A voltage converter is a step-down transformer.
It lowers the 120 volt AC current (alternating current) to 12 volt DC (direct current) when the recreational vehicle IS connected to land power via an electrical hookup or a generator.
The voltage converter normally comes with the RV and allows your DC appliances (ex: the water pump, fans, jacks, lamps etc...) to draw energy from the hookup service rather than the house batteries.
It also permits the battery bank to recharge during the hookup period or when connected to the fuel generator.
Most older RVs came equipped with inexpensive converter/chargers with low energy output (amps) and single stage charging (ex. the Magnetek 63xx).
They were not high-quality units and have insufficient amperage for the battery bank that most RVers have nowadays.
They will either not charge your batteries fully or overcharge them. The overcharging will happen when the RV stays hooked up to an electrical service for a long period of time.
Consequently, the converter/charger will damage your battery bank and premature replacement will be necessary.
Modern converter/chargers are better and have an output between 30 to 80 amps, using tapered or multistage charging (ex. the Intellipower 91xx series).
Every situation is different from one RVer to the other.
Your AC current is accessed through the use of your inverter and the DC current directly from the batteries.
Keeping the DC converter on will put an unwanted load on your house batteries, something you do not want while dry camping.
If you do not use solar energy to charge your batteries and consequently do not have a solar charging regulator in your system, you may decide to upgrade your plain inverter for an inverter/charger instead.
The inverter/charger will transform Direct current from the house batteries to Alternating current for the use of AC appliances but also have the function to charge your battery bank using a hook up electrical service or a generator.
You can then unplug the converter. Some RVers even decide to get rid of it but it may be wiser to keep it as a backup, in case the inverter/charger fails.
You see that all situations are different.
In summary, the RVer only using solar panels does not need a voltage converter. In the case of the other RVer being regularly connected to a generator or electrical service, the converter/charger is not the best option either.
A plain inverter with a separate multistage battery charger or an inverter with the charging option (inverter/charger) are better options.
MANUFACTURERS (and stores) offering these electronic devices:
(battery chargers, solar power regulators, inverter/charger, converter, alternators etc...)
OTHER TOPICS ( 2 total ) directly related to RV Inverter