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Can I Run Both Of My RV's Air Conditioners on 30 Amp Service?

by Mark
(Louisinia)


I have 30 amp service only one AC will work at a time. How do I make both work at the same time.

ANSWER: Hi Mark thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page

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I am afraid I am not going to be the bearer of good news. I am going to assume that your RV can also be plugged into 50 amp service and that you have no problems running both ACs when plugged into the 50 amp service.

I am also going to assume that your RV is not equipped with an Energy Management System (EMS) and that you have attempted to run both ACs on the 30 amp service and that you have tripped the circuit breaker on the electrical hookup at the RV park.

In most cases it is not possible to run both ACs on an RV that is connected to a 30 amp circuit. A great rule of thumb here is the older the RV and the larger the AC units are the lesser chance you have of successfully running both ACs on 30 Amps.

On some newer model RVs that have more energy efficient AC units you can run two units on 30 Amps as long as you do not attempt to run other electrically demanding appliances such as a microwave, hair dryer, electric heating element for a water heater, etc. Even some newer RVs equipped with Energy Management Systems (EMS) are not able to run both ACs on 30 Amps.

An Energy Management System or EMS is a system that automatically controls the appliances in your RV to stay within the power that is available to your RV. If you are using your AC on a 15 or 30 amp circuit it will turn off (shed) other appliances so that you do not trip the circuit breaker on the power source.

Some RVers have modified their RVs electrical systems so that one of the AC units can be plugged into a separate 15 amp receptacle (if available). But, this is not something I am going to go into details on here as it is modifying the factory installed electrical system on the RV and if done incorrectly can create safety concerns for fire, shock, personal injury or death.

I know that this is not what you wanted to hear, but at least you now know that this is normal and not a problem with your RV.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

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Happy RVing

RVing Al

Comments for Can I Run Both Of My RV's Air Conditioners on 30 Amp Service?

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Stand alone power for a portable a/c
by: Anonymous

Is there a way to run 30 amp service to a single power out let from the a/c breaker to plug in the portable to run on power of its' own ?

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2 ac in 30 amp tt
by: Anonymous

I just wanted to let you know that you could buy a portable ac and plug it in and use it that's what we did we bought a 10,000 btu portable unit last night and we use the tt ac and the new one just don't use any thing else that pulls electric

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30 amp vs 50 amp
by: AnonymousArmand Godin

my 1996 35 foot intruder has an electrical hookup mark 30 amps only does that mean I cannot hook up to a 50 at a campground

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Learning...
by: Malakie

I think next year I am going to replace what I have with DC AC units since I have also designed a Solar & Wind station that is fully portable for RV use and just plugs in to a receptacle in the side of the RV (or direct to the battery bank if you prefer). While I cannot run the AC units or microwave on that, I will be able to run the DC AC units for hours off the battery bank and if sun and wind are active, for pretty much constant.

Right now I can run everything except AC and MW as mentioned without needing the genset or external power. And I can pack it up in less than 5 minutes!

I increased my battery bank to 6 deep cells which gives me power for those times when it is night or no sun or wind.

The design I came up with cost me around $450 for dual wind turbines on a single mount, and one 100 watt solar panel plus the hook up/connectors.

I plan on adding 3 more solar panels to this of 250 watts each and will replace the 100 watt with a 250. That will increase my cost to about $1500 for that much power but with savings it will be well worth it.

If I don't mind a slower charge though, I can use the basic system and it will keep the batteries up even on a moderate draw. The bigger more powerful package allows me to draw as much as I want and still keep the batteries charged.

And like I said, I can set up or take it down in 5 minutes! I elected to design it this way because I did not want to hassle with permanent mounting details.. Plus it allows me to move the thing to get the best wind and sun angles!

BTW, I have also been actively replacing other components as well. Been swapping out all the lighting for new LED light bulbs.. what a difference in wattage draw! Just have to make sure you get the natural light version because the bright white suck..

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Generator Default
by: Steven Langridge

On my '97 Vogue V-38 , my generator is default to my 50 amp line. Even if, I plug into a 30amp, my generator will autostart. No, my V-38 will not run both units on 30 amps. My Tech. told me, he can rewire two dedicated 15 amp or 30 amp lines to my A/C units.
There is a 50 amp Box adapter from WiseSales.com; I think, I might buy this. You might want to try this too.
I also thought about replacing my A/C roof units with a D/C powered basement unit. But, in your case, if your A/C units
are as old as mine, you might want to replace your units with solar D/C units. With D/C powered A/C units, you run your 30 amp to charge your batteries all day.

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How do I know if.....
by: Malakie

Is there an easy way to tell if an RV is 30 AMP service or 50 AMP?

We have a 1998 Four Winds Windsport 32' RV we bought used.. We are still learning all of this I too am not able to run both AC's at the same time.. Is there a way to look and see if this is 50 amp capable?

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Two Ac solution?
by: Anonymous

What if you pulled the Romex going from your breaker and converted that to a plug in (turn breaker off) if you are plugged into an another plug at the campground the your Ac power should be separate. If unplugged, would it still run off of generator?

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Depends on the RV
by: Anonymous

I CAN run both my air conditioners on a 30 amp shore cable. Largely, it depends on the RV. The biggest problem with AC units in the starting load. An AC unit typically causes a surge of power when the unit kicks in. Usually you can tell because the lights in the RV dim when it comes on. What I suggest, is that you run both AC units, but set the temperature of the 2 zones so that one is higher than the other. For instance, if it is daytime, set your living room temperature to 76 degrees and the bedroom to 78. The unit in the bedroom won't come on as frequently which staggers the loads and that starting surge. Later in the evening, when you go to bed, set the living room to 78 and the bedroom to 76. This should allow you to run both units without competition and minimize the breaker tripping. Most 30amp breakers will handle a 20% surge for a short amount of time so 36amps for 15 seconds before it trips. If you are running 15amps, just run one unit. Some RVs actually are wired so that the AC units won't even come on unless you are running on 50amps.

They do make a dual 15amp-30amp Y cable. You can hook one 15amp cable to YOUR site's outlet, then run an extension cord to the other 15amp plug on an adjacent site (if there is nobody there or your neighbor will let you...as long as their power isn't metered). Hope that helps!

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Two Air Conditioners on 30amps
by: Anonymous

You can run one on "air condition" and the other on "fan only" and it will work that way for 30amp but, will need 50amp to run both.

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