Which SoftStart Is Best For Your RV Style?
It’s hot outside and uncomfortable in your RV. You want to run your air conditioner(s) but are on a limited power supply. You may be able to run one A/C on 30-amp but not on a small generator. And when you turn the second one on, you start tripping breakers. What do you do?
Until the advent of a soft starter, there wasn’t much you could do. And until this year, your only option was installing a soft starter directly on each of your air conditioners. That all changed when NetworkRV (the makers of SoftStartRV) debuted their new plug-and-play SoftStartUP device and gave the RVing world another SoftStart option. But which one is right for you?
Why have a soft starter at all?
The major draw of RVing is living how and where you want to live. Staying cool while doing that requires power. Whether that’s boondocking with solar or a generator, moochdocking at a generous friend or family member’s house, or staying at an RV park, you need electricity to run your air conditioners. And without a soft start device, you need a large surge of it to get each air conditioner started. Therein lies the problem.
The startup power needed to get your air conditioner going can be anywhere from four to eight times the power needed to run it at a steady state. Even newer, more efficient models require four to five times the power. That surge of power is what trips breakers or your generator. For example, if you’re on 30-amp service, and each air conditioner requires 11-13 amps to run, theoretically you can run them. But if each of them takes 50-60 amps to start, you’re at risk of tripping a breaker.
A SoftStart device, like SoftStartRV or SoftStartUP, smooths out that surge so there’s no longer a quick dramatic spike. That allows you to start a 15K air conditioner on a small generator, two on a large generator, or 30-amp service. It can also provide you the capability to run your air conditioners off of the right battery and inverter setup.
What is SoftStartRV?
The SoftStartRV product is a device that you install on each of your air conditioners that will cut startup power requirements by up to 70%. This requires getting on the roof of your RV and connecting five or six wires.
SoftStartRV is the smallest soft starter on the market, meaning that it will fit on nearly any RV air conditioner out there. It’s also the easiest SoftStart to install. NetworkRV developed the industry’s only six-step, no-cut no-splice, installation process, which takes away much of the stress of working on electrical appliances. They also give you a free installation kit and offer over-the-phone rooftop installation support. In short, if you’re able to get up on your RV roof, you can install this product.
What is a SoftStartUp?
The SoftStartUP product is plug-and-play, so instead of installing a device directly on your air conditioners, you just plug it in at the power source. The device can cut power requirements by up to 50%, so it’s not as big of a decrease as you get with SoftStartRV.
For those people who are afraid of heights, scared to work on electrical appliances, or physically can’t climb up on their RV roof, it’s the perfect option. Along with the ability to run one or more air conditioners on limited power, the SoftStartUP also includes surge protection and a power monitoring app.
Which one is right for you?
If want the biggest decrease in startup power requirements and can install a soft starter on each of your air conditioners, then SoftStartRV may be for you. Remember, SoftStartRV can decrease the startup surge by up to 70%. If you have an onboard generator or a battery and inverter setup, having a device hard-wired into your air conditioners may be the way to go. Having this product onboard can also help with the resale of your RV when the time comes.
If you’re not physically able to climb up on your RV roof, you’re afraid of heights, or you’re just concerned about working with electrical appliances, then SoftStartUP might be the better option. If you don’t already have a surge protector for your RV or want the ability to monitor your power, then again, SoftStartUP may be the one for you.
The SoftStartUP Energy Monitoring App is an awesome tool that lets you see what your incoming power is, what your usage is, and it even lets you set different profiles for different generators. And when it comes time to switch RVs, you can take the SoftStartUP with you!
If you’re worried about warranty and support for your SoftStart, don’t be. Both products come with a 90-day love it or return it policy, and the free one-year warranty is extendable to two years when you register it. You also get free shipping in the US and Canada and the same great product support regardless of which device you choose.
Does the right SoftStart just come down to price?
The price of the SoftStartUP is about the cost of two SoftStartRVs, which is understandable considering it gives you the capability to run two air conditioners with the right power.
If you only have one air conditioner, you might think the price of a SoftStartUP is too high for what you need, but remember, it’s also a surge protector and includes an energy monitoring app. When you look at purchasing separate products to do the same job, you may find the overall costs are pretty comparable.
SoftStart Military Discount
If you’re an Active Duty Military member or a veteran, there’s a special discount for you! Check out Hinton the Trail’s military landing pages to get the latest prices.
- SoftStartRV Military Discount: https://www.softstartrv.com/hintonmilitary/
- SoftStartUP Military Discount: https://softstartup.com/hintonmilitary/