RV Converter Not Charging Battery: Causes and Fixes

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Batteries are an integral component of an RV electrical system. In fact, without the batteries working, campers will not get the power supply for their day to day necessities. RV battery charging problems, such as RV converter not charging battery often hampers the power supply. You should have a clear idea about the reasons and solutions to this annoying issue to handle the situation.

Reasons Why RV Converter not Charging Battery

Before proceeding to fix the problem, you have to identify the actual reason.

1. Corroded battery connections

If the RV battery not charging while plugged in, check the connectors of the RV batteries. Often, corrosion could get into the way of seamless charging and become the reason why the batteries are not getting a minimal charge. It could look like some whitish or greenish color deposits

Although this is not a technical issue, it does prevent a proper connection of the batteries with the remaining parts of the electrical system.

2. Batteries being unable to preserve charge

If there is no sign of corrosion, you need to check the batteries. Sometimes, the problem arises when they are incapable of holding the charge. For that, connect the batteries to the battery charger for a few hours and then disconnect them from the RV electrical system. The duration should be enough for a full charge of batteries.

RV battery charging problems
The problem might be with the battery.

After 1 hour of disconnecting, use a multimeter or voltage meter to get the reading. If the meter shows reduced numbers, it may be the problem of the batteries.

3. Non-functional cooling fan of the converter

If the above issues are not present, users should check for smells of burned wires or signs of any other internal faults. Sometimes, the converter fan is responsible for converter related problems. The prime function of the fan is to turn on periodically to cool the internal components. If it fails to do so, overheating happens, and system components face damages.

Find out if the fan is getting the necessary current by connecting the multimeter to the power source of the fan. If there is a lack of power, look out for its cause.

4. Ineffective converter’s thermal sensor

With a defective temperature sensor, the fan will fail to start on time and become the reason for the damaged internal components.

5. Faulty fuse or other components of the circuit board

A power surge in the shore power source can trip a breaker or a fuse. Check if these are working or need a replacement.

6. A corroded circuit board

Remove the external housing to check for corrosion issues. Any flaky white substance there is proof of corrosion on the circuit board.

7. Resistor and diode problems

RV battery not charging while plugged in

Excessive heat can damage the resistors and diodes of a converter that function as the crucial components in the conversion of AC power into DC power. If damaged, these components can cause the RV converter not charging battery issues.

8. A shore power problem

A faulty shore power source can cause this problem too. Inspect the power post to look for signs of a bent prong, burned-out outlet, or some other fault that may be preventing AC power from reaching the converter.

How to Fix Travel Trailer Converter not Charging Battery

Once you find out the exact cause, follow the appropriate remedy of RV converter not charging battery.

1. Remove debris from the batteries

Perform the following steps to clean the posts and connection of the batteries:

  • Stir two tablespoons of baking soda with two tablespoons of water and make a thick paste.
  • Disconnect the power from the motorhome batteries.
  • Gently scrub the paste on battery terminals with an old toothbrush or a small wire brush.
  • After 5 to 10 minutes, use a clean paper towel to wipe the terminals and components.
  • Reconnect the RV converter and see if the cleaning helps to resolve the issue.

2. Change the batteries

If the existing batteries are not working, replace them with new 12V travel trailer batteries. The existing batteries can be reconditioned too. If you are willing to spend on them, hire a mechanic for the job as the reconditioning could be dangerous for an inexperienced person.

3. Check the converter fan

If the converter fan has become non-functional, install an exact replacement part. Procure one and proceed to install the converter fan physically.

4. Replace the thermal sensor of the converter

Change the defective temperature sensor with a new one. Remember that replacing this sensor is a bit complex, and you should seek help from a professional technician.

5. Inspect the circuit breaker or fuse box

Check if the fuse needs a replacement. it could be burnt or the wiring could be frayed. It’s a minor task that does not require professional service.

rv battery not charging while plugged in
An RV circuit breaker

The panel box upgrade is also possible for average campers. However, if there is a requirement to replace a circuit breaker, it is better to contact a licensed electrical contractor.

6. Clean the circuit breaker

The steps for cleaning this electrical component involves:

  • Make a paste with 1-teaspoon of pure baking soda and 12 ounces of water.
  • Disconnect all RV power sources and clean the corroded circuit breaker with a paper towel or cotton swab.
  • Use a clean paper towel and then air dry method to dry the circuit board. Finally, reconnect the power.

7. Repair electrical issues

You will need a soldering iron to soften the solder that holds the burned resistor or diode. Anyone with sufficient experience can do this repair. Then comes the need for replacement where you may need the service of a professional electrician.

8. Fix shore power source

For that, boondockers need to discuss the matter with the management staff of the concerned RV park. Most have an on-site handyman who can fix a problem on their end. However, the park authority might also ask the campers to move to another campsite rather than investing in fixing the shore power issues.

Conclusion

You will find yourself in plenty of trouble when the RV converter not charging battery. To fix, go through the checklist and find out the actual cause before heading to resolve the issues.

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About Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman is an interesting travel blogger and outdoor photographer with a great sense of humor. He owns an RV Accessories shop in New York City so he has the knowledge necessary to provide thorough reviews and give advice on how to choose the right products for RV travel. He puts all that RV knowledge and experience to good use in his sharing posts. Besides product buying guides/reviews, Chris also writes informative articles, how-to articles and RV camping guides in his own interesting viewpoint. Chris’s blog is one of the most reliable information sources for RV campers no matter if you're an expert or a determined beginner.

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