Author Topic: Generator/ Rv a c unit  (Read 2005 times)

Offline jason389

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Generator/ Rv a c unit
« on: December 18, 2016, 08:54:40 PM »
Anyone using one of the 2000 watt inverter generators to run their Rv ac unit? I'm buying a small (19 foot) camper and want a small, quiet generator. I'm trying to find out what the wattage/ amperage is on the ac but just curious if anyone is doing this.



Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: Generator/ Rv a c unit
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2016, 09:34:23 PM »
I forget what mine draws, but it's pretty standard.  I could not start it up with a 2000 watt generator.  In fact, my brother-in-law had a hard time using his continuously with a 3000 watt generator.  Instead of buying a large generator that was hard to move around, I opted for two 2000 watt generators that actually only each offer 1600 watts of clean continuous power.  I use a parallel cord so that I get the benefit of the two and they run my A/C just fine, even at higher altitudes.  Having two gives me the option of running just one when I don't need to use the A/C and makes them very portable, even when needing both.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Generator/ Rv a c unit
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2016, 07:04:43 AM »
One thing you will need to do is change the start capacitor.  GOogle it with your AC model number and you'll find exactly what you need to do.

I don't have one yet, but have done tons of reading on it.  It seems to be hit or miss if your AC will start with the Honda or Yamaha 2000 watt generators.  But take a look at the Yamaha EF2400iSHC.  It has a little extra power available to get the AC to start.
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Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Generator/ Rv a c unit
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2016, 10:47:17 AM »
Good to see we have some other RV'ers on the board. 

My experience is the same, it is totally hit or miss at 2000 depending on what AC unit you have installed.  The BTU rating drives the average draw but the startup wattage can be as much as two times that.   Changing the start capacitor can sometimes help but even that is hit or miss.  Here are some averages:

11000 BTU: 1600 Starting 1010 Running
13500 BTU: 2800 Starting 1800 Running
15000 BTU: 3300 Starting 2000 Running

For a 19 footer you may have a 11000 BTU unit so should be ok.

Are you planning on doing remote camping or are you doing park camping? 

If you are doing park camping then you will want a modern digital inverter generator for its reduced sound output.  CPT Morgan's suggestion of using two 2000's in parallel is getting to be quite common for that.  You can use two when you want AC or one when you don't need it.  It also provides an inherent backup and it is also the quietest option.  But it is a pricey one as well. 

A 2400 to 3000 watt is another option.  A 3000 will be fine with the vast majority of AC units.

If you are doing remote camping where neighbors are fairly distant than you might be better off with a traditional generator.  By far the most popular is the Champion 3500/4000 RV Ready generator.   For ~$300 you get a solid unit that can handle most any AC unit.  On the downside it is noisier.  But if you are more remote, this is easily remedied.  You can either (or both) get a long cord to place the generator away from your camping spot or you can build an insulated noise box to go over it.  I used a Champion for about six years with dry camping and it worked great. 



If you have an older, inefficient AC you do have one more option which is to swap it out with a super efficient alternative.  This can be a high efficiency RV AC, a swamp cooler, or power fans.  It may actually be cheaper to get a modern HE AC than a beefier generator! 

Three years ago we switched back to tent campers.  In doing so we decided to forgo the AC and have fan-tastic vents installed instead.  This allowed us to greatly stretch our dry camping times as we can sip fuel using just our Hyundai 2000si generator (which is a true 2000 watt running generator as opposed to the corresponding Honda and Yamaha with are 1600 watt running).    It has been a great match for us.  It allows us to camp in parks in the "tent" spots or go completely dry.  Of course we also have the flexibility of doing full hookup as well:



Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: Generator/ Rv a c unit
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2016, 11:19:47 AM »
If you are doing park camping then you will want a modern digital inverter generator for its reduced sound output.  CPT Morgan's suggestion of using two 2000's in parallel is getting to be quite common for that.  You can use two when you want AC or one when you don't need it.  It also provides an inherent backup and it is also the quietest option.  But it is a pricey one as well.

I've got the Smarter Tools AP-2000iQ that is mentioned in this thread... http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=54811.msg639530#msg639530

I like mine so much that my brother was going to buy a couple for himself for the same reasons.  When he couldn't find them at the price I paid, he settled for the Westinghouse WH2000-iXLT and likes them just fine.  The only thing he doesn't like about his is that they don't have the 'fuel shut-off switch' that mine have.  The Westinghouse does offer a little more power than the Smarter Tools.

Offline scoob

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Re: Generator/ Rv a c unit
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2016, 10:11:36 PM »
Three years ago we switched back to tent campers.  In doing so we decided to forgo the AC and have fan-tastic vents installed instead.  This allowed us to greatly stretch our dry camping times...

For years, most of our camping was out in the desert.  We have the Champion 4000w Gen to run the a/c, but rarely used it once we swapped out one of our vents with a Fantastic Fan.  That fan moves a lot of air and barely sips any power.  We got the model with the thermostat, so we could go riding during the day and the fan would kick on when temps hit set point, and we didn't come back to a hot trailer.  We would run the fan all night for at least 4-5 nights in a row without charging.  Oh yeah, the vent closes itself when it rains!  Not really about generators, but if you're somewhere that a good fan will suffice, then you can go with the smaller gen.
If you're camping in Texas or Nevada, then I'd  favor the 2x 2000w generators in parallel for the a/c.  =)

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Re: Generator/ Rv a c unit
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2016, 04:07:06 AM »
It sure takes a lot of stuff to get away from it all.
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Radios are pointless without someone trained to use them.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Generator/ Rv a c unit
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2016, 06:01:21 AM »
It sure takes a lot of stuff to get away from it all.
Great thing about camping is it is whatever you want it to be.

We had a tent camper that we used for 7 years.  We switched over to a hybrid and that's what we are using now.  All our camping is in state parks with no hookups. 

But if you want to do nothing but camp in the infield of NASCAR races, you can.  If you want to drive down fire roads and camp near nothing, you can.  If you want to bush whack into some area with all   your gear on your back, you can.

It is what you make of it.
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