During the dog days of summer, RV boondocking, or limited power at a hook-up, can be a challenge if you want to stay cool. As you probably know by now, boondocking is our favorite way to camp. So how do we stay cool? We use a product called the Micro-Air EasyStart and in today’s post, we’re going to tell you why.

Whether you’re boondocking in the classic sense (out in the middle of nowhere), or simply in a campsite with no, or limited, electric hook-ups, it can be difficult, or even impossible to run an air conditioner in your motorhome or travel trailer. A generator, or at least a large enough one, may help, but they’re loud and can’t be used during quiet hours, or at all, in some locations.

Solar panels can top off your batteries, but anything short of a pretty substantial solar & battery bank won’t be capable of powering RV air conditioning. Even then, a large system will generally only have enough power to cool off your rig for a short time… and then leave you with low batteries.

Even if you have a 30-amp connection available at your campsite, larger RVs often have two air conditioners. The power spike of trying to start two RV air conditioners on a 30-amp connection can trip the circuit breaker.

All this is where the Micro-Air EasyStart comes in, eliminating the start-up power spike and getting RV air conditioners up and running like a champ.

How a Micro-Air EasyStart Works

Installing a Micro-Air EasyStart soft start module on an RV air conditioner steps down the high-power currents usually required to start compressors. These seemingly magic little devices reduce AC start-up current by 65% to 75%, allowing you to run a single air conditioner off a small portable generator, or to run two A/C units off a 30-amp connection.

Why You Need a Micro-Air EasyStart

Reduce the spikes that happen when the compressor in your RV's air conditioner comes on

Starting two RV’s air conditioners without EasyStarts installed can cause a power spike of 40 amps or more. This wouldn’t be good when connected to a standard 30-amp campground pedestal or when boondocking without a large generator.

There are several benefits to having a Micro-Air EasyStart on your air conditioner. They include:

  1. Avoiding the power surge normally required at startup which can trip breakers and overpower small generators.
  2. Being able to run a single air conditioner with a small portable generator.
  3. Having the ability to run two air conditioners while hooked up to 30-amp shore power.
  4. Reducing the added noise associated with compressor start-up, the Micro-Air EasyStart allows the air conditioner to ramp up smoothly and more quietly.
  5. Allowing you to run your air conditioner through an inverter or alternate power source.

What is a Micro-Air EasyStart?

The Micro-Air company has been designing air conditioning control units for marine and RV applications for years. Their EasyStart soft start module was created to use lower amperage power sources to start and run air conditioners for longer periods of time. Additionally, this control over the amount of energy used makes it possible to run several appliances at the same time.

This soft start mechanism is designed for use on single-phase motors and makes it possible for air conditioners and refrigeration compressors to be operated on smaller generators, inverters, or on limited utility power.

How to Get an EasyStart (or two!) for your RV… and Save!

We recommend buying your Micro-Air EasyStart soft start modules directly from the factory. Be sure to use the code “RVGEEKS” to get $25 off when you do. The discount applies to each one you buy, so you can save $50 or $75 if you have two or three air conditioners.

DIY or RV Tech for Installation

Installing a Micro-Air EasyStart isn’t as complicated as one might think. Of course, if you’d rather not DIY this project, a mobile tech or service center should be able to help you out. We just recommend that you read online reviews when selecting your mechanic.

Tools for installing the Micro-Air EasyStart soft-start kit

To install the Micro-Air EasyStart you’ll need a few tools that you’re already likely to have on hand.

If you feel confident in your electrical abilities and handyperson skills, there are a few things you’ll need to install your Micro-Air EasyStart! They include:

  • Wire crimpers
  • Wire strippers
  • Multimeter
  • Installation kit
  • A tool to open your air conditioner cover, depending on the model (usually a screwdriver or socket wrench)

DIY Installation of the Micro-Air EasyStart

Once you’ve confirmed that you have all the necessary tools, you’re ready to install your Micro-Air EasyStart. We’ve laid out the steps for you below for how we installed ours in our Dometic Penguin Heat Pump Air Conditioners (some steps may be different for your make/model of A/C unit… follow the correct instructions as supplied by Micro-Air):

  1. Turn off all power, including shore, generator, and inverter, along with the A/C circuit breaker(s).
  2. Remove the outer cover/shroud from the air conditioner.
  3. Identify the compressor and main capacitor.
  4. Touch the tip of an insulated screwdriver across the terminals of the capacitors. This will discharge any current still held in them, preventing you from getting zapped with an electric shock while working on them! Just be sure that, while doing this, you don’t accidentally touch the metal of the screwdriver.
Use pliers or screwdrivers to remove any charge.

Touch the tip of an insulated screwdriver across the terminals of the capacitors. This will discharge any current still held in them, preventing you from getting zapped with an electric shock while working on them!

  1. Identify an appropriate location and mount the EastStart using the double-sided tape included in the optional installation kit.
Mounting the Micro-Air EasyStart

You can mount the Easy-Start using the double-sided tape from the installation kit, or by using sheet metal screws, depending on your installation.

  1. Locate the “R” wire (usually white) on the compressor and follow it to the main capacitor. Disconnect the end of that wire from the main capacitor terminal.
  2. Crimp that wire to the brown wire on the Micro-Air EasyStart.
  3. Connect the white wire from EasyStart to the top of the main capacitor, where the original wire was just removed.
  4. Find the “S” wire (usually red) on the compressor and follow it to the terminal it attaches to on the main capacitor. This is the “Main Terminal Group.” Attach the orange wire from the EasyStart to that same terminal. If there isn’t an empty post in the Main Terminal Group, you may need to put both the “S” wire and the orange wire on the same post. There’s a “double” post in the installation kit for that purpose, if needed.
  5. Locate the “C” wire on the compressor (usually blue on newer models, but black on our older A/C unit) and follow it to the end, where it’s attached to a relay. Disconnect that wire from the relay.
  6. Using the same relay terminal from which you just removed the blue or black C wire, connect the short black wire from the installation kit to that terminal.
  7. Using an end-splice, connect together all of the following 3 wires: 1) the short black wire you just attached to the relay, 2) the blue or black wire you disconnected from the relay (the one that goes back to the compressor), and 3) the black wire from the Easy Start.
  8. Locate both wires that connect the run capacitor to the start capacitor. Remove both ends of both wires from both capacitors, and discard both wires. The start capacitor can either be removed, or left in place, disconnected, as it will no longer be needed.
  9. Replace any covers that you removed, including the outer A/C shroud.
  10. Then put the fuse back in place and turn on the power breaker.
  11. Turn your air conditioner unit on and off 5 times, waiting 5 minutes in between each start. This trains the EasyStart to your air conditioner’s characteristics.

If you’d prefer to see us complete our installation before tackling your own, watch this step-by-step tutorial video:

And like we mentioned above, don’t miss out on your opportunity to save $25 on each unit when you buy your Micro-Air EasyStart units direct from Micro-Air using the coupon code “RVGEEKS“.

Conclusion

In short, the Micro-Air EasyStart removes the “spike” from the starting of your air conditioner(s), which is fantastic for boondocking or for 30-amp sites (or even 20-amp ones)!

Also, in case you missed our recent addition of Micro-Air’s EasyTouch thermostat, here’s a post and a video all about it:

And you can save money on the EasyTouch RV Thermostat, too!

Save $15
Micro-Air EasyTouch RV Thermostat with 2-year warranty and Made In USA badges
Micro-Air EasyTouch RV Thermostat $15 Discount

Looking to add some "smart home" features to your RV? How about a new color touchscreen, programmable thermostat? Even better, how about one that allows you to control it (even remotely) using a...Show More

Looking to add some "smart home" features to your RV? How about a new color touchscreen, programmable thermostat? Even better, how about one that allows you to control it (even remotely) using a smartphone or tablet? That's what the Micro-Air Easy Touch RV thermostat does.

Watch our EasyTouch video

Save $15 on each EasyTouch RV Thermostat when you buy direct from Micro-Air.

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