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Do I need a new converter?


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I removed the 2 12v deep cycle batteries to test specific gravity. The readings of the cells were low at 1.160

With only shore power now and the 5th wheel at “rest”, the cigarette lighter meter reads 13.6v. When I turn on kitchen lights, it shows 12.2v and the fridge turns off. Then when I also turn on some more lights, it shows 7.7v.


Does this suggest the converter is not working right? Is it inadequate in both supplying the house 12v circuits and charging the battery? If so, should I upgrade? Or replace it with something similar? It is a IOTA DLS-55, 14 years old.

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At 13.6 V. with no load, it looks like it is charged. But ANY load should not drop the voltage that far as the "charged" battery should make up for it.

Your converter is old style single voltage junk.. even if it was working it will kill your battery in short order.

The battery should have held 12+ volts with only lights on so the battery is probably shot and/or out of water, check and refill if needed.

If the battery is full and connections are clean and tight then the battery is bad.


Replace the converter with one that has 3-4 stages of charge such as one of the progressive dynamic units http://www.progressivedyn.com/power_converters_9100.html with the charge wizard.

If you have diagnosed the battery as weak or bad then replace as necessary. The above converter will extend the life of the battery and prevent low voltage problems even WITHOUT a battery connected.


Good luck and have fun.



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Your right I think Mike. Although, if I read it right, he is on just the converter, barefoot. It sounds like the batteries are on the bench. And the readings would support that.


on edit and re- read it is a Iota DLS-55. The addition of a http://www.iotaengineering.com/iq.htm turns it into a 4 stage. Might be the float without a battery that's throwing the wrinkle in the works.

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Your battery specific gravity indicates 1/2 charge level. If you are doing the other tests with batteries disconnected, then you are dealing with only converter voltage and that does seem suspicious, but those plug-in meters are notoriously inaccurate. I would never use one to trouble shoot. Your refrigerator should not turn off with 12V available and should work down to about 10.5V or below, if measured accurately. It would sound like there is a good possibility that you have a converter issue, but it is always risky to trouble shoot by replacing things.

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Thanks for your suggestions. I like Kirk’s caution about it always being risky to troubleshoot by buying new stuff. I find that so hard to resist.

I got and installed the PD-9260 with the built-in charge wizard and the monitor. Good price at $190. So far it is a great improvement- lights stay bright, fridge is good and the multi-meter and the cigarette lighter voltmeter read 13.5-6v. I am expecting to see the large slide move faster also but will wait for warmer weather here in Florida in case I still have to repair that.

Thanks again everyone.



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