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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

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

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Electric has stopped working
by: Anonymous

Anything you could suggest checking other than breaker, fuses,or normal first things to check when all at the same time the AC,fridge, and electrical outlets STOP working at the same time. Thank you in advance.

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Pluggin in to shore power
by: Anonymous

Yes you can run one ac on 15 amp outlet but nothing nothing else, but your going to heat up wires pulling max amperage and why risk a fire???I tell my customers its best to plug in your rv into the proper recepticle 50/50,30/30 just because you can do something doesnt make it a good idea. Only time i tell people its ok is to maintain batteries. Even then your coach probably has a disconnect for batteries.

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A/C on 15 AMp All The Time
by: Mark

My Rv has 2 13,500 BTU A/C units. Run one on the house 15 amp and not one lick of an issue for so long - whomever is saying never do this? Respectfully disagree.
Just be aware of the "surge" when it first engages the condenser - and if you have 15k BTU, the draw will obviously be more. But you should never have an issue. As said before, use a good heavy cord if a long disaance. You should be fine.

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AC disaster
by: Anonymous

I would not suggest running the AC plugged into a normal house 15/20A circuit. We did this, and the AC ran fine for about two weeks. Then one morning, I opened the door to find a burning smell and a non-functioning AC. The adapter had also melted to the 30A RV power cord. We ended up having to replace our entire AC.

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Plug
by: mary .

Can I run my air conditioning with my refrigerator and one light on a 15 amp . I went from 30 to 15 . Thank you.

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Ran AC on 20 amp
by: Tom

By accident, I did this today. I forgot to turn off the AC when we left the campground as it was cool and not running anyway. When I got home I plugged it into the extension cord it is always plugged into at home. About 90 minutes later I went out and found the air running.

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Extension cord gauge
by: Anonymous

I don’t see how running the 10 gauge extension cord will make a big difference since the wiring from the house panel to the 15amp outlet is 14 gauge wire.
Can you explain ?

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RV air conditioning
by: Carol

It is ok to run an RV air conditioner on a 20amp circuit using an adapter, as long as you make sure to turn your fridge to propane and don’t run the microwave, blow dryer, or other high amp items. Also, make sure you’re not running anything else inside your home on that circuit.

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Air Condition in camper
by: James

Danny, have run my camper on 20 amp home power many times. While running it once all of sudden AC goes off. I cut all Breakers off except for AC and waited maybe 10 minutes. I started AC back up and all was fine, I cut all breakers back on except water heater and all was good. Water heater will come on unexpectedly.
James

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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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