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Old 06-20-2003, 02:30 PM   #1
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Troubleshooting power A/C

1973, 31', Internat'l SLY

The A/C runs and puts out cool air, but after 10-20 minutes it pops the circuit breaker. Initially, I had an extra extention cord in the plug-in circuit and figured that was causing the overload. BTW, the circuit breaker in my house box was the one that tripped. This happened 4-6 times. I removed the fiberglass cover and super cleaned the cooling fins, but it still tripped the circuit breaker.

So, I moved the trailer to a spot closer to a plug-in. It ran longer -- cooling, just fine -- but finally after about 30 minutes the circuit breaker in the trailer tripped.

It is an Armstrong, Columbus, OH, 20 amp. unit.

Any ideas for a fix?
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Old 06-20-2003, 02:46 PM   #2
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Troubleshooting power A/C

Greetings JimF!

I suspect that the circuit breaker in your house is reacting to a normal overload situation - - assuming that it is a typical 15 or 20 AMP circuit. Eight years ago after purchasing my Overlander, I tried operating my Armstrong BayBreeze air conditioner utilizing a 20 AMP circuit in my garage (my regular power cord on the trailer was able to reach the nearest outlet that was about 20 feet from the circuit breaker panel). I too experienced the tripping of the circuit, and the end result was burning out the compressor motor on the air conditioner unit. My dealer advised that the compressor motor was overloading my household circuit when it kicked into cooling mode - - or when the circuit didn't trip it was drawing down to the extent that the motor would overheat as it began the cooling cycle.

Lesson learned - - I now have had an electrician professionally wire in RV-type 30 AMP outlets for each of my trailers within reach of their electrical cords. The cost was $90 per outlet for installation and romex cable (I had the boxes and outlets that were purchased from my local Airstream dealer) - - a cheap insurance policy for my new Coleman air conditioner in the Argosy and the now three year old Coleman air conditioner in the Airstream.

I hope that you don't find that your compressor motor has been damaged.

Kevin
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Old 06-20-2003, 02:57 PM   #3
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So, you figure that I am just using all the available current.... Well, I live way back in the boondocks -- heck, people would love to come here to camp! -- and our power is less than uniform voltage. Before I install a 30 amp breaker on that circuit, maybe I'll roll out my generator (40 amp) and see how that does.

As long as it cools, the compressor motor must be OK.
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Old 06-28-2003, 08:50 PM   #4
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successful test

It has taken me a few days to get to it, but this evening I cranked up my generator (40 amp.) and plugging in the trailer. A/C seemed to work fine. No circuit breakers popped.

So, I guess I'll just get power from the generator -- for the short term. Later, I'll have to add a 30 amp circuit.

BTW, the generator is WAY too loud to be tolerated "camping" with others around. My lab, who normally is my shadow, won't even stay around when it is running!
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