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Old 07-26-2020, 04:48 PM   #1
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Generator solution for 50amp TT's

Greetings,
I have a 2020 284BHOK with 2 a/c units. Right now I have a Predator 3500 generator which will easily run 1 a/c and everything else. The solution I am looking for is to be able to run 2 a/c's with everything without having to step up to a larger/heavier/nowhere to store generator. I am looking into doing a dual parallel with 2 3500's but I was curious if anyone has put a 3500 Predator in parallel with a 2000 Predator. Any ideas welcome. Thanks.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:28 PM   #2
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I'm in the same boat as you. I've read that you can use a single predator 3500 with both AC units as long as you install soft starts on both of them. My current fix is to just not camp in the dead of summer unless I have power hookups. The small Cummins inverter looks promising and has 4000 or 4500 watts? But it's still a 30 amp generator
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:55 PM   #3
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I haven't seen a parallel kit for the 3500. Is it out?
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:45 PM   #4
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So, I have created more of a problem for myself in the pursuit of A/C-generator happiness. I too found out about the Soft Starts, and in a hurry to find a solution I ran out on Saturday and purchased two and installed them on my roof units. Both units are 15,000BTU. I had reached out to Coleman to try and get info on what the starting amps are for those - they finally replied to me today and within our discussion I learned that my units already have a Coleman Soft Start type system in them .... so I just wasted $600 and a few hours in the Arizona sun installing them. I have since removed them. Running amps for my two units is around 16amps each - they both start at around 18amps.
In regards to the Parallel Kit, there is NOT one made by Predator for the 3500 series generators, however, after researching I did find a Firman Parallel kit (1201) that will run two 3500 Predators. There is a great YouTube video on this. So for right now my only option if I am going to dry camp and in need of both A/C units .... I would need to do a 3500 Parallel.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:51 PM   #5
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And to add .... the Coleman tech informed me that on a very hot day a normal Coleman A/C could hit high 20's for starting Amps (when the compressor kicks on).
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:41 PM   #6
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I got 2 champion generators 3200 iirc and the parallel kit for them that has a 50amp plug. They ran my 2 15k ac’s when I tested them have not used them in anger yet
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:52 PM   #7
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Ha! Well, it looks like I'm headed that way as well. I'll pick up a second Predator and the Parallel kit soon. I'm not dry docking in the near future but it will be nice to check it off the list.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:00 AM   #8
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Northern Tool makes a parallel kit for 3500 and 2000 together. Their Powerhorse gens are the same as Preditors but differnt colors.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:19 AM   #9
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https://m.northerntool.com/shop/tool...0536_200660536
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:06 PM   #10
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I thought I saw a video showing a 3500 and a 2000 in parallel but I'm not sure if I would personally go that route. If the need ever arose that I absolutely HAD to have both A/C units running off of generator, the 3500/2000 would run both units but it wouldn't leave me much extra if I wanted to use other small appliances (and lights and T.V.'s). The 3500 max Amp output is 25 and I believe the 2000 is 13.5. That is enough to run just the two A/C's in my trailer and nothing else. If I remain stubborn on the Predator 3500 (they are insanely quiet) I will have to parallel with another 3500.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:09 AM   #11
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firepaul23, I have some questions about what Colman said about built in soft starts. Did they tell you to remove them after you had them installed? Would leaving them on the AC units help at all? What the tech said about starting amps is typically the numbers of a unit without a Soft start. Lastly, what model AC do you have. Thanks in advance. Jay
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
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firepaul23, I have some questions about what Colman said about built in soft starts. Did they tell you to remove them after you had them installed? Would leaving them on the AC units help at all? What the tech said about starting amps is typically the numbers of a unit without a Soft start. Lastly, what model AC do you have. Thanks in advance. Jay
Sorry for the delayed response. So basically, Coleman told me that the units that I had already had a "soft start" type system installed - I'm assuming it's a "Coleman version". He did tell me that I was lucky I did not start a fire with the units I put on - not sure if that was fact or they were just covering their butts. So to preface my entire story briefly, I never put a meter on the A/C units BEFORE I installed the soft starts .... so I never new what the factory starting amps were. After my phone call with Coleman and AFTER removing the Micro-Air Easy Start units I put on I metered the A/C units. Each unit had about a 6 amp fan start and then a 19 amp Compressor start. The running amps are around 16. So the units did have a soft start on them. Both of my A/C units are Coleman Mach 15.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay2504 View Post
firepaul23, I have some questions about what Colman said about built in soft starts. Did they tell you to remove them after you had them installed? Would leaving them on the AC units help at all? What the tech said about starting amps is typically the numbers of a unit without a Soft start. Lastly, what model AC do you have. Thanks in advance. Jay
The Coleman tech mentioned that the A/C starting amps (on a really hot day) could hit as high as 30 when the compressor kicked in.
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:38 PM   #14
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I have a Coleman Mach 15k AC that is fairly new. It does not have any type of "Soft Start" system factory installed. It takes sophisticated equipment to measure the AC starting surge of current so I doubt your "19 amp Compressor start" is even close to accurate. 30-40 amps would be a realistic estimate.

I also have the HF 3500 Watt Predator inverter generator. It runs my AC just fine, but before I installed my SoftStart USA it would stumble every time the AC kicked on. Now I barley notice when the AC cycles and the I can run the generator in ECO mode if nothing else electric is turned on.

Last summer I was just about ready to install a second AC because it wasn't getting the job done in the Arizona heat. Then I saw the attached video on the Jayco forum and it fixed my problem. I also sealed all of my ceiling vents because 3 out of 5 were blowing cold air into the space between the ceiling and the roof. The foam duct was also open on both ends...just blowing cold air into the ceiling.

Now my AC cools my TT just fine and with the SoftStart installed it is less work for the generator as well. Glad I didn't spend the money on a second AC.

Two SoftStart units would indeed solve your problem and let you run both AC's with your 3500 Watt Predator. Also would be cheaper than buying a second generator.

https://www.softstartusa.com/products/


https://www.softstartusa.com/rvtravelspecialoffer/


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Old 08-08-2020, 02:12 PM   #15
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Thanks firpaul23, for responding to me. I’m thinking that the 30 amp that the tech said is needed to start up on a hot day confirmed to me that there is no factory installed electronic “ soft start” like you put on. I don’t have one, but from what I have read here and other places, on a generator at least, it’s pretty easy to tell the difference in AC start up with and without a “ soft start” (not a capacitor ) Installed. The purpose of the soft start is to ramp up the compressor slowly and not get a big surge of start up current. Did you try a generator with and without the soft starts installed? Could you tell the difference? Jay
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Route 66 Traveler View Post
I have a Coleman Mach 15k AC that is fairly new. It does not have any type of "Soft Start" system factory installed. It takes sophisticated equipment to measure the AC starting surge of current so I doubt your "19 amp Compressor start" is even close to accurate. 30-40 amps would be a realistic estimate.

I also have the HF 3500 Watt Predator inverter generator. It runs my AC just fine, but before I installed my SoftStart USA it would stumble every time the AC kicked on. Now I barley notice when the AC cycles and the I can run the generator in ECO mode if nothing else electric is turned on.

Last summer I was just about ready to install a second AC because it wasn't getting the job done in the Arizona heat. Then I saw the attached video on the Jayco forum and it fixed my problem. I also sealed all of my ceiling vents because 3 out of 5 were blowing cold air into the space between the ceiling and the roof. The foam duct was also open on both ends...just blowing cold air into the ceiling.

Now my AC cools my TT just fine and with the SoftStart installed it is less work for the generator as well. Glad I didn't spend the money on a second AC.

Two SoftStart units would indeed solve your problem and let you run both AC's with your 3500 Watt Predator. Also would be cheaper than buying a second generator.

https://www.softstartusa.com/products/


https://www.softstartusa.com/rvtravelspecialoffer/


I appreciate your input and respect your opinion. I will tell you a couple things from my experience with this. First, it does not take sophisticated equipment to test amperage draw. Since you own a Predator 3500 you know that there is an LCD window that shows you the amps (as well as volts an a couple other things). However, in addition to that I have a clamp probe or clamp meter (whatever you'd like to call it) that I clamp onto my 50 amp cable - so, I had two devices confirming the amps on A/C start (fan) and then compressor kick in. My numbers are correct. As well, I ran the A/C off of my predator without an aftermarket Soft Start and the Predator handled it just fine .... no stuttering or anything. And to reconfirm my numbers and what the Coleman tech told me, I metered it again this past weekend while camping. The numbers were the same so the Coleman tech was correct.
I watched your video and it was very interesting, thank you for sharing that. I will take a look at my ceiling install tomorrow. I too am from Arizona and need those units operating correctly. Thanks again.
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:25 PM   #17
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Thanks firpaul23, for responding to me. I’m thinking that the 30 amp that the tech said is needed to start up on a hot day confirmed to me that there is no factory installed electronic “ soft start” like you put on. I don’t have one, but from what I have read here and other places, on a generator at least, it’s pretty easy to tell the difference in AC start up with and without a “ soft start” (not a capacitor ) Installed. The purpose of the soft start is to ramp up the compressor slowly and not get a big surge of start up current. Did you try a generator with and without the soft starts installed? Could you tell the difference? Jay
Unfortunately when I started this whole process I had just purchased the trailer and was heading out for a camping trip immediately. I had read the blogs and watched the videos on the generators and Soft Starts and I ASSUMED my units needed them - nowhere had I read that any units ever come with them. I did reach out to Coleman (actually now called AirXcel) to confirm the amperage numbers but they did not respond. So, I raced around town and found 2 and immediately installed them. I did start the units after my install and the numbers were what I wrote previously. Then Coleman replied and when I spoke to them they told me the after market Soft Starts were NOT needed on my units. I removed them .... hooked up my generator (and clamp probe) and got the exact same fan and compressor numbers. As a side note, I do know 2 people with older units that did put after market Soft Starts on and they did make a great difference.
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firepaul23 View Post
Since you own a Predator 3500 you know that there is an LCD window that shows you the amps (as well as volts an a couple other things). However, in addition to that I have a clamp probe or clamp meter (whatever you'd like to call it) that I clamp onto my 50 amp cable - so, I had two devices confirming the amps on A/C start (fan) and then compressor kick in.


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So, I raced around town and found 2 and immediately installed them. I did start the units after my install and the numbers were what I wrote previously.

The Peak current happens in Milliseconds and you can not see it with the naked eye, or by using a typical ampmeter. You would need a recording Osilliscope to slow it down enough to see it. The Amp gauge on the Predator is an LCD display that will not capture the Peak current.


The "Soft Start" you are referring to are hard start capacitors, not the actual SoftStart device that is available online only. You will not find it by "racing around town". There is another brand called Easy Start that does the same thing electronically as the one from SoftStart RV. Both units will run the AC on a 2000 watt inverter generator, two AC's on a 3000 watt inverter generator.



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Old 08-11-2020, 09:05 PM   #19
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I put a “hard start “ capacitor on a previous unit that I had with a Coleman AC. IMHO, it reduced the starting current by about 20%. I don’t have the equipment to measure it, just going by the sound of the unit and the generator. An actual “soft start” is not a capacitor, it uses electronics to slowly (relativity) to not overload a generator. Could the OP please post a picture of the soft start? Jay
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Old 08-12-2020, 12:21 AM   #20
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The Peak current happens in Milliseconds and you can not see it with the naked eye, or by using a typical ampmeter. You would need a recording Osilliscope to slow it down enough to see it. The Amp gauge on the Predator is an LCD display that will not capture the Peak current.


The "Soft Start" you are referring to are hard start capacitors, not the actual SoftStart device that is available online only. You will not find it by "racing around town". There is another brand called Easy Start that does the same thing electronically as the one from SoftStart RV. Both units will run the AC on a 2000 watt inverter generator, two AC's on a 3000 watt inverter generator.



First of all .... you are correct in regards to the O-scope. Excellent information. Here's my final answer; 1. My clamp probe and the Predator display worked perfectly for what I needed as the numbers I were looking for were the numbers that the Coleman techs would be sharing with me and also the numbers that most basic manuals provide. So for me, I did not need an Oscilloscope (although if I did I could have obtained one from my work - as I have used them as well). 2. The Amp numbers Coleman provided were matching the numbers I was getting on my units with my tools. 3. I DID NOT NEED after market Soft Starts for my 2 A/C units as the units I have came from Coleman with their Soft Start type technology. That's all I've got. End of story. Goodnight.
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