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air conditioner stops and starts

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We’ve been using the A/C a lot today. It’s the first we have really used it since we purchased our trailer in October. Once in awhile the A/C stops working for a second, the microwave goes off(the lights on the microwave go off as it is not really on)and there is a small pop and both come on again. Any ideas what might be happening?

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If your neighbors are paying attention, they will likely notice the same pattern, if its a momentary brownout. And, that's likely, if it's hot where you are, as it is in most of the USA today.

At home, before we installed battery backuo, i would bump up the ac so we wouldn't stress the compressor when we had momentary brownouts/ blackouts.


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12



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Brown outs are the worst for any motor or compressor. It makes them draw more current and heats up the motor winding's it also makes the motors and compressors very hard to start often tripping the overload in the motor (or the circuit breaker but if that happens the a/c will not come on until you reset the breaker). If that happens it will sound like a HUMMM and then click off and in a few minutes another HUMMM. If it does happen just turn off the A/C and let the motor/compressor cool (about 30 to 60 min) then turn it back on (but i would check the incoming power to make sure it is not 10% below what it should be) and it should start up ok.


Hope this helps, Harold

Sue & Harold


Oliver Elite II Twin bed,  Hull #508, Ram 2500



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Get an AC voltmeter like this, leave it plugged in to an outlet and you can see what is happening. Your surge suppressor remote display also shows shore power voltage but it is probably hidden away where you can’t see it, and it constantly cycles through several modes.




You can also plug this into the RV electrical post to check the campground voltage before connecting your cord.....


John Davies


Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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What do you mean by “bump up the A/C”?


That means to set your thermostat to a higher number so the A/C won’t come on so often or run so long.


Of course, this means you won’t be so cool. If you have a generator, turn it on during the warmest part of the day so you can fully utilize your A/C.

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher and Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie and Lucy (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD SRW Diesel 4x4 





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Mary & Bill:


Funny, we just had your problem for the first time.  We are camping in Maine, yesterday was an unusually hot hot day, and we chose to start the AC.  Had the same intermittent cutouts you describe, with everything losing power and coming back on a minute or two later.   At first I thought it was electrical overload, with the fridge, hot water heater and AC all calling for electricity.  Couldn't find any circuit breakers that had tripped.  I changed the fridge and the hot water heater to gas, but that didn't cure the problem.


Turned out the issue was our Progressive Industries EMS30 surge protector (external, plugged in at the electrical supply post) which was apparently working properly and doing what it is supposed to do.   It was cutting off the flow of electricity and then coming back on after a time delay.  It showed an E4 low voltage code.   Not surprising in that a lot of other air conditioners got turned on in this camp site.  However, according to the manual,  the device cuts out if the line voltage goes less than 104V for six seconds.   The device when I looked at it was showing a line voltage reading of 116V.   It being a hot day I balanced marital harmony with risk to the AC from low voltage, and decided to take the EMS30 surge protector out of the line.  So far all is well.  AC continues to function well and we had a cool night inside the Ollie.


Best regards,

John Shkor,  SailorsAshore



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If you have both 30A and 50A service, you may try plugging into the 50A service with an adapter - ideally a y shaped one -- to see if either of those phases aren't overloaded as much.

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax



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  • 5 weeks later...

Hull 505 just picked up last week.  We've had the same issue with the A/C Starting and Stopping at campgrounds during the hot weather.


I looked at the display in the upper storage area and saw that the voltage was dropping below 110V (brownouts) every time the A/C shut down.


An additional thing that's developed is a strong fishy smell.


This is  the smell comes from the electrolytic in the Start and Run Capacitors when they are breaking down or stressed.

The start and run capacitors on my unit may have been impacted by all the brown out's and started leaking the electrolytic material from one or more of those capacitors.


So...I'll be contacting Jason to see what to do to 'repair' the situation.





2019 Elite II (Hull 505 - Galway Girl - August 7, 2019 Delivery) 
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Batteries Upgrade: Dual 315GTX Lithionics Lithiums - 630AH Total
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I have the easy start, and I closely monitor voltage when using the AC. My AC does a stop start, a sort of pause every once and a while, even with 122 volts, no large voltage drop. At first I thought it was low voltage, and indeed, there were a few times the voltage dropped to 115 or so, but it also does it at 122 v Doesn't seem to affect the AC unit - but it is disconcerting. If I were to do it again, I probably would not have installed the easy start. I fully understand voltage drop, amperage pull, and the overall response the AC has  on the power source, but with the easy start, it is hard to understand what is going on - at various loads and voltages without a good monitoring device. I do like the progressive read out - it is a decent read out on amp, volts, and any other "issue ".

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"





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The domestic AC definitely does some weird stopping and starting just on its own. It doesn’t need any outside influence to act weird.


Mine completely stops when going from AC to fan, for example, or when going from high fan to low. So it will cut off, skip a beat, then power back up with the higher/lower speed. As a result, we never use the auto fan speed - just too annoying.


But to clarify what I was suggesting, I don’t think that the Easy Start would prevent the AC from shutting down if it detected a low voltage. Just that if the AC was trying to start up during low voltage that the Easy Start should save the strain that might damage a start capacitor - either its own or the one it replaces. It may even have a protection circuit that would abort a startup if the voltage is too low - don’t know for sure but it seems logical that it would.


Love that his topic has a keyword tag of ‘fish’, lol.

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