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Old 11-19-2020, 04:40 PM   #1
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2021 23' International
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Installing a Micro-Air SoftStart

I'm a total novice when it comes to electronics but I really like the concept of installing a SoftStart in order to be able to use a smaller, easier to handle Honda 2200 when using the AC. My spouse can't live without AC but I tow with an SUV and have no room for a bigger generator.
Real trouble is that I'm not sure about how complicated this process is. Does installation require a professional?


Any useful tips from someone who has installed one before I burn up my trailer wiring?
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Old 11-19-2020, 04:48 PM   #2
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With only modest technical abilities, this is a doable project. That being said, the hardest part is not the installation. Indeed, I found the biggest difficulty working at height on the top of my trailer. There aren't too many places to step/sit on while you're up there.
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Old 11-19-2020, 05:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viking1 View Post
I'm a total novice when it comes to electronics but I really like the concept of installing a SoftStart in order to be able to use a smaller, easier to handle Honda 2200 when using the AC. My spouse can't live without AC but I tow with an SUV and have no room for a bigger generator.
Real trouble is that I'm not sure about how complicated this process is. Does installation require a professional?


Any useful tips from someone who has installed one before I burn up my trailer wiring?
Totally doable. The instructions are quite good. You can download them from Micro-Air in advance. Find some videos. This one is decent, although he makes it seem like he is making decisions when he is just following instructions.

As for getting on top, that is a problem. I did this method:
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Old 11-20-2020, 06:50 AM   #4
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I have installed a few of them. If I can you can. Order the installation kit. For about 10 bucks they put together the correct size splices/crimps ect. It makes getting ready for the installation less of a scavenger hunt. If at all possible try to do it on a weekday morning. This way you have the rest of the day to reach out to MicroAir should you need some help. They are super helpful nice guys. I can’t say enough about their product and company.
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:26 AM   #5
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2007 19' Bambi
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Installing a Micro-Air SoftStart

This is a must-do upgrade IMO. Easy to install and lots of good videos online. Just determine best installation site in AC compartment for the physical Micro-Air module first before making connections. Twin propane tanks biggest infrastructure option on AS for boondocking. I cut a hole in the back of my propane tank cover with a finished rubber grommet and run my 2200i with a Hutch mountain propane line off my street-side tank dedicating that side of AS for power. I run my other tank for AS operations and cooking on the curbside tank. Works great! Good luck!
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:41 AM   #6
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I installed one this summer on my 16” Sport. As another poster said, for me the most difficult part was working up high with little room to step or maneuver. After all was said and done I enjoyed doing it and am very happy with it.

My factory wiring was not exactly like the installation instructions, I had to make a minor improvisation. I don’t know if an absolute novice would have been able to do this.

Installation is definitely do it “yourselfable”, I would strongly advise anyone with doubts to recruit a friend with basic electrical skills to assist.
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Old 11-20-2020, 11:28 AM   #7
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Airstream advised me the soft start is not made in the US and would void the warranties on the air conditioning as it stresses son aspect of the electrical system. This is the full extent of my knowledge. Chuck
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Old 11-20-2020, 11:34 AM   #8
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Installing a Micro-Air SoftStart

MicroAir EasyStart has a warranty that if it causes damage to the air conditioning unit they cover it wether the air conditioning warranty does or not, no quibbles.

Whoever may have told you that is basically wrong on many levels. Made in the US or not is not relevant. The air conditioner isnít even made in the US.

Itís an easy improvement and, in my considered engineering opinion, will help extend the life of the compressor by reducing start up surges, monitoring voltage and current, and shutting off the compressor if they are out of range.

Dunno who told you this misinformation, but I suggest you donít pay attention to them...
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Old 11-20-2020, 12:10 PM   #9
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Yes the Honda 2200 can run the A/C, but...

I installed recently as well, I am a moron with less than stellar electrical knowledge, enough said. I was so excited to be able to take only one of the 2 generators it used to take to boon-dock with - the very dark downside of the being able to use only one generator dream is that there is not much else you can run when the AC is on. Can't run the fridge. The batteries are drawing power to be recharged, so I disconnected them. We were able to use the TV, but not charge electronics at the same time. Make sure the pump is off, turn lights off or way down, the hassles were frustrating. One generator running the AC, again, is great, one generator is loud too. I will still take both generators so I can run everything else and keep the (minimal Honda generator) noise down.
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Old 11-20-2020, 12:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Bye View Post
Airstream advised me the soft start is not made in the US and would void the warranties on the air conditioning as it stresses son aspect of the electrical system. This is the full extent of my knowledge. Chuck
MicroAir easy start is most definitely made in the USA.
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Old 11-20-2020, 12:43 PM   #11
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Here's my issue: I installed the Easy Start so I could run my AC with my Honda 2200i that I converted to propane. The generator will run the AC but the compressor shuts off after a few seconds. An Airstream tech suggested that because I have a 15000 btu AC it might be too much for a single generator. He also suggested I let the generator warm up first, set the AC fan to low before turning on the AC. Otherwise, it's get the Honda Companion. Thoughts anyone?
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Old 11-20-2020, 12:58 PM   #12
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Here's my issue: I installed the Easy Start so I could run my AC with my Honda 2200i that I converted to propane. The generator will run the AC but the compressor shuts off after a few seconds. An Airstream tech suggested that because I have a 15000 btu AC it might be too much for a single generator. He also suggested I let the generator warm up first, set the AC fan to low before turning on the AC. Otherwise, it's get the Honda Companion. Thoughts anyone?
May something else in the trailer is running. I would give MicroAir a call. They would be your best source.
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:37 PM   #13
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Once installed, can the Easy Start be trained via a household (20amp) connection, or Honda 2200 connection?
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by VeloBuckeye View Post
Once installed, can the Easy Start be trained via a household (20amp) connection, or Honda 2200 connection?
I used a 20amp household circuit. Worked fine.
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Old 11-20-2020, 05:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 911Airstream View Post
Here's my issue: I installed the Easy Start so I could run my AC with my Honda 2200i that I converted to propane. The generator will run the AC but the compressor shuts off after a few seconds. An Airstream tech suggested that because I have a 15000 btu AC it might be too much for a single generator. He also suggested I let the generator warm up first, set the AC fan to low before turning on the AC. Otherwise, it's get the Honda Companion. Thoughts anyone?
Make sure the electric heat element for the water heater is off. Switch the fridge to run on propane. Also try flipping the circuit breaker for the converter to off.

Finally, using a volt meter to check voltage inside the trailer, say the outlet by the sink. It should stay between 110 and 120. Compare that reading to voltage at the generator. I think the AC compressor will shut off if voltage gets really low, say 102 give or take. Voltage below 110 isn't good.
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Old 11-21-2020, 02:39 PM   #16
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Nothing in the trailer running. I tried to put it on "store" but it keeps showing 13.6 on the battery read so the thought was that the batteries charging was taking away from the start of the compressor. Voltage inside a trailer outlet is 126.2. That seemed high. I disconnected everything from the batteries, every cable. Still reads 13.6. I haven't had a chance to try the test the Airstream tech recommended.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:00 PM   #17
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Since your battery display is still reading 13.6 volts even when the battery is disconnected, its my guess your converter is still running off the propane generator, attempting to charge the batteries. 13.6 volts would be an appropriate wet cell charge voltage. To disable the converter the only way is to get to the trailers main panel and flip the appropriate (120 volt) circuit breaker to off.

I'm curious what the internal trailer voltage is when the AC compressor is attempting to run.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:50 AM   #18
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Does installation require a professional?
If you wired a mains plug before, then you can do it yourself.

A Softstart is a low pass filter device, which absorbs the spike caused by the AC motor when the thermostat closes.

A Softstart can be about 5 parts: coil, capacitor, timer and power transistor, or it can simply be one part: a thermistor.

There are 3 wires in (Ground, Neutral, Live) and 3 wires out (Ground, Neutral, Live). Don't put it the wrong way around. Don't mix up the three wires. That is it.

If it wuz me, I would buy a surge arrestor thermistor at Digikey for about 50c (plus 50 Dollars postage!), screw it to an aluminium bracket and wire it up. However, the Softstart vendor needs to sell you something substantial, else you won't want to give them any money for their trouble...
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:10 AM   #19
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Good details and video

https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/pro...oning-off-grid
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:12 AM   #20
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softstart-Not great for us

I Installed a softstart on our 2016 19ft flying cloud in July. Not difficult and there is a great video out there on YouTube that walks you through it.

It's not been as good for us as others state. We use a new Honda 2200i converted to propane. At lower altitudes or cooler climate, it keeps the compressor running. However, we drove out to Tronas California and dry camped in the desert in October. not sure of altitude, but temp was about 88 degrees. Fired up the Honda and tried running AC, but compressor would start and then shut-off after about 3 minutes. then you just get air blowing from the vents.. not cool. I did try disconnecting everything else including charger, but did not make a difference.. Kinda a waste of money to buy something to enable AC only when it's cool outside.
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