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Old 07-25-2022, 07:36 AM   #1
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Bay Star Electrical Question

I am Mooch-docking at a friends house for the Summer. It is an old house with a reworked electrical panel many years ago. I have a 30A Coach. Because I only have a 20A outlet available, I went and bought the new SoftstartupRV, the one that plugs directly in, rather then wired in. This allows the AC to start and run. However I have 2 problems. The first is that when the AC starts or cycles, the Automatic transfer switch clicks on and off, tripping all my electronics on board. The second problem is that I have a 25 ft. extension cord on top of the regular power cord. According to Calculations, this should result in a 2 volt drop. The power at the plug is 114V. The power at the coach is 111V. When the AC starts, this voltage drops to 108 at the plug, and 105 at the Coach. As the AC runs for about an hour, it drops even further, resulting in a low volt trip at 102V. I should mention that yesterday, running on the Genny, the voltage was OK, but the ATS still clicked on-off, at AC startup. I am reluctant to run the AC at these low voltages for fear of damage. Could I have multiple problems? A faulty ATS, coupled with a going bad AC? When last connected at an RV park pedestal, none of these problems surfaced.
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Old 07-25-2022, 04:24 PM   #2
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I would not run the ac at these low voltages. The wiring at the panel may not be big enough to carry all the load. That is why you will see the voltage drop. Are you plugged directly to his outlet or do you have another extension cord there as well? I would run the genset and run the ac during the day. Then try to run it at night and see if the voltages are high enough.
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Old 07-25-2022, 11:29 PM   #3
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Good evening and I know you know this well by this point....
anytime an adapter is used it should mean " NOT RIGHT WAY". however in a pinch they have a purpose.... Mostly to keep your converter / battery charger charging batteries.....

The panels / ATS / any other new style thats out now. typically can sense the power and adjust to make everything seem to be working ok. ( thinking 30amp vs 50 amp )

However where the trouble occurs is OHMS law. the smaller the source Amps / volts along with the wire size and overall length of the cord to the RV all effect VOLTAGE and the lower the delivered voltage the HIGHER the current within the components.. Thats the part that makes weird things occur.. SO ONLY IN A PINCH do you supply the RV with anything LESS Tham the designed PLUG going into your RV.

ADAPTER MEANS This might cost me huge in repairs Maybe.....
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Old 07-26-2022, 03:51 AM   #4
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Have you switched the water heater off or to gas only ?

Do the same for the fridge to save a few more amps.
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Old 07-26-2022, 05:50 AM   #5
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Is that 25’ ext cord a 30 amp cord or just a std cord? Either way why not pay to have a 30 amp plug installed at your friends house.
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Old 07-26-2022, 08:02 AM   #6
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Just an update. I misspoke when I said it was the ATS that was tripping. It is in fact my built in Surge Guard protector that is tripping. After several experiments, it appears that the culprit is in fact the Softstartup, that I just purchased. With it in the line, every time the AC kicks in, the on board surge guard trips. When just plugged in alone it does not trip. Interestingly, i bought this $600 device in the assumption it would reduce the start up current from the AC. Turns out the line will support the start up current without this device. The nominal line voltage at the plug is 114V. I found that the large voltage drop is because of an in line tankless water heater on the same circuit. With the heater on volts dropped to 109. Without heater on, voltage at the rig is 111V, which is not great but bearable. I think that an Autoformer would be a better solution.
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Old 07-26-2022, 11:26 AM   #7
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I have 3 easy starts and they work perfect. I would call tech support. As others have asked, what size ext. cord ? 30a #10 wire is best, 20a with #12 wire second. As you noticed voltage drop increases with load. Voltage drop= resistance of wire (less with larger wire) X current squared.
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Old 07-26-2022, 11:44 AM   #8
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I previously wrote a post on soft start USA, and how they are not a quality unit.

This was in 2019. Recently my father in law purchased soft start USA brand hard wired for the travel trailer. He had read my article, but liked the price and figured he would try.

The result was similar to mine. One dead out of box, the other did minimal to actually help start using a Honda EU2200 generator.

He returned and bought the micro air easy start. Installed, both worked, and a single air easily runs on the EU2200 generator.

Softstart USA does not have a quality product. MicroAir is the original product and is still the best that I have seen


As for the newest product that works at the pedestal, I think it is snake oil.

I know that the frequency of a starting compressor are unique,but once you alter the Amp flow (resistance) and or voltage at the pedestal, everything in the coach is affected. Modern coaches have inline power management and will see this as a brownout.

It's not good for the coach. Maybe a travel trailer that has no electronics would work, but certainly nothing Newmar produces.
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Old 07-26-2022, 02:50 PM   #9
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RED, how did you get your refund? I've sent a couple of emails and am getting a run around.
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Old 07-26-2022, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfredm View Post
RED, how did you get your refund? I've sent a couple of emails and am getting a run around.

The site I purchased from had a statement on the bottom with their return guarantee. I sent an email request, and no response.


I called, and was forwarded to a support voicemail. Someone called and wanted to walk me thru the troubleshooting. I said I wasn't interested, just wanted to return as I had already removed the product.


He wasn't happy but said he was going to "allow" the return.


I also reached out to my credit card company with the copy of my invoice so that it was on record that I wanted to return within the time frame.


Mine was a hassle.


My father in law was different. He purchased it on ebay, from rv soft start sellers account. The return process was handled direct thru ebay, and very simple.
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Old 07-26-2022, 03:34 PM   #11
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Is the 20 amp outlet you're plugged into a designated line or are there things inside the house running off the same breaker? i suspect there may be other things running off that line as well. That can cause issues as well. Sometime you are better off using your generator.
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Old 07-26-2022, 05:04 PM   #12
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Actually, I tried it again today, with the same results. With the Softstartup plug in box, the AC motor thump is actually louder than when normally plugged in, and every time the AC cycles the EMS trips. I think that they are using some circuit that mimics what a Variable Frequency drive does on a 3 phase AC motor. They ramp up the voltage slow enough that the motor starts, but the EMS sees a low volt fault.
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