best rv converter charger

The majority of recreational vehicles today are equipped with a battery charging system. The problem is that several of these systems perform poorly or are primarily made to top up a specific battery once plugged in an RV park. In most cases, this can lead to the actual damage of the batteries, especially for older RVs because of overcharging. While some of the newest models of RV battery chargers today, it is still ideal to look for the best RV converter charger to upgrade your present system.

Or you want to ensure that you have an alternate source of power on hand to deal with specific needs. So what is an RV converter and how can it help you on the road? Increase your knowledge about what the best converter can do with the help of this article.

Major Functions of an RV Converter

The RV converter is considered the basic charging system used in most recreational vehicles. It serves as a vital component of the electrical system of your vehicle. The main function of the converter is to convert 120-volt shore power into 12-volt DC power.

It does such function as a means of ensuring that the battery won’t need to provide DC when plugged in. Another major function performed by the best RV power converter involves charging the battery if and when its capacity becomes excessive. The converter is usually combined with the primary power distribution panel within your vehicle.

Since the converter is made in such a way that it will charge the battery automatically, it works excellently in providing power to thermostats, refrigerators, vent fans, and lights, among many others. Note, though, that you will only be needed the converter in case you plan to charge the battery after you plug it into the shore power.

If you aim to visit places with plenty of sunshine and you are actually using a solar panel then you may be able to discard the use of the converter. However, it would still be best for you to invest in one considering the fact that the weather tends to be dynamic in a lot of places.

Best RV Converter Options

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Types of Converters

Basically, you can choose from two styles or types of power converters if you are currently thinking of buying a new one or make the best RV converter upgrade by replacing an old one. These are the deck mount power converter and the distribution panel power converter.

If you are planning to buy the deck mount converter then note that you will need to screw it into the sidewall or floor. You can install this style anywhere provided it meets the proper spacing requirements, like in a cabinet, under a seat, or inside a hatch or compartment.

It is also possible for you to install it in any other space where you can conveniently reroute the incoming supply of power to. The distribution panel, on the other hand, is usually preferred by those who plan to do an RV power converter replacement. In other words, it works well if you are planning to replace a previously installed converter.

More information you need to know

This converter can actually be described as a large panel unit, which you can install in a cutout wall in your vehicle. It stays accessible and vehicle. This style is often equipped with circuit breakers and fuses that you can find behind the door or the primary panel so you can conveniently access it in case of replacement or repairs.

It would be best for you to take into consideration these types of converters and what each one can do if you plan to choose the ideal converter for your rig. Also, take note that several options are available when you are searching for a converter. For instance, you can pick the amp to ensure that your RV electronics will receive enough power.

It is also possible for you to pick your choice based on the many color options available today. By doing that, your choice will have a higher chance of blending into the overall color scheme of your recreational vehicle.

One more thing to remember when replacing your RV converter is to check out the name of the manufacturer, number of amps, and model number so you can match it up with the units introduced to you.

Troubleshooting an RV Converter

Before you decide to replace your old converter completely, it is advisable to determine whether you can still troubleshoot any issues that it shows. One major problem that you may encounter when using the power converter is their failure to function because of the complete lack of power.

There are also instances when the problem is in the background, which means that it only manifests when the charge of all the 12-volt batteries are fully consumed. Another problem is when one of the poorly performing batteries draws a charge from the batteries that function normally, causing the failure of all in the end.

It is advisable for you to inspect the whole converter and the batteries individually and find if you can fix it on your own. Take note that a power converter needs adequate voltage input to function.

Here are the steps to follow

Among the steps that you can undertake when performing an RV power converter troubleshooting are:

Step 1 – Check the voltage at the outlet where you plugged the RV. This should be the first step that you should take when performing a DIY troubleshooting task. In this case, you can utilize a handheld multi-meter as a means of checking the campground outlet’s voltage. The result should be around 108 to 130 volts but it would be best if it is 120.

Step 2 – Check the circuit. It is essential to check the circuit to find out if a GFCI or ground fault circuit interrupter protects it. If it is indeed protected by a GFCI, find out if it is tripped. If necessary, reset it.

Step 3 – Check for the power that goes to the converter. This refers to the power, which goes to the power converter within the coach. What you have to observe is whether there are fuses on it. If there are burned out ones, then make it a point to replace them with the right and exact replacements.

Step 4 – Listen to the unit. Once you have checked everything, it is the time to listen to the unit. You will know that it operates if the unit produces a humming sound.

Step 5 – Measure the DC voltage where the converter gets its power into the DC breaker box. In this case, you need to use another scale on the meter. You will know that it operates properly if the result is between 12 and 14 volts. If the measurement is lower than that then it is greatly possible that your power converter is already faulty, requiring a replacement.

How to Replace an RV Converter?

It is important to note that power converters are currently available in different amp output ratings. This is to ensure that they will meet the 12-volt DC system required by recreational vehicles. It should be noted that you will have a higher power requirement if your coach is large and full of amenities and onboard facilities.

Converters with power output ratings of 12 volts usually range from 20-100 amps even though some small campers require less. In most cases, the standard converter unit is enough to handle your RVs electrical loads. However, if your vehicle has additional 12-volt electrical lights and other items, then you may need more.

One of the major reasons why you should consider upgrading is that it lets you obtain more modern and advanced multi-stage charging features together with an equalization mode. Such is helpful in extending battery life while also improving the charging. Also, take note that batteries are extremely sensitive to temperatures.

And that’s not all

In most cases, extreme temperatures can cause the RV converter to not charging the battery. The batteries are also prone to losing power when exposed to extremely low temperatures and outgassing or providing more water when charging once you exposed them to extremely high temperatures.

In this case, you can choose a model, which features a temperature compensation circuitry. It works in adjusting the charge rates and voltage based on the temperature, which offers not only convenience but also the ability to extend the life of the battery.

If you really need to replace or upgrade your existing converter then make it a point to spend time shopping and comparing your options. It is because you can actually find several valuable features. Also, take note that there are certain models that are better upgraded instead of entirely replaced.

Also, take note that there are numerous power converter models that are currently available. That’s why you really have to take your time comparing them so you can customize your supply of power based on your specific RV requirements.

Conclusion for the Best RV Converter Choices

Finding the best RV converter despite the many options laid out to you is the key to enjoying a continuous supply of power while you are on the road. It also plays a major role in improving the performance of your battery. Fortunately, you can find numerous high-tech options, allowing you to find the versatility and power needed by your RV.

Learn more about how to choose the best RV battery, best RV deep cycle battery, and best RV surge protectors with a buyer’s guide and in-depth reviews. By the way, have a look at our best RV generators, best RV solar panels, and best RV inverter to make living in an RV easier and more comfortable!