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Old 07-11-2020, 07:44 PM   #1
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AC Shoreline requirements

Hello everyone
New to RVing and not an electrician. I have a 2021 Classic, and wondering if I can run one of the 15,000 BTU AC units while only plugged into a standard 20 amp outlet for my temporary power supply for a few days. Certainly wouldn't want to damage the AC unit.

Only other electrical use would be lights (DC, right?) and radio while on work on interior. Maybe a TV on. No fridge.

Thanks!
Greg
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:30 PM   #2
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We have run a single unit this way and it has worked just fine!
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:37 PM   #3
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The starting current on the AC unit will exceed the breaker rating on the 20A circuit. Whether it will exceed it long enough to trip it is the question.

When I ran the shore power cable to the outlet and used an adapter there, it worked for me. When I ran an extension cord to the trailer and plugged the shore power cord into it with an adapter, the voltage drop in the extension cord was enough to raise the current and trip the breaker, even on run, not start.

Get a voltmeter and check the voltage at an outlet in the trailer with the AC running to ensure it is within the AC unit's specifications.
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:57 PM   #4
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My 15K roof ac runs at home fine on a 20A circuit on the opposite side of the house from my breaker box and while plugged into a 50 ft 10ga cord. Surprises me, but I check connections for signs of heat and stress and have found none.

I also ewligiously monitor voltage which drops from around to 123 volts which ac off, to 118-119 volts while ac compressor and fan are running. Not a bad drop in voltage, but somewhere 5 - 10 volts lower would be a sign of trouble.
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:05 PM   #5
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You can minimally get by on even a 15A circuit. 15 or 20, keep the water heater off while the AC is on. Also if you're using a 15 Amp extension cord, it is going to get a bit warm. I've been able to keep the refrig and one AC going on a 15 Amp circuit but I also have a soft start.
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:02 AM   #6
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X2 on the extension cord debacle. if you run a long 14 or 12 gauge extension cord for the 20Amp circuit the voltage drop will cause an over current condition. You need one of these. https://www.microair.net/collections...nt=30176048267 Good product, great customer service and they monitor the forums under the moniker Micro-Air. They used to offer a $25 discount to forum users by using the code AIRSTREAM cases sensitive at checkout, not sure if that offer is still in effect. If you aren't afraid to go up on the roof and you order the install kit it's pretty easy to install and allows you to run the AC with a 2000 w generator. Added benefit is that you can't even hear the compressor cycle in the coach after installation- Brad
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:09 AM   #7
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Yes you can do it. Installing a MicroAir easy start will make it much easier for the future times.
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:28 AM   #8
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A 20 amp breaker is really not sufficient. It may or may not start, and you could damage the AC unit. Why not have a 30 amp (or 50 amp) plug installed? Makes life so simple.
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:53 AM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestion. My internal SP shows a drop to 114v for line 1 and line 2, with a total of 26 amps when running. And since I'm on a 20 amp breaker decided to shut it down. Looks like I'll have to run at least a 30 amp circuit if I want to run air here.
Thanks again
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:55 AM   #10
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Thanks all...looks like my volatage drop is in excess of 9 volts per line and amps well over 20 with just ac (and lights) on...
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:56 AM   #11
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Yep...this seems to be the case.
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Old 07-13-2020, 11:48 AM   #12
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Wow that's a bit more than I would have figured. Good to know.
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Old 07-13-2020, 12:08 PM   #13
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Greg,

Just curious, how long is the extension cord and what AWG number is the wire? The AWG likely will be imprinted on the outer insulation.

Gary
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