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If you imagine an RV without electricity, all you can think of is a cabin on wheels. To turn a trailer into a real home alternative, using electrical appliances is mandatory. For which, reliable electricity supply to the trailer is what you will need. An RV converter can meet this electricity demand, but you need to gather fundamental knowledge for choosing the best RV converter.
This discussion about RV converter including the working operation, types, benefits as well as the expert’s reviews on top-rated units on the market will work as a helpful guide for RVers who want to purchase a new camper converter or looking for an RV converter upgrade. Trailer users can also choose the right power converter for their RV once they know the notable features of a motorhome converter.
Best RV Converters Comparison Chart
|No||Best RV Converters||Prices||Our Ratings|
|2||Progressive Dynamics PD9260CV||$$$$||*****|
|4||IOTA Engineering DLS-45||$$$$||****|
|10||Progressive Dynamics PD4645V||$$$$||****|
|11||Progressive Dynamics PD4655||$$$$||*****|
|12||IOTA Engineering DLS-30||$$$||*****|
|13||P.I Store PIAS010||$||*****|
|14||Go Power GPC-55||$$$$||***|
RV Power Converter Basics
1. What is an RV Converter?
If you owned an RV already, you probably have a converter. So what do RV converters do?
Typically, an RV converter is an electrical equipment designed to convert Alternating Current (AC) into Direct Current (DC) – they take a higher voltage and convert it down to a lower voltage. So, its primary function is to convert household power (AC) to battery power (DC). Motorhomes usually have a 12V DC circuit along with some branch circuits.
So in the case of most RVs, the converters are gonna take 115 volt or 120 volt AC power in like from your shore power for example and convert it down to 12 volt DC power. This power is ideal for battery storage and also comes in handy when there is no shore power supply. Based on the type of DC equipment in RV and the total number of batteries, users should choose the power converter.
The power converter also acts as a battery charger to maintain your coach batteries, when you’re plugged into shore power, the converter is charging your battery back up.
Please note that you will only need an RV converter if you want to charge the RV batteries when you are using the onboard generator or after plugging them into shore power.
2. What Are the Benefits of an RV Converter?
Whether looking for a new installation or a replacement, users must know the benefits they will get after installing a camper converter.
Protection against Battery Draining
A converter for the motorhome will keep the batteries charged, at least partially. Therefore, there will be no chance of draining. No matter what is the power source, the converter unit can charge the onboard cells. So, users have to choose a converter for their RV that can work on any available power.
Even Power Distribution
An RV converter guarantees even distribution of power, devoid of any overload, high temperature, over current, and reverse polarity. As a result, there will be no chance of damage because of electricity fluctuations. Many smart converters also come with a feature that will automatically shut down the power whenever it senses any irregularity.
Seamless Power Supply
The power converter charges the batteries continuously, so users do not face any interruption while using the appliances onboard. Some converters are also capable of recharging car batteries, vehicle batteries, and electronic devices.
By keeping the batteries charged all the time and by never letting them drain completely, a converter extends the battery life.
Safety of Electrical Appliances
A converter helps to keep the electrical appliances safe by preventing any damage. You do not have to spend any extra money on the repair costs in that scenario. The RV appliances will also get adequate power for running optimally.
Types of RV Converter Chargers
Motorhome converter manufacturers produce various types of converters that address the varying power consumption requirements. Learning about all the categories will help users decide which one is the ideal converter for their RV vehicle.
If there is a need for a converter to charge different batteries, including lead-acid batteries, this converter is here for you. In the early days, there were fixed-voltage converters that had a single-stage design. But the latest converters of this type come with an advanced technology that supports the contemporary vehicle models. Moreover, it offers a DC voltage output as well as efficient charging time.
High Output Converter
As the name suggests, this type of converter is suitable for people who have high power consumption needs. It is not something that will crash and leave you stranded during long trips. Instead, this high-performance converter can deliver up to 80A or 90A. While meeting the power demands of the trailer while traveling, it also offers durable service. It is capable of charging and preserving the batteries simultaneously. Therefore, this converter comes in handy when users need constant cooling.
Deck Mount Converter
It is evident from its name that users can mount this converter unit anywhere as they wish. You can mount it inside the cabin, under any of the seats, or in any other place that has facilities for redirecting the power supply.
Distribution Panel Converter
Experts suggest this converter to the passionate travelers who want to upgrade their factory unit. A distribution panel converter is a perfect replacement for any old models, and users can also install them in the same spot.
These converters come with a sizable panel. They considerably decrease energy loss, do not produce any noise, and contain a sizable panel. Its battery charging ability is more efficient than the older models.
RV Converter vs RV Inverter: A Brief Comparison
Trailer users may be familiar with the RV inverter. Since the converter and the inverter have almost similar names, people often get confused about their functions. There is a list of differences between a converter and inverter for RV.
Check the following table for a better understanding:
|RV Inverter||RV Converter|
|Definition||It is a piece of electrical equipment that can convert the direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC).||This electrical equipment turns the voltage from AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current).|
|Types||Mainly 5 types are available:|
- Pure Sine Wave power inverter
- Modified Sine Wave power inverter
- Square wave power inverter
- Portable power inverter
- Heavy-duty power inverter
|Four types are available:
- Multistage Converter
- High Output Converter
- Deck Mount Converter
- Distribution Panel Converter
|Applications||An RV inverter converts the DC electricity that solar panels, fuel cells, or batteries generate to AC. When a UPS is in use, an inverter supplies AC power when the power is unavailable.||A converter mainly converts AC to DC. It also identifies amplitude modulated radio signals. For welding purposes, converters provide polarized voltage.|
|Limitations||It is not the best option for motor and inductive AC. When low batteries generate poor waves, it can harm sensitive electronic devices.||Its current overload capacity is not impressive. To have automatic regulators of good quality, it will cost more than mechanical regulators.|
Top-Rated Power Converters For RVs
RVers tend to have contrasting ideas about the best RV converter but if you need a couple of recommendations, it’s suggested that you give the following models a look.
1. Powermax PM3 – Best Of The Best
- LED indicator light
- Three-stage charging
- Integrated cooling fan
Why This Is The Best:
With state-of-the-art three-stage charging technology, Powermax PM3 could provide clean DC power to many types of batteries in plenty of conditions.
In addition to that, depending on the system requirements, it’s also possible to change the output mode of PM3.
As a result, the Powermax converter is usually considered to be the best RV converter available for purchase on the market once it comes to adaptability.
Possessing a rugged construction, PM3 is able to handle shocks and vibrations as well.
Regarding installation, the converter from Powermax is simple to set up so you don’t have to spend too much time to get it working.
Since it has an integrated cooling fan, PM3 dissipates heat at a rather quick rate which permits it to maintain consistent operation as temperatures climb.
Furthermore, Powermax PM3 boasts reverse polarity, overload and thermal protection.
Because of that, the Powermax power converter is held in high esteem by RVers that like to play it safe.
As for affordability, PM3 of Powermax is sold at a price that matches the shopping budget of most RVing enthusiasts.
To reassure RVers, Powermax willingly backs its power converter with a decent two-year warranty.
So if your Powermax converter fails due to manufacturing defects within the warranty period, you may claim a free replacement.
I installed this in my RV to replace my factory converter. The factory converters are loud and inefficient. I installed this unit in my front cargo compartment and ran new 6 gauge wires directly to my batteries. As other reviews have stated the fan speed is not variable, but it does only turn on when needed. For example, my factory converter runs the fan at full speed when pushing 8 amps into the batteries, this unit can do over 8 amps without the fan running at all. Also, in my initial testing this thing pushed 3x the amps into the batteries as the factory unit. Strongly recommend this unit for mounting in a cargo area. This will allow my to charge the batteries much more quickly when dry camping and using the generator.Shared by Josh L
- Fair cost
- Durable and reliable
- Intuitive installation
- Fan is kind of loud
- Owner’s manual is poorly written
2. Progressive Dynamics PD9260CV – Editor’s Choice
- Accessory port
- Automatic thermal shutdown
- Low voltage and reverse polarity protection
Why It’s An Editor’s Choice:
Designed for safe and rapid recharging of batteries, PD9260C of Progressive Dynamics is well-received by a lot of RVers from novices to veterans.
Since it packs a microprocessor-controlled system that automatically selects charging voltage and operating mode based on battery usage, PD9260C could be put to good use in multiple applications.
An accessory port is included so users have the option of pairing the Progressive Dynamics converter with a status remote pendant for manual mode selection.
Featuring a current limit, Progressive Dynamics PD9260C promptly reduces the power output if it notices that the maximum capacity of the batteries is reached.
Aside from that, thanks to the low voltage protection, the converter made by Progressive Dynamics keeps appliances from being damaged by irregularities in the voltage.
PD9260C of Progressive Dynamics has built-in reverse polarity protection as well so it’s capable of preventing damages caused by improper battery insertion.
Overall, if you care about batteries and appliances on your rig, PD9260C is the best RV converter for you.
In terms of heat dissipation, the RV power converter charger from Progressive Dynamics comes with a variable speed intelligent cooling fan that activates on demand.
During low-demand use and sleeping hours, the fan of PD9260C would run at slow speeds to keep the noise down and minimize disturbance.
Holy crap! That’s what went through my mind as soon as I turned this thing on, right after installing it. My old 45amp converter was barely putting out 12V. When I had my old one, every time I turned on a light, or water pump, or anything 12V I could see the lights getting dimmer and dimmer. Taking a shower was like showering in a disco, because of the strobe light effect. Anyhow, after turning this baby on, ALL of my 12V system works like it should. I can turn on every single light, run the furnace, turn the water spouts on and even bump my 10″ sub with 300watt Alpine amplifier, all without a single noticeable change in a single light bulb. Everything is bright, and my lights don’t pulsate to the bass from the subwoofer anymore. It’s brand new right now, and works great. If it lasts me at least 5 years I’ll be happy. If it lasts 10 years I will be pleasantly pleased.Shared by Trugreenguy
- Fast charging time
- Light and compact
- Quality control needs some work
- Buzzing noise is occasionally reported
3. WFCO WF-9855 – Editor’s Choice
- Open-top design
- Insulated connection
- Electronic current limiting
Why It’s An Editor’s Choice:
Flexible and versatile, WFCO WF-9855 is known among RVers as a solid RV converter charger that never fails to please.
Being FCC Class B-compliant, the converter made by WFCO ensures that televisions, radios and other electronics in your RV can work free of interference.
Moreover, unlike the average converters for recreational vehicles, WF-9855 is engineered to distribute clean power without filtering from a battery.
Hence, WFCO WF-9855 gives a good account of itself in a wide range of settings.
In use, the automatic three-stage charging (float, absorption and bulk) of WF-9855 speedily charge batteries and extend their lifetime.
Additionally, the camper power converter of WFCO operates in a quiet manner as its cooling fan only turns on when needed.
That is why in the case that you prefer to have a tranquil outdoor experience, you should think about adding WFCO WF-9855 to your shortlist.
For safety, WF-9855 has electronic current limiting so it’s going to shut down if overloads and short-circuits occur.
With open-top fully-insulated connections, the WFCO converter lets people set it up in a blink of an eye which saves time and effort.
Needless to say, for RVers that want to install a power converter on the go, WF-9855 is undoubtedly the best RV converter money can buy.
The WFCO Converter exceeded my expectations. The voltage output under various load conditions was carefully measured. Once the storage batteries were fully charged on the RV, the converter automatically dropped to a trickle charge to maintain the batteries in a static condition. The unit was easy to install and is very quiet. Each time the unit is turned on the fan momentarily runs regardless of load for the purpose of proving fan operation. My old converter tended to boil the batteries with an excessive charge during non-occupancy periods. That is no longer an issue with the new converter.Shared by Jim Smith
- Low noise level
- Instantaneous setup process
- Several RVers complain about getting inoperable units
- Shipping requires improvements
4. IOTA Engineering DLS-45
- Load regulation
- Dual voltage jack
- Current limit and thermal/overload protection
Why We Love It:
Boasting a combination of load regulation and switch-mode technology, DLS-45 of IOTA Engineering simultaneously optimizes the charging time and preserves the integrity of batteries.
The power converter from IOTA Engineering is set to supply maximum current to the batteries in an appropriate period of time to reduce stress caused by the heating of cells.
As the batteries on recreational vehicles approach full power, DLS-45 would automatically drop the charging current and move to float charge to tackle self-discharge.
Interestingly, the RV 12-volt converter made by IOTA Engineering has a unique dual voltage jack that allows two-step charging.
By plugging the accompanying plug into the jack, DLS-45 could deliver an increased “quick-charge” for swift recharging of batteries.
Also, the jack facilitates the installation of the IQ4 smart controller that offers RVing enthusiasts four-stage “smart-charge” control.
It’s worth noting that the IQ4 smart controller is optional so if you wish to use it, you have to make a separate purchase.
Following the trend, IOTA Engineering DLS-45 possesses current limit and thermal/overload protection so it’s quite safe to use.
The presence of reverse polarity fuse protection means you have nothing to worry if you mess up the battery insertion.
I replaced an IOTA charger with this, the latest model of the same thing, and I am VERY happy with the purchase. It went in and functions exactly as specified, and with the separate IQ controller plug in device, I have the option of changing over to LiPo with just an IQ controller change in future. This charger with the controller keeps my batteries at the perfect level, eliminating the worry of overcharging when we have to leave it plugged in for a long stay at the full hookup campsites.
There are a pair of 30 amp fuses that will blow if you accidentally reverse wire your battery, instead of frying the unit’s internals, as well. (Sure, we all think: “I’d never do that”, …until it happens.)
Note that my previous charger was stock equipment on a 2003 RV, and when I called, the folks at IOTA said: don’t plan on using these chargers for more than fifteen years. The capacitors are consumable internal parts that start to go bad some few years after the ten year mark. I thought about it, and its not unreasonable to need to replace this kind of device every 15 years. Bring it on.Shared by JR
- Sturdy and stable
- Installation is undemanding
- A couple of units arrive dead
- Delivery service is less than ideal
5. Parallax 8345
- Steel enclosure
- Blown fuse indicators
- ETL listed
Why We Love It:
With the incorporation of an enduring steel enclosure, Parallax 8345 would remain in working order even if it’s subjected to abuses on a regular basis.
Thus, 8345 is deemed to be the best RV converter on the market for RVing enthusiasts that often go off-roading.
Besides that, packing active power factor correction, the converter of Parallax could provide lots of power compared to traditional models.
If you want more, Parallax 8345 is upgradeable with the 4400TAU module which maximizes charging current.
Since it features a highly compact body, the Parallax converter fits well in an assortment of modern-day recreational vehicles.
As for the weight, 8345 is cumbersome for a converter but its portability is still acceptable.
Furthermore, Parallax 8345 has a pretty straightforward setup process so getting it up and running is a walk in the park.
With a robust multi-position fuse block and blown fuse indicators, the power converter made by Parallax proves to be safe to use and easy to maintain in many conditions.
About post-purchase support, 8345 is backed with a two-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects.
If you like to have an insurance policy while buying things for your rig, it’s strongly recommended that you consider grabbing the Parallax converter.
Parallax 8345 is inexpensive so you don’t have to spend big bucks to own it.
- Marvelous reliability
- Outstanding ruggedness
- Space-saving design
- Users notice deviations in dimensions between units
- Reports about overcharging show up intermittently
6. WFCO WF-8735
- Integral AC/DC distribution
- Reverse polarity and short-circuit protection
- Front-mounted cooling fan
Why We Love It:
As it’s built for small recreational vehicles, WF-8735 of WFCO is particularly well-suited for applications with space constraints.
With a low-profile build, the WFCO converter could be installed in any spot and that is a big plus.
Aside from that, WF-8735 is really light so moving it around inside modest rigs is just a piece of cake.
As a result, it should take typical RVing enthusiasts just a few moments to carry WFCO WF-8735 to a suitable position and set it up.
Similar to other converters in the series, WF-8735 complies with FCC Class B standards and causes no interference to operation of appliances in the vicinity.
Therefore, after you add the power converter from WFCO to your RV, all of the electronics in the interior would continue to work as usual.
The on-demand front-mounted cooling fan of WFCO WF-8735 only starts up in times of need so the noise level is relatively low too.
Last but not least, WF-8735 has reverse polarity and short-circuit protection that brings peace of mind to the users.
For charging, the converter made by WFCO charges batteries through three stages including float (13.2 VDC), absorption (13.6 VDC) and bulk (14.4 VDC).
Thanks to that, the lifespan of batteries that receive charges from WF-8735 is lengthened substantially.
Direct replacement for my 30AMP converter in my RV. Easy to do for a DIYer. Be sure you know your way around electrical panels and wire splicing. Also be sure your Original equipment is wired correctly and make sure all shore power and accessory batteries are unhooked before beginning.
Works great!Shared by Big John
- Basic installation
- The instructions should be rewritten
- Some units seem to be used on arrival
7. WFCO WF-8955
- Three-stage charging
- Electronic current limiting
- On-demand fan
Why We Love It:
Being able to handle practically every charging need of RVers nowadays, WFCO WF-8955 tends to be regarded as a must-have for full-time RVing.
By utilizing three-stage charging, WF-8955 should keep batteries of your rig in top shape for years which lets you save a couple of bucks.
In addition, with the inclusion of electronic current limiting, the power converter from WFCO immediately ceases operation if the systems experience overload or short-circuit.
Hence, WFCO WF-8955 could keep you as well as your appliances safe at all times.
Possessing an advanced AC/DC distribution center, the WFCO power converter is capable of accommodating a 30 Amp main AC circuit breaker and five branch circuits.
That means WF-8955 of WFCO can match plenty of power arrangements found on recreational vehicles.
To dissipate heat generated in use, WF-8955 employs an on-demand that runs based on current needs and that helps to keep the noise down.
So you would never feel bothered by the noise if you put the converter made by WFCO on your rig.
Available at a reasonable price, WF-8955 of WFCO is known as the all-time favorite of budget-minded RVing enthusiasts.
If your wallet happens to be kind of tight then WF-8955 is essentially the best RV converter you can get. The WFCO converter is backed with a two-year warranty.
- Splendid output
- Short wires
- The fan needs strengthening
8. WFCO WF8955PEC
- Automatic shutoff
- Plastic housing
Why We Love It:
As it charges the batteries in three stages using clean power, WFCO WF8955PEC would keep the cells in good condition for years to come.
The power converter of WFCO is interference-free as well so you could use all electronics while it’s working.
Also, since WF8955PEC only turns on its built-in cooling fan intermittently to dissipate heat, it never becomes a source of disturbance in use.
Because of that, if you have sensitive hearing, WF8955PEC of WFCO is for you.
Boasting an automatic shutoff that activates during short-circuit, overload and similar incidents, WF8955PEC protects you and your batteries.
With overcurrent, over-temperature and overvoltage protection, the WFCO converter itself is well-guarded against a wide range of issues.
It’s noteworthy that WFCO WF8955PEC features reserved polarity protection too so it’s able to tolerate errors in battery insertion and that is handy.
The circuits of WF8955PEC have LED indicators, thus, it’s a breeze to tell which one is open.
Incorporating a highly accessible open-top design, WFCO WF8955PE is easy to install so the entire setup process usually lasts less than one hour.
Being a compact model, the converter made by WFCO occupies a negligible amount of space.
The plastic housing of WF8955PE is light but it could handle hits and bumps.
- Setup process is intuitive
- Budget-friendly price
- Rugged and light
- Some people report receiving damaged units
- Packaging is mediocre
9. Pyle DC Power Step Down Converter PSWNV720
- Discreet body
- Universal compatibility
- Four-way protection
Why We Love It:
So your RV uses a 24V battery system but you want to use 12V appliances? If that is the case then you would certainly come to like PSWNV720 of Pyle.
Featuring PMW power technology, the converter of Pyle steps down voltage while stepping up current which permits RVing enthusiasts to use 12V appliances in vehicles that supply 24V of power.
Thus, with PSWNV720 in your rig, you could casually bring onboard CB radios, car radios, fog lights and so on.
As it has four-way protection (short-circuit, overload, high voltage and low voltage), the Pyle power converter earns lots of compliments for its safety.
Moreover, PSWNV720 is highly portable so moving it to a good spot for installation is going to be a cakewalk.
Since Pyle PSWNV720 packs an uncomplicated setup process, you don’t have to be an expert mechanic to install it.
With a high conversion efficiency, the converter made by Pyle keeps wastage to the minimum and that makes it very popular to cost-conscious RVer.
Upon purchase, PSWNV720 is accompanied by a rather reassuring one-year manufacturer warranty from Pyle.
Though the length of the warranty is unexceptional, it still speaks volumes about the quality of the converter from Pyle.
- Simple maintenance
- Superb power output
- Compact construction
- Quality control still leaves a lot to be desired
- Mediocre technical support
10. Progressive Dynamics PD4645V
- Intelligent variable-speed fan
- Charge Wizard charging system
- High and low voltage protection
Why We Love It:
Engineered to meet expectations of RVers and built to last, Progressive Dynamics PD4645V works well in numerous camping environments.
The converter of Progressive Dynamics boasts a Charge Wizard charging system that provides charges to the batteries in four stages: boost (bring charge to 90%), normal (complete the charge), storage (preserve charge) and desulfation (prevent stratification).
Because of that, PD4645V could charge your batteries all the way in a flash and keep them in good states at the same time.
With the integration of high and low voltage protection, PD4645V of Progressive Dynamics is secured against fluctuations in voltage.
Reserve battery protection is included too so faulty battery placement is no cause for concern.
The Progressive Dynamics converter also has a built-in intelligent variable speed fan that dissipates heat and keeps temperature of the unit at reasonable levels.
If the temperature exceeds the limit at any time, the automatic thermal shutdown would be activated to keep the converter and the users from harm.
As for installation, the converter made by Progressive Dynamics is quite easy to set up.
All you have to do is to follow the instructions listed in the owner’s manual and you could get PD4645V running before long.
The Progressive Dynamics PD4645V readily replaces other converters used in recreational vehicles such as Parallax 8345, WFCO 8945, … so it’s a solid RV power converter replacement.
- Sublime portability
- User-friendly installation
- Responsive customer service
- Several units arrive damaged
- High pitched noise is reported from time to time
11. Progressive Dynamics PD4655
- Thermal and voltage protection
- Charge management system
- Intelligent cooling fan
Why We Love It:
Owing to its five-star charge management system, Progressive Dynamics PD4655 could provide stable charges to batteries at all times.
Since the charging process of PD4655 consists of four stages, the lifespan of the batteries on your rig would be extended by a wide margin.
Also, featuring electronic current limiting, the Progressive Dynamics camper power converter protects you and your batteries if unexpected issues take place.
PD4655 of Progressive Dynamics has thermal and voltage protection too so its safety is splendid.
The intelligent cooling fan of the converter from Progressive Dynamics runs on demand so it only activates now and then.
Thus, noise level of PD4655 is low which allows it to minimize disturbance in use. In terms of installation, Progressive Dynamics PD4655 features rather basic setup requirements so you could get it working in moments.
The Progressive Dynamics converter is capable of replacing Magnatek 6355, Parallax 7355, WFCO 8955 and many other units.
About price, Progressive Dynamics PD4655 may seem a bit costly but the values it offers nonetheless match its price tag.
Aside from that, PD4655 is backed with a two-year manufacturer warranty from Progressive Dynamics.
So you could use PD4655 of Progressive Dynamics with confidence knowing that if something happens to the unit, Progressive Dynamics would give you a replacement.
- Tough body
- Noiseless operation
- Clear installation instructions
- Quality control should be overhauled
- A couple of units overcharge batteries on occasions
12. IOTA Engineering DLS-30
- Switch-mode technology
- Low operating temperature
- Reverse polarity fuse protection
Why We Love It:
Thanks to tight load regulation, IOTA Engineering DLS-30 could deliver full-rated current to the batteries without stressing the cells.
As a result, DLS-30 has an outstanding charging time and guarantees a long lifespan for the batteries in recreational vehicles.
Once the batteries go near full capacity, the 30-Amp RVconverter from IOTA Engineering automatically reduces charging current and shifts to float charge to maintain full charge.
Therefore, if you own DLS-30 of IOTA Engineering, self-discharge is less than an issue.
Compact and portable, the IOTA Engineering power converter possesses marvelous handling characteristics and installing it is a piece of cake.
Besides that, in use, the cooling fan of DLS-30 works silently so it’s the best RV converter at its price range for RVers that wish to keep things quiet.
About safety features, IOTA Engineering DLS-30 incorporates electric current limiting that shut down operation if problems happen to the system.
External reverse polarity fuse protection is present too, hence, it remains well-protected even if you place the batteries incorrectly.
Like other IOTA Engineering converters, DLS-30 could be paired with the optional IQ4 smart controller through the dual voltage jack.
With IQ4 smart controller fitted, DLS-30 is able to offer four-stage charging to batteries.
- Nice values for the price
- Dependable and reliable
- A few users complaint about receiving units with missing cables
- Might interfere with operation of electronics
13. P.I Store PIAS010
- Over-molded connector.
- Permanent cable
- LED notification
Why We Love It:
With the ability to power virtually all 12V appliances in RV, P.I Store PIAS010 is an excellent solution to the lack of DC power.
By plugging the converter of P.I Store into an AC power supply, you could run lots of 12V appliances from seat warmers to refrigerators.
As the cable of PIAS010 is permanently attached to the housing, its reliability is fantastic compared to ordinary power converters.
Additionally, P.I Store PIAS010 has convenient LED notification so it’s a breeze to determine if power is on.
Designed and tested to comply with the requirements set out by FCC and CE, PIAS010 features an impressive safety level.
Packing overload, overheat, voltage and short-circuit protection, the P.I Store power converter should run without incidents for years.
Aside from that, since PIAS010 of P.I Store is light, you can set it up and put it away in a matter of seconds.
The compact body of the converter made by P.I Store means it allows you to save plenty of space in your rig as well.
P.I Store PIAS010 arrived ready to use so you could start using it the moment it leaves the packaging.
If necessary, it’s possible to use the P.I Store converter with power extensions.
- Competitive price
- Consistent operation
- Adaptability is top-notch
- The frame should be reinforced
- Packaging is barely acceptable
14. Go Power GPC-55
- Male plug
- Multi-stage charging
- Temperature-controlled fan
Why We Love It:
You seek a strong power converter that could handle extensive battery setups of recreational vehicles? Then GPC-55 of Go Power is exactly what you want.
While charging the batteries, GPC-55 would go through up to four stages (float, absorption, bulk and equalize) instead of three like other RV power converters.
The “equalize” stage charge batteries to a higher voltage than normal to ensure that batteries stay at the same charge.
Thus, you don’t have to worry about the batteries of your rig ending up at different levels of charge.
The converter made by Go Power only takes a moment to set up and its maintenance procedure is undemanding.
Furthermore, with short-circuit as well as over-temperature protection, GPC-55 has a good safety record.
Go Power GPC-55 integrates a robust temperature-controlled fan to dissipate heat so the risk of overheat is fairly low.
Finally, since it carries a flush LED display, the Go Power power converter lets RVing enthusiasts grasp the state of charge with just a glance.
As proof of confidence, Go Power offers everyone that decides to pick up its converter a two-year manufacturer warranty.
The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship so you could rest assured that Go Power would be there for you when things go wrong.
- Decent manufacturer warranty
- Setup process is straightforward
- A bit loud
- Users notice fluctuations in the output
15. Powermax PM4
- Selectable output mode
- Smart charger
- Reverse polarity, overload and thermal protection
Why We Love It:
Capable and practical, PM4 of Powermax is highly sought after by RVers that prefer to own a no-nonsense converter.
Boasting a smart RV battery charger, the converter from Powermax provides clean power to batteries in three stages: float, bulk and absorption.
That is why PM4 could extend the overall life expectancy of the batteries and stretch the time between battery replacements.
Besides that, with reverse polarity, overload and thermal protection, Powermax PM4 is widely considered to be very safe to operate.
PM4 plugs directly into AC outlets and it delivers DC power via standard set screw-style terminals (positive and negative).
A grounding lug is included in the design for settings that require it as well. The output of the Powermax power converter could be set between 13.0 and 16.5 VDC.
Depending on current needs, users have the option of wiring units in series and/or parallel to achieve a higher power output.
Regarding price, Powermax PM4 is relatively affordable so you don’t have to cut back your spending to buy it.
The converter made by Powermax is sold alongside a two-year warranty which is reassuring.
- Great price
- Power output is splendid
- Durable and portable
- Less than helpful manual
- Slightly noisy
How To Select The Best RV Converter
When users plan to buy a power converter for their travel trailer, they will come across a variety of choices. Therefore, it is imperative to conduct in-depth research before finding out which is the best RV power converter. These are the points users have to consider before purchasing a converter for a trailer.
While choosing the best converter for RV, capacity is the most crucial criteria. An RV converter that has the right capacity for the motorhome is the best for you. But an increase in load means an increase in weight and size. At the same time, the price of that converter will be higher.
Hence, it is imperative to search for a converter that can produce the total required wattage for all the appliances of RV without taking much space or putting a load on RV in terms of weight.
Converter power level is another point users need to keep in mind while choosing the best converter. The power handling ability will make sure that the operations of onboard electronics are going on safely without any interruption.
To assure safety, choose a converter that can handle a minimum of 10 to 20 percent more wattage that all the devices of your RV will use in total. For example, if someone is planning to get an electronic device that takes 1,400 watts, one must choose a converter that can handle a minimum of 1,600 watts.
Compatibility with Battery
The principal task of a travel trailer power converter is to charge the batteries, so users need to keep a sharp eye on the type of battery charger and converter they want to buy.
Converters that come with a single-stage battery charger are capable of quickly charging the travel trailer batteries. But at the same time, it can overcharge your batteries and charge the battery at one rate. In the long run, it can also damage the battery.
Some converters have a multi-stage battery charging facility. Another name of these converters is smart RV converter charger. This converter type offers different stages of charging to prevent overcharging. Consequently, it extends battery life by putting a stop to the battery damage. The four-stage battery charger is the most popular one in this category.
Size and Weight
The average weight of most trailer converters range from 5 to 10 pounds. However, there is no standard size for these converters. Still, it is better to measure the storage space before purchasing to avoid any awkward situation later.
Once it comes to electricity, it’s impossible to be too careful so prior to committing to a purchase, you should assess the safety features. Like every other electronic device, RV converters also come with the risk of shocks or fires. So, always choose converters that contain maximum built-in safety features. At least it should have thermal/overheating protection. Its several essential features are reverse polarity protection and overload protection.
Lots of power converters for RV, especially ones that come with built-in cooling fans, emit sounds in use but some work quieter than others. Since it’s going to be tough to enjoy yourself next to a loud converter, it’s essential that you give noise level some thoughts.
To get a general idea of how noisy a model could be, you should take a look at the reviews written by fellow RVing enthusiasts. If you see too many negative remarks about the noise, it’s best that you move on to other converters.
Ease Of Installation
You always have the option of hiring professionals to install the converter in your stead. That being said, if you prefer to cut down unnecessary expenses, you need to choose a model that you can set up on your own.
To rate the installation difficulty of a model, all you have to do is to read the owner’s manual. If you have questions about the installation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the manufacturer for credible answers.
The last point to consider before getting the best RV converter is the one that offers the best service within the budget range. To get the best quality RV battery charger converter, users need to spend more money.
Installing A Converter In RVs: Step-By-Step Instructions
While setting up a power converter for RV, it’s best that you refer to the owner’s manual instead of improvising on the spot.
However, if you need some general guidance, follow these steps:
Step 1: Disconnect shore power
To be on the safe side, it’s essential that you disconnect your rig from shore power prior to installation.
Don’t bother throwing switches, removing circuit breakers and alike, you should just remove the umbilical cord from its outlet.
Step 2: Disconnect the battery’s ground cable
Once the umbilical cord is out of the way, you need to move on to the battery’s ground cable. To pull out that cable, you must use a wrench.
Step 3: Position the converter
RV power converters often feature protruding flared panels on the sides for attachment so you have to be thorough while orienting your converter.
Converters generate lots of heat too, thus, it’s key that you put your converter where the heat easily dissipates.
Besides that, if your converter possesses an integrated cooling fan, its location needs to allow the fan to function unobstructed.
When everything seems satisfactory, you could secure your power converter.
Step 4: Do the wirings
After you place your converter in a suitable spot, you need to do the wirings.
Most modern-day converters for RV have clearly-marked terminals so you should have an easy time with the wires.
Step 5: Restore the negative connection
Reconnect the battery’s ground cable and that’s it.
The only thing left to do is to plug the umbilical cord of your ride into shore power and then see how things turn out.
FAQs About Power Converter For RV
What is a converter charger?
To put it plainly, a converter charger converts AC power to DC power and charges the batteries at the same time. Hence, with a converter charger around, you could use appliances in your rig as the battery bank receives charges.
Do I have to stick to certain brands?
Various manufacturers build power converters for recreational vehicles but in terms of reputability, a few names stand out such as Progressive Dynamics, Go Power, IOTA Engineering, Powermax and so on. Though models from the mentioned brands still get complaints from RVing enthusiasts, they usually offer superior values compared to converters made by lesser-known labels. In addition to that, if you buy your power converter from a well-known manufacturer, you would likely have access to reasonable after-sale services.
What types of batteries should I use?
Power converters work well with common batteries including lead-acid, AGM, Gel, … so you could keep using your current batteries. Nonetheless, as a precaution, you should check the owner’s manual that accompanies your converter. Also, it’s a good idea to use the opportunity to examine and inspect the state of your RV batteries.
How long could RV converters last?
The average life expectancy of power converters for RV varies greatly from case to case. But in general, modern converter chargers are very durable and should last for years even without regular maintenance. If you take care of your converter, it often lasts 10 years or longer and should be replaced only when needed.
You can also find our guides on how to choose the best RV battery, best lithium battery for RV, best AGM battery, best RV battery box, best RV surge protector, best RV generator, best solar-powered generator for RV, best solar panels for RV, best RV inverter, best deep cycle battery chargers, best trickle chargers, best RV battery monitors, best solar charge controller for RV with detailed reviews in RV Electrical category. In these reviews, we only include and recommend the best products with the highest ratings among highly sold products on the market.
Last Updated on June 25, 2021