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Old 05-07-2021, 03:08 PM   #1
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Rooftop Aircon than runs only on shore power

Hey guys,

I'm diy-ing my van. I'm an engineer, but I have little to no practical knowledge of electrical systems design. So, I've heavily looked at faroutride.com's setup, and I'm largely following what they did. However, I want to put in an air conditioner on the roof that will not be connected to the battery, but only run when plugged into shore power.

So, on shore power, I'll have my battery charger and the air conditioner plugged in. I want to have a 30A inlet on the side of my van that supplies both. Maybe a simple question, but I'm totally green so I'm wondering if this is a workable solution.

This is the AC I'm considering:
https://www.amazon.com/Dometic-Polar...11&sr=8-4&th=1

and the battery charger:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Also, can this be used interchangeably with a regular 30a cable?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0811NMTFD...v_ov_lig_dp_it
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Old 05-07-2021, 04:12 PM   #2
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Chams,

First off I am an electrical engineer but not a qualified electrician. Of course, I DIY almost all my own stuff.

Looking at the Amazon add the factory says in "best conditions" the amperage of the AC unit is 13.2 Amp-AC and based on a simple calc the 30A charger is probably about 4 amps. Your total is then a little over 17 amps. Hopefully, you have at least a 20 amp circuit to plug in at the house for shore power.

My RV had a large 30 amp plug which is probably more standard at an RV park. I guess this is why you want to run from a single 30 amp service.

I think the main decision is whether or not you put a 120V service box with breakers into your rig. If you are just plugging in a single appliance using a regular insulated cable no problems. But with 30 amps and the distribution, I think you reasonably would need to do the breaker box.

Once you start trying to run a 30 amp service, it might be wiser to have a breaker on board. Not sure if code would allow you to do this without your own service load protection? This outlines a 30 amp service and shows an AC on a breaker.

RV Electrical Distribution

This is the safe way to do what you want AC and DC distribution and integrated charger.

Progressive Dynamics Mighty Mini AC/DC Panel and Converter/Smart Charger - 45 Amp

https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Converte...kaAnl4EALw_wcB

For your situation, I would get a 30 amp outlet (that needs to be wired) and have it power the unit above. Anything less than that you are on your own.

Marinco ParkPower 15A, 20A, 30A, and 50A power inputs
https://www.amazon.com/-/es/ParkPowe...0792T5V7Q&th=1

PS I have only looked at this for about 15 minutes, but that is my initial reaction. I don't know what is already on board.

In my rig, I used a single plug variant of this for a 12V@10Amp charger. Everything else is split between CAR and HAUS 12V power. In this situation, I'm just basically plugging my charger into the wall although the charger is located in the van. You could do that with two plugs as shown in the link below. You will not find a 30 amp variant of this probably because to meet code and or safety standards you need a breaker box.

https://www.amazon.com/-/es/GCP2-cor...7TLNQ328&psc=1
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Old 05-07-2021, 04:14 PM   #3
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At 2800W/110vac that looks like a 25.45 amp load. That doesn't leave a whole lot of capacity for other loads.
I didn't see the 13.2 amp draw stat. I'll look again.
I went to the web site for the product. They quote 1670W in cooling mode.
15.2 A at 110vac.
A bit more like it.
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Old 05-07-2021, 05:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by gahamby View Post
At 2800W/110vac that looks like a 25.45 amp load. That doesn't leave a whole lot of capacity for other loads.
I didn't see the 13.2 amp draw stat. I'll look again.
I went to the web site for the product. They quote 1670W in cooling mode.
15.2 A at 110vac.
A bit more like it.
from the question section............
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Old 05-07-2021, 07:42 PM   #5
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The 2800 watt rating would be on start up, the lower rating would be run time.
You need a 30-amp main breaker, with branch circuits. This is a nice , Blue Sea 1214 120v Ac Main + 2 Positions This will give two branch circuits, one for the air-conditioned ( you will need to swap out 15-amp breaker for 20-amp) and one for charger, etc. The flat rocker switches are nice.

A little cheaper with a additional branch; Paneltronics Standard Ac 3 Position Breaker Panel & Main W/Leds . I believe it also comes loaded with 3 -15 amp breakers, so again you will need to replace one of the 15 amp breakers with a 20 amp for the air-conditioner. This one will let you wire up a outlet for use in the van, I would use a GFIC receptacle for that.

For the 30 amp inlet my choice would be Smartplug Rv Kit 30 Amp 30' Dual Configuration Cordset - Black (Spx X Park Power) & Non Metallic Inlet - Gray or you could go with the standard RV 30 amp Power Plug Receptable Shore Power Inlet Twist Lock Connector This is cheaper option, but if you leave it plugged in a lot I would go with smartplug.

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Old 05-08-2021, 07:12 AM   #6
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Rooftop Aircon than runs only on shore power

Yes, the smartplugs are the way to go, swapped out the standard plugs to these on both the van and travel trailer.
Take a look at these units, I added one to our trailer to be able to run the A/C off of a single 2000W generator if needed, nice to have the flexibility when not plugged in.

https://www.microair.net/products/ea...nt=30176048267
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Old 05-08-2021, 08:22 AM   #7
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Why not go with the a 9200 BTU polar cub? I had one in my dark colored extended E350 CCV pop top with a ginormous interior and it cooled great running off a Honda 2000 generator, or shore power of course. These are much thinner too, not making such a block on top of your van. I hid mine as best I could with a roof rack.

Lots of pics of the install here:

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...air-10311.html
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Old 05-08-2021, 09:05 AM   #8
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I would consider a Dometic Penguin II unit or a Houghton AC as they are lower profile. We have a 15,000 BTU AC in our van. In my opinion, it is overkill (Transit 350 HR 148 WB). 13,500 or 9200 is even better. As Scalf77 and gahamby have said have said, You need 30 amps coming into the van for the AC to run properly, even with an Easy Start device. We have 2 Yamaha 2000 generators with a sidewinder plug to run our AC if needed off-grid. One generator did not provide adequate power.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charliesmom View Post
I would consider a Dometic Penguin II unit or a Houghton AC as they are lower profile. We have a 15,000 BTU AC in our van. In my opinion, it is overkill (Transit 350 HR 148 WB). 13,500 or 9200 is even better. As Scalf77 and gahamby have said have said, You need 30 amps coming into the van for the AC to run properly, even with an Easy Start device. We have 2 Yamaha 2000 generators with a sidewinder plug to run our AC if needed off-grid. One generator did not provide adequate power.
Agreed, the 9200 btu/Honda 2000 (or similar) combination is the only one I know of that will actually work.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charliesmom View Post
I would consider a Dometic Penguin II unit or a Houghton AC as they are lower profile. We have a 15,000 BTU AC in our van. In my opinion, it is overkill (Transit 350 HR 148 WB). 13,500 or 9200 is even better. As Scalf77 and gahamby have said have said, You need 30 amps coming into the van for the AC to run properly, even with an Easy Start device. We have 2 Yamaha 2000 generators with a sidewinder plug to run our AC if needed off-grid. One generator did not provide adequate power.

Sounds like you could use an easy start too, you’d save space and avoid having to lug 2 generators around
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