RV Converters/RV Inverters – What’s the Difference? What You Need to Know!

By Vicky Weisenburger

Vicky Weisenburger, EzineArticles.com Basic Author

The purpose of this article is to clarify the difference between the function of an RV Converter and an RV Inverter. The primary purpose of a Converter in an RV is to change 120 Volt A/C power to 12 Volt D/C power whereas the purpose of an Inverter is to change 12 Volt D/C power to 120 Volt A/C power.

RV’s today are equipped with Converters as standard equipment. The Converter not only changes A/C power to D/C power it also act as a battery charger. This means when you are plugged into a 120 Volt power source you are able to run all your fixtures/appliances that need 12 Volt D/C power without drawing your RV batteries down. In fact, while you are plugged into the 120 Volt power source you are actually charging your deep cycle RV batteries at the same time! As was pointed out in our article RV Batteries, Solar Panels and Inverters What You Need to Know, deep cycle RV Batteries are like a long distance runner, giving up power over longer periods of time. Batteries with this kind of capacity and ability need a longer slower charge. Plugging your RV in for a couple of hours simply won’t do the job. Same can be said if you are relying on charging your deep cycle battery while you drive! The mere surface charge a battery receives simply won’t be enough for your RV. In order to allow your Converter do its job properly, plug your RV into the 120 volt power source for at least 2 days.

Inverters however are NOT standard equipment; rather Inverters are an add-on accessory. If you choose to equip your RV with an Inverter you will be drawing & relying on your 12 Volt D/C power supply (in other words your deep cycle battery). Something to keep in mind when considering which Inverter is right for you is the load you will be placing on the Inverter. For example the load required to charge a cell phone will be much less than the load required to run a microwave oven. If you plan on inverting your D/C power to A/C power you may want to consider Solar Panels. It doesn’t take long to draw down your RV batteries when inverting considering the Inverter converts the DC power to AC power at a ratio of 10 – 1! Knowing that for every 1 amp needed to run the appliance approximately 10 amps is drawn from the battery, how long your RV battery will last all comes down to your overall battery capacity.

When it comes to Converters and Inverters again the old saying “you get what you pay for” rings true! Strathmore RV knows you work hard and deserve to play hard the 21st Century way in a fully functional RV. Let us help you make the right choice for your RV visit us at http://www.strathmorerv.com.

We have more information on camping, camping tips & tricks and on maintaining your RV our sister website http://www.extremervguy.com

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2 Responses to RV Converters/RV Inverters – What’s the Difference? What You Need to Know!

  1. vickyw says:

    Thank you for your question. Your converter should be charging your battery when plugged into a 110v outlet for a week. Depending on the size/type of your battery and age will effect its charging rate. You are only as strong as your weakest battery. RV deep cycle batteries will not charge in an hour, they require a long slow charge. By charging for an hour the battery is getting just a surface charge.
    If your batteries are not being fully charged by your converter in a weeks time you may also have an issue with your converter.
    6 volt RV batteries have a much greater capacity than the 12 volts. If you do a lot of dry camping 6 volts are the way to go- they are also Solar panel friendly!

  2. roland harvey says:

    My trailer has a 55 amp power converter. Will it truly charge the 12 v. battery if plugged in for a week to a 110v household outlet? My battery only seems to last one or two days if off the grid. We use a 110 v. outlet on a gas generator with a motomaster battery charger to charge it up again, but it takes an hour and is noisy. Shouldn’t the battery remain charged for longer than two days, with minimal lights used and the fridge on propane? I know the pump draws current as well.

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