How do you check an inverter to see if it is putting out the proper DC voltage? My lights in my Tioga worked when I lived in Oregon then when I drove it back to Texas they quit working.......any ideas or insight on what and how to check?


Tioga Sportsman

Views: 635

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

First thing is to get our terminology defined so we are understanding each other. A converter changes 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC and an inverter changes 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC. So do you have 12 volt DC or 120 volt AC lights in your Tioga?  

It is my guess that you have 12 DC lights in your RV.  Do any of the other 12 volt items operate?  If they do, then you may have a blown fuse to the lights.  If not then then the converter has probably gone bad or else the fuse or circuit breaker to it has blown or tripped from an overload.

So, figure that out and then we can begin the troubleshooting steps.

Good advice Russ, Thanks

It is the converter that I need to know how to check, none of the 12 vdc items work and they did work before I left.

OK, do you know where the converter is located?  Mine is located under one of the bunk beds. You first need to check the easy stuff, did the 120 volt ciruit breaker trip?  Mine has a circuit breaker on the panel itself labeled MAIN. Flip the breakers to the off position then back on just to make sure they are turned on. If that does not turn on the 12 volts, check all the fuses for continuity. The next thing to check is to make sure that you have 120 volts at the power post where you are plugged into.  Turn the breakers off and then back on to make sure they are on, and check with a volt meter that you truly have 120 volts coming out of the pole. If you do have 120 volts at the pole then you need to remove the front panel of the converter and check to see that you have power into the converter. If you do the next thing to check is if there is 12 volt on the panel where the fuses are. If not then the converter has gone bad. Let me know what you find out.

some converters also have a reset switch actually on the converter itself.  discovered when wife tried to run the air, microwave, all lights and then plugged in an electric hair dryer... lights out.  LOL

According to label posted inside the door of the converter this is what I checked:

In the wiring compartment I do have 110 vac coming in

I have measured  A to D

I have measured B to D

and measured C to D

all are giving me 6 vdc

I haven't really looked for a reset button but can try to see if I find one when I get home.


OK, at 6 VDC your converter is bad, it is only putting out half the voltage that it should. Here is a link to a convert/charger that will supply the needed 12 VDC and will also charge your house battery, if you have one, there are other converters available on this site so you should be able to find one that will fit your existing hole, or close enough there will be minimal modification needed to install it.  Good Luck!


first thing is to check and see if you have 115v at the power being supplied to the converter, if so the check the leads red and black with a dc volt meter it should read 13.5 anymore any less is no good bro.

if you can check the volts at the transformer if it is good then the diode is bad

Any information is useful information, I haven't had time of late to go deeply into it but that is very useful since I have not gone out and purchased a converter yet.

  Tioga, in the event you choose to invest in a new battery charging unit, I STRONGLY ADVISE you go ahead and buy a so called "Smart" 3 or 4 Stage Charger versus the old technology hot noisy buzzing  combination so called Converter/Charger. YOUR BATTERIES WILL THANK YOU and end up living much longer.

 1) One option: My buddy had an old style Converter/Charger with the built in AC and DC Distribution Panel and he was able to replace THE CHARGING UNIT ONLY (rest of panel etc stayed in place) with a Progressive Dynamics Smart 3/4 Stage Charger at a reasonable price.

 2) Another option: I kept my old style Converter/Charger in place but it had one 15 amps 120 VAC Circuit Breaker that fed AC power to the old Converter/Charger, SO I SIMPLY TURNED IT OFF. Then I bought a Progressive Dynamics 9260 60 amp smart 3/4 stage charger with Charge Wizard Intelli Charge and connected it direct to my house batteries and ran big cables from my house batteries up to the DC output (to panel) of my old unit. WORKS LIKE A CHARM and I didn't have to mess with my existing in place AC DC Distribution Panel system.

 NOTE if you put a voltmeter on your house batteries if charged and stabilized and at rest with no load they should read around 12.6 volts. Now turn on your charger/converter and if its working and all else and wiring is okay BATTERY VOLTAGE SHOULD EVENTUALLY (subject to battery condition and charger)  RISE to at least 13.2 volts up to maybe 14.2 to 14.4. If it don't ever eventually rise, the charger must not be working or mis wired 

 As posted, an Inverter changes 12 VDC to 120 VAC while a Charger or Converter/Charger changes 120 VAC to 13.2 to 14+ VDC for battery charging plus powering 12 VDC RV loads. Also they do make Combination Inverter/Chargers which do BOTH

 John T

Here is a question that I would like to throw for a debate/discussion:

I have never used batteries and would like to keep it that way, I have been/will be always hooked up to permanent power. The only reason I need the converter is to power the 12v lighting in my RV, I do have 1 120v light but that is it other than lamps I am using now. Is it possible just to put a 12v transformer in place of the converter? Has anyone tried it? And does anyone think it will work?




  •         How To Links 

-Search Good Old RV's

-Start a New Group 

-Roof Repair Photos & Products

-Repair an RV Roof

-Pick Roof Sealer   

-Understanding RV Electrical Systems 

-Get RV Insurance   

-What to Look For When Buying a Used RV

-Jack Installs Fuel Injection in his Dodge 


 Paige's VintageTrailer Art  

 Paige's VintageTrailerFabric

 Artist Roads                                            Sandy's Stained Glass     



If you love classic and vintage RVs then come Join us. Come on in and have some fun. JOIN HERE NOW


Shower Base

Started by Obadiah Israel in Vintage & Classic RV Restoration & Purchase Sep 12.

Looking for info on 1973 Shasta XL-2200

Started by Sherry Helsel in Shasta Owners Sep 1.

Residing Aluminum Skin 1 Reply

Started by Ken Miura in RV Repair & Maintence. Last reply by Tim Dailey Aug 29.

Blog Posts

Balboa owners

Posted by Bill on May 19, 2020 at 8:11am

camper theft

Posted by Thomas S. Redding on May 18, 2020 at 11:19am


Posted by Eddie Marquez on May 5, 2020 at 2:34pm

"Easy" Loose Pipe Repair

Posted by Don Olson on April 26, 2020 at 12:08am — 1 Comment

Loose Pipe Fix

Posted by Don Olson on April 26, 2020 at 12:02am — 1 Comment



  • Add Videos
  • View All


If you love classic and vintage RVs then come Join us.

 Come on in and have some fun.         JOIN HERE NOW!

 Dedicated to a simpler, more rewarding and fun way of life in a Good Old RV... 

Vintage Travel Trailers, Vintage Campers, Camper Restoration, Bus Conversions, Vintage RV Forums, Old RVs, Tiny Homes, Boondocking


A work of art by member Paige Bridges

Get your Good Old RVs T-Shirt HERE


 Disclaimer - Please Read it

Enjoy this site and use it totally at your own risk.

By using or viewing this site YOU agree to Hold Harmless anyone associated with it including other members. Also, YOU agree that YOU are solely responsible for ANY and ALL actions, results or damages. Members "opinions" are just that and any repair or alteration comments or recommendations are by folks who are not licensed repair  or mechanical professionals. Any repairs or modifications you do totally at YOUR OWN RISK. Use licensed professionals for all work to avoid possible serious injury or damage. Use  banks for purchases.  Have fun!

Copywrite & Trade Mark Registered GoodOldRV© ,GoodOldRVs©,©,©,GoodOldRV.Com©

© 2020   Created by Russell E Johnson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service