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Old 07-27-2015, 12:09 PM   #1
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Portable gen sketchy with A/C

Looking for a little input. We have two air cons on our 1999 coach. I can't say what size they are, as I don't know. They are ducted. Is there somewhere that they all list the amperage draw that most of them list it?

We have a propane generator, which runs everything fine. But when we go to the race track, there is no way that the propane will last all weekend running the air. So I have a Champion 3100 inverter gasoline unit. So far I have loved it, but sometimes we come up just a little short.

Generally if the air is running (one unit) non stop, we are golden. But if it is cycling, it will sometimes trip the overload on the generator. Then I get to get out of bed and turn off the gene, and restart. (That seems to be the only way to reset it). I have taken to leaving the fan on all the time, so that the startup current isn't as great. But still sometimes it trips. I don't know how much the single door fridge pulls, and the converter. We turn off the inverter.

Any suggestions? Maybe run the fridge off of propane, as it won't eat up that much propane, and will lessen the load? Just thinking out loud.
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Old 07-27-2015, 12:14 PM   #2
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I run my frig off propane when running on my portable generator. It's a Honda and the rpm increases as the need increases. By getting the frig off the electricity, the honda settles down to a nice, quite hummmm.
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:50 PM   #3
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I run my frig off propane when running on my portable generator. It's a Honda and the rpm increases as the need increases. By getting the frig off the electricity, the honda settles down to a nice, quite hummmm.
Any idea how much propane the fridge uses over a day? That may be just enough to keep me in the clear. I notice also if I leave it in economy mode, it is more likely to trip. I think it struggles to come back up to speed when the big load comes in. Might just need some N2O for those grunting times.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:03 PM   #4
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Older fridges can use 3 to 4 pounds of propane/day (depending on how hot it is). Newer ones may use only 1 to 1 1/2 pound/day.


But let me know how the NO conversion goes. you may be on to something.


Your AC unit probably draws 10 to 12 amps (1200 to 1440 watts). Double that number at startup. So if anything else is running that champoin will be struggling.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:06 PM   #5
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You should be able to remove the filter cover inside and see the nomenclature plate on the ac units.

Or look inside cabinets for the build sheet that often is on the back of medicine cabinet.

Or your owners manual if you have it.
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:19 PM   #6
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Since you do not know what A/Cs you have I will use mine Mine draw 13.5 amps each

your generator is a 3100. since that is an inverter unit I will assume (Dangerous I know) that is the PEAK and the max continous load is likely closer to 2900 (Rough estimate)

2900/120 is 290/12 is 24.25 amps

My two A/C's together draw 27.

Problem explained?
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:30 PM   #7
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Running the fridge on gas will save you 300 watts or more. Look up the heater coil specs on your unit.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:46 PM   #8
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Running the fridge on gas will save you 300 watts or more. Look up the heater coil specs on your unit.
There is the answer. I didn't realize it was that much. Thank you!
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:51 PM   #9
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We fill our tank at the beginning of summer and use it about every other weekend and a couple of week trips. Run the fridge on these trips only on propane and it barely uses any the whole summer.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:54 PM   #10
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The other problem you have is the inverter in the generator. A non inverter generator will bog for a second or two on overload while an inverter will cut off.
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:05 PM   #11
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The other problem you have is the inverter in the generator. A non inverter generator will bog for a second or two on overload while an inverter will cut off.
It will work on it for a second or so before giving up. We aren't working with a lot of reserve at startup, so maybe the 300 watts from the fridge will do the trick. We will give it a try. Really we could probably be good all day on hot days, because the single air just runs all the time. But at night the on and off seems like it will eventually get you.
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