When you own an RV full-time, RVing cross country in a rental or boondocking state by state for a few months, your greatest comfort is electricity. Especially when boondocking and RV camping, you need all the energy you can get.
Your meals, lights, entertainment, and warmth count on the electricity. So you want to watch out for when your converter is going bad.
Here we are going to investigate what sign indicates how to tell if your RV converter is bad, how to test your converter, replace it, and a few other RV Faqs.
Related: Best Battery Tender for RV
How To Tell If RV Converter Is Bad?
There are a few common warning signs that’ll let your know that your RV converter is bad:
- When the cooling fan, internal vents, or interior lights aren’t working properly.
- Seeing abnormal flickering or dimming of lights on the dashboard or around the RV shortly after being turned on.
- When your RV onboard batteries can’t hold a charge, the culprit is either the battery or the converter most of the time.
All these things are indicators that there can be an issue with your RV converter. The best way to avoid a problem like this is to periodically test each individual battery.
Replacing It: How To Tell If Your RV Converter is Bad
How Much Does It Cost to Replace an RV Converter?
Replacing your RV converter will cost between $150 – $1,600. Like most things in an RV, the cost of replacing a part depends on your amperage needs and your own skill level.
Be prepared to spend more than $500 or more because replacing an RV converter should be done by a professional. Installing an RV converter incorrectly could end up burning out your entire RV electrical system.
Still, you may be able to save some money on installation if you have experience in this area, or, save money on a converter that doesn’t produce as much power as another model.
The number of converters on the market should make options available to your budget.
How Do I Test My RV Converter Fan?
Here we will mule over how to troubleshoot an RV Converter Fan.:
Step 1: Disconnect power from the converter. Disconnect the RV’s shore power and switch off the generator. Disconnect the feed to the 12-volt circuit.
Step 2: Remove the converter case. Manufacturers rarely make converters intended for us to diagnose and repair them, so some units do not feature removable nut & bolt assemblies. Only do it yourself if you are an experienced, competent electrical engineer with the necessary diagnostic equipment and repair tools.
Step 3: Locate the fan. Inside the converter, the case will be a solenoid, several diodes, the transformer itself, and the circuit board which monitors and manages the charge to the coach batteries.
Step 4: Restore 120-volt power to the converter. From this point on live components will be bare and unprotected in the very tight environment in which you are working. Be extremely careful.
Step 5: Test the temperature sensor unit that controls the fan by blowing heat onto the heat sink using a hairdryer or a shrink-wrap gun. Use your test meter to confirm 120-volt power is passing to the temperature sensor unit, and then that 120-volt power is passing from it after it heats up. If it is not, the temperature sensor unit is faulty. With the 120-volt power on if the temperature sensor unit is functioning and power is conveyed to the fan but it does not start up, the fan is faulty.
Disconnect the open converter from 120-volt power again before replacing either component.
Related: Best Quiet Generators for Camping
Should I Leave My RV Inverter On All The Time?
No, your RV inverter should be turned off when you’re not using it.
Why Do I Need An Inverter in My RV?
You need an RV inverter to change the 12V DC electricity from your RV’s batteries to 120V AC electricity for use with your 120V appliances, especially when boondocking.
Enjoy The Ride
Now that we know how to tell if RV converter is bad and the steps you can take to fix it, you can feel a bit more confident in your Rig.
We do suggest you do as much research as you can before taking any big steps, and it’s always safe to pay a professional to do extensive work on your RV. Better safe than sorry is our motto when it comes to RV repair.