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Old 06-14-2020, 10:24 AM   #1
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A/C Soft Start Intall?

Has anyone installed either soft start or easy start on their 30 Amp Air Conditioner? Based on the videos I've watched they slow the surge when the AC kicks on. This would allow you to run your AC of a 110 volt 15 amp service while mooch docking. We're thinking of installing one on our Outlook.
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Old 06-14-2020, 10:33 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by GJOoutlook31 View Post
Has anyone installed either soft start or easy start on their 30 Amp Air Conditioner? Based on the videos I've watched they slow the surge when the AC kicks on. This would allow you to run your AC of a 110 volt 15 amp service while mooch docking. We're thinking of installing one on our Outlook.
The AC isn't actually 30 amp. The bigger problem starting ACs may be mainly with smaller generators. I somewhat doubt you have a problem starting from 15 amp, but I don't have a lot of experience trying that. I'm assuming nothing else on the house's 15 amp circuit. Think of it as being like running a larger window air conditioner in a house. So the first step would be to just try it. Or maybe before that get some idea of the electrical draw of the AC unit.

One other option would to install either a 20 amp (110 volt) or 30 amp (220 volt) outlet near the breaker box. That could be relatively inexpensive, although permits might add another couple hundred dollars. Planned right though it might allow use of an electric car charger for future use, and thus improve resale value of the house. This assumes the breaker box can handle either a 110 or 220 volt additional circuit. That could be a problem with some older boxes.
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Old 06-14-2020, 10:42 AM   #3
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The AC isn't actually 30 amp.
This is true... BUT. Most folks bring the RV home, plug it into a 15-amp outlet and don't stop to think about the other things using that shore power.

Many have their RV Fridge on "auto" so it' switches to electric. And, the converter/charger swings into action adding amps to the RV's batteries.

The A/C will probably run on 12 to 13 amps, but a starting jolt can easily top 30 amps momentarily. This is what taxes the home 15-amp connection and the small generator, as well.

A soft start can help tremendously with this issue and help your A/C's compressor all the time - at home or on the road.

There are a lot of YouTube videos of these installs. Just do a search for whatever brand you're planning to use and I'll bet there is an install video out there.
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Old 06-14-2020, 10:51 AM   #4
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This is true... BUT. Most folks bring the RV home, plug it into a 15-amp outlet and don't stop to think about the other things using that shore power.

The A/C will probably run on 12 to 13 amps, but a starting jolt can easily top 30 amps momentarily. This is what taxes the home 15-amp connection and the small generator, as well.
But the difference is the home system will provide that current--for a short time, where the generator simply cannot. Good points about not having other stuff on! Furnace fan, electric water heater, microwave all should be off.
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Old 06-14-2020, 11:41 AM   #5
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I installed a 30 Amp hookup at my house and it works fine, However before I installed it when I connected my RV to the house it could not handle the AC, everything else works. We will be mooch docking this summer this at relatives in the mid-west, hot and humid. Will the the soft start or easy start allow us to run the AC off a 15 amp circuit?
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Old 06-14-2020, 12:29 PM   #6
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Getting back to the soft start that the OP asked about, which the answers indicate would help the OP's situation . . . does anyone have a favorite brand to recommend, or a brand to avoid.
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Old 06-14-2020, 12:45 PM   #7
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Understanding the problems it may give the AC might help as it is not a sudden puff of smoke that we can all see when we try it.
When any motor of this sort starts, it is a near zero resistance until the parts get moving as the motor turns. So when the compressor starts to move it needs to jump up to move quickly as there is a lot of current flowing through the small wire windings at first. This excessive current flow causes the wires to heat more than normal running, so if we try to start a motor when the voltage swings really low and do it often enough, we begin to melt the covering on the wires as it is often more like paint or shellac than insulation on most wires.
That is where the term for motors "burning out" comes in!
I do not want to get talked into any new "magic" fixes that I see advertised when I know that repeated abuse may cost me a new compressor on the AC.
Careful about trusting sales pitches.
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Old 06-14-2020, 12:54 PM   #8
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Careful about trusting sales pitches.
Are you saying you don't trust these devices? I've yet to install one on my new trailer and have been skeptical since the manufacturers don't install them. That's why I've been looking at things like hybrid inverters.
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Old 06-14-2020, 02:13 PM   #9
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Can't say I don't trust them, just normal to be somewhat slow to adopt things that are advertised without too many details. Just not convinced of the need for something I don't know much about.
Using 15 amp to run an AC? Seems it is never done in any other place like houses, so I'm inclined to wait and see.
Not something that I have a use for, so never looked further. Neither for nor against at this point so just recommending careful thought.
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Old 06-14-2020, 02:25 PM   #10
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Not something that I have a use for, so never looked further. Neither for nor against at this point so just recommending careful thought.
I'm mainly interested because I've yet to buy a small generator. My 3000 watt tri-fuel would be perfect, but it's too damn big and too damn heavy!

I'm thinking about getting this generator just to have a few extra watts over the smaller generators, but I'd like to open up the generator options.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086Q3M7B5...v_ov_lig_dp_it
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Old 06-14-2020, 04:08 PM   #11
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GJOoutlook31, I installed an Easy Start on our Dometic 13.5 A/C so we could reliably start and run it using our Honda 2200 generator. We've mooch docked and ran the A/C off a dedicated 20 amp house circuit with no problems, but I don't believe we've tried it on a 15 amp house circuit. I installed a dedicated 30 amp/120V RV circuit at home.

I know Easy Start has a FAQ section, you may want to check that out. What size is your A/C? 13.5 or 15
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Old 06-15-2020, 09:20 AM   #12
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GJOoutlook31, I installed an Easy Start on our Dometic 13.5 A/C so we could reliably start and run it using our Honda 2200 generator.
Had you tried it before the Easy Start with that generator?
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Old 06-16-2020, 05:08 PM   #13
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Had you tried it before the Easy Start with that generator?
I don't believe I did. If I did, I don't remember. Sorry, that was a couple years ago.
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Old 06-21-2020, 06:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by GJOoutlook31 View Post
I installed a 30 Amp hookup at my house and it works fine, However before I installed it when I connected my RV to the house it could not handle the AC, everything else works. We will be mooch docking this summer this at relatives in the mid-west, hot and humid. Will the the soft start or easy start allow us to run the AC off a 15 amp circuit?
I suspect another issue and likely with your newly installed hook-up. Verify the correct wire gauge used for the distance of the run.
Do you have an EMS (electrical mangement system)? If so, it will display the line voltage and should protect your unit from surges.
If no EMS, check the newly run hookup; measure the voltage at the outlet without the coach connected. You should be at 120 volt, no lower than 110.
Then, connect the coach and place lite electrical load and check your volts. Since you stated you installed the 30 amp service , I assume you have an amp meter. Check your amp draw as you place additional load.
The soft start will aide to starting your A/C unit but should not be used to supplement low voltage.

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Old 06-22-2020, 06:59 AM   #15
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I installed two Easy Start circuit boards in my two A/C heat pumps and they work great with my 5500 Genset, no more drag on Genset at start up.
I picked the non boxed circuit board type because they were 100 bucks cheaper. They were a bit more work to install but well worth the savings. Before you buy the board units make sure you have a enclosed place in the A/C unit to install them. Looking forward to mooching off my in-law's summer house power this year. lol If anyone has any questions please just ask.
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Old 06-22-2020, 09:20 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
The AC isn't actually 30 amp. The bigger problem starting ACs may be mainly with smaller generators. I somewhat doubt you have a problem starting from 15 amp, but I don't have a lot of experience trying that. I'm assuming nothing else on the house's 15 amp circuit. Think of it as being like running a larger window air conditioner in a house. So the first step would be to just try it. Or maybe before that get some idea of the electrical draw of the AC unit.

One other option would to install either a 20 amp (110 volt) or 30 amp (220 volt) outlet near the breaker box. That could be relatively inexpensive, although permits might add another couple hundred dollars. Planned right though it might allow use of an electric car charger for future use, and thus improve resale value of the house. This assumes the breaker box can handle either a 110 or 220 volt additional circuit. That could be a problem with some older boxes.
30A RV service is 120VAC. Too many electricians have found this out the hard way by having to pay for repairs to the RV they cooked. 50A service is 240VAC.
Another way of looking at this. A 30A RV is just that. You are limited to 30A of AC appliance current. A 50A RV is 100A of available current on 2 50A circuits. In reality we are limited to 80% by law. In practice I have seen my coach draw nearly full load for short periods of time on 50A service.
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Old 06-22-2020, 09:28 AM   #17
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30A RV service is 120VAC. Too many electricians have found this out the hard way by having to pay for repairs to the RV they cooked. 50A service is 240VAC..
My mistake--we'd been dealing with 30 amp dryer connections too and so that's what I was thinking about. Those are 220, but yes the RV 30 amp outlets are 110.
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