Air conditioner in RV on 15a?

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Old 05-27-10, 06:26 PM
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Air conditioner in RV on 15a?

Hi all. I am getting mixed info on my RV forum so I figured this is the best place to come. My thinking is that it is safe to run my 13,5000BTU A/C on 15a as long as I have sufficient voltage. I am told 115v or higher is safe. Then I get told not to run it on 15a, anything less than 30a & I could damage my unit. Please set me straight. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-27-10, 06:39 PM
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If the unit will start on the 15 ampere circuit then it is safe to run it on that circuit.

Or do you mean having the electrical service to the RV plugged into a 15 ampere circuit? If the latter there is the possibility of overloading the supplying circuit by using other lights or appliances in the RV. This would not likely cause any serious problems, just the nuisance of tripping the circuit breaker on the supplying circuit.
 
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Old 05-27-10, 06:46 PM
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The service to the RV is plugged into a 15 amp circuit. I understand I'd need to switch my refrigerator & water heater to propane to not trip breakers & all of my lights are 12v DC.
 
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Old 05-27-10, 07:04 PM
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Then you should be good to go. The warning about having the voltage at 115-120 is a good one because if the power cable is of too small a size the "voltage drop" could cause the voltage at the A/C to drop to a level below where it is designed to work. You can check the voltage at any 120 volt AC receptacle with a cheap voltmeter while the A/C is running.
 
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Old 05-27-10, 07:11 PM
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I have a "Watts Up" meter. Last weekend I had 120 volts without the air conditioner on. I'm curious to see how much of a drop I'll get when the air conditioner is running. Am I safe to assume I should continuously monitor it as the supplying circuit can fluctuate?
 
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Old 05-27-10, 08:47 PM
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It won't hurt anything to continuously monitor but there's really no reason to in my opinion since the cable from the supply to the RV is most likely the limiting factor.
 
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Old 05-27-10, 10:27 PM
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Should be okay -- the running amps of an AC that size should be about 12A. I wouldn't do it with anything less than a #14 cord though. You also wouldn't want to run anything more than a light or two while the AC is on.
 
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Old 05-28-10, 03:01 AM
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I always use a heavy 25', 30a cord with a 15a adapter but on occasion I have extended that with a 30' #16 extension cord. I will upgrade that to a #14.
 
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