Replacement And Troubleshooting Common Problems Of Travel Trailer Power Converters
In travel trailers and camper vans, electrical systems are quite important for any road trip adventure lover. They allow effective distribution of power for your lighting, appliances, and comfort systems such air conditioning and heating systems. All this is mostly enabled by the power converter, which is the implement that basically transforms 110-volt AC power coming from the power source into 12-volt DC power required by most of the parts and implements in your road trip trailer. However, a camper trailer power converter is also prone to faults and malfunctions, just like any other electrical unit or implement. In such a case, having some basic knowledge of how these systems operate can help you pinpoint where the problem is coming from, and ease your decision-making on whether to repair or replace the unit. To shed some light on this, here are a few common problems and troubleshooting tips for most Travel Trailer Power Converters, just so you are aware.
Common Travel Trailer Converter Problems
Depending on the type, size, design, and features of your Camper power converter, there are several problems that the unit may encounter. In most cases, however, the converter will just stop functions, which results in a total loss of power supply to your 12-volt DC electrical system implements and controls. The malfunctioned converter may produce power in some instances, which may not be adequate to power all your electrical components and features. Nevertheless, the problem may only be identified when your 12-V onboard batteries exhaust their charge. This is because the converter’s main role is to maintain a constant supply of charge, which is mostly variable in voltage depending on how much power is drawn from your batteries to your electric components. It is, therefore, important to note that the condition of the batteries also affects the effectiveness of your travel trailer’s electrical system.
Troubleshooting Tips for Camper Trailer Power Converters
1. Assess the 110-volt AC Power Entry and Exit Point
To begin troubleshooting, you should first assess the voltage at the point where power enters your power converter. This should be somewhere within the range of 108 and 130 volts. You should check this using an electricians meter with the power supply connected. Again, check the voltage that comes from the converter, precisely where the supply connects to the 12-V DC breaker. This should range between 11 and 13 volts. Anything out of this range indicates that your converter is probably damaged or malfunctioning, suggesting that its inner components be checked.
2. Check the Converter Fan
To prevent overheating, most converter models come equipped with a small fun that can be heard spinning when the temperature reaches a certain point. Check the voltage supplied at the converter fan to see if it is within 110-volt AC voltage. If this is so, then the fan could be malfunctioning and should probably be replaced. However, finding the right replacement fan for your power converter model might be a bit hectic, especially since different fan motors have different voltage, size, and amp specifications. Before replacing the fan, however, use the thermal sensor to turn the fan on and off and be sure to check if the current is moving past the thermal sensor to the fan to confirm that the fan is actually damaged. You should replace the sensor instead, if power reaches the fan and causes it to operate when you jump the sensor.
3. Check the Resistors
In some power converters, resistors are used to regulate the voltage supply to onboard batteries and 12-volt DC electrical system. Locate the resistors and use a multimeter to check that the voltage reads between 3 and 13 volts. Resistors are often the source of the problem if the onboard batteries are not being fully charged and may require replacement to restore normal function.
4. Power Converter Repair and Replacement
Especially if you are not confident enough in electrical systems and electronics, it is important to call a qualified electrical professional to troubleshoot and repair your converter instead of risking your own safety and that of your RV or campervan. If the power converter is truly dead, a replacement would be the best way to go. Be sure to buy a power converter that will meet your needs in terms of your travel trailer’s power requirements. Also, look at reviews and seek professional advice before buying. Go for reputable brands with multiple positive reviews and choose one will fit your requirements. Most travel trailer power converters range from 40 - 60 Amps, even though higher rated models are still available.
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