Best RV Converter Charger 2018: Offers Power on the Road

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 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.

Comparison of RV Converters

Product

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Progressive Dynamics - Best of the Best

  A+

$$

PowerMax - Editor's Choice

  A+

$

A

$

IOTA Engineering - Best Bang for the Buck

A

$

 A-

$$

A

$

Major Functions of an RV Converter

The RV converter is considered as 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 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 Chargers 2018

1. Progressive Dynamics Power Converter - Best of the Best

One of the top RV converter chargers that I think will work well for those who are always on the road is the Progressive Dynamics PD9245CV 45-amp Power Converter. I instantly figured out that it is built to offer a highly reliable filtered DC power to the 12-volt appliance and lighting circuits of all RVs.

I think that it is a good choice with its ability to offer a rapid and safe recharging of the batteries in your RV. It is equipped with a charge wizard, which refers to a system controlled by a microprocessor. It constantly keeps track of the voltage of the battery while also guaranteeing a fast but safe recharge.

This built-in feature also chooses one out of the four modes of operation and one of the three charging volts based on the battery’s condition and use.

In addition, it is equipped with an accessory port, which promotes ease in adding the converter status remote pendant indicated the converter or charger.

It also has a nice safety feature called electronic current limiting. It works by rapidly reducing the output of the converter in case of electric overload or shortage. Other built-in safety features that you can take advantage of are the high and low voltage protection, over-temperature shutdown, and reverse battery protection.

It should be noted, though, that this RV converter requires a bit more effort to install but once set up, it can efficiently deliver what it promises to do.

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    Supplies a highly dependable filtered DC power to 12-volt appliance and lighting circuits in your RV
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    Promotes a rapid and safe battery recharging
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    Equipped with a charge wizard, which monitors the battery’s voltage

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    Equipped with an electronic current limiting feature, which quickly reduces the converter’s output in case of electric overload or shortage
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    Comes with plenty of safety features

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    Requires more effort to install

Overall, this RV converter does a pretty good job in supplying your RV with the power required to make your life on the road more convenient.

2. PowerMax Power Supply Converter Charger - Editor's Choice

I also highly recommend the PM3-55 RV Power Supply Converter Charger from PowerMax if you want to invest your money in an RV power converter. I find it an excellent option because this converter/charger serves as a highly versatile and advanced solution any time you need a good supply of power.

It has the ability to supply clean and reliable DC power, which works effectively in powering appliances and electronics within your RV. It is also built in such a way that the power it provides is clean with or without the use of a battery. This power supply converter also leaves a good impression with its simple installation process.

I instantly realized how easy it is to install the unit as it already comes with the required AC power cord and mounting flanges.

It is also compatible with all types and sizes of recreational vehicles provided they require a 12-volt DC power, which is also equipped with a high amperage.

Another reason to like this charge is that it has built-in safety features, including its current limiting design, which shuts down power automatically in case of short circuits or electrical overload. I am also pleased that the use of this unit does not interfere with radios, TVs, and other signals.

However, take note that the built-in cooling fan of this converter does not operate that quietly.

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    Highly versatile and advanced solution in case you need a consistent supply of power
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    Powers up RV appliances and electronics with its ability to deliver clean and reliable DC power
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    Promotes a simple and easy installation process

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    Compatible with different makes and sizes of RVs
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    Plenty of safety features installed, including its current limiting design

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    A bit noisy built-in cooling fan

Still, this is an RV converter worth checking out as it is known to function based on what it promises while also being easy to install and capable of providing clean and reliable DC power anytime.

3. WFCO Power Center

I am also sure that the WFCO WF-8735-P 30-ampPower Center can provide you with a high level of satisfaction if you want to install a highly reliable converter in your recreational vehicle. With its ability to supply a 35-amp DC output, it definitely works well in supplying power to the appliances and electronics inside your vehicle.

Setting it up is also pretty easy and simple. You can install it on your own even if you are an amateur in this area. I am also happy to say that it does not require additional filtering just to get it up and running. It makes use of a 3-stage battery charging, which guarantees a longer battery life.

I also find it safe to use because it provides protection from reverse polarity and short circuit. Such protection can give you peace of mind. It comes with a cooling fan, too, which guarantees a quiet operation while also working only when necessary. It is also convenient as the built-in cooling fan does not require additional space requirements.

In addition, it functions without causing any interference to certain signals, like those used for radios and televisions. Furthermore, it boasts of its DC branch circuits including LED bulbs that tend to light up to show right away if there are open circuits.

It also offers protection from overcurrent, overload, over-temperature, and reverse polarity. 

The installation instructions included in the purchase of the product are poorly illustrated though. Fortunately, you won’t experience a lot of difficulties figuring out how to set it up.

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    Capable of supplying power to the appliances and electronics inside your RV
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    Guarantees an easy and simple setup process
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    The built-in cooling fan operates quietly and does not require additional space.

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    Offers protection from overcurrent, overload, over-temperature, reverse polarity, and short circuits, among many others

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    Poorly constructed installation instructions

Despite that, it is still greatly possible that you will be a hundred percent satisfied with your purchase of this RV converter as aside from being compatible to different RV sizes, it also does its job pretty efficiently.

4. IOTA Engineering Converter - Best Bang for the Buck

The next product that I suggest to those looking for a dependable RV converter charger is the IOTA Engineering Converter. Your recreational vehicle will definitely thank you once you have this converter/charger installed. One of the many things I like about this unit is its top-notch quality engineering, which is the trademark of the IOTA brand.

I am fully satisfied with this converter as it can deliver an exceptionally clean DC output, which offers protection to your electronics and equipment. You are also guaranteed that it will deliver a great result each time you decide to power up.

It boasts of its 75-amp switch mode technology. I think the use of this technology improves the ability of the converter to guarantee a high-quality charging of the battery as well as the power conversion required by your recreational vehicle.

It can also guarantee a safe charging and a longer lifespan for your battery as it works together with its IQ smart charger to promote automatic 3-stage charging. It also gives you two charging modes to choose from – the 13.6-volts and the 14.2-volts. It also delivers a low operating temperature and ultimate protection to certain safety issues.

It also fits different sizes of RVs, campers, and motorhomes.

It is a bit pricey, though but you will instantly receive an excellent return on your investment once it starts to function based on your expectations.

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    Top-notch quality engineering and construction
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    Supplies a clean DC output, offering protection to your RV electronics and equipment
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    Utilizes a switch mode technology, which promotes high-quality charging and power conversion

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    Promotes a safe charging and long lifespan for your RV battery
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    Offers protection to various safety issues

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    A bit pricey

The fact that this product is offered by IOTA means that it is well-built and well-engineered, allowing you to take a hold of an RV converter, which will never fail you in terms of performance and ability to supply the power you specifically need.

5. Go Power! Converter

I can also say that the Go Power! GPC-75-MAX 75-amp Converter is one of the most efficient converters designed for recreational vehicles. One thing I find remarkable in this unit is its ability to provide quick and accurate charging of the battery without causing you to go beyond your budget when investing in it.

It makes use of the highly advanced switch-mode technology, which offers an assurance that you will continuously receive clean and safe power. Aside from being designed to be highly reliable, this converter is also popular for being lightweight and compact, making it fit various RV sizes and models.

It also works effectively in extending the lifespan of most deep-cycle battery banks. If you decide to install it in your RV then rest assured that it also features a high and continuous output, which is beneficial in feeding your 12-volt loads once you plug it into shore power.

One more thing to take note of is that this power converter/charger is designed in such a way that it can charge the wet cell and flooded batteries up to a hundred percent with the help of its 4-stage charging process.

It also comes with a 20-amp male plug, which promotes ease in terms of installation. 

One downside of this 75-amp converter can be attributed to its price as it is higher when compared to the other RV converters today.

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    Promotes quick and accurate charging
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    Makes use of the highly advanced switch-mode technology
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    Lightweight and compact, making it more useful for various RVs

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    Capable of extending the lifespan of most deep-cycle battery banks
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    Easy to install, thanks to the included 20-amp male plug

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    Higher initial price when compared to the others

Overall, this 75-amp RV converter performs excellently as far as supplying power is concerned while also being filled with several advanced features that make it even more effective in charging batteries.

6. Arterra Replacement Main Board Assembly

Lastly, I would like to introduce you to this product from Arterra if you want to gain access to a fully functional RV converter. I can say that it works as an easy and speedy replacement part, which is ideal for use on all power centers. I am sure you will never regret checking out this product as installing it is also a breeze.

In fact, the whole installation process only takes around ten minutes with the help of two screws, two DC wires, and three AC wires. Installation does not also require rewiring, promoting further ease when setting it up.

This product also takes pride in its 3-stage function, which works automatically. This system makes it possible for the unit to handle all the charging requirements of your recreational vehicle. It is also effective in lengthening the life of your battery.

Another impressive feature in this unit is the built-in cooling fan, which is nicely designed while also being capable of operating quietly. The overall design of the unit is also known for preventing the risk of overheating the power supply.

The case also has enough room for ventilation, allowing air to flow freely from one side to another.

It does not come with any diagram or instructions for installation, though, but most users don’t find it a problem as they were able to install the whole unit quickly without too much hassle.

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    Guarantees a quick and easy installation process, which does not also need rewiring
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    Boasts of its 3-stage charging system
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    Can lengthen the life of your RV’s battery

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    Features a quiet cooling fan
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    Lower risk of overheating the power supply

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    No installation diagram and instructions

Once finally set up, expect this converter to be capable of meeting all the charging and power supply requirements of your recreational vehicle.

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.

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. 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 Power 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.

In most cases, extreme temperatures can cause the RV converter 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 feature 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

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 2018 with buyer's guide and in-depth reviews. By the way, have a look at our best RV generatorsbest RV solar panels and best RV inverter to make living in an RV easier and more comfortable!

Best RV Converter Charger 2018: Offers Power on the Road
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