Over our 40 years serving the RV industry’s electrical needs, we have seen some common missteps emerge in the installation of our products. Our goal is always to help our products be installed correctly in any way we can to minimize the potential for problems down the road.
Below are five installation tips to help prevent common problems we’ve noticed over the years. Most are fairly simple solutions that, if implemented, can prevent warranty claims and other complications in the future.
- AC and DC wires on converters should be torqued to the proper torque specification. Under torqued wire connections on the AC and DC sides can cause heat build-up and reduced power transfer. Make sure all connections are torqued to spec if a torque wrench is available or, if not, are very snug without over torquing. Check out our online torque chart for easy reference!
- Ensure that the converter is mounted in a location with ventilation. All converters have fans to circulate cooler air across the internal components. If no fresh air ventilation is provided for the converter, it could overheat and shut down. Ensure the fan has access to the fresh incoming air so the converter is properly ventilated.
- Ensure that the battery is charging correctly. Improper battery charging could be caused by the incorrect wire size for the distance from the battery to the converter. Long distances cause a voltage drop in the wire, which lowers the available power. Larger wire sizes reduce the voltage drop. Shorter wire runs and larger wire sizes are a good way to help minimize the voltage drop.
- Check for bad ground connections. Typically, the method for connecting the 12 VDC grounds is a big wire nut or a scotch lock, which can and will work loose from road travel. It is recommended that a ground buss bar is used for the 12 VDC ground. Grounding issues cause numerous bad connections throughout the 12 VDC circuits. Most charging issues are cured when a correct/good connection has been made on the 12 VDC ground side. Cleaning and maintaining the battery connections is also a perfect practice.
- Avoid continually tripping circuit breakers or blowing fuses. Take the time to collect load information on the circuits and fuse them accordingly. Too many circuits on one branch may cause an overload situation that could trip the breaker or blow a fuse. Be mindful of start-up currents for motors and some big appliances, as they draw large amounts of power until they enter the run mode. Also, check to make sure fuses are seated properly into the terminals. A loose fuse can cause it to blow, overheat or provide intermittent operation on that circuit.