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SoftStartRV RV AC Unit Soft Start Install - Travel Trailer

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Install of the SoftStartRV RV AC Unit Soft Start on a Travel Trailer


Hey everyone. Shane here with etrailer.com. Today, I have a 2011 Forest River Flagstaff travel trailer. I'm gonna walk you how to install the Soft Start for RV and camper air conditioners. What would be some of the reasons why we would want to put a Soft Start on our air conditioner Well let's say we're hooked into shore power. Or maybe we don't have shore power and we want to use a generator.

What an air conditioner does when it starts up, if we don't have anything to help it, is it kind of bogs down and then picks up because its drawing a lot of power in order to get it up to running to where it's actually blowing enough cold air. It's gonna do the same thing with a generator. Adding this on is gonna allow the air conditioner to start much softer. What it's basically gonna do, it's gonna store power so that when you turn it on, it's gonna kick on right away. It's gonna start blowing cold air.

We don't have that bog down or that wait time for it to get going. Now, another instance, let's say we have two air conditioners on top of our camper RV, but we only have 30 amp service. Typically, if you can only hook into 30 amp service, you can only run one air conditioner. However, adding one of these to one of the air conditioners, because it's gonna allow it to start much easier, will allow you hook into 30 amp service and run both air conditioners. So what we're gonna do before we install the Soft Start is we're gonna get a couple of readings for you.

So that you can tell the difference from before it was installed to after it's installed. We have a meter here and what we did is, took an extension cord and we pulled out the power wire to it. We have it hooked to our main wire going into our camper. We're gonna test it coming straight out of the wall. And what we're looking for is to get a reading of what we're pulling out of the wall directly.

So without our AC running, we're at around 1.5. Now what we're gonna do is we're gonna go in and we're gonna turn the air conditioner on and off about three times. And it's gonna go quick, but we're gonna see this is gonna spike up. What we want, is we want to try to find the highest reading. When we find the highest reading, that is gonna tell us how much our air conditioner is using or pulling to start. Now we've got it installed, we're gonna go ahead and do the same test that we did before to see if we get any changes. Then after we put the Soft Start in place, tested it out, you can see significant difference between the first test we did and the second one with the Soft Start in place. First test, tested out at about 15. Second test with the the Soft Start, tested at about nine. So we have quite a bit of a difference there. Air conditioner is not gonna run quite as hard or it's not gonna use as much energy to get started and running. For those of you that have been around campers and RVs, know when you turn on the air conditioner the compressor kicks on and it kind of shakes the whole camper. Well, and the compressor is kind of noisy. For those of you that are new to it, the reason it does that is because the compressor needs so much energy in order to start the air conditioner. When it does that, again, shakes the camper creates a lot of noise. What happens when we're sleeping at night Middle of the night, air conditioner kicks on, compressor shakes the camper, creates a lot of noise. Waking up everybody in the camper. Adding the Soft Start is not only going to reduce the noise that the compressor is creating, but it's also going to eliminate the camper shaking. Now, how does the soft start actually do that Well, the soft start actually is gonna store power. So that when our compressor kicks on, it's gonna give it kind of a boost. So the compressor's not gonna need as much to get the air conditioner started. You can see, we didn't have that big noise coming from our compressor to get our air conditioner up and running. And we have cold air. Now, couple of things that I want to point out. One, adding this on is also gonna allow you to run one air conditioner off of 20 amp hookup at your house. Also, if you have an inverter, it's gonna allow you to run up to two air conditioners. As far as the installation process, pretty straightforward. It's gonna come with all the necessary hardware. The main unit itself is very lightweight. It has five wires that you basically have to hook up. Now we've gone over some of the features, let's go ahead and get it installed. So your installation, you need to come up on the roof. We need to remove our air conditioner shroud or cover. Usually just four screws, or four bolts. Pop that off. And you don't necessarily have to, but if you remove this front panel here, it's gonna make a little bit easier to get to the wires. I went ahead and just took the screws off. They just run along the side. You might have two in the back here. We're gonna take this and we're just gonna rotate it forward. 'Cause our wires we're gonna be working with are right over in this corner. On this side here, you're gonna find a panel. Remove that panel. And what you're looking for, is you're looking for this schematic. This bottom corner, there's gonna be a number. You wanna notate that number. And this is gonna be the number that you're going to use for your specific air conditioner for the wiring schematics. Because there are so many different models that wire different ways, you wanna make sure you're wiring it the correct way for yours. Next, we need to determine where we're gonna to mount our Soft Start. Our wires have to come in through this grommet, into this area right here. We're gonna mount it down in here, but we want to make sure we're staying away from our fans. So when our fan runs, it doesn't damage it. And also, when we route our wires, our fan doesn't suck our wires in there and damage them. So what I think I'm gonna do, is I'll mount it right underneath it here. Right on the bottom side. Go ahead and wrap the wires under first. I didn't mention it, you wanna make sure you don't have any power on. This will give me plenty of room. I can get my wires in and I can take these extras and zip tie them right to this factory wiring here. On the bottom of it, we're actually gonna have some tape. Go ahead and use the tape to hold it in place while we put our hardware and to hold it down. Line up. Your kit is gonna come with these hardware to mount your Soft Start with. These are a little bit long since I'm mounting it on the floor instead of on the wall somewhere. These are a little bit long and I don't want them to go all the way through into the roof membrane. So I'm gonna switch them out and use some small self tappers. Completely up to you, how you put it on yours, but I'm gonna use these. We'll be able to take these and we'll just drive them right down into the aluminum housing around here. Next, we need to get all our wires inside. You have some ceiling here. Sometimes you can peel it back. Sometimes it's more of like a rubber. Then we take each one of our wires, and try and get them inside. Once we get all of our wires in, I'm gonna go ahead and get them zip tied out here. That way, we know exactly how much we're gonna have to work with inside. Next, you need to come to our start capacitor which is this round one. We're gonna follow the white wire that comes from our compressor. So the white wire from here in, and where it connects onto our start capacitor or run capacitor, we're gonna pull it off. This wire is gonna connect into the blue wire coming from our Soft Start. We're gonna cut this end off. We'll strip back both ends. Both wires. Go and make this one the same length. We're gonna put them together. We're gonna put on. Next we're gonna use this terminal here. We need our black wire coming from our Soft Start. Gonna add them together. We're gonna take that in. We're gonna connect it at the same terminal where we just removed the white wire. The yellow wire from our Soft Start, we're gonna put a spade connector on it. Female spade connector. We need to find the red wire that goes to our compressor, which is this one here. We're gonna follow it down. And where it connects to our run capacitor, we'll do it right here. We're gonna take our yellow wire, and we're gonna put it on the terminal right next to it. When you print out your schematics or your wiring diagram for your specific AC unit, it's gonna have an A and B side. The B side is gonna have a start relay, A side is not. Our system here does not have that start relay. B side does have the start relay, and the only difference between the two, is how you connect the brown and red wire. On our Soft Start, we have two wires left. We have a red wire and our brown wire. We need to locate the black wire coming from our compressor, where it goes to purple. We're gonna go back on our black wire. About four inches. We're gonna cut it in half. We're gonna take this end, we're gonna strip it back. We're going to attach our brown wire to it. We're gonna take the other end of our black wire that goes through the purple wire, we're gonna strip it back. We're gonna connect it to the red wire from our Soft Start. Once we got it all connected, then you go ahead and test it out and make sure everything is working correctly. I went ahead and installed this cover up here on front, but I'm not gonna install my shroud yet because on the main box, there's indicator lights that'll tell you what the unit is doing. And we want to make sure that we're able to watch those as we're going through the test modes in our air conditioner. There are gonna be three indicator lights. You're gonna have a run, a start, and a self-start. Ultimately what we want is when our air conditioner is running, once it's gone through all the testing, is that the run stays green. Now, the red start and the red self tests could be red for up to three minutes. If the light does not change to the green run after four minutes, the unit needs to be shut down. So I wanna turn it to fan high where I'll let that run for one minute. We're gonna turn our AC unit to auto. Cool. down to 55 degrees. This is where we're gonna watch our lights to make sure that after three minutes, the light turns green for the run. Now we've tested everything out, we know it's working correctly, we can go ahead and put our AC shroud back in place and we're ready to go. It's gonna do it for look at and installation on the Soft Start for a Coleman-Mach air conditioner on a 2011 Forest River Flagstaff travel trailer..


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Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Shane H
Test Fit:
Shane H
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Michael B
Installed by:
Michael B

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