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Old 02-02-2015, 10:21 PM   #1
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Power converters

I am looking for info on powering my internal 12 lights, fans etc with something else than my house batteries. Are any manufacturers using converters to transform 120 volts AC to 12 v DC? Tks

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Old 02-02-2015, 10:40 PM   #2
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What RV do you have? Common is to have as standard equipment already is a converter/charger that charges the batteries and provides 12vdc for lighting and such.

Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:59 AM   #3
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Everyone of them
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:03 PM   #4
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The NRC that I have uses the Magnum inverter to charge the house batteries and does not have a converter like "everyone else" has. Maybe someone would like to help me out and tell me whose converter they have in their motorhome. Tks
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:17 PM   #5
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Some confusion here. The charger side of your Inverter is the same as a Converter only. To prove this, just disconnect your battery cable and you will still have lights.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:02 PM   #6
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Your Magnum is a combination inverter and converter/charger. Somewhere there may be a production RV that does not have a 120v-->12v converter (pop-ups and truck campers excepted), but they gotta be rare indeed.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by G Shaw View Post
I am looking for info on powering my internal 12 lights, fans etc with something else than my house batteries. Are any manufacturers using converters to transform 120 volts AC to 12 v DC? Tks
For starters, it would be nice to know a bit more about the coach, year/make/model/engine etc. You see, much of that information will tell many on here what is most likely ALREADY installed in/on your particular coach. And, armed with that kind of info, more accurate answers could be given.

Basically, most (but not all) Diesel coaches are equipped with either INVERTERS or, INVERTER/CHARGERS. Those have already been explained on how they work

Most gas coaches however, are equipped with a CONVERTER OR, CONVERTER/CHARGER of some type and size. A quick trip through your OWNERS MANUAL will or should reveal, what unit you have and, its total function within the operations of the coach.

The "Converter" changes 110VAC to 12VDC and, as stated, will or can, also charge the house battery(ies) while providing the coach with full 12v.

Now, to purchase a coach, especially one that's been made in the last 20 years, WITHOUT a converter or, converter/charger (if it's a gas coach) is for the most part, unheard of. Now, I for sure, am no expert on every coach made, big, small, in between, Class C-A-B , Diesel-pusher-puller etc. I'm going by experience only on many that I've either owned or worked on.

My '89 Ultra Class C Ford, 27', was equipped with a converter charger. My last coach, a '99 Fleetwood Bounder 34V with the V-10, also had a converter/charger. Our present coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon, 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, came equipped from the factory with a Dimensions 2000 watt Inverter/charger that has since been replaced by the Magnum 2012ME Inverter/Charger.

So, unless you've got something built in Russia or, from Mars, I'd just about bet you've got some sort of Converter or, Converter/charger on board already.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:35 PM   #8
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If you're plugged into 120 then your convertor will produce 12v for whatever you have that uses it. It will also charge your batteries. Maybe what you are asking is how do you charge your batteries when you are dry camping. A generator would do that. Progressive Dynamics would be my recommendation for a convertor to replace yours if it has failed.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:30 PM   #9
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You know, I didn't think about the inverter/charger being used as a 12 volt supply(converter). Thanks for all your positive help and consider this question answered.
BTW this coach was built in Elkhart Indiana not Mars or some other place.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by G Shaw View Post
I am looking for info on powering my internal 12 lights, fans etc with something else than my house batteries. Are any manufacturers using converters to transform 120 volts AC to 12 v DC? Tks
Such devices are built into most every RV worthy of the name, I have had a couple of very old, very small trailers that did NOT come with them but anything over 19 feet shold already have a converter, this is the device that charges your batteries, AND runs all your 13.6 volt stuff.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ONE, then you have options.
Pure power converter, not a battery charger or converter/charger

First determine your power needs, A 1141 lamp is about 1.6 amps, a 1156 2.2 amps. Go to a lamp web site and add em up,

For small numbers (IE: 7 amps) Radio Shack, while it lasts, has some nice regulated supplies, They are in bankruptcy and it appars will not survive so you should see some nice fire sale prices sooner or later.

Larger numbers:
Progressie Dynamics makes converters and converter/chargers and at least one line (9100) that is upgradable.

I would recommend the 9100 line, Something like a 9140,9160 or 9180 (Depends on how much battery you can carry) anything in that range.

By itself it is a single stage converter, it will power your 12 volt stuff all day (or night) with no issues, but if you would also like it to charge your batteries.. Well no problem, about another 25 bucks gets you the CHARGE WIZARD, I will give you the instructions for installing.

Remove screw
Remove dummy plug
plug in wizard (Like a telephone modular plug with an anchor screw)
Replace screw

This converts the 9100 into a 9200+ dongle which is, as far as I am concerned, the very best converter/charger (There are others that are close enough to not argue the point but this is the one I like best)

how to choose the last two digits.

Add up your batteries amp hour (c/20) ratings and multiply by 0.3 (30%)

Group 24: about 75 each
Group 27, About 95-100
Group 29, 100-105
Group 31, 125-130
GC-2 (six volt golf car you use two in series) 215-230 per pair

My Rig came with one pair, plus a group 78 Starting battery (Think Group 24) and a Progressive Dynamics 9180+wizard.

Batteries made it to 9 years before replacement. (with occsional watering of the GC-2 pair)

TS-2000 (Very sensitive radio receiver) can not tell if it is operating off pure battery power, Pure converter power or both together, Some folks complain that the Progressive Dynamics converters are noisy (electronically) casing radio interference, I see no evidence of that in my rig, noise floor does not change when I disable it.

Home is where I park it!
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