How Many Amps Does an RV Air Conditioner Draw?

how-many-amps-does-an-rv-air-conditioner-draw

If you love riding on your RV or camping out, then you will be glad to know that it is now possible for it to make you feel like you are actually living in your own home. It is mainly because you can store modern appliances and facilities that run on electricity. It can make you feel like you are at home; the only difference is that you are on wheels.

The opportunity of running a hair dryer, microwave, toaster, television, espresso machine, air conditioning unit, or any other electrical appliances is actually brought to you by the shore power. It can also be described as a 12-volt system, which features an inverter.

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Why should you Know the Number of Amps Drawn by your Appliances?

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However, having these conveniences also requires you to know exactly how much amperage all your appliances draw. For instance, if you have an air conditioning unit in your recreational vehicle, then it is a must to know exactly how many amps does an RV air conditioner draw.

Knowing exactly the specific amperage drawn by each of the electrical appliances in your vehicle can aid in preventing the risk of tripping circuit breakers. It should be noted that the majority of these vehicles are wired for a 30-amp or a 50-amp service.

If you are still unfamiliar with it, take note that an amp refers to an electrical current measurement. Each time you are using an appliance powered by an electricity in your vehicle, you draw more current taken from the 120-volt shore power pedestal.

With the amp service, you might be limited especially during those instances when you need to camp or use several of your appliances. The result is a thrown breaker that might happen in your vehicle or the campsite service box. This is the reason why you need to know exactly how many amps your appliances draw.

To help you understand the specific amperage taken by your electrical appliances, especially your air conditioning unit, then use this article as a guide.

Amps Drawn by Electrical Appliances

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As mentioned earlier, it is really necessary to understand the number of amps drawn by all your electrical appliances to prevent the risk of tripping the circuit breakers. Knowing such info can help you plan your use of your appliances and prevent the risk of using too many of your appliances simultaneously.

Note that your recreational vehicle will have a hard time running multiple appliances simultaneously. If it does, then there is a great risk of blowing your breaker. With the 30-amp or 50-amp capacity of your RV, you can expect each appliance to pull or draw a certain number from it.

The problem is that if you go beyond the 30-amp or 50-amp capacity of your RV, then it will lead to breaker trips and power overloads. With that in mind, you really have to take note of the exact number of amps that they need to operate. Your air conditioning unit, for instance, draws around 12.5 amps. That’s the figure for a 15,000 BTU unit.

Note that the 12.5 amp drawn by your air conditioning unit is just the start-up figure. There is a chance for it to increase depending on the number of the air conditioning units installed in your RV and their individual sizes. It also depends on what mode the unit is set.

For instance, a 13,500 BTU air conditioner can draw around 14.5 amps when set in cooling mode and 16 amps when set in heating mode. As for the other appliances, they might be able to draw the following amperage:

  • Microwave - 12.8 amps
  • Toaster – 10 amps
  • 6-gallon electric water heater – 12.5 amps
  • Electric coffee pot – 10 amps
  • Crockpot – 1.5 amp
  • Hair dryer – 10 amps
  • Heating pad – 0.5 amp
  • Television – 2 amps
  • Electric frying pan – 10 amps
  • Ceramic space heater – 7.5 – 12.5 amps
  • Clothes iron – 9.2 amps

Note that the figure above indicates the number of amps that a single appliance can draw. If you have more than one units of a particular appliance, then it can also draw more amps.

Managing the Electrical System in your RV

Knowing exactly the number of amps drawn by the electrical appliances present in your RV is indeed one of the solutions in effectively managing its electrical system. Of course, it is a must for you to check the amp draw of your RV appliances, especially the air conditioning unit regularly.

That way, you won’t end up exceeding the 30-amp or 50-amp service provided by your recreational vehicle. If you have a smaller RV with just one air conditioning unit and a few electrical appliances, then the 30-amp service might be suitable for you.

However, larger motor coaches and fifth wheels will most likely need a 50-amp service to operate all electrical appliances and devices. Even if you know that your chosen service can accommodate the number of amps all your appliances can draw, it is still crucial to monitor the usage regularly.

Aside from that, it is also advisable to use the built-in meter in your RV as a means of monitoring the battery volts every day. If you have a solar system, then make it a point to observe the solar input amps every noon when it is still charging.

Also, be extra careful when you are running multiple appliances. Note that if you run your air conditioning unit, water heater, as well as other small appliances powered by electricity, like a fan and clock, then there is already a risk to trip a 30-amp breaker, especially if you plug your coffee put or run your microwave.

Because of that, it is really crucial to familiarize yourself with the exact amps that all your appliances can draw. Refer to it from time to time. You may also want to switch your water heater to propane or turn it off temporarily if you think that there will be a heavy load on your electrical system.

Conclusion

Knowing the number of amps your electrical appliances specifically draw, especially your air conditioning unit, can help you manage your RV’s electrical system well. It helps ensure your safety while also enjoying RV living.

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