Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Lowell area, MA
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I hadn't looked it up earlier, but I see now that it's a 5000W continuous, 6500W-peak inverter generator. The 30A outlet is 110V and 220V (or 120V and 240V, in the manual). So the AC could be 110V, or 220V.
The AC is putting out cool air, so the compressor is definitely running, etc? Have you turned off/unplugged/etc any other loads in the camper? Inverter generators will change speed based on their load. It suddenly revving up and overloading may simply be an indication that something else has turned on, and overloaded the generator. A fridge compressor, or something else in the AC unit, etc. Is the compressor turning off after a few minutes, then turning on again as the generator overloads? A compressor re-start will be tougher than the initial startup. Setting the thermostat really cold is a way to help ensure the compressor is running continuously, for testing.
What if you set the generator to always run the engine at full speed, rather than reducing the speed based on the engine load? If a brief sudden load hits, having an inverter generator already at full speed can help it handle a big load that would overcome the generator if the engine was turning slowly. The load still needs to be within the rating of the generator, of course. But if the engine is turning slowly, and a big load hits, the output voltage will sag , while the generator is trying to speed up the engine. This can be tough on the item you're powering, and can cause the system to overload (the lower voltage can cause the device to try and draw more current).
What size AC? One of the 13,500 BTU ones? From my simple understanding, that kind should *probably* be OK here, but if it's 110V, not 220V, that could make it tougher. I have a Honda EU2000i (1600W continuous, 2000W peak), and I've ready that one of those will not run a 13,500 BTU AC, but 2 in parallel usually will. But in parallel, that's providing 3200W continuous, 4000W peak, on 110V. Yours can provide 2500W continuous, 3250W peak, on a single leg of 110V.
So far are all your tests the "same"? Camper AC running on the generator? I'd want to isolate the two, to understand if the generator will overload on other things too, or if it's only related to the AC. Run some other big load on the generator, at home if you need to. A space heater or hair dryer will often draw around 1500W, and can put a pretty significant load on a generator.
What happens if you load up one leg of the generator to nearly 20A, 2400W? That's the rating of the normal-looking outlets, and basically the rating of the 30A plug (20.8A per leg). Let it run like that for a while, and see if the generator suddenly overloads. If it's OK, move the load to the other outlet and test again. If that's OK too, I'd try to load up both outlets to get the overall generator load to approach 5000W, and see how it does.