RV Guide

How to Tell if RV Converter is Bad: Red Flags

how to tell if RV converter is bad

Why is it important to know how to tell if RV converter is bad? Simply put, it’s an essential part of your RV’s power system. Without it, you might as well just go tent camping. To know more about your RV’s converter, continue reading.

What is your RV converter important?

One of the biggest reasons to go camping via RV is the availability of electricity. And electricity gives way to the various comforts of an RV. For example, you can operate your appliances for food or entertainment thanks to electricity. This includes your equipment such as stove, microwave, refrigerator, and television. What’s more, it’s also responsible for letting you operate the various monitors and gauges of your motorhome.

Central to all of this is your converter. But what exactly does a converter do? Basically, it enables you to power up all your appliances without draining your battery, whenever you’re plugged into an electrical source. For instance, if you’re plugged into a 110-volt local power source, electricity will run through your converter and then your converter will transform it into the 12-volt requirement of your appliances.

As you can see, it’s a really important piece of equipment. For this reason, it’s important to keep track of it and monitor when it starts failing.

How to Tell if RV Converter is Bad

Below, we’ll discuss a few signs that will help you how to tell if RV converter is bad. In particular, some of the signs you should watch out for includes bad performance, abnormal power supply, and faulty cooling fan.

Bad Performance

Once you notice your converter suddenly having a bad performance, then that’s a warning sign right there. For example, if your electrical devices stop working or your refrigerator doesn’t provide the correct temperature. Other warning signs include dimming interior lights. This is a pretty huge giveaway that your converter needs to be replaced. In sum, all of these demonstrate a bad converter because your outlets are not getting sufficient power.

Abnormal Power Supply

Secondly, you have to check for abnormal power supply. How can you do this? Get a voltmeter and check for the voltage at the entry point of the local power source. Afterwards, check the voltage of the breaker box. If the readings are out of the normal range, let’s say between 103 volts to 130 volts at the entry point and 11volts to 13 volts at the breaker box, then your converter might not be functioning as it should.

This poses a problem it could damage the appliances inside your vehicle. Furthermore, since your RV also uses electricity for its monitors and gauges, you might also experience technical difficulties while on the road.

Faulty Cooling Fan

Lastly, a faulty cooling fan. The cooling fan is vital to your converter, as it prevents it from overheating. If it isn’t working, you might have to replace it. Furthermore, it’s a sign that the voltage at the entry point is not correct.

Tips on extending the life of your converter

As they say, prevention is better than a cure. This applies to your RV converter as well. Here are a few reminders or preventive measures for your next trip.

Choose a good quality converter

First of all, make sure your purchase the converter that’s the best possible fit for your RV. It’s important that you purchase a good quality converter that won’t break down right away. In the long run, this will save you some cash.

Run system checks before a trip

Secondly, before you go on the road, make sure you run a check on your system. It’s bad enough if your converter gets broken, but it’s even worse If you discover it when you’re already on the road.

Keep a spare fuse

Next, if you’re going on the road, especially if for long term, then you should always have a spare fuse hidden somewhere. Do some periodic checks to ensure you replace everything that needs to be replaced. It’s better to be prepared than get caught unaware.

Replace your batteries

Another thing you should do is replace your batteries every 3 to 5 years. This will reduce the possibility of losing power in the middle of a trip. This is especially true if you live in a place with a hot climate. As you may or may not know, there’s a higher incidence of batteries dying out in locations with high temperatures.

Check campground power stations

Additionally, it’s a good practice to inspect power stations before plugging into them. For instance, once you arrive in your chosen campground, take a look around the hookups. Check the breakers and circuitry to ensure everything is in order. If they look suspicious, like if they do not look well-connected, do not use it.

Instead, make your way to the administration office and discuss your concerns with them. Because your vehicle’s electrical system will be affected, it’s necessary to take these steps.

Prevent power surges in the breaker

Lastly, once you determine that everything is in order with your power source, make sure the circuit breaker of your vehicle is off. This will prevent a huge electrical surge, which can subsequently affect other outlets in your recreational vehicle. What’s more, sudden power surges can also damage any appliance that is plugged in.

Final Words

Hopefully, this article equipped you with the knowledge of how to tell if RV converter is bad. Remember that your converter is a vital component of your motorhome’s power system. Even if you have a set budget, your converter isn’t something you should pinch pennies on. It’s better to invest in a good quality converter right from the get-go, than experience technical difficulties and then fork over some cash to have it repaired or replaced.

In order to have a smooth-sailing RV trip, making sure your converter is in good condition before leaving for the road is a must. In addition, learning how to troubleshoot and determine if your converter really is the problem, is a skill you should learn.

Lena Horner
the authorLena Horner
Lena Horner is a LA Galaxy fan who does freelance writing and marketing. A graduate of UCLA with a degree in Marketing, she enjoys the outdoor. Lena enjoys the outdoor and is constantly convincing her partner to live in an RV fulltime.

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