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Old 07-21-2019, 10:55 AM   #1
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A/C

I have a 2016 Ace Thor was wondering how to use the generator when plugged in to electrical at campground.
The problem is canít run A/C on the electric so they tell me use the generator.
The question is do I unplug from campground electricity and start generator or leave plugged in and ok to start generator while still plugged in to electrical.
Thanks for any help
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:08 PM   #2
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You have an automatic transfer switch which will control the power source. I have never trusted it so I unplug to run the generator.

Curious as to why you can't use the campground power. Must be a low voltage situation there. I'd leave before I'd run the generator in the campground annoying everyone around your site.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tleemal521 View Post
I have a 2016 Ace Thor was wondering how to use the generator when plugged in to electrical at campground.
The problem is canít run A/C on the electric so they tell me use the generator.
The question is do I unplug from campground electricity and start generator or leave plugged in and ok to start generator while still plugged in to electrical.
Thanks for any help
Can you give more detail of "why you can't run air when plugged in"? What is the A/C doing when you turn it on...does it just not come on or does it trip a circuit breaker? With more info, someone in the forum probably has an answer. With this heat wave going on, now is not a good time to be without air. Sure hope you get it working soon. Like nosticks said, it could be a power problem at your site. If that's the case, ask for another site. Good luck.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:43 PM   #4
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Angry A/C

In response to my A/C question regarding generator the reason is because the Campground doesnít have upgraded electrical and would trip other campers so they donít want you using it
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:47 PM   #5
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In response to my A/C question regarding generator the reason is because the Campground doesnít have upgraded electrical and would trip other campers so they donít want you using it

This park has got to have some pretty positive attributes going for it...
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:50 PM   #6
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I think I would be asking for my money back and leaving. Wouldn’t run my generator at a campground that I am paying to have electricity
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:01 PM   #7
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This park has got to have some pretty positive attributes going for it...
yep you know it, maybe they deliver free gourmet meals , wash and wax the rig, do my laundry and shop for groceries
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:34 PM   #8
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I stopped at a campground in Virginia for an overnight one time and they asked that I not run my A/C. They said it was because their electric service was so old it couldn't support everyone running A/C at the same time. Since the temps were in the 60s I wasn't concerned about running A/C just wanted the rest. I also stopped at one in Arkansas that charged an extra fee to run A/C. I moved on down the road that time as it was in the 90s.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:13 PM   #9
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In response to my A/C question regarding generator the reason is because the Campground doesnít have upgraded electrical and would trip other campers so they donít want you using it
Time to scratch that campground off your "favorites" list. And maybe identify that campground to the rest of us so we can avoid going there.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:27 PM   #10
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I’m at a KOA in Flagstaff, AZ
My Progressive Industries EMS kept shutting down the AC due to low voltage
I spoke to an on-site maintenance man, he said I’m in an area on their property where there’s old old wiring.
So they moved me from a $35 site to a $55 site with 30/50 new wiring
All is good now, and I didn’t have to pay the extra $20

These types of electrical issues are more common than not.
Make sure you have a surge protector that identifies too low or too high current.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:27 PM   #11
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No need to unplug when you start the genny...
The transfer switch prevents two input sources, so no safety issue.
In addition the transfer switch Ďpreferenceí is to genny if running (proper voltage present on genny input to transfer switch) - so when genny starts, and voltage stabilizes, that source will be used.
When you turn off genny, load will switch back to shore power.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:41 PM   #12
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No need to unplug when you start the genny...
The transfer switch prevents two input sources, so no safety issue.
In addition the transfer switch Ďpreferenceí is to genny if running (proper voltage present on genny input to transfer switch) - so when genny starts, and voltage stabilizes, that source will be used.
When you turn off genny, load will switch back to shore power.
What he said.

But just to make life easier shut down the A/C before powering up the generator. Give the A/C a couple of minutes for the high pressure side to bleed down some before bringing it back on line.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:18 PM   #13
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...I don't understand this 'to make life easier' statement, as 'powering up the generator' will have no bearing on anything to do with the air conditioner, if it's already running...

the moment the Generator is up to 120v, the ATS INSTANTLY switches from the Shore Power 120v to the Generator 120v, and therefore the air conditioner, if it really even cares, knows NO DIFFERENT... it just keeps running.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:22 PM   #14
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...I don't understand this 'to make life easier' statement, as 'powering up the generator' will have no bearing on anything to do with the air conditioner, if it's already running...

the moment the Generator is up to 120v, the ATS INSTANTLY switches from the Shore Power 120v to the Generator 120v, and therefore the air conditioner, if it really even cares, knows NO DIFFERENT... it just keeps running.
But the contacts in the ATS know the difference because of the high current arcing across them. The more often the ATS switches with high current load, the more often you have to replace it.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:25 PM   #15
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...there are a lot of RVing 'myths' floating around, and maybe due to being constantly handed down and revived from 'old school' situations and issues that don't apply today...

The air conditioners on the roof the RV don't care whether they are on Shore Power or Generator power.
They don't care if you turn the thermostat up, causing them to shut off, or whether you turn around and turn the thermostat down to cause them to run again... they are designed to do that, all the time, all day long, if needed.

If you suddenly remove power from the roof air conditioner, it immediately stops - it lost all power.
If power is 'suddenly' or 'immediately' restored, it starts the fan, and 10 or seconds later it starts the compressor.... that's it. Even it doesn't 'wait several minutes' before powering back up, it doesn't need any kind of 'waiting'.


I have arrived at rv parks, while running my roof air conditioners while traveling in very hot weather, and immediately plugged into shore power, and then turning off the generator. The air conditioners just keep running, they know no different.

I have an AGS which can crank the Generator automatically, whether while sleeping, or while away, to run the roof air conditioners. When the run time is over, or the temperature has been reached, the AGS shuts down the generator - suddenly all power is lost, and yet the air conditioners don't care. They just stop. No worries.

I've been plugged into shore power, getting ready to leave mid-day in the hot summer months, and cranked the generator in order to keep the a/c's running while we are leaving - the air conditioners just keep on going when I unplug from shore power, because the ATS has already moved the power from the Shore to the Generator - no stopping is or was or will be required.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:37 PM   #16
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But the contacts in the ATS know the difference because of the high current arcing across them. The more often the ATS switches with high current load, the more often you have to replace it.
that, again, is a myth... as the ATS's job is the SWITCH power, not just when there is 'only' one power source, but even when their are TWO... it's contacts don't CARE if power is already there... 'arcing' is a made up situation, there is no 'arcing'.... otherwise the ATS manufacturers would have some serious safety issues to handle. The switching is instantaneous from one contact to another, and are never 'together' for any arcing concerns.

Just as if you pull into your campsite, plug in, and throw the breaker ON, anything in your motorhome that is 'plugged in' and/or 'running' will INSTANTLY receiver power, and yet that in itself is not a concern, and it's no different than your house suddenly loosing power, then, mysteriously, a few minutes later, all power is restored. You didn't go and turn off your Main Breaker while you waited for power. You didn't go and turn off all your circuit breakers until power was restored. You just waited. When power was restored, everything came back on, whether just plugged in, or whether in 'RUN' mode, such as the air conditioner, the water heater, fans, lights, tvs, etc.

I understand maybe the initial 'electricity' concern that some have, many times due to being fairly new to 'plugging in', and running a generator, but the RV is designed perfectly to handle all your 'mobile' electrical needs and situations... you don't really have to 'intervene', other than the physical plugging in of your Shore Power cord, EVEN if the shore power breaker is already on, or even if things in your RV are 'ready' for power, plugged in, active, 'ON', operating, or such. The ATS will handle it how it needs to.

sure, older motorhomes without ATS units needed the owner to 'physically' plug the shore power cord into an special 'generator' onboard electrical outlet, so that the generator's output could be fed into the RV, but that's rare, if ever, anymore, and probably not been on any new RVs for many years. Even in that situation, if your generator was already running, plugging in the shore power cord to it's outlet would be no different than plugging in your shore power cord to an outlet that is already 'alive', whether one at your campground, rv park, home, neighbor, business, or just somewhere you are parked overnight and have access to, even though you may not have access to the breaker that serves that outlet.


Enjoy!
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:43 PM   #17
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By now this poor guy has probably moved to a different campground...and maybe a new forum. lol. But it did bring out some good info from you guys. Gave me some things to think about if I run into shore/gen power issues.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:13 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
'arcing' is a made up situation, there is no 'arcing'....

You know not of what you speak.

The switch is not instantaneous: there is a break of the old power source before the new power source contacts are made. You may percieve it as instantaneous, but it is not.

Depending on your thermostat the Air Conditioner has a time out period of up to 2 minutes before it will restart the compressor, not 10 seconds.

Arcing is not a made up situation. If it was, there would never be arc welding. We are not talking about arcing between the two power sources; we are talking about arcing when the existing powered contacts are opened before the new powered contacts are shut. Any switch or breaker (or even fuse) that carries significant current (especially in an inductive or motor circuit) is designed to quench the arc when the contacts open. Remember the old points and condenser in the old distributors? Guess what the function of the condenser was. So although the arc is quenched, it still deteriorates the contacts. The more current it has to interrupt, the more deterioration occurs and the shorter the contacts lifespan.

This is not RV old wives tales, this is proven electrical theory. I am not disputing that the Air Conditioner may "not care" and continue to run when the ATS switches power sources, I am saying you are shortening the life of your ATS by having it switch power sources when it is loaded.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:20 AM   #19
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By now this poor guy has probably moved to a different campground...and maybe a new forum. lol.
He said up above that the campground moved him to another site with 30/50 amp power at no additional charge.

Sometimes the squeaky wheel DOES get the grease !
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:44 AM   #20
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Not to argue but the actual propose of an ATS is to prevent the shore line from being hot when the genset is running. ATS's are found in factories, homes and camps to keep from back-feeding to the power companies high lines. ATS are rated by the continuous amperage capacity and still keep the switch contacts below 60 degrees centigrade. None that I know of have switching amperage ratings. Heavy switching loads cause the points of the ATS to arc. Electrical arcs produce heat. Sufficient heat will weld the points together or pit the points at the least.


From the Furron F50 - ATS operating instructions
Ensure the air conditioning units and all other high current users are switched off. It is harmful for the transfer switch to switch over power sources while under load.
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