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Old 08-02-2020, 12:10 PM   #1
drjjj
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SoftStartRV

Just read an article about the SoftStartRV. Writer claimed if you have a 50 amp RV with 2 AC's that if you install the SoftStartRV on each of the AC units that you can run them both on 30 amp supply. Of course he also made points about the SoftStartRV "saving" your AC units if you are at a CG with low voltage. Has anyone installed these units? Pros and cons? TIA.
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:23 PM   #2
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Very good system. Montana is starting to add it to some of their new rigs as part of the super solar package. You will find several posts here on soft start plus some good youtube videos.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:00 PM   #3
PNW Fireguy
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They work as advertised. Can run both AC's from my batteries.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:54 PM   #4
McRod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drjjj View Post
Just read an article about the SoftStartRV. Writer claimed if you have a 50 amp RV with 2 AC's that if you install the SoftStartRV on each of the AC units that you can run them both on 30 amp supply. Of course he also made points about the SoftStartRV "saving" your AC units if you are at a CG with low voltage. Has anyone installed these units? Pros and cons? TIA.
They reduce the compressors starting surge. I have an easy start on both my dometic AC units (13.5k & 15k). A 30 amp generator can not run both AC units simultaneously in extreme temperatures. The 13.5k unit pulls 16-18 amps when running with the easy start. The 15k unit pulls 15 amps. You can do the math.

I am referring to Easy Start, not SoftStart, which is the new kid on the block and competitor to Easy Start. They are publishing a lot of articles/reviews to build their web presence.

EDIT: Just to clarify, I am referring to generator power, not on grid power pedestal. A 30 amp generator must be rated at 3600 running watts or more and operated at less than 1000' elevation to be a true 30 amp generator. Just because it has a 30 amp plug doesn't mean it's putting out 30 amps at full load.
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:54 AM   #5
drjjj
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McRod: I have seen an article that claims that as long as you are careful with other current draws that SoftStart allows you to run both AC's at one time with only 30 amp supply. Not true? In 14 years of ownership we have never camped anywhere, even overnight, that did not have 50 amp service. The only appeal to me is there is a really nice, older park not far from our stick house that used to have 50 amp service but has downgraded the sites we like to 30 amp. Since we are in South Texas we can get some really hot days even during our "winter".
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:00 AM   #6
drjjj
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Forgot to add: SoftStartRV's website explicitly claims that with their product installed on both RV AC units they can both be run on 30 amp supply.
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:45 AM   #7
McRod
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This is my experience using Micro Air Easy Starts. I don't suspect the Soft Start RV is any different.

I have been in Tucson AZ all year at a completely off grid location. Daily temps since May have been between 100F - 113F (38C-45C) at my location (I have a weather station on site). My RV is in direct AZ sunlight....no shade 100% of the day.

Without getting too geeky, I would say under extreme temperatures they can not handle the amperage pull, aka RLA, but if you are in a mid 80s to mid 90s temp range your results may vary.

AC has been at the forefront of priorities this year. It's been an educating process. I use a balance of Solar system and generator power. I have also been testing various alternative AC units in combination with the two power generation methods. I have also been testing, at the same time, three different generator setups ranging in power from 30 amps to 50 amps.

What I have learned is that the factory AC units are horribly inefficient. Most of us focus on how we can utilize them in an efficient manner, but it's near impossible in extreme temperatures like AZ without throwing a lot of money $$$$ at the issue. The AC units are not required to meet SEER ratings like residential units. Even if they did meet a SEER rating say of 10, you will lose 30%-40% of that in the ducting/delivery of the air, as our RV units typically have a 5" attic space and the ducting is 1/8" styrofoam. Attic temps can be as high as 120 F (49C)

Alternatively, I have tested two other style of AC units. I have a 12,000 BTU portable AC unit and a 6,000 BTU window unit.

The 12,000 BTU portable AC unit runs at 17 amps, but does have a starting surge up to 32 amps ( no easy start on it) So it doesn't work well because it can trip a 30 amp generator's power. The factory 13.5k BTU Dometic AC runs at 16-17 amps and does not have a starting surge with the Micro Air Easy Start, so in this case it's a better solution. My 13.5k unit is not ducted, so it's air output is more efficient than the ducted units (but it's LOUDER). The 15k BTU factory ducted Dometic AC runs at 15 Amps (Yes it uses less amps than the 13.5k BTU). The problem using the 15k unit is the loss of efficiency through the ducting. You can see that 15 amps + 16-17 amps is > 30 amps. Very close, but no cigar.

The 6,000 BTU window unit is actually very good has a SEER rating of 11.2. It uses 7 amps and keeps the main cabin cool in the high 70s on SLA battery/solar power only. It's not as loud as the ductless Dometic factory AC units, but not as quiet as the ducted factory AC. The biggest downside is that you can't keep it installed in the window while your rolling down the road!

The last AC type that I want try is a mini split system, so I am considering purchasing one that uses the ceiling cassettes vs the wall mounted head units ( like this). The obvious downside to them is placing the compressor unit. They are most often set on the ground, but I did watch a factory RV video where they had placed it in the garage area and vented it out the wall.

IMO, ACs innovation is going to be one of the next big changes in the RV world. Manufacturers know how horribly inefficient the current Dometic/Coleman units are, and the solution for decades has been to move your RV to locations with cooler temps or to purchases aftermarket equipment to help temper the inefficiencies. Or invest in HUGE lithium battery banks ($$$$$). The current units coming out with pre installed softstarts are simply a low cost solution to kick the can down the road a few more years.

I think the best value solution is to replace the AC units with more efficient units and rethink their placement.

OP: Best way to verify it they will work prior to purchase is use your EMS, to determine the amp pulls of each AC unit. They can vary by manufacturer. If the two units use less than 15 amps each and the power pedestal is putting out a true 30 amps then your good to go.
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Old Yesterday, 02:25 PM   #8
ALSAN
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Okay,here's my 2 cents worth
Install one on each of my ACs Dometic 15k Dometic 13.5 k can run BOTH units together off my paired Honda 2000 generators ,but not much else
Was just in the DC area temps around 94 degrees was on 50 amp service ran both and refer and water heater on electric with no problems

When installing the unit on the front 13.5 unit ran into a question, standing on top of the trailer I brought up there web site and filled out a service ticket .in less then 2 minutes my phone rang and I had my answer
NOW THAT IS GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE
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Old Yesterday, 03:49 PM   #9
Mikelff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McRod View Post
This is my experience using Micro Air Easy Starts. I don't suspect the Soft Start RV is any different.

I have been in Tucson AZ all year at a completely off grid location. Daily temps since May have been between 100F - 113F (38C-45C) at my location (I have a weather station on site). My RV is in direct AZ sunlight....no shade 100% of the day.

Without getting too geeky, I would say under extreme temperatures they can not handle the amperage pull, aka RLA, but if you are in a mid 80s to mid 90s temp range your results may vary.

AC has been at the forefront of priorities this year. It's been an educating process. I use a balance of Solar system and generator power. I have also been testing various alternative AC units in combination with the two power generation methods. I have also been testing, at the same time, three different generator setups ranging in power from 30 amps to 50 amps.

What I have learned is that the factory AC units are horribly inefficient. Most of us focus on how we can utilize them in an efficient manner, but it's near impossible in extreme temperatures like AZ without throwing a lot of money $$$$ at the issue. The AC units are not required to meet SEER ratings like residential units. Even if they did meet a SEER rating say of 10, you will lose 30%-40% of that in the ducting/delivery of the air, as our RV units typically have a 5" attic space and the ducting is 1/8" styrofoam. Attic temps can be as high as 120 F (49C)

Alternatively, I have tested two other style of AC units. I have a 12,000 BTU portable AC unit and a 6,000 BTU window unit.

The 12,000 BTU portable AC unit runs at 17 amps, but does have a starting surge up to 32 amps ( no easy start on it) So it doesn't work well because it can trip a 30 amp generator's power. The factory 13.5k BTU Dometic AC runs at 16-17 amps and does not have a starting surge with the Micro Air Easy Start, so in this case it's a better solution. My 13.5k unit is not ducted, so it's air output is more efficient than the ducted units (but it's LOUDER). The 15k BTU factory ducted Dometic AC runs at 15 Amps (Yes it uses less amps than the 13.5k BTU). The problem using the 15k unit is the loss of efficiency through the ducting. You can see that 15 amps + 16-17 amps is > 30 amps. Very close, but no cigar.

The 6,000 BTU window unit is actually very good has a SEER rating of 11.2. It uses 7 amps and keeps the main cabin cool in the high 70s on SLA battery/solar power only. It's not as loud as the ductless Dometic factory AC units, but not as quiet as the ducted factory AC. The biggest downside is that you can't keep it installed in the window while your rolling down the road!

The last AC type that I want try is a mini split system, so I am considering purchasing one that uses the ceiling cassettes vs the wall mounted head units ( like this). The obvious downside to them is placing the compressor unit. They are most often set on the ground, but I did watch a factory RV video where they had placed it in the garage area and vented it out the wall.

IMO, ACs innovation is going to be one of the next big changes in the RV world. Manufacturers know how horribly inefficient the current Dometic/Coleman units are, and the solution for decades has been to move your RV to locations with cooler temps or to purchases aftermarket equipment to help temper the inefficiencies. Or invest in HUGE lithium battery banks ($$$$$). The current units coming out with pre installed softstarts are simply a low cost solution to kick the can down the road a few more years.

I think the best value solution is to replace the AC units with more efficient units and rethink their placement.

OP: Best way to verify it they will work prior to purchase is use your EMS, to determine the amp pulls of each AC unit. They can vary by manufacturer. If the two units use less than 15 amps each and the power pedestal is putting out a true 30 amps then your good to go.
This is helpful, though I only plug in to the 50 amp line. I live in Texas and I have the two Dometic units you have. They struggle in 90-100 degree heat. I have been looking at the stand up portable units, 12k BTU to supplement the cooling, especially the initial cooling. I have a good place to put it and vent it out a side window. My plan was to run a 30 amp rated extension cord to the 120v outlet on the main breaker box in the park. I dont think my plugs in the RV are strong enough and don't want to put more strain on the 50 amp line. Good thing about being portable is i can take it out during cooler months. What has been your experience with this kind of unit. I believe you said you have tested one? Thanks
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Old Yesterday, 04:57 PM   #10
dallasrules
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While camping in Virginia this summer, my ac died. The days were running low 90s. I thought we were going to have to go home.
We went to Walmart and bought an 8000 btu window unit. I also had an 8000 btu portable unit that I plug in to an external outlet and vent out my laundry shoot in the bathroom. We leave the storage compartment door open.
So window unit downstairs, portable upstairs. It worked pretty decent. Temps up near the ceiling downstairs were mid 80s, but at couch level, about 76 to 78. Not super cool, but doable and we stayed 3 more weeks. As it is getting later in the season, I am not in a hurry to replace the rooftop ac. I have a 33' trailer on 30 amps and I think thr 15k btu was maxed out as it was. Now this is a 2004 trailer and ac, so maybe the newer ac would work better.
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Old Yesterday, 05:23 PM   #11
Ram Montana High Country
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikelff View Post
This is helpful, though I only plug in to the 50 amp line. I live in Texas and I have the two Dometic units you have. They struggle in 90-100 degree heat. I have been looking at the stand up portable units, 12k BTU to supplement the cooling, especially the initial cooling. I have a good place to put it and vent it out a side window. My plan was to run a 30 amp rated extension cord to the 120v outlet on the main breaker box in the park. I dont think my plugs in the RV are strong enough and don't want to put more strain on the 50 amp line. Good thing about being portable is i can take it out during cooler months. What has been your experience with this kind of unit. I believe you said you have tested one? Thanks
NOT ALL Parks can support additional load on the 120v - 20a plug. Newer parks usually.
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