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Old 09-06-2017, 04:53 PM   #1
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THOR #7741
A/C Unit(s) on 2009 Thor Four Winds Hurricane 31D

Greetings,

I own a 2009 Thor Four Winds Hurricane 31D (not the original owner) and have a question about the A/C unit(s).

Our coach currently has one A/C unit installed in the main living area. It is a Coleman Mach 15. As a note, the A/C unit is brand new (had it installed last week as we were having problems with the old unit not cooling property and tripping the 20 amp breaker in the high heat area we were at).

We would like to install a second unit in the bedroom. The bedroom is already factory pre-wired for a second A/C unit. I know we can install a second unit in the bedroom and only have one running at a time, but can we run both units at the same time?

The coach is wired for 30 amp service. According to our power/surge protector we plug into the pedestal, at the heat of the day (115 degress), the amperage was around 24-26 amps with the A/C and fridge running (not sure if that is what was available at the pedistal or what we were drawing). We also have a meter display in the rear storage area for the inverter/converter? that showed a 18 amps.

The tech that installed our new A/C unit indicated that since the bedroom is factory pre-wired for a 2nd unit, there may be a "power control/switching unit" (I do not remember what he called it) that would allow both units to run at the same time.

I have tried to look up the information in the manual I have for the coach but I cannot find anything referencing this...

The tech also stated that he could install the second unit, but run a dedicated power line to the outside of the coach that we could plug into the standard 120 plug on the pedestal...

Any information, thoughts, opinions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:41 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard!
Do you know if the new Coleman takes more power than the original one did?
I've got an Outlaw 29H
The front A.C. unit is rated for 13,500 BTU s of cool...
The one in the rear is good for an additional 5,000 BTU s.
(We also have a 30 amp setup...)
The technician who did the "walk-through" with us; said that we'd have no trouble running both units at once.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:09 PM   #3
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THOR #7741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Welcome aboard!
Do you know if the new Coleman takes more power than the original one did?
I've got an Outlaw 29H
The front A.C. unit is rated for 13,500 BTU s of cool...
The one in the rear is good for an additional 5,000 BTU s.
(We also have a 30 amp setup...)
The technician who did the "walk-through" with us; said that we'd have no trouble running both units at once.
Thanks for the reply!

The A/C tech stated he replaced the unit with the same one that was installed on it, so I am going to assume it draws the same power.

I am going to assume the surge protector I use on the pedestal shows the amps/voltage avail, and the power inverter/converter display in the rear storage area that showed the 18 amps is what my coach was using. I did not look at the inverter/converter display when the old unit was running so I can only make assumptions at this point. I am not a RV expert by any means

The specs for the Coleman Mach 15 are:

BTU Level: 15000 BTU
Voltage Rating: 115 Volt AC
Ampere Rating: 14.8 Amp
Evaporator Flow Rate: 320 Cubic Feet Per Minute

I didn't even think about putting a lower BTU A/C unit in the bedroom. Will have to check into that! Probably will be cheaper to buy/install as well. It might be just what we need to cool the back of the unit off while the front vents are dedicated to the main living area.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:12 PM   #4
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THOR #7741
Quote:
Originally Posted by erice1098 View Post
The tech also stated that he could install the second unit, but run a dedicated power line to the outside of the coach that we could plug into the standard 120 plug on the pedestal...
I mean the standard 110 plug on the pedestal (couldn't find a way to edit the orig post)
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:24 PM   #5
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Since I'm a newbie here: my advice comes with a double your money back guarantee...

(That's why I ask so many questions: I'm trying to learn as much as possible!)
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erice1098 View Post

.......cut.......

The specs for the Coleman Mach 15 are:

BTU Level: 15000 BTU
Voltage Rating: 115 Volt AC
Ampere Rating: 14.8 Amp
Evaporator Flow Rate: 320 Cubic Feet Per Minute

I didn't even think about putting a lower BTU A/C unit in the bedroom. Will have to check into that! Probably will be cheaper to buy/install as well. It might be just what we need to cool the back of the unit off while the front vents are dedicated to the main living area.
The 5,000 BTU/hr air conditioners are "window" type and would likely be difficult and expensive to retrofit on a motorhome that wasn't built with one originally. Thor normally installs these only on the back of toy haulers, and a few in rear dedicated for bedroom.

Even if you could add a 5,000 BTU/hr A/C, it would only give you 20,000 BTU/hr total cooling capacity.

Wiring a standard roof-mounted second A/C directly to pedestal is probably easiest, but won't allow you to run both at same time from generator.

Had you not already replaced the front A/C with a brand new one, I would have suggested looking into two high-efficiency 11,000 BTU/hr A/Cs. To me that would seem simpler than adapting a 5,000 window unit, plus 2 X 11,000 would give you a total of 22,000 instead of 20,000 BTU/hr.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:08 AM   #7
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IF you had 2 - 13500 acs on 30 amps you MIGHT be able to run both if absolutely nothing else was drawing power & they both didn't start at the same time. In my opinion your tech was wrong about "having no trouble running both" on 30 amps. You'll have to run a separate power cord to the second ac.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:25 PM   #8
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You've actually attacked this problem wisely: you first recognized the fact that power usage is the primary concern.
The FUN part: figuring out how to work around the problem... hopefully at the most reasonable cost possible!

I like the idea of two smaller; yet more efficient units.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:16 PM   #9
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I added a second 13,500 to my bedroom. Wired it so I could plug in selerately to the pedestal and also installed a 20 amp in the coach panel to plug in so I can run on the generator. I have run both the 15,000 and 13,500 at the same time but had everything else off. Surge protector was right at 30 amps. Wouldn't recommend it all the time especially if really hot which is when you would need both.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:37 PM   #10
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The key appears to be to install Power Saver (high efficiency) air conditioners when planning to run two units on 30-Amp and/or 4,000-watt generator.

Power Saver 11,000 BTU/hr A/Cs draw under 10 Amps each, and the 13,500 just over 10 Amps at standard conditions. Based on specs the main advantage to 11,000 Power Saver is that they draw less start-up current. As I've mentioned before, Jayco installs two 11,000 units on some larger/medium-size motorhomes with 30-Amp and 4K Onan.
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Old 09-07-2017, 05:34 PM   #11
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Question: Which would be easier (and less costly!):
Changing to a pair of more energy efficient air conditioners?
OR
Upgrading to a 50 amp service, larger inverter, and bigger generator?

"Nuther question: Which way would prove to be better?
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:15 PM   #12
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In my opinion 50-Amp and larger generator would be better; but also more expensive. With 50-Amp service you can do anything you want with little consideration to power limitations. You could run two larger A/Cs with extra power for microwave, etc.

I would personally not have a problem with the "budget" approach on MHs up to 30 foot range like Jayco does if it only meant turning off one A/C at a time for a few minutes to power other high-demand loads. Things like microwave, hair dryers, and coffee makers usually don't draw power for long periods. To me it would be minor inconvenience.

One advantage to budget system is that smaller 4kw generator should use less fuel if running only the smaller bedroom A/C at night when boondocking.


By the way, not following why you'd change inverter.
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:25 PM   #13
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The inverter? I was just thinking out loud: why not upgrade the entire system?
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:49 PM   #14
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Thank you for the replies!

I did not know the 5000 BTU unit was a window unit... that would not be an option for me. Assumed that would have been a roof mounted unit... there I go assuming again!

I looked into switching the coach over to 50 AMP service already, but the cost on that is not a option... way to expensive and not practical for us as we plan on trading in our coach for a newer, slightly larger, model in about 3 years. The new coach will definitely be a 50 AMP one.

The A/C tech that replaced our A/C unit stated he could install another Coleman Mach 15 in the bedroom and run the dedicated 110v/20amp line to the side of the coach, that plugs into the pedestal by itself, for about $1200 (maybe less if he needs the money aka business is slow).

We really don't go anywhere that we cant plug in at, so not being able to run both off the generator is fine with me. I only run the generator to power the main living area A/C unit when we are traveling to our destination... that plus the driver cabin A/C keeps the coach cool enough for us during travel.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:57 PM   #15
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I should have been clearer about what the little AC unit was...

Sorry!
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:17 PM   #16
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THOR #7741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
I should have been clearer about what the little AC unit was...

Sorry!
No worries!
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:44 PM   #17
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THOR #7741
So... I was talking with a past co-worker and fellow RV'er yesterday. He expressed concern with running a second unit (installed in the bedroom) solo off the shore pedestal, using the 110V/20amp plug, as it does not provide enough power and will cause damage the A/C unit to eventually burn it out...

Anyone heard this? Why would the A/C tech recommend this if this is the case?
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:59 PM   #18
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If you have a 110/120 volt electrical supply, rated at 20 amps, and the AC you install is rated for 110/120 volts, and a 15 amp current draw, its not going to damage the AC, as long as the electrical supply is stable. If you are connect via pedestal to 30 amp, and you add another 15 amp draw, you are at a max of 45 amps, still under the 50 amp rating of the pedestal, so in my mind it should be no problem. I'm looking to add a second AC too, so somewhat thinking it out on keyboard.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:53 PM   #19
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I agree... There's no reason to think that you won't have enough juice to run it.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:42 PM   #20
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The least costly way is to run a second 20 amp plug for the rear AC. 4,000 watt generator will put out roughly 33 amps, trying to run two AC units would be a gamble and a high risk! Replacing the generator would be very expensive and time consuming. On the road you can run the front AC and dash air to keep cool, at campground run one AC from 30 amp and the other with the 20 amp plug
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