Air conditioning units are among the most important appliances in an RV. These appliances can regulate air temperature and environmental conditions that can determine sleep quality, comfort, and even the longevity of the vehicle, but what does the SHED light or 67 on an RV A/C unit mean? Should you be concerned when the SHED light comes on?
Seeing the term ‘SHED’ on an RV air conditioner means the electrical management system that reduces power to the A/C or other appliances when they draw too much current for the system to manage is in use. This shedding of power, when necessary, protects the RV, the electrical system, and the RV appliances from damage.
The SHED function, button, or light on an RV air conditioner is important to understand, but it is nothing to be concerned about. This is a critical feature of all A/C units used in RVs and is there for an important reason. Here we will explore the meaning of the SHED light or function on an RV A/C and what it means.
Definition of ‘SHED’ On an RV Air Conditioner
Most RV air conditioners have multiple functions, but they also have various safety features built into them to protect the A/C units from damage and prevent the unit from causing harm to any other appliances or components in the RV.
The SHED function on an RV air conditioner is one of the safety features that these units are equipped with.
When an RV air conditioner enters SHED mode, it is because the A/C unit is drawing too much current or is expecting to draw too much current. The SHED function sheds some of the current use for the electrical system in the RV by either shutting down the air conditioner compressor or cutting power to other appliances in the RV to free up amperage for the A/C to use.
Air conditioning units require a lot of power to run, and most RVs have more than A/C units. Most have an air conditioner at the front and rear of the vehicle, and when both units are running, they are likely to enter SHED mode periodically, depending on how the units are used.
SHED protects the electrical system in the RV from drawing too much power, and it prevents the system from tripping or blowing a breaker, which can cause significant damage.
The SHED feature usually activates when both air conditioners on an RV are running. When the compressors are reactive during the cycle of the units, they require extra power, which is usually more than the system can handle. The system then sheds power from the other unit or appliance to compensate.
Some air conditioners have an active SHED mode that can be activated by the user. When engaged, it will periodically spin down the air conditioner compressor to prevent wear and tear.
If your RV A/C has this feature, it is a good idea to engage it on cool nights when you do not need the air conditioner continuously. This feature will turn the compressor off for cycles of 30-60 minutes while in SHED mode to prevent significant wear and tear on the compressor unit.
Is It Bad When The ‘SHED’ Light Comes On?
If you see the SHED light on your RV air conditioner come on, should you be concerned? Is it a bad thing when an A/C unit enters SHED mode?
It is not a bad thing for an A/C unit in an RV to enter SHED mode. This mode is also known as EMS (Electrical Management System) and is a safety feature designed to protect the air conditioner units in the RV, as well as the other appliances and components in the RV.
When the SHED light comes on or when the unit enters SHED mode, it is to prevent damage to the unit. This feature simply means that the system is doing its job well and keeping the RV and its appliances safe.
However, if the SHED light stays on all the time, or if the air conditioner units in your RV enter SHED mode very frequently, or every time you use them, there may be an electrical issue with the system in the RV.
If the A/C units constantly need to shed power, there may be something in the RV or the electrical system that is drawing too much current or pulling current away from the other appliances in the RV.
If this is happening, there is an issue that must be resolved in the electrical system of the RV, and a professional automotive electrician should be called to assess the issue.
However, if the A/C units in your RV enter SHED mode infrequently, or it only happens when you turn on another appliance, it is nothing to worry about, and the system is simply doing what it is meant to do.
When To Use The ‘SHED’ Functionality On An RV A/C
If your RV air conditioner units have a manual SHED function, when is the right time to use it? When should you engage the SHED function on an RV A/C?
You should use the SHED function on an RV air conditioning system when multiple A/C units are active simultaneously for extended periods or when using multiple appliances at once on the same electrical system.
For example, if your fridge, water pump, and both A/C compressors are running simultaneously, the appliances may draw more current than the system can safely handle. In this instance, it is important to activate the SHED function on the A/C units to protect the system.
Another instance is if you are running both A/C units in an. RV overnight when only one is necessary. Activate the SHED mode on one unit,so that it can shed power when the main unit or the unit closest to your bed requires more power to reactive its compressor.
This will prevent power surges, tripping, and damage to the electric system and A/C units in the RV.
Do All RV Air Conditioners Have SHED Functionality?
Most RV air conditioner units are equipped with SHED functionality. Even very old units have this functionality, but they may not be as sophisticated as modern units.
SHED functionality or EMS is not new to A/C units, but it has become better and more controllable as air conditioners have developed and become more functional.
Modern SHED systems are very accurate and very safe, and while older A/C units do have SHED functionality, they may not be as safe or functional as modern units.
SHED on an RV air conditioner is a power shed function that reduces current to specific appliances when the current drawn by the RV electrical system is too great for the system to handle.
This safety feature prevents damage to the air conditioning unit, the other appliances in the RV, and the overall RV electrical system. SHED functionality is critical for all RV air conditioning units.
(feature image: jayco.com)
David is an accomplished mountain endurance athlete who has completed over 25 ultra marathon races (follow on Strava). He is most proud of his finish at The Drift 100 – a high elevation, 100 mile winter foot race that zigzags along the Continental Divide in Wyoming. In the future he hopes to compete in the ITI 350 and ultimately the full 1,000 mile Iditarod Trail Invitational that follows the same path as the historic dog sled race.