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Stay Cool in Your RV with SoftStartRV: The Solution to Starting Your Air Conditioners With Low Power

This post was updated on July 3rd, 2023

Summer is nearly upon us. In fact, as the late Jim Steinman wrote, “It’s only two o’clock and the temperature’s beginning to soar”. RVers want to stay cool. Whether you spend most of your time in the rig, or simply want a cool, comfortable basecamp to return to at the end of the day, having the necessary power to start one or more air conditioning units is an important part of summer RVing. Everyone wants to stay cool in your RV.

There are all kinds of tips and tricks to stay cool in your RV, and we’ve discussed them here in the past. There is no substitute for a real air conditioner, however. What most RVers don’t realize is that running that A/C unit (or units) so you can stay cool in your RV isn’t that hard. It’s getting those air conditioners started that can be the real challenge, especially in low power situations.

Why Starting An Air Conditioner Is Hard

RVs will typically come with between 1 and 4 A/C units. A small pop-up might have 1 A/C unit, whereas a 45ft motorhome might have 4 of them. To power those A/C units, RVs will have commensurate power, typically a 30-amp or 50-amp power input. Although the power is sufficient to run those units, it’s not always enough to start every air conditioner in your rig, particularly if you are using the microwave or an induction cooktop at the same time.

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The required amperage to start those units is just too high. This means that for a rig with a 30-amp supply, you might only get one A/C unit started. RVers that are powering their small travel trailers with a portable camping generator, like a Honda 2000, might not even get one unit going.

Is Solar The Answer To Stay Cool In Your RV?

The short answer is that it depends on the capacity of your RV’s batteries and solar panels and the power requirements of your air conditioner(s).

RV air conditioners require a significant amount of power to operate, and it may not be possible to run them solely on battery and solar power. However, it is possible to supplement your RV’s power supply with solar power and use your batteries to power smaller appliances and devices.

“The problem boils down to the fact that air conditioners require a massive amount of power, and solar panels have a low charging rate.”

To determine if you can run your air conditioner(s) on battery and solar power, you will need to consider the following factors:

  1. Battery capacity: Your RV’s battery bank must be large enough to provide the power required to run your air conditioner(s). Depending on the size of your battery bank, you may only be able to run your air conditioner(s) for a short period before the batteries are depleted.
  2. Solar panel capacity: Your RV’s solar panels must be capable of generating enough power to recharge your batteries while also powering your air conditioner(s). The number and size of your solar panels will depend on the power requirements of your air conditioner(s) and the amount of sunlight available in your location.
  3. Air conditioner power requirements: You must determine the power requirements of your air conditioner(s) and compare them to the capacity of your batteries and solar panels. If your air conditioner(s) require more power than your batteries and solar panels can provide, you will need to supplement your power supply with a generator or connect to an electrical outlet.

In summary, it may be possible to run your RV air conditioner(s) on battery and solar power, but it depends on the capacity of your batteries and solar panels and the power requirements of your air conditioner(s). You may need to supplement your power supply with a generator or connect to an electrical outlet if your batteries and solar panels cannot provide enough power.

Solar cell technology and battery improvements have made solar power a viable alternative, especially for boondocking. Those improvements however don’t help the ever-present problem of starting that air conditioner. You might have all the solar and battery capacity available for a rig your size, however, you will not stay cool in your RV if you can’t get the A/C units started.

SoftStartRV Will Help You Stay Cool In Your RV

A/C soft starters have come onto the marketplace in force over the last few years. One company, SoftStartRV, has recently released their new 6-Step No-cut/No-splice SoftStartRV install. A SoftStartRV device added to each air conditioning unit on your RV reduces the needed startup voltage by up to 70%, allowing you to start multiple A/C units on less power. It also lets you start that small unit on your pop-up or teardrop trailer using the little Honda generator. SoftStart RV is proven technology with a proven track record. With the new 6-Step No-cut/No-splice installation, anyone can add a SoftStartRV unit to one or more of the A/C units in your RV. 

Stock photo of package exterior for SoftStartRV

No More Thumping and Clunking

Not only can you stay cool in your RV, but you can also do it on less power and get rid of that heavy thumping or clunking every time the A/C compressor starts up. Light sleepers will appreciate that! 

As RVers, we often try to cook outside. However, not every meal can be cooked outside on the grill or over the fire. Sometimes you have to use the microwave oven or the induction cooktop in your rig. The last thing you want in the middle of preparing a nice meal is to have your air conditioner either be unable to power up due to lack of power, or to cause the oven or microwave to shut down to allow the A/C to power up. SoftStartRV prevents that.

Buy Now, Save Now

Right now, SoftStart RV is offering special pricing and a risk-free 90-day money-back guarantee. Save $30 on one SoftStart RV device, $60 on two, $90 on three, and $120 if you have four A/C’s. You’ll also find loads of technical information and testimonies. Visit our special purchase page and stay cool in your RV today.

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19 thoughts on “Stay Cool in Your RV with SoftStartRV: The Solution to Starting Your Air Conditioners With Low Power”

  1. Hmmm, to spend more money on overpriced rooftop RV A/C and make a obsolete air conditioner less obsolete. Why do they not make inverter technology RV rooftop air conditioners yet?! It’s 2021. And with a heat pump built in.

  2. I can count on one hand the number of times I have used ac when camping, & I’ve been camping many, many years! Death Valley in October & one other time.. We have solar & love it.. We use fans during the night and have activities during the day.. If you are spending most of your time in the RV & not going to see the sites, hike and all, in my opinion you are not having fun.. And should stay home to watch it all on line.. That being said, I like the soft start and if I used ac a lot, I would get it..

  3. In Vietnam felt cool one day, so checked the temperature on a thermometer on a mess hall wall, which incidently was always in the shade. Temperature read just over 120 degrees farenheit (given time you get used to the heat). At night I always slept well, with a fan blowing on me. People think they need AC units, simply because they are used to them. When I finish my van conversion I will be going with just the fan(s).

  4. Jeff, ouch! Consider people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. There are lots of reasons one might need to stay in their RV during the day.

  5. Thanks again for hawking SoftStart. While it is helpful to see that the product exists and what the benefits are, the posting looks like an infomercial for SoftStart. Do they have competitors? Have you reviewed the competitive products such that we can see those reviews?

    Thank you,


  6. Vickie, really? One is disabled with a chronic illness and your going boondocking?
    OK. How often does that happen? I thinks pets shut up for the day may be more an issue or small children.

  7. Paul Baker wrote – Hmmm, to spend more money on overpriced rooftop RV A/C and make a obsolete air conditioner less obsolete. Why do they not make inverter technology RV rooftop air conditioners yet?! It’s 2021. And with a heat pump built in.

    The issue is not the technology. You can run an RV AC unit on an inverter, but the power demands of even a single AC unit making running an AC unit off a battery supplied inverter impractical. Even with 4, of the typical 6 volt batteries supplying the inverter, your batteries would only last 3-4 hours if the AC is running loaded. The issue is power availability.

  8. I just installed two of these on my 30 Ft. Cougar. It was a 2 hour job and I am a fat, 62 year old that is color blind! If I can do this solo, anyone can! I tested them both on a single 2000 watt Honda generator and my 3000 watt inverter tied into my solar setup. Get this item, you won’t be disappointed!

  9. Installed SoftStartRV on my Casita trailer after after my air conditioner browned- out do to power drop at camp ground. Was easy enough to install and happy I did so. Air conditioner very quite running on a Honda 2200i gen.

  10. Lynn, those of us with chronic diseases or illnesses, like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, etc., still enjoy camping, boondocking, whatever. I’m in pain, have less mobility, can’t do as much as I used to, but I still want to do what I enjoy. However, some of us can’t be in the sun all day due to our medication or other factors. I have a disease, I’m not dead.

  11. Please don’t take electrical advise from anyone who does not know the difference between “voltage” and “amperage”…

  12. There are several unit or add-ones that reduce the amp inrush to start RV or any. AC unit. I have installed the SoftStart on my 15Kbtu AC unit and it works. But there are the hard-start capacitors and other units like the SoftStart that will reduce the amp draw to start your AC. Search JAM (Just ask Mike) on this blog for AC power issues and you will find a wealth of info about these add-on units. I agree with a couple comments that this is more like an infomercial for SoftStart than general information. But it still presents one option.


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