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The 12 Volt Power in My RV Keeps Going On and Off

by RJ

The 12 Volt Power in My RV Keeps Going On and Off

The 12 Volt Power in My RV Keeps Going On and Off

While docked in an RV park, and running shoreline power, the 12-volt lights, 'fridge panel, gas detectors have been intermittently clicking off and on. I can hear the click just prior to power off, sounds like is coming from the power center under the microwave, but all fuses and breakers appear ok...stays off for a brief minute, then comes back on....in three years full-timing, this is the first time this has happened....

(NOTE: replaced deep cycle battery that had a dead cell a week ago, lights were dimming, and the power tripping started just prior to this)...I have a 2005 Coachmen class c.......thanks

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

ANSWER: Hi RJ thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page

Based on your description it sounds like your RV's Electric Converter/Charger is going out.

When you plug your RV into shore power the RV's Converter basically bypasses your RV's House Batteries and takes over the task of supplying 12 volt power to RV. The Converter will supply power to your 12 volt lights, smoke detector, rv propane detector, furnace, fridge operating panel, etc. Most converters also charge your RV's house batteries when you are plugged into shore power.

Converters tend to get hot so they are equipped with fans that are controlled by
a thermostat in the converter. The fan will normally cycle on an off to keep the converter at normal operating temperature. The higher the load on the converter the longer the fan will stay on.

Converters also have built-in safety systems that will shut the converter down if there is a voltage or overheating problem in the converter. These safety systems will automatically reset themselves once the power issue is resolved or if the converter has cooled down enough to start operating again.

In your case I am pretty sure that your converter is overheating and shutting itself down. The overheating could be caused by a cooling fan that is no longer operating or blocked or dirty vents on the converter.

If it is the converter itself you will probably have to take it in and have a Certified RV Technician diagnose and repair the problem. Don't be surprised if you end up replacing the Electric Converter.

I hope that this 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
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Over 1,500,000 successful roadside rescues. Good Sam Roadside Assistance.

Comments for The 12 Volt Power in My RV Keeps Going On and Off

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How much typically?
by: Anonymous

Yikes. How much are one of those things? Come to think of it, I have not been hearing the fan as much if at all.

by: Craig Fairbanks

My 2012 Coachman Pathfinder power issue. The lights and air conditioner go out and the battery disconnect goes off. After a few minutes the lights and air conditioning come back on or if I press the battery disconnect switch serval times it will come on and the lights and air conditioning comes on. . The TV, microwave, frig and outlets still work, inverter is working, shore electrical and surger protected are working.. any ideas

Same problem
by: Shane

I have the same problem so when I connect to shore power the lights would go off after 3 seconds then come back on. Then go off and come back on. I disconnected a wire on the block next to the battery and now I have full lights and it will stay on. Does that mean I have a short in that wire??


Same thing. But not plugged into shore power
by: Chris

The same thing is happening to us but when we are not plugged into shore power we get these sort of random power disconnects. Then comes back on.

by: Anonymous

....thanks for comments...problem solved by replacing converter...old one was getting very hot and the fan unit was not turning on...

Coincident battery replacement
by: Pete Goodwin

Indeed, the converter most likely is failing. However, this problem started in the battery failure time frame. When the battery was replaced is there a possibility it was hooked up incorrectly or it has an internal resistance problem causing a heavy load on the converter? Just such a load would cause the output to be interrupted by the safety thermal switch, which it sounds like it is doing.

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