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Old 06-06-2021, 06:50 PM   #1
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Generator size to operate complete camper?

We would like to be able to operate our camper to it's fullest potential (within reason) while dry camping at motocross tracks over the weekend.

I own a Husky brand generator that is a 5,500 (6,500 starting watt) generator.
For some reason it will run the A/C for just a few minutes then it will trip the breaker on the generator and it will no longer run the A/C. I can run my A/C off of a 120 outlet at my shop no problem. This is a 30 AMP trailer so it's not like I am trying to run 2 A/C units off of it. When it trips the generator breaker I am only running the A/C and a few small lights inside the camper. When I reset the breaker and try turning the A/C back on you will hear it pull the generator motor down...and it tries but can't get the A/C to start.

My generator will run lights, tools etc.. no problem. But not the A/C on my camper....I am not a electrical competent person. So I have resorted to buying a new generator to fix this issue.

My camper is a 2019 Salem 27DBK.
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:58 PM   #2
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Certainly sounds like something not up to snuff with your generator. You really don't even need something that big/heavy.

So you might be right, maybe time to look at getting a 3500 watt inverter generator.
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:09 PM   #3
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A 30a R/V at capacity is 3600 watts.
A 30a shore power circuit can handle slightly more than the 3600w when there is an excessive inrush of current. If your wanting your R/V to behave the same on a generator as when on shore power then look for something in the 4000-4500w range.
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:10 PM   #4
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The AC start up current can be quite high since there is an inductive spike starting the compressor and the fan motor. Also known as LRA (Locked Rotor Amps) it can be as high as 58 amps (like my 15k Coleman Mach 3 shown here). That is 6,960 Watts.

Now that only lasts until the compressor and the fan start turning and the amperage drops quickly (a few seconds) to its Running Amps (RLA + FLA) (like my Coleman 15.3 amps).

Your house wall circuit breakers are time delay trip based on the degree of overload BUT the inverter in your generator is not. Even a half of an amp of overload will result in an immediate trip of a generator.

The solution is to install the Micro-Air SoftStart computer in your air conditioner. This small box is pretty cool (but pricey). It is worth every penny.

It basically (VERY) pulses small low amperage spurts of electricity to the fan motor to get it up to speed. Then it pulses small low amperage spurts to the compressor to bring it up to speed. That way it avoids the 58 amp spike for a few hundred microseconds completely.

I have run my 15k Coleman Mach 3 on a 2000 watt peak Honda with no issues and since I installed one in each of my 2 air conditioners, I can run both on a 30 amp campground service.

On the plus side they are easy to install and easy to remove and take with you when you upgrade to another camper.

My review is in the review section of the forum.
https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ll-162735.html

Herk
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:57 PM   #5
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Are you plugging into a 20 amp outlet or does this generator have a RV 30 amp outlet?
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Old 06-06-2021, 09:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kcmusa View Post
Are you plugging into a 20 amp outlet or does this generator have a RV 30 amp outlet?
This is a very good question.

If your generator is a 220 volt construction type generator, you will only get the power available on each of the 20 amp duplex outlets. (20x120 = 2400 watts maximum.) This is NOT enough to run your AC without installing the Micro-Air.

Be VERY careful about using an adapter to use the 220 volt round socket to power your travel trailer. Most adapters that adapt the round 220 socket to the socket that LOOKS like your travel trailer's plug will put 220 volts to your camper and fry a lot of your 120 volt appliances.

Always measure the voltage across the socket BEFORE you plug into an unknown power source like an adapter (especially one made up by a friend who is an electrician).
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:16 AM   #7
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micro air is expensive just get a $13.00 SPP6 from amazon it will take out the inrush to start the AC. I had to do it with my 3500watt generator. The Micro air does not lower your FLA running only the startup. HerK7796 is right about the 220V 30 amp being cut in half by pulling off the one side as 110. 15amp. running my converter, frig, and ac it pulls 15Amps constant.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 22TBSFlagstaff View Post
micro air is expensive just get a $13.00 SPP6 from amazon it will take out the inrush to start the AC. I had to do it with my 3500watt generator. The Micro air does not lower your FLA running only the startup. HerK7796 is right about the 220V 30 amp being cut in half by pulling off the one side as 110. 15amp. running my converter, frig, and ac it pulls 15Amps constant.
I had one I gave away free. Useless for this purpose; especially in hot weather.
Would not reliably start my 15k Coleman Mach 3 with my Yamaha EF3000iSEB

Save your money and buy the correct fix for your issue.

Starting and Running Amps well within the range of a Honda 2000 in economy mode with the Micro-Air EasyStart.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
The AC start up current can be quite high since there is an inductive spike starting the compressor and the fan motor. Also known as LRA (Locked Rotor Amps) it can be as high as 58 amps (like my 15k Coleman Mach 3 shown here). That is 6,960 Watts.

Now that only lasts until the compressor and the fan start turning and the amperage drops quickly (a few seconds) to its Running Amps (RLA + FLA) (like my Coleman 15.3 amps).

Your house wall circuit breakers are time delay trip based on the degree of overload BUT the inverter in your generator is not. Even a half of an amp of overload will result in an immediate trip of a generator.

The solution is to install the Micro-Air SoftStart computer in your air conditioner. This small box is pretty cool (but pricey). It is worth every penny.

It basically (VERY) pulses small low amperage spurts of electricity to the fan motor to get it up to speed. Then it pulses small low amperage spurts to the compressor to bring it up to speed. That way it avoids the 58 amp spike for a few hundred microseconds completely.

I have run my 15k Coleman Mach 3 on a 2000 watt peak Honda with no issues and since I installed one in each of my 2 air conditioners, I can run both on a 30 amp campground service.

On the plus side they are easy to install and easy to remove and take with you when you upgrade to another camper.

My review is in the review section of the forum.
https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ll-162735.html

Herk
How can you tell from that sticker if you have a 13.5 or 15k ac? I am going to get on the roof of ours to find out, but need to know what to look for.
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Old 06-08-2021, 10:27 AM   #10
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Fast start capacitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Majors View Post
We would like to be able to operate our camper to it's fullest potential (within reason) while dry camping at motocross tracks over the weekend.

I own a Husky brand generator that is a 5,500 (6,500 starting watt) generator.
For some reason it will run the A/C for just a few minutes then it will trip the breaker on the generator and it will no longer run the A/C. I can run my A/C off of a 120 outlet at my shop no problem. This is a 30 AMP trailer so it's not like I am trying to run 2 A/C units off of it. When it trips the generator breaker I am only running the A/C and a few small lights inside the camper. When I reset the breaker and try turning the A/C back on you will hear it pull the generator motor down...and it tries but can't get the A/C to start.

My generator will run lights, tools etc.. no problem. But not the A/C on my camper....I am not a electrical competent person. So I have resorted to buying a new generator to fix this issue.

My camper is a 2019 Salem 27DBK.

Search for a fast start capacitor for you A/C. I put one in mine to fix the same problem you are having. It is easy to install. Check with the manufacturer and they can give you the part number. I have used a 5000 watt generator with no problem. I have an onboard Onan that is 4000 watts and I can run the A/C, lights, refrigerator, TV, and phone and battery chargers at the same time.
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Old 06-08-2021, 10:39 AM   #11
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X2 how are you connecting to the generator with your 30A rv connector?
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Old 06-08-2021, 10:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Half Ton Heavy View Post
How can you tell from that sticker if you have a 13.5 or 15k ac? I am going to get on the roof of ours to find out, but need to know what to look for.
If you don't have the paperwork or the build sheet, you will need to pull the shroud and google the model number.

https://answers.rvupgradestore.com/2...64-Replacement
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Old 06-10-2021, 08:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
I had one I gave away free. Useless for this purpose; especially in hot weather.
Would not reliably start my 15k Coleman Mach 3 with my Yamaha EF3000iSEB

Save your money and buy the correct fix for your issue.

Starting and Running Amps well within the range of a Honda 2000 in economy mode with the Micro-Air EasyStart.

For me the SPP6 works flawless I just had to get my Preditor generator to not cross 29Amps or it would trip out. It can run in eco mode how ever when sleeping we leave on the AC fan so we do not get waken with everything at one coming on. There are also less expensive alternatives to the Micro start:

https://www.gen-pro.biz/product-page...115v-12-20-rla $259.00

$32 bucks https://www.trutechtools.com/cps-5-2...gaApSZEALw_wcB

and so on.

Brand new AC cost $600.00 if a $13.00 rig will start my AC with out issue Its a Math thing for me. I will keep my $300.00 and spend it on a new AC years down the road (IF it ever goes bad). (IF)
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:58 AM   #14
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I would absolutely recommend you consider purchasing a Champion 100573. It's an 3500 running watts inverter genset w/ remote start & 30A 120v TT outlet built right into the unit.
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:44 PM   #15
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For Inrush current; One component strategically install for $10 no capacitor no relay no $300 dollar module. Just one component to limit current. (MS35 10018)

https://www.ametherm.com/blog/inrush...-motor-inrush/

https://www.ametherm.com/datasheetspdf/MS3510018.pdf

The problem is getting your hands on one because every thing is blame on covid.

I will do it and prove the worth! I just got to find one on the shelf.
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:37 PM   #16
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The capacitor is in stock at Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/SPP6-Capacito.../dp/B0002YTLFE

Note that it does not claim to "limit inrush current".

What it says is that it increases compressor starting torque by up to 500%.

The inrush current remains the same because the wattage needed to start the rotor turning remains the same.

What the capacitor does do, is provide that higher current LONGER than the OEM start capacitor.
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:40 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
The capacitor is in stock at Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/SPP6-Capacito.../dp/B0002YTLFE

Note that it does not claim to "limit inrush current".

What it says is that it increases compressor starting torque by up to 500%.

The inrush current remains the same because the wattage needed to start the rotor turning remains the same.

What the capacitor does do, is provide that higher current LONGER than the OEM start capacitor.
Testing shows these capacitors can actually increase the inrush current but merely shortens the duration.

Nowhere near the performance of soft start devices like the MicroAire.
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:56 PM   #18
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Now this current limiter is very interesting.

https://www.ametherm.com/blog/inrush...-motor-inrush/

If you are very handy and understand how to wire it up it would make a terrific article here.

https://www.digikey.com/en/products/...5-10018/749864
28 in stock at $10 bucks each if some one wants to to give it a shot.

Remember you will be needing two, one for the compressor and one for the fan motor. You would also need a delay relay in order to start the fan first; then power the compressor.

https://www.zoro.com/dayton-encapsul...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds

In addition to limiting the inrush current, the MicroAir Easy Start stages the compressor start behind the fan start reducing the total start up current used to get everything going.

The fan current is slowly increased until the fan comes up to speed and stabilizes; then the compressor motor current is slowly increased until the compressor is on speed. It also provides a compressor time out should you accidently turn the AC OFF and immediately try to start it again.

All in all, though expensive, I think it is a near perfect solution to running the AC on an inverter generator and during low voltage campground power situations.
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Old 06-17-2021, 08:54 PM   #19
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X2 how are you connecting to the generator with your 30A rv connector?
My generator has a 30amp outlet that I bought an adapter to fit the rv plug.
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Old 06-17-2021, 08:55 PM   #20
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I'm not handy with wiring something this complex! Would a mobile rv repair person be qualified to do this? Makes me nervous having just anyone attach new wiring to my camper. I don't want to jeopardize its reliability.
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