2. Q. What should I know about using my A/C with SoftStartRV™ and a small generator?

A. The idea of these small lightweight generators is so appealing that they have increased in popularity over the last several years. Many companies are making them and they are not all equal in their abilities. These generators are rated for both continuous output and peak output but some are very underrated.  The Honda eu2000i is the most popular and probably the industry standard. This generator can easily produce more than their continuous rated power to start and run a rooftop AC unit with a SoftStartRV™.  There are many other generators on the market that can also produce good results. Generators with motors over 90cc are the best choice for reliable operation. Some smaller generators, such as those with 79cc motors, may be used with 13500 BTU air conditioners and less as long as all other loads are turned off and the elevation is not too high. All generators are not created equally or rated equally.  How you will use the generator is also important. Some generators work above their 13.3 amp rating to run an air conditioner. Don’t expect to add any other loads to a single generator while the air conditioner is running, unless you have allowed for it in sizing your generator. This means you may want to turn off any electrical appliances including the refrigerator and battery charger.  Since air gets thinner the higher you go, elevation also affects the generator. Small generators may not have enough power at higher elevations to keep your A/C running, even though a SoftStartRV™ has been able to start it. Engines lose about 3.5% of their power for each 1000-foot rise in elevation. You may also need to re-jet the carburetor to get the generator motor to produce enough power since the thin air makes the mixture too rich.  There are cases where you may need a 3 KW generator or larger to run an air conditioner in the high desert. Running at lower elevations will again require the jets to be adjusted – or you risk high combustion temperatures and possibly a burned engine. Honda makes high elevation kits for its generators.