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Old 03-29-2018, 11:24 AM   #1
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Generator for cool cat?

I've searched for this specific topic on FRF and elsewhere without luck but if I've missed this question, I apologize in advance. We bought a Rockwood A122S ESP last fall and AC wasn't needed on our one camping trip. But, we're headed west soon and I'm shopping for a generator/inverter to run the Dometic Cool Cat heat pump (#441003-701). If that's the only thing we can run off the generator that's fine, but AC is a must and I don't want to be dependent on shore power. Dometic's power specs calls for 2.8kw. Whether this is surge or continuous isn't stated so I'm assuming continuous which means 3.1kw surge. Given the limited number of locations available for generator/fuel on the A122S most generators capable of 3.1kw are too big physically so at this point I'm concluding two ganged 2200 watt Hondas are my best option unless I fabricate a platform for a larger generator above the LP tanks (any suggestions appreciated). A rear bumper carrier isn't an option - the frame is too wimpy to hang an 90 lb. generator on plus the spare tire would interfere. Are there other options I'm missing? It's the Dick Cheney conundrum: I feel like I know what I know but, I don't know what I don't know and half of what I knew I forgot. Thanks all!
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:50 PM   #2
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I put my 3100 Champion in the back of the truck. You don't mention your tow vehicle.
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:14 PM   #3
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I read posts from A-frame owners that they ran their Cool Cat with a 2000w INVERTER generator.
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Old 03-29-2018, 04:31 PM   #4
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Not Likely on a 2k genset/inverter

We found that with our Yamaha 2k inverter we could not consistently power the Cool-Cat A/C in our A214HW which appears to have the same unit as yours. Usually it would just put the inverter into overload as soon as the compressor kicked on. There were a few times where it ran for a few minutes once the compressor was on but then the inverter would again go into overload.
I tried wiring in a hard-start capacitor in the circuit for the compressor which did not have any impact. I have heard stories where this low-cost option has worked for folks and figured I would start with this as it was the cheapest option.
As we enjoy the size and quietness of the Yamaha 2k we are still looking for a way to make it work. I will be ordering the EasyStart soft-starter product from www.micro-air.net within the next several months and give it a shot. There are some hopeful testimonials and reviews that make me think it is worth a shot at $300 bucks.
Worst case scenario I can send it back and start looking at a bigger generator but I really hope it doesn't come down to that.

Cheers,
Ugorico
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:45 PM   #5
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A Honda EU2200i with a smart starter from microair.net will run your Coolcat A/C.
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:57 AM   #6
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I found I was able to run mine with a Honda 2000, though not in eco mode. In use I thought it needed refueling too frequently so I gave up on it!

Here's a video of it in operation at home:



It worked very similarly at around 5000ft.
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:45 AM   #7
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What does the micro-air do?
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyPP View Post
What does the micro-air do?
The Micro-Air link has detailed information. It is not a simple, cheap, capacitor that hard start kits are. The Micro-Air EasyStart is an electronic microprocessor controlled unit that "learns" after five start cycles what the ideal compressor start ramp power for your particular compressor is.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:33 PM   #9
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Hello Cloudrider,


You are correct regarding the 2.8 kW requirement when using the AC on the Cool Cat. I faced the same issues as you regarding purchasing a single big generator that had the minimum 2.8kW capacity which would be too heavy to load/unload and move around.


I've heard others state that they purchased a 2,000 watt generator and it worked for them but when considering the stated specs on the Cool Cat at a 2,800 watt draw, I didn't want to consider one generator with specs of 2,000 max watts of power.


I instead opted to go with the Honda EU2000i & Companion. This provides two generators working in Parallel. The combined continuous output for them is 3200 watts and 26.7 amps. This allows for operation of the AC on the Cool Cat with extra power available for some other stuff.


When we need generator power but not using the AC like in the fall of the year, we just use the EU2000i and don't combine it with the companion generator. The 2000 watt power of the single generator has worked great for us in the fall camping seasons.


The Honda EU2000i and Companion also has a maximum output for 30 minutes or shorter of 4000 watts and 33.3 amps.


These Hondas are quite while in the eco-throttle mode. I mean really quite!! They weigh about 45 lbs. each so they can easily be lifted into the back of a truck bed, etc. We have been very pleased with the purchase of these and have ALWAYS had enough power. I purchased a couple heavy duty storage tubs....(I think at Walmart) to store them in. If this is something you want to do, I could take a picture of the tubs I purchased. They needed a little retrofitting.....cutting away of some of lid structure on the inside so the handles of the generators would fit.


This subject (just like what is the best tow vehicle) typically draws many responses in this forum with folks having strong feelings regarding their generator choices and opinions. This is just my experience as one option. Hope this might be helpful for you in making your decision.


Best regards,


Terry
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:33 PM   #10
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When I bought my T-12 I already had a Honda EU3000is that I used as a home backup. I cut a plywood deck and mounted it where the propane bottles go.



Works real well, but only combined with my motorcycle carried on the rear as a counter-balance for the extra weight on the tongue.



BTW, you can carry weight on the rear of the camper with a suitable carrier:

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ml#post1031894


Because the camper axle is 2/3 of the way back from the coupler, the ratio of tongue weight to rear carry weight is 2 to 1 - i.e. 300 lbs. rear weight is balanced by 150 lbs. front weight.
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:37 PM   #11
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I recently ran some tests on startup surge.

Stock Cool Cat pulls 38 amps:



With a Supco SPP6 hard start kit it drops to 34.5 amps:



A Generac 2200 Inverter genny will not start it.
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alben View Post
A Honda EU2200i with a smart starter from microair.net will run your Coolcat A/C.
Or any other AC unit. The micro-air is awesome.
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Old 05-20-2018, 03:27 PM   #13
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Mirco-Air update!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ugorico View Post
We found that with our Yamaha 2k inverter we could not consistently power the Cool-Cat A/C in our A214HW which appears to have the same unit as yours. Usually it would just put the inverter into overload as soon as the compressor kicked on. There were a few times where it ran for a few minutes once the compressor was on but then the inverter would again go into overload.
I tried wiring in a hard-start capacitor in the circuit for the compressor which did not have any impact. I have heard stories where this low-cost option has worked for folks and figured I would start with this as it was the cheapest option.
As we enjoy the size and quietness of the Yamaha 2k we are still looking for a way to make it work. I will be ordering the EasyStart soft-starter product from www.micro-air.net within the next several months and give it a shot. There are some hopeful testimonials and reviews that make me think it is worth a shot at $300 bucks.
Worst case scenario I can send it back and start looking at a bigger generator but I really hope it doesn't come down to that.

Cheers,
Ugorico
UPDATE!
Just received my Easy Start 364 yesterday via FedEx. Looked up the wiring diagram for the Cool Cat which was easy to find on their website and got to work. Just had to flip the breaker for the Cool Cat and remove the metal cover on the Cool Cat that hides the run capacitor connections and wiring and make the appropriate connections to the run cap and controls. Took about 15 minutes.
I let the Easy Start go through its learning mode of 5 compressor start-ups on shore power and hooked up the A214 to my Yamaha 2000 inverter and set it to ECO mode. Poked my head in the camper and turned on the AC from the thermostat and it came on and worked great! The compressor start is much less noisy now and I was even able to run the microwave for 2 minutes while the cool-cat was blowing cold air. Ran the A/C several times for a half hour each time throughout the day and no problems.
I would highly recommend this unit to anyone that doesn't want to step up to a bigger and heavier generator. Their website had countless testimonials from small genset owners who had nothing but success with the unit.
Now that we have this figured out I am hard pressed to find anything else we need to do to make our camper perfect! Looking forward to heading out this Thursday for a much anticipated Memorial Day weekend.

Cheers,
Ugorico
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Old 05-20-2018, 03:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ugorico View Post
UPDATE!
Just received my Easy Start 364 yesterday via FedEx. Looked up the wiring diagram for the Cool Cat which was easy to find on their website and got to work. Just had to flip the breaker for the Cool Cat and remove the metal cover on the Cool Cat that hides the run capacitor connections and wiring and make the appropriate connections to the run cap and controls. Took about 15 minutes.
I let the Easy Start go through its learning mode of 5 compressor start-ups on shore power and hooked up the A214 to my Yamaha 2000 inverter and set it to ECO mode. Poked my head in the camper and turned on the AC from the thermostat and it came on and worked great! The compressor start is much less noisy now and I was even able to run the microwave for 2 minutes while the cool-cat was blowing cold air. Ran the A/C several times for a half hour each time throughout the day and no problems.
I would highly recommend this unit to anyone that doesn't want to step up to a bigger and heavier generator. Their website had countless testimonials from small genset owners who had nothing but success with the unit.
Now that we have this figured out I am hard pressed to find anything else we need to do to make our camper perfect! Looking forward to heading out this Thursday for a much anticipated Memorial Day weekend.

Cheers,
Ugorico
I am about to do the same thing on my A214. Do you mind posting pictures of the wire connections?
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:34 PM   #15
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I am about to do the same thing on my A214. Do you mind posting pictures of the wire connections?
I didn't think to take any pictures plus the lighting down there doesn't lend itself well to photos.

However it is a real simple 4 wire hookup. 3/5ths of the install involves connections on the run capacitor.
1. Remove the 6" white jumper with the black square 'starting device' from across the two terminals of the run cap. This is the part of the wiring diagram with the red X's on the connections. Some units use different version of a 'starting device' or hard start cap.
2. Connect the white wire of the easy-start to the same side of the run cap as the 120VAC neutral supply wire (white). Use a spade for this.
3. Connect the Orange wire of the easy-start to the other side of the run cap that has the red wiring on it (another spade connection).
4. Find the blue wire that plugs into small black relay that is mounted to the side of the wall above the run cap. Unplug it from the relay and cut it in half and use an end spice to connect the easy-start black wire into this circuit and plug it back into the relay.
5. There is a white wire leading from the run cap to the compressor. Disconnect it from the run cap and cut the spade off. Use a butt splice or end splice to connect the brown wire from the easy-start to the white wire leading to the compressor.

If you still don't feel comfortable I suggest either watching the wiring portion of their youtube installation video or send them a picture of your wiring once you have everything opened up. They can probably doctor up your picture with where you need to make the connections.

Cheers,
Ugorico
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:47 PM   #16
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Wandering Wagners on YouTube did and installation on one of their Airstream A/Cs. That might help a bit too.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:20 PM   #17
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How long will a tank of gas in the small 2000w units (I bought the Harbor Freight knock off) run the AC? I suppose it matters how hot it is which means how long it has to run. But say if it's 90 degrees, can you get through the night?
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:50 PM   #18
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I took several photos to document the installation of an EasyStart to my Dometic CoolCat A/C unit.

For reference, I used the wiring diagram that Micro-Air provided on their website for a Dometic CoolCat. I was able to install the EasyStart without any cutting or splicing. It was just a simple matter of crimping on appropriate terminal connectors and a bit of heat shrink. Best of all, this is easily reversible should my CoolCat need servicing, or if I should sell my RV.

1 Original wiring.jpg
This is the original factory wiring of the CoolCat.

2 Removal excess.jpg
PTCR removed. White wire to motor disconnected. Terminal "Y" put on K1 Relay and blue wire reconnected.

3 EasyStart wired up.jpg
Terminals crimped to EasyStart leads and connected to correct places.

4 Heat shrink applied.jpg
Heat shrink applied to exposed connection terminals of brown wire of EasyStart that is connected to white with blue tracer wire to compressor motor.

5 Finished.jpg
Cover put back on CoolCat.

6 Terminal Ys.jpg
Found these at the local automotive store. Used one on the K1 Relay connection to connect the relay, blue wire from compressor, and black wire from EasyStart. This saved me from having to cut and splice.
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:10 PM   #19
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I installed the EasyStart on a cool day and did initial testing. There is a jumper you move to reset the EasyStart so it can relearn a profile, which I did.

Then I waited until an 85F day. I started the CoolCat A/C five times so that the EasyStart learns and creates the most effective starting profile. This step takes a while. First you want to make sure it is a hot day for setup, as you want the pressures inside the A/C unit to replicate how you will use it normally (on hot days).

Connect to reliable short power.

Start the CoolCat A/C unit. Let the CoolCat run for a few minutes. Turn the A/C off. Wait 5 minutes. Do this at least 5 times.

I borrowed a Honda 2000i generator that is probably about 6-7 years old. I started the generator on Eco mode. Waited for it to warm up.

I plugged in my A-frame into the generator. Turned on the CoolCat A/C. I ran the A/C for about an hour. I purposely cycled the A/C on/off several times. The generator worked flawlessly without any overload faults.
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:45 AM   #20
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Wow, that ezstart is almost $300. I'm sure it is a wise purchase for many but for me, I rather have used that money for a higher capacity generator. Generators are like tow vehicles in my book, you cannot not have enough capacity and you will often need more capacity as you upgrade your Rv's in the future.
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