WFCO RV Converter: Complete Troubleshooting Guide

WFCO is a well-known company that makes converters for RVs. Let’s have a look at what can go wrong with an RV converter and how to fix it in this complete guide to WFCO RV converter troubleshooting.

To troubleshoot the most common issues with a WFCO RV converter, first, ensure the house batteries have power as the converter uses that DC power to create AC power for outlets. Then check for blown fuses, and lastly ensure the converter fan is not blocked or excessively dirty.

But there are a lot more possible issues than that!

So don’t worry. We’ll look at every possible issue and a solution that most RVers can implement without having to take the RV to the shop.

The RV life is great. The freedom to travel and essentially take your home with you is truly liberating. To fully enjoy your RV life, you need to ensure your RV is getting all the electricity and power it needs to power your appliances and other equipment.

Let’s get into the details!

Wfco Rv Converter lg

What is an RV converter?

An RV converter is a piece of kit that changes electricity from AC to DC.

AC means alternating current and is where the electrical current constantly changes direction. DC means direct current and is where the electrical current does not change direction.

RV converters specifically, such as those made by WFCO, alter the 110-volt AC power from a source such as an RV park’s shore power to the 12-volt batteries that are on your RV.

We’re all used to standard home outlets which are usually 15 or 20-amp AC circuits. But are RV outlets the same?

Check out this recent article on my site, which is dedicated to explaining the types of RV plugs, and what voltage they actually put out and whether you can plug in any old thing with a standard plug or not.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Everyone should have a converter onboard their RV, especially if you make long trips. If your RV battery dies on a long trip, you’re going to have a problem on your hands! Let’s have a look at some things that can go wrong with an RV converter.

How do you know if an RV converter is not working?

Some signs that your RV converter is not working include the cooling fan, vents, and interior lighting not working. The lights inside your RV should not be flickering, and if you notice the lights on your RV’s dashboard dimming, then there is a good chance your converter is not working properly.

Another sign of your WFCO RV converter not working is that the batteries do not hold their charge, but I’ll talk about how to test the charge of your batteries later in this article.

RVs have complicated electrical systems.

And there are a lot of terms to know, like inverter, converter, shore power, generator power, house batteries, and chassis batteries. Luckily, in a recent article, I take some of the mystery out of it and break it down simply and easily.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

How do I check if my RV converter is working?

To check if your RV converter is working, you can begin by checking the charge of your battery using a digital multimeter or a 12-volt voltmeter.

It should be between 12 and 13 volts. After that, test the AC power of your RV’s voltage box, and finally, check the DC distribution of your generator using the digital multimeter.

One way of checking the charge of your RV batteries is to disconnect the battery from all the power sources in the RV and turn off the inverter, engine, generator, or inverter generator if you have one. After that, you can use a device called a digital multimeter (sometimes called a DMM) to check the batteries.

The digital multimeter should show that the battery has a charge of between 12 and 13 volts. 12.3 Volts is perfect and is great for all your RV needs.

If you have tested the battery, you can then test the AC power of your RV’s voltage box. You follow the same process with your digital multimeter. If the reading here is fine, then you can check the generator.

Use your digital multimeter, and connect it to the converter on its DC distribution panel. This should be labeled clearly for you to see. You need to take the battery of your RV and connect it to the digital multimeter and the generator’s DC distribution panel.

After that, connect the digital multimeter to the DC distribution panel. The digital multimeter will then tell you whether or not the converter is tuning AC power into DC. The reading should be between 12 and 13 volts.

How do you troubleshoot an RV converter?

To troubleshoot your RV converter, firstly check the battery, look for blown fuses, check the circuit breaker, and check the cooling fan and resistors on the circuit board. There are many electronic parts on an RV that can have issues.

It may seem confusing, but don’t worry, I’m going to explain.

  • Check the battery – most batteries will lose power over time, especially if you are not running them consistently. So if you leave your RV for a long time without using the battery, that might be the issue.
  • Look for blown fuses – the last thing you want to do is replace an expensive converter when all you had to do was put in a new $1 fuse! Look for blown fuses on the circuit board of the converter. Most WFCO RV converters use 5-, 15-, or 40-amp fuses.
  • Use a test light – a test light is a tool that looks like a screwdriver, and when you press the tip on something that conducts electricity, it lights up. You can press the test light to check whether you have voltage at the fuses. Press on either side of the fuses. You should get a reading on the test light of fewer than 13 volts but more than 12. After that, check to see if you have power at the wires on both the positive and negative terminals.
  • Check the cooling fan – if the cooling fan on the converter is blocked, it may be dust. Use an air duster to remove the dust.
  • Check the resistors – you may have to remove the cover on the converter and check the resistors using the test light.

These are just the simplest ways to troubleshoot your WFCO converter. You can actually go on the WFCO website, select your specific model of converter, and you will be able to see a flow chart with steps you need to take to troubleshoot your converter.

How to know if my RV converter is charging my battery?

The primary way to know whether or not your RV converter is charging your battery or not is to take a voltage reading of the batteries.

Find the location of your RV battery (not the motor’s battery if you have a motorhome), and then use a 12-volt voltmeter to check the reading. On the voltmeter, there will be a dial, and you need to turn that to the DC setting, as RV batteries are DC power.

The voltmeter will have a red wire and a black wire.

Connect the red wire to the positive terminal and connect the black wire to the negative terminal. If the reading says 12 volts or more, then that’s fine. Your RV battery is working perfectly, and the converter is doing its job. If, however, the reading is lower than 12, it means your RV battery is not being charged.

The sweet spot for a voltage reading is between 11 and 13 volts.

Confused about the difference between all the batteries in a motorhome?

I get it. Some like my Newmar Bay Star have 6 batteries total! Luckily in a recent article, I explain the difference between what is called coach batteries and chassis batteries. I even cover whether one can charge the other if one set dies.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Conclusion

In conclusion, an RV converter is an essential piece of kit that allows you to turn 120-amp AC power into 12 volt DC power for your RV batteries. You can then use the battery to power the lights and other things in your RV.

The most common sign your RV converter is not working is when the lights become dim, and the batteries are not holding their charge. You can check the charge of your RV batteries using a digital multimeter, or a 12-volt voltmeter. These devices can be found on Amazon for relatively cheap.

When troubleshooting your RV converter, look for simple things like blown fuses, damaged resistors, and wear and tear on the circuit board. You rarely need to replace your RV converter.

If you are not able to diagnose the problem yourself, you can use the WFCO website to find a troubleshooting flow chart for your specific converter. Alternatively, you could take the converter to an expert for repair, but this may be costly.

Perhaps something equally as frustrating as your converter not working is why the power outlets in your RV not working.

This could happen to anyone, so check out this recent article on my site, where I explain how to troubleshoot your power outlets and how to know if you simply have a setting wrong or if something is actually broken.

Just click that link to read it on my site.


Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay and Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

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