Electricity’s perhaps one of, if not the most functional discoveries in mankind’s history and that is clearly evident given that it has been the catalyst for innovations that have advanced the human race is not only scientific realms but in medical and modern conveniences.
It has gotten to the point where being away from home camping does not mean going without your modern amenities. That being said, technology is only completely useful when we are able to understand it. There are times when you become unsure of how to use to get it working.
A prime example is the air conditioner in an RV. There is perhaps nothing worse than having to live in a toasty trailer. Most people, especially full-timers tend to just get a generator to run their RV’s air conditioner, however, if you are a newbie to RVing you might be unsure about the size required to run an RV.
So, will a Honda 2000 generator run an RV Air Conditioner? The answer is yes, but with some caveats. A Honda 2,000 watt generator will produce 1,600 watts of continuous power and 2,000 watts peak. A moderately small 10,000 BTU air conditioner will require at least 2,000 watts on startup, and 700 watts continuous power.
This means you absolutely must know the startup requirements of your air conditioner. Read on to find out more.
This article aims to explain the relationship between a generator and an RV, the required size of the generator needed to run an air conditioner, and if it is indeed possible to run an RV air conditioner with a Honda 2000 generator. Let’s begin.
The relationship between an air conditioner and a generator
Air conditioners require quite a bit of energy to continually run and quite a bit more to get started. The average air conditioner in an RV needs to be powered by a generator that has at least 2000 watts to 4000 watts capacity.
Quite a lot of factors will need to be considered when trying to find the right generator size to work for you, however, it is possible to power your RV’s ac, as well as other appliances using as little as a 2000 watt generator.
For those not versed with the various types of RV generators, a Honda 2000 is a 2000 watt capacity generator. Honda tends to highlight the generator’s capacity in the model’s name so be on the lookout on your next generator purchase.
Basically, a generator has an allotted capacity of energy that it is capable of making. Every time an appliance is run on it, some of that energy is allotted to power that appliance.
If multiple appliances are run, then more portions of that energy will be taken out. If you run more appliances than the generator can handle then it would automatically shut off.
Another thing to note is that all generators, including RV generators, come with two-watt ratings. They are start up and running energy rating.
The start up energy rating highlights the maximum energy you can get from your generator to run your appliances. This is what runs when you start the generator. Once the generator has been running for a while, the additional energy capacity would be cut off.
How many watts does an RV air conditioner use?
If you are interested in getting a generator for your RV and you are looking to get one bigger than a Honda 2000, you have to figure out what the starting watt and running watt capacity of all your appliances, air conditioner included is.
Given that air conditioners differ from one manufacturer to another, they still require a particular number of surge watts. Every air conditioner might be different, but they all need to have a particular number of rated watts, which is typically lower than the actual start-up watt.
You can get a 5000 BTU RV air conditioner which requires about 1100 watts to start and 300 to 450 to run. If you want to go bigger, you can get a 7000 BTU RV air conditioner that requires anything from 1600 watts to 1800 watts to start and about 500 to 650 watts to run.
In the event that you have a larger RV, you will have to get a larger air conditioner. The bulk of air conditioners in RVs today come out at 13,500 BTU which is almost three as large as the 5000 BTU one.
Given that increase in size, the starting and rated watts are bound to also increase. In this regard, the starting watts would be 3800 while the running watts would be 1300. This shows that the 13,500 BTU air conditioner is just out of the range of the Honda 2000.
Generally, it is best to have more power rather than not enough. If you are interested in getting a generator for your RV and are unsure which to pick of two sizes, it is always best to get the larger one. The additional power would enable you to have a bit of breathing room, in case you miscalculated how much power you needed or you added more appliances.
How to get a 2000 watt generator like the Honda 2000 to power your RV air conditioner
There are two ways to power your RV air conditioner with the Honda 2000. The methods involve your generator’s Eco Mode and your RV refrigerator.
Eco Mode off & RV refrigerator in gas mode
The first thing you would have to do is to ensure the Eco mode on the generator is switched off. If your RV has a refrigerator, it should be set to gas.
At this point start just the fan alone on your air conditioner, letting it speed up. Once this happens, engage the compressor. Doing this results in the compressor starting up without the tell-tale grunt from the generator.
Eco Mode on & RV refrigerator in auto mode
You run the generator ensuring the Eco mode is turned on and the RV refrigerator in auto mode. You should start your RV air conditioner in fan mode first then gradually bringing the compressor on just as the first step. This step makes the generator grunt a bit but the compressor stays on producing cold air.
What to do to get the most out the generator while running your air conditioner
The simple truth is that you are ideally going to run your air conditioner at certain parts of the day. If you are sure of the times when you will actively be in the RV, perhaps making breakfast, you can actively know which appliances are being used. This can help you save energy and of course, on fuel costs. Here are a few things you can do to get the most out of your generator:
- Ensure that you clean your air conditioner and the filters.
- Turn the fan on as well as lowering the temperature can help the air to circulate in your RV.
- You should refrain from running your air conditioner for extended periods. This is because it runs the air conditioner down faster.
- You might think putting your air conditioner on blast for brief periods during the day might help cool down your RV, however, it has the opposite effect. It can also cause you to use up more energy making you refill your generator sooner than you expected.
- Try to stagger the appliances you use, for example, use the heavy appliances at night when you don’t need your air conditioner as much. Not running all your appliances at once can help your generator run not only smoothly but effectively.
- Don’t plug in appliances you aren’t using. Certain items such as a TV will consume energy even if it is not being used.