Honda EU2000i and Dometic Penguin A/C with SmartStart - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Maintenance, Winterizing and Routine Care
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-20-2010, 03:24 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Harold Kroeker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trailer: 2011 Escape 19
Posts: 111
Honda EU2000i and Dometic Penguin A/C with SmartStart

I have been lurking on this forum for quite some time and in June I ordered an Escape 19 for delivery in May, 2011. I want to thank all of you for the information that you posted, which helped me choose the right trailer and options for my intended use.

My wife and I have not camped on a site with electrical service in the 22 years that we have been camping together because we tend to prefer the surroundings that the more isolated sites have to offer. For this reason, it is very important to me that our new trailer is properly equipped for camping without services. Dual 6V AGM batteries and a good 3 stage charger with a generator take care of most of our needs, but now that we are a bit older, we prefer not to tough it out in the high temperatures that we sometimes get on the prairies in the summer, or in the southern states that we may visit in the future.

I have been using a Honda EU2000i generator to charge the batteries on our old pop-up trailer for many years and I love the light weight and quiet operation that this unit offers. I do not want to switch to a larger generator so it is very important to me that the air conditioning in our new trailer be able to run off the little Honda. When Tammy told me that the new Dometic Penguin (model 600312.331C) in the Escape 19 would not run off the EU2000i I started to do some research. I discovered that the marine crowd loves this little generator as much as I do and that Dometic has developed a device called the SmartStart for their Marine air conditioners which allows the Honda EU2000i to start and run a 16,000 BTU air conditioner while in ECO mode.

Attached is a document that Dometic posted in another forum which explains what the unit is, what it does, and the results of the tests that they did.

I contacted the Dometic RV Division that sells the Penguin and asked if the SmartStart was available for the air conditioner that is installed on the Escape 19. They gave me the part number for a Quick Start which is something completely different and claimed that they had never heard of the SmartStart. I called the Dometic Marine Division and actually talked to M. Giovanetti who authored the attached document and is the developer of the SmartStart. It turns out that the SmartStart is a Dometic Marine product and that the Dometic RV Division does not think that RV owners would be interested in it, due to the high cost, so they have not made it available through their distributors. At the same time he assured me that the SmartStart model #4220040 would work on the Dometic Penguin but that I would have to purchase it from a Dometic Marine retailer. He also mentioned that it requires a good sine wave, like the one put out by the EU2000i, but that is lacking in some low cost generators. I found one online retailer who lists the SmartStart for $450 which is not inexpensive but it is certainly cheaper than buying a new generator. For me, it is well worth the money to avoid having to haul and then handle a larger and heavier generator. I hope to find a lower price as they become more common and read one post in another group that quoted a cost of $360. I live 2000 km from the closest ocean so good marine retailers are a bit sparse in these parts. If anyone can suggest a good place to buy the SmartStart, I would appreciate it.

I discussed having the SmartStart installed during the build on my new trailer with Tammy and Reece but they indicated that this has to be done by a certified RV technician so it may not be possible. This was also before I discovered that it was not sold through the Dometic RV division so I will probably end up ordering one and installing it myself.

I posted this information now in case someone else wants to try installing a SmartStart before I get my trailer but if no one does, I will post my experience with this unit once I get it.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Dometic Marine SmartStart.doc (91.0 KB, 334 views)
__________________

__________________
2011 Escape 19
Harold Kroeker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
thoer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Galesville, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2017 21 "Blue II" & 2017 Highlander XLE (previously 2010 17B "Blue" & 2008 Tacoma)
Posts: 3,961
Re: Honda EU2000i and Dometic Penguin A/C with SmartStart

We have a new 2010 17B with the new Dometic AC - not sure of model #. It starts and runs with our Honda 2000.
__________________

__________________
Eric (and Mary who is in no way responsible for anything stupid I post)

SAE Towing Standard "Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." George Bernard Shaw
thoer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2010, 12:13 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Harold Kroeker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trailer: 2011 Escape 19
Posts: 111
Re: Honda EU2000i and Dometic Penguin A/C with SmartStart

As far as I know, the 17' and 19' use the same Dometic Penguin 11,000 BTU air conditioner. I have no personal experience with this unit and just believed what I was told when I was informed that the Honda wouldn't be strong enough to start it.

The air conditioner is supposed to draw 9.5 amps for the compressor when loaded and 2.8 amps for the fan when loaded which is about 1476 Watts total. Since this is below the 1600W continuous rating of the EU2000i, running the air conditioner should be no problem. It is the starting current that I am concerned with but your experience confirms what I thought should be true, that the Honda, with its 2000W peak output, is powerful enough to start it as well as run it.

The question is whether the Honda will always, usually, or just sometimes work. I have read of borderline cases where the air conditioner would only start if the fan was started first and then the compressor started once the fan was going to avoid dealing with the starting current of 2 motors at the same time.

Since the SmartStart can be added at any time, and after reading of your experience, it may be wise for me to try the A/C without it before I spend a bunch of money to cure a problem that may not even exist. I would certainly appreciate hearing from more people who have used their Honda EU2000i to run the A/C on their Escape.
__________________
2011 Escape 19
Harold Kroeker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2010, 06:24 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
bvansnell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2010 Escape 13
Posts: 431
Re: Honda EU2000i and Dometic Penguin A/C with SmartStart

Harold:

You might want to have a look at this: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...0-a-39376.html

The Fiberglassrv.com forum has had quite a bit of discussion on the use of a Honda generator with a roof top air conditioner.

Brian
__________________
Brian

2003 Subaru Forester
2012 Toyota Highlander V6
2010 Escape 13 "Ladybug" Feb 2010
bvansnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 01:20 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
PGDriver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Southern Alberta, Alberta
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA
Posts: 1,440
Re: Honda EU2000i and Dometic Penguin A/C with SmartStart

Just ran across this unit, might be the answer to the A/C small generator problem....
http://www.rvpartscountry.com/LW3000DometicGenerator
__________________
Doug & Eileen
2015 Escape 5.0TA
2015 GMC Sierra Crew 4X4 6.2 8 speed
PGDriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2011, 08:37 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: '93 Coleman popup - Escape 19' on order
Posts: 17
Re: Honda EU2000i and Dometic Penguin A/C with SmartStart

Looks like a re-branded Magna SF2700. Buyer beware.
Can anyone confirm that the Honda EU2000i will or will not work with the Penguin?
So far it looks like it will.
dalama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2011, 11:27 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Vermilye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2016 Tacoma Off Road, 2017 21
Posts: 2,285
Re: Honda EU2000i and Dometic Penguin A/C with SmartStart

It seems to be a tough call. Part of the problem is altitude. The generator puts out more power at sea level, and drops off as you climb. Of course, get high enough, and you don't need the AC, but in between? Another problem is the fan & compressor starting at the same time. Separate them by a couple of seconds may lower the starting current enough to get by.

From everything I've read, the 11,000 BTU Penguin is right on the line - it may work for some & not for others. I'm still waiting to hear if anyone has had any luck with installing the SmartStart model #4220040. That would be lighter, less expensive, and easier to maintain than a second Honda 2000.
__________________
Jon Vermilye My Travel Blog
Travel and Photo Web Page ... My Collection of RV Blogs 2016 Tacoma, 2017 21
Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2011, 08:59 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Harold Kroeker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trailer: 2011 Escape 19
Posts: 111
Re: Honda EU2000i and Dometic Penguin A/C with SmartStart

I have the SmartStart module but will not be picking up my trailer until the end of May. I will install it then and will try to document how I do it. Stay tuned to this station for further developments.
__________________
2011 Escape 19
Harold Kroeker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 01:43 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1
Re: Honda EU2000i and Dometic Penguin A/C with SmartStart

Harold,

When you install the SmartStart please take pictures of the process. They really help dummies like me understand the process.

Thanks,
Barry
pattonsr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 08:29 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Harold Kroeker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trailer: 2011 Escape 19
Posts: 111
Re: Honda EU2000i and Dometic Penguin A/C with SmartStart

Thanks for the reminder Barry. I have a habit of getting totally involved in what I am doing and forgetting to take pictures. I re-wired and re-plumbed an entire house and don't have any pictures to show for it. It isn't until I'm done that I look at the finished job and think that maybe I should have taken a few pictures as I went. On the few projects where I have taken pictures, I have discovered that it takes twice as long to do the job if I do keep stopping to take pictures.
I promise to do my best on this project.
__________________

__________________
2011 Escape 19
Harold Kroeker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.