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Old 06-18-2018, 03:27 PM   #1
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Single AC to Dual

Our 29M Windsport is 30 amp with a single A/C that is not getting it done for sleeping. I know I am a dummy for buying a single in Florida but it was our first motor home and I am pleading ignorance.

Since the 29M is available in dual A/C with 50A service I was wondering what kind of upgrade it would be? Can it be done with 30A?

Was thinking of adding a portable 110 A/C unit but not sure how I would rig the exhaust. Are there portable units for RV's?
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:16 PM   #2
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An upgrade from 30 amp to 50 amp would be quite expensive. 30 amps might be enough to power one large and one small A/C unit, but you'd risk tripping a breaker if you tried to make coffee or heat something in the microwave.

30 amp service is 3,600 watts. (30 x 120) 50 amp RV service is actually two legs of 120v power, each at 50 amps for a total of 12,000 watts (2 x 50 x 120) so it is quite a bit more. The breaker panel is laid out differently (two 50 amp main breakers) and all the wiring in the RV is split between the two 50 amp sides.

An alternative would be to install the 2nd A/C unit but instead of wiring it into your breaker panel use a second 20 amp power cord to plug into the campground pedestal.

Many do that to have more power in a 30 amp RV, but some campgrounds might frown on someone paying for a 30 amp spot but plugging into the 30 amp outlet and the 20 amp outlet.
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:35 PM   #3
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Thanks. I am looking into a smaller unit for the bedroom. Would be used only during the night as supplement to main unit. I noticed that some dual A/C setups only allow one unit to run at a time which is what I would probably do.

The cost of the A/C unit is not really that expensive but installation might be. I am handy but have no clue how these things are wired.
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:55 PM   #4
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To make it simple, buy the second unit with the controls mounted on it instead of wiring it to the thermostat. If you have a 14" square vent in the bedroom you'll not have to frame a new opening. Fishing the wire out of sight might be an issue, but you could surface mount the wire or run it through closets and cabinets.

30 amp RVs with two A/C units often have an electrical management system (EMS) that 'sheds' (turns off) items when the power draw comes close to the 30 amp limit. If you wire yours independently on a separate 15-20 amp cord, you don't need to worry about the 30 amp limit.
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:21 AM   #5
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We were in the same situation as you. Had one 15k unit, added an 11K Colemen Power Saver to where the bedroom fan was. Controls in the ceiling grill, no thermostat. The 30 amp service or 4 k generator runs both units with no other major loads on. Also wired separate 20 amp service as indicated above with switching to choose where the power comes from.

The simplest way is to run wire from AC to a 20 amp receptacle on the exterior as stated above. This won't allow running both while driving or boon docking, which may not be an issue for you. We are usually good with the with the original unit and dash air running while driving.

Another poster, Knlghtab, installed a second 15k unit. Ran wire from AC to a 2 breaker panel box with a 20 amp breaker installed. Then ran wire to a 30 amp receptacle next to the factory one on the coach exterior. He has a dongle that splits a 50 amp plug into two 30 amp receptacles

For me, working by myself, the scariest part was getting the new unit up on the roof. The hardest part was running the power cable and fishing the new wire through the ceiling.

One of the best upgrades we have done.
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:25 AM   #6
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Our first 5'er was 30 amp but had an added AC unit in the bedroom. The electricity connection was on the outside wall of the RV. We used an additional 12 gauge cord to plug into the pedestal. Worked great for us, and a lot cheaper than changing out stuff.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:27 AM   #7
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Here's a thought
Our first coach ( FR3 )was a 30amp. As it was a brand new model the first ones off the line had a 13,000 btu unit. As time passed the manufacturer upgraded that to a 15,000 and eventually a 18,000 btu unit. If you have a 13,000 btu unit there may be a significant comfort level increase available by upgrading the existing A/C unit. Another thought is you go that route is upgrading to a heat pump or a unit with the heat strip installed it's nice having that unit doing double duty and saving on propane from the furnace.
Would be a lot cheaper upgrading from a 13,000 to a 18,000 if that proves to be a option, rather than trying to convert to 50 amp.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:01 AM   #8
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I am looking at doing this now also. Same mistake, first RV, 30 amp, Onan 4000 genny, single AC, in Florida.

I just need to augment the bedroom only. 2017 Thor ACE 30.3.

I have the drawings from Thor and the roof appears to be set up for it in advance. Even shows a plenum there. They apparently delete the fan and put the AC in it's place on the 50 amp coach.

I am also wanting to somehow run a separate 20 amp line to it to plug into the campground. I usually get a 50 amp site anyway, because I always seem to be pulling a trailer, so I do it for the extra length and pull through convenience.

I would likely do the adapter from the 50 amp that allows the 30 amp and an additional 20 amp connection. If I am paying for a 50 amp site, they can't complain right? LOL

I do not need a 15,000, 13,500 or even an 11,000 BTU unit to cool one 8 by 7 room. Are there any 5- 6,000 roof units available? The main unit would also be running, so I would have that air coming in also. It just doesn't blow much into that room.

I would also use a unit with on-board controls and not hook it to the ceiling ducts. It will just be for the bedroom, and may be run alone with the door shut at times.

Any suggestions and previous experience appreciated!

Larry W.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mrf1002u View Post
I am looking at doing this now also. Same mistake, first RV, 30 amp, Onan 4000 genny, single AC, in Florida.

I just need to augment the bedroom only. 2017 Thor ACE 30.3.

I have the drawings from Thor and the roof appears to be set up for it in advance. Even shows a plenum there. They apparently delete the fan and put the AC in it's place on the 50 amp coach.

I am also wanting to somehow run a separate 20 amp line to it to plug into the campground. I usually get a 50 amp site anyway, because I always seem to be pulling a trailer, so I do it for the extra length and pull through convenience.

I would likely do the adapter from the 50 amp that allows the 30 amp and an additional 20 amp connection. If I am paying for a 50 amp site, they can't complain right? LOL

I do not need a 15,000, 13,500 or even an 11,000 BTU unit to cool one 8 by 7 room. Are there any 5- 6,000 roof units available? The main unit would also be running, so I would have that air coming in also. It just doesn't blow much into that room.

I would also use a unit with on-board controls and not hook it to the ceiling ducts. It will just be for the bedroom, and may be run alone with the door shut at times.

Any suggestions and previous experience appreciated!

Larry W.
11,000 BTU is about as small as I've seen, perhaps there are smaller units, but it's not obvious by the major manufacturers. Dometic only lists 13,500 and 15,000 sized units, but they also don't consistently list BTU for all models.

I wouldn't recommend getting a unit with heat pump or heat grids built in, the heat pump is only a heater down to about 40 or higher, after that you have to use the furnace or a space heater if you don't want to use the LP furnace. If the temperature outside is 45-55, a small ceramic space heater will take the chill off and do it for less energy and noise than a heat pump.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:00 PM   #10
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Im adding a 13500 mach 3 to my 29m this weekend. The ac is arriving tomorrow, Thursday.

I am wiring it to a 30 amp plug outside the mh and will plug into the 20 amp receptacle on the pedestal using an adapter.

I also bought and will install a progressive industries 30 amp hard wired ems system for this ac set up. I already have the hard wired unit for the mh electrical.

What are the suggestions about adding a 20 amp breaker in the mh for the new ac unit. Im not very confident with cg pedestals.

Is adding my own breaker going over board or is it a smart thing to do.

And where in the line should it go.
Between the pedestal and ems. Or between ems and ac unit.

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Old 06-20-2018, 12:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
11,000 BTU is about as small as I've seen, perhaps there are smaller units, but it's not obvious by the major manufacturers. Dometic only lists 13,500 and 15,000 sized units, but they also don't consistently list BTU for all models.

I wouldn't recommend getting a unit with heat pump or heat grids built in, the heat pump is only a heater down to about 40 or higher, after that you have to use the furnace or a space heater if you don't want to use the LP furnace. If the temperature outside is 45-55, a small ceramic space heater will take the chill off and do it for less energy and noise than a heat pump.
Thanks BFlinn181,

I haven't seen any lower BTU units either . No interest in a heat pump or any heat from this unit. As little as I use heat, I don't mind the furnace. I suppose the 9200 BTU Coleman will be fine, I just wanted to use as small an amp draw as possible, in case I need to hook to some additional cords, like when I camp in my Dad's yard.

The Coleman's seem to be well liked. The Coleman RV Polar Cub Mach 8 (9200 BTU) pulls about 11 amps. I would have preferred 7-10 amps.

Larry W.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by halfprice View Post
Im adding a 13500 mach 3 to my 29m this weekend. The ac is arriving tomorrow, Thursday.

I am wiring it to a 30 amp plug outside the mh and will plug into the 20 amp receptacle on the pedestal using an adapter.

I also bought and will install a progressive industries 30 amp hard wired ems system for this ac set up. I already have the hard wired unit for the mh electrical.

What are the suggestions about adding a 20 amp breaker in the mh for the new ac unit. Im not very confident with cg pedestals.

Is adding my own breaker going over board or is it a smart thing to do.

And where in the line should it go.
Between the pedestal and ems. Or between ems and ac unit.

Jerry
Adding a breaker for the separate line is the proper way to do it, that gives you protection from the pedestal. I'd put the EMS before the breaker, they don't need breaker protection.
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:59 PM   #13
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Adding a breaker for the separate line is the proper way to do it, that gives you protection from the pedestal. I'd put the EMS before the breaker, they don't need breaker protection.
I just spoke to Progressive Industries tech support. He agreed a breaker is a the proper way to install the ac. And he said the breaker should go between the ac unit and the ems Thanks


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Old 06-21-2018, 02:20 AM   #14
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I just spoke to Progressive Industries tech support. He agreed a breaker is a the proper way to install the ac. And he said the breaker should go between the ac unit and the ems Thanks


Jerry
If you run 20 amp wire from the AC to a new 20 amp receptacle on the exterior of the coach. Only plug in to a 15 or 20 amp protected receptacle at a pedestal. Then an in line breaker is not necessary.

You may do it for convenience or if you don't trust the pedestal or source protection.

If you plan to plug the AC supply cord into a 30 or 50 amp supply by using adapters then a breaker is needed.

Not necessary, but we installed hard start kits to both AC units and ran 30 amp wire from new AC to breakers and exterior receptacle. Purchased 10 gauge (30 amp) extension cord with standard 3 prong ends for connection to pedestal. The reason was to attempt to cut down on voltage drop from pedestal to unit, and assist in start up draw.

So far so good, no smoke anyway.
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