A good question. Electrical equipment are very sensitive top charge and voltages. As a result, being certain of whether or not to use a certain source of power is important since damages may easily occur if any incompatibilities occur. You may not like the aftermath of electrical damages since some damages may be severe and you may need to purchase the equipment.
So, can I run my RV air conditioner on 110? Yes, but it is not recommended unless you take precautions. There are several factors to consider before plugging in the RV to a 110 power source such as your household outlet since the air conditioner is very sensitive to voltage fluctuations.
You can use a voltage meter that you can plug the AC outlet in the camper. If the voltmeter is green then the voltage is safe and you can plug the AC.
However, if you are plugging in the AC in an extension then note that a household outlet with 100 ft skinny extension cord results in a voltage drop and the AC may get damaged.
It is because voltage drop is directly proportional to cord length. So, if you have to use an extension the most suitable one a minimum of 12 gauge since it has less losses. Otherwise, if your cord is not heavy duty please do not use it.
Also, you can consider using a 30/50 amp receptacle. Having to use a receptacle is much affordable that having to replace the whole AC unit due to electrical damages on the board or compressor.
You can also consider investing in a voltage booster. It boosts low voltages and also helps in cutting off voltage spikes. In that manner, your AC gets protected against voltages fluctuations.
Besides, be sure to follow the manufactures guidelines on the same. Similarly, caution should be taken when plugging in the RV in a dryer outlet.
Can You Run RV AC Off House?
Yes. Please do not connect it directly. Instead use a 20 or 15 amp. Ensure nothing is plug in the circuit when doing this. Follow the following steps to safely link your AC to the house outlet.
1. Identify the type of electrical outlet that you wish to use. I mean, is it 15 or 20 amps. Check on the circuit breaker in your house you will see it marked.
2. You require 30 amp to 15 amp straight adapter of 125 volt. If it is a 50 amp system then you will require a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter.
3. The adapter cord ought to be long enough to reach the house outlet. Use a 25’ 10 gauge extension cord. I am specific on the gauge of the cord you should use since lower gauge cord experiences high loses that can result in under voltage reaching your AC and can cause damages.
Besides, low gauges are susceptible to overheating, melting the insulation sheath and can also trigger fire.
Power your device
4. It is safe if run the ac alone on that circuit. Plugging in other high amp devices such as microwave oven, blow dryer, and fridge among others is not a good idea.
Overheating of the cord and even fire can break out. You may also need to replace most if not all of the devices due to resultant damages.
Can I Run My RV Air Conditioner on Battery Power?
Yes but no need. It is because running the AC on battery will drain the battery charge too fast that you may end up with an empty battery while on the road.
Thus, it is not recommended unless you have several batteries or solar panels for backup which is not always the case. Besides, you also do not need batteries to power your AC, you can power the devices with no batteries or generator.
AC need a lot of power to start up. In addition, they also need a lot of electricity to run in a single hour. However, some high end RVs have inverter that support the AC.
Inverters are likely to be installed in Class A motorhomes, fifth wheel trailers, and high end class B vans.
Although it does not mean that other RVs cannot have AC. You can use a generator to provide the needed power to sustain your AC.
Also, keep in mind that generators are expensive and also the cost of running it for several hours a day is expensive. But, it is worth using if need be.
What Size Generator Do I Need to Run My RV AC?
To know the size of the generator for RV to be able to run an AC is very important. It is because an AC needs a high starting power and even consumes a significant amount of power to sustain its working.
So, how big of a generator do I need to run my RV air conditioner?
Generally, a 2000-4000 watt capacity generator can run an RV AC. However, if you intent to also power other electronics that may consume a lot of wattage then consider using a high watt capacity generator.
For generators whose wattage is about 2000 watts, their retail market prices could range from $430-$750 US dollars.
Although you can still find some even under $300 or over $900. It will depend whether or not it is new or old, brand, and other possible factors.
I will provide you with specific guidelines on how to decide the exact generator that fits your AC based on your needs. Be sure to crosscheck the AC units needed for BTU indicated to match for a generator. Keep in mind not all generators can be used to power all AC units.
Considerations for choosing a generator
Consider the following table showing the room capacity, area square feet, needed BTUs and the generator size you ought to look for.
|Areas sq. ft||Room Size||BTU required||Generator to buy|
Will a 3000 Watt Generator Run a RV Air Conditioner?
Yes. A 3000 watt generator can run an AC for RV. This generator is most suitable for an AC that requires 2800-3000 starting watts, and 1500-2000 running watts.
Keep in mind that generators also have a minimum starting wattage and a maximum running wattage.
For this 3000 watt generator, its long term running watt is 2600 watts. Also, AC running watt is lower than starting watt. So, with such a generator, you can run your AC and have some extra watts say about 200 watt for equipment such as a laptop.
If you have more appliances then you may require to get a high capacity generator. For example best dual fuel generator for RV with high power can simultaneously run two ACs alongside other electronics.
How Many Amps Does an RV Air Conditioner Use?
Brands of AC varies and so does the amperage. However, most operate about a certain margin of amps. Just like the RV, all systems requires a higher starting amp but running amps is often much lower.
Most RV AC uses about 12-16 amps. You can always confirm with what the manufacture says about that specific model. Besides, if the description of the AC by manufacture is provided using volts and wattage, to compute exact amps for that equipment use the following formula:
Below is a table containing some range values of common electrical appliances that can be used in an RV. It is simply an estimate of what majority appliance operate.
However, exact amps use the formula to compute of simply check what the manufacturer has designated.
Approximate appliances Amps rating
|120 Volt AC Amp Ratings|
|Appliance or Electronic Equipment||Estimated Amps|
|Air Conditioner (X number of A/C)||12-16 Amps|
|Coffee Maker||5-8 Amps|
|Compact Disc Player||1 Amp|
|Computer (Laptop)||2-3 Amps|
|Crock Pot||1-2 Amps|
|Curling Iron||<1 Amp|
|Electric Blanket||0.5-1.5 Amps|
|Electric Fan||1 Amp|
|Electric Water Heater||9-13 Amps|
|Electric Skillet||6-12 Amps|
|Hair Dryer||5-12 Amps|
|Light (60 watt % 120V)||<1 Amp|
|Microwave (Convection Oven)||13 Amps|
|Refrigerator in AC mode||5-8 Amps|
|Space Heater||8-13 Amps|
|Vacuum (handheld)||2-6 Amps|
|12 Volt DC Amp Ratings|
|Appliance or Accessory||Estimated Amps|
|Aisle Light||1 Amp|
|CO Detector||1 Amp|
|Fluorescent Light||1-2 Amps|
|LP Gas Leak Detector||1 Amp|
|Overhead lights (Per Bulb)||1 Amp|
|Porch Light||1 Amp|
|Power Roof Vent||1.5 Amps|
|Range Hood (Fan & Light)||2-3 Amps|
|Refrigerator (LP Gas Mode)||1.5- 2 Amps|
|Security System||1 Amp|
|Television (12 volt)||4-5 Amps|
|TV Antenna Booster||<1 Amp|
|TV Antenna Booster 12 Volt outlet||Up to 8 Amps|
|Variable Speed Ceiling / Vent Fan||4 Amps|
|VCR Recorder / Player||2 Amps|
|Water Pump||4 Amp|
How Long Can a Car Battery Run an Air Conditioner?
An AC requires a high power to start up as well as maintain it. As a result, if you intend to use a car battery to power your RV AC then it is less likely to run even longer than 1 hr.
Most likely within 30 minutes your battery would be flat. Your battery will be drain very fast.
Besides, it is not recommended to power your AC using a car battery with a running engine. It is because the room would be heat and the toxic was gases such as CO, and CO2 among others from diesel/petrol or whichever organic fuel you are using can be poisonous to the people inside the RV.
You can also find out how long can a car battery run a fridge before attempting to connect your fridge to your car battery.
Clean Your RV AC (video)
To enhance the functioning of your RV airconditioning, it is important to keep it clean from dirt and other debris. Watch the video and learn how to clean RV ac.