What are the Differences Between RV Converter vs Battery Charger?

When it comes to RVing, you won’t be able to function without a few pieces of equipment. RV converters and RV battery chargers are two of them.

They are both used to supply power for the 12-volt appliances in your RV or camper trailer but do not do exactly the same thing. So how do you figure out what the difference between rv converter vs battery charger is? And which one should you use for your rig?

In this article, we’ll look at the differences between these two types of power sources and help you decide which one is best for your needs.

An RV Converter: What is iIt and What does It do?

An RV converter is a device that takes 120-volt AC power from a campsite or generator and converts it to 12-volt DC power, which is what most of the appliances in your RV run on.

An RV Converter

It is essentially a small power transformer and is necessary to provide power to the appliances in your RV, including the fridge, water pump, and lights. Without a converter, you would not be able to use any of the 12-volt appliances in your RV.

RV Converter Types:

Generally, there are four types of RV converters: standard multi-stage, high output, deck mount, and distribution panel. Each type of converter has unique benefits and drawbacks. Here is a breakdown of each type:

RV Converter Types

1. Standard Multi-Stage Converters:

Standard multi-stage converters are the most common type of RV converter. They are affordable, easy to use, and perfect for people who have multiple batteries that need to be charged.

Standard Multi-Stage Converters

2. High Output Converters:

A converter with a high output may be the best option when you have a large RV or many batteries to charge.  This type of converter is more powerful than a standard multi-stage converter and can handle larger loads.

High Output Converters

3. Deck Mount Converters:

Deck mount converters are a great option for people who don’t want a bulky converter taking up space inside their RV. These converters attach to the deck of an RV and are perfect for people who need to upgrade their old RV.

Deck Mount Converters

4. Distribution Panel Converters:

A distribution panel converter is ideal for people who have an older RV that needs an upgrade. Using this converter, you can supply current to a battery and power a device. It is more powerful than a standard multi-stage converter and can handle larger loads.

Distribution Panel Converters

What is an RV Battery Charger and What does It do?

An RV battery charger is used to charge the batteries that power the 12-volt appliances in your rig. It takes 12-volt DC power from the batteries and converts it to 120-volt AC power, which can then be used to run the appliances in your RV.

an RV Battery Charger

It is not necessary to have an RV battery charger if you have an RV converter, but it can be helpful in keeping your batteries charged while you’re on the road. Many converters also include a built-in RV battery charger, so if you don’t have one already, it’s a good idea to get a converter that includes this feature.

Types of RV Battery Chargers

There are three types of RV battery chargers: converter, inverter, and solar-powered. Each type of charger has its features and benefits.

Types of RV Battery Chargers

1. Converter Charger:

A converter charger is a device that converts 120v AC power to 12v DC power. This type of battery charger is found in most RVs and charges the RV batteries while also converting the 120v AC power to 12v DC power.

Converter Charger

2. Inverter Charger:

Inverter chargers convert 12v DC power into 120v AC power. This type of battery charger is found in most modern RVs and charges the RV batteries while also converting the 12v DC power to 120v AC power. Inverters can provide power to appliances when there is no shore power.

Inverter Charger

3. Solar-Powered:

A solar-powered RV battery charger uses sunlight to recharge the RV batteries. This type of battery charger is perfect for campers who want to reduce their environmental impact. Solar-powered chargers are also a great choice for RVs that are parked in sunny areas for long periods of time.

Solar-Powered

Rv Converter vs Battery Charger: Which is Better for Your Needs?

Now that you know the differences between RV converters and RV battery chargers, which one do you need for your rig? If you only have a 120-volt AC outlet at your campsite, you will need an RV converter to provide power for the 12-volt appliances in your RV.

If you have a 12-volt battery system in your RV, you will need an RV battery charger to charge the batteries. If you don’t have a battery system, it’s a good idea to get one – this way you can use your RV’s 12-volt appliances even when you’re not plugged into a campsite or generator.

Rv Converter vs Battery Charger

An RV battery charger is also helpful for keeping your batteries charged while you’re on the road. So, if you have an RV converter, it’s a good idea to get an RV battery charger as well.

FAQs:

Since there are so many different types of converters and chargers, people have a lot of questions about them. Here are some of the most common questions and answers.

Q: Can You Use a Battery Charger Instead of A Converter In An RV?

Yes! If you have an RV battery charger, you can use this in place of a converter. It is not necessary to have an RV battery charger if you have an RV converter. Many converters also include a built-in RV battery charger, so it’s good to get a converter that includes this feature if you don’t have one already.

Q: Does The Converter Charge the Battery?

The converter charges the battery by taking 12-volt DC power from the batteries and converting it to 120-volt AC power. It can be used to run the appliances in your RV when you are not plugged into a campsite or generator.

Q: Do I Need a Battery Charger for My RV?

If you have an RV converter, it is good to get an RV battery charger. You should get a battery system if your RV doesn’t have one, so you can use 12-volt appliances.

Q: Will Shore Power Charge My RV Batteries?

Yes! Shore power will charge your RV batteries by providing them with 120-volt AC power. This is the same type of power that is used in your home. If you have an RV battery charger, it will also charge the batteries while you are plugged into shore power.

Q: Should You Disconnect Your RV Battery During Plug-In?

Keeping the RV battery plugged into shore power or a generator is better. This will help keep the batteries charged and prevent them from draining too low. Therefore, you need battery disconnect switches to prevent the battery from draining when you’re not using your RV.

Conclusion:

Powering your RV with a converter or battery charger is a great way to ensure that you always have access to the appliances and features you love. By understanding the differences between RV converters and RV battery chargers, you can choose the one best suited for your needs.

It would help if you connected these devices correctly to prevent overcharging the battery and causing damage. If you are not sure about connecting your device the proper way, consult the instruction booklet that came with it or contact the manufacturer.

Hopefully, this article has helped to clear up all of the common questions about RV converters and battery chargers.