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Old 08-13-2019, 11:43 AM   #1
jsb5717
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A little help for my son's generator

Just checking the electrical expertise here.

My son has a 30 amp TT. He has a generator that should be adequate but it keeps popping the breaker when the AC is turned on. There are 2 settings for the 30 amp plug...either 120v or 240v. He's using the 120v but it won't work.

This is his generator. Any thoughts?

http://www.ngcindustries.com/11-8120.html

Thanks for the help
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:58 AM   #2
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Which breaker? On the generator or in the RV? What size is the breaker?

Definitely plug into 120.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:27 PM   #3
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Is the 30A 120V outlet on the generator the same as the plug on your son's RV cord? The 3500w (running) should be OK to run an RV a/c unit otherwise so we are likely missing something. And as already asked; pops the main in the trailer or the breaker on the generator?
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:12 PM   #4
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It pops the generator breaker. The breaker doesn't indicate what amps it's protecting so it must be a general breaker for any over-draw.

The plug is a 4 pin twist but he bought the adapter for the RV plug from an RV dealer

I appreciate the help. I'm no expert in electrical so not sure what's going on. Seems like it should work.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:18 AM   #5
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jsb5717

Your first step is to hook up the generator to the trailer and run some other AC items like the microwave or just plug in something to one of the regular AC outlets. If all is well there then the air conditioner compressor might be drawing too many amps during startup (known as locked rotor amps). Also make sure nothing else is drawing power from the generator except the trailer's converter.

What is the rating of the air conditioner? 13,500 btu, 15,000 btu or something else. Does the air work when hooked up to shore power?

Your generator has a continuous rating of 3500 Watts and a surge rating of 4000 so it should handle the air conditioner, but not much else. I have the champion 3400 Watt inverter generator with a continuous rating of 3100 Watts and it runs our 13,500 btu air no problem, just don't ask it to run the microwave at the same time .

If the air is in good working order, it might just have a high startup amperage. You can try installing a hard start capacitor (the least expensive option) or try the Easy Start from Micro Air (a bit expensive).


Hard start capacitor: example only, your air conditioner might require a different model
https://smile.amazon.com/Supco-SPP6-...%2C127&sr=8-2l.


Easy Start:
https://www.microair.net/products/ea...nt=30176048267
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:32 AM   #6
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The generator appears to be a "off brand knock-off" obtained from a mail order business. I'm not suggesting that the generator is not worth the price paid, rather that many "low cost, off brand" generators are either "rebranded rejects" or "remanufactured and rebranded, low cost sales items"....

You didn't indicate that there's any problem when the trailer is connected to shore power, so if it's working on shore power, then the 30 amp RV main breaker is carrying the correct load and the A/C is working. That means the trailer is probably working normally (or the 30 amp trailer breaker would open with the A/C load). Assuming that it works on shore power, I'd suspect it's a generator issue.

Before spending a lot of time on trying to troubleshoot the trailer for possible problems, it looks like this is your son's generator and the problems are with the generator, when connected to his trailer....

Why not connect his generator to YOUR trailer, see if you can replicate an approximate "amp draw" by turning on ONE of your air conditioners. If the breaker on the generator does the same with YOUR trailer, I'd suspect the generator first and not the trailer. If, however, the generator performs well in powering YOUR trailer, then I'd suspect that your son may have an issue with his air conditioner and/or his trailer....

I'd suggest you verify that it's the generator or his trailer by connecting to YOUR trailer to see if the generator is performing to specifications. That way, you'll know where to focus your efforts rather than "blaming both and trying to find out which one".....
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:38 AM   #7
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flygrimm and JRTJH,

Thanks, guys, good suggestions. I did suggest that he try running other stuff from the generator as a test. His trailer works fine on 30A or 50A (with plug adapter) shore power and runs the AC as it should.

Also, his AC is 13,500 BTU

I am also suspecting the generator itself.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:10 PM   #8
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Just confirmed with my son that the generator powers the coach and runs everything, including the microwave, except the AC. With everything else off, the AC alone pops the breaker.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:21 PM   #9
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Seems to me that the generator cannot handle the startup amperage for the air conditioner. Could be the breaker on the generator is faulty, the stated startup watts (4000) for the generator are overstated or there is a fault with the generator.

Try the generator on another trailer if possible and see if it starts that air conditioner.

Try another generator if you can get access to one.

I might try a hard start kit on your son's trailer. It's only about $20 and can be installed DIY in less than an hour. Lots if video's on YouTube.

Stuart
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:54 PM   #10
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Thanks, it does feel like the generator is weaker than stated. We are hooking it up to my trailer this Saturday to test that theory.

Thanks for the help
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:26 AM   #11
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How did your test with the generators go?

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Old 08-27-2019, 12:01 PM   #12
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Thanks for checking. The jury is still out. He can plug into the std household 120 outlet (20a) and run the coach just fine. However, in the 4 prong 240/120 outlet with an RV adapter plug the breaker pops. Still not sure why...
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:18 PM   #13
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If it's the breaker on the generator that keeps popping, I would think that there is something wrong with the generator. Bad breaker, bad wiring, maybe the adapter is faulty. Just some ideas. Were you ever able to hook up the suspect generator to something else or try a different generator on your son's rig?

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Old 08-27-2019, 12:34 PM   #14
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champion 3500

I have a 2910bh Keystone pssport and tried 3 generators till i found the champion 3500 weight 90 lbs would run out trailer ac and frig not sure if i turn on all the lights but it does what is needed (home depot about 950 bucks) they have larger more potent ones but i wanted to be able to lift it myself and are much cheaper. good luck
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:52 PM   #15
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Thanks, I suspect something wrong with the gen. The same breaker operates both outlets. There is a selector switch to determine which outlet you're using. The breaker does't pop on the 20amp side, but does on the 30amp side.

We've also used 2 different adapter plugs with the same result.
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:48 PM   #16
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you got the answer, the generator can't deal with the A/C.

The new 2200 Honda generator is operate a 13.5btu a/c
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:13 PM   #17
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The confusing part is that it runs the AC just fine on the 20a side, but not on the 30a side.
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Old 08-27-2019, 03:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsb5717 View Post
The confusing part is that it runs the AC just fine on the 20a side, but not on the 30a side.
I may be wrong with this answer, but it seems feasible to me. The 30A twist lock type receptacle is able to provide 30A total at 120V...which equals 3600 Watts. But each leg of the 120 is only going to be able to provide 15A each...for a total of 30A. Since the A/C unit is 120V and is only being supplied from one of the hot legs, using the 30A twist lock recept is actually only providing 15A from that one leg. Basically, the other 120V leg is not being used. So 30A total....15A on each leg. Most likely there is nothing wrong with the generator, and the breaker is doing exactly what it should be doing, opening up or tripping because of the current being higher than 15A at start up.
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:15 PM   #19
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Using the correct adapter? Xrated may be on to something in a sense. Since the generator is voltage selectable it should be able to put out the max watts at the 30 amp receptacle in the 120V only mode, correct? Somehow the switch parallels the load after the circuit breakers to give the max watts. But I believe it would still take both legs (hots) to get the max watts but they can be combined when in the 120V only mode. However, if the adapter is incorrect it may only be connecting one leg (hot) to the RV end of the adapter, which as would seem to limit to 15amps.
I am not a pro, but I think it would be interesting to know if both 'hots' of the adapter have continuity to the 'hot' of the RV side of the adapter.
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wxman View Post
Using the correct adapter? Xrated may be on to something in a sense. Since the generator is voltage selectable it should be able to put out the max watts at the 30 amp receptacle in the 120V only mode, correct? Somehow the switch parallels the load after the circuit breakers to give the max watts. But I believe it would still take both legs (hots) to get the max watts but they can be combined when in the 120V only mode. However, if the adapter is incorrect it may only be connecting one leg (hot) to the RV end of the adapter, which as would seem to limit to 15amps.
I am not a pro, but I think it would be interesting to know if both 'hots' of the adapter have continuity to the 'hot' of the RV side of the adapter.
If the 30 amp outlet is set up to provide only 120/240 volts from the four leg outlet, there may not be a switch to actually select one voltage or the other, and if that is the case, the two hotlegs will be out of phase and are not able to be paralleled, so the 15 amps per hotleg is probably the what is wrong and why the A/C will not work. The dogbone adapter is only using one of the hotlegs to feed the 30 amp shore cable, just like if you were connected to a 50 amp pedestal, you are only using one of the 50 amp hotlegs, but that works in that situation. Another sad thing is, this generator has a 7 HP engine and doesn't really put out that much more power than our two little 2,000 watt Honda's paralleled, 2.8 HP each.
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