see a lot of people that return back within a year that need new batteries and the biggest culprit is the customer themselves not properly maintaining them. And part of that is having the right converter/charger in their unit

    Reply
  4. jim hooper

    RV Make: redwood, RV Model: 36fb, RV Year: 2012

    How easy isit to changeout a converter?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Jim. To provide more specific information on changing out the converter in your unit we need to know the make, model, and year of the rig and what type of distribution center you have as there were several options over the year. Older models had everything in one place with a face panel that hinged down and 120-volt circuit breakers and 12-volt fuses visible. Underneath was the converter. This is a fairly easy swap if you have the correct 12-volt fuse block to match the new converter. There is a video on this in the Premium section. Some newer models have the converter separate of the distribution panel, sometimes located in an underneath compartment to hide the noise and heat.

      Reply
  5. Dennis Vavrunek

    RV Make: Georgie Boy, RV Model: Cruise Master, RV Year: 2002, Brand: Georgie Boy, Model Number: Cruise Master

    My converter some times hums and some times whines with a higher pitch
    What causes the whining noise?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Dennis. Converters have a small 3-4” fan that is designed to cool the interior components and typically will have 2 stages. The hum is a low speed cool down when the converter is not actually charging the batteries and the higher pitch sound is a the high speed mode to cool during charging. As the converter gets older, the bearings in the fan start to wear and the “higher pitch” will get louder. Very typical of distribution centers with the breakers and converter all in one place, usually the kitchen so it’s more noticeable than the units with the converter separate in a compartment.

      Reply
  6. Joseph D.

    RV Make: Forestriver, RV Model: Georgetown35, RV Year: 2013

    We have 2 six volt batteries in the power system.When first looking things over, they looked to be sealed batteries like those in your car. Later, doing routine maint, the terminals were corroded so I removed the cables and cleaned everything up. In the process I discovered these are
    not sealed like your car. Needless to say water was low in both . Topped off both and they seem to be OK on a recent 2000mile trip. Anything else I can do to insure their good “health” or extend their life??? Appreciate any suggestion

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Joseph. These batteries are deep cycle batteries designed to provide a constant power for appliances and lights in your rig for a longer period of time. Sealed batteries are engine or Cold Cranking Amp (CCA) batteries designed to provide a high voltage start for a short period of time. Your 6-volt batteries are connected in series which is one positive post connected to the other batteries negative post creating a 12-volt system. Maintenance tips include checking the fluid level often, keeping the terminals cleaned, and proper charging which consists of a multi-stage charger. For more on that, visit the great blog on batteries here:
      https://www.rvrepairclub.com/article/rv-battery-basics-beginners-guide/

      Reply
  7. Jack

    RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: DS21, RV Year: 2016

    Hello, I am an Amateur radio operator and pack up my gear when I go camping. My issue is that the converter generates too much RF rendering my receiver useless unless
    I shut it off and run on the generator. My question is, is there a converter available that
    Doesn’t produce RF interference? Thanks, Jack.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Jack. To provide more specific information on a different converter or even a filter we need to know the make, model and year of your rig as well as the converter model? My first question is: Does your receiver operate on 120-volt power which I assume it does or 12-volt power? The puzzling part of your RF issue is the converter you refer to only charges the batteries either from a shoreline cord or the generator? Running the generator is no different than plugging it into shoreline, the same converter is still running? Are you maybe talking about an Inverter that takes house battery power and provides 120-volt power? This might be the issue? I would suggest contacting Progressive Dynamics here; http://www.progressivedyn.com/
      They are the experts at converters and power issues.

      Reply
  8. Jeanne Henderson

    RV Make: Coachman, RV Model: Mirada, RV Year: 2007, Brand: Xantrex

    What is the difference of an INVERTER and a CONVERTER. I believe mine is an inverter

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Jeanne. A converter is basically a battery charger that is connected to the distribution center either as an “all in one” unit or a separate unit in newer rigs. 120-volt power comes into the rig from the shoreline cord either plugged into the campground source, or by generator. That power goes to the distribution center just like your home and powers 120-volt appliances such as the air conditioners, outlets, refrigerator on AC, and other appliances. These all have circuit breakers in the distribution center. One of the circuits sends 120-volt power to the converter which is a battery charger connected to the house batteries.

      An inverter is a separate component that is usually placed in an underfloor location and will take 12-volt power from the house batteries and provide 120-volt power to appliances. Smaller inverters can be found in the entertainment center for the TV/DVD player. Larger ones will have 2000 + watts to power the refrigerator on 120-volt power and other appliances. These will also typically replace the converter as they have multi-stage chargers like the Freedom 2000 and other from Xantrex and others.

      Reply
  9. Carl

    RV Make: Airstream, RV Model: Tradewinds 24 ft, RV Year: 1966, Brand: Converter Inverter

    Can you recommeng a replacement converter/inverter mine is original

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Carl. To provide more specific information on the approved converter/inverter we need the make, model, and year of your rig as well as the converter/inverter you are looking to replace.

      Reply
  10. Elton Davis

    RV Make: Control coach, RV Model: Intrigue, RV Year: 1999, Brand: Freedom , Model Number: 20d

    Inverter what do I replace it with

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      To provide more specific information on the proper replacement for your inverter we need to know the make, model, and year of your RV as well as the make and model of the inverter you are looking to replace. The most trusted in the industry are Xantrex, Progressive Dynamics, and Magnum so it depends on the size and what you want it to do, just inverter 12-volt power to 120-volt or charge the battery as well.

      Reply
  11. Chuck

    RV Make: Thor, RV Model: WIndsport, RV Year: 2015, Model Number: 34F

    I need to check my inverter but I can’t FInd it in my 2015 windsport 34F

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Most of the larger inverters that also charge the batteries are placed in an underfloor compartment usually on the passenger side. Some are placed directly next to the house batteries as well. Are you sure you have an inverter? Most of these are an optional item unless you have a residential refrigerator? Another question is what is happening that you need to “check it”?

      Reply
  12. Greg

    RV Make: Fleetwood, RV Model: Excursion 39P, RV Year: 2003

    I am upgrading my Xantrex 2000watt inverter/converter/charger to a Go Power 3000watt inverter and separate Go Power converter/charger. Since I have a generator, 50amp shore and all the relay hardware in place can I just replace the inverter and move the input AC to the Converter? Also can the battery leads just be paralleled to both devices?

    Reply
  13. Ken

    RV Make: Gulf stream, RV Model: Tr master

    My 2008 tour master we just bought ref. Will not cool when not plugged in to 110

    Reply
  14. J Alan

    RV Make: Winnebaago, RV Model: Sighseerer, RV Year: 2006

    My electrical monitoring panel has started flashing the reading on the amps being used. It also sometimes shows obviously too high amp reading. What is causing the panel to flash?

    Reply
  15. Stan

    I am thinking of adding a “intelligent” trickle charger for my auxiliary batteries that now compose of 2 6 volt golf cart batteries, in series. Can I use a 12 volt trickle charger for both batteries connected in series?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Stan,

      Instead of a trickle charger like the Battery Tender, I would recommend getting a Battery Minder from Northern Tool. This will sense the battery condition and send high impact waves into the battery and helps keep them charged and conditioned. Just using the small trickle charger will not condition the batteries and they will become sulfated. And yes, you can connect either to the batteries as the 6-volt is connected in series which is the positive post of one to the negative post of the over creating a 12-volt system.

      Thanks
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  16. Sean

    RV Make: Fleetwood, RV Model: Pace Arrow 33v, RV Year: 2000

    I am trying to find the location of my converter, I have searched the internet to no avail so far. the closest I found was its located either under the range (nope) or under the refrigerator. any help is much appreciated!!

    Sean

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Sean,

      Can you please provide us with the year make and model of your RV and we can look into this for you?

      Thanks
      Becky RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  17. Michael Badgero

    RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: Cougar, RV Year: 2011, Brand: Keystone, Model Number: Cougar 318

    I have a problem with the battery going dead on RV keystone cougar 318 any clues to look for

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Michael,

      Check out the videos in the electrical section of the site, we have several on troubleshooting dead batteries, battery maintenance, and even checking the charging system. However, here is a list of items to check:
      1. If you have only one house battery being used on a 31’ unit, it probably doesn’t have enough power to last very long? Check the amp/hours of the battery and look at what 12-volt power your need such as lights, LP appliances, roof vents and such. If you have the typical standard group 24 battery, you will need to upgrade to a more powerful battery or even two.
      2. Is your battery going dead when plugged into shoreline power? If so, this would indicate you either have a converter that is not putting out enough charging power, or the battery has become sulfated and is not holding a charge. You can use a multi-meter to verify the charge of the converter by connecting the multi-meter to the battery and plugging the unit in. You should see the current battery voltage and then see the meter go up to 12.5-14 volts. If you do not see any increase on voltage, it could be a converter issue. If there is an increase, it could be your battery is no good…see #3
      3. You need to check the storage capacity of your battery and how long they will hold a charge. The only way to really do this is charge the batteries and connect them to a 25 amp load machine and see if they last the appropriate hours. Most battery service centers will charge the batteries and connect them to a digital load center and tell you they are good or bad which is not a true measure of the capacity. Lead acid batteries must be charged/conditioned every month with a multistage charge which starts with a high impact charge that breaks up the sulphur between the cells and then goes into a float and equalizing charge. If you do not have an inverter/charger that has this feature, you are not properly charging your batteries and they will start to lose capacity in as little as 1 month! Chances are your battery is sulphated and doesn’t have 50% of it’s designed capacity? I would recommend replacing the battery with a larger amp hour size and getting a Battery Minder from Northern Tool. This product sends high impact waves into the battery and breaks up sulfation without the gassing and boiling of the first stage multi-charge. They claim it will extend the life of your battery by over 200 cycles! That’s 2-3 years.
      4. Identify and reduce your amp draw. Knowing what is drawing power from your battery is important. Change the halogen, incandescent, and fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs. They draw 10 times less power! Don’t leave the water heater on 24/7, it will continue to “cycle” meaning as the water in the tank gets cold, it turns on and heats it up. If you don’t need hot water, don’t let it burn up LP and battery power, just turn it on 10 minutes before you need to take a shower. Use a portable catalytic heater instead of the onboard heater in the areas you are “living” in most. Cook and heat up food/coffee on the campfire rather than the stove top. Use rechargeable devices such as fans and lights that can be recharged when you are connected to shoreline power or with the genset running.
      5. Check for a parasitic drain. Even though you have shut every thing off for storage, there could still be something drawing power from the battery. It could be an LP leak detector, CO detector or radio. Pull the negative cable off the house battery, connect a multi-meter to the negative cable and the positive terminal on the 12-volt setting and you will be able to see if there is voltage. You can also use a simple 12-volt light meter.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.

      http://go.rvrepairclub.com/C8454

      Reply
  18. Bill

    RV Make: Coachman, RV Model: Royal Leprechaun, RV Year: 1992

    I just purchased this RV and I have noticed that there is a loud hum or buzz that occurs when it is plugged into a shore station (either 110 or 30 amp). I assume this is the power converter but is it normal for this to occur? It is actually quite loud. If not, what are my options for repairing it?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Bill. To provide more specific troubleshooting information on the noise of your distribution center we need the make, model, and year of your rig. Older distribution centers had the converter/battery charger all in one location and the converter was very loud and very hot! Newer models have digital converters that are much quieter and some have the actual converter/battery charger in a different location so you don’t see or hear them much. One option is to purchase a Battery Minder from Northern Tool that will condition and charge your house batteries with little noise and no gassing and they claim to extend the life of the battery bank by 200 cycles as it reduces sulphation. You should simply turn off the circuit breaker for the converter and plug in the Battery Minder instead. Another option is to replace the converter with a newer digital model which is much more expensive.
      Thanks
      Dave-RVRC

      Reply
  19. Carroll

    RV Make: Heartland, RV Model: 40FKSS, RV Year: 2011

    I have factory inverter that dim 12 V lights regularly.The battery is new (just replaced) Hooked-up to shore power continually, what could be probable cause of 12V fluctuations? Thanks for your help.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Carroll,

      To provide more accurate troubleshooting information on your lights dimming issue we need the make and model of what you are calling your “inverter”, plus the make and model of your rig. Most RVs have a converter/charger that takes 120-volt power from the campground source or generator and routes through a distribution center with circuit breakers for 120-volt appliances. It is connected to a charger that can be part of the converter or a separate device with provides a 12-volt charge to the house batteries. The house batteries provide 12-volt power through automotive style fuses to interior lights, roof vents, water pump and LP appliances. An inverter is a device that takes 12-volt power and and provides 120-volt power for a TV in the smallest application up to the big boys that can run a refrigerator on 120-volt power. These larger inverters are actually inverter/chargers. So no matter what type you have, if your lights are dimming, the battery is losing power and since you indicated “The battery is new” it sounds like you have just one which might not have enough capacity to handle the 12-volt power draw you are experiencing? What typically happens is when the battery charger kicks on, it provides a high charge of about 14 volts and the lights get bright as the battery is getting/maintaining voltage. Once the charger senses the battery is charged, it usually goes into a low charge mode, which would allow the battery to drain down and if you have a high 12-volt draw, it will get down below 12-volts fairly fast which means the lights will dim. If this cycling happens frequently, it’s a good sign of a converter/charger going bad.

      I would start by replacing the lights with LED bulbs to limit the draw. LEDs take almost 10 times less power! Then get a Battery Minder from Northern Tool as it will send high impact waves to the battery and condition it, not the high voltage of a typical charger.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  20. David

    RV Make: Fleetwood, RV Model: Wilderness advantage ax6, RV Year: 2004

    Hello I have had some trouble with my rv and converters. In the past 4 months I have had 3 converters go out in style, smoke and a loud pop. I am about to replace it for a fourth time and am trying to find information on what is going on. If there are any test I can run to see what is causing them to go out, or if I am just that unlucky. Thanks for any help in advance.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello David,

      Do not put in another converter! Somewhere you have a surge in the
      system or a short that needs to be identified before you blow out another
      converter or worse! You will need to take it to a certified
      technician that is familiar with your type of converter. Find the
      make, model, and serial number and contact the company direct for a
      technician in your area.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      http://go.rvrepairclub.com/C9733

      Reply
  21. RONALD

    RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: salam, RV Year: 2011, Brand: converter, Model Number: WF-8955PEC

    is this the right type pf converter to leave on shore power without damaging the battery?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Ronald,

      Not sure what converter you are referring to as the article you referenced
      shows 4 different models, all of which are ok to leave connected to
      shoreline power. 

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  22. Sue Madsen

    RV Make: Georgie boy , RV Model: Cruise master , RV Year: 2006

    Convertor works for all electric components when plug into shore power but will not charge deep cycle batteries which r brand new. I have been charging them with a separate charger plug into the rv. Batteries will charge if the motor is running. Where is my Problem? I have taken it to 2 auto shop with no help. They say nothing is wrong should be charging but it not. Lights on pannel says battery drain after 3 or 4 day of being plug into shore power. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Reply
  23. Becky Geiger

    RV Make: Tiger Provan, RV Model: CX, RV Year: 2004, Brand: Elixir, Model Number: ELX-30

    My Elixir, ELX-30, is faulty, and I would like to replace it with a better, updated converter/charger. The ELX-30 only has 2 AC breakers and 4 DC fuses, if that helps.

    Reply
  24. Dean

    RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: Wildcat 327CK, RV Year: 2015

    Trying to locate the AC to DC converter on 2015 Forest River Wildcat 327CK. Where is it located and how do I access it?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Dean,

      Typically the converter or battery charger in travel trailers are located inside the distribution center as an all in one unit. We will email you a photo of a typical Progressive Dynamics version that is fairly common in most trailers and has the 120-volt circuit breakers and 12-volt fuses for all the appliances, lights, vents and other accessories. The converter is located to the right which is the vents that allow it to cool. The only way to access the converter is to remove the entire distribution center as they only want certified RV electricians working on them. Some models have a distribution center located in the living area and a separate converter placed somewhere else in the rig as they tend to run hot and have noise from the cooling fan. If your panel does not have vents, then you may have this type of model and the converter would look like the second photo we will email to you.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Dean,

      Sorry for the delay in response, I actually went to the Forest River Display at the RVIA Louisville show and asked the product designer for the Wildcat and he did not know for sure! We looked at the floorplans they had on display, but the distribution center was in plain site on all three models so it wasn’t much help. He was going to go back to the factory and do some research but I have not heard anything yet? The AC to DC converter typically is packaged with the distribution center which has 120-volt circuit breakers and 12-volt DC fuses for the house battery system? Usually the distribution center is placed in an accessible location in a cabinet down by the floor. I’ve seen them in the pedestal under the dinette seat, in the kitchen under the refrigerator, even in an entrance step side cabinet. Some put it in the bedroom under the mattress in the pedestal. I’ve attached a photo so you can see what this looks like. If you have a system where the converter is separate, this is much harder to find as manufacturers will place the converter box in a cabinet under the refrigerator or other cabinetry and screw a cover plate over the opening so it looks like nothing is there. You should be able to plug the shoreline power in and listen for the hum of the fans?

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  25. Jeff

    RV Make: Fleetwood , RV Model: Mallard , RV Year: 2006, Brand: Wfco, Model Number: Wf-8835

    Power converter is going out. What brand would be the best to replace it with?

    Reply
  26. Scott Wharton

    RV Make: Fleetwood, RV Model: 19T, RV Year: 2003

    I have a 2003 Fleetwood Pioneer T19. I keep shoreline attached during winter. Last week, when I returned home from work, the running lights were all on. I disconnected the battery. and they went out. The next night, they came back on. I unplugged the shore line and they went off. No obvious wiring shorts/breaks, so I was wondering if I need to replace the inverter/charger?

    Reply
  27. Jaylon

    RV Make: Terry, RV Year: 99

    Can I change from a 30 amp converter to 45 without any problems

    Reply
  28. AJ

    RV Make: Jayco, Brand: Iota

    We have an iota ILC series load center and the fan runs continually on 110. How do I locate the fan sensor to see if that is needing replaced or do you have any other ideas as to what might be going on?

    Reply
  29. Alan Bonner

    RV Make: Heartland, RV Model: Fifth Wheel, RV Year: 2012, Brand: Bighorn, Model Number: 3575 ELITE

    Is it possible to choose the perfect converter charger for my RV which is under $150? And what’s the brand you advise to consider? I’m really confused…

    Thanks in Advance!

    Reply
  30. William laman

    RV Make: Starcraft, RV Model: Homestead 29bhs, RV Year: 2004, Brand: Elixir, Model Number: Elx45

    Looking for manuals….troubleshooting….may want to upgrade….

    Reply
  31. Gordon G Olson

    RV Make: Jayco, RV Model: SLX Jay Flight 264 BHW, RV Year: 2015, Brand: WFCO, Model Number: WF-8735-P

    What converter to upgrade that will fit .

    Reply
  32. EDWARD P HECK

    RV Make: Coachmen, RV Model: 24", RV Year: 1983

    I have 50 amp service, 30 amp converter & I’m staying parked, I have no battery. With my AC, TV, Computer, stereo & refrigerator I’ve had to use the two 120 volt outlets at my service connection & run extension cords to the refrigerator & 1 circuit in the breaker box, it works but it’s sloppy. I’m handy but broke. Could I use a splitter on the 50 amp service & get two 30 amps. Plug one into the trailer main, disconnect the converter (when it’s not plugged in) & plug a new 50 amp or 75 amp converter into the other 30 amp connection on the splitter & the fuse panel to the new converter? Am I crazy? Thanks for any help! Ed

    Reply
  33. Ed Fennig

    RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: Daydreamer, RV Year: 2007

    On my 34 foot fifth wheel when plugged into campsite power my lights, furnace range in power. Lights will go bright then dim then bright again. The furnace fan slows down and then speeds up. I have replaced the batteries so am stumped. Can you advise please, thanks

    Reply
  34. karl

    RV Make: JjayCo, RV Model: designer seriers, RV Year: 1996

    we can not figure out where the converter box is located

    Reply
  35. Shayla Hurst

    RV Make: Fleetwood , RV Model: Wilderness , RV Year: 1999

    I have a Fleetwood Wilderness 5th wheel camper, the converter is bad. The problem is I can not find it, I’ve looked and tore into a lot of places with no luck. Can someone please tell me where it is?

    Reply
  36. joe

    RV Make: glendale, RV Year: 1980, Brand: powertron, Model Number: MRM153D

    where can i get a schematic for this converter i replaced the wiring and when i hook up the converter to the wall plug it pops the fuse in the house and the ground and nuteural terminals seem to be on the same

    Reply
  37. Gary Evenson

    RV Make: Safari, RV Model: Serengeti, RV Year: 1997, Brand: heart, Model Number: freedom 20d

    toasted the circuit board this last weekend probably my fault, want to replace with like unit.

    Reply
  38. Bob

    RV Make: Alpinelite, RV Model: Voyager 5th Wheel, RV Year: 2006, Brand: Progressive Dynamics, Model Number: pd92450

    When I had no power into the 5th wheel [just purchased it] when hooked up to city power, I found the two 40 amp fuses burned out. When I try to put new ones in, I get a spark at the fuse box of the converter. When I disconnect the negative terminal of my batteries and then put the fuses into the converter, I get a spark at the negative terminal of the battery when I attempt to connect the 12 volt to the converter and then find the converter fuses blown again. Help!! My wife wants to go boondocking this week.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Bob,

      It sounds like you either have reverse polarity in the 12v system or a really bad short. Does the converter work with the battery being disconnected and the unit plugged into 120v? Check to make sure the battery is hooked up to the correct terminals, make sure the negative is going to a chassis ground. If that is ok, I would disconnect the battery and check the voltage on the battery itself. It may have reverse polarity coming out of the battery if it was discharged and then re charged when hooked up to the wrong connections. From there I would check the connections from the converter to the fuse panel, making sure they are correct. Check the connection to the breaker as well. Large sparks indicate large amp draw and if it is high enough to blow the fuse right away, there could be a bad short in the system as well. Again, check all wires and connections and make sure that there aren’t any wires with open insulation that are touching other wires or a piece of metal.

      Hope this helps,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  39. Steven Fraser

    RV Make: winabagow, RV Model: 31 chiefton, RV Year: 1984

    I believe I have to replace my convertor as it is not charging my battery’s! Is there any tests I can perform to confirm this?

    Reply
  40. germandennis

    RV Make: Jayco, RV Model: Redhawk, RV Year: 2015

    Momentary main switch stayed on. Followed the direction in manual disconnected the ground of house battery have no 12 volt power. Suggestions

    Reply