How To Bypass RV Converter: 5 Things That Indicate Bad RV Converter
Having problems with the RV’s power converters or other electrical components might ruin your trip. So, How to bypass RV converter? There are times when you need to bypass an RV converter, and if you do it properly, you may use your RV to its full potential without risking any of its other parts.
Read on to learn how an RV converter work, the symptoms of a faulty converter, and the step-by-step process to bypass it.
So, let’s get right into it!
How Does An RV Converter Work?
The 120V AC power source in your RV’s outlets can be converted to 12V DC with a power converter charger.
- First of all, it facilitates charging 12V RV batteries with the shore power source. Keep your batteries charged when you’re away from the grid, as your lights, vents, fans, air conditioner, and other accessories are all powered by them.
- While your rig may be powered by shore power (or a generator) in some cases, you may still require a converter. It will still be necessary when solar charging your RV’s battery and storing the power for your RV’s DC appliances when connected to an external power source.
- Consequently, if you want to use DC devices in a park with full hookups, you’ll need active AC power to avoid draining and damaging your RV’s battery charger.
Testing An RV Power Converter
Follow the steps below:
- Turn off all electrical devices.
- To stop the vehicle’s movement and the generator and inverter from producing a buzz, press the “off” button.
- Test the batteries by connecting a voltage meter to their terminals.
- Make sure your voltmeter is set to DC voltage.
- The voltage of your battery should stay between 12.3 and 12.9 volts of DC power.
- Use a battery charger to a voltage of between 12.3 and 12.9 volts of DC power if the reading is lower than that.
- After two to three hours, do another test.
- Battery charger replacement is necessary if your device is not maintaining a charge even on shore power.
What Is The Purpose Of Bypassing The RV Converter?
Usually, bypassing the converter is a stopgap strategy. Without the need for a converter, you’ll be able to operate all of your electronics and appliances directly from the electricity they generate. Listed below are instances where it might be preferable to avoid using the converter altogether.
The inconvenient timing of converter failures only adds to the aggravation they cause. On the other hand, there are a few things that can go wrong with RV conversions.
- In the first place, the converter might just be overworked. This may occur if the RV is parked in an area with insufficient electrical service or if too many appliances are hooked into the converter.
- The second possibility is that the converter itself is broken. It may be due to a production flaw or normal wear and tear.
- Third, a shore power spike has the potential to harm the converter. This can happen if the RV is hooked into an ungrounded outlet or if there is a nearby lightning strike.
In the end, any of these might cause the converter to stop working properly. If this occurs, you’ll have to figure out how to operate without the shore power converter.
Running Low On Power
If your RV’s battery is low on power, you shouldn’t risk bypassing the converter. There is a risk of fire and other electrical problems if you try to avoid using the converter charger in your RV.
Some tips to help conserve power:
- Turning off unused lights and appliances.
- Disconnecting electronics when they are not in use.
- Use a portable generator or solar panels to supplement your RV’s shore power supply if you plan on dry camping and need to minimize your energy consumption.
- Make sure that your RV’s batteries are completely charged before heading off on a trip.
Temporary Power Outage
In the event of a brief power failure, bypassing the converter may also be necessary. This may occur for several causes, including bad weather or nearby construction.
Power conservation should be your main priority in this situation. If you don’t need a certain light or gadget, turn it off. Skipping the converter charger won’t be a problem and will allow you to achieve your goal without using an extension cord.
How Do I Know If My RV Converter Is Bad?
A thorough and deliberate strategy is the most effective way to address this issue. You may need to check the converter itself, in addition to other RV electrical components, if this is the case. Go through the steps below for a better understanding!
The Converter Seems To Drain The Battery
Maintaining a constant charge is essential for the onboard batteries to function and provide DC electricity. When the converter malfunctions, it is difficult to keep the batteries fully charged.
Possible warning signs for such an issue include:
- You have a problem with the cooling fan.
- The ducting within isn’t functioning properly.
- Shortly after being activated, the inside lights dim.
- Dashboard caution lights flashing abnormally.
If one of your RV’s batteries is unable to maintain its charge, it may begin to drain power from another, healthy battery bank. It’s possible that if you replace one defective battery charger in a system like this, the others may soon follow suit. To prevent this from becoming a serious issue, it is important to test batteries on a regular basis with AC power.
Could The Problem Be A Malfunctioning Cooling Fan?
Ineffective fans are a typical reason for current converter failure. To keep the RV’s electrical system from overheating, the fan cycles on and off at regular intervals, serving an essential purpose.
- Check voltage: It’s possible there’s an electrical issue if the inverter’s fan isn’t turning and the temperature inside is too high. The voltage at the converter’s input is the simplest place to start when troubleshooting a faulty cooling fan.
- Check the thermostat and sensor: If there is no electricity running through them, the fan cooling system will not function. The thermostat and sensor must be checked. You can do this by testing their ability to conduct AC power. Avoid connecting the fan’s electricity to the sensor. There is an issue with the thermostat if the fan is on. The fan needs to be replaced if it does not function properly.
A Problem With The Circuit Board Or Circuit Breakers
In the rare case that the converter charger is affected by its own circuit breaker problem, the breaker itself may be at fault. You’ll need to be patient and careful if you want to gain access to them.
- To begin, access the electrical sub-panel and flip the appropriate switches. Then you may start by opening the main input circuit breaker and working your way through the rest of the circuit breakers.
- Examine them all very carefully. Make sure they are in working order and haven’t shown any symptoms of physical wear and tear.
- If you’re confident in the safety of the breakers, you can shut them off one by one, making that the major input breaker is the last to go.
- When you’re done, you may take off the separate electrical sub panel from the pedestal and turn off the 110 AC electricity.
- Examine the reverse side very carefully. It is possible for acid to build up on the tab of a connector or on a wire termination.
- Clean corrosion with a solution of 12 ounces of water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
- Finally, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently cleanse the afflicted region with this makeshift cleaning solution.
Once you have finished cleaning the area thoroughly, you should thoroughly dry it by blotting it with a clean paper towel. Let it air dry for at least 7 minutes, preferably 10.
After that, you may put the panel back together and give it another go. It’s important to remember that acid collection and corrosion can occasionally get so bad that no amount of cleaning will help.
Could It Be A Problem With The Resistors Or Diodes Using Shore Power?
The power conversion circuitry of certain recreational vehicle generators is stuck in the past, with the usage of resistors and diodes. The likelihood of this happening increases with the age of the device.
To put it simply, resistors are used to slow down the flow of electricity in a circuit. They regulate the 12V DC current of the ship’s connected to shore power supply and its battery.
The inability of batteries to maintain a charge can be caused by anything as simple as a malfunctioning or burned-out resistor. Most RV converters include accessible resistors. However, there are a few that need the converter box to be taken apart.
As opposed to resistors, diodes only allow current to flow in one direction. When working with these, take care that you don’t accidentally break any of the other electronic components on the board.
They are effective in blocking current in both directions. As a result, testing diodes can be somewhat of a challenge. It’s important to know in which direction the current is supposed to flow before you test it. If a reading is obtained, the diode is functioning properly.
Could It Be A Problem With A Fuse Or Circuit Breaker?
A fuse is simply a tiny electric device that is rated to handle a maximum quantity of electric power. When too much current, from anything like a shore power surge or a short circuit, happens, the little metal component within the fuse burns up.
1. Keeps Harm Away
This avoids excess current from injuring more delicate components. It is more of a defensive measure aimed to keep more delicate components from being harmed.
2. Avoid Using Older Fuse
Sometimes an older fuse might suffer from basic metal deterioration or even be influenced by ambient heat power. Because of this, the fuse may blow before its time. Most fuses are designed to be easily swapped out by the consumer.
The amperage capacity of the fuse is often listed on the reverse of the casing or another component. If you do locate a burned-out fuse in your converter or any other electric component you might be able to fix it yourself.
3. Use Suitable Tools To Remove Broken Fuse
A fuse remover, or alternatively some needle-nose pliers, will be required. Just be cautious not to clutch the fuse too firmly, or crush it, since this might leave parts of it behind.
4. Compare The New Fuse With An Old One
When replacing a burned-out fuse, make sure you use a new one with the same amp rating as the old one. In a pinch, you could probably get by with one that has a lower amp rating if you don’t have one on hand. Using one with a greater amp rating, however, might cause serious harm to your RV’s electrical system power and its other, more delicate and expensive, components.
How To Bypass RV Converter: Step-By-Step Process
Now that you understand the contexts in which bypassing the converter may be necessary, we can go on to the specific steps involved in doing so. This is a straightforward procedure that may be completed quickly.
Step 01: Gather The Necessary Tools
Gather the following tools before starting the bypass process:
- Wire Strippers
- Electrical Tape
- Solar Panels for Backup
Step 02: Find The Converter
Finding the converter is the next stage after gathering the required tools. The converter is often placed next to the electrical panel in the cabinet.
Step 03: Switch Off The Power Source
Once you find the converter, turn off the electric supply. Pull out the RV’s plug from the campground’s power outlet. Also, don’t forget to switch off the generator if you’re using one.
Step 04: Unscrew The Converter Kit
After turning off the electric supply, open up the converter kit. Screws are typically used to secure it. Take out the screws with a screwdriver and put them somewhere safe to attach them later.
Step 05: Look Out For The Positive And Negative Wires
Now that the kit is open, you may start looking for the positive and negative wires. Color coding is commonly used for these wires. In most cases, the positive wire will be red and the negative wire will be black.
Step 06: Disconnect The Positive And Negative Wires
After finding the positive and negative terminal wires, cut them off. Removing the converter’s wire connections is the only way to do this. After they have been loosened, the wires may be disconnected.
Step 07: Use Solar Panels As Alternative
After turning off the main switch and unplugging the converter, you may put up the solar panels. Using solar panels is a fantastic alternative source of electric power. They are infinitely sustainable since they produce energy for free.
Step 08: Connect The Wires To The Solar Panel
Connect the solar panel’s positive and negative wires via a bypass switch once the panels have been connected. Take necessary precautions to avoid any shock or risky situation.
Step 09: Cover The Wires With Electrical Tape
Apply electrical tape over the joint once you’ve completed the connection. As a result, the connection will be more secure and safe.
Step 10: Start Using It
Once you’ve restored the connection and taped it with electrical tape, you can start using your bypassed converter.
Safety Precautions When Bypassing The Converter
After going through the details of how to bypass the converter, we’ll talk about some basic safety measures. If you’re going to be dealing with electrical equipment, you should definitely remember these safety measures and should have a good converter battery charger.
- It is dangerous to tinker with electrical devices while they are still plugged in. There is a high risk of significant harm or perhaps death if you do this.
- Before working on electrical equipment, you should always turn off the power.
- Before tinkering with electrical components, be sure you can identify the positive and negative terminals.
- Using electrical tape to insulate exposed wires is a must to avoid fire hazards.
- Don’t try to fix electrical stuff if you aren’t a trained expert on it.
- According to these guidelines, you may have a risk-free and enjoyable time circumventing the converter.
What Is The Difference Between An RV Inverter And A Converter?
Electricity is converted from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) using converters and it is changed from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) using inverters.
A converter, which is easier to understand, takes energy from a 15 amp, 30 amp, or 50 amp power intake and transfers it to the required equipment:
- Air conditioning
- AC power outlets.
Additionally, it uses this energy to charge your 12V or “coach” batteries.
You can utilize 110v outlets powered by the energy stored in your 12v battery bank by using inverters, which take the electricity from your batteries and “invert” it from 12v to 110v. This will let you operate the following home appliances without having to plug your RV into “shore power”:
- Phone Chargers
- Kitchen Appliances
- Electric Lights
Moreover, you will be able to enjoy running your appliances at night in the midst of the woods due to this!
Will An RV Converter Work Without A Battery Charger?
Yes, an RV converter will still work just fine without a battery as long as you’re hooked up to an external power source like shore power.
The downside is that without a battery, you have no backup power supply in case your shore power is interrupted or goes out, so it’s advisable to keep a charged battery hooked up whenever possible.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Faulty RV Converter?
It is possible to detect a number of issues when the converter is malfunctioning. Some of the signs of a malfunctioning converter charger are as follows:
Lights In Your RV Are Dim Or Flickering
Any time the converter isn’t doing its job, the lights in your RV will be weak or flicker. As a result, the converter is not producing enough energy to power the lights.
Appliances Are Not Working Properly
The failure of your RV’s appliances to function normally is another sign of a defective converter. Appliances such as refrigerators and microwaves might fall under this category. This is because the converter charger output is insufficient to operate the devices through shore power.
Converter Is Too Hot To The Touch
It’s also a red flag if touching the converter causes it to heat up. In most cases, this is due to a loose or corroded connection. If you see this, have a professional inspect the converter immediately.
Can I Run My RV Without A Converter?
Even though we don’t give much thought to our RV’s power converter charger, our daily lives in the RV would be drastically altered if the converter weren’t working properly. If your power converter charger didn’t operate, the 12V system would be pretty much worthless.
Can I Bypass The Inverter On My RV?
Do not attempt to modify or bypass an RV’s electrical system. Breakers, fuses, and other safeguarding mechanisms are vital to these systems.
How Do You Test An RV Power Converter?
Connect your digital multimeter (DMM) and DC power distribution panel to one of the tested batteries. Then you must link the DMM to the control board. At last, you’ll be able to verify whether or not the converter is effectively converting AC to DC power outlet.
What Happens When The Converter Goes Out In An RV?
Most RV power converter charger problems manifest as fading or flickering lights, or the inability to utilize 12-volt powered appliances like the refrigerator or electrical outlets due to a bad power source.
What Is Inverter Bypass Mode In AC Power?
In the event of an inverter failure or repair, Inverter Bypass Mode allows the grid AC power to directly power the associated AC power loads. In the event of an inverter failure, the grid AC power source will be sent directly to the load.
Can I Switch On The Inverter Without A Battery?
Hybrid solar inverters do not require batteries. Connected to both solar panels and the grid AC power, this setup generates and stores electricity into battery bank.
Having a converter installed in your RV is a must. Take caution at all times to avoid getting shocked when dealing with electricity. As a result, you can keep your converter running for a lot longer.
We trust that our explanation of the RV converter charger has been helpful and has answered all your how to bypass RV converter queries.
Have you ever faced any issues while bypassing your RV converter ever before? Share your experience with us in the comment section below and enlighten us if we have missed any points!
Asen is the owner and main contributor of Camper Life. He is a full-time RV traveler since 2018. He loves camping in nature, fishing, and spending time with his family.
Striving to provide the most valuable information about campers and RVs, he shares everything he learned over the years.
That’s why Camper Life is one of the best sources to find information about RV traveling and living.