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My RV Is Using A Lot Of Electricity, What's Going On?

by Mike Homenuk
(Cleveland, Ohio)


Our converter is running continuously....not sure why or if that is normal. wondering if the house batteries are totally no good and the other thing is that we have used almost 40 kws of electrical from our main real power supply and no one else at the park has used more than about 3 - 6 kws over a 4 day weekend.

Thank you,

Mike Homenuk

ANSWER Greetings Mike thanks for asking your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.


First, it is normal for your RV's converter to run continuously when your RV is plugged into electricity. Because the converter is running does not mean that your batteries are bad. Yes, the converter also charges your batteries, but it also provides 12 volt power to your RV when plugged in; so that is why it is constantly running.

If you suspect that your house batteries are bad you need to diagnose the problem. The first thing I would do is check the electrolyte level in your house batteries. If the electrolyte is low you need to add distilled water to top off the batteries. You should check the electrolyte level at least once every two months. When the electrolyte is low on a battery it will not accept or hold a charge and can cause permanent damage to the battery.

Leave your RV repair bills to us—Good Sam Extended Service Plan

If you still think that you are having problems with the charging system or batteries you might want to read the answer that I gave to this question: Our RV Interior Lights Only Work When We Are Plugged In Or Generator Is Running.

Now, on to your power usage, using 40 KWS of power over a 4 day camping trip does not sound unreasonable to me. Your usage depends on a lot of factors, such as type of RV you have, what type of appliances you use while camping, etc.

Here is the factor for a Kilowatt 1 KW = 1000 Watts. There are a lot of appliances in your RV that can go through 1 KW very easily. Take a look below to see a sample list of appliances and how many Watts they use.

* Air Conditioner 1,500 watts (can be higher or lower depending on BTU of A/C).

* Portable electric heater 1,000 Watts

* Microwave 1,000 Watts and up

* Toaster 1,150 Watts

* Coffee Maker 900 Watts

* Hair Dryer 1,000 Watts

* Iron 1,000 Watts and up

* Electric Water Heater 1,000 Watts and up

* Converter 500 watts and up

Over 1,500,000 successful roadside rescues—Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service

Now add other smaller appliances that you use daily and you can see that the 40 KWs you used is not unreasonable. I cannot explain why others only used 3 to 6 KWs. It sounds like they did not run any appliances at all.

I hope this information has helped you. If any of our visitors have comments or suggestions for you they can add them by clicking on the add a comment link near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Good Sam RV Parks: Top Rated Parks Across the Country. Listings on Over 2,100 RV Parks!

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Generator will not run out RV
by: Mearl

I have a older generator 3500 but it will not put out enough to run our new AC we just installed. When the AC compressor kicks on the lights go low and the fan on the AC does not run as fast. The outage on out generator she's 40 th 45% we only have the AC and a couple of lights on. We have turned off everything else. What could be wrong.

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