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Old 05-19-2009, 11:59 PM   #1
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Can I turn off my converter?

Hi,
I am hoping to be able to run my 13.5 btu AC with one honda 2000w generator. I have no problem starting up my AC with one generator. However, it will overload the generator a couple of minutes after startup. If I turn the fridge to gas mode, the generator will start the ac and run for about 10 minutes. After 10 min my generator gets overloaded. Is there anyway I can turn off the converter so all the power from the generator goes to the AC?

Thanks.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:48 AM   #2
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I'm not sure. I don't think my converter has it's own circuit breaker.
Why not let the converter run a while without the AC so the batteries will be
charged. Once the batteries are up the converter won't draw much at all.
Are you sure you don't have something else on like your electric hot water heater?

It's possible your converter is going into high charge mode when you first start
the genny. Try disconnecting your battery(s) but leave the converter on so you'll
have 12v for the fridge and the occasional light if needed.
The fridge needs 12v to run even in gas mode but it's not going to draw much current.
Maybe other's here will have other ideas but it sounds like you need a bigger genny or
a smaller AC.

Good luck!
KyDan
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:54 AM   #3
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You could possibly pull the big (high amp) fuse in the converter and that should take it out of the loop. I can't remember if that kills all the 12v or just the connection of the converter to the battery(s). As Dan said, make sure you don't have another 120v appliance running. Water heater is a common culprit.

You need to get the model number off your A/C and find out if you have the high efficiency model. If it's not, then your genny will never be able to run it for very long because it draws right at the upper limit of the gennys capacity.

I'd strongly suggest getting a second Honda 2k genny and paralleling them. That way you can run everything you want to.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:25 PM   #4
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This is the reason that all of the motorhomes come equipped with a minimum of a 4.5kw generator. 2kw is just too small for your A/C. There is no way to "turn off" the converter. Even with 4.5k you can only run one A/C on a motorhome.

Bama is right, you need a 2nd generator....
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I guess I'm off to ebay for another genny.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:44 PM   #6
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Running the A/C with 2000 watt generator WILL damage the A/C in a short time.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaPro View Post
Running the A/C with 2000 watt generator WILL damage the A/C in a short time.
Dang good point PumaPro. Compressors used for heating and cooling don't do well under low voltage situations.
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:01 AM   #8
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On another chat group there is a man who put a small window unit in his push out
emergency window next to his bed. It's not a permanent installation but something
he can remove when he moves his trailer.
He runs it with a Honda 1000!!!!!
It is a small 18' trailer and he swears it cools just fine. He is in Mexico!
It's hot down there.

We all wonder why the AC manufacturers don't make smaller roof units for the
smaller trailers.
There is a market.
Smaller trailers and smaller tow vehicles are becoming more and more popular.
Gas WILL go back up eventually. It's gonna hit $2.50-$3.00 a gallon this summer.
If the economy picks up next year $3.50-$4.00 is right around the corner.
Obama has mandated better MPG by 2015. That means smaller trucks and SUVs.

I hope some manufacturer realizes that a smaller trailer can use a QUIETER smaller
roof AC that will run off a smaller genny.

If I was a full-timer or just a summer-timer I'd seriously consider a much quieter
window unit in my trailer as well.
My 2Ę
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingsquirl001 View Post
the generator will start the ac and run for about 10 minutes. After 10 min my generator gets overloaded.

Thanks.
The problem your having is, when you start up the A/C everything is cool. once it`s up and running things get hot. that`s when the compressor starts requiring more amps. the small 2k generator is just not enough.

I believe you will need a minimum of 3.5k watt generator.

Good luck!
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:24 PM   #10
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To the original question, in my Rockwood 5th wheel I can (and have) turned off the converter for a similar reason. When parked in my yard shore power is provided (barely) by a 100 ft power cord into a 20 amp outlet. I have a voltage meter pulled into one of my outlets to keep an eye out for low voltage in this situation.

To avoid low voltage damaging the AC when I want to run it, I turn off the converter at the breaker panel. It is clearly marked. I also turn off the microwave breaker too, which takes out the whole kitchen AC power. This keeps the voltage on the low end of the safe range.

I would definitely invest in one of those plug in voltmeters, about $15 at the RV store. When parked in the yard I also start my A/C fans first, and then the compressor to avoid the colossal surge and voltage drop that comes from starting them both at the same time.

Be cool, dude.
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