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Is It OK To Run My RVs Air Conditioner When Plugged Into House Electricity?

by anonymous

I just purchased my first RV, an '06 Jamboree class C, the dealer said not to run the AC off an extension cord from the house, but to only run it off of the generator. Why would this be necessary? I accidentally ran it once, and it seemed to work okay. Will this cause any damage? Thanks.

ANSWER Thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

First you have probably not caused any damage to your RV's Air Conditioner. You can safely run one RV Air Conditioner off of a 15 or 20 amp house electrical receptacle as long as you follow the instructions below:

1. First determine if the electrical outlet you are plugging into is 15 or 20 amps. If you look at the circuit breaker for that circuit you will see the amperage marked on it. A 20 amp circuit will give you a little extra leeway as far as what else you can run in the RV when the AC is on. Make sure that nothing else is plugged into the circuit you are using.

2. You will need a 30 Amp To 15 Amp 125 Volt Straight Adapter. I am assuming that you already have one of these, since you have already plugged into your house outlet. If you had a 50 Amp system in your RV you would also need a 50 Amp To 30 Amp Adaptor.

3. The ideal situation would be for your RV's 30 amp power cord with the adapter on it being long enough to reach the outlet on the house. But if it does not, you are going to need a 25' 10 Gauge Extension Cord. You just cannot use any old extension cord. If the extension cord is not a heavy enough gauge it can overheat and cause a fire or prevent the proper amount of voltage or amps from reaching your RV, which can damage the AC. This is probably what the dealer was referring to.

Our RV has 50 amp service, but when our RV is at home we use a 50 Amp To 30 Amp Adaptor and use the 30 Amp to 15 Amp adapter to plug into our house. The house receptacle I plug into is only 15 amps, but has no other items plugged into it. Even with this connection I am able to run one of the roof Air Conditioners and still use the TV.

Now I cannot run the Air Conditioner and the microwave at the same time as it kicks off the circuit breaker in the house. This would hold true with running the AC while running a toaster or a hairdryer, etc. You cannot run a lot of high amp demand items at the same time when hooked up to a 15 or 20 amp system. But if you follow the steps outlined above you should be fine.

I hope this helps, if any of our visitors have any additional suggestions for you thay can add them to this page by clicking on the add a comment link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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AC overheating
by: Danny

I ran 50 to 30 and then 30 to 15 adaptors to power my RV. The outside temperature was around 95 and the AC was running constantly for about 5 hours. I turned on the TV for about 10 minutes and the AC just shut off. I thought a breaker tripped or something related to power. AFter I thought I fixed the power still nothing.

I have 2 honda 2000 Generators that work together to give me enough power to run my AC and other things in the RV. But when I moved power around to the generators, the fan would come on but no AC and the generators rev'd up high but still nothing.

I was thinking not enough power. But after driving home and giving it time to cool off I plugged in at home to a 30 amp and it worked. Thoughts? Is there a relay or thermo sensor that maybe shut it down.

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Ac at home
by: Anonymous

Manila You should run a 50 amp service for you ac. I have never heard of running a ac on a 15-20 breaker.

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