This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy.

Run More Devices While Keeping Warm In Your RV This Winter

Published on November 17th, 2023 by Camper Report
This post was updated on November 24th, 2023

Manufacturer drawing showing how the heat pump will work to keep warm in the RV in the winter

How a Palm-Sized Device Frees Up More Amps to Help Keep You Warm In Your RV

When the hot temperatures of Summer start drifting down like Autumn leaves, RVers that plan to keep RVing in colder temps know they need to make sure they are keeping warm in their RV when the temperature drops.

The various types of RV heating systems; furnace, electric heaters, electric strips, or a heat pump – function differently depending on how cold the RVer’s primary environment is expected to be, and how long the cold temperatures are expected to last. Each choice needs to be weighed by how much energy is available, as compared to how much can be used by the chosen form of heating.

When the air is cool but not yet freezing, probably the most efficient choice is to use the heat pump function of an RV air conditioner/heat pump combo that most RVers already have on their roof. Further enhancing that efficiency is the addition of a SoftStartRV™ soft starter.

Sign up for the newsletter today!

Please enter a valid email address.

An error occurred. Please try again later.

× logo

Thank you for subscribing to the Camper Report newsletter, keep your eye on your inbox for updates.

The Impact of SoftStartRV™ on a Rooftop AC with Heat Pump

Over the past few years, adding soft starters to RV rooftop air conditioners has become the most popular way to maximize overall AC comfort, performance, and power efficiency. By reducing the startup power needed by up to 70%, soft starters such as SoftStartRV have resulted in much quieter AC startups (no thumps or shudders), less heat-searing shock to the compressors windings (which can greatly extend compressor life), and more opportunities to keep the AC turned on in low-power situations while keeping other appliances running (such as low-amperage off-grid generator power or household power).


So, it makes sense that when the weather starts to get cold, the SoftStartRV-connected heat pump will provide the same great benefits as when the rooftop AC is running, while keeping you warm in your RV. Many RV rooftop units with a heat pump function use the same compressor that runs the AC function. In fact, a heat pump is actually an air conditioner running in reverse: instead of drawing heat from the inside air and expelling it outside during AC cooling, the heat pump extracts heat from the OUTSIDE air and moves it INSIDE the RV. Depending on the specifications of the heat pump, it can comfortably and efficiently take the chill out of an RV when outdoor temperatures reach as low as about 40ºF/4.4ºC.

Shows softstart rv device with crimper and wire ends.
Every SoftStartRV purchase includes these installation tools.

Holiday Moochdocking – Keeping Your RV Warm at Grandma’s

“Moochdocking” is a term used within the RV community to describe the practice of parking an RV on the property of a friend or family member for a short period of time, usually without paying for the stay. Moochdocking often reaches its zenith during the holidays. It’s considered a form of boondocking, but often includes the benefit of accessing amenities from the host’s home, like electricity or water. In most cases however, that electricity won’t be a 30-amp or 50-amp pedestal, but rather a regular 20-amp AC source…probably on the end of a long extension cord.

While this will usually be sufficient for lights, TV, and running a gas water heater or furnace, it won’t be enough to start that nice heat pump on your RVs roof. If you can get it started however, it will often still run. Here’s where the SoftStartRV device shines, letting you start those devices with 70% less power to get some heat going so you can keep warm in your RV. Without a SoftStartRV device, you aren’t very likely to get a heat pump started with that 20-amp source.

AI rendition of rver moochdocking at a home during christmas and emptying black tank into sewer.
Moochdockers shouldn’t do this….but they should get a SoftStartRV device!

Benefits Beyond Keeping Warm In Your RV

Measuring about 3” x 6” x 2”, a SoftStartRV soft starter is the smallest on the market and fits in all RV rooftop AC-Heat Pump units. Benefits include being able to run lights, TV, CPAP, refrigerator, microwave, toaster, coffee maker or other appliances while the heat pump is also running.

More importantly, the very same lifestyle benefits that a SoftStartRV soft starter offers during AC operation can also be realized when using the heat pump of the rooftop unit. Because of the huge reduction in startup amperage, many other appliances can remain running while the heat pump is being used. This means you won’t lose important functionality at the expense of keeping warm in your RV.

By keeping peak demand down, the circuit won’t shut off when the heat pump turns on – especially circuits that may be running on less power than normal. And since the soft start makes for quiet startups, you may not even know when the heat pump is running (unless you are close to the fan).

Learn More About SoftStart RV

For more information on SoftStartRV soft starters and how they can benefit your year-round RV camping enjoyment, as well as how easy it is to buy and install these units with world-class support, please go to https://www.softstartrv.com/rvlifeheat/. SoftStartRV is a product of SoftStartUSA, an industry leader in RV and home power management products.

About the Author:




Leave a Comment

Welcome! Please follow these guidelines:

  • Be kind and respectful.
  • Keep comments relevant to the article.
  • Avoid insults, threats, profanity, and offensive remarks.
  • Refrain from discussing gun rights, politics, or religion.
  • Do not post misleading information, personal details, or spam.

We may hide or remove comments at our discretion.