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Old 09-20-2018, 04:51 PM   #1
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Running RV Air at home

I have searched and can not find am answer to this question.
Plugging the trailer in at home and running Air Conditioner.
Is there a minimum voltage that the unit requires to run? And does it automatically shut down if not there.



I can imagine that camp grounds are all over the spectrum when it comes to supplying Power.


Thanks.
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ArmyVeteran View Post
I have searched and can not find am answer to this question.
Plugging the trailer in at home and running Air Conditioner.
Is there a minimum voltage that the unit requires to run? And does it automatically shut down if not there.



I can imagine that camp grounds are all over the spectrum when it comes to supplying Power.


Thanks.
I plug mine into the house power while I have it parked at our Georgia House. Be prepared for a LARGE electric bill because it sits in the sun all day... Min, the RV needs about 30 amps because of the start up inrush current for the AC. It will run on about 20 or a little less but startup is a problem.
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:44 PM   #3
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The voltage should always be 120 volts, but as franktafl mentioned, you're best using a 30 amp outlet. It can and will run on 15 or 20 amps, but make sure you have your fridge, water heater, and any other high amp loads turned off. Also keep in mind that using extension cords, especially ones not rated for a high amperage draw, will actually increase the amperage load of the AC.
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Old 09-20-2018, 06:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info.


It is running off of a 20 amp breaker. GFI. I picked the closest run to the Electrical Panel. It has never tripped the breaker. We keep everything else off. The only thing that could be running is the Battery charger. No extension cord. Just the usual 30 amp RV cord with the adapter.



I spoke to a local technician. He says anything between 110 and 120 is ok. But he did not sound real positive......


I have to hunt down the specs just to make sure. it is a 15K unit BTW
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:30 PM   #5
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My 15k unit runs flawlessly on a 20 amp breaker. We have good ole TVA power here, I get around 122 volts at the receptacle. I don't run anything else while it's on except for the fridge on propane. I do use a 30amp RV cord I converted to a standard house plug.
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:57 PM   #6
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My 15k unit runs flawlessly on a 20 amp breaker. We have good ole TVA power here, I get around 122 volts at the receptacle. I don't run anything else while it's on except for the fridge on propane. I do use a 30amp RV cord I converted to a standard house plug.

Good to know it works well. Thanks



I get 121 at the receptacle with no load.
Drops to about 114 when AC is running.
Probably also depends on our house unit running and the possibility of a brown out in the area.
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Old 09-21-2018, 10:35 AM   #7
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You should have no problem running one AC off 120 house plug if it is fused on a 20 amp breaker. It does not need to be 30 amp or more. Remember the internal circuit breaker in the RV is 20 amps and cannot pull more amps than 20 amps or that circuit breaker will pop. So, 20 amp house is fine but here is where the rub comes in. Most people do not own a heavy duty extension cord. They own a 16 or 18 gauge wire cord like those orange ones. That is not heavy enough to carry the load any distance. What will happen is the cord will heat up creating resistance and your voltage will drop causing the AC unit to pull more amps creating more heat in a vicious cycle.. You see the problem.. One exacerbates the other and the AC unit will heat up from not enough voltage and amps and will pop your circuit breaker on the RV or the house breaker.
If the cord is sufficient gauge wire you should have no problem with startup and running and can even run lights etc but probably not microwave or other appliances.
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Old 09-21-2018, 04:48 PM   #8
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You should have no problem running one AC off 120 house plug if it is fused on a 20 amp breaker. It does not need to be 30 amp or more. Remember the internal circuit breaker in the RV is 20 amps and cannot pull more amps than 20 amps or that circuit breaker will pop. So, 20 amp house is fine but here is where the rub comes in. Most people do not own a heavy duty extension cord. They own a 16 or 18 gauge wire cord like those orange ones. That is not heavy enough to carry the load any distance. What will happen is the cord will heat up creating resistance and your voltage will drop causing the AC unit to pull more amps creating more heat in a vicious cycle.. You see the problem.. One exacerbates the other and the AC unit will heat up from not enough voltage and amps and will pop your circuit breaker on the RV or the house breaker.
If the cord is sufficient gauge wire you should have no problem with startup and running and can even run lights etc but probably not microwave or other appliances.



Thanks for that.
I am using the RV 30 foot 30 Amp cord that came with the RV, only. No extension cord. I understand about wire gauge and voltage drop.

I am plugging into the outlet that is closest to the breaker panel.



Here is where my 50 year old electronics training is failing me. I was always better at DC than AC hahaha.


I see 121 volts in the trailer at an outlet. No problem.
When the compressor kicks in I see something less. I get that.
Sometimes as low as 114 Volts AC.
My question was........and as I think about it now. That is a normal indication. But any other device that was trying to run on AC would see only 114 Volts. I'm thunking out loud now
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Old 09-21-2018, 11:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ArmyVeteran View Post
Thanks for that.
I am using the RV 30 foot 30 Amp cord that came with the RV, only. No extension cord. I understand about wire gauge and voltage drop.

I am plugging into the outlet that is closest to the breaker panel.



Here is where my 50 year old electronics training is failing me. I was always better at DC than AC hahaha.


I see 121 volts in the trailer at an outlet. No problem.
When the compressor kicks in I see something less. I get that.
Sometimes as low as 114 Volts AC.
My question was........and as I think about it now. That is a normal indication. But any other device that was trying to run on AC would see only 114 Volts. I'm thunking out loud now
Voltage drop is normal when you pull a heavy load, what does it come up to once the AC is running? IIRC my EMS cuts out around 102 volts as being too low.

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Old 09-22-2018, 09:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ArmyVeteran View Post
I have searched and can not find am answer to this question.
Plugging the trailer in at home and running Air Conditioner.
Is there a minimum voltage that the unit requires to run? And does it automatically shut down if not there.



I can imagine that camp grounds are all over the spectrum when it comes to supplying Power.


Thanks.
As far as the minimum voltage, my Progressive Industries surge protector cuts out at 108V, so I would assume this is low end the safe zone. Yours will not cut out if you go below that unless you have some sort of aftermarket protection. Going too low can have a damaging effect on your AC unit.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:31 AM   #11
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I just dug the specs up on my Surge Guard, it cuts out at 102v and 132v. In reality I would consider those set points to be a bit lenient. I would prefer 108v and 130v. But when ya buy stuff on sale...

However I have had ours kick in more than once on the low end, according to the read out voltage was dropping into the mid 90's. Apparently due to poor wiring and excessive loads at a festival campground we were at. Later on in the evening it stabilized at 108.

So, as long as you are on a 20 amp circuit with you standard 30 amp RV cord and an adapter and not dropping below 114 volts I would say you are good to go.

Aaron
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Old 09-22-2018, 03:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Voltage drop is normal when you pull a heavy load, what does it come up to once the AC is running? IIRC my EMS cuts out around 102 volts as being too low.

Aaron

114 Volts AC. is as low as i have seen it after the unit is running.


OK News Flash


I heard back from Dometic.


"The voltage window is 103.5 to 126.5."


So there it is.



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Old 09-22-2018, 05:11 PM   #13
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I just dug the specs up on my Surge Guard, it cuts out at 102v and 132v. In reality I would consider those set points to be a bit lenient. I would prefer 108v and 130v. But when ya buy stuff on sale...

However I have had ours kick in more than once on the low end, according to the read out voltage was dropping into the mid 90's. Apparently due to poor wiring and excessive loads at a festival campground we were at. Later on in the evening it stabilized at 108.

So, as long as you are on a 20 amp circuit with you standard 30 amp RV cord and an adapter and not dropping below 114 volts I would say you are good to go.

Aaron

Thanks! Sounds like that is a good thing to get.
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:17 PM   #14
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Thanks! Sounds like that is a good thing to get.

I highly recommend one. If I had to buy one today I would get the one from Progressive Industries.

We were camping at a state park and they apparently had some sort of surge the popped some breakers, but not before it fried everything electronic in a guy's big fifth wheel. He had the mobile RV tech out and the bill was pushing $1500 to replace everything that was damaged. A good EMS costs $300 or so. Cheap insurance in my opinion.

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Old 09-22-2018, 08:20 PM   #15
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I highly recommend one. If I had to buy one today I would get the one from Progressive Industries.

We were camping at a state park and they apparently had some sort of surge the popped some breakers, but not before it fried everything electronic in a guy's big fifth wheel. He had the mobile RV tech out and the bill was pushing $1500 to replace everything that was damaged. A good EMS costs $300 or so. Cheap insurance in my opinion.

Aaron

Looks like $255 on Amazon for the better outside unit.
Progressive Industries Portable RV Surge Protector Portable EMS-PT30X RV Surge Protector


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...KIKX0DER&psc=1
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:49 PM   #16
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I'll add my 2cents worth... We have our Kodiac plugged in 24/7 to a 30 amp plug I had wired outside and use it as a guest house for visitors when we are home. Other than the first trip out where I fried the electrics, it has a surge suppressor running and have not had a problem since that time ( I think it was a factory issue with loose wiring because I have used that same outlet at my daughter in laws place for other 30 amp devices) but the extended warranty did cover all but 200 of the repair....
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:26 PM   #17
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We have run our Coleman ac off normal house 15 amp breaker. Single use breaker. Worked fine.
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Tanman View Post
You should have no problem running one AC off 120 house plug if it is fused on a 20 amp breaker. It does not need to be 30 amp or more. Remember the internal circuit breaker in the RV is 20 amps and cannot pull more amps than 20 amps or that circuit breaker will pop. So, 20 amp house is fine but here is where the rub comes in. Most people do not own a heavy duty extension cord. They own a 16 or 18 gauge wire cord like those orange ones. That is not heavy enough to carry the load any distance. What will happen is the cord will heat up creating resistance and your voltage will drop causing the AC unit to pull more amps creating more heat in a vicious cycle.. You see the problem.. One exacerbates the other and the AC unit will heat up from not enough voltage and amps and will pop your circuit breaker on the RV or the house breaker.
If the cord is sufficient gauge wire you should have no problem with startup and running and can even run lights etc but probably not microwave or other appliances.
Tanman is exactly correct. The AC itself is on a 20 Amp circuit. The whole TT-30, i.e. 30 amp RV outlet was designed so that an RV could run an AC AND something else, and not blow the 30 amp overall breaker. Recognizing the converter will be running, just do not run water heat, or microwave, or anything else heavy (coffee maker, toaster, etc) when plugged into a good 20 amp circuit. Like others have said, use a heavy cord, or better yet, just the 30 to 20 amp adapter plug. When needed for space or "hanging weight" issues, I use a short, heavy 120 VAC extension with a right angle plug designed for Air Conditioners. It's about two feet long.
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:56 PM   #19
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Glad you solved your problem. All good advice here. Because I am a know-it-all I am posting the following:

Most US electric utilities plan to supply 120/230 volts to home service entrances. Common usage calls this 120 volt, 115 volt, or 110 volt. 110 volts actual voltage is considered acceptable and most appliance makers design to work with a little less and a little more.


Different appliances respond differently to low voltage. Incandescent light bulbs dim and produce more yellow color. No damage occurs.


Electric water heaters are primarily resistive like incandescent light bulbs. They have slightly elevated currents when they start. Not enough to worry about.


Most AC motors of 1/4 horse or more are constant speed devices. They maintain speed when voltage drops by drawing more current. The more current they draw, the more heat is produced in the motor. When it gets hot enough, stuff starts to melt or deteriorate. Some have over temperature switches that will shut them down. Others do not.


AC air conditioner compressor motors are usually constant speed motors. Constant speed motors draw more current when starting. This is usually brief and 120 volt home circuit breakers are designed to accommodate this. A 20 amp breaker will not normally trip if 25 amps flows briefly. Starting on low voltage increases the starting current and increases the time that over current is drawn. At some point the breaker will trip, aborting the startup.


Microwave ovens draw substantial current. The microwave generator in the oven determines how it behaves when starting and running on low voltage. I don't know the how they are designed to work.


Paul Bristol
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:57 AM   #20
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here is a good chart from KOA about what each of your appliances utilize for power.


RV Converters and Amp Draw - RV Information (RV Maintenance)


BUT, keep in mind that the start up current on an air conditioner tends to put a real drain on an electrical circuit (when the lights dim for a second then return to normal). start up watts of a 15,000 BTU RV AC - 3300 watts surge, 2000 steady state. Most 20 amp breakers run at approx 80% of their rated amperage. My vote is for a 30 amp circuit (I'm in the minority). When you couple the length of your RV power cable with all the other factors, you may not have enough power to start the AC and could burn out the compressor. This is why sometimes AC's start their compressor before they start the rest of the parts (like the fan).


Can you run it on 20 amps, probably. Would it hurt in the long run, maybe. I have a 30 amp generator and a 20 amp generator, my AC will not run on the 20 because it won't start but will run on the 30. Is an RV AC the same as a window AC, NO! the newer window AC's have new technology and the RV AC is still stuck in the 60's except for the refrigerant it uses.


just my two cents.
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