The Basics of RV Electronic

The Basics of RV Electronic

For many people, RVs are a home away from home. They provide all the comforts of home while also giving you the freedom to travel wherever you want. But what about electronics? Just like any other type of vehicle, RVs have their own set of electronic needs and requirements. 

If this is your first time renting out or purchasing an Outdoorsy vehicle, then it’s best to understand the different electrical systems, their safety, and how they work. Here are some things to know about.

Understanding the Direct and Alternating Current

A recreational vehicle’s AC and DC systems is similar the wirings of a house. The direct current is usually found in a single car, while the AC can be activated through an external source. The DC is often responsible for the car’s batteries, lights, fans, TV, water pumps, and radio. On the other hand, larger appliances like microwaves, air conditioning, and more are run by AC.

These two are often connected to each other. If you have an AC as a source of power in the RV, this is generally used to recharge the DC system through the converter. You also need shore power that will enable you to do everything in the RV.  See more about the different types of current on this page here.


One of the most important aspects of RV ownership is understanding how to maintain and care for your vehicle’s batteries. Whether you are a full-time RVer or enjoy the occasional weekend getaway, ensuring your batteries are in good condition is essential to ensuring a smooth trip.

There are a few different types of batteries, including lead-acid and lithium-ion. Lead acid can consist of grids or plates inside a container immersed in liquid electrolytes. These are very common because they cost less and have many uses. On the other hand, lithium-ion is one of the most stable and safest types. They can have lower energy densities, efficient charging systems, are light and compact, and have no need for maintenance.

When it comes to caring for your RV batteries, the most important thing is to keep them clean. Dirty battery terminals can prevent the ports from charging properly, so regularly wipe them down with a cloth. 

Lithium might be the best for you when you have power-hungry appliances like microwave ovens, refrigerators, AC, and cooktops. These quality batteries can charge rapidly and are ideal for long-distance travel.

Solar Energy

Solar power is a great way to keep your RV batteries charged while you are on the road. Solar panels can be mounted on the vehicle’s roof, or you can purchase portable types that can be set up on the ground. You will need to determine how much power you need to generate and select a solar panel that will meet your needs.

Generally, you can choose between two types of panels and they are monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline provides efficient solar power but they can be costly compared to others. The polycrystalline types are less expensive but they might not achieve the expectations of many RVers.

Once you have selected the type of RV solar panel you want, you will need to install it. The installation process is not difficult, but it is important to follow the instructions carefully. Once the panel is installed, you need to connect it to the battery using special connectors.


The inverters are devices that convert direct current into alternating current. The ones from are used to power electrical equipment in RVs, such as lights, TVs, and microwaves. These inverters are available in various sizes, with the largest ones being able to power multiple devices at once. Some can also be used to charge batteries to keep the car going.

Shore Power

The shore power is plugging the alternating current into the local electrical grid. This is usually measured in amperes, and the maximum capacity you can draw on the electricity lines will depend on your device. Generally, these connections can range from 30 to 50 amps depending on the vehicle’s size. 

Connecting to the shore power at the local park will mean that you’ll get access to a circuit breaker, so you should always turn this on when you hook up on the electricity. Don’t forget to turn off the circuit breaker upon leaving.


The generators are a great way to keep the vehicle powered up while on the road. This is pretty handy when shore power is not available in a campground. There’s still a way to power up the electrical appliances through a generator, which can be pre-installed or propane-operated.

Generally, the RVers will be fine with a 1000-watt generator, but if you want to take things to the next level, a 3500-watt generator can be a great option for everyone. It’s best not to overdraw the generator to ensure that there’s enough to run things properly. You can see more posts about electrical generators in this link:

Electronics Maintenance Tips

1975 Chevrolet RV | Ely, Nevada | Curtis Gregory Perry | Flickr

Electronics are a vital part of any vehicle and must be well-maintained to function properly. Here are some tips for keeping the electronics in tip-top shape:

  • Regularly check all wiring and connections for signs of wear or damage. Repair or replace any damaged parts as soon as possible.
  • Keep the batteries in good condition by regularly cleaning the terminals and ensuring they are fully charged most of the time.
  • Invest in a good quality surge protector for the wiring and electricity. This will help protect your appliances from power surges and sudden spikes that can damage them.
  • Make sure all the devices in the car are properly grounded. This will help prevent damage from static electricity buildup.

By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that everything will function properly and that it will be a hassle-free trip for you. RV electronics are a great way to improve your camping experience. By understanding the basics and how to maintain and operate the system properly, you can ensure that your trips are safe and enjoyable.

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