Did I Just Fry My RV's Power Converter?

by Craig
(Savannah GA.)

Did I Just Fry My RV's Power Converter?

Did I Just Fry My RV's Power Converter?

I was plugging in my 1986 Prowler (26") and heard a snap. When I went inside I smelled an electronic burn, nothing was on fire but the following day I noticed the coach batteries were not charging. Fuses are all OK and the batteries come up when plugged into the truck. Is this a small or large problem/fix


ANSWER: Hi Craig let's see if I can help you determine if this is a small problem or a large problem. The fact that you smelled an electric burning smell may indeed confirm that you have damaged your RV's Power Converter.

You mentioned that you had checked all of the fuses in your travel trailer; the fact that you heard a snapping sound when this happened may indicate that you actually popped the circuit breaker for the 110 volt circuit that your Power Converter is plugged into. You need to look for the electrical compartment for your trailer and check for a tripped circuit breaker. Unfortunately I cannot tell you the exact location of your year and model trailer's electrical compartment. It could be in an inside cabinet of the trailer or in an outside storage compartment.

Once you find the circuit breakers check to see if one of them are tripped. If you find one tripped reset it and plug your RV back into electric again and check to see if your house batteries are being charged by the Converter. If they are not charging than it is a pretty good indication that you may have indeed fried your RV's Power Converter and possibly other parts of your RV's electrical system.

There are no user repairable parts on an RV's Power Converter so do not attempt to open it up and see if you can fix
it. Your best bet is to have a Certified RV Technician check out your electrical system and replace your Power Converter if needed.

Preventing This From Happening In The Future

There is a pretty good chance that the problem that you are experiencing was caused by the 110 volt power source that you were plugging your Travel Trailer into. It could have been caused by voltage being too high, too low, damaged wiring, etc. Listed below are a couple of steps you can take in the future to prevent this from happening again.

1. Make sure that the circuit breakers on the power source that you are plugging your RV into are off before you actually plug in. Once your travel trailer is plugged in you can turn the circuit breakers back on.

2. You should also purchase a Surge Protector for your Travel Trailer. You simply plug your RV's power cord into the Surge Protector and then the surge protectors plug gets plugged into the power source. The Surge Protector will help prevent electrical problems with electrical systems you are plugging into from damaging the electrical system on your RV. These surge protectors are available for both 30 and 50 Amp electrical systems. For more information on Surge Protectors read the answer I gave to: Are RV Surge Protectors Safe?

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

Following the steps listed above will greatly reduce the chances of your RV's electrical system from being damaged again.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Comments for Did I Just Fry My RV's Power Converter?

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by: Anonymous


One thing to add here is if your converter is if you hear the cooling running all the time when some interior lights are on. Replace them with LEDs I have done this and no more hearing the fan running. I am able to have all 30 of my interior lights on, as before I turned on 2 to 3 lights and the fan would run. And if your boondocking you will use less battery power as well.

Transfer switch
by: Anonymous

While camping in St Louis, I was washing the bugs off my 2000 Holiday Rambler Motorhome. I noticed a burning smell and then no electrical power. I opened the transfers with and found the white wire to the breaker panel burned badly. I had purchased a new transfer switch when I first bought the RV but had never installed it and was pretty confident in my ability to replace the burned switch but I opted to have a professional do the job. He charged me $450 to do it and took most of the day (I estimated the job at one hour.

loud popping noise when connecting 50 amp cord to shore power
by: Lloyd

Could I possibly have damaged my power converter some way? There is a loud popping noise when I connect my 50 amp cord to shore power and I can not find a reason for the noise. Any suggestions??
Thanks, Lloyd

using an inverter while driving
by: JerryJ

Retired, my wife and I plan a long haul trip with a 15FT travel trailer. I have camped and traveled most of my life and over preparing for situations is common for me.

I plan to use a 2,000 watt AC inverter to power my trailer while on the road. The only thing that really needs powering while driving is mostly the fridge and yes, 2,000 watts is way over kill. 2,000 watts is the max available or potential and I have no intention of using anything near 2,000watts. We know it's a no-no to run a fridge on propane while driving "holy smoke". But keeping the fridge cold is a must. I don't want to run DC from the tow vehicle via the 7-pin connector, but I do want to run that 2,000watt inverter.

The inverter would be sitting in the back of the tow vehicle (well ventilated for cooling). A secured extension cord from the trailer to the inverter.
It has been recommended to have the inverter (of this size) fused at 200 amps right at the battery.

This fuse is not so much for surge protection but more for instant short as a result in a traffic accident and the powering from battery to the inverter was severed and shorted.

Can I use a regular household 100 amp circuit breaker as that safety breaker? I will also be using a # 2 cable from between the battery to the inverter for roughly 8 feet following ohm's law

Thanks Al
by: Anonymous

Looks like she's toasted.

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