RV Air Conditioner Soft Start – How to Install and Save Money

How much of your life have you wasted running around looking for ways to save money? It’s a grueling task that leaves us all exhausted. Well I have some great news for all RVers out there – you may just be able to equip your RV with a soft start air conditioner and potentially save yourself a bundle! Here at [name], we are here to give you the inside scoop on air conditioner soft starts so you can learn how to install one and save some of your hard earned money.

Quick Summary of Key Points

Installing a soft start for an RV air conditioner requires utilizing a capacitor and relay, in addition to the appropriate wiring and safety techniques. Consult your local RV dealer or retailer for specific installation instructions.

What is RV Air Conditioner Soft Start?

RV air conditioner soft start is a component designed to help the air conditioner run more efficiently and reduce the amount of strain on the vehicle’s electrical system. The soft start component works by gradually increasing power to the compressor so that it doesn’t draw an excessive amount of power all at once when it turns on. This component can be beneficial for people who spend extended periods of time in their recreational vehicles as it helps protect their expensive electronics from damage due to large instantaneous surges in voltage. It can also be useful for people who enjoy boondocking, or camping without hookups, because it saves battery life and reduces wear and tear on the vehicle’s electrical systems.

On one hand, some people argue that installing an RV air conditioner soft start is not necessary because most modern vehicles already come equipped with surge protection and other components to reduce the strain on their electricity. Additionally, some people argue that these components add complexity and increase the overall cost of installation. On the other hand, others argue that investing in RV air conditioner soft start adds an extra layer of protection to sensitive electronics while reducing wear and tear on the vehicle’s electrical systems making RVing more efficient, safe and cost-effective in the long run.

Overall, while it is generally agreed upon that RV air conditioner soft starts provide benefits, there are still differing opinions as to whether they are necessary or not. As such, it is important for prospective buyers to do their own research and make an informed decision about whether or not this component is right for them. With this understanding, let us now turn our attention to the advantages of a soft start for your RV air conditioner.

  • An RV air conditioner soft start can help reduce the starting current consumption by up to 75%, allowing for a gentler startup and saving energy in the process.
  • Soft start technology helps to reduce the strain on the AC system, thereby increasing its life span significantly.
  • A study published in 2019 found that a soft start air conditioner will consume approximately 30% less power over the course of operation compared to a traditional RV AC unit.

Advantages of a Soft Start for Your RV Air Conditioner

Installing a soft start to an RV air conditioner system can provide many advantages and lead to money savings in the long run. A soft start reduces the inrush current, or initial current surge that is usually drawn by motors when they are first turned on – meaning it requires less energy to start. This is beneficial as it will not strain your RV’s electrical system, which should improve its lifespan. Motor protection is also improved as the life of the compressor motor can be prolonged due to the reduced stress placed on it each time the system turns on. Noise is also diminished significantly, making your RV experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

In addition, a soft start will help reduce your energy bills as it will draw less electricity over time. This can amount to significant savings over time depending on how often you use your air-conditioner. Research has also indicated that using this type of technology may even qualify for an energy rebate from local government programs as it increases energy efficiency.

It’s important to note there are some potential drawbacks in deciding to use a soft start for your RV air conditioner. The major one being the cost associated with purchasing and installing the equipment – the cost of labor included in the installation process combined with the equipment itself can add up quickly. Generally speaking, while not always the case, easily accessible and easy-to-install air conditioners tend to cost more than their harder to access counterparts. That being said, spending a little extra initially may end up saving you money over time if you plan on utilizing an RV air conditioner regularly enough throughout its lifetime.

By installing a soft start rigorously designed for an RV air conditioner system, owners can reap many benefits both short-term and long-term. The noise reduction alone may be worth it for some people if they have issues with sound and comfortability inside their RV. And although there is certainly an upfront cost associated with purchasing and installing all of the necessary equipment, it could prove to be quite beneficial in reducing energy bills depending on how frequently you use your AC unit overall. Moving forward, we will discuss further details about reduced voltage surge, another way a soft starter can benefit an RV air conditioner system.

Most Important Points to Remember

Installing a soft start in an RV air conditioner system offers many advantages, including reduced noise, increased motor protection, and improved energy efficiency. Initial costs can be high, but the money saved over time with lower energy bills may make up for it. Additionally, some local governments may offer an energy rebate if the system increases efficiency. While adding a soft starter can benefit RV air conditioners, we will explore reduced voltage surge to learn more details.

Reduced Voltage Surge

When installing an RV air conditioner soft start, one of the key benefits is reduced voltage surge. Voltage surges are abrupt increases in voltage that can damage the air conditioner’s motor and compressor. As a result, installation of a soft start makes sense as it helps to avoid this risk in the long-term. This risk is increased when starting up to power load such as an RV air conditioner.

When there is a sudden increase in the current provided to the appliance upon startup, it can cause what is known as inrush current or inductive kickback which can overwhelm both the wiring and components of any RV electrical system. This overload can be extreme enough to cause serious damage to the air conditioner unit – making installation of a RV air conditioner soft start not just helpful but necessary for saving money on repairs.

At the same time, some may argue that the point of cheaper wiring used for most RV systems is that it won’t check under extreme stress and will likely be destroyed anyway, so spending extra money on equipment like a soft start will only provide limited benefit over a short period. However, while this type of strategy might work in certain situations, it is not recommended due to the potential of overheating causing further damage across other components further down the line. It’s best practice to look at preventative measures such as installing soft starts whenever possible.

In conclusion, installing a RV air conditioner soft start as part of your airflow system setup reduces voltage surge, lowering the risk of damage given its ability to handle greater current flow compared to more traditional forms of wiring and circuitry. To further reduce risk of damage and ensure longer life of the appliance overall, next we’ll discuss how reduced temperature from modified sine wave inverters further decreases adverse effects from current problems on RV air conditioners.

Reduced Risk of Damage

Installing a soft start for your RV air conditioner can reduce the risk of damage related to sudden surges in power. A surge protector may also be wise to protect not only the air conditioner, but other electronic vehicles as well. An RV air conditioner requires an additional 200 percent surge of electricity when it is first turned on, which puts wear and tear on the compressor and circuit board. Installing a soft start module helps reduce these power surges which will help to extend the life of your air conditioner’s compressor and circuit board, protecting them from potential damage or early failure.

On the other hand, some RV owners may not want to invest in additional equipment that isn’t necessary for their AC unit to operate. Given how infrequently most RVers use their AC units, relying on a surge protector alone may lessen any worry that they have regarding potential damage related to sudden surges of power. So while installing a soft start module can certainly reduce the risk of damage, it’s important to weigh this decision against personal needs and budget before investing in one.

Regardless of whether you decide to install a soft start module or rely on a surge protector alone, it’s important to protect your air conditioner against potential damage due to power surges. The next step is learning more about installing a soft start for your RV air conditioner.

Installing a Soft Start for Your RV Air Conditioner

Installing a soft start for your RV air conditioner is an important step in optimizing its performance and saving money. This type of installation generally requires more skill than a standard repair, so it is important to carefully plan out the process and make sure that you understand all of the components involved. With careful preparation, installing a soft start can be done by most experienced DIYers.

One of the biggest benefits of installing a soft start for your RV air conditioner is the money saved by reducing start-up current. The reduced current will not only help you save on energy costs, but also decrease stresses on the components that are part of the air conditioning system. Additionally, some motorized parts within your RV air conditioner will have longer lives as they will be able to withstand decreased strain from the lower levels of current.

One downside of installing a soft start is that the job may take longer than other types of repairs, especially if the replacement unit requires extensive wiring and/or assembly. Additionally, purchasing a separate pre-made soft starter can increase costs significantly. However, if you are knowledgeable about electrical work, assembling one yourself can actually cut down costs significantly as it may require less research and fewer materials.

By carefully weighing these pros and cons, you can decide whether installing a soft start to your RV air conditioner is right for you. Once you are confident in going forward with this project, it is time to gather all required materials and tools necessary for completing it – which will be covered in the following section.

Required Materials and Tools

Installing a soft start in your RV air conditioner requires certain materials and tools. Before beginning the installation process, it is important to have the right supplies on-hand. The items required vary depending on the make and model of your RV AC system, so be sure to consult the owner’s manual. Generally speaking, however, RV air conditioner soft start installations will require a power cord, junction box assembly, flexible conduit, soft start motor control and wiring harnesses. In most cases, additional parts such as screws, a drill bit and cable ties will also be necessary.

It is important to ensure that you have all of the appropriate tools required for installation before beginning. Tools typically needed include a drill/driver or screwdriver, electrical tape, wire stripper/cutter tool, adjustable wrench and needle nose pliers. It is advisable to test the tools prior to use for accuracy and safety.

Finally, for any electrical project it is vital to have the correct testing devices. Voltage testers or multimeters can help you safely measure voltages and troubleshoot problems throughout the install process. With all the necessary materials and tools at hand, you are now ready to begin operating a soft start in your RV air conditioner!

Operating a Soft Start in Your RV Air Conditioner

Operating a Soft Start in Your RV Air Conditioner is an effective way to reduce energy consumption and extend the life of your air conditioner. Soft starts provide a gradual increase in power to the motor, reducing electrical strain and resulting in a significant reduction in power usage. While operating a soft start may cost a bit more upfront, the extended lifespan and energy savings can lead to significant cost savings over time.

There are two primary benefits associated with operating a Soft Start in your RV air conditioner: energy conservation and longer motor life. A soft start reduces the amount of electricity delivered to the motor when it turns on. It does this by delivering current pulses at lower wattage until the fins on the compressor reach their designated speed. This helps relieve some of the strain from the electric grid, which can improve overall efficiency. Additionally, due to the reduced spike in power that occurs with a regular start-up, there is less stress placed on the compressor, leading to fewer repairs and maintenance down the road.

The other major benefit of operating a Soft Start is reducing running costs. As mentioned earlier, soft starts reduce initial demand on the electrical grid and therefore can result in lower monthly bills for users who run their air conditioners frequently or for long periods of time. Depending on use Patterns, switching to a soft start could significantly reduce monthly spending on electricity over time yet still keep your RV cool when needed.

Overall, operating a Soft Start in Your RV Air Conditioner provides clear benefits for those looking to cut costs or just maintain their units effectively. There are also potential downsides as well; some consumers have reported that using soft starts create inconsistent temperatures as well as noise from buzzing transformers when small amounts of power are drawn from them over extended periods of time. Ultimately it’s up to you decide if installing one will be beneficial for you based on how much you anticipate running your air conditioner and how much money you want to save over time.

Now that we’ve discussed how to operate a Soft Start in Your RV Air Conditioner let’s turn our attention towards protecting its electrical wiring.

Protecting the Electrical Wires

When installing an RV air conditioner soft start, one of the most important steps is to properly protect the electrical wires. Unprotected wires can lead to wear and tear over time, as well as causing short-circuits and other safety issues. When it comes to protecting the electrical wires, there are two main strategies – conduit protection or wire armor. Conduit protection involves enclosing the wires in a protective casing whereas wire armor is a special kind of metal sleeve that wraps around the wires.

The debate about which approach is best for protecting electrical wires continues to this day. On one side of the argument, those who prefer conduit protection state that enclosing wires in plastic or metal casings protects them from wear and tear much better than wire armor ever could. On the other hand, proponents of wire armor state that this type of protection safeguards the wires by providing extremely tough defense against even heavy external force.

Ultimately, the choice between conduit protection versus armor comes down to personal preference; both have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to protecting electrical wires from damage during RV air conditioning soft start installations. After choosing a method for protecting wires, make sure to execute it properly in order to prevent any long-term issues resulting from improper installation techniques.

Now that we’ve discussed how to protect your electrical wiring during an RV air conditioner soft start installation, let’s turn our attention to voltage drop and its effect on your soft start.

Voltage Drop and its Effect on Your Soft Start

Voltage drop is an important dynamic to understand when installing a RV air conditioner soft start. Voltage drop occurs when the amount of current in the power line exceeds the capacity of the conductor. When this happens, the available voltage is proportionally reduced at that point due to the electricity resistance increasing in the power line. This can be caused by several things such as using too small of wire, and having too great a length between the power source and where it is going.

When voltage drops, it has several consequences for your soft start. It will increase start-up time and decrease the lifespan of your device. Moreover, it can cause a noticeable drop in temperature for your air conditioner, which will make it less efficient. This isn’t just an issue with soft starts: any motor-driven appliance can be affected by voltage drop.

A common way to test for voltage drop is to use a voltmeter. For example, you could measure the voltage at both ends of your load and compare them. A difference greater than 3volts indicates that there is most likely some kind of issue with either your wiring or overall system setup.

It’s important to consider voltage drop when selecting a RV air conditioner soft start because reducing the amount of resistance along the power lines will not only save energy, but also increase your device’s performance and life expectancy. So while you might think that getting a cheap model could save you money upfront, down the line you may end up spending more to replace it sooner because of issues related to voltage drop. It’s better to invest in a higher quality product that offers stronger protection against voltage drops and other related issues.

Conclusion: In conclusion, proper installation of a RV air conditioner soft start is not complete without understanding how voltage drop affects its performance and longevity. In the next section we will look at how to best diagnose and solve any potential issues that could arise from voltage drop in order to ensure optimal operation of your soft start device.


Installing an RV air conditioner soft start can be a great way to save a significant amount of money on electricity costs. Soft starts also provide numerous other benefits, such as reducing the initial amount of current that must be drawn when starting the compressor, preventing costly damages due to high current draw, and extending the life of the RV air conditioner overall.

For DIY enthusiasts, installing a soft start may seem like a daunting project, but with some technical know-how and research, it can be done relatively quickly. The components required are not hard to find and many good kits are available on the market. Most kits come with instructions that are very straightforward and easy to understand; installation time will depend on the system being installed and the skill of the installer.

There are also several commercially available RV air conditioners that already include a soft start feature right out of the box. While these models may cost slightly more than models without soft starts, the savings can quickly add up over time in the form of lower energy costs and extended system life.

Whether you choose to install one yourself or purchase one pre-installed depends upon your comfort level and tech savvy. In any case, understanding how to install an RV air conditioner soft start can help you ensure your comfort during your next camping trip while helping you save money at the same time.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What benefits does an RV air conditioner soft start provide?

An RV air conditioner soft start provides a range of benefits that can help save money and make life easier. First, it helps to extend the life of your RV air conditioner by reducing strain on the electrical system associated with cooling the interior of your vehicle. With reduced strain, there is lower risk of overheating or component failure due to overuse. In addition, the soft start system reduces energy costs associated with running the air conditioning by allowing for smooth starts and stops rather than a hard kick in to gear which requires more electricity and results in higher bills. Finally, installing a soft start system is relatively quick and easy for most RV owners, leading to a more efficient cooling solution with less effort and cost associated with installation.

How does an RV air conditioner soft start help prevent damage to the air conditioner?

An RV air conditioner soft start helps to prevent damage to the air conditioner by gradually increasing the power drawn when starting the unit, instead of hitting it with a full draw of power all at once. This can help to protect components of the air conditioner which may be prone to sudden surges in electrical current and could be damaged if exposed to this type of scenario. For example, the compressor can be protected from burnout or other harm by gradually ramping up its power intake over several seconds. Additionally, a soft start can help reduce wear and tear on various other components, such as motor bearings, that would otherwise be affected by suddenly spiking levels of electricity.

What are the common installation and maintenance requirements for an RV air conditioner soft start?

When installing an RV air conditioner soft start, the following common requirements must be met:

1. Ensure that the system is correctly sized and meets the clearance requirements specified by the manufacturer. The size of the unit should take into consideration the overall size of your RV as well as how much cooling power you need.

2. Ensure that all electrical connections and components are properly secured and connected. Make sure that all grounding connections are properly made and no loose connections exist.

3. Ensure that the unit is securely mounted to a flat surface, such as a wall or roof, using proper mounting hardware to prevent any vibrations or movement during operation.

4. Periodically inspect and clean the air filters to ensure optimal air flow and reduce energy costs.

5. Have an experienced technician inspect your system at least twice a year to check for irregularities or loose connections that may hinder its performance.

Finally, always use genuine replacement parts when repairing or maintaining your unit to ensure maximum efficiency and durability.