Air Flow Gurus

Mastering RV Air Conditioner Electricals: Amps Generators and Cooling

Title: Understanding Electrical Requirements for RV Air ConditionersPicture this: you’re hitting the road with your RV on a hot summer day, ready for adventure and exploration. But as you step inside your cozy mobile home, you instantly feel the need for some refreshing cool air.

Enter the RV air conditioner the savior of RV enthusiasts everywhere. However, before you can enjoy its cooling powers, it is essential to understand the electrical requirements of your RV air conditioner.

In this article, we will delve into the amp draw of RV air conditioners, their amperage requirements, how to use less amps, and the use of generators to power them.

Electrical Requirements for an RV Air Conditioner

Amp Draw of RV Air Conditioners

When it comes to electrical requirements, the amp draw of your RV air conditioner is crucial. The amp draw determines how much electrical power it consumes.

Most RV air conditioners draw around 13 amps, which is relatively standard. Popular models like Dometic and Coleman typically fall within this range, ensuring efficient cooling.

Amperage Requirements and Circuit Breaker Capacity

Understanding the amperage requirements and circuit breaker capacity is vital for a hassle-free experience. The average amperage requirement for RV air conditioners ranges from 11 to 16 amps.

It is essential to match the amperage rating with your RV’s circuit breaker to ensure proper functionality. For instance, a 30-amp circuit breaker is typically used for a 30-amp RV air conditioner, whereas a 50-amp circuit breaker is designed for larger units.

Using Less Amps for RV Air Conditioners

Running RV AC on 30-amp and 15-amp Circuits

Not all campsites provide 50-amp power supply, which means you may have to adapt to 30-amp or even 15-amp circuits. Running your RV air conditioner on a 30-amp circuit requires some minor adjustments.

It’s important to note that the RV’s total power usage should not exceed the circuit’s limit, as this can lead to overloading and tripping the circuit breaker. Adjusting other electrical appliances and turning off unnecessary lights can help maximize available power.

Using Generators to Power RV Air Conditioners

Generators can be a game-changer when it comes to powering your RV air conditioner off-grid. To ensure smooth operation, it is recommended to use a generator with a capacity of around 3,000 watts.

A generator of this capacity can handle the initial power surge required to start the air conditioner compressor. Additionally, consider using a hard start kit, which reduces the power required to start the compressor, making it easier for smaller generators to handle the load.

Proper maintenance of your generator is crucial for longevity. Regularly changing the oil, cleaning the air filter, and checking the spark plug will keep your generator in good condition and ready to power your RV air conditioner whenever needed.


Understanding the electrical requirements for your RV air conditioner is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable journey. By comprehending the amp draw, amperage requirements, and available circuit breaker capacity, you can ensure efficient operation.

When faced with lower amp circuits, make adjustments to other power-consuming appliances and consider using generators with adequate capacity, including the use of a hard start kit. Armed with this knowledge, you can now embark on your RV adventures, knowing that your air conditioner will provide the much-needed cool comfort along the way.

Safe travels!

Adding a Second Air Conditioner to an RV

Running Two Air Conditioners with 50 amp Connection

For those seeking ultimate cooling power, adding a second air conditioner to your RV can be a game-changer. With a 50 amp connection, you have the capacity to run two air conditioners simultaneously.

However, it’s important to note that both air conditioners cannot be run at full power simultaneously on a 50 amp connection.

To ensure a harmonious operation, it is recommended to run one air conditioner at a time on high power while the other remains on low power.

This way, the amperage draw from each unit stays within the 50 amp limit. A common practice is to use the air conditioner in the bedroom during the day and switch to the living area unit at night.

This rotation helps evenly distribute the load while keeping your RV cool and comfortable.

Installing Additional Air Conditioner with 30 amp Connection

If your RV only has a 30 amp connection, it is still possible to install an additional air conditioner. However, it requires careful planning and electrical wiring considerations.

The first step is to consult with a professional electrician. They will assess your RV’s existing electrical system and determine if it can handle the additional load.

In some cases, an electrical upgrade may be required, such as installing a dedicated 30 amp circuit for the new air conditioner. Once the electrical system is appropriately modified, the installation of the additional air conditioner can proceed.

It is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines during the installation process. Proper placement and secure mounting should be ensured in order to maintain the air conditioner’s efficiency and prevent any damage caused by vibrations during travel.

Planning for RV Air Conditioner Usage

RV Manufacturers and Comfort Features

When purchasing an RV, it’s essential to consider the comfort features offered by different manufacturers, including the air conditioning system. Before making a decision, research the various RV brands and models available on the market.

Look for units that offer multiple air conditioning zones, allowing you to control the temperature in different areas of your RV independently. Some manufacturers incorporate energy-efficient features into their air conditioning systems, which can help reduce your overall energy consumption.

These features may include programmable thermostats, sleep modes, and variable speed fans. Additionally, units with built-in air purifiers and dehumidifiers can improve the air quality inside your RV, enhancing your overall comfort and well-being.

Choosing Campgrounds with Adequate Electrical Hookups

When planning your RV trips, it is essential to choose campgrounds that provide electrical hookups with adequate amperage. Not all campsites offer the same electrical amenities, and mismatched electrical hookups can lead to inconvenience and potential damage to your RV’s electrical system.

Before making a reservation, check the campground’s power supply and ensure it matches your RV’s amperage requirements. This information is typically available on the campground’s website or can be obtained by contacting their management directly.

Planning ahead and choosing campgrounds with sufficient power supply will ensure you can comfortably run your air conditioner without any unexpected power issues. Conclusion:

By understanding the intricacies of electrical requirements for RV air conditioners, you can fully enjoy the comfort and convenience they offer.

Whether you’re considering adding a second air conditioner, managing with a 30 amp connection, or choosing an RV with optimal comfort features, planning is key. Remember to consult professionals for installations and electrical modifications, follow manufacturer guidelines, and select campgrounds with suitable electrical hookups.

With this knowledge in hand, your RV adventures will be filled with cool and memorable experiences. Happy travels!

Popular Posts