How to Tell If RV Converter is Bad

How to Tell If RV Converter is Bad and How to Fix It

An RV can serve as a mini home for you when you are away from home. 

So, you need to give maximum attention to your RV, so that when a crisis occurs you can fix it before it worsens.

Perhaps you’ve experienced any problems with your RV’s lights or electrical system and aren’t sure what it is or how to fix it.

When something goes wrong with an RV’s electrical parts or the power converter, the results can be disastrous.

So, how can you tell if an RV converter is faulty? What can you do if your RV converter fails?

In this situation, it is best to take a comprehensive and meticulous approach to problem-solving. 

This frequently necessitates the inspection of electrical components in your RV as well as the power converter itself.

Sometimes the issue is minor or even inexpensive to resolve. Other times, it may be a highly technical issue that necessitates the assistance of a professional.

The last thing you want to do is assume it’s the power converter when it could be something else.

You don’t want to replace a power converter only to discover later that the underlying problem was a faulty battery or a blown fuse.

Even if the problem is severe, being able to diagnose it yourself can help you save time as when you take it to the repair shop you will easily be attended to. 

So, now we are going to see how to know if your Rv Converter is going bad or if it’s bad already. 

Signs to Know If your  RV Converter Is Bad and How to Fix it. 

1: Converter Seems To Drain The Battery

The onboard batteries must maintain a consistent charge to function properly and supply DC. When the converter fails, it makes it difficult for the batteries to maintain a constant charge.

The cooling fan isn’t working properly, for example, and this can be a sign of a problem.

Internal vents aren’t working properly Interior lights dim quickly after turning on Abnormal warning lights flicker on and off on the dashboard

If one of your RV’s onboard batteries is unable to hold a charge, it may begin to draw power from another, otherwise healthy battery.

This can eventually cause other batteries in the system to fail, necessitating the replacement of more than just the initial bad one.

To be able to curtain this issue before it worsens, you should do a regular check of each battery to make sure they’re sound. 

So you may ask, how can you test your RVs Batteries? It is relatively simple to test your batteries. You can do it during your leisure hours, and it’s certainly something you should do regularly when you’re not travelling.

It’s advisable to put a battery through its paces 6 to 12 hours after it’s been fully charged. This will provide you with the most accurate reading of whether or not it is holding a consistent charge.

Now follow these steps to test your batteries. 

Step One: Unplug your RV from any external power sources.

If your RV has an onboard battery monitoring system, you can use it to get a general idea of how well the electrical system is working.

However, most of these systems measure all of the RV’s batteries as a group and will not help you identify a dead or dying battery.

Step 2: Disconnect each battery from its companions.

If this is your first time doing it, keep track of whether they are connected in series or parallel.

 Most RV batteries are connected in parallel, which means that each positive terminal is connected to the next positive terminal and each negative terminal is connected to the next negative terminal.

Without disconnecting these batteries, you may not be able to easily find out if one of them likely gave charging issues.

Step 3: Allow the batteries to sit for 20 to 30 minutes.

This allows them to normalize their charge and provide you with a more accurate reading.

Step four: Attach a multimeter to each battery and test it one at a time.

A battery with a fault or internal components that have begun to degrade will not be able to maintain a constant charge.

A healthy battery with a consistent charge should have a voltage reading of 12.5 to 12.7 volts. If the battery reads less than 12.5 volts, it indicates that it isn’t holding a charge or that it needs to be charged.

2. A Malfunctioning Cooling Fan

An internal cooling fan is found in the majority of RV converters. Its purpose is to keep the RV converter from getting too hot when it reaches a certain temperature.

The fan may not operate at all if the voltage at the 110 Volt entry point is faulty. At the same time, repeated use of the cooling fan may cause it to break down or wear out.

When this happens, the unmanaged heat may start to harm aspects of the converter or other parts of the RV’s electrical system, causing the RV converter to fail.

Most times, it’s because of simple wear and tears, caused by constant use over time that causes one or more components to cease to function.

However, To find out what’s wrong, you can test the RV’s converter’s cooling fan using the following steps. 

  • Connect the multimeter at the converter’s entry point to accomplish this.

If it doesn’t produce a reading, it’s possible that the fan died and the converter was unaffected.

It is also possible that the 110V line is faulty, or that the thermostat or thermal sensor that controls the cooling fan is faulty.

  • You can then test each one by feeding it a current that is not connected to the main 110V line.

If they work properly, you know it’s the line. If they don’t, you’ll need to replace the thermal sensor, fan, or the entire converter.

After testing out the cooling fan, you can change the faulty cooling fan or thermal sensor yourself.

If you can find the right parts to replace the bad ones, you are good to go. But if not, you should check with a qualified professional. 

The following is a list of possible problem areas and potential ways to fix them.

3. A Problem With The Circuit Board Or Circuit Breakers

A breaker can sometimes have a fault that affects the converter. Just keep in mind that gaining access to them will necessitate a patient and meticulous approach.

The first step is to access the circuit breaker panel. Then, starting with the primary input breaker, turn on each circuit breaker one at a time.

Examine each one carefully. Examine them for signs of physical deterioration and make sure they still work.

If you are certain that the breakers are in good working order, close them in reverse order, making sure that the primary input breaker is the last one to be closed.

At that point, you can disconnect the pedestal’s 110 AC power and remove its independent electrical panel.

Examine the backside carefully. Acid can sometimes build up on a connector tab or one of the wire terminals.

If you notice any signs of corrosion, try cleaning it with 12 ounces of water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.

Then, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently scrub the affected area with this homemade cleaning solution.

After you’ve cleaned it as thoroughly as possible, blot it dry with a clean paper towel. After that, allow it to air dry for 7 to 10 minutes.

You can then reassemble the panel and test it again. It is worth noting that acid accumulation and corrosion can sometimes be so severe that even these cleaning procedures will not affect them.

4. There Could  Be A Problem With The Resistors Or Diodes

A few RV power converters make use of antiquated resistors and diodes. With an older unit, this is even more likely to be the case.

These small components are intended to help control the electrical system’s 12V DC voltage and the onboard batteries.

Resistors obstruct the flow of current in a circuit board or other electronic component.

A faulty or burned out resistor, for example, can sometimes be the root cause of the batteries’ inability to hold a constant charge.

Diodes can be tricky, so before you test one, make sure you understand which direction the current is supposed to flow. If you get a reading, it means the diode is working properly.

If you don’t get a reading when testing the positive lead on either side of a diode, it’s likely that the diode has burned out or has some other flaw.

If you discover a faulty resistor or diode, you may be able to replace it yourself. However, this is something that should be handled by a professional who is familiar with electrical circuits.

5. It Could Be A Problem With A Fuse

A fuse is a small electric device that is rated to handle a certain amount of current.

When there is an overload of current, such as a power surge or a short circuit, the small metal component inside the fuse burns out. Excess current is thus prevented from damaging more sensitive components.

It is more of a precautionary measure designed to protect more vulnerable components from damage.

Most fuses are designed to be replaceable by the manufacturer. The amp rating of the majority of fuses can be found on the back of the case or another part of the fuse.

If you discover a blown fuse in your converter or another electronic component, you may be able to replace it yourself.

This necessitates the use of a fuse puller or needle-nose pliers. Just be careful not to crush or grip the fuse too tightly, as this could result in pieces of it being left behind.

Also, make sure you use the same amp when changing the fuse. You could even use a lower amp instead of a higher amp because a higher amp could harm other components.

6. There Could Be A Problem With The 110 Power Source

In some cases, the symptoms of a failed power converter in your RV are caused by a problem with the 110 Volt entry point, outlet, connection, or power source.

Examine all of these parts to see if anything is loose or appears to be burned out.

In some cases, an intermittent current can be caused by a fault at the power post supplying the electricity. Internal lights may dim as a result of this.

If you need to test the power source’s dependability, connect a 110V appliance, such as a microwave, or even a plug-in household lamp, to the power pole.

If it isn’t behaving normally, there could be a problem with the power supply.


We have seen about six reasons why your RV converter may go bad and some simple steps to fix them and also cases you may have to take them to a professional. 

However, to avoid the majority of these issues, regular and proper maintenance and preparation are essential.

Because your RV is a significant investment, taking the time to double-check all systems, including the electrical system, before embarking on your next adventure is time well spent.

This includes preparing it for travel every spring, maintaining the motor, checking the batteries and appliances, and ensuring that every component of the power converter is operational.

Before embarking on a new trip, I always suggest giving your RV a detailed once-over.

It is not uncommon for replacement parts to take some time to arrive. During peak season, professional repair shops that specialize in RVs may also be overbooked.

So, as much as possible, avoid replacing damaged parts through regular maintenance.

Furthermore, testing a battery and replacing a faulty one, as well as double-checking fuses and breakers, are tasks that almost anyone can perform.

However, when it comes to issues like faulty circuit boards, wire shorts, and burned out components, it’s often best to consult a professional to ensure the problem is properly interpreted and repaired.

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