Stupid question time!! A/C related - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 03-30-2017, 03:58 PM   #1
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Stupid question time!! A/C related

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forums as well as the TT life. I've lurked around for several hours and I've learned alot. I've also been around family and friends who own rvs/trailers and I've noticed they all have generators. I understand the main reason for the generators is to run the A/C since it draws so much power.

My stupid question is...are most TT incapable of running the A/C by themselves or to A/C's just use so much power that they just drain everything too quickly?
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Old 03-30-2017, 05:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cirrusly_fast View Post
I understand the main reason for the generators is to run the A/C since it draws so much power.?
Incorrect...

The main reason RVs have generators is that many people like to go camping where commercial power is unavailable.

If you travel to a campground or RV park that has power available... once you connect, you should have ample supply to run your A/C.
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Old 03-30-2017, 07:13 PM   #3
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Understood. My camping will be 90% non-hook up type camping. I'll likely hookup once per year. That being said. I do understand that generators are needed, but could I technically start and run the A/C for any amount of time without a generator and without being hooked up?
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Old 03-30-2017, 07:15 PM   #4
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This is a good article explaining the 3 electrical systems in a camper. Lots to get confused about until you get a basic understanding of the way they're split up.


Basic RV Electricity - RV Information (RV Maintenance)
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Old 03-30-2017, 07:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dawniewest View Post
This is a good article explaining the 3 electrical systems in a camper. Lots to get confused about until you get a basic understanding of the way they're split up.


Basic RV Electricity - RV Information (RV Maintenance)
Thank you! That answered many questions.
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Old 03-30-2017, 08:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cirrusly_fast View Post
Understood. My camping will be 90% non-hook up type camping. I'll likely hookup once per year. That being said. I do understand that generators are needed, but could I technically start and run the A/C for any amount of time without a generator and without being hooked up?
I'm sure you know now, but's that's a big nope. Without shore power, a generator or solar panels, you're basically down to running the lights and slide outs. Still can run the fridge and hot water heater on propane.
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Old 03-30-2017, 10:01 PM   #7
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I'm sure you know now, but's that's a big nope. Without shore power, a generator or solar panels, you're basically down to running the lights and slide outs. Still can run the fridge and hot water heater on propane.
I actually didn't think Solar could run A/C unless it was one heck of a setup. How big would that have to be?
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by cirrusly_fast View Post
I actually didn't think Solar could run A/C unless it was one heck of a setup. How big would that have to be?
Extremely large and you won't run it for very long, here is an article.

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Old 04-01-2017, 09:33 PM   #9
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Also, to run an A/C off of a generator you will need one, or two, that puts out sufficient wattage. Most folks I know get two 2000i watt generators that will pair together for the needed power. If you camp at altitude, I live in Colorado, that probably won't even be enough. But at that kind of altitude you probably don't need an A/C.
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:26 AM   #10
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Generator

To answer your question first, yes you need a generator to run your AC. I overheard a service guy at the RV dealer the other day say they tested a 2400W generator that could handle running an AC unit. I didn't't catch the model though.
Now to my experience. We bought a Honda Eu3000 when we bought our camper because I wanted to be able to run the AC. We were in Colorado and I soon found out a few things.
1) It could only just keep the AC going, if any other load kicked in it would overload the generator.
2) It chewed through fuel when the AC was running.
3) A 3000W generator takes up a lot of space and is pretty darn heavy!
So after hauling this thing around for 3 years I came to realize we chased good weather when boon docking and didn't need AC anyway. So we downsized to a Yamaha 2000W. I can easily move this myself and it fit's neatly in the storage compartment inside the camper! The 2000 is more than capable of powering everything (microwave, TV, etc) just not the AC.
We still use the AC when hooked up in campgrounds, just not boon docking.
Good luck and welcome,
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:03 AM   #11
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Don't know if the dealer you overhead was talking about the Yamaha, but their 2400is is a unique generator positioned between the 2000&3000. And yea, it was "unofficially" sized for a 13500 BTU AC.

I love it. It's only 70 pounds and really nicely packaged.



However, it should be noted that it is NOT enough generator for 30amp service. In fact, I wouldn't want to use it for a heavy AC day. It'd be running under max load for more time than I'd be comfortable with.

I also have 2 Yamaha 2000is than can be paralleled and configured for an RV 30amp plug.

If push came to shove while boondocking, I would want one bigger generator with some headroom, if heavy AC was going to be required.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:31 PM   #12
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Your camper's 12V battery system operates the lighting, radio, furnace, refrigerator while on propane, water pump, exhaust fans, and slide motors. These appliances will eventually drain the 12V batteries which will need recharging somehow. This is often a reason to bring a generator along to allow the onboard AC-DC converter to recharge the 12V batteries. Any 120V AC appliances that you plug into a standard household outlet like the air conditioner and microwave will require a 120V AC source such as a generator.

Good reading -> The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

If you want to run an air conditioner from a generator, then the advice already mentioned in this thread is good input. A single 2000 watt generator can maybe run a typical 13.5kBtu RV air conditioner, but probably not reliably. I have a Yamaha 2400 that offers similar reliability; it can run it when relatively cool out and at low elevation but fails when we actually want AC during hot weather while camping high in the mountains. It is the start up amp surge required to get the compressor started that is the killer, not so much the steady state operation once things are going. So for piece of mind, you want either a >3000 watt generator or a parallel kit for 2x2000 watt ones. Alternatively, there are soft start kits that can be installed on the air con which smooth out the high amp surge and allow a 2000 watt generator to run the air conditioner. I have purchased one and will install it later this spring, so I have no experience yet with how well they work. They cost around $350, but that's much less than a second generator.
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