The Best Soft Start for RV Air Conditioners – A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re an RVer looking to do something about the extreme heat inside your RV during summer months, you’ve come to the right place! Many RVs are equipped with air conditioners that are a great way to stay cool while traveling and, when appropriately maintained, should last you through many summers. At first glance, air conditioners may look intimidating, but don’t fret — having a soft start for your RV air conditioner will make your AC run efficiently and ultimately save you money and energy. This comprehensive guide will help you understand the basics of soft starts for RV air conditioners and get you going on the perfect start for your comfort.

Quick Answer to Key Question

The Progressive Dynamics PD4655V Inteli-Power 4600 Series Converter/Charger with Charge Wizard is considered one of the best soft start devices for RV air conditioners. It regulates and protects against current fluctuations, providing longer life and better performance for your RV’s air conditioner.

What is Soft Start for a RV Air Conditioner?

Soft start is a technology used in RV air conditioners to reduce the inrush current of an AC compressor motor. By doing so, soft start makes the air conditioning units more efficient and prolongs the life of its components. It ensures that sudden voltage increases, caused by initial contact between the contacts of the motor’s starting cap, do not damage your AC unit and provide a more reliable starting experience.

The increasing popularity of soft start technology has led to some debate about its benefits. On one hand, it does reduce the environmental impacts of RV air conditioners by helping them to consume less power. On the other hand, some people argue that these savings are not significant enough to make it worth the additional cost associated with purchasing a soft start air conditioning system.

Ultimately, whether or not you choose to incorporate soft start technology into your RV’s air conditioning systems depends on how much you value efficiency and reliability when compared against higher costs. It is important to weigh both sides objectively before making your decision.

The next section will explore the benefits of incorporating soft start technology into your RV air conditioning units in greater detail.

Crucial Highlights

Soft start technology reduces the inrush current of an AC compressor motor, making air conditioning units more efficient and reliable. Debate exists over whether the savings achieved are enough to justify the additional cost. Therefore, it is important to weigh both sides objectively when deciding whether to use this technology for RV air conditioning systems.

Benefits of Soft Start for a RV Air Conditioner

Soft start for a RV air conditioner can provide a variety of benefits both in the short term and long term. To start, this type of system protects the compressor from high starting current spikes by gradually increasing the voltage instead of abruptly exposing it to full power. This reduces the draw on the generator or shore/park power and extends its life. Furthermore, soft start systems are highly energy efficient because they require less electricity for operation, decreasing overall energy expenses. Additionally, these systems reduce wear and tear on other RV components such as shore power cords, which reduces the need for expensive replacement.

On the flip side, while soft start systems are generally more reliable than those without, they do require a bit more maintenance than traditional RV air conditioners due to their additional parts and components. While most soft starts will last longer than traditional ACs due to their protective measures, regular inspections must still be done to ensure proper function.

The advantages of having a soft start system installed in a RV air conditioner far outweigh any potential downside, making them an ideal choice for many. By reducing starting amperage and voltage and providing extended energy efficiency, these systems can help extend the life of your air conditioner while simultaneously reducing energy costs over time. And with proper maintenance, these systems can provide years of reliable service.

Looking ahead to the next section about “Lower Start-Up Amps and Voltage” – we’ll explore how exactly these two factors are reduced with soft start systems for RV air conditioners.

Lower Start-Up Amps and Voltage

Lower start-up amps and voltage are attractive features for those in the market for an RV air conditioner. Strictly speaking, low amps and voltage denote a softer start to the cooling cycle, allowing for slower changes in compressor speed that reduce stress on the vehicle’s electrical system. The significant benefit of lower amps is more wattage available for other appliances. Low voltage also gives you more flexibility when setting up your distribution panel.

From a cost perspective, if your RV’s current minimizes the effect of higher amperage required at start-up, then it might be worth getting an RV air conditioner with a high start rating. Higher start ratings mean more energy capabilities and the added benefit of a faster cool down while using less energy overall.

However, lower rated units typically cost less in terms of initial investment since they prioritize soft starts over power capabilities; this could be beneficial if you have a cost threshold that can’t accommodate high wattage specs. Additionally, some RVers are loyal to certain brand names and prefer to get their AC unit from that manufacturer based on past experience or trustworthiness.

No matter which option offers the exact specifications you require, understanding what your RV needs is essential before investing in an air conditioner. By knowing how much power your RV can handle and how quickly you need your AC to cool down, you can make an informed decision between low amps and voltage versus high during the selection process.

With these considerations in mind, we can now move onto exploring options that lasts longer and use less energy – such as dual stage compressors – in our next section.

  • According to a survey conducted by Airxcel, 72% of RV owners are satisfied with their air conditioner’s performance.
  • A 2020 study found that using a soft start system on an RV air conditioner can typically increase efficiency between 8-12%.
  • A 2017 report indicated that 50% of RV owners have experienced problems due to their air conditioners starting too quickly or shutting down unexpectedly.

Lasts Longer and Uses Less Energy

When it comes to the operation of a RV air conditioner, it is ideal to have one that runs as efficiently as possible. But, often times, there are trade-offs to be made. One of the primary things to consider when deciding is whether a RV air conditioner should have a soft start or not. Soft starts increase the lifespan and use less energy in comparison to traditional starts.

A soft start can help reduce wear-and-tear on an RV air conditioner. Since it does not utilize the common “hard start” that puts more of an intense draw on power, an AC unit with soft start will gradually get up to speed over several moments instead of one big burst of energy. This means the transition from off-to-on won’t be as hard, thus prolonging the life of your RV air conditioner by reducing any dramatic pull cycles and motor torque. When powered on, motors experience tremendous amounts of stress from starting over and over again and this could even lead to early failure if they don’t have some form of protection. With a soft start, not only are you protecting your RV’s AC but you’re also saving money on future repairs in the process due to its longevity.

Another benefit that comes with soft starts is the optimized energy savings they provide. When an AC unit uses a soft starter, it slowly draws current until it reaches full speed capability, causing less strain on utility lines and equipment (as previously mentioned). Essentially, this means that your RV air conditioner won’t need as much electricity or power as it would have if no soft starter were used. Especially if you plan to run your AC for extended periods of time, this type of starter cannot be ignored!

Soft starts are becoming a more popular option for RV air conditioners due their numerous benefits exist. Now that more consumers than ever want convenience without sacrificing longevity and efficiency—soft starters prove to be a great technology choice! To learn more about how to install these types of kits into existing systems, read the next section: “How To Install A Soft Start Kit For An RV Air Conditioner”.

How to Install a Soft Start Kit for a RV Air Conditioner

Installing a soft start kit for a recreational vehicle’s air conditioner is not as difficult as it may seem. Many RV owners choose to install a soft start kit instead of replacing their entire air conditioning unit because it generally provides a less expensive option while still offering the same desired end result. While some argue that installing a soft start kit requires technical skills that not all RV owners have, with the right tools and instructions, most can complete the process successfully.

When preparing to install a soft start kit, it is important to make sure you purchase one that is compatible with your air conditioner unit to ensure safe installation and optimal performance. Additionally, before beginning installation, double check for any warranty information or local regulations that could impact the process. As always, when working with electrical equipment and wiring, user safety should take priority; if you are uncomfortable doing the installation yourself, you should contact an electrician.

Once you have gathered the necessary materials and appropriate documentation, the actual installation of the soft start kit can begin. The soft start module will need to be wired directly into current wiring that runs between the inside and outside components of your RV’s air conditioner unit. Before making any physical connections, become familiar with common wiring diagrams so you can plan out where each connection will go and prevent any accidental wrong wires being crossed. Once all connection points have been identified, using insulated wire nuts carefully attach each configured cable as indicated in the instructions provided. Careful attention should also be paid when mounting and attaching the module itself as improper alignment of these items could also create additional problems down the road.

Finally after connecting all components together it is important to turn off power before completing a thorough inspection of all wires and connections – checking for loose screws or improperly connected cables to ensure that everything is secure and functioning properly. When inspecting inside the RV’s living space make sure wiring is kept away from large metal appliances that may interfere with receiving signals from device controls, and label both ends of each connection point so future maintenance is easier. After performing this pre-start test and fixing any issues, power can then safely be restored to all components signalling success of your installation project.

Now that addressing your RV’s soft start needs has been completed we can now take time to review alternatives to soft start kits for recreational vehicles’ air conditioners in our next section.

Alternatives to Soft Start for a RV Air Conditioner

In addition to Soft Start technology, there are other alternatives that can also provide a reliable and efficient startup of an RV Air Conditioner. One alternative is to use a mechanical startup system which is typically found as a part of the air conditioner itself. This system will start up the compressor using a set of electromagnetic clutches and mechanical switches that directly engage the power source of the compressor, similar to how a manual car transmission operates.

Some RV owners may opt for installing two or more compressors in their air conditioning unit. In this case, one compressor will be used as the main compressor and the other one as backup when the main one fails or becomes overloaded. This approach can significantly reduce downtime in case of failure and can provide greater cooling capacity if needed.

Another option when considering alternatives to Soft Start for a RV air conditioner is to install the highest rated fan motors available on the market. As fans directly affect the airflow of an air conditioner, increasing their speed can significantly improve the performance of the unit at startup, resulting in quicker cooling and fewer start up failures. Additionally, by upgrading existing motor units with models that feature higher speeds and more capacity, RV owners can benefit from reduced maintenance costs and improved efficiency over time.

There are some drawbacks associated with both mechanical starter systems and higher-rated motor fans that should be considered by RV owners before making any decisions regarding installation. Mechanical starter systems require regular maintenance and can become quite costly over time due to wear on clutch components, where as increased speed motors may require more power or end up exhausting excess energy if not correctly matched with the rest of the air conditioning unit’s components.

Considering both pros and cons of these alternatives is essential in order to determine if any of them is suitable for RV owners in particular circumstances. The next section examines how Soft Start technology works with high-gas pressure units, offering increased fan speed and more capacity for optimal results with an RV Air Conditioner.

Increased Fan Speed and More Capacity

When evaluating the best soft start for RV air conditioners, another important factor to consider is the increased fan speed and capacity available. Installing a soft starter will generally improve the fan speed of the unit, resulting in significantly improved air circulation performance. Additionally, this also allows for increased capacity as more current can be supplied with a slower starting motor. On the other hand, it should be noted that increased fan speed means increased vibration which can potentially cause some noise pollution or propagate wear on the unit due to higher load on bearings.

Due to the potential tradeoffs between this improved operation and potential long-term drawbacks, it is essential that RV owners carefully evaluate their individual needs when considering whether a soft start is worth the added cost and maintenance over traditional operation.

Moving along to our next section, let’s take a look at our concluding thoughts about the overall best soft start for RV air conditioners.

Conclusion and Overall Best Soft Start for RV Air Conditioner

It is difficult to determine the best soft start for your RV air conditioner because there are many features and components to take into consideration. However, for some people, the most important factor is cost, which will determine whether or not they purchase a particular device.

When looking at cost as the determining factor in selecting an RV AC Soft Start, it is important to consider the life expectancy of the product along with its initial cost. If a more expensive unit has more features and a longer warranty than a less expensive model, then it may be worth investing in it over the long term.

In addition to price, other factors such as compatibility, additional features, ease of installation, quality of construction and noise levels should be taken into account when purchasing a soft start. It is also important to read customer reviews and compare competing models on sites like Amazon before committing to buy any specific model.

Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when choosing the best soft start for your RV air conditioner. By researching all available options and considering all of the factors listed above, you can make an educated decision about which soft start is right for your needs.

Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any safety considerations to keep in mind when using a soft start device for an RV air conditioner?

Yes, there are safety considerations to keep in mind when using a soft start device for an RV air conditioner. It is important to first check that the current rating and voltage of the power source match the ratings of the soft start device. Too much voltage or too many amps can potentially damage the soft start device and cause it to malfunction. Additionally, while certain models of soft-start devices are designed to protect against electric shocks, it is always best to use caution when handling electrical components of any kind. Finally, be sure to follow all installation instructions carefully as incorrect or hurried installation can lead to further electrical or mechanical issues.

How can I install a soft start for an RV air conditioner?

The installation process for a soft start for an RV air conditioner requires the right tools and materials. First, you’ll need to shut off all power leading to the air conditioner and disconnect any electrical wiring. Then, you will have to install the soft start unit according to manufacturer’s instructions, connecting it between the air conditioner and the incoming power supply. Once connected, you’ll need to switch the breaker back on, allowing the soft start to build power more slowly than usual. This can help reduce surges and save energy over time. Finally, you will have to test your system and reset any equipment settings before you are done with your installation.

What are the pros and cons of different soft start options for RV air conditioners?

Pros of Soft Start for RV Air Conditioners:

1. Improved energy efficiency: Soft starts provide improved efficiency in air conditioning units by allowing them to ramp up to full capacity gradually, helping to reduce energy consumption at peak times when energy costs are highest.

2. Increased life of the motor: Since soft starts help reduce the electrical current draw needed to start the motor, they can extend the life and reliability of your motor.

3. More reliable performance: By reducing the stress on the motor, soft starts can ensure consistent and reliable performance over time.

4. Enhanced comfort levels: With a gradual ramp-up, soft starts avoid sudden changes in temperature or pressure which may cause discomfort in some users, making air conditioning more comfortable overall.

Cons of Soft Start for RV Air Conditioners:

1. Cost: Soft Starts tend to be more expensive than traditional air conditioner starters due to their complexity, making them an option best suited for those who are willing to pay for superior performance and reliability.

2. Reduced noise levels: As the motor won’t have to handle the mechanical load associated with starting at full capacity, noise levels associated with RV ACs operating with a soft start are typically reduced. However, this will be most noticeable in cases where the user is directly next to their RV AC unit rather than further away from it.

3. Compatibility issues: Depending on your existing wiring setup, you may need to carry out additional rewiring or modifications in order to connect your RV AC system with a soft start device effectively and safely. This could add extra maintenance costs onto your purchase if not factored into initial costings beforehand.