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Old 06-21-2013, 06:56 PM   #1
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Generator vs. AC question...Opinions wanted

We just got out 2014 Rockwood Roo 21SSL and have some decisions to make.

We have a Airxcel 48000 Series (Coleman) AC 13,500 BTU. Got home and couldn't run AC on garage outlet. Well it would start and within 2 minutes flip breaker. Plugged into our EU Honda 3000is and ran a few minutes and created overload alarm. Researched, read, and educated myself on these forums. (Service manager today said I seem to know more than most, all because of the info here). Generator last week ran our prior RV 13, 500 AC, plus and bogged a little with everything plus microwave. Felt generator wasn't the problem. Had it checked any way and it is putting out a little over what it should at 25 amps. Took new RV back today to have the AC tested and it puts out 28-29 amps at start up and then backs down to 14-15 amps. Thought might have a capacitor issue. Service department called Coleman since it would be warranty work and there isn't a start up capacitor and they have re-designed their AC to work as described above as they believe this is best for their compressor and it passed all of the UL and what not testing and ratings. This was new news to the service guys also...

So we are left with needing a bigger generator or they suggested a more feasible option might be replacing our AC to one without such a draw at start up. We have a lot to weigh as our current generator has the convenience of the remote start and is paid for. I did check and was told that if they put a new AC in I would have that warranty and it wouldn't affect our extended warranty that we purchased with the unit. Opinions wanted! This manufacturing change in AC makes this 13,500 unit one of the few that won't work with a 3000 generator. What would you do and why? I appreciate all opinions as we now have to spend more $$$ either way on top of purchasing the new RV.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:20 PM   #2
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I believe they sold you a load of crap!
With a camper only have 30 amp service why would they put an a/c on it that draws 28 amps to start up?
Imo something's wrong .
What is the model number of your a/c?

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Old 06-21-2013, 07:21 PM   #3
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First thing is to make sure the generator is only powering the AC and not water heater at same time. Shut all other AC breakers off and only run Air Conditioning and see if OK or not. You should be OK.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
I believe they sold you a load of crap!
With a camper only have 30 amp service why would they put an a/c on it that draws 28 amps to start up?
Imo something's wrong .
What is the model number of your a/c?

Turbs
Totally not true.

Mine can draw 25 amps to start with the mods in place when the line voltage is low. Today while I was working on it (the camper), the line voltage was 115 volts.

It is only for 5 seconds or so, but easily seen on my AC amp display.

Running amps is about 14.9 amps (compressor and fan).

To be UL Listed, the start up amps can not be more than 1.56 times the rated Load amps.

The compressor needs 11.9 volts @ 115 Volts (start up voltage 11.9 * 1.56 or 18.56 amps JUST for the the compressor. Then (without the fan mod) you have to add the start up amps for the fan (3.4 running * 1.56 = 5.3 amps).

That is 23.86 amps @ 115 volts. As the voltage drops due to extension cords, area usage, brown outs, that start up amperage can spike right up there above 30 amps for a properly operating air conditioner.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:50 PM   #5
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might want to mention to Coleman that a 28-29 amp startup is unacceptable and that this disturbing information is going out to all the forums so that NOBODY buys that unit, EVER. You may be able to retrofit a startup capacitor AKA Turbs posts rather than change out the unit.?
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:57 PM   #6
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Maybe they changed their AC units but my Coleman is a 2013 & it starts with a Yamaha 2400.

Turbs is right, nothing else can be on to get it started.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for everyone's response! Although I did trust the service department today, because they seemed just as shocked after talking with Coleman, I think I may call Coleman for more information. My model number is 48253C966. After digging online tonight I made my way into Coleman's Literature & Technical Documents and finally found my model number which is "NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION" and the recommended replacement for my model would be 48203C966. Under technical data sheet it lists a cooling full load AMPs at A.R.I. standard conditions at 12.4-13.1 amps accounting for the compressor and fan motor. Although I agree that some units could draw more, I do think that with a 30 amp service an AC that draws 28-29 is crazy. Take my generator out of the mix and at a camp ground on 30 amps, I would have to turn everything off to start the AC, again crazy! I will call Coleman Monday to see what they say is proper start up and running amps for my model number to see if I get the same answer. My 21SSL is 31 feet and 8 1/2 of that is ATV bed, so really 23 feet of that is camper. Why would you have a AC that pulls so much initially on this size unit? It is not a larger toy hauler with a bulit in larger generator. This unit requires a portable generator and I feel that an AC that draws 28 amps initially (crazy, but if normal for this model) is not appropriate for Forest River to have placed on this RV. Well it basically locks you into parellel 2000's to start the AC or a beasty 4500 that is not so portable. Just a frustrating situation, but before I part with any $$$, I will call Coleman and get the specs to see if they match what I am finding in their documents online. I don't know the manufacture date of my unit but if no longer in production and found their way to a 2014 RV, they must have been sitting around at Forest River waiting to be placed on RV

Am I correct that full load amps would be start up and running load amps would be what it backs down to?
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:35 AM   #8
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There has also been a prior thread where people have placed a delay timer on the fan as well as the hard start cap but its kind of odd that it would drop while running an not at startup.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by wneise View Post
There has also been a prior thread where people have placed a delay timer on the fan as well as the hard start cap but its kind of odd that it would drop while running an not at startup.
Yes you can search my threads for fan mod.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post

Totally not true.

Mine can draw 25 amps to start with the mods in place when the line voltage is low. Today while I was working on it (the camper), the line voltage was 115 volts.

It is only for 5 seconds or so, but easily seen on my AC amp display.

Running amps is about 14.9 amps (compressor and fan).

To be UL Listed, the start up amps can not be more than 1.56 times the rated Load amps.

The compressor needs 11.9 volts @ 115 Volts (start up voltage 11.9 * 1.56 or 18.56 amps JUST for the the compressor. Then (without the fan mod) you have to add the start up amps for the fan (3.4 running * 1.56 = 5.3 amps).

That is 23.86 amps @ 115 volts. As the voltage drops due to extension cords, area usage, brown outs, that start up amperage can spike right up there above 30 amps for a properly operating air conditioner.
Although I don't believe the op in that his may draw 28 amps I think its whoey that it should be considered "normal"
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:00 AM   #11
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Am I correct that full load amps would be start up and running load amps would be what it backs down to?
Yes. It just takes a second (or less) to go from start up amps to running amps; UNLESS there is not enough voltage to get the motor turning. If there is not enough voltage to turn the motor, the motor will lock up. Amperage will climb to its locked rotor amperage (58 amps in my case) and the circuit protection will open.

It takes seconds to minutes for an AC circuit breaker to open depending on the degree of overload. If you have ever heard a circuit breaker "humming" you will know what I mean.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
Although I don't believe the op in that his may draw 28 amps I think its whoey that it should be considered "normal"
Then mine is no good too.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:13 PM   #13
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While selling fireworks in 100+ degree heat, we wanted to make sure we had AC. Herk, is this enough genny?

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Old 06-29-2013, 02:46 PM   #14
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probably but the cords to long and the electrons will get lost on the way to the camper.
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:00 PM   #15
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I am thinking; yes.
But don't hold me to it...
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:58 AM   #16
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STG,

Did you find the correct starting amperage required? Any documentation to substantiate it? I found only the same info you did at the AIRXCEL site.

My 2013 2109S has the exact same model number AC as yours. I am looking at buying a gen and I am being told that the Yamaha 2400 will run it. Kind of hard to believe considering what you are experiencing.

Thanks
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:21 AM   #17
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STG,

I just spoke to a seemingly very knowledgeable tech at AIRXCEL about our specific model. He said that to figure start up current draw, multiply running amps by 2.5!! This equals 31 amps if running our units on low speed fan!

Next, in an hour or so from now when they open in Ca, I will talk with Yamaha and ask them why they say a 2400 watt, 20 amp max gen will run a 13,500 btu AC. Your Honda 3000 is rated at 25 amp max, and you are having problems with it. Go figure.

UPDATE - Just spoke with Yamaha rep. Long story short....Yamaha 2400 and Honda 3000 are advertised to run only "most" 13,500 btu RV ACs. Gens must be sized according to specific AC unit requirements. I don't think either gen will work for us.

Thank you Coleman!
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:10 AM   #18
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It just occurred to me that the last time we used the RV we hooked up to a 20 amp household circuit with a breaker that was NOT an HVAC type. The AC seemed to run well, and we had some power to spare.

Given all of what we have discussed here, how could this possibly be??

Just for the fun of it I ran the microwave at the same time. As expected it tripped the house's breaker.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:00 AM   #19
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It just occurred to me that the last time we used the RV we hooked up to a 20 amp household circuit with a breaker that was NOT an HVAC type. The AC seemed to run well, and we had some power to spare.

Given all of what we have discussed here, how could this possibly be??

Just for the fun of it I ran the microwave at the same time. As expected it tripped the house's breaker.
Your household circuit will allow for the momentary start up amperage of a motor. Generators and motors do NOT play well together. Your genny has to compensate for a 30 amp load being thrown at it all at one time. This means the engines governor has to apply enough throttle to get it up to its rated capacity without going over rpm and increasing the voltage and hz. and blowing everything up all in a matter of milliseconds.

Now do you think that a generator rated at 25 amps will last long trying to start a 30 amp draw very many times? How about a motor trying to start under voltage? Something has to give somewhere usually a circuit breaker on the genny or another overload safety like whats built into the hondas.
Even running within specs a 25 amp max motor on a 25 amp max generator is hard on each other because of the initial draw all at one time the genny has to build up. There is a time where the motor is severely under voltage.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:09 AM   #20
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Thanks for the further clarification.

I happen to already own one Honda eu2000i. Probably gonna buy another and run parallel. 4000 watts and 33.4 amps max ought to do it. If not, I will make some start up mods to the AC.

Also will probably convert both to tri fuel.
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