New to the RV world with A/C trouble

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Sunchaser 59

New member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
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3
I have read some of the posts and it seems that there are many folks here with a ton of experience and knowledge.  My wife and I bought our first RV this summer.  It is a 2004 Itaska Suncruiser on a Workhorse chassis.  The only problem we are having is the basement air doesn't seem to cool nearly as well on generator power as it does on shore power.  When plugged in to shore power you could hang meat inside and it wouldn't soon spoil.  On generator power it is barely tolerable.  On shore power it shows 23 amps on the board and on generator it shows 17 amps.  I am puzzled.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,527
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
You have a two stage a/c unit, designed so that it can run one compressor instead of two when power is limited.  At a guess, something is limiting the available power when the genset is the source.  My first thought would be to check the circuit breaker(s) on the genset to make sure both are on (if there are two of them - may be only one).  Second place to investigate is the auto transfer switch that shifts the power source from shore to genset. Maybe only half of it is switching.    Is there anything else that fails to work when using the genset?

Please provide a few more background facts: Is this coach 30A shore power or 50A? What size/model of generator does it have?
 

Sunchaser 59

New member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Posts
3
Thanks.  It is a 30 amp unit and the generator is 7,000 Onan.  The microwave and everything works except the air performs less than desirable.  The breakers on the gen set has a 30 and a 20 and both are on.  The thought of that transfer switch is very logical.  I will check out the auto transfer switch thanks!
 

DearMissMermaid

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Dec 26, 2009
Posts
2,572
Location
on the move, USA
In my little old motorhome, I had to warm up the generator before I could turn on the AC. This typically took about 3 minutes, then I could turn on the AC and have super cold air. That was in my Class C with a 4KW generator.

Typically when one starts a generator, everything plugged in and turned on, including the battery charger, is fighting for the power. I would turn everything off before starting the generator (flip off my breakers) let the generator warm up then start turning things on. If AC was a priority then naturally... I turned it on first and got it super happy and cooling before adding more stuff to the load.

This spring I traveled in a camper van with a 2kw generator and it would run the AC if we switched the fridge to propane AND waited about 5-7 minutes for the generator to warm up. No idea why we had to wait (I am not a techno guru) but that is how we learned to work it, so we were plenty happy. I speculate that the battery charger was hogging the generator for that first 5-7 minutes and once it settled down, the AC was happy.

Once the AC was running and the place cooled down, we could usually switch the fridge back to electric (if we remembered!) and both would run off the 2kw.

I think it had something to do with the AC and fridge  both needing extra "starting" power as opposed to "running" power.

I just used my ears to listen to the generator, as I could tell from listening to it, when it was warmed up and happy. My friend thought I was psychic, cause he couldn't really hear the differences I was hearing.

Somebody with techno expertise can probably explain all this a lot better...  ;D
 
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