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Old 08-13-2014, 04:45 PM   #1
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running air conditioner on generator

When you can't plug in at a camp site, will your AC run on the generator?
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:53 PM   #2
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It will if your generator produces enough "juice." You need to look at the amps that your AC needs and make sure your generator can provide that much power.
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:56 PM   #3
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I should have added that there are lots of threads on this forum that cover this issue ad nauseam. Use the search function on the blue bar near the top of the page and you'll be amazed at the amount of information that exists on this subject.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by abmoscrip View Post
When you can't plug in at a camp site, will your AC run on the generator?

In a word, yes. Surprised your dealer didn't mention this or actually start the generator to demo it. I did find when it was very hot, 95*+, you might have to shut the inverter off to reduce the current draw to prevent the EMS from shedding load if the current draw exceeds 20 amps.
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:02 PM   #5
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Oops, I see now that you have a Class B Interstate van which has the built in genny. Yes, your built in generator should run your AC provided you don't put too much other load on it such as the microwave, hair dryer or possibly even the fridge. I'll let other Interstate owners with more direct experience with this situation comment on this question.

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Old 08-13-2014, 06:43 PM   #6
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There's a lot to take in when you take over your new Interstate, so I'd advise you to take the time to browse through the Owner's Manual; in fact my preference is to download the manual in PDF form from the Airstream website so you can search through it more easily.

The generator can supply 20 amps, and your AC will use around 14 amps depending on thermostat settings and ambient temperature, etc. If you look on the Power Control System display, it tells you the current draw in amps.

I don't use the generator very much - I find the noise to be overbearing. But I do run it once a month to exercise it - and load it by running the AC. I also run the generator and AC when I'm waiting for my wife at the hairdressers in Phoenix
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:45 PM   #7
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In a word, Yes.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:45 AM   #8
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Your generator will run your AC, yes.

The question is, do you want to use the fuel to run the generator as opposed to just finding a site with electricity?

We have never run the AC off the generator. Closed up, with the vent fan on high, draws cooler air in nicely.

Our general rule of thumb, but for the 3 days we spent at Padre Island NS last year , is that if we must have AC or heat, we get a campground with electricity.

Not worth it, for us, to run the generator full time.


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Old 08-14-2014, 08:16 AM   #9
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I prefer shore power as well if AC is needed.

We did get held up by an accident for 1 1/2 hours between San Antonio and Houston on our last trip. Fired up the generator brewed a couple kcups and turned on our roof air for the wait.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:18 AM   #10
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running AC while driving

I was told that we can run the AC while driving. So, I turned on the AI, then, set the thermostat to 75. I got an error message E7??? What am I doing wrong? Shouldn't the AC be running off of the house batteries?
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:27 AM   #11
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On an Airstream Interstate the AC WILL NOT RUN OFF BATTERIES. Your inverter is only 1000 watts (less than 10 amps of power) and the AC will draw upwards to 15+ amps. The only thing that runs on your inverter/batteries is the TVs, 1 outlet down behind the driver and the fridge (which is 12v or 115v). You need to run the genny for the AC to operate OR you must be plugged into shore power. Since I no longer own an AI I forget what the E7 code is but I think it is low voltage or no power. Which would make sense without the genny running.

Yes you can run the AC while driving BUT the genny needs to be on also. And yes you will find many comments on having propane on or off while driving. Its like asking a group of people which is better: Ford or Chevy. There is no law against leaving on the propane while driving, except for certain bridges, tunnels and ferry boats.

My soon-to-be delivered Roadtrek E-trek WILL run everything on batteries thru a 5000 watt inverter. It does not have a propane genny under the floor but has a 3000-5000 watt generator on the Mercedes engine that will charge the batteries and/or run the AC while driving or parked. 3000 watts at engine idle and 5000 watts at highway speeds.
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:52 PM   #12
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The microwave also requires the generator or shore power.

Might check the t-stat manual for error code breakdown.
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abmoscrip View Post
I was told that we can run the AC while driving. So, I turned on the AI, then, set the thermostat to 75. I got an error message E7??? What am I doing wrong? Shouldn't the AC be running off of the house batteries?
From the Thermostat User's Guide:
E7 Loss of 120 VAC power to all power module boards on the system. The system
will shut down.
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