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Old 07-31-2021, 12:39 PM   #1
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Running both A/C's on Generator

Hi All,

Just bought my parents 1997 Bounder 35' Class A with the intention to use it as a boondocking/desert camper.

they have owned it since 1999 and have taken great care of it, everything works and we are excited to now have my kids grow up camping out of it.

Since we are in Central California and we plan to use this thing in the desert mostly AC is a big deal to us.

The AC's work great however i am having difficulties running them at the same time.

the unit has an Onan 5000 generator with about 950 hours on it. I can run the AC's individually and run anything else in the motorhome i would like to.

however if i turn them both on high and/or Auto the rear will kick on then shed immediately. If i start the front on High, wait a minute or two then start the rear on Low it will run both just fine, as long as i dont turn the rear on auto or high. and i dont have anything else on besides maybe the front TV.

I did do a lot of research and am trying to troubleshoot this thing, my understanding is that the rear AC should be wired to the 20 amp feed from the generator and the front AC is wired to the 30 amp feed from the generator.

Im starting to wonder what to check and or look into, because i think that both AC's are pulling from the 30 amp feed and for some reason the rear is not getting its dedicated 20 amp feed. Being that i can run both if i stagger start times and i turn all electric devices up until it is started and running. However if i turn the inverter on, the rear will shed immediately.

So, my basic understanding is that there should be a "relay" or "box" that routes the power from the 20 amp feed to the rear air, where is this box and is there a way to test it? What does it look like so i can try to locate it?

It appears to me, that with both the AC's on i am pulling pretty close to 30 amps and the ECC kicks in and sheds with any additional load.

Any ideas? Thank you in advance!
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:47 PM   #2
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Switch off the 20 amp generator breaker to confirm if both ACs still run together.

The wiring may have been switched to use both while on 30 amp shore power.
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:48 PM   #3
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Hmmm... Running both A/C's you are right at the limit for your genny..
You might search the "Soft start" capacitors for each unit, and see if that helps...OR invest in a 7k / 8k or so generator...
No amount of solar will run both A/C's together..
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Switch off the 20 amp generator breaker to confirm if both ACs still run together.

The wiring may have been switched to use both while on 30 amp shore power.
Thank you

So - turning the 20 amp breaker off - no difference in performance

Turning the 20 amp on, and the 30 off - nothing works not even the rear air
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:08 PM   #5
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If your water heater is on electric, put it on gas. Same for the fridge.

Ken
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:09 PM   #6
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If your water heater is on electric, put it on gas. Same for the fridge.

Ken
everything is off accept the AC's
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:21 PM   #7
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Do you have a selector switch somewhere that says ‘front’ and ‘rear’?
Our ‘95 Bounder has this switch above refrigerator in fuse/breaker box. Our Bounder is not designed to have both a/c units run at the same time.
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Old 08-02-2021, 05:40 AM   #8
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X2 about switching water heater to gas. I have the same size generator on our Bay Star, and when both AC units are running, using the water heater on electric can cause the AC unit to shut down.
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Old 08-02-2021, 12:04 PM   #9
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X2 about switching water heater to gas. I have the same size generator on our Bay Star, and when both AC units are running, using the water heater on electric can cause the AC unit to shut down.
yeah tried that too.

Im really starting to think the relay delay box may not be working. Hoping to find someone really familiar with the wiring on these things and the Intellitec ECC
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Old 08-02-2021, 02:38 PM   #10
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Does both AC run okay of shore power, not generator? I don't recall you mentioning about running on shore power. Is your shore power cord 3 prong (30 amp) or 4 prong (50 amp? Your coach might be designed for 30 amp only.
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Old 08-02-2021, 02:56 PM   #11
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Does both AC run okay of shore power, not generator? I don't recall you mentioning about running on shore power. Is your shore power cord 3 prong (30 amp) or 4 prong (50 amp? Your coach might be designed for 30 amp only.
My Coach is wired up for 30 amp service and performs the same way on shorepower.

It has the Intellitec Electronic Climate Control system, and my understanding after reading some posts on here and reading the manual is that when on Shorepower the entire coach is only 30 amp.

However, according to the ECC manual - when you are on generator power you are on a 30 amp and a secondary 20 amp directly to one of the AC's.

The main 30 amp feed from the generator is wired into the main coach, however the secondary 20 amp feed from the generator is wired directly to the relay delay box which is wired to one of the Air Conditioners.

when you are on shore power the box senses the shore power and runs both AC's off the shorepower and sheds as needed. IF the box senses power on the 20 amp feed and the 30 amp feed "shorepower" it directs power from the 20 amp feed to one of the AC's and the 30 amp feed to the other AC (and rest of the coach) So it should technically "have more power" or at least thats my understanding.
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Old 08-02-2021, 03:27 PM   #12
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Just guessing.. get up and pull a/c roof covers.. make sure all is very clean.. then run amp. Test current draw on both.. and at start up.. you may have capacitors going bad.. but most people forget to really clean coils and they can get very dirty.. I am not looking forward to doing it.. now I have 2000 strom.. 30amp shore.. and 5000 onan... 2 breaker at gen.. one 20amp just for rear a/c.. when on gen.. no problems yet.. knock on wood.. Run both a/c and anything else.. non electric water heater.. just gas.. gen should be able to to do 49amps.. another guess could be voltage regular on gen going bad.. good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you..
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Old 08-02-2021, 03:31 PM   #13
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Just guessing.. get up and pull a/c roof covers.. make sure all is very clean.. then run amp. Test current draw on both.. and at start up.. you may have capacitors going bad.. but most people forget to really clean coils and they can get very dirty.. I am not looking forward to doing it.. now I have 2000 strom.. 30amp shore.. and 5000 onan... 2 breaker at gen.. one 20amp just for rear a/c.. when on gen.. no problems yet.. knock on wood.. Run both a/c and anything else.. non electric water heater.. just gas.. gen should be able to to do 49amps.. another guess could be voltage regular on gen going bad.. good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you..
I have pulled covers and cleaned, have not run power consumption tests YET. Plan to this weekend.

i dont really have room at the house to have it here, so i take it back to storage on the weekends.

i also have emailed intellitec to see if they can provide any guidance/troubleshooting tips. I will gladly report back when i figure this thing out.

Need to research how to measure gen output too
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Old 08-02-2021, 03:41 PM   #14
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Oh.. look at the ameture rings on gen.. use a strong flashlights.. they need to be very shiny.. you don't have to take anything apart.. cleaning is easy.. look on you tube for flight system gen repair.. they explain the whole thing and why you need to keep them clean.. also you can search your EEC, system here.. just use search area in top rt and type in... there are a lot of posts..
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