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Old 02-28-2010, 11:04 PM   #1
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Can I run my A/C on 110 household outlet?

Wondering if I can run my trailer A/C off of a 110v household outlet. Do I risk tripping the breaker all the time? The people I purchased the trailer from told me that you should never run the A/C when it's hooked up to a standard outlet. I ran it for a little while last summer to make sure it worked and I didn't have any trouble. Thanks!

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Old 02-28-2010, 11:09 PM   #2
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I've done it. If you have a 13,500 btu you should be ok. My 15,000 runs off of it. Don't run anything else such as microwave etc.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:13 PM   #3
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The answer is maybe. What will kill the air conditioner is low voltage. CW sells a voltage meter that plugs into an AC outlet in the camper. As long as the needle is in the green then you can run the AC fine.

Another factor is extension cord length. A household outlet with 100 ft of skinny extension cord is asking for air conditioning failure because of voltage drop in the cord.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:44 AM   #4
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Correct...voltage drop is proportional to cord length...the longer the cord, the greater the drop. The other factor is wire gauge...many cheap extension cords are #18 or #16 wire (the smaller the number, the larger the wire...go figure!)...but if you use a #14 (good) or a #12 (better) the voltage drop will be significantly less. Larger wire will (somewhat) reduce the chances of blowing a fuse or tripping your breaker.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:08 AM   #5
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If you need to run the a/c at home the best thing is to have a 30/50 amp receptacle installed. If you need to use an extension cord, use a 12 gage minimum. It would be cheaper to have the 30 amp receptacle in stalled then to have the a/c replaced, you are looking to spend about $800 to replace provided damage exceeds the control board and burns up the compressor. One thing about Dometic a/c units, they do not handle voltage drop very well. So why take a chance...
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:57 AM   #6
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If you are taking your trailer power cord either a 30 or 50 amp service. Ok lets say you have 30 amp trailer power you use the normal 30 to 110 adapter. Not using any other extension cords or stuff. Running the ac should be ok, however you will most likely not be able to run much else.
Good power management is important when plugged into standard 110.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:30 AM   #7
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In keeping apples to apples. Here in North America, all RV shore power (save a rare few) is 120 volts. The large three prong plug on most RV's is 120 volts/30 amps. The standard household receptacle is 120volts/15 amps. With a properly sized and length cord (12awg 25') you should be able to run your A/C from a 120volt/15amp receptacle. As mentioned above, be aware of the voltage drop as that will send your A/C to an early grave.

Now before someone jumps on me about the 240volt/50amp service. Yes it does exist but in most cases it's used as 2 120volt services (save a few applications).
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:14 AM   #8
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Low voltage is a killer for A/Cs and since I live/camp mostly in the south, I invested in a voltage management device (AKA voltage booster).

Sucks more current to boost up the voltage when the voltage in the park gets low, cuts off if the voltage spikes and generally keeps my electronics happy.

Electrical problems are some of the hardest to trace, so I figured I would put one of these devices on my rig when it was new and my hope is that I have fewer problems over it's life. 2 years in and I'm good so far.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:50 AM   #9
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In my old TT, we used it for a guest bedroom, and I normally kept it plugged in with the fridge on (in case I needed to have some alone time with a beer!!). The AC ran just fine, even in the heat of south Texas summer. I never had any issues with it, but it was 13,500 unit, and it usually never ran for more than the overnight sleeping accomodations. The other thing to be aware of is if all your outside plugs are on a GFCI. Those will likely trip no matter what you do.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
In keeping apples to apples. Here in North America, all RV shore power (save a rare few) is 120 volts. The large three prong plug on most RV's is 120 volts/30 amps. The standard household receptacle is 120volts/15 amps. With a properly sized and length cord (12awg 25') you should be able to run your A/C from a 120volt/15amp receptacle. As mentioned above, be aware of the voltage drop as that will send your A/C to an early grave.

Now before someone jumps on me about the 240volt/50amp service. Yes it does exist but in most cases it's used as 2 120volt services (save a few applications).
All of what Bama said is correct however the building code in most areas calls for 20 amp outlets in garages so if you are plugging into an outlet in your garage or an outlet on the oustide adjacent to the garage, chances are your outlets are 20 amp. No problem running the A/C on that. Like others here have said don't use an extension cord if possible and if you must it should be a heavy duty grade and only long enough to get the job done.
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