How to Run Both Rooftop Air Conditioners on Your RV

by Paul (Orange City, FL)

Question: I have a 1998 Holiday Rambler (30 Amps). How do I run both rooftop air conditioners?


Usually the older the RV and the larger the AC units, the less likely it is that you can run two air conditioners on a 30 amp circuit.

Newer RVS may have energy management systems or at least more energy efficient AC units that allow you to run both at the same time – but you probably won’t be able to run any other appliance with a large electrical draw – at least not while both ACS are on. Some appliances with a high electrical draw includes microwaves, hair dryers, toaster ovens, electric water heaters and so on.

So some ideas:
A typical way to manage power when running on 30 Amps is to run one air conditioner at a time. Turn one on then, let it cool off that section of the RV. Once that AC unit is off, then turn the other one on, and let it do its business. If you want to do this automatically then there is a product you can buy that will do it for you. However, you still cannot easily run both AC units at the same time on 30 amp power.

– Or –
If you have a generator that can power both A/C’s then you can do that. Just be aware that some of your neighbors may not like the sound or smell of a generator going at full blast.

– Or –
If you don’t like those options, then you might be able to run both A/C at the same time if you turn off everything else that might draw power from the power pedestal.

This means running your refrigerator on LP, turn off your electric water heater, turn off your battery charger, microwave and anything else that consumes a lot of 120-volt power while the A/C’s are operating.

However, you might run still have problems if both A/C’s start up at the same time since that is when they draw the most amperage.

A few ideas. Comments welcome.