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How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Q&A

How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby Mikey on Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:55 pm

I'm trying to figure out some power things and was curious on how much draw an AC takes.
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby skipnchar on Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:19 pm

Most RVs will have either a 13,500 BTU air conditioner or a 15,000 BTU model. Some of the very small ones like truck campers have smaller units and I believe that some of the small trailers also use something like 5,000 or 8,000 BTU. Do you know which yours is? A fairly typical 13,500 BTU will run something like 10 amp to operate it but probably double that as a start up load.
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby Mikey on Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:06 pm

Well, I don't know what it has yet. I'm trying to figure out what the draw of the AC is. The reason, is I was looking at the posts about the low voltage or brownouts at RV parks and how it's hard on the AC. I was thinking about putting one of my spare UPS's from servers I've built in line to the power plug and literally UPS the trailer. The idea wouldn't be to run it on battery when the power fails, but rather even out the power when it dims.
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:12 am

The AC on your trailer is probably in the 15,000 BTU range, putting it in the range of 12 to 15 amps running. That would have to be one hell of a UPS to take over that sort of amp load during a brownout situation. :)
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby Zinger on Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:55 am

My dealer told me not to run AC from a 15 amp outlet so that must mean something I use a 3000 w gen. it works fine.
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:00 pm

Zinger wrote:My dealer told me not to run AC from a 15 amp outlet so that must mean something I use a 3000 w gen. it works fine.


It's doable so long as you don't use virtually anything else in your TT at the same time, including the converter.

If you look at your breaker panel you'll probably find that your AC is on a 15A circuit, so it's designed to suffice with 15 amps, but it's when other things start to draw power (including the phantom loads that many people forget about like the converter) it can start to overload the 15A supply with the AC running.
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby Mikey on Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:49 pm

So when I have my TT plugged in at the cottage as a guest house, can I use it like normal with the AC and stuff?
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:54 pm

Mikey wrote:So when I have my TT plugged in at the cottage as a guest house, can I use it like normal with the AC and stuff?


Keep the cord to the 15A plug as short as possible, and quite likely, yes. If you can locate the breaker that controls your power converter you may want to switch it off and just run your interior lighting and such off the batteries for the duration of your peak AC use so that it leaves more of the 15 amps for the AC.

Beware long extension cords, however - not only are many of them incapable of providing a full 15 amps across their entire length, but you'll get voltage drop as well.

If you can, run your 30A trailer cord straight to the 15A receptacle and use the adapter right there. If you need to use an extension cord, try to use a 30A version even though you're only plugging into a 15A circuit as the bigger cord will carry more volts/amps across it's length.
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby Zinger on Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:54 pm

If you re going to do that I would and plan on having a 30A outlet put in and use the heavy cord that came with the trailer.
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:59 pm

Zinger wrote:If you re going to do that I would and plan on having a 30A outlet put in and use the heavy cord that came with the trailer.


Even better, but depending on the location it can be costly to run a new 30A circuit.
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby Zinger on Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:03 pm

PrivatePilot wrote:
Zinger wrote:If you re going to do that I would and plan on having a 30A outlet put in and use the heavy cord that came with the trailer.


Even better, but depending on the location it can be costly to run a new 30A circuit.


very true but an AC compressor isnt cheap either running too low amps isnt good for anything.
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:43 pm

Zinger wrote:
PrivatePilot wrote:
Zinger wrote:If you re going to do that I would and plan on having a 30A outlet put in and use the heavy cord that came with the trailer.


Even better, but depending on the location it can be costly to run a new 30A circuit.


very true but an AC compressor isnt cheap either running too low amps isnt good for anything.


Again, agreed.

A voltmeter on the line will aid in telling if things are adequate or not when running, and depending on the situation would probably be less expensive then running a new 30A circuit for only occasional use.
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby Zinger on Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:47 pm

very true but an AC compressor isnt cheap either running too low amps isnt good for anything.[/quote]

Again, agreed.

A voltmeter on the line will aid in telling if things are adequate or not when running, and depending on the situation would probably be less expensive then running a new 30A circuit for only occasional use.[/quote]

Very true if it was on a regular or long term basis I would definately upgrade electric to 30A but if the amps and volts are ok ocasionally will be fine.
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby Justardnck on Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:14 am

Has anybody bought one of those kilowatt meters from Home Depot yet? I saw them and was considering buying one just to answer this question accurately. I myself have wanted the answer to this question cause you read the generator debates all the time.
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Re: How many watts is a small TT airconditioner normally?

Unread postby skipnchar on Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:56 am

I have a Kill-a-watt that I wouldn't consider camping without. It has MANY uses and one of them is monitoring the generator output. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882715001
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