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Old 09-28-2008, 09:17 AM   #1
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1976 31' Excella 500
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AC has trouble starting

Sometimes my AC unit will start fine, and blows out cold air. Other times the compressor will try to start, but after maybe 45 seconds it will trip the circuit breaker on the generator. The generator is 5000w so it should be more than enough.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:28 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums.

This same issue was in this thread. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...tor-45251.html
The generator may be rated at 5000 watts which would equal around 40 amps which would be more then enough to power the AC, but is the output split into 2 separate circuits. If the generator has an outlet for 240 volts it is really two 120 volt 20 amp circuits.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:31 AM   #3
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Yep. Your "5000 watt" contractor generator only puts out about 2400 watts (20 amps) per 120VAC circuit, and some lower-priced units are overrated and may not do that in the real world. You can't combine the two 120VAC outputs into one because they're 180 out of phase.

In general, a real 2400W generator is enough to power an air-conditioned Airstream, at least within a couple of thousand feet of sea level, but other demands have to be minimized. For sure, you have to be running the refrigerator off gas rather than "auto" which uses 120VAC when available. It's best that the batteries are pretty well charged so the converter isn't drawing much from the generator. No microwave, hair dryer, etc while the AC is on.

For what it's worth, a 5000 watt contractor generator should have enough horsepower to maintain 2400 watts on one circuit at higher altitudes. Just don't be surprised if you're asked to shut it off or leave in many parks.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisA View Post
Sometimes my AC unit will start fine, and blows out cold air. Other times the compressor will try to start, but after maybe 45 seconds it will trip the circuit breaker on the generator. The generator is 5000w so it should be more than enough.
Depending on the age of your trailer the AC may need a hard start capacitor.
My original cap blew up after too many failed starts.

You did not say what year model of trailer or the size and age of the AC unit. These facts can help us help you.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help. Problem solved. It was the generator, and operator error.
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