Summertime is here and with summer, comes vacation. Many people like to head to the nearest lake or woods to camp in their recreational vehicles. Aside from the many amenities and comforts a recreational vehicle has to offer, the heat of the season will have you focusing on the air conditioner.
Many recreational vehicles have air conditioners, and are very familiar with the clunking and clacking of the startup of the air conditioner. The constant wear and tear on the air conditioner and your generator will drastically shorten the life of your beloved air conditioner on your rig. You may have heard someone mention soft start capacitors at the campground.
What are soft start capacitors?
To understand how a soft start on an air conditioner works, you must first understand how an air conditioner operates–specifically, how it begins to operate. Compressors for air conditioners use a lot of current when they start up, which is a characteristic of bigger AC motors. The starting current is what it’s called.
A soft start connects to the compressor of the air conditioner and changes how it works when it turns on. For more information on compressors, click here. A gentle start gradually increases the power demand until the air conditioner’s compressor completely comes on, rather than using as much power as possible right once.
This minor modification eliminates the troublesome current spike that might cause the RV’s power system to overload. There’s new technology out to help keep your air conditioners running smoothly when connected to low power options and your generator running smoothly all summer- the SoftStart RV.
What is SoftStart RV?
SoftStart RV is a device that, when installed on your RV, will reduce the surge (What is a Power Surge? – Definition from Techopedia) that is created when you start the air conditioning system in your RV. This smart new product will save your generator from overworking, especially in hot climates. It is designed specifically for all recreational vehicles- motorhomes, 5th wheel campers, travel trailers, vans, tiny trailers, truck campers, and toy haulers.
The device, designed to be installed on the roof of your recreational vehicle, is so efficient that it cuts the demand for power on start-up by 50-70%. This power surge is the cause of the common air conditioner trip. The extended 24 Amp peak of the SoftStart RV allows for more consistent power to the fan in the air conditioner unit. If your recreational vehicle has more than one air conditioning unit, you will need one SoftStart RV unit for each air conditioning unit.
The SoftStart RV will allow you to run two 15,000 BTU air conditioning units on a 30 amp hookup. This can be super helpful for campground pedestal hook ups, which are typically 30 – 50 amp hookups. This can limit the number of air conditioning units you are able to support at your campsite without having secondary generator power.
The SoftStart RV will also help with the decrease in efficiency of your generator as you venture into higher elevations or altitudes. You can expect to lose approximately 3.5% efficiency each 1,000 feet above sea level. This is due to the SoftStart RV creating a consistent and level draw from your power source.
Are there any other benefits of the SoftStart RV?
Another tertiary benefit of the SoftStart RV is saving your motor from overheating. A motor can overheat due to the significant burst of energy associated with a traditional starter. This overheating can be innocuous, but it can also cause the motor to shut down for a short time or perhaps cause permanent damage.
While you may be accustomed to tripping a breaker at home, you may not be aware of how frequently it may occur in an RV. If you have a 30-amp electrical system, it’s simple to draw too much power and shut everything down until you reset your breaker. As you might assume, turning on an air conditioner is one of the most energy-intensive things you can perform in an RV, and a gentle start lessens this load dramatically.
Even if you have extra amperage, the enormous surge caused by an air conditioner turning on isn’t healthy for your devices’ long-term health. This is also true if you’re utilizing an inverter, which will be subjected to the same level of abuse.
Premature failure or overloading concerns may occur over time, necessitating costly repairs. Not to mention that your rig will become excessively hot. As a result, a minor investment in the SoftStart RV might pay off big time by prolonging the life of your electrical system’s more expensive components.
A gentle start will even allow you to run your air conditioner on battery power. You’ll need a solution that meets your needs in terms of battery capacity and inverter power. You can power your AC without exceeding the capacity of your inverter or the power drain of your batteries if you use a gentle start.
Some people may not require a gentle start for their RV, and you can visit TechnoRV for details on requirements prior to considering purchase. . Those who infrequently go to hot areas, for example, will not require one. RVers on a limited budget can save money by changing their behavior to improve AC performance, or if you’re always connected to larger power supply, such as 50 amp service, you won’t have any trouble getting started.
Aside from those few exceptions, almost every RVer will benefit from a gentle start for their RV air conditioner. Two air conditioners can be run on a 30-amp electrical system or with restricted power hookups. Even those with 50-amp setups won’t have to worry about a current surge causing a breaker because of the reduced starting power.
A gentle start allows you to run your air conditioner off-grid or totally on battery power in all instances. For a little investment, you’ll be able to enjoy milder days and fewer worries about your rig’s electrical system for many years with the SoftStart RV.