RV Power Converter Troubleshooting

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Getting on the road in your rig can give you a sense of freedom, but having appliances that don’t work swap that freedom for a job that has to be done. Finding out why your refrigerator won’t stay cold or your microwave won’t heat is crucial for having a happy trip. When your RV appliances aren’t working, it’s not always smart to assume the appliance itself is broken. Many times it’s the actual power system itself that’s broken down somewhere between the power source and the appliance. Using commonsense RV distribution center troubleshooting methods can narrow down the possibilities, helping you to figure out exactly what kind of repairs you need.

RV distribution center troubleshooting can show whether the electrical problem is in the wiring or the outlet itself, or in the circuit breakers which service the electrical system feeding into your appliance. It can eliminate expensive repair visits, ferreting out small problems you can fix yourself.

In this video, you’ll learn a good basic system for RV power converter troubleshooting. You’ll see methods for checking circuit breakers, both inside and out. Specialized testers are important in checking circuits, and you’ll see how to safely ground these testers to avoid sparking and shocks. This video shows common sense tips for tracking down electrical problems, including checking GFCI outlets that may trip in one room and affect the appliances in another. Tracking down the power through the RV will tell you exactly where the problem resides, which may save you hundreds of dollars in bills from needless repair visits.

Discussion
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55 Responses to “RV Power Converter Troubleshooting”
  1. Dianna

    I have the older model electrical box. My circuit breakers are all on. The fuses appear to be fine. My lights throughout the trailer are very dim and the exhaust fans are running slow. My husband who is away at the time says the batteries may not be being charged from the converter box. If so, what do I do to check this and how would I go about ordering and replacing this? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Customer Service Techs

      Hi, Dianna. Thanks for viewing the RV Distribution Center Troubleshooting video and posting the question regarding your low 12-volt power issue. Your husband is probably right, the batteries are not getting charged properly which could be due to the converter, low voltage coming from the campground, and even weak batteries that will not accept a charge? It could even be a situation where you are using too many 12-volt operated items at one time for the converter to keep up. First we need to know the make, model, and year of your RV so we can identify the size of distribution center and how big the actual converter is. Then next step would be to verify there is 120-volts coming into the RV from the outside source. If you have low voltage (110-volt or less) it will not keep up. Are you connected to a 30 amp power source? If you are connected to a residential plug in, they are typically only 15 amp and by the time you run a roof AC at 10-14 amps, the refrigerator at 6-10 amps, and other appliances, there isn’t anything left to charge the batteries. And the last thing I would check is the condition of the batteries. Check the fluid levels and have them tested, if they are sulfated or there is a cell shorted out, you’ll experience this problem as well. Unfortunately there isn’t a quick solution to low battery power other than pulling out a mulitmeter and testing the 120-volt electrical coming in, the draw used in the coach, the voltage going to the batteries from the converter, and the condition of the batteries with a digital battery tester. In the mean time, try turning some of the appliances off and limit your 12-volt usage. Another option would be installing LED lights that draw about 10 times less power? Good luck and hope things get “brighter” for you down the road.

      Reply
    • Riley Wooten Jr

      Diana, get a cheap multimeter (Harbor freight 5$) and check the converter output.
      RVIA says a properly working converter needs to show a minimum .5 volt rise at the converter.
      Also, check all of your 120 volt circuit breakers (they look kind of like switches), make sure they’re all on.
      Then, check all the 12 volt fuses (they’re small, plastic and colored)
      Replace any blown fuses, (visually verify they’re blown or get a cheap fuse tester)
      Lastly, check the batteries a properly working converter should run the entire 12 volt system even without a battery (though it’s not recommended due to the tendency of converters to let transient AC voltage through, the battery acts like a “filter”). Dirty batteries can seriously impede the charging circuit and can and will draw voltage directly off the battery.
      Good luck.

      Reply
  2. GARY

    We have a 2009 Forest River Salem Travel Trailer that is parked year round at a resort wtih 30 amp service. The problem we are having is that our ceiling fans will run for maybe 5 minutes and then stop. The wall switch gets hot when the fan is running on high for the 5 minutes, running them on low they will keep running but the switch gets warm. Also, the AC when running on high trips the breaker switch, running on low it will keep going. We have a four slice toaster and that will not toast properly when using all four and if we have our griddle plugged in it will hardly toast at all, so we unplug the griddle to make toast. And our microwave does not seem to putting out the power it should. We put in a new battery last year so that was fully charged. The fans are DC I believe. When I put a meter in the kitchen outlet and turn on the toaster the voltage drops. Shouldn’t the AC outlets work pretty much like in a house? I checked the voltage at the post and it seemed ok with no load. Not sure what to do. It is really hard to get the rv guys out there to look at it as we did not buy the camper from them and they serve the buyers first. Could this have something to do with the converter or maybe where the power cord comes into the camper? Thanks

    Reply
    • Customer Service Techs

      Hi Gary. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your power requirement issues. The first thing you need to do is identify what components operate on 120-volt power and what draws from the 12-volt DC system. Next, what Amp draw you are getting from each appliance and component. This can be done using a multimeter or purchase a device called “Kill-o-Watt” from your local hardware or home renovation store. Plug in your toaster, microwave, and any other appliance you might be running. Larger microwave ovens can draw as much as 10 amps and toaster are “amp hogs” drawing just about as much. The roof AC in your unit can draw up to 14 amps at peak and your converter is probably drawing 6-9 amps trying to keep the batteries charged! You need to calculate what items are running such as the refrigerator (4-10 amps), television (2-4 amps), and anything else like clocks, computers etc. If the wall switch is getting hot after 5 minutes running your ceiling fan, I suspect it’s running on 120-volt power, not 12-Volt DC? It sounds like you’re running a higher demand than the 30 amps provided by the campground source, which is another place I would test. Use a multimeter or simple analog electric tester and make sure you are getting 120 volts from the campground source. I’ve seen some that drop down below 100 volts when several spots are plugged in at the same time. This will also cause similar issues.

      Reply
  3. Steven

    I have a 1994 Winnebago Brave with a Magnetek Power Plus model 6345 converter. Recently, I heard the cooling fan running louder than normal and now I don’t hear it at all. Is the replacement of the cooling fan something an owner should try to repair?

    Reply
    • Customer Service Techs

      Hi, Steven. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site and sorry about the issue with your converter fan. Magnetek does not recommend replacement of just the cooling fan on the older models such as your ‘94 Brave. I would recommend upgrading to the newer digital model which will provide a cleaner power source, runs cooler, and is much quieter. We did a replacement in a ‘92 Itasca Suncruiser which would be probably be the same model. There is an overview video in the electrical section.

      Reply
  4. Gary James

    Hi my wife and I just bought a 2016 StarCraft Launch Ultralite 21BS. My question is does this come with a built in surge protector or do I need to buy a aftermarket one and where would I install it at. Thanks Gary

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Gary. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your surge protection question. Your Starcraft comes standard with a 30 amp distribution center and minimal surge protection through common circuit breakers and 12-volt fuses. This does not protect against low voltage as well, therefore I would recommend getting an aftermarket protector such as Surge Guard or Smart Surge from Progressive Dynamics.

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Gary. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site. Typically your rig comes with a standard distribution center that would have circuit breakers for the 120-volt systems and automotive type fuses for the 12-volt systems. To get a true “Surge Protection” you would need to add an aftermarket product such as Surge Guard and others by Progressive Dynamics.

      Reply
  5. Trent

    we have a 2014 coachman cross country class a rear diesel. when we plug into shoreline we get 120 volts everywhere as well as control panel reading. however, when we plug it into the Honda generator we get 120 everywhere EXCEPT the control panel reads only 65 volts. Any ideas on cause?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Trent. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your electrical issue. I’m not exactly sure what reading you are getting 120-volts from on a “Control Panel”? How are you reading 120-volts everywhere else, multi-meter, am-watt, or digital monitor? Typically a coach of this size is 50 amp so if you connect to shoreline power you have 2 legs that provide 120-volts to each side. What size is your Honda generator? I would guess your genset is too small to provide power to a 50 amp coach? Most of the surge protectors such as the Surge Guard will show voltage on the display. This could be the pigtail version at the plug in, or a permanently mounted protector inside the electrical compartment?

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, John. We would be happy to assist you; we just need some more information. What is the make/model/year of your RV?

      Reply
  6. Nora

    I have a 2003 Thor Wanderer Lite Travel Trailer and I have lived in it full time for the last 4 years. I have been plugged into a 30 amp outlet at an RV park thats been around for 40 years. About 2 years ago my electricity started turning off and on alot when it was raining or moist outside, mainly during the night while not much was turned on. After several power surges my refrigerator, stereo and 1/2 my lights stopped working. Occasionally during the next year they would suddenly pop back on usually during the middle of the night (the stereo would come on at full blast volume). I would turn the volume down to mute and then turn it off. A while later it would happen again….full volume. This would happen several times during the night. The next day these items would stop working again. Every few months this repeats again. A couple months ago my electricity kept turning itself off and on again but more often. Several times an hour and when on my lights are continuously flickering. Then 2 weeks ago the prongs on my plug melted in the outlet. The park replaced the oulet and I had a new plug end put on. Now my electricity turns off for hours at a time and then will turn itself back on for a brief moment, but then shuts off again. I don’t know about my battery since I thought being plugged into electricity was all I needed. I am a senior woman who lives alone on a limited budget. I don’t know what to do next. Does it sound like a converter issue, battery, electrical wiring or a bad outlet?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Nora. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your electrical issue. Electric power turning on and off, issues when it rains, and prongs melting in the outlet are all serious issues that need to be addressed by a qualified technician. It’s not acceptable to just put a new end on a cord and replace the outlet…something is wrong and the campground needs to verify proper voltage, amps, and wiring to every location. What typically happens at the older campgrounds is larger rigs come in needing more power and the campgrounds do not upgrade which causes these issues.

      Reply
  7. Larry

    I am replacing the radio in my 2010 Rockwood TT. For some reason I am not getting a constant 12 VDC on the wire coming from the converter to the radio location. There is a red light at the location of the 15 amp fuse in the panel that glows when connected to the tester to read voltage. This is the same wire the previous radio was connected to before removal. My thought is the red light would glow when the fuse / circuit would be open. What am I missing

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Larry. Thank you for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your radio issue. What you are describing is a similar distribution center we worked on for the videos on a 2014 Raptor which has automotive style “plug in” fuses for all the 12-volt components and an indicator light the lights up if the fuse is blown which would be the “open” you indicated. If that light is on, 12-volt power is not going through the fuse to the connecting wire and ultimately the radio? Take a test light and ground the alligator clip to a metal component on the distribution center and touch each metal point of the top of the fuse. The light should come on both sides, if not, the fuse or wiring is bad.

      Reply
  8. James Joe

    I have a 2009 Forest River Wildcat Travel Trailer that is parked year round at RV park place, with a 30amp service. the problem I’m having is my converter malfunction this going to be my fourth replacement if I buy another one the battery slowly goes down and the furnace goes slow and the lights dims inside the RV and when I turn on the microwave or the electric heater the converter kicks in again what do you think the problem is can you please solve this problem I would greatly appreciated

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, James. If this is your fourth converter replacement, you need to stop swapping parts and find the problem! My first question is what symptoms did you experience initially that caused the first converter replacement? The only thing the converter does is charge the batteries which is on the 12-volt DC side so turning on the microwave or the electric heater should have nothing to do with it? I don’t think your problem is the converter, rather your batteries? Lead acid batteries must be charged every month with a multistage charge that is a high voltage initial (Bulk) charge that boils the acid and breaks up sulfation, then an equalizing and float charge. If you don’t have the large 2000W inverter, just plugging in all the time will not properly charge the batteries and they will sulfate and go bad in a very short time frame. To check your converter, use a multimeter and place the probes on the positive and negative post of the battery. Plug the unit in or start the generator and see if it goes from 12.5V up to 14V or more. My suggestion, get a Battery Minder from Northern Tool instead of the archeic converter and just shut off the existing one and use the Battery Minder which will condition your batteries and last much longer.

      Reply
  9. SM

    We have a Frigidaire Galley refrigerator in our rv. It’s only 2 years old. We had computer board and inverter replaced 8 days ago because it wasn’t getting cold. It stopped working again today. I’m at my wits end!!! We’re traveling and can’t find people to come out. I’m tired of spending money on this. Is there anything we could check ourselves???

    Reply
  10. Harry Barnes

    This is a good one. I have a 2005 Attitude Eclipe fk-19 toyhauler. My problem started about a year ago when the factory radio would not shut off but no sound would come out. We replaced it with a new Pioneer unit and wired it up exactly like the original. My wife is a Micro mini soldering tech so we used the original plugs and wired all the wires in exactly like the old one (they were the same). The radio works fine when I’m on the umbilical from the truck (12vdc) however, when plugged into “shore power” the yellow (keep alive 12 vdc) fuseholder will glow orange, get extremely hot and the radio does nothing. My batteries are shot so I’m getting new ones soon. Oh and the fuse DOESN’T blow, it just gets really hot.

    Reply
  11. Harold

    We have a 2005 Attitude Eclipse FK-19 TH. I started seeing an issue with the radio about a year ago (couple years after we bought the trailer). The original radio would not turn off but would also do nothing else. We purchased a Pioneer unit and wired it in both according to the old wiring diagram and the Pioneer one (they were the same).When I’m hooked up to my truck the radio works fine. If I go to “Shore Power” the radio will not work and the yellow (Keep alive) power fuse holder glows orange and gets extremely hot. The fuse doesn’t blow however which has me somewhat stumped. My batteries won’t hold a charge however, when on battery the radio plays fine. Seems to me something is putting 120 vac on the yellow wire but not blowing the fuse has me stumped. And, why only on shore power and not on straight dc?

    Reply
  12. Dianne

    We have a 33ft. 2004 Keystone Hornet travel trailer which has been permanently parked in a campground since we purchased it in 2004. We use it about 5 months during the summer and winterize it for the winter, disconnecting the battery and storing it at home in a warm, dry basement. This season, I have noticed that the DC lights are dimmer than they ever have been. I’ve also noticed that for example, plugging in and using a blow dryer, the DC lights brighten. Any idea what the problem might be? Do we need a new battery? Thanks for your help.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Dianne. It’s good you are taking the batteries out for the winter, however if you are not using a multistage charger to charge and condition them while they are in the basement, they will become sulfated and lose energy storage capacity. Thus the dimmer lights. I would recommend getting a Battery Minder from Northern Tool which will connect to the batteries and send high impact waves into the battery and not only charge, but condition them and they will last longer and hold a charge longer. You should also use this at the camper while connected for the summer as your typical converter will not have the multistage charge and your batteries will sulfate. I would suggest getting the Battery Minder and try it for a few months to see if your battery comes back to a better operating capacity, if not, you will need a new battery. Another item I would install is LED lights as they will draw 10 times less battery power and your battery will again last longer!
      Not sure why your lights get brighter when you use the blow dryer since it uses 120-volts from a completely separate source, unless you are not plugged in to shoreline and when you do to use the blow dryer the lights get brighter which means the converter has kicked on and charging the batteries…brighter lights.

      Thanks
      Dave-RVRC

      Reply
  13. shae

    I accidentally ran the microwave in my 1990 fleetwood pace arrow, while my air conditioner was on. It was on generator power. Now neither the microwave nor the air conditioner will turn on. Also, none of the plugs will work. Not even to charge a phone. Weve checked all the fuses and circuit breaker, everything seems fine except for one fuse. It was a 15 and said it was fir the aux starter. We put a new fuse in it and the fuse tester is not lighting up green. Im not sure what to do. I dont know how to fibd the converter or anything like that. We are just running the generator and battert.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Shae. A couple of things could have happened, first the generator probably has 2 lines coming off the generator, one going to the distribution center, the other to a back air conditioner if so equipped? There should be 2 circuit breakers on the generator itself for these two lines, check those first. Next, you will have a main circuit breaker on the distribution center that shuts off all 120-volt power inside the coach and then individual circuit breakers for 120-volt appliances and outlets. You should physically turn each of these off and then on to get the “click” rather than just visually check them. I would also recommend using a multi-meter to verify power coming off them. Then, check in the kitchen or bathroom for the GFCI outlet. Typically there will be one in the RV usually in the kitchen or bathroom but several other outlets such as the microwave outlet and others will be “ganged” to that outlet but will not have the test/reset button so people don’t know they are connected. I would suspect the GFCI outlet has tripped and they are all dead? Hit the test button and the reset button to see if you get power. If not, then you have something wrong with the distribution center.
      Thanks
      Dave-RVRC

      Reply
  14. John

    We just purchased an ’85 Pace Arrow. We have been trying to get it in shape to travel but… the latest trick is for nothing to work electrically. When hooked to residential power all that is available is the lighting. All 3 batteries are new and installed correctly. Engine won’t start, no juice. The power converter appears dead. At one point the refrigerator turned on but only briefly. The water pump worked yesterday but not today. I think I need a new power converter but the unit by Progressive is no longer produced. Any tips, anything else I should try before I try to change out the unit?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello John,
      You have several things that could be going on here both 12-volt and
      120-volt electrical. The first thing you need to do is spend some
      time with the owner’s manual and our videos on what components work in
      12-volt and the ones that are 120-volt electrical before swapping out
      the power center. When you are connected to a residential source
      which you indicated, you are probably downsizing to a 10 amp or 15 amp
      residential plug in which will provide limited 120-volt power and you will
      run the risk of tripping the residential breaker. Your ’85 Fleetwood
      Pace Arrow needs 30 amp power to run the roof air conditioner, the
      refrigerator and power the converter which charges the batteries.

      When plugged into a 120-volt/30 amp outside power source, 120-volt power
      is provided to the distribution center with circuit breakers just
      like your home for the 120-volt appliances such as the outlets, roof air
      conditioners, and refrigerator on the “electric” mode of operation.
      If you are plugged into a reliable 120-volt/30 amp source and nothing is
      working, then you need to verify the circuit breakers are not tripped
      and working properly. There are several videos on this
      procedure, however the easiest is to use a non-contact voltage tester
      after the circuit breaker.

      120-volt power is also provided to the converter which is a 12-volt
      charger that charges the house batteries to supply 12-volt power to the
      lights, vent fans, and module boards for appliances that run on LP such as
      the stove top, water heater, and others. The three batteries you
      referred to are probably 2 6-volt batteries connected in series that are
      deep cycle and are the house batteries and the third is an automotive
      battery designed for starting the engine. You may also have a
      battery disconnect that is off which is usually located in the entrance
      step area?

      I would suggest spending some time going through the tutorials on the site
      regarding operation of the batteries and appliances, then visit the
      troubleshooting 12-volt batteries. Then, find a campground with
      120-volt/30 amp service and walk through the operations and I believe you
      will find things working better. Not to say you don’t have issues
      with the converter or other operations, but we need to get the batteries
      properly charged and an appropriate 120-volt source to start with.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  15. doug hogan

    i am not getting any dc power to power my inside lights from my battery- it is new and so is the converter. yes i do get power from shore power, not from battery

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Doug,

      Do you have DC power to any other interior appliance? The house battery/batteries provide 12-volt DC power to not only the interior lights, but the roof vents, stove top spark assembly, refrigerator module board, furnace, and water heater. When you are plugged into shoreline power, the 120-volt power goes to the distribution center and then to a converter which provides 12-volt DC power to the components through automotive type fuses. Have you checked the fuses? I would first verify 12-volt DC power at the battery, then to the distribution center and each fuse. You may have a battery disconnect switch that is over ridden when plugged into shoreline?

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Rick,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information on your inverter fan
      cycling, we need the make, model, and year of your inverter. I’m
      sure it has an internal temperature sensor that is hitting a hot and cool
      point?

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  16. Ravan MacFarlane

    Hello
    I have a 1991 vagabon 32 foot travel camper. Everything was running fine we are hooked up to a generator we also have a battery on board to use when the generator is off we took off the battery the other day to bring it into the house to charge. Assuming there would be no problem with that 5 hours later when we were turned the heater was not working but the outlets were. After troubleshooting we found that plugging the battery back in worked. But then the battery died and the heater stopped again. How do I specifically test the converter itself? I’m assuming the converter is bad but all looks well inside. Did I burn up the converter having it run so many 12 volts options without a battery?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Ravan,

      I doubt you burned up the converter, rather the battery is required to create a circuit for the 12-volt system? When you are plugged into a 120-volt shoreline connection the converter will sense when the battery goes below 10.5 volts and charges the battery at 13 volts until it reaches 12.6 volts at which time it shuts down. When you remove the battery and nothing works, it indicates the converter is only connected to the battery and now you have an open circuit? Some models are wired so the converter can still provide 12-volts to the system without the battery, however it does not appear this is the case with yours? You should be able to use a multimeter on the battery and plug the system in and see it raise from current charge to a higher voltage coming from the converter.

      Thanks,
      Becky 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.
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C11081

      Reply
  17. Angela

    Just bought a 2008 Winnebago destination…..while boondocking and not using generator we can’t get invertor to work…green in light is “on” …no breakers tripped…everything points to it should be working…..any ideas?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Angela,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information on your inverter issue, we need the make and model of the inverter. I would start by using a multimeter and check the condition of the batteries. They need to be 12.6 Volts, then check the voltage coming into the inverter to make sure there isn’t an issue with a Battery Isolator Manager (BIM) or other solenoid? Then you should be able to measure voltage coming out which evidently is 0? With the brand and model number we should be able to research if it has a reset sequence as well.

      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.
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C11081

      Reply
  18. matt

    I have a 2018 Thor Freedom Elite, when connected to shoreline power there is no problems and the inverter says about 13.6. When off shore power the inverter just shows 3 red lines and the red light is on for fault. The battery used to charge when the car is running but now its just blank as well.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Matt,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information on your inverter
      issue we need the make, and model of the inverter. It sounds as
      though you have an issue on the inverter side or even the batteries?
      When you are connected to shoreline, the converter or charger is running
      and showing you the 13.6 volts as your batteries should only be at
      12.6? Does your inverter have a reset switch that might have gotten
      tripped? If you have checked these out, I would get your
      batteries checked first and then the inverter as this should all be under
      warranty?

      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.
      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/C11351

      Reply
  19. Ed

    We have purchased a 2005 Fleetwood Mallard 180CK that we are “rehabbing.” I have had it checked by an RV dealer/repair shop which said the electrical system checked out, have talked to two other shops who offered various possibilities, none of which have panned out, and still experience the problem intermittently.

    I’ll describe the problem and provide any amplifying details I have. When we brought the trailer home, it was connected to 30 AMP service at the house that I had installed for a welder prior to the trailer purchase. I know that it provides the rated amperage. The problem has also occurred when connected to the post at campgrounds. We have had the trailer plugged in for extensive periods, weeks at the house, but only hours at the campgrounds, when the problem has arisen. Everything was working fine, A/C on, interior lights, refrigerator, and small TV, when the fault indicator on the CO detector began chirping and then steadily alarming. Switching various lights or the refrigerator off would silence the alarm, but when turned back on, the alarm would sound again. I unplugged and reconnected the cord from the post numerous times without success. After leaving the power unplugged for several hours, I was able to plug it back in and everything worked normally for two more days until we departed the campground or weeks at the house. Our surge protector, Surge Guard 44260, normally shows three green LEDs during these episodes, although once, it did indicate reverse polarity when first reconnected to the house service. I have not found anything unusual at the control panel, but I do suspect that the converter has been replaced, and by someone who may not have known what they were doing. I say this because the converter was accessed by hacking through the wood on the side of its compartment instead of through the distribution center, and the Molex connector has electrical tape wrapped around it.

    The shop that physically checked the trailer said that everything worked correctly for them and that it was because the battery was disconnected. As I understand, the battery is not necessary when the trailer is plugged in, so this didn’t make sense to me. I suspect that everything worked correctly for them, as it has for us at times, and they just reconnected the battery, which is a brand new marine model. Another, that I’d only spoken with, suggested that the converter had failed, but then said they’d never heard of one failing, then coming back on. The last one I spoke with suggested that it might be an external circuit added by a previous owner. This circuit is to several external lights and is connected directly to the positive battery terminal, interrupted by a 12V automotive switch, and grounded to the frame. The circuit does not presently work, but I have not done any troubleshooting on it.

    Lastly, and I only include this because I know water and electricity don’t mix, the trailer experienced significant water damage to the front bulkhead, but I did not find any water damage to the converter compartment. The solid copper grounds, from the converter, in the rear storage compartment, do have corrosion on them due to water entering that compartment as well. All leaks have been fixed, a new roof installed, etc., and this problem has not been noticed only when it was raining.

    Please provide any help that you may be able to.

    Thank you,

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Ed,

      There are a lot of “gremlins” in this scenario that will take physically examining each and every component! First I would suspect your CO detector operates off 12-volt DC power from the house batteries since it will sound the alarm but go off when items are shut down and the batteries are allowed to recharge? Next you indicated there is a new “Marine” battery installed? My guess is the battery is probably a discount store battery that is not sufficient for the power demands of an RV? Probably a group 24 with limited amp hours and is probably already gotten sulfation on the plates due to improper charging? Deep cycle batteries need to be charged with a multistage charge every month or sulfation will form on the plates and not provide the energy storage they were designed for. If you do not have an inverter with this capability, your conventional converter/charger will recognize the battery is at 10.5 volts and throw a 13.6 volt charge to the battery until it reaches 12.6 volts and shut off. If the battery is sulfated, it will draw down to 11-volts very quickly which would make the CO detector chirp. Shutting off other lights and such will allow the battery to regenerate somewhat which is why the CO detector shuts off.

      Since you are “rehabbing” I would suggest getting a new battery or 2 batteries that are Group 27 and GOOD! Winnebago is using Napa Deep Cycle batteries as the lead plates are thicker, welds are more secure, and they last! There are a ton of cheap batteries being sold as Marine/RV that you should stay away from! Reputable brands are Trojan, Lifeline, NAPA, US Battery, or Optima if going with AGM. Then replace the converter! Go with Progressive Dynamics and their “Charge Wizard” technology chargers/converters that will condition the battery or get a Battery Minder at Northern Tool.

      Thanks,

      David
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  20. Kami Williamson

    The lights in our trailer work when it’s plugged into power, but won’t work when we are unplugged. My husband says the batteries are working, because the pop out will go in and out when we are not plugged in. Any ideas why this would be?

    Reply
  21. Joy L. Headrick

    My ac was working one min and then its like we are not getting any elec.to it but we are pluged in to generater

    Reply
  22. Jason

    I have a 2018 Heartland Fuel 305, my 30 amp fuse is tripping when running generator. Appliances on are AC, ceiling fan, radio, lights and skillet. That should be a standard load. later while cleaning after camping, AC and water pump tripped the breaker. How do I prevent this?

    Reply
  23. Shelli Price

    We have a 2016 Puma RLIS. We were having issues with our AC not working properly so switched over from 30 amp to 50 amp extension cord. Now our outside outlet and outlets on the island aren’t working. How do I visually determine if we have blown a fuse?

    Reply
  24. Jim Curtis

    Non contact voltage sensor unreliable. So is your other fisher price/sesame street voltage tester. Buy a meter and don’t instruct anyone on electrical issues anymore. Get someone hurt or cause them to damage equipment or start a fire.

    Reply
  25. Jeff

    I have a 2001 Horse trailer with a factory conversion. For the past 17 years it has operated normally in all aspects, Recently while towing I received a warning from the truck that there is a wiring fault and the trailer is disconnected. Although the marker lights, brake lights, etc are all functioning. When I disconnected the trailer from the truck the marker lights were still on. I suspect drawing from the onboard
    12 volt battery. The lights finally went out when the battery ran down. When I connect the 120 V ckt, I get all the running lights, etc. when I should not. At this point I’m not sure where to start. Any recommendations?

    Reply
  26. MARK

    simple question? on my 20 yr old Coleman fleetwood pioneer pop up, I have a voltage drop between my battery at 12.5V and the wire going in to the converter (10 feet of wire away) at 9.5V? I found this while trying to fix my interior lights which don’t work while switched to battery. (everything works while on AC feed) . I suspect a converter replacement required there (B-W manufacturing series 6400A model 6409). Is the voltage drop a sign of a bad ground?

    Reply
  27. Micheal

    1996 sunrise i am trouble with the power converter box is hot and it makes a clicking sound and it never shuts off unless i turn the bedroom curcuit breaker off. The outlets in the bedroom always work but the rest of the outlets in the rv work when they feel like it. Can you tell me why the coverter box is getting hot and making noise.

    Reply
  28. Lynn Ressler

    When I plug the camper into electric, the lights and fridge settings are flickering and pulsating.

    Reply
  29. Heather john

    We have a 1998 Jakyko Eagle 12 SO, when hooked to power supply the outlets work but when we try to plug in the battery the only thing that comes in is the carbon monoxide detector. The deep cell battery is fully charged and I replace the 4 car type fuses and the color units are all up and appear fine. What should we try next?

    Reply
  30. Eric Hirshfeld

    My 50 amp system doesn’t work, when I use the parks 30 plug, I get power. Is this something in my Solitude or the park power supply?

    Reply

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