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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking around for a soft starter because the A/C in my trailer gives even my 3500W continuous generator some trouble on startup. This is partly because of my elevation, my generator is really only good for 2800W. Allegedly, with a soft start, you can run an A/C unit on one of those Honda EU2000's or EU2200's, which are actually 1600 and 1800 watt continuous.

These are the two options I found:



Does anyone know about them? Or which is the one to go with. I believe the SoftStart might be the newer of the two as I have seen a few of their reviews mention it was an improvement on the "original".

I can't find it now, one of them had a chart showing the difference between the start up amperage with and without the softstart. It was like 52 amps without and 24 amps with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Heres the chart:

Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Plot
 
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2021 Powerboost Platinum FX4 Kodiak Brown.... Oops, I mean 2022 Powergrid KingRanch in Shiney White
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I purchased this one, although I suspect it is very similar design?
I have yet to install it since I haven't had a problem using the Powerboost for running the RV. I still intend to though since it definitely SPIKES on startup. I have procrastinated, or I would have some test data for you to confirm how well they work.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I purchased this one, although I suspect it is very similar design?
I have yet to install it since I haven't had a problem using the Powerboost for running the RV. I still intend to though since it definitely SPIKES on startup. I have procrastinated, or I would have some test data for you to confirm how well they work.

View attachment 178842

View attachment 178843
They say it also makes the unit a lot quieter when it starts, so there still should be some motivation :ROFLMAO:

It looks like they bumped the price because its now 319 with that coupon.
 
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They say it also makes the unit a lot quieter when it starts, so there still should be some motivation :ROFLMAO:

It looks like they bumped the price because its now 319 with that coupon.
I'm a little concerned about that "quiet" part.
Let me explain....

Mine is the 15,000 BTU ducted Brisk II, and it fires up the fans a few seconds before the compressor hit. If I have the microwave going, or the Air Fryer/oven, or the electric water kettle.... I have those few seconds to get up and turn them off before the Spike. It saves me on a hot day from having to go outside and reset the 30A RV breaker. :)

If it's not going to give me the aural differentiation, I'll be holding my breath a few seconds hoping I made it in time?

Wait. What am I thinking?

I won't have to.......

How did I not think of that before?
It's brutal getting old.
I might be able to leave the microwave on?
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm a little concerned about that "quiet" part.
Let me explain....

Mine is the 15,000 BTU ducted Brisk II, and it fires up the fans a few seconds before the compressor hit. If I have the microwave going, or the Air Fryer/oven, or the electric water kettle.... I have those few seconds to get up and turn them off before the Spike. It saves me on a hot day from having to go outside and reset the 30A RV breaker. :)

If it's not going to give me the aural differentiation, I'll be holding my breath a few seconds hoping I made it in time?

Wait. What am I thinking?

I won't have to.......

How did I not think of that before?
It's brutal getting old.
I might be able to leave the microwave on?
LOL. Exactly. They say you can run dual 15000 BTU A/C's on a single 30A connection. Basically, the spike while hooked to a SoftStart of two units starting simultaneously is no more than a single unit starting with no softstart.
 

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All I suspect all it is a capacitor or two installed beside the unit. Imagine a battery that you can charge up and then discharge at at very rapid rate. If that was there in line to take the initial hit. All it needs to do is supply the surge and your in the clear. It will run as normal and recharge capacitor/S. They’ll work awesome as long as they’re are sized properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All I suspect all it is a capacitor or two installed beside the unit. Imagine a battery that you can charge up and then discharge at at very rapid rate. If that was there in line to take the initial hit. All it needs to do is supply the surge and your in the clear. It will run as normal and recharge capacitor/S. They’ll work awesome as long as they’re are sized properly.
But allegedly they do actually soft start the compressor. They arn't just absorbing the spike. Because one of the claims is that the A/C startup is a lot quieter and smoother with one of these hooked up.

So I think they are actually limiting the current to the compressor as opposed to just acting as a battery to absorb the hit.
 

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But allegedly they do actually soft start the compressor. They arn't just absorbing the spike. Because one of the claims is that the A/C startup is a lot quieter and smoother with one of these hooked up.

So I think they are actually limiting the current to the compressor as opposed to just acting as a battery to absorb the hit.
I was wrong they limit the voltage to allow the current to not come in so aggressively. Then feather it in as compressor starts to full power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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I have no idea. Its a common problem with those mid-sized generators rated ~2000-3000 watts. My 3100 dual fuel Champion is rated lower than gas specs because I only run it on propane, but run the microwave and the AC trips the breaker every time. I plan on installing the hard start capacitor but just haven't gotten to it. We don't take a lot of trips in hot areas so I have been dragging my feet.

The softer start devices might be better on the equipment, but they are expensive. Another approach I have seen at campgrounds is two smaller generators - one dedicated just for the AC on a separate dedicated circuit. Then you don't ever have to worry about amp draw.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have no idea. Its a common problem with those mid-sized generators rated ~2000-3000 watts. My 3100 dual fuel Champion is rated lower than gas specs because I only run it on propane, but run the microwave and the AC trips the breaker every time. I plan on installing the hard start capacitor but just haven't gotten to it. We don't take a lot of trips in hot areas so I have been dragging my feet.

The softer start devices might be better on the equipment, but they are expensive. Another approach I have seen at campgrounds is two smaller generators - one dedicated just for the AC on a separate dedicated circuit. Then you don't ever have to worry about amp draw.
Yeah the price difference is substantial. The quieter startup might be nice, but not $300 nice.
 
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So if I were shopping to replace my worn out or broken Dometic, and they offered it with and without the feature, and stated officially the smaller generator requirement, quieter operation, and longer life of the compressor, but instead of $880, the "deluxe" was $1180, I'd buy it every single time.

I just wish it would go up on the roof and install itself. :)
 
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So if I were shopping to replace my worn out or broken Dometic, and they offered it with and without the feature, and stated officially the smaller generator requirement, quieter operation, and longer life of the compressor, but instead of $880, the "deluxe" was $1180, I'd buy it every single time.

I just wish it would go up on the roof and install itself. :)
Yeah being on the roof is the sketchy part for sure! I'm right there with you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have no idea. Its a common problem with those mid-sized generators rated ~2000-3000 watts. My 3100 dual fuel Champion is rated lower than gas specs because I only run it on propane, but run the microwave and the AC trips the breaker every time. I plan on installing the hard start capacitor but just haven't gotten to it. We don't take a lot of trips in hot areas so I have been dragging my feet.

The softer start devices might be better on the equipment, but they are expensive. Another approach I have seen at campgrounds is two smaller generators - one dedicated just for the AC on a separate dedicated circuit. Then you don't ever have to worry about amp draw.
When i was having trouble with my 3500W generator, i was manually shutting off all the 120V circuit breakers except for the a/c. Everything else was on battery. It was still close and you could really hear the generator auger in on startup.
 
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I think the switch in my generator has tripped enough that it's real easy switch now. It was like that at first, where the motor would take a huge dip, then recover, but now it just flips off on me. I'm going for the capacitor and some AC improvements next time I go somewhere hot.
 
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I'll attempt to capture the real time KW spike and then normal load using the FordPass App. Then do the same after the softstart install.

I remember the first time I saw the spike while hooked to the Powerboost I was a bit stunned. I kinda expected it to trip that 3600watt phase and shutdown the ProPower. But then it settled and it was using a fraction of the draw. As expected, of course.
 
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Another option I have read about is to delay the fan a few seconds after the compressor is kicked on. This saves a few more amps, but definitely the compressor is going to consume the most.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Another option I have read about is to delay the fan a few seconds after the compressor is kicked on. This saves a few more amps, but definitely the compressor is going to consume the most.
Softstart claims theirs dropped the startup spike to 24 amps, so 2880W, vs the originally 52A. I would think most generators can handle that. The spike is only 0.3 seconds:

Slope Rectangle Font Plot Parallel


I think what happens with the generator is that it can't supply that 52 amps and so it bogs and the whole startup process gets drawn out longer but still at very high amps. My generator can theoretically supply 29A startup at my elevation. I can hear my A/C not actually fully get going.

Also, does your generator have a switch for 120V or 120+240V mode? I figured out that my generator only allows 15A when in 240V mode on the 30A plug. Even though the breaker is 30A it is somehow splitting the amperage across the two legs(it makes sense because its only a 3500W continuous generator so it can't do more than 14.5A at 240V). It's just odd that, even though I was not drawing 30A at 120V, it was still tripping the breaker. I could not get my A/C to run at all with the generator in 240V mode even hooked up to the 30A plug.

I had to set it to 120V mode, but then the leg that my generator was powering was not the same leg that my Camco adapter was passing to my trailer plug, so I had to go in and swap the two legs on the 30A generator outlet so that the correct leg was being powered in 120V mode. After I did that the generator does fine except for the bog at startup, I just have to leave it in 120V mode.
 
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