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Old 06-08-2016, 08:35 PM   #1
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Default Travado A/C on generator

Was unable to restart mach8 Slim 13500btu AC in hot conditions with Onan 2800 gasoline model. I understand the Travado has the same exact equipment I installed. I called the Coleman tech and he said the Onan 2800 may only start the AC in mild temps at lower elevations. Didn't recommend a hard start Capacitor as it would probably work but would shorten the lifespan of the compressor to 2-3 years. I ran it on my Inverter with no problem in very high heat. I have the option of running an inverter but what about the Travado owners?
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:40 PM   #2
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It is a bit late now, but you probably would need to have one of the inverters that will make up shortages in shore (generator) power if the loads get too high. Once running, the AC would likely be fine on the 2800 Onan, so you would not use much battery to give it the starting bumps.

I think Avanti has that feature in his Outback. We do not have it in our Magnum.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:47 PM   #3
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What happens? Does the gen just bog down & quit? Any other large load inadvertently on like the charger for your lithium batteries?
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:07 PM   #4
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Check this Mach 3 doc: http://www.airxcel.com/docs/default-...e.pdf?sfvrsn=3

It clearly shows a start kit / PTCR device as standard. Maybe try your luck with a second call to tech support. Ask them if the start kit shortens the life of the compressor on their mach3

I decoded the model # of my Mach 3 and it indicated that it had a start kit yet when I took a look I couldn't find it. Mine just has the run and fan capacitors like this guy's: Installing Hard Start Capacitor into my RV Air Conditioner
I did read that motorhome A/C's get the start kit for generator use and trailers don't as it is anticipated that they will be plugged into grid power. I don't know if that is true or not. The Mach 3 is on my travel trailer.

I did a lot of reading on this and don't recalling anyone discussing that a hard start cap shortens the life of the compressor to 2-3 years.

That is worth investigating for sure though. I put an SPP6 - Supco - in mine but will do some research & take it out if it will shorten the life of the compressor. I doubt that though.

There's a lot of discussion re: SPP6 and the SPP6E out there. I chose the SPP6.
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:24 PM   #5
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From Supco:

Quote:
It can also be said that hard start kits are a compressor’s fountain of youth. Compressor start is its most difficult time. The impact of increased power during startup generates more heat in the windings of the compressor. By starting a compressor up to 50% faster, stress is minimized and life expectancy increases. Also, the introduction of a start capacitor increases the power factor during startup by as much as 65%, thereby providing additional stress relief for the compressor.
Look for the SPP6_app_001.pdf pdf file in the downloads section here: Supco
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:50 PM   #6
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I have a fancy Blue Sea systems Breaker panel thats may be tripping it out, it does not trip the breaker on the generator. I need to read up on that panel. The Coleman mach8 slim is a new model and according them (Coleman) they don't have a hard start Capacitor for it. The magnum controller will try to charge the batteries while it running so I have to turn the charger off during start up. I was going to get the hybrid inverter but reading the Onan specs said it would run a 13500BTU AC and the fact the Travados are running the same gear.
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:58 PM   #7
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The panel shows the current load and it goes blank then resets its self. The breaker on the panel does not trip.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:01 PM   #8
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I would have thought the same as you - that the 2800 Onan would be able to start and run the Mach 8.

It might be worth looking at the genset a bit. Check the output voltage & frequency.

Rodger posted voltage & frequency specs from the service manual here:
RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Onan 2800 voltage & Hz specs.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:13 PM   #9
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I have not had trouble with my A/C and Onan generator in my Travato in 100 degree weather at 3700 feet. I don't know if it has the start kit that Marko was referencing.

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Old 06-08-2016, 11:34 PM   #10
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Thanks, the panel shows me watts volts HZ and amps and they are OK.
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:24 AM   #11
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A properly sized capacitor on a motor (read compressor) will not damage anything. An undersized cap will, due to the lack of current. I think your Coleman tech was smoking something that day.

Coldman may not sell a hard start cap for your unit, but Supco will.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:43 PM   #12
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Any progress on this mojoman?

I was very tempted to try to run the Mach 3 Plus A/C today by tethering the trailer to the van but decided against it. At best it looks like a 1600 watt load and the inverter is only 1500 watts.
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:01 AM   #13
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I plan on doing more research on it after my up coming trip, I already have the capacitor.

I did a little more wiring and I can now charge the lithium batteries independent of the magnum inverter while operating the AC on batteries with: Onan generator, alternator, solar or all the above. The battery to battery charger and the van's alternator will supply 120amps, an Aux charger rated at 40 amps connected to the Onan generator plus any solar at the time, I'll be able to subsidize and recharge during the AC operation multiple ways.
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