Dave Solberg

Differences Between Old and New RV Distribution Panel Models

Dave Solberg
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Every RV unit has a distribution panel, which is what routes electrical power throughout the unit and includes most of the unit’s circuit breakers and fuses. The RV distribution panel can supply both 120-volt power and 12-volt battery power. Older RV distribution panel models have the distribution center and converter all in one single unit.

When you pull off the top of an older RV distribution panel you will see there is a 120-volt main circuit breaker and each additional breaker for the different appliances inside the RV. You will also see the power cord coming out of the back of the RV distribution panel. The fuses in older models protect 12-volt battery powered systems which power lights, roof vents, water pump and several of the appliance on the LP mode of operation inside the coach of the RV.

The biggest issue with older RV distribution panel models is that the converter is noisier, which can be very distracting when running. The old-style converters also put out of lot of heat, which can create a challenge keeping the coach cool in the heat of the summer. Depending up on the model, it may be possible to upgrade the converter, helping the efficiency of the distribution center.

If you give your RV distribution panel an electrical upgrade you will be able to install a more modern converter that will offer cleaner, quieter power and more efficient battery charging capabilities.

An upgrade is available for just the battery charger portion which can be replaced in the exact spot as the older model. Check availability as some models will need to also upgrade the fuse panel to a newer version.

The newer distribution panels have a separate battery charger that can be installed in an out of the way place, however this type of system is smaller than older models and will require some modifications to the existing cut out placement.

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8 Responses to “Differences Between Old and New RV Distribution Panel Models”

  1. Marv

    You should have used one of the WFCO power distribution panels as an example of an ‘older’ style panel and spoke on how to determine if your panel supports different battery chemistries and why you might want to upgrade your converter/charger to one that does. Also a mention of battery charging profiles would be appropriate.

  2. Spenser Fisher

    I have a 1996 Damon Intruder and my power converter went bad and I have no idea which one to get to replace it. Any help or advice would be a great help.

  3. Tim Sullivan

    11 year RV’er.. first time owner of a 2000 Windsong Forest River.. 32000 miles.

  4. James Wirth

    I have the old distribution panel with the magnetic converter in my '98 Komfort, looks just like the model you're using here. I want to do the upgrade to the electronic converter, but how do I find out whether I can upgrade just the converter, or need to upgrade the entire distribution center? Thanks!

  5. Felecia Royalty

    Good afternoon, would like to purchase that unit, the electronic upgrade on the electrical panel converter, how do I go about that, do you guys have a link that I can purchase 30 amp unit?

  6. Darren Montello

    I own an 1999 Komfort Travel Trailer what part number do I use for this part I would like to convert mine over with the new style and do you know the cost and am I able to do this myself.

  7. StephenBeamer

    What is the average cost of a new distribution panel and can it be done DIY?

  8. Charlie

    great ... how about a part number mfg firm etc.

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