Soft Start RV Installation – Everything You Need to Know

So you’ve taken the plunge and now your RV has been equipped with a Soft Start system, allowing you to tackle any terrain with ease and save money on fuel. You’ve heard whispers of RV Soft Start installation and you’re wondering what it’s all about; well, let us tell you everything you need to know about the process. With our comprehensive guide, you’ll be ready to get on the road with a confident and smooth ride!

Quick Breakdown of Key Point

You will need to purchase a soft-start system suitable for your RV and have it installed by a qualified technician. It is important to ensure that all wiring is done correctly and professionally in order to ensure your safety and the proper functioning of your RV’s electrical system.

What is a Soft Start RV Installation?

A soft start RV installation is a type of inverter system designed to protect an RV from electric surges and power outages while providing reliable access to shore power. This system utilizes a variable speed fan that automatically adjusts the power load as needed, giving users options like selecting a low-power setting for household items, or a high-power setting to run appliances like air conditioners. Soft start RV installations are ideal for campers and those who frequently make use of their recreational vehicles.

For campers in particular, this type of system can be advantageous because it provides protection for sensitive electronics, such as computers or other electronic devices. Additionally, running the RV on a soft start unit means less power will be used to run its components. This not only ensures smaller electricity bills but also conserves energy in the long run.

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages associated with installing a soft start RV system. For instance, higher end models may require additional wiring and space in order to adequately control the current output. Furthermore, even lower cost systems require professional installation in order to ensure proper operation. Finally, due to the complexity of these systems there is always potential for breakdowns and malfunctions which can be costly and time consuming to repair.

In short, soft start RV installations offer substantial benefits to those who frequently make use of their recreational vehicles but require careful consideration due to the complexity involved. After all being informed is key when making important decisions about your RV and its equipment. Next, let’s discuss how does a soft start RV installation work?

Key Points

A soft start RV installation system is an ideal choice for campers and recreational vehicle owners, as it provides protection against electric surges and power outages. These systems run at a low-power setting to conserve energy and save money on utility bills. Additionally, soft start RV installations are complex and require professional installation for optimal performance. Ultimately, those considering this type of system should weigh the pros and cons in order to make an informed decision that best suits their needs.

How Does a Soft Start RV Installation Work?

Soft start RV installation is a relatively new technology designed to improve the performance of RV air conditioners, reduce noise and vibration, prolong the life of your air conditioner, and withstand temperature spikes. When you install a soft start RV unit, it will regulate the motor’s starting current as opposed to traditional motor starters that draw large amounts of power during startup. This reduces stress on the compressor by gradually increasing pressure and slowly spinning up the blades instead of launching them from an abrupt stop. This also benefits household wiring since it reduces the strain on the electrical power supply.

When installing a soft start RV system, it is important to work with a qualified electrician because these systems require both AC & DC components, include specialized wiring and could potentially interfere with existing onboard systems. Furthermore, if not properly installed, it can cause errors in the equipment or disrupt its operation altogether. On the other hand, if installed correctly, this system can greatly enhance your RV’s performance as well as provide energy-saving benefits.

The benefits of installing a soft start RV unit are numerous and can be felt by both novice and experienced operators alike. Next we’ll look at how the installation of a soft start RV unit can lending itself to added benefits such as improved efficiency and performance.

Benefits of Installing a Soft Start RV Unit

The installation of soft start RV units can provide numerous benefits to RV owners. Firstly, it provides a much smoother and quieter motor starting process, as the motor is slowly and gradually brought up to higher speeds without putting too much of a strain on the electrical system. The result is that the motor starts faster and at a lower power level while still maintaining the appropriate speeds.

In addition, soft start RV units also have the benefit of providing a number of protective features. They can limit start-up current, prevent stalls by providing overload protection, and even reduce voltage spikes. All of this helps ensure that your motor continues to run properly, preventing costly repairs in the future.

On the flip side, some RV owners may consider a soft start unit to be an unnecessary expense since there is no immediate benefit from its installation other than the prevention of potential problems. However, when taking into account how much time and money can be saved from avoiding costly repairs in the future, it is definitely worth considering a soft start unit for your RV.

Overall, installing a soft start RV unit can provide an array of benefits for owners who value smooth and quiet engine operation as well as enhanced protection from voltage spikes and other electrical issues. With this in mind, let us now discuss the steps involved in installing a soft start RV unit.

Installation of the Soft Start RV Unit

Installation of the Soft Start RV Unit is a fairly straightforward process. The overall time required is dependent on available installation space and the exact model of Soft Start unit being utilized, but typically ranges from 30-90 minutes. The entire installation can be completed with only basic electrical wiring knowledge and hand tools.

To begin, the existing motorized and electrical components must be sensed and determined so that the Soft Start RV unit can match and balance their capacity, providing smooth, sustained operation. Once properly planned, the components should then be turned off to remove power and prepare for installation. The soft start unit should be mounted near the motor, while the wiring must be run between it and source and load equipments in order to facilitate communication between those components. Once cabled, mounting screws may be used to secure the Soft Start RV Unit in place – it’s important to note however that direct contact with water should be avoided.

After securing the unit into place, wiring can begin, following a simple 3-step process: 1) all nodes are connected to main power supply, 2) motor and all other electrical loads are wired up to their respective terminals from the Soft Start RV Unit; 3) after that is complete, all Loads (Capacitors, Contactor Relays etc.) must then be wired up for control connections; once done, all Load circuits must have their instantaneous current set limits assigned which will limit the surge current of each Load relative to one another for optimized performance during start up or emergency stop conditions.

Once this process has been completed correctly, turn on power supply to ensure all systems are working correctly as designated. If any issues arise after powering on, adjust as needed until optimal results are achieved before finalizing connection phase by turning off power supply again.

At this point your Soft Start RV Unit should function properly, having successfully completed its installation process! However, due the delicate nature of electrical components it’s highly recommended to double check connections before activating system fully.

Now that we’ve covered installing the Soft Start RV Unit in full detail, let’s move on to setting up the wiring–which requires even more attention to detail in order to provide reliable performance throughout your system’s lifetime operation.

Setting Up the Wiring

When preparing to install a soft starter in an RV, setting up the wiring is a crucial part of the process. It is best to work with a plan or diagram that shows the specific wiring setup you’re aiming for. You will need proper tools such as wire strippers and cutters, an ohmmeter, screwdrivers and pliers, along with the appropriate wires and connectors.

Before you begin wiring, it’s also important to ensure that all power sources are off. Depending on what type of soft starter you have installed, you will want to run power from the RV battery and your external power source. Additionally, some systems require control voltage from either the main panel or through a relay contactor. By visually confirming these points of connection before starting any wiring process, it can reduce potential mistakes throughout the installation process.

Some experts argue that when it comes to setting up the wiring, double-checking your plans is an absolute must to avoid mistakes during installation. Double-checking alignments with diagrams and re-confirming which power sources are being used can help make sure everything is set up correctly on the first attempt. It’s also important to test out any signals that may be running between components once they’re wired together so you know they’re working properly before proceeding with the installation.

On the other hand, some argue that double-checking plans isn’t essential when it comes to setting up wiring for a soft starter in an RV. The most important factor during this phase is speed; rushing through might not leave room for errors due to impatience or carelessness. Instead, taking a few extra minutes might get every step just right from the start and avoid any costly mistakes down the line.

Once all of your wiring needs are taken care of for your soft starter RV installation, it’s time to move onto connecting your power source in order to get your RV up and running again.

Connecting the Power Source

Connecting the power source to a soft start RV unit is an essential step for proper installation. Depending on the model of your RV, you’ll need to either hardwire the unit directly into your electric service panel or plug the unit into a 120v outlet. While there are benefits to both options, it’s ultimately up to you and should be based on preference and convenience.

Hardwiring a soft start RV unit directly gives your system more protection from any electrical surges, meaning you avoid any disruption to your service while extending its life span. The downside of this option is that hardwiring requires more skill on the installation side and can take longer. It may also require that you upgrade your current electric service panel in order to accommodate a new circuit.

Plugging a soft start RV unit into a 120v outlet is considerably simpler and can take as little as 15 minutes for anyone with basic electrical knowledge. The downside is that 120v outlets are not typically equipped to provide full protection during surges which could lead to damage or tripped breakers.

No matter what option you choose, connecting your power source is crucial when installing a soft start RV unit. The next step is even more important – how to protect your RV with a soft start RV unit.

How to Protect Your RV with a Soft Start RV Unit

Installing a soft start RV unit is the best way to protect your RV from damage due to electrical shocks and surges. An RV soft start unit protects the inverter and other circuits by reducing the inrush current, or peak power draw. This helps to avoid inactive loads on the inverter which can cause excessive voltage drops from appliances like air conditioners and microwaves. The soft start protects your RV’s wiring by limiting the amount of current it draws at once and reducing the chances of wires overloading, burning up, and shorting.

A soft start system can also prevent damage to your batteries. When an appliance with a motor starts up suddenly, it draws a large surge of electricity that can quickly drain the battery’s capacity. With a soft start installed, you can be confident that your batteries won’t be depleted as quickly when needed current is supplied between charges.

On the other hand, having a soft start RV unit is not necessary in all instances. Many newer RVs come with larger inverters and a more robust distribution system that can handle sudden peak loads without any issues. However, if you own an older model or have made recent modifications to your RV’s wiring or engineering, then having a soft start RV unit installed may give you peace of mind and help protect valuable components from serious damage due to electric shocks and surges.

Ultimately, deciding whether or not installing a soft start RV unit is right for you depends on the age and condition of your equipment as well as whether or not you plan to make significant upgrades in the near future. Installing a soft start unit guarantees additional levels of protection against electrical surges and voltage drops so it may be worth considering if you want extra assurance that your equipment will remain safe from electric shock damage.

Now that we’ve gone over how to protect your RV with a soft start RV unit, let’s take a look at some alternatives to consider for protecting against electrical shocks and surges in our next section.

Alternatives to a Soft Start RV Unit

When installing a large appliance such as an RV air conditioner, there are several alternatives to using a soft start unit. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on the specific RV model, budget, and climate.

The most common alternative is to install a capacitor-start motor. Capacitor-start motors are more reliable than soft start units and are often more economical to install. However, they require additional components such as capacitors and relays to function properly and generate heat during operation which can reduce energy efficiency over time.

The second alternative is to use a variable frequency drive motor. Variable frequency drives are the most efficient type of motor and provide the most precise control due to variable torque output. However, these motors are also the most expensive option and require complex wiring configurations for installation.

A third alternative is to forego an electric motor altogether and use a direct-drive system that physically pulls or pushes the compressor unit with pulleys or belts. This type of system requires minimal maintenance, but it is noisy and not as efficient as an electric motor, making it better suited for short-term applications rather than sustained usage in an RV environment.

Finally, for those who do not need anything more than basic on/off temperature control, swapping out the existing A/C unit for one with a built-in fan coil can be a less expensive option while still providing adequate cooling capabilities. As with all other alternatives, this choice comes with pros and cons like reduced complexity but decreased efficiency when compared to electric models.

Ultimately, when deciding which solution best suits your needs, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Factors such as price, power requirements, weather conditions should all be taken into account before making a final decision on the best option for your RV air conditioning system installation. With that in mind let us now turn our attention to drawing some conclusions from this discussion about soft start RV units.

Conclusion: Now that we have discussed several alternatives to a soft start RV motor unit, we can move on to assess the pros and cons of each option before making our final decision about which is best for our own installation needs.


The installation of a soft start mechanism can dramatically improve the energy efficiency of an RV, increasing fuel mileage and reducing noise. Additionally, soft start mechanisms are generally quite simple to install and do not require additional components or major system modifications. That said, it is important to ensure that the chosen soft start system is compatible with the RV’s existing setup and to take time researching installation instructions before making a purchase.

In sum, while there can be drawbacks to a soft start RV installation – such as having to work within the limitations of the existing parts — overall, these systems offer a cost-effective solution for those who need improved performance and fuel economy from their recreational vehicle. For those who lack the expertise or desire to install and maintain their own soft start system, they may want to consider professional installation and maintenance services either online or at a nearby RV facility. Ultimately, this decision depends on each individual’s needs.

  • The approximate cost for installing a Soft Start RV is between $500 to $1,500.
  • The installation time for a soft start system in an RV is between 2-4 hours on average.
  • According to the RV Pro Magazine, Soft Start AC systems in recreational vehicles are gaining popularity due to their ability to improve air conditioning performance while saving electricity.


What does a soft start for an RV do?

A soft start for an RV can help your engine run smoother and more efficiently. By adjusting the current flow into the motor, a soft starter regulates power to the motor which produces a smoother, more consistent startup than traditional motor starters. This helps reduce noisy engine vibrations, as well as providing extremely stable electrical performance and improved acceleration from the engine. Additionally, it can help reduce wear on key components of the RV’s engine, thereby extending its lifespan and reducing maintenance costs. In short, a soft start for an RV will help keep your engine running at its peak performance for much longer.

What steps should I take when installing a soft start for an RV?

When installing a soft start for an RV, there are several key steps to take to ensure that the installation is done correctly and safely.

1. read through the manual that comes with your soft start thoroughly – this will contain all of the information you need regarding how to properly install the unit and any specific requirements for your RV model

2. ensure that all connections are secure and in good condition – including power, ground, and communication components

3. Measure the voltage coming from the battery or other source of power – this should match the voltage needed for the soft start

4. Check for safely enclosed wiring – insulation should be intact and no exposed wiring should be present

5. Confirm that all connections are properly labeled before installation begins

6. Test any fuses or circuit breakers as needed during installation – these will help to protect against potential electrical problems

7. Run a final test after installation is complete – double check that everything is working correctly and then turn on the RV’s main power switch

8. Regularly inspect and maintain your soft start system in order to keep it running properly over time

Following these steps will help make sure your soft start installation is successful and that you can enjoy all of its benefits without any issues.

What tools are required to install a soft start for an RV?

The tools required to install a soft start for an RV include an adjustable wrench, screwdrivers, a multimeter, and a wire stripper. An adjustable wrench is necessary for loosening and tightening nuts and bolts that may be needed during the installation. Screwdrivers are used to attach the wires from the soft start to the RV’s power supply. A multimeter is used to measure the voltage of the newly installed soft start and can come in handy in diagnosing any unfortunate issues that may arise during or after installation. Lastly, a wire stripper should be used with care when detaching and attaching wires to the RV’s power supply. All of these tools are relatively inexpensive and will make the installation process much easier. With all of these tools in hand, you’ll be ready to undertake any soft start installation on an RV.