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FAQ - Electrical System

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The following info is meant as a basic description of the electrical components in a pop up and give you a general idea of how they work.


Your basic trailer is equiped with a 12volt/120 volt electrical system containing a converter.


Battery: the battery is what provides your trailer with 12 volt DC power. A deep cycle battery works best for RV'ing. Deep cycle batteries are built with heavy plates and other internal modifications to enable it to deliver a reletively small amount of current over an extended period of time.


12volt or DC power: comes from your battery and powers your lights, your furnace, and your water pump. It can also be used to run small DC appliances such as fans.


120volt or AC power: (i.e.- shorepower or landline) comes from your campsite electrical hook-up and your converter. AC is what powers all of your outlets, your fridge, your air conditioner, and your microwave. It also runs through your converter to power your furnace, your water pump, and your lights.


Converter: The primary job of the converter is to convert 110V AC to 12V DC for use when plugged in to shore power. It also has a secondary function to provide a maintenance charge to your battery. (It will not fully recharge your battery)


Inverter: Inverters are used when dry camping to provide a limited supply of 110volt AC power. They take the 12volt DC power from the battery and convert it to useable 110 volt AC current.

(The amount of current is limited by the battery storage capacity.)


Battery Charger: Deep cycle batteries (or any battery, for that matter), should be recharged as soon as possible for longer service life. You should use a "smart" battery charger that charges slowly and will indicate when the battery is fully charged. It should also automatically stop charging when full so you don't overheat your battery.(make sure charger voltage is between 13.25 and 13.75 volts. Anything above 14 volts will overcharge the battery)


You can get power or a battery charge from your tow vehicle while towing. (you may have to install a line if your vehicle is not already equipped with one) Just make sure that your vehicle has an isolator, solenoid, or relay to keep your RV battery from draining your tow vehicle battery, this will disconnect the power between your batteries when the ignition switch is off.



Well there it is in a nutshell. Hope this helps you get a general understanding of your electrical system. For more detailed information talk with your RV dealer or visit for more information.

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