Generator Help - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-09-2007, 09:38 PM   #1
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Hey Gang,
I was testing my Honda 2000 generator in preperation for a weekend away and came across a slight problem; the generator triggers its circuit breaker after about 3-5 minutes with only the ac and one florscent light loaded. It was my understanding te 2k gen would more than power the needs of a 2000, 13ft Scamp. The AC is original from the factory. Seeming that I don't know much about electricity, wattage, voltage, etc, I was hoping you forum friends could be of some assistance. My first assumption is that my generator is not putting out the appropriate 2k wattage. This would be aggrivating as the unit was purchased new last year.

Whatchallthink?

Phil
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:53 PM   #2
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It could be the current draw.

What do the written specs say for your air conditioner?

Should say a spec for XXXwatts and another for x amps@120vac.
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:31 PM   #3
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Another possibility is there's a slow-bleeding short in the system, most likely in the extension cord, or that the breaker itself is bad.

Connect the generator to an 800-1200 watt load (a small space heater set on "low" would do the trick) and fire up the genset. If the breaker blows there's something wrong with the generator or its fuse. If the breaker doesn't blow try setting the heater to "high" and try again; if the breaker blows this time it's the fuse. If it still doesn't blow try connecting the heater to your genset extension cord.

--P
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:08 AM   #4
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This is not guaranteed to work but may if you are losing power by using a long and/or small wire extension cord.

Use the shortest, heaviest gauge extension cord as possible. Nothing less than 12 Gauge - 3 wire. If you have a Long one - Cut it to the short length.

10 Gauge is better but more than likely you would have to make it up yourself by going to Lowes and purchasing the cord to the desired length and adding the plug and receptacle.
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:56 PM   #5
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Sounds like you are getting some good troubleshooting advice above.

Also keep in mind that there are no guarantees that every 2KW generator will run every Scamp's a/c -- Different makes and models of a/c have different **starting** amperages although they might all show the same running amps -- Some makes and models also have kits to reduce the starting load. The starting loads, BTW, will go up as the a/c heats up and the ambient temps rise, so a marginal combination cannot be relied upon in extreme weather.
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:18 PM   #6
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We recently bought a cheap AC power monitor, and I see the same type of device is being used in the current refrigerator troubleshooting topic. If the trailer has only a 15 amp (normal household) plug, then it could be plugged in through a monitor like this, which reports power (watts) and current (amps), both peak and average. That might indicate whether the stuff in the trailer is drawing too much power, or the generator is at fault. In the more likely case that the trailer has a 30A (typical RV) plug, then this type of monitor could not handle the whole thing, but each appliance (such as the air conditioner) could be checked individually.


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Old 04-10-2007, 07:02 PM   #7
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I had a 1000W Yamaha that would start the AC the first time but would trip itís breaker the 2nd time.

I got rid of the Yamaha because I could not stop the gas from leaking out when it set around between use. Replaced several things and it still leaked. Told and Sold it to a contractor that only adds enough fuel for the present use and it works fine.

Upgraded to a McCullough 2000W Inverter and it trips every time and that includes using a skill saw. The Mac is fine for the 2000W load as long as it is not a sudden surge.

In the Army days in Europe; we used really large transformers (1800W) and we made a contraption with a 100W light bulb on it that would absorb the surge and prevent the fuse from blowing. If I ever get around to it, I might make one and try it out on the Mac.
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:15 AM   #8
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Keep the replies coming as I am checking this forum on a daily basis. Thanks to everyone for their feedback. I knew I could count on you.
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:32 PM   #9
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Two things I haven't seen mentioned so far. Please excuse, if my skimming of posts missed them.

First. It sounds like the generator can't supply enought amps to re-start the compressor. There is a capacitor mod to make to the A/C to reduce the load on start of the compressor.

Second Are you using a standard plug extension cord? You will be able to draw more power if you get an adapter plug like the Power Maximiser. It connects to both 15 amp outlets and lets you use the heavy duty 30 amp cord to suck as many amps as possible. The generator will supply more amperage thru two outlets than it will thru one outlet because of the amperage increase of going thru the smaller contact area.

One last thougtht. The genny may run the a/c at home and not where you camp if the elevation is significantly higher. Gennies loose power at higher elevation. Honda 2k is a great genny, but just marginal for running a/c. I've seen many people switch to the Yamaha 2400.

Curt
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
...Are you using a standard plug extension cord? You will be able to draw more power if you get an adapter plug like the Power Maximiser. It connects to both 15 amp outlets and lets you use the heavy duty 30 amp cord to suck as many amps as possible. The generator will supply more amperage thru two outlets than it will thru one outlet because of the amperage increase of going thru the smaller contact area.
That's one scary piece of hardware. If plugged into a duplex receptacle in which both sockets are on the same circuit (which is the intended application, and probably applicable to the generator), it does what it says and provides more contact area... but you're still plugging a 30 A load into a 15 A circuit (just like I do with my Boler at home), so don't expect more than 15 A of supply.

The scary part comes if plugged into a split duplex receptacle (such as in a typical home kitchen), in which each socket is supplied by a different circuit. In that case, you may well get more than 15 A out, but if the circuits are in opposite phase (as they normally are) this adapter is a dead short across both circuits.

I wouldn't allow one of these to exist around my home or trailer, just in case someone might plug it into the wrong outlet. It may well help with the generator, but it would make more sense to me to use the right cord and connector for the highest-rated socket on the generator, instead of adapting to the 15A sockets. Be careful!
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Old 04-12-2007, 05:10 PM   #11
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Brian, yes, I understand. It is not something to be miss used. It only gets plugged in to one location. The front of the Honda 2K.

Curt
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:20 PM   #12
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Our McCullough 2000W Digital Generator now powers the air conditioner that came with the 2002 Scamp 5th Wheel.

I finally made an extension cord out of outside grade 10Gauge wire. It has a white, black and green wire inside the black rubber sheath.

It is 6 foot long with the Marinco ParkPower 30A, 125V, 3 wire locking plug on the end of the extension cord and the matching receptacle on the egg and a high grade 120V plug on the other end that plugs into the generator or 30Amp park power.
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