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TOPIC: 4 Season Living - Really?

4 Season Living - Really? 4 weeks 9 hours ago #1

4 Season Living - Really?

I'm sure many of you are doing better than we are in Texas and one day soon, we'll move to better climates...Some of you probably have 3 A/C units. We have 2. I guess all season is OK when you live in San Diego, California?

But I wonder how they actually calculate "ALL SEASON"?

Today, it is 104 F.

The forecast for the rest of the week is not any better:



I've done a truck load of fixes that the manufacturer did not (even though they were advertised - had to rebuild half the unit. Even have covers over the windows). Here is what we have at 6pm. Can't wait for the rest of summer:

Living Room:



Bedroom:



Anybody else out there in the heat doing any better? :unsure:

Gotta lot of fans going:

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4 Season Living - Really? 4 weeks 6 hours ago #2

  • ekimj84
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We’re in East Texas, and I wonder what we’ll do when it gets HOT

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4 Season Living - Really? 4 weeks 5 hours ago #3

  • Paul Bridges
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Go North, young man!

Seriously, it’s why we don’t summer in Florida. We’ve been in Las Vegas at over 100 and stayed reasonably comfortable. The only time we’ve really had to do something different - like go to a movie and wander around Walmart - was 98* and 70% humidity in Ohio over July 4th - and we were in a 30A park so only able to run one AC. But it’s warm in most of the country right now.

Thankfully up here at the rally today we got a nice break. High of 83* and low humidity. Beautiful day, and supposed to be that way for the rest of the week.

I know you are counting the days til you have the freedom to “Go North”!

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 5 days ago #4

Today is 111F ... Sidewalks are 136F. I can only imagine what the blacktop must be. Higher temps for tomorrow thru Sunday.

Cool down coming next week. Low 100's...

Enjoy the rally!

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 5 days ago #5

We are here in Terrell Texas and having the same thing going on. 2 ACs running their guts out its warm inside. The ACs on our 2014 36 FL are running non stop. The rear bedroom is nice but the front living area is too warm. Same as yours. If you look at other units it seems on these FLs the ACs are in the wrong place on the roof. One is to the rear and one about mid ship !!!! No wonder the front living area gets warmer than the rest of the coach. Ive also checked and completed some of the fixes on ours. I'm having a NEW thing happen now. The living room thermostat jumps to a set point of 94 on its own and the AC shuts down. Its done it twice now in the last 3 days. ANY ideas anyone out there ???? Seems maybe a bad thermostat ??? Always something and this Texas 107 temps are not helping.

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 5 days ago #6

Feel the pain...Our thermostat is just the opposite. Go Coleman! In the late spring and early fall, it won't shut off and temps drop to the 50's at night (inside).

Right now, it doesn't make any difference as both units run 7/24 anyway. Good thing we are on the Electric Co-Op. $0.08 per KW...

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 5 days ago #7

Texas Ercot recorded record megawatts today:

www.nbcdfw.com/weather/stories/New-Recor...Power-488670621.html

There will likely be more before the weekend is out.

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 5 days ago #8

  • Jeremy Denham
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We feel the outside temp pain in the Texas panhandle as well, it was 109 here today , the only difference I have the three a/c's and mine is maintaining the 72 set point , and cycles on and off through out the day , guess I lucked out on my redwood

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 5 days ago #9

denham45 wrote: We feel the outside temp pain in the Texas panhandle as well, it was 109 here today , the only difference I have the three a/c's and mine is maintaining the 72 set point , and cycles on and off through out the day , guess I lucked out on my redwood


Jeremy I'm assuming that only two of your ACs run at a single time? I'm asking because I thought a 50 amp service could only run 2 units. I can definitely see the benefits of a third unit as my bedroom stays cool but a single unit in the larger living room section has a hard time keeping up. Is your third unit ducted into the factory ducts?

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 5 days ago #10

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The a/c that's over the front bedroom is only ducted for the bedroom and bathroom , the other two units are ducted together, so if one or both are on they put air in the living room and kitchen. And if I'm not mistaken I have heard all three compressors on at the same time, some of the newer a/c units only pull 12 amps when running. I did notice that the a/c's start one at a time.

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 5 days ago #11

denham45 wrote: The a/c that's over the front bedroom is only ducted for the bedroom and bathroom , the other two units are ducted together, so if one or both are on they put air in the living room and kitchen. And if I'm not mistaken I have heard all three compressors on at the same time, some of the newer a/c units only pull 12 amps when running. I did notice that the a/c's start one at a time.


One more question Jeremy. Where is that third unit mounted on the roof? I'm assuming all coaches are built so that the unit can be added at a later time. I wonder if wiring is in place? Thanks!

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 5 days ago #12

Even if the unit is prepped for a 3rd unit (which is not likely until after 2016), you would need to install the energy management system as well.

Cost for A/C - $850 + installation.

Cost of energy management system ? + installation?

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 5 days ago #13

  • Jeremy Denham
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I have one mounted towards the rear , the second is by the entry door , and the third is about 7 ft towards the front from the middle one , its sits right over the top of the bed on the 3901 wb

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 5 days ago #14

We are at Bluebonnet Ridge in Terrell TX and we have a Redwood next door with 3 roof airs. They haven't been around much but I want to ask him about that set up. I believe it is a 31 SL and much shorter than our FL. I see a 50 amp line going in and also a 20 amp 110 line beside it going in . My guess is 2 of the ACs run off the 50 amp and the third off the 20 amp line.

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 4 days ago #15

GipCTravelers wrote: Even if the unit is prepped for a 3rd unit (which is not likely until after 2016), you would need to install the energy management system as well.

Cost for A/C - $850 + installation.

Cost of energy management system ? + installation?


Just curious as to why not after 2016? My 2018 brochure lists a third AC as an option. My coach is already equipped with a power control system by Precision Circuits. I believe it’s an energy management system and perhaps the reason my 5500 Onan generator can run both rooftop units at the same time as the generator is integrated into the PCS. I don’t know if it’s expandable to accommodate a third AC. There are no spare breaker slots in my AC distribution panel.

I guess the bottom line is that anything can be done but sometimes it’s not always easy. Lol

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 4 days ago #16

  • Joe Dombrowski
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What Gip was saying was that anything AFTER 2016 would be able to have it done easier.. I think it would be an easy install for you IF you already have the following:
* - Pre wire for 3rd AC
* - Energy Management System
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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 4 days ago #17

Thank you Joe. I didn’t read that correctly. Not enough (or perhaps too much) coffee this morning!

I’ll have to determine is it’s wired but I’m guessing I may have another problem. I suspect they mounted my Winegard Travlr satellite dish very close to where that 3rd AC is intended to be installed. Just my luck.

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 4 days ago #18

  • Oriana
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If my memory is correct, the 3rd A/C unit only became an option when they changed to the straight & level roofs.

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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 4 days ago #19

PunksRedwood wrote:

denham45 wrote: We feel the outside temp pain in the Texas panhandle as well, it was 109 here today , the only difference I have the three a/c's and mine is maintaining the 72 set point , and cycles on and off through out the day , guess I lucked out on my redwood


Jeremy I'm assuming that only two of your ACs run at a single time? I'm asking because I thought a 50 amp service could only run 2 units. I can definitely see the benefits of a third unit as my bedroom stays cool but a single unit in the larger living room section has a hard time keeping up. Is your third unit ducted into the factory ducts?


PunksRedwood,

I wanted to circle back to your 50A concern...It's a long story but if you are not familiar with electrical circuits, this might help you understand.

If you are connected to a 50A outlet, you have (2) 50 amp "legs" to work with (more about that below).

You can load each "leg" to 50 Amps before a breaker would trip. There is a caveat to that...

1st - Breakers operate on two principals:

a) Magnetic for short circuits
b) Thermal heat for overload conditions

Breakers technically are only "guaranteed" to trip 1 time (we all use them over and over I know).

In order to work properly, the breaker needs to be fairly new on the pedestal outside. It needs to fit into the sockets correctly for a tight fit. Lose connections generate heat.

Now, that you know this, there is a difference between a 30A and 50A connection.

With electrical circuits, you have phasing. In laymen terms, for a single phase panel, you will have two legs on opposite circuits.

Using a meter:

Put a meter across 1 hot leg and a ground or neutral and you'll read 120V.
Put a meter across 1 hot leg and the hot leg, you will read 240V.

Everything in the RV that runs on household power is rated at 120V (there are 12V devices as well. We'll not discuss that here).

So, when you are connected to a 30A RV park pedestal and use an adapter, you only have 30A available (total). The adapter basically takes both legs of your RV and ties them together thru the adapter.

On a 50A circuit, you have two legs on opposite phases. You have two legs of 50A each. So, in total, you have 100A to use. You cannot exceed 50A on each leg though or the breaker will trip on overload.

As an example, today, I am running 2 A/C units. I have a Progressive HW50C Hard-Wired Power Meter that measures volts and amps. With a few stray small loads (for 2 fans, the CO2 Sensor and alarm clocks plugged in, etc.), I have:

L-1 111V and I am using 21A
L-2 114V and I am using 17A
Total: 39A

Normal voltage from a power plant should be 120V at this connection point. But electricity travels across the US where many people are using it (or in the case of Texas, only Texans use it with limited exceptions). There are also voltage drops due to distance, connections, heat, resistance losses of transformers, etc). The power plants tend to provide you 120V (+ or - 10%). The problem with exactness also has to do with how fast the turbines are turning. As usage go's up (more megawatts), the generator has to generate more power (steam, nuclear or solar) to keep the voltage up. So, it's never exactly 120V. That's one reason my numbers will show you fluctuation in voltage. The other is that I am increasing the load on the RV electrical. Wire size can only go so far and RV factories typically install smaller wire that the NEC codes. They instead have some of their own manufacturing codes.

Back to the demo...

I then turned on the water heater (electric side). The meter changed.

L-1 108V and 32A
L-2 114V and 17A
Total: 49A

Then, I added all of the RV lights. I still use (and like) the Halogen type. If you use LED, they use far less amps but cost 10 times as much and generally don't last that much longer. But that is a personal experience and preference.

L-1 108V and 32A
L-2 114V and 30A
Total: 62A

Then, I added the microwave.

L-1 109V and 31A (Notice that the voltage went up 1V and amps went down 1A on this leg. The higher the voltage, the lower the amps. That's one reason you want a park that has good voltage.)

L-2 111V and 46A
Total: 77A

The breaker is heating up but holding. On a two pole 50A breaker, you would be at approximately 61.5% capacity averaged. But you can't look at it that way because when you exceed 50A on one leg, the breaker will trip both. That's why it's called a double pole breaker. Circuits are designed to loaded the breaker to 80% of the capacity. You can run 100%, but the breaker, wire and connections will heat up (remember the thermal properties of the breaker?) Over time, that hardens the grease inside and can cause the breaker to fail (magnetically and thermally). The breakers are actually tested at the breaker factory and are designed to work for a period at exactly 50A, but not that long on overload (higher the amps, shorter the time). It will trip if it is working properly. If not, well then, the panel melts down...

I'm telling you all of this so that you can better understand how adding another A/C might work on some units but it will take energy management.

Each 15,000 BTU A/C will draw about 12-15A (depending on voltage issues and wear of electrical parts).

So three A/C units on one of the two legs will run about 36A to 45A. If that were all there was, then, no problem. Stack them up and let the other leg carry everything else. But A/C compressor starts are a drag and and induce higher resistance. That drags down the voltage and increases amp draw. (Capacitors take some of that amp draw out by providing a break high voltage increase. Don't ever tough one without shorting it out first - and there are approved methods for that). So if you had all three start or cycle at the same time, that would trip your pedestal or RV panel circuit and shut down your RV.

Moving one A/C to the opposite leg reduces the amps on one leg and decreases the load on the other. You'll note that my two A/C's are on opposite legs. When I turn the water heater on, it is on with one A/C. When I turn the microwave on, the other leg with the A/C goes up. It's a balancing act. When I turn the microwave on, that pretty much tied up that leg at higher amps. When I turned on the lights, that made the first leg go higher.

In an ideal world, one also has to consider the imbalance on the neutral. If one leg is at 10 amp and the other leg is at 12 amps, there is an imbalanced load. The neutral carries that load back. That has an effect on your utility bill but that is another story for another time...

If you want to read a good article about the RV electrical, see this web link. It include diagrams and hopefully some of this will make sense:

rvtravel.com/more-power-to-ya-your-rv-that-is/

If you add a third A/C, make sure 2 are on one circuit and 1 is on the other. The power management system will control which unit starts and cycles as not to overload the start up current.

Running two A/C units on a 30A - single phase circuit is pretty much a no-no. Even if nothing else is on. Voltage fluctuations and line losses will catch up with you and trip the circuit. It also reduces the life of your A/C's.

Running two units on a 50A - 2 phase circuit is not an issue.

Running three units requires coordination.

Hope that helps...
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4 Season Living - Really? 3 weeks 4 days ago #20

GipC thank you. That information is very informative and pretty easy to understand. Before I retired I worked for Colorado Springs Utilities one of the largest four service (electric, gas, water and wastewater) municipal utilities in the country. I was a natural gas guy and we gas guys were terrified of electricity and the electric guys were scared to death of gas! Lol. I definitely need to understand more about electricity.

That said the loads on my coach seem well balanced with each of my ACs split between the two legs. Of course the rest of the AC load seems well balanced between both legs as well with microwave on one leg and refrigerator on the second. I added a Splendide washer and dryer and the circuits for both of those are also split between the two legs. Like you I am running the Progressive Industries PT50X (portable) but it displays voltage, frequency, amps and fault codes and by monitoring it I've noticed the load seems well split.

I have experienced some low voltage in my park which has resulted in the PT50X shutting down power to my coach. The owner of my park has been working with the local utility and making enhancements to his equipment to improve the voltages. Because I have pets and worry about the lack of AC when I'm gone I did purchase a Hughes Autoformer which has helped maintain more proper voltages. I can see the difference in the PT50X voltages and the Autoformer indicates when it is boosting on either line.

My AC distribution panel is full with no available slots so I couldn't add a third AC unit unless I could add another breaker/subpanel.

It appears my Power Control Center would have to be upgraded as well. The load items it seems to control are the 2 ACs and the water heater. I've seen the panels that control 3 AC units so I know it can be done. This is another item I wish I understood better. I need to research a bit more.
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4 Season Living - Really? 1 week 11 hours ago #21

  • Paul Bridges
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Thought I would give an update on our experience.

We are in Bullhead City, AZ. In full sun, no shade. It was 118* yesterday (truck showed 120*), 120* right now.

I am so impressed with our Redwood. They told us at the rally that the A/Cs were designed to cool 22* below outside air temp. At 118, the coach was 92 near the ceiling and 88 above the fireplace. Last night at 10 pm it was 103 outside and 82 inside. We have one large fan we are using to keep the air flow going in the hallway toward the bedroom, so the bedroom was cooling down nicely. We went to bed very comfortable, and I was completely under covers this morning. It was 73 near the ceiling, 68 near the fireplace and 98 outside at 7 am. Yes, it’s a dry heat and that makes a ton of difference.

My brother in law asked about keeping water on the roof to keep it cooler. If we were here for any length of time I would sure consider that.
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4 Season Living - Really? 1 week 11 hours ago #22

Since you mentioned 4 Seasons... I will say we have been in below zero temp. with NO frozen pipes and we had warm fingers and toes. Can't say the same about our previous SOB 5th wheel.

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4 Season Living - Really? 1 week 7 hours ago #23

  • Joe Dombrowski
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I am sitting. In South Florida right now, been 10* above normal, with daytime highs around 98*...

Have the thermostat set at 73*, it has been cycling on and off today, very happy with the cooling at this point...

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4 Season Living - Really? 5 days 16 hours ago #24

Adding my exterior shades made a HUGE difference in my 2018 3921GK.
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4 Season Living - Really? 5 days 14 hours ago #25

They are 4 seasons rvs as advertised! We've lived in ours since it was new, 5 years, in all types of weather, rain, snow, sleet, shine, very hot & very cold, so yes it is a 4 seasons rv. Were we totally comfortable all 4 of those seasons? NO! But they NEVER advertised that we would be comfortable only that it's usable.
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