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Old 02-22-2020, 07:15 AM   #1
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SoftStartRV by NetworkRV - air conditioner upgrade

I know there are lots of Air Forums members who have installed a device that allows your air conditioner to start-up with a lower than normal current draw. The product I'm thinking of has been around for several years and has gained widespread acceptance. Lots of people are now able to operate their rooftop air conditioners using a 2000W generator.

Now there's a competing product: SoftStartRV by NetworkRV. I don't claim to know the similarities and differences between the SoftStart product and it's competitor but wanted to let Air Forums members know there is an alternative. The introductory price for SoftStartRV is several dollars lower than the other product. Not sure how long the introductory price will last but it may be worth buying one now before the price increases.

If you're attending the Havana Airstream rally in Havana, FL in March 2020 you should have received an email about the SoftStart product. If you're not attending the rally ask a friend that is attending for a copy of the email so you can receive an even lower club price if you're interested.

I am not affiliated with SoftStartRV in any way. However, we did meet an executive from the company at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa in January 2020 and he was obviously very excited about introducing the product.

Look around on the internet, take a look at the pictures and YouTube video referenced below. I hope somebody out there will do a side by side comparison of SoftStart and the other product and let us know how they perform. Inquiring minds want to know...

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Old 02-22-2020, 08:32 AM   #2
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I tried to browse the NetworkRV website and they appear to be an aggregator, not a manufacturer. I would be wary of finding technical support for this device, lacking any experience from forum members on that count. The technical support that Micro-Air has provided forum members, and myself, over the years has been outstanding.
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Old 02-22-2020, 08:41 AM   #3
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I forgot to include a link to the SoftStartRV product web page. Here ya' go:

https://www.softstartusa.com/

Reading through the SoftStartRV web page you'll find detailed information about the product. At that point you can compare specifications to similar products on the market. I don't have any first-hand experience with the SoftStartRV product or the other product on the market. Until I personally know of a problem, or know somebody who has experienced a problem I will refrain from throwing stones at the SoftStartRV product and I hope others will do the same. In general, I think competition is a good thing.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:06 PM   #4
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I talked to Matteo about this product. It is a rip off of his technology by a former partner of MicroAir. Matteo will be chiming in here soon about the differences and, there are many. For the difference in price, I would stay with the Microair Easystart that includes the support, installation help, and support by many of us here who have installed the original product.

One of the differences in the two products is the "learning" computer that is built into the Easystart. The "RV" knockoff does NOT have this.

Stay tuned for a better explanation that Matteo will bring.
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Old 02-22-2020, 08:42 PM   #5
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This product is being sold on Amazon for about $227 including free shipping and the installation kit. There are 5 reviews and they are all 5-stars. I would not hesitate to buy this product based on what I have read. One review even mentions the excellent technical support they received from the seller. These devices are not based on rocket science.
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:23 PM   #6
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SoftStartRV by NetworkRV - air conditioner upgrade

Doug Curtis was former VP marketing of dometic. Dometic OEM’d the hyper engineering soft starter. I wouldn’t be surprised if the unit being marketed here is manufactured by hyper engineering.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billrector View Post
This product is being sold on Amazon for about $227 including free shipping and the installation kit. There are 5 reviews and they are all 5-stars. I would not hesitate to buy this product based on what I have read. One review even mentions the excellent technical support they received from the seller. These devices are not based on rocket science.
Actually I think the technology for a good device is closer to rocket science than electrical wiring. To disclose, I was one of the early adopters of the EasyStart in Airstreams; I installed the circuit board version in my control box and obtained a bunch of excellent technical support, including an offer by Matteo to come to my location when I had a board failure. The brain in the EasyStart is what differentiates it from the simple, old hard-start capacitor package. Micro-Air used my experience to conclude that a separate box is the only real solution for the newer A/C units. I was so impressed with the performance and technical support that I bought their larger unit for my home heat pump, since it runs off a generator during power outages. In today's world of online purchases and uncertain product origins, I am willing to pay a premium for solid technical support.
Larry
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:59 AM   #8
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Hello again everyone. Matteo here again in behalf of Micro-Air. Thank you Turk123 for your post, and thank you to wulfraat and Larry as well. It is good to see posts from everyone again.

As many of you are aware, Micro-Air has had the privilege of contributing to this forum for several years now, and we are very mindful of the rules that apply to manufacturers. I therefore want to state up front that we have no intention of stating one way or the other as to which soft start product you should purchase. Nor are we going to denigrate the NetworkRV SoftStartRV product. Quite to the contrary, we at Micro-Air welcome the competition! It only makes us better, and do a better job for our customers!

Even though you have not heard from us much on this forum over the past year or so, there has been a lot of further development of EasyStart going on in the background. Specifically, the Micro-Air EasyStart completed almost a 1-year journey into UL Compliance testing, and passed with success in November 2019! The Micro-Air is now UL compliant, and we are very proud of this achievement. For those who are aware, attaining UL compliance is a very arduous and expensive process. Now, EasyStart is being promoted beyond RV and marine and into the home/commercial solar and standby generator markets. I’m with the entire Micro-Air team this weekend at the Home and Garden Show in Edison, NJ! Please stop by to see us today (Sunday) if you’re in the area.

Beyond this, I have personally been working on some other major design engineering enhancements to the EasyStart that I can’t tell you about at this point (so that we don’t tip off our new competitor!) I will say though that they are really cool and they’re only going to enhance the product quality, ease of installation, and ease of troubleshooting. As Turk123 and Larry so kindly mentioned, we at Micro-Air care about our customer service, and we will do anything possible to resolve any issues. Case and point, when I fly back to South Florida on Monday, I’ll be paying a local Airstream owner a visit who had an EasyStart installed during the 2019 International Rally in Doswell since he discovered a problem with his A/C during his early 2020 season trailer preparations. It’s almost spring break time in Florida!

In any case, as Turk123 also mentioned, we have evaluated the NetworkRV soft start product and created a very detailed technical report. I’m going to post this report later this week, so please stay tuned. It will present the findings in a factual manner, without any bias, leaving the choice totally up to all of you as to which product you consider superior and a better value.

Beyond this, please visit the Airstream classifieds to see an updated ad on what we’re offering exclusively to our Airstream customers, who we appreciate so much!

Thank you again to everyone for all of your years of undying support and patronage.
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:29 AM   #9
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I’ve had great luck with MicroAir and their responsiveness to my needs and questions. As many of you my know I thought I had an issue with my EasySTART. They provided me with great support. Turned out to be the campgrounds incoming power was the problem and the EasySTART was protecting my compressor!
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:10 AM   #10
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I also have been very pleased with my micro-air and the support needed during installation. They go above and beyond to make sure you get it done right, even if doing it yourself.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:46 AM   #11
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Matteo has been great with the Oliver community, too. Attends our rally, does many installs and provides outstanding service.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:53 AM   #12
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Have not installed an Easy Start yet.

Following

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Old 02-23-2020, 01:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
I’ve had great luck with MicroAir and their responsiveness to my needs and questions. As many of you my know I thought I had an issue with my EasySTART. They provided me with great support. Turned out to be the campgrounds incoming power was the problem and the EasySTART was protecting my compressor!
Interesting, this likely explains an issue at the busiest State park in Texas last year!
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:17 PM   #14
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I put the original easy start in my 23FB years years ago. I needed a lot of help getting it in place and working properly. It was the original unit and a very tight fit.
Looking forward to the changes coming out. I switched trailers and have a larger AC unit.
I don’t recall, and don’t want to go back through the previous easy start threads. Does installing an Easy start void the Mfg warranty?
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:50 PM   #15
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Another very happy user of a self-installed EasyStart.
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:29 PM   #16
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Another very happy user of a self-installed EasyStart.
Plus one! Stick with what you know. MicroAir is a great company.
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Old 02-23-2020, 08:19 PM   #17
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Thank you again to everyone for all of your kind words and support!

Quote:
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Does installing an Easy start void the Mfg warranty?
Hi GettinAway. The short answer is yes, if the unit is ever submitted for a claim with the EasyStart still installed. Adding an EasyStart is akin to adding a hard start device, so why the OEMs would turn a blind eye to one and not the other is still unclear to us. We at Micro-Air know all of the teams at Coleman/Airxcel and Dometic quite well. Sadly, if you call them up and ask if they'll honor their warranty if you install an EasyStart, they likely say "no". Honestly, we can't blame them for taking that position because we wouldn't want anyone modifying our equipment either.

But, the reality of the matter is - as has been discussed across this forum many times before - use of an EasyStart actually protects your compressor far better than the OEM configuration AND it actually helps extend the life of the compressor by eliminating of all the mechanical and electrical stress that the normal hard startups cause. The OEMs know this, but they still won't budge from their position.

To deal with this, about a year ago Micro-Air introduced a very low-cost, extended warranty plan where they would cover the entire A/C unit for the warranty period for any failure that could be attributed to the EasyStart (i.e. to the compressor). Of course, a refrigerant leak or a failed condenser/evaporator fan has nothing to do with EasyStart, so that the OEM manufacturer should certainly still cover if you removed the EasyStart before sending it in. I'm happy to say that there haven't been any such extended warranty claims yet. This supports the common sense reality that EasyStart adds no risk and instead better protects the compressor.

It's been 4 years now since EasyStart has become very popular in the RV aftermarket, and the track record speaks for itself. The choice is entirely up to you as to whether or not you want to install the EasyStart device into your A/C. I hope this helps.
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Old 02-24-2020, 06:08 AM   #18
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Hello again everyone. Matteo here again in behalf of Micro-Air.

Thank you again to everyone for all of your years of undying support and patronage.
Matteo, thank you for taking time to post your very professional response. I have a question about Micro-Air and the WBCCI International Rally. If I understand correctly, Micro-Air attends the rallies and does installations.

We'll be attending our first rally and staying in the non-generator area. Are you able to do installations on trailers "in-place" and if so, how do you manage to "train" the system by running it on the limited power? We're told running AC on the supplied power is not allowed.

Looking forward to meeting you in Loveland (hope you get to attend).
Thanks, Jeff
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Old 02-24-2020, 06:57 AM   #19
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Thanks Matteo. I’ll be ordering this summer. Any idea when the next “updated” units will be available?
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:01 AM   #20
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Yet another self install here, two actually... one for each AC. Stick with EasyStart.
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