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 > Running Air Conditioner Via Inverter while Towing/Driving

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StartingNewChapter

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Posted: 07/01/19 05:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am considering buying a 3000 watt inverter for my travel trailer. I would like to run my air conditioner whiling driving to my destination. My hope is that short stops for lunch can be accomplished in a comfortable trailer. The specs on my 20 amp air conditioner states is uses about 2700 watts to start then 1300 to run. I have 270AH batteries that I hope will supplement the startup power needed. I am wondering will my alternator on my Jeep Grand Cherokee provide enough power to run the tow vehicle, run the air conditioner and charge the Jeep and trailer batteries? I could not find any definitive answers from Jeep.

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Posted: 07/02/19 07:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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DrewE

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Posted: 07/02/19 08:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Realistically, no. The air conditioner will take about 130A when running on its own, assuming the specifications are correct. The Jeep has (according to the specifications for the current model year) either a 160A or a 180A alternator. That leaves either 20A or 40A for everything else, assuming it's running full-out all the time; and at idle or low engine speeds, it can't put out full output, nor would it be happy doing so long-term--it would likely overheat and die pretty quickly.

Even if it did, getting that much current efficiently to the trailer would be impossible via the standard seven pin connector. You'd have to run a separate, quite heavy charge/inverter power line. More effective and efficient would be to have the inverter in the Jeep and run a 120V line.





time2roll

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Posted: 07/02/19 09:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This would probably need dual alternators. Or install a generator to produce 120v direct to the A/C like a motorhome.


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navigator2346

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Posted: 07/02/19 09:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The cheapest and easiest would to buy a generator for the trailer and power the A/C with that

cpaulsen

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Posted: 07/03/19 04:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why run the trailer ac going down the road?


cpaulsen


DrewE

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Posted: 07/03/19 05:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cpaulsen wrote:

Why run the trailer ac going down the road?


The original poster mentioned wanting to eat lunch in a comfortably cool trailer for a quick stop along the road; that's one reason it may be wanted to run the air conditioner in the RV while traveling, and not entirely unreasonable.

A second is that it can take a good length of time to cool down once one reaches one's destination if traveling in quite hot conditions, and having a "head start," so to say, helps with that a lot.

I suppose a third might be if one's carrying something temperature sensitive in the RV, such as a pet. (Yes, you can argue that it's usually more appropriate to carry a pet in the tow vehicle, but there may well be reasons why that's impractical.)

MEXICOWANDERER

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Posted: 07/03/19 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The proper way to do this is way way way too advanced to make it practical.

1st LEECE NEVILLE 260-amp alternator READ 260+ amps

2nd A nightmare of mounting brackets that have to be ABSOLUTELY straight and true

3rd Drive belt or pulley changeover to drive 10 horsepower. $$$$$$$$

4th OO -
2/0 cables from alternator output studs through 200 amp breaker under chassis, sheathed in protector tubing to a pair of one contact 200 amps truck and trailer big rig sockets. NEGATIVE must be done the same way -- 2/0

Then straight to ANOTHER breaker then tied directly to the batteries that feed the inverter. Not straight to the inverter as an isolated power feed. Have problems and a flickering isolated/dedicated feed line to the inverter it will fail the inverter sure as hell.

How do I know all this?

A very wealthy customer had me and a precision machine shop do it thirty years ago. Brackets and pulleys alone cost nine hundred dollars. And the machinist ****** about the number of hours. It turned out to be an almost four thousand dollar modification. thirty years ago. He paid eleven hundred dollars for the alternator alone.

And I swore NEVER AGAIN.

After fifteen or twenty trouble-free years I lost track of the owner.

Ridiculous.

dougrainer

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Posted: 07/03/19 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

The proper way to do this is way way way too advanced to make it practical.

1st LEECE NEVILLE 260-amp alternator READ 260+ amps

2nd A nightmare of mounting brackets that have to be ABSOLUTELY straight and true

3rd Drive belt or pulley changeover to drive 10 horsepower. $$$$$$$$

4th OO -
2/0 cables from alternator output studs through 200 amp breaker under chassis, sheathed in protector tubing to a pair of one contact 200 amps truck and trailer big rig sockets. NEGATIVE must be done the same way -- 2/0

Then straight to ANOTHER breaker then tied directly to the batteries that feed the inverter. Not straight to the inverter as an isolated power feed. Have problems and a flickering isolated/dedicated feed line to the inverter it will fail the inverter sure as hell.

How do I know all this?

A very wealthy customer had me and a precision machine shop do it thirty years ago. Brackets and pulleys alone cost nine hundred dollars. And the machinist ****** about the number of hours. It turned out to be an almost four thousand dollar modification. thirty years ago. He paid eleven hundred dollars for the alternator alone.

And I swore NEVER AGAIN.

After fifteen or twenty trouble-free years I lost track of the owner.

Ridiculous.


OR, The simplest response is the problem of getting the Engine Alternator power to the REAR of the truck and then connected to the Trailer. You will need large battery cables both negative and Positive to keep the Trailer batteries up and supply enough power to run a AC unit thru the Inverter. You cannot connect this thru the standard 7 way Bargman trailer plug system. Doug

dougrainer

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Posted: 07/03/19 08:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

StartingNewChapter wrote:

I am considering buying a 3000 watt inverter for my travel trailer. I would like to run my air conditioner whiling driving to my destination. My hope is that short stops for lunch can be accomplished in a comfortable trailer. The specs on my 20 amp air conditioner states is uses about 2700 watts to start then 1300 to run. I have 270AH batteries that I hope will supplement the startup power needed. I am wondering will my alternator on my Jeep Grand Cherokee provide enough power to run the tow vehicle, run the air conditioner and charge the Jeep and trailer batteries? I could not find any definitive answers from Jeep.


The answer to your question is NO. Read MEXICOWANDERER. He is correct. There is no free lunch or Power. Inverters require a LOT of power and battery banks to run a AC. Even 500k Diesels with up to 6 to 8 batteries do not connect the Roof AC's to an Inverter. They could but it is not practical. Doug

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