My RV's Power Converter Is Not Charging The RV House Batteries
by Richard Law
(Roseville, CA USA)
I have a problem with my Power Source converter in that I have 110/120 to all my AC plugs. I also have DC power to all my DC equipment but it will not charge the battery when plugged-in to an AC current.
The only way I can charge the batteries are while I'm pulling the trailer or with a battery charger. I didn't notice this until I stored the trailer and had it plugged in the AC current and the batteries went bad. Do you know if there is a fuse connection between the 110 AC and the 120 DC units in the converter that might have been blown?
ANSWER Hi Richard, OK let's see what I can do to help. Now since you do not tell me if you are the original owner of this trailer, or if the batteries were charging prior to this or given me the year, make or model of your trailer, I am going to ask one simple question.
Are you sure that your trailer's converter is designed to charge the house batteries? You need to know this because we can do all the troubleshooting in the world to figure out why the batteries are not charging only to find out that your converter was not designed to charge the batteries. If you have the owner's manual the information should be there or there may be a separate owner's manual for the converter itself. This varies by trailer manufacturer. If you have no manuals then you might want to call the service department of an RV Dealership that either sells or services your make and model trailer and ask them.
I am going to assume from this point on that your converter is designed to charge your house batteries. Here are the steps I would like you to take.
1. Unplug the RV from the 120 volt power source.
2. Go to the compartment where your converter is located. If visible check all of the wires coming out of the converter (do not attempt to open up the converter). Do any of the wires look broken, do any of the wires look discolored like they have gotten hot. Check to make sure that there is no bare wiring touching another bare wire. If you do find some damaged wiring, it will have to be replaced. Once replaced, check again to see if the batteries are being charged.
Do you see any in-line fuses on the wires? If so; check to make sure that the in-line fuse is not blown. If it is replace the fuse with the same amp fuse that you took out. Do not replace it with a higher amp fuse, as you could create a situation where the wires could overheat and cause a fire in your RV.
3. With RV unplugged from 120 volts. Go to the fuse and breaker panel of your RV. In most cases this panel will be in the same compartment as your converter. You will see breakers on the panel just like the breakers in your house. Those breakers are for the 120 volt system of your RV. Check the breakers to see if any are blown. Don't just look at them physically touch them to make sure that they are in the set position. If you have a manual or if the breakers are marked it will give an idea of what that breaker operate. If all the breakers are on continue to step 4.
4. With RV unplugged from 120 volts. On that same panel or close proximity to that panel you will see a bunch of auto type fuses. Check each fuse to make sure it is not blown. This may require you to remove each fuse to visibly inspect it, if you have a manual or if the fuse panel is marked it will give you an idea of where to start. If not just pull each of the fuses out one at time and inspect and replace. Again if you find a burnt fuse, replace it with the same amperage fuse. Once the fuses are replaced try plugging the RV in again and see if the batteries are receiving a charge. If not continue on to step 5.
5. With RV unplugged from 120 volts. Go to where your house batteries are. Check all the wires that are going to the batteries, are any of them broken, frayed, burnt or two bare wires touching each other? If so repair or replace as needed. Do any of the wires coming off the batteries have an inline fuse or fuseable link. Repair and replace these items as needed
Check the battery terminals, is there noticeable corrosion, are the battery cables attached tightly to the battery posts? Clean, tighten, battery cables and posts as needed.
Is there a battery cut-off switch located anywhere in the RV. The location of this switch varies by RV model and manufacturer. Make sure the this switch is in the on position.
If all of these steps are done and the batteries are still not charging, then the problem is most likely in the converter itself. Unless you are an RV Technician, you should not be opening up or tampering with the converter. This would be the time to your trailer to a qualified RV Repair Shop and have them repair the problem.
I hope this has helped you in identifying and repairing the problem with your trailer. As always, I invite our visitors to give you their tips and tricks as well. If you have some suggestions on how to solve this problem you can submit them by clicking on the add a comment link near the bottom of this page.