Inverters / Chargers
Some RVs are equipped with inverters which will convert 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC for appliances like fridges and standard outlets. They also charge the house batteries when 120 volt external power is connected. There are two types of inverters, Modified Sine Wave Inverters and Pure Sine Wave Inverter, discussed below:
1. Modified Sine Wave Inverters – These are standard if just used for powering 120 volt outlets. They also provide very “blocky” type power which can be hard on sensitive items like computers, TV, DVD players, satellite receivers, etc, and they cost less than a pure sine wave inverter.
2. Pure Sine Wave Inverter – You may see these in RVs that have residential fridges from the factory. These inverters are used to convert the power from house batteries to usable 120 volt AC power so that it does not damage the residential refrigerator. These are expensive units because they provide clean residential style 120 volt power. These are suited for providing power to sensitive electronic components or appliances.
Chargers – The charger is used to recharge the batteries when the RV is connected to 120 volt power aka “Shore Power”. The key here is to verify that when connected to shore power that there is at least 13.5 volts of power on the house batteries. This test will be done directly on the batteries. If there is only 12 volt listed on the voltmeter as in 12.35 or 12.10 etc., then the chargers are not charging those house batteries and should be investigated.
Disconnect the RV from shore power and then recheck the voltage, it should be around 12.3. Please note that 12.0 is considered a dead battery. 11 volts or under the batteries might be bad.
Pure Sine Wave Inverters – $750+
Modified Sine Wave Inverters – $250+
Chargers – $100+