Originally Posted by 70fit2adventure
I have a 2200W portable generator to run a/c. I tried using generator the first time this weekend and once a/c compressor turn on; the generator lasted for a few minutes before it shut down. I've heard about an Easy Start device that might be needed to help the surge.
Is the van’s shore power connected to the generator, or is only the A/C unit connected? There can be loads on that generator besides the A/C if the shore power inlet is used, like water heater element, fridge/freezer, and especially house battery charger. Turn everything off at the breakers and try it, or use an extension cord and plug the A/C directly into the generator.
Also, it’s difficult at best to diagnose electrical loads without knowing the current and voltage, so if you don’t have one, buy a clamp-on ammeter with probes for voltage. They’re not expensive, and some come with a line splitter you can insert between the load plug and the receptacle to make it easy to use the ammeter; no need to find exposed conductors.
At least then you’ll know what you’re dealing with, and you can compare the A/C’s current draw against the electrical data that’s somewhere on that A/C unit to see if it’s performing as it should or drawing excessive current.
Being that it takes a couple of minutes before the generator trips out or shuts down, a soft-start unit won’t help.