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How Many Amps Does an RV AC Use?

    Updated February 12, 2023

    You probably didn’t anticipate that you would need to become fluent in so much arithmetic and electrical expertise if you originally decided to buy an RV. You seldom ever have to consider amps or how much electricity your equipment use when you live in a home or apartment. In an RV, it’s crucial to keep that information in mind as you plug into hookups to avoid overloading your electrical system or tripping any circuits. Knowing how many amps your RV’s air conditioner needs is particularly significant because it will often require more amps than other appliances.

    How many amps does an RV AC use?

    While it is operating, an RV air conditioner will typically use between 11 and 16 amps. All RV air conditioners consume two to three times as much power when first turning on. Your AC’s specifications will vary depending on its size, age, and efficiency. By dividing the wattage by the voltage, one may determine the precise amperage.

    An RV air conditioner typically needs between 11 and 16 amps to run while it is in use. Depending on the AC’s size, model, and age, this will change. Older devices typically require more amps whereas newer models typically require closer to 11 amps than 16. However, there is a brief additional RV AC amp pull that is about twice the running amperage when an air conditioner initially starts up. RV campsites are built to handle this brief first surge since they either have 30 amp or 50 amp connections. The only situation where this won’t happen is if there are too many other electrical devices operating simultaneously with the AC in the RV.

    Can You Run RV Air Conditioner on 15 Amps?

    The typical RV air conditioner uses between 11 and 16 amps, as was already explained. It’s possible that your air conditioner will overtax the system if the area you’re staying doesn’t have a 30 or 50-amp hookup but only a 15-amp one. Therefore, trying to run your RV air conditioner on a 15-amp circuit definitely isn’t the best idea.

    You will need an adaptor if you wish to connect your RV to a 15 amp circuit. Additionally, you must make sure that no other appliances are running within the RV. You actually just have to cross your fingers and hope that it doesn’t trip the circuit since, as you probably know, the air conditioner will draw a sudden spike of power when it first starts on.

    Can You Run RV Air Conditioner on 20 Amps?

    You must keep in mind that your air conditioner will place more stress on the system if the circuit is smaller. So, it’s more likely to work if you’re thinking of connecting your RV to a 20-amp circuit.

    Can an RV AC Run On A Generator?

    Without a doubt, a generator can power your RV’s air conditioning system. When you are boondocking or visiting locations without power hookups, this is useful. However, you must make sure that your generator has sufficient electricity to run your air conditioner in a secure manner. It is rather safe to presume that it can handle any air conditioner you have if you have one that is included with your RV. Make sure to consider how much power your RV air conditioner needs if you need to make a purchase.

    Instead of amperage, wattage is typically used to rate generators. We discussed how to calculate watts above, but if your device still has its label attached, all you need to do is read a number off of the sticker. You would require a generator with a 1500 watt rating in the aforementioned case. Additionally, “hard start” kits are available to assist a generator in managing the air conditioner’s initial power spike.

    Simply said, running two air conditioners on a generator will consume more power than it is able to provide, so if you have a larger RV with more than one air conditioner, you will probably only be able to run one on a generator. To prevent overloading while both air conditioners are working, an RV with two air conditioners often operates them on a split system. In a divided system, a generator will often only be able to power one of these.

    Can an RV AC Run On A Battery?

    It is feasible to camp off the grid and run your air conditioner with battery power rather than a generator, but you will need a lot of batteries. It will depend on how long you intend to operate your air conditioner in this situation. The ideal alternative for this is lithium batteries, but to determine how many you need, you must consider your air conditioner’s amperage draw.

    You will use 450 amp-hours per day if your air conditioner uses 150 amps per hour and runs for three hours each day. You should also keep that amount in mind if you’re using battery power to power everything else in your RV. You may be able to run your air conditioner and everything else in your RV on a 200 amp-hour battery bank, but you will likely need at least a 650 amp-hour battery bank.

    Due to your RV’s weight and size restrictions and the high expense of a battery bank that size, this might not be feasible. This would also require an inverter, and after only a few hours of air conditioning use, you would need to recharge your batteries.