If you often enjoy camping, you likely know the unique struggle RVers face.
One of the biggest struggles is having access to reliable power sources. Fortunately, there are usually multiple ways you can obtain reliable power for your motorhome. For example, you can use motorhome batteries and shore power.
Additionally, with an inverter and power converter, you can have power throughout your travels because your RVs convertor will take 120-volt power from when you have plugged into shore power and convert it to power that can recharge your batteries.
Your converter is incredibly important because, without it, you could be left without power when you’re away from shore power.
That’s why it’s crucial to know where your motorhome’s power converter is located. After all, if there is ever a problem with your converter, you need to know where to find it.
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What Exactly Is An RV Power Converter?
Let’s unpack what an RV power converter is before we discuss the locations you can find this device.
Firstly, an RV power converter is necessary for most motorhomes, even if a person is planning to use shore electricity. Luckily, power converters are a standard feature in most new RV models because they power all 12-volt electrical appliances and accessories in an RV.
Ultimately, without an RV converter, you would be unable to power most of the electrical items in your home when you aren’t connected to shore power or another electrical source like a generator.
With a power converter onboard, your batteries can supply power to all your 12-volt appliances and accessories because it charges your battery when connected to an external power source.
Some of the appliances and accessories a battery can supply power to after being able to charge thanks to a power converter include:
- Vent fans.
- Motorhome lighting.
- A refrigerator.
These are only a few appliances that a battery can charge after it has received power because of a power converter in your motorhome.
What Are The Six Places Where You Can Find An RV Power Converter?
By knowing where your RV power converter is located, you will be able to easily find it if you notice that you’re experiencing problems with the power supply to your appliances and accessories in your motorhome.
Since there are multiple places you’re power converter can be located, it’s often best to obtain your RVs floorplan as the converter is often located on this.
Additionally, you need to note that different motorhome brands will place their power converters in different locations, and some brands will have different locations for different models in their lineup.
1. Behind A Breaker Panel
One of the most common places for motorhome manufacturers to place RV power converters is behind a breaker panel, so it is the first place you should consider looking. When beginning your search, you must remove the front panel and look inside the breaker unit to see it.
However, it can be quite difficult to spot because, inside the panel, there are multiple colored wires that you will need to navigate to find the power converter. That’s why some RVers prefer hiring an RV mobile mechanic or electrician to help locate it to avoid damaging any of the wirings.
According to Keystone motorhome owners, you can find the power converter in many models in the breaker panel if it’s a standalone unit. All Keystone owners should check for a plug built into their breaker box at the back side to find the converter.
Some have even tested, fixed, or replaced their power converters through this plug space.
2. In A Pass-Through Storage Area
Many forget to look in their pass-through storage area when locating their RV power converter.
Often for many RVers, especially Grand Design motorhome owners, their power converter is found behind a panel in the front pass-through storage area. Despite this odd location, it’s unsurprising that many manufacturers place a power converter here, considering an RV water pump is also often found in this area.
Additionally, with some Wilderness RVs and other models, the power converter is found in the back of a trailer behind a panel located in the rear storage compartment.
So to determine if your power converter is in the rear storage compartment, you need to check for air vents, as these vents will be near a panel that users can unscrew to access the power converter.
3. In The Pantry Cupboard
It might not sound believable, but some motorhomes have been constructed with their power converters situated inside or underneath a pantry.
For example, some Crossroad travel trailer and fifth wheel models have their WFCO power center under the pantry with the power converter. If you look for a fan and grille in this area, you will likely find your Crossroad motorhome’s power converter.
4. In A Lamp Table Or Behind A Fuse Panel
If you have lamp tables in your motorhome, you might want to examine them to determine if you have a power converter inside them.
Many Crossroad motorhomes have a power converter inside a small lamp table between two rocking chairs in floorplans with a rear living area. Typically this placement occurs in the fifth wheel models.
Moreover, if it’s not inside a lamp table, it might be behind a fuse panel in your motorhome. Many Forest River motorhomes have power converters installed behind a fuse panel, but they can be difficult to find because of the house wiring and shore power cord.
5. Under A Dinette Chair Or Beneath A Kitchen Counter
You can rarely install a power converter under a fridge or bathroom sink in a motorhome.
Still, these devices are often situated under a dinette chair or a kitchen counter.
When looking under a dinette chair or beneath a kitchen counter or sink, you need to search low for a panel that you can open. When opened, you can reach the circuit breakers for the 120-volt power.
A pro tip from a Fleetwood RVer is to turn off all your electrical items in your motorhome and listen for the fan to find if it is near the kitchen area or under a dinette chair.
6. Under The Bed Or Couch
Like RV water pumps, power converters can also be installed underneath your motorhome’s bed or couch. This is because the bed or couch is often situated near the RVs batteries, making it easy for the converter to do its job.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to always search for your power converter near your motorhome batteries.
How Do You Know If Your RV Power Converter Is Broken Or Not Working As It Should?
Now that you know where to look for your RVs power converter, you need to learn when it is broken or not functioning as it should be.
If you don’t know what signs to look out for, you could risk causing damage to your RV electrical systems, appliances, and accessories that run off electricity.
The easiest way to identify if your motorhome’s power converter is breaking is to look at your lights, fans, and DC connections. If your fans are running slower, your lights are getting dimmer, or your DC connections are weaker than normal, your power converter is likely breaking.
Should these things not work, it’s a good indicator that it is broken.
Fortunately, if your power converter is breaking or broken, it should be relatively easy to fix or replace with a reliable mechanic. Yet, to determine how well it is working or if it is broken, you can test your power converter yourself or have a mechanic do it.
With the result, you will know what your next step should be.