Just when I thought we thoroughly covered RV electrical systems I get another good question about something I failed to discuss in my previous articles. I received one of these good questions the other day and thought there would be many other RVers who would like to hear the answer.
Reader’s question: In one of your previous articles you list the RV converter as drawing 5 amps. Since, I believe, the converter is operating any time you plug into a 120 volt AC system (30 Amp), does this mean that in reality you only have 25 amps to work with
(30 minus 5 = 25, and not considering clock draws, etc.)? I am developing an electric amp chart to hang inside a cabinet and I need to resolve this question as this would make a significant difference.
First of all let’s talk briefly about what your RV converter does. When you plug your RV into an electrical source, or when you use the onboard generator, the converters job is to reduce 120 volts AC down to 12 volt DC to supply power to all of the 12 volt appliances and accessories in the RV. If you weren’t plugged into an electrical source your RV battery(s) would supply the power to all of the 12 volt appliances and accessories in the RV. The converter basically prevents your RV battery(s) from draining when you’re plugged in.
There are two types of amperage draw concerning your RV. The AC amps we are using and the DC amps we are using. I’ll try to explain. When you plug your RV into an electrical source and use 120 volt appliances like the roof air conditioner, the microwave and a TV you are drawing amps from the available supply at the campground, usually 30 or 50 amps depending on your RV electrical system and the electrical supply you are plugged into. When you’re plugged into an electrical source and you use DC appliances and accessories like fans, lights, pumps or the TV antenna booster you are drawing amps from the converter. Are you more confused now than when we started? Let’s try wording this a little different.