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Old 06-14-2018, 11:59 PM   #1
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THOR #6634
Portable AC question.

My 2017 Thor Ace air conditioner just isn't cutting it for us this summer. We've tried the easy stuff (insulating the windows, installing directional vents for less restricted air flow, cleaning filters, etc.) The Thor Ace is 30 amps and I'm really not up for the expense and trouble if upgrading to 50 amps and/or adding a second rooftop unit. But
Amazon has an 8000 btu portable AC that would fit perfectly in the bedroom window and with a kit I already have it could be easily vented through that window opening. My only concern is whether or not my generator (or the campground pedestal breakers, for that matter) can handle my factory installed AC and the portable at the same time. The specs on the portable indicate an 800 watt pull, but in the questions section of the amazon listing page, one guy says he measured 840. I know that my wife's 1250 watt hair dryer causes breakers to throw if it is being run at the same time as the as the roof top AC.
My question, I guess, is would the 840 extra watts slip in under my system limits, or do I need to shop for a nice little fan???
Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:48 AM   #2
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If you don't use the electric water heater element or the microwave (or your wife's hair dryer) you should be OK.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:49 AM   #3
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I think you can do it. I’d keep hot water heater on gas, not use microwave or hair dryer.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:03 AM   #4
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Crazy thing is I never even considered the water heater as a factor. I keep it on AC rather than propane by default and never think about it. I would imagine that would make a pretty big difference. I figure that during AC running temperatures there wouldn't be much demand on propane for water heating anyway. Thanks Again!
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:17 AM   #5
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Can you plug it into the 120 separately on the pole with ext. cord ?
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:36 AM   #6
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That would be a reasonable alternative if it doesn't work otherwise. The exhaust will have to run through a window, so I guess it would be simple enough to run a cord out too. I'm hopeful though, that it would work without having to plug in a separate cord because we do some boondocking and would like to use it with the genny on occasion.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:42 AM   #7
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IMO its going to be very close, as your existing roof air draws very close to 15 amps, and I would guess your 8000BTU portable is going to draw at least 12 amps, probably closer to 14. If you run virtually nothing else, no TV or ??? you may make it, but your talking really running right at the margin. If you are camped where the pedestal has a separate 15 amp receptacle and you could plug your portable into that, it would solve your problem. Also you are talking, probably, about plugging the portable into one of your interior 120 volt plugs, be sure it is a 15 amp circuit, and nothing else is plugged into that circuit. Its going to be kind of a tight rope walk, so to speak.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:05 AM   #8
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Laco. I'm reading the Q and A section of Amazon for this product trying to learn as much as I can about all this. As you can likely tell, I'm woefully under educated in the area of electrical pull. But here's a copy and pasted quote from someone asking a similar question.

Question: "Is anyone running this off of a generator if so what size are you using?"
Answer: "It's an 8000 W unit, at peak performance...so any generator at or above would work. I have tested a 20 Amp. ($800) generator, with a 15K main A/C and this 8K unit, with no problem...in a camper trailer."

I guess I'm having a little trouble translating what he's saying and I know you would have a greater understanding of our Thor Ace RV's. Assuming this is an accurate assessment, does it seem to fit in with your estimations?
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Moondoggie View Post
Laco. I'm reading the Q and A section of Amazon for this product trying to learn as much as I can about all this. As you can likely tell, I'm woefully under educated in the area of electrical pull. But here's a copy and pasted quote from someone asking a similar question.

Question: "Is anyone running this off of a generator if so what size are you using?"
Answer: "It's an 8000 W unit, at peak performance...so any generator at or above would work. I have tested a 20 Amp. ($800) generator, with a 15K main A/C and this 8K unit, with no problem...in a camper trailer."

I guess I'm having a little trouble translating what he's saying and I know you would have a greater understanding of our Thor Ace RV's. Assuming this is an accurate assessment, does it seem to fit in with your estimations?
Home Depot website. LG 8000 BTU = 9.2 AMPS.
10,000 BTU = 11.3 AMPS
HONEYWELL 14,000 BTU =10.9 AMPS.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:37 AM   #10
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Thanks Rev. Selected specs on this particular model (per seller's website):
Edgestar
Model: AP8000W
8,000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 4600 BTU (DOE 2017 Standard)
Cools rooms from 150-250 sq. ft. (depending on heat load)
Input voltage: 115 V/60 Hz
Power: 7.9 A/840 W

One customer notes, however, that the thing is made in China and the information may or may not be accurate!
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:40 AM   #11
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The thing about Home Depot, Costco, Sam's or the big Box stores you could go get it bring it home test it out if you don't like it take it back.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:44 AM   #12
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If the cooling rating is 8,000 BTU/hr, and is expected to use 800 watts at normal rating conditions, that gives it an EER of 10, which is possible but on high side. I’d prefer you link the actual unit so we can see specifications directly.

When someone tested at 840 watts, the operating conditions could have been a little more severe than the standard for testing.

Anyway, 800 ~ 840 watts is only around 8 Amps at 115 Volts. And as others have stated, 8 Amps plus your RV roof A/C shouldn’t be a problem as long as you manage other loads.


Having said that, beware that some portable A/Cs with single hose design don’t perform as you’d want or expect under some conditions. I don’t know which model you’re looking at, but dual hose and Energy Star rated units should be more efficient. If you don’t want to use an extra extension cord to pedestal, spending a little more for efficient A/C may be worth it.



P.S. — sorry, was typing too slowly while others replied.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:50 AM   #13
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Would it work more efficiently. Because also using with the Motorhome Air?
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:54 AM   #14
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That's a good point. I often shop Amazon because I'm sooo far from the big box stores. I live in Izard County Arkansas, if that tells you anything. Still, a 90 minute drive (both ways) could well be the more reasonable alternative. On the other hand, Amazon does have a good return policy and I can set in my quiet room and compare products. I actually settled on this one because the desktop space I have is limited to a height of 24.7 inches and this is the only 8000 btu that I could find that met that requirement!
Thanks everyone for all the help. I'll make some decision soon and let you know how it all works out. By then I'll be either cool and happy or hot and grumpy!
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Moondoggie View Post
That's a good point. I often shop Amazon because I'm sooo far from the big box stores. I live in Izard County Arkansas, if that tells you anything. Still, a 90 minute drive (both ways) could well be the more reasonable alternative. On the other hand, Amazon does have a good return policy and I can set in my quiet room and compare products. I actually settled on this one because the desktop space I have is limited to a height of 24.7 inches and this is the only 8000 btu that I could find that met that requirement!
Thanks everyone for all the help. I'll make some decision soon and let you know how it all works out. By then I'll be either cool and happy or hot and grumpy!
Actually I bought one for the Sun room of a prior home I was living in that was built over a deck with no venting it was about 250 ft≤ and it worked really really well good luck. In the Hot Indiana Summers.
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:06 AM   #16
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Thanks Chance. Actually I don't think I knew about the dual hose units. I guess one is intake and the other is exhaust? Dang, I've got a lot to learn. At any rate, the new unit will only need to cool the 80 sq ft. bedroom (8 x 10) Most of what I'm seeing "says" it will cool 150 to 250 sq. ft. The front, where the main unit is, does ok most of the time.

Thanks again everyone. it's getting to be my bedtime.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:35 AM   #17
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What about one of those cheap little swamp coolers. Basically the small desktop ones. You may not want the moisture and not want to run them during the day but if it’s just to help sleep at night there are some that are basically just a tiny fan
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:56 AM   #18
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Elite, I tried one of those first. Better than nothing, but not really enough to do what I wanted it to do.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:06 PM   #19
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Since it sounds as if this may be a pretty close call: I think that you've got three choices...
1. plug it into the separate 110 volt line...
2. Continue to figure out ways to make your current setup more efficient.
(Although I can't think of anything else to add to your labors. )
3. Bite the bullet, and pop for the "full-bore/Big boysz" 50 amp upgrade...

Good luck with your decision and implementation!
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:19 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Moondoggie View Post
Thanks Chance. Actually I don't think I knew about the dual hose units. I guess one is intake and the other is exhaust? Dang, I've got a lot to learn. At any rate, the new unit will only need to cool the 80 sq ft. bedroom (8 x 10) Most of what I'm seeing "says" it will cool 150 to 250 sq. ft. The front, where the main unit is, does ok most of the time.

Thanks again everyone. it's getting to be my bedtime.
Thatís correct, a 2-hose unit uses one hose to bring outside ambient air to the condenser, and the other hose to return the even warmer air to outside.

With a single hose unit, it draws air from inside the room that has already been cooled and dehumidified to run over the condenser, then rejects that warmer condenser air to outside through the single hose.

The problem with single-hose units is that all air the unit uses for condenser cooling (that has already been cooled and dehumidified) is sucked out of the RV/house and is replaced with warm humid air that has to leak back into cooled space.

Thus, if you measure performance of the unit itself, it looks like itís doing a great job, but whatís not readily apparent is that it is adding a significant cooling load to the RV/house by bringing in warm and humid outside air that has to be cooled.

There has been a lot of controversy on how to rate these 1-hose units more accurately. I noticed in your specs that itís rated at 8,000 BTU/hr by ASHRAE, but 4,600 BTU/hr by DOE. This is interesting to me, so Iíll have to look at testing details of both, and compare to typical RV air conditioning standard.


For what itís worth, if the effective cooling is only 4,600, the EER is horrendous. Even at 8,000 itís much lower than most window units that size (not suggesting you can use window A/C, just comparing energy efficiency). A 2-hose portable unit should be closer to window unit in efficiency.
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