ac problems

Can a shortage of a few volts, say 106 vs. 115, at the RV park, cause the trailer's AC breaker kick off?

2005 Terry Quantum, 32' quad bunk house, super slide, 15,000 BTU AC unit. Brand new unit, first trip out. We spend time on the Colorado River next to Parker Arizona.

Unit ran and cycled fine when we pulled in, from about 10:00 PM till noon the next morning. Then the AC breaker started kicking off every 15 minutes, and the unit didn't seem to be blowing super cold air.

We were told by one of the park employees that at times, during the really hot days when everyone in the park is running a lot of electrical appliance, that we may not be getting a full 115 volts to our connection, and that may be causing the trailer's AC breaker to blow.

Does that sound correct from anyone's experience? Any other thoughts? We are going to take it back to the dealer and have it checked out.

thank you for your thoughts


Gary B

Senior Member
ac problems

Hi Shane, welcome to the forum, and Yes low AC voltage could and will cause such a problem. Did you have a AC Voltmeter, do you know what the actual voltage was? I have been in poorly wired?older parks where the voltage actually dropped to 102 or less, not at all good for the AC, I always have a plug in voltmeter with me and if the voltage drops below 108/109 we don't run the air. Another thing you can do if and I know around Parker, AZ you need air is to set the thermostat as far dowm as it will go so the the AC never cycles that way you don't have the start up amperage draw which is tripping the breaker. Good luck. :) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: :approve:
ac problems

The circuit breaker was doing its job and protecting your unit. In general, refrigeration units (including A/C's) have a voltage tolerance of +/- 10%. Low voltage applied to an induction type motor (the type used in nearly all refrigeration) will cause a sharp rise in the current draw. This is especially true on start-up when the current is 4-10 times when the unit is running. If the voltage is borderline, sometimes a "hard start kit" can help, but is no substitute for proper wiring and power supply.
The motor will also turn somewhat slower than normal, hence the lack of super cooling. Continued operation on low voltage can cause permanent damage to any electrical device. This is why some people run their refrigerators on gas even though they have electric hookups.
Checking the voltage as gary suggests is not a bad idea at all and one case where you don't damage your appliances will more than pay for a meter.
ac problems

When you decide to buy a voltage meter--buy a professional meter (around $70)--not a $5 toy from a discount store. We have found the latter to read 10-15 volts LOW. An accurate read is worth the price and an inaccurate read is just throwing money away and getting you and everyone else upset over nothing. PLUS...if you pull into a savvy park with your toy and begin complaining about low voltage, you just may get yourself a quick boot.
ac problems

Had same problem during a visit to Canada. Problem was caused by dirty contacts on the breaker box outside. The owner showed me the breaker and it was bad. Newone was ok but I think he needed to replace all the ones in the box since the A/C kicked off again a few hours later (after a big class A pulled in next to me). It kept tripping my inside breaker. I knew something was wrong when the A/C output wasn't normal. I hooked up to my genset till the fix was done and the A/C worked as it always did and didnd't trip.
ac problems

I bought a meter from Radio Shack to check on appliance electric usage in my house, but now keep it in my MH for checking voltage and khz at cg's and from my generator. It just plugs into the 110 outlet and displays voltage, khz, amps and kwh usage. It's called 'KILL-A-WATT' model P4400. Definitely worth the $40-50 bucks I paid for it.