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Old 07-02-2011, 03:16 PM   #1
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Dry Camping and Usage of AC

Hi
I'm new to travel trailer camping. The Dealer told us we can't us our AC unless we're hooked up to 30 amp service. I believe our home has 15 amp. How (if it's possible) can we run our AC (while we are packing or if dry camping) which needs 30 amp if our real property home has 15 amp. They gave us a black adapter to convert the trailer plug from a 30 amp (?) plug to a 15 amp plug.
I am very confused.

HELP ?
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:14 PM   #2
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Maureen & Christina

Welcome to Sunline Owners Club and your new coach!

Now to the AC. For "just" the AC unit you need a 20 amp line to "start" the AC. Once it is started then it will run on less amperage, (around 11.5 amps actually) What we call the inrush, a large 37 amp surge for an instant, is the starting problem.

When plugged in the shore line cord it fires up the camper power convertor that can draw a few amps to many amps pending on the charge status of your battery. So if you are plugged into a home 15 amp circuit and the converter is consuming say 3 to 4 amps which is limited draw because your battery is pretty much charged,this then leaves 15 - 4 = 11 amps left over. The AC unit that has the 37 amp inrush starting spike will trip the 15 amp circuit in your house. You might get lucky once or twice but it will not work for long.

When you are plugged into a 30 amp service it can handle that momentary spike of the AC and only if you are not using the HW heater on electric and the fridge. You can sneak by with the fridge on electric but the HW will break the camels back trying to run the entire camper, AC, HW heater and fridge all at once. We use LP gas on the HW when we are in this situation.

If you want to run the AC at home, you can install a 30 amp 120 volt receptacle and run like you do in the camp ground. I have done this and so have many others.

To boondock and run the AC, you need to look for the Yamaha 2400 watt generator Yamaha Inverter EF2400iSHC Home, information
or any other 3,000 watt generator. Or other generator brand that can handle this situation.

The 2,000 watt generators will be working too hard to run the AC and you have to do some electrical thinking to even get them to work. I have a Honda EU2000I and if I create the right conditions I can run my 15,000 BTU generator but nothing else in the camper. Making it not a good long term solution for running AC. We beat the decision to death about the Eu2000I and the the Yamaha 2400 can came out with the Eu200I and if I ever want the AC I would add a 2nd Honda with the parallel hit and run the entire camper. So far this has not yet ever come to be a need.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-02-2011, 05:09 PM   #3
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The ideal setup would be to add atleast a 30Amp circuit (I added a 50Amp breaker) and run the proper weatherproof outlet close to where the TT is stored or placed for loading. I had a electrician friend install the proper gage wire for the size breaker so everything is up to code. Now I do have the ability to handle 50Amp but only use 30Amp capacity. There was little cost difference between 30Amp and 50Amp and I can handle any size camper I want.

With all that said, most of my friends only have a 30Amp cord they run to the TT while loading. They do not intend to camp in the driveway and can do without the A/C when loading or even for a few nights use as a extra bedroom for company when they just use a fan.

When dry camping you will need a generator of some sort. Look for the quietest one you can find with the capacity to run your entire TT needs.

jim
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:20 PM   #4
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We are new to the trailering scene and have dry camped a couple of times recently. I have a 3000 watt generator that can power the AC but when doing so, I wouldn't run the microwave and I was running the fridge on propane anyway for our entire stay. At home in the driveway I use a heavy duty extension cord and plug into one of the exterior recepticles and haven't had a problem yet. Maybe I'm just lucky?

Gary
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:55 PM   #5
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Can a cage be welded to the bumper to secure the generator? or will this cause problems with vibration or weight?

Dave
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebellious78 View Post
Can a cage be welded to the bumper to secure the generator? or will this cause problems with vibration or weight?

Dave
The rear bumper of Sunlines is designed to hold no more than 100#. They are actually welded in a way that will allow the bumper to tear off the mount if overloaded.

Depending on the generator, you may be better off to find an alternative place to carry it. Our Honda eu2000i travels in the bed of the pickup.

You could have a mount fabricated that bypasses the rear bumper and is properly connected to the frame. However, that may alter the geometry of your trailer to the point that it won't have enough tongue weight to safely tow the unit.
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