When AC units 'start', there is the 'load' of the compressor and a fan motor to provide. Not having 'adequte' power can...and over time, not necessarily the first time, cause a failure in one of the AC components through 'inadequate' power, you cause overheating of components... or, slow startup of compressor which equates to higher/faster wear pattern and subsequent failure.
The AC unit can 'run' on a standard generator. Your PC's and other items with 'circuitry' like your MW control panel and TV, 'can' be run on a standard 'generator', but it is advisable to use 'inverter' style as they can provide proper '60 cycle' sine wave power your 'electronic necessities of modern life' demand...and your AC will work too... if your genny has adequate capacity.
So, if your AC specs show 110vac and 13AMPS, you can see, the draw can exceed 1000 watt generator in short order and will be running near 'max' when 'cruising'.
Now, imagine, you are running your AC... it's warm outside.. and your AC does a 'short cycle'.... meaning the freon pressures are still high when the compressor attempts to start again!!! This is known as a 'Hot Start' by some folks... you can install 'hot start' features which can 'protect' by ensuring enough time has elapsed since the last time the AC compressor ran before trying to start...
This 'hot start' will put an even greater load on your genny... better have enough capacity or you risk a burnout of components.
Bottom line, having more 'capacity' than you 'think' you will use will mean your genny will run better, last longer, and the components in your RV should last longer... You just can't cheat it.
I had a Home Depot coupon for a 6000 watt, diesel, portable Generator this weekend. It was $800. I 'passed' because it was NOT an 'Inverter' style.
now, some tech stuff...
You may have known these facts below... I lifted it from this website: How to Convert Watts to Amps Simplified -- Converting Amps to Watts the easy way
Converting Watts to Amps
The conversion of Watts to Amps at fixed voltage is governed by the equation Amps = Watts/Volts
For example 12 watts/12 volts = 1 amp
Converting Amps to Watts
The conversion of Amps to Watts at fixed voltage is governed by the equation Watts = Amps x Volts
For example 1 amp * 110 volts = 110 watts
Converting Watts to Volts
The conversion of Watts to Volts at fixed amperage is governed by the equation Volts = Watts/Amps
For example 100 watts/10 amps = 10 volts
Converting Volts to Watts
The conversion of Volts to Watts at fixed amperage is governed by the equation Watts = Amps x Volts
For example 1.5 amps * 12 volts = 18 watts
Converting Volts to Amps at fixed wattage
The conversion of Volts to Amps if the wattage is known is governed by the equations Amps = Watts/Volts
For example 120 watts/110 volts = 1.09 amps
Converting Amps to Volts at fixed wattage
The conversion of Amps to Volts if the wattage is know is governed by the equation Volts = Watts/Amps
For Example, 48 watts / 12 Amps = 4 Volts
Converting Volts to Amps at a fixed resistance
If you know the volts and the load of the resistance the amps are found by Ohm's law: Amps = Volts / Resistance
Converting Amps to Volts at fixed resistance
If you know the amps and the resistance Ohm's law becomes Volts = Amps * Resistance
Amps are how many electrons flow past a certain point per second. It is equal to one coulomb of charge per second, or 6.24 x 10^18 electrons per second. Volts is a measure of how much force that each electron is under, which we call "potential". Power (watts) is volts times amps. A few electrons under a lot of potential can supply a lot of power, or a lot of electrons at a low potential can supply the same power. Think of water in a hose. A gallon a minute (think amps) just dribbles out if it is under low pressure (think low voltage). But if you restrict the end of the hose, letting the pressure build up, the water can have more power (like watts), even though it is still only one gallon a minute. In fact the power can grow enormous as the pressure builds, to the point that a water knife can cut a sheet of glass. In the same manner as the voltage is increased a small amount of current can turn into a lot of watts.
This is also why increasing the volts does not necessarily increase the available power. Power is amps times volts, so if you double the volts you halve the amps unless something in your circuit actually creates power, such as a battery, solar panel or nuclear power plant.
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