Jump to content

A/C while driving

Recommended Posts

Hello. So we Indio, CA at 10:30 and it was 95 degrees. We had a 322 mile-trip to Williams, AZ. It was HOT and I turned on the generator (while driving), I heard it come on, but the A/C never started. It was so hot inside the coach that one of our two cats almost over-heated. The A/C in front of the coach (was working)  but clearly could not overcome the heat. 

I am not sure why the A/C didn't start. Any ideas? Should. When we got to destination it had cooled down and the A/C worked fine. 

Thanks and the cats thank you for next time.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have a "Transfer Switch" or a cord to plug in to supply power from the Generator?  My first RV had a single receptacle for incoming power. You had a long cord with two ends that plugged into the coach and another cord inside the compartment that was connected to the Generator. If you didn't have that cord plugged in you had no power to the coach even if the generator was running. 


It did not have a transfer switch. 


Edited by lappir
last sentence
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Tim & Peggy, welcome, FYI In order that the genset power up your RV with 120 Volts:

1) The genset must start, run (you heard that must be okay) and be producing adequate power and voltage.

2) The gensets output circuit breaker must be closed, not tripped and working properly.

3) EITHER an automatic Transfer Switch (if so equipped in your RV, many are) must be working and toggled/switched once it receives adequate genset voltage orrrrrrrrr the RV power cord is manually plugged into a genny output receptacle often located in the power cord storage box WHICH DO YOU HAVE ???

FIRST thing Id check would be the gennys output circuit breaker, it may be tripped or bad.

SECOND thing Id check would be if the Auto Transfer Switch is toggling/switching AFTER the genset fires up. On ones Ive owned ifffffffffff it receives adequate Genset power theres a short time delay to allow the genset to stabilize, then it switches/toggles to connect the genset to the RV main power distribution panel.

THIRD thing Id check would be all the wiring connections inside the Transfer Switch and any other splices, connections, junction boxes, wire nuts etc etc

Ive had transfer switches fail to switch/toggle but if I stop n re start the genset it worked the second time EVIDENCE OF A POSSIBLE TOTAL FAILURE LATER ON .........Ive seen genset output breakers trip.........Ive had gensets go bad an NOT produce adequate power which is why an otherwise good working switch doesnt toggle...........Ive seen bad/open/loose/resistive wiring or breaker or junction box or toggle switch  CONNECTIONS cause such problems  CHECK ALL WIRING  CONNECTIONS IN THE TRANSFER SWITCH

If you plug to shore power does EVERYTHING (including AC) work ??? 

If unplugged and genny running does ANYTHING work ??? If NOT the genny may be at fault not producing adequate power,,,,,,or its breaker is tripped,,,,,or the Transfer Switch isnt working,,,,,,,,,,or theres a bad wiring connection perhaps in the switch ??? Or (I doubt) you have an older style non transfer switch RV where you plug the power cord into an outlet fed by genny maybe in the power cord storage compartment......

PS another possibility is iffffffffff you already turned the AC on before starting the genset ???? did you ????  and it worked and the switch toggled THE SUDDEN HIGH CURRENT SURGE MAY HAVE TRIPPED THE GENSETS (or another) CIRCUIT BREAKER ......I prefer to have the AC OFF,,,,,,,,,Start the Genset,,,,,,Then turn the AC ON.....If it was on first, the genset breaker could have tripped..I have owned gensets that tripped their breaker if the AC was ON when the transfer switch toggled but if it were OFF and then AFTER the genset started and the switch toggled and the AC was turned on, it worked fine !!!!!!!!! 

If you fire up the genset do you hear/feel the transfer switch toggle???  

Try all this and if it doesn't help post back what you found and I will dig deeper, this is ONLY a start NOT all possibilities, but plenty to try for now

John T

Edited by oldjohnt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Tim and Peggy said:

I heard it come on, but the A/C never started.

Did someone go to the thermostat and turn the A/C on? What A/C do you have, what generator, and what year is your Itasca Ellipse 42QD? When you arrived at your destination, what did you do, as in park, connect shore power and then turn on the A/C?  If you did the same things once parked that started the A/C working as were done when operating the generator there must be some problem with your automatic transfer switch (ATS) or the cord needs to be plugged into a socket in the storage bay for the generator to connect. I doubt that your Ellipse was built without any ATS so I would expect power to be available without a connection for the cord, but if there is a place to plug the cord in the bay, that probably is needed. It would also be a good idea to make sure that the circuit breaker on the generator is not open but opening it and closing it again. 

If you want to be sure, you need to disconnect your shore power while you are parked, start the generator and do some investigating. Once the generator is running, first check to see if there is power to the microwave and 120V wall plugs as that will quickly tell you if the generator has connected or not. If power is there, next try the A/C to see what happens. 

Please do let us know how things go as we can probably advise further if need be. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Tim and Peggy said:

Thanks and the cats thank you for next time.

I have no idea why your a/c didn't come on, but I hope the cats are ok.  I overheated my little girl once and it wasn't pretty! So now I have enough battery to run my air with an inverter.  83° is about her limit.

Edited by hemsteadc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...