Tag Archive: RV Converters

Bad Design

RV Converter

It's in! Tough to get to the fuses but it works!

It turns out the old converter was not malfunctioning, that is there was nothing inherently wrong with it other than bad design. Modern electronics such as the laptop, LED TV and potentially any appliance can refuse to operate or completely burnout  in a system with fluctuating voltage. Surging and dropping  delivered by the original unit is not healthy.  It did a poor job as well for the house battery with a painfully slow charge–no way to hurry if you want to disconnect for some dry camping–and no protection from overcharging. I can only guess that it was the best they could do in 1996, after all times and technology have changed. I have no comment on the apparent bravado with which the old converter was wedged into the van. Some ‘designers’ should not have that kind of job. The rear bench seat/bed, in spite of best efforts showed no inclination of leaving the nest;  Bruce wrestled for 4 hours crammed on his belly with his neck skewed at an odd angles to get the old one out and the new one in. Really I don’t know how he did it. The new one is smaller, lighter, highly efficient, (a smarter better tool!) Too bad they didn’t make it so the door could mount on either side. Labor $400. Converter, extra circuit breakers and shipping around $250.

Let There Be Power

The converter and battery minder are shot. Frans spent the entire day puzzling the bizarre misbehavior and workings of power in the LT and explaining it to me; then came up with a brilliant plan to circumvent the impasse by installing a power supply behind the faulty converter. Being the sort who frets, imagining complete system failure or maybe flames springing form the air conditioner like Medusa . . . I opted for a new high-end converter. The unit in there is from System Monitors in Winnipeg, which makes sense since Leisure Travel is Canadian. The company is defunct, so by consulting my magic genie (the Internet!) I ordered a PD4060 60 Amp Inteli-Power Mighty Mini Power Center from Best Converter along with a 30-20 twin and 2 twin 15 fuses. The model I ordered is their pick for dry camping, more expensive at $207 than others but it has a boost mode to bring the battery quickly up to power and offers desulfation—basically a few hours plugged in will prepare and protect the battery for running when I’m off line as opposed to several days which is what my current (non-operational) unit would be doing. Yes, it occurred to me that I might want to replace the house battery with one of those golf cart types; however since the battery in there is barley over a year old, I’ll wait and see how everything works out.

Bruce said he’d do the install, so now I wait. Package should arrive in few days.

Oh, it turns out I had to order a HTC micro-USB TV Out Cable for the Droid, it’ll be here in a few days too. So we’ll be here for Thursday’s Channel City Kennel Club  Canine Ambassador’s program at the Goleta Boys & Girls Club, lucky Mason will be getting another yucky bath. Usually Olympia goes but she’s just finishing her heat.


Decided to show off how I could plug my Droid into my flat screen to a friend who dropped by—he usually drops by to visit the dogs. At the same time I was charging the RV to test the refrig and had the power cord plugged into the house. Flicked off the bungee cord and swung the TV around pleased with how well it moves, pressed the power button and Walla, Nothing! No signal. Unplugged the AC, signal came back. Once I took an entire 3 years of electronics, I excelled but then found I could not get a job—that was the beginning of the dot.com crisis in the Bay Area. You’d think I’d remember a few things from those days, but no, my memory is full of holes. But  found this: in order for the RV to run the 12V appliances it must step down the 110V with a converter and transformer….it’s complicated. My little LT is not doing that right. It vacillates and overcharges; the DC Voltage is also screwed up… it should be 12V or 12.5V but where it comes out at the plugs it’s only 11V and strangely the front DC plugs retain a charge of 10V after the power is turned off. Something is wrong! It showed up on the TV since the TV is very sensitive – who knows what damage is being done (or has been done) to the other electrical components… maybe why I’ve had to replace so many.


RV Converter Box

The Electrical Center well hidden and non-removable under the bed

Frans has his head stuck in the back corner of the beast trying to get the converter out. He can probably fix it but it doesn’t want to come out….it’s apparent that it was built with the philosophy of once in, forever in. It was depressing watching and worrying about scratches and how my sick electrical system will be restored. He’s going to try a fix by rewiring without removing the box as it appears to do so involves removing the entire back seat-couch/bed. More later, as things progress.

RV Electrical Box

Something gone wrong