Best RV Air Conditioner (AC) Units of 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

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RV Air Conditioners are a must have for the summer camping seasons. No matter where you’re headed, it’s important to have a working air conditioner to stay cool when it matters most.

In this review article, we’re going to take a look at some of the bet RV air conditioners and review their main features. With this we’re also going to dive into some of the pros and cons shared among recent customers. Believe us when we say that you won’t want to miss out on this.

Whether you’re buying new, or buying to replace a broken air conditioner for your RV, this list is sure to keep your space cool.

Our Top Picks for Best RV Air Conditioners

  • Weighs 13.2 pounds
  • Thick, tough UV plastic
  • Highly reputable brand
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  • Weighs 74 pounds
  • 15000 BTU per hour
  • Best rooftop AC
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  • Best for the money
  • Overload protector
  • Weighs 65 pounds
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Comparison of Best RV Air Conditioners

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • The product weighs 13.2 pounds
  • The AC is made with a thick, tough UV plastic
  • Runner up unit made by a highly reputable brand
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  • The unit weighs 74 pounds
  • It has a BTU rating of 15000 per hour
  • The best rooftop air conditioner from our list
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  • The best for the money unit
  • It features an overload protector
  • The unit weighs about 65 pounds
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  • Constructed from high-impact UV-resistant material for reliable durability
  • Aftermarket replacement unit perfect for any Brisk Air AC units
  • Made and designed to provide peace of mind efficiency
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What Size of Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Air conditioning in RV is a must, especially for people who are traveling to places with varying temperatures. In order to install an air conditioner in an RV, it is important to make the right decision regarding its size. The length of a vehicle influences your choice as powerful units are needed for large internal spaces.

A large RV may require an AC with 18,000 BTUs for better cooling across the mobile house. In fact, RVs that are large may require more than one unit. Also, ensure your chosen product is compatible with local electricity sources since power sources vary between countries RV goes and may require different sizes of fuse.

How to Choose an Air Conditioner for Your RV or Trailer

For purchasing a unit for your RV, making the correct decision about BTUs plays an important part. BTUs tells how well an AC can cool your space. If you will be visiting a hot destination frequently, then more than 13,500 BTUs is the right pick for you. There are different types of RV air conditioners that you can choose from. These include:

Rooftop Units

These are preferred as they utilize less space in the RV and are placed into the roof. It is influenced by the external weather as the unit is cooled by the air outside. However, its installation may not be easy as it weighs more than 100 pounds.

Vent-Free

It is relatively small in size and is known for handling moist air ventilation. However, this can only be used in a dry climate.

Portable

These are the cheapest among the lot and use one or two hoses to ventilate. They occupy a large space and are not very energy efficient.

Window

This is a great option as it does not take up floor space and offers great cooling capacity. Also, it can be easily installed.

Quick Take - The Best RV Air Conditioners

Before you go any further, here are the best RV air conditioners: 


  1. Maxxair TuffMaxx
  2. Dometic 15,000 BTU B59516.XX1C0 Brisk Air Ii
  3. ASA Electronics ACM135B 13 500 BTU

Review of the Best RV Air Conditioners

Now we're going to take a look at some of the best RV air conditioners and review their main features. With this, we're going to go over the mutual pros and cons shared by recent customers. Let's begin!

Best Overall:
Maxxair TuffMaxx

MaxxAir 00-325001 TuffMaxx A/C Shroud - Polar White

Pros

  • It is Easy to Maintain and Clean
  • It Also has a Built-In Rear Fin Guard
  • The Product has a Sleek, White Colored Design
  • The AC is Extremely Light Weighted; Hence, Installation is a Piece of Cake
  • The Unit is Also Made With a Protective Tough UV Plastic, Making it Sturdy and Durable

Cons

  • It is Pricier than Other Models
  • Its Plastic Body May Fall Apart After Some Time of Use

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have hugely complained about the AC’s plastic parts falling apart after some time of use. This may be a lightweight AC with a compact, sleek design, but it is not the most durable product on the market. However, buyers have reported great satisfaction level with the 15000 BTU rating, huge area coverage, and easy installation.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The best part about this is that it produces extremely low sound. Therefore, this qualifies the product perfect for use in smaller spaces like RV’s where noise is a notable factor.

Who Would Use This Most

This is great for users who have exposure to harsh outdoor conditions. It will last them a long time and will perform just as fine in easier conditions. Moreover, if you are a user with less technical experience, you can easily use this AC and install it with its lightweight built and detailed instructions.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The only thing that may need some improvements and changes is the build quality. Its build will last you if you take extreme care of it; however, with rough handling, it may not last as long. For long-term use, you may want this to be built with better quality material.

Bottom Line

Overall, this runner up unit makes up a good quality, well-performing product that comes with a unique UV plastic build. However, it is pricier than other similar competitors’ products.

Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner, 15,000 BTU - Polar White (B59516.XX1C0)

Pros

  • It is Extremely Easy to Install
  • It Comes With a 2-Year Warranty
  • It is Available in 2 Different colors
  • The Unit can be Used With or Without a Duct
  • It is Equipped With High Quality, High-Speed Motor, and Fan

Cons

  • It Weighs More Than Some Other Models
  • The AC Produces Lots of Noise When It's Working at a High Speed

What Recent Buyers Report

The one feature that all customers have repeatedly complained about is the poor customer service from the manufacturer. Even though the unit comes with a 2-year warranty and is otherwise of great quality, it still has poor and unresponsive customer service. Other than that, customers are fully satisfied with the functioning of the AC and its power of cooling a small to large sized room. It’s also reviewed positively by customers due to its easy installation.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most distinctive feature of this outstanding unit is its easy installation. Rooftop units are usually difficult to install; however, installing this unit will be a piece of cake. Secondly, it also comes in 2 different colors. This gives you a wider choice to choose from so that the unit matches better with the interior of your RV.

Who Would Use This Most

This is an extremely useful unit for people who plan on using it for a long time. This is because first of all, it has a sturdy and durable built. It is also reviewed by customers for its long life. Second of all, it also comes with a warranty of 2 years, which gives you security for a long time.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The customer support and the noise issue of this AC can be worked on. It is highly noisy when it’s at high speed. This feature should be worked on to make the unit more appropriate for smaller areas.

Bottom Line


By weighing both the aspects of this RV rooftop unit, we can safely say that it is a good investment. Other than its comparatively heavier weight and poor customer support, the unit has lots of other beneficial features.

ASA Electronics ACM135B 13,500 BTU Roof Top AC, Black

Pros

  • The Product is Backed By a 2-year Manufacturer Warranty
  • The Overlook Protector Feature Ensures Safety and Security
  • It is Essentially Good for Rigid and Harsh Climates for Travelers
  • It has an Above Average Cooling Capacity of up to 13500 BTU
  • It has a Metal and Foam Build, Which Ensures a  Strong Build with Low Noise Production

Cons

  • The Black Color is not a Good Choice for Many People

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent users absolutely love the unit for its quiet operations. The foam layer in the unit is what makes it extremely quiet. Moreover, the users have also loved its 3 adjustable fan speeds and a plug-in heat strip as it allows more control over the unit. Secondly, the unit is also relatively lightweight and travel-friendly. However, the only problem customers have frequently reported is poor customer support, especially in times of emergencies.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most outstanding feature of this is its plug-in heating strip. This can be used and removed according to your needs. Moreover, the unit is also power efficient, lightweight, and has a sturdy build. All of these are offered at a good, reasonable price, which made us add this product on our list.

Who Would Use This Most

The unit is highly suitable for harsh and rigorous climates and conditions. It is also good for travelers who have to move from hot to colder climates. Moreover, it is also a great choice for people who have a limited budget and are looking for a high-performance RV AC.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Since the only complaint made by customers is regarding the poor customer support, the brand can work on their customer support. They can retrain their customer support team to respond faster and better to customers in times of queries. This will help users to rely on and buy their products more frequently.

Bottom Line

Overall, the unit is great in terms of durability, performance, power, and versatility. Its extra heat strip is an impressive feature that can be extremely useful for travelers. Other than the poor customer support, the unit is a great option for RV owners and travelers.

ICON Brisk Air Dometic Duo Therm RV Air Conditioner Shroud (New Style)

Pros

  • Easy fit and installation requires no effort
  • Shroud has louvers and is perfectly sized to fit newer AC styles
  • Durable and sturdy construction built with UV-resistant material
  • Improved protection to the AC interior from water, debris, and sun rays
  • Better quality plastic than original with the flexibility to withstand harsh weather

Cons

  • Might need to drill additional holes in the back
  • Rear vents have airflow restriction which might heat up the AC unit

What Recent Buyers Report

While many people were quite satisfied with the older style, who can ever refuse an upgraded version? The reviews say it all, given how perfectly it fits in the air conditioner with effortless installment. Residents in hot cities and states have particularly applauded its UV-resistant quality, so you don’t need to worry about heat damage. It might seem a bit pricey to some, but the long-term protection, sleek design, and exceptional fitting live up to the price tag.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With the newer style, this model definitely boasts better and confident durability. The plastic is strong, featuring better design and heavy-duty construction. The material is thicker and stronger, which is surely going to last a long time. 

One can feel relieved that this little shroud will serve as the ultimate barrier to protect your air conditioner from rough outdoor elements, particularly the scorching heat and sun rays. Dometic has undoubtedly kept up with the latest trends and advancements because this shroud fits on to the brisk air conditioners too.

Bottom Line

With the exception of the few holes that you might have to drill for efficient heat escape from the air conditioner, everything about this product is exceptionally well-built. Your AC deserves proper protection, and this shroud is guaranteed to hold up fine for long-term usage.

Airxcel 08-0080 Mach 15 15.0 Arctic Wht Upper

Pros

  • The Product Weighs Less; Therefore, it is Easier to Install
  • The Product Features Both Cooling and Heating Capabilities
  • This Air Conditioner by Airxcel Comes at an Affordable Price
  • The 1/3 HP Fan Motor Delivers Cool Air in a Larger Area Much Faster

Cons

  • Some Complain About the Unpleasant Odor From the Product
  • There are Many Complaints From Users About the Loud Noise it Produces

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the buyers of this product have had a positive experience with the AC. The credits go to its low cost yet efficient functioning that comes with a lightweight build. Buyers have commented positively on the ease of use and ease of installation of this AC. The easy installation has also helped many users save on installation costs. Moreover, users have also positively reviewed the AC to be great for hotter climates.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Airxcel AC has proven to be great for RVs for a number of reasons. While it has a good BTU rating and is also lightweight and suitable for small spaces, it has other features that make it even better. For example, this product comes at a rather competitive, reasonable price. It has all the essential features as the higher priced ones, yet it is much more affordable.

Who Would Use This Most

The AC is best for people who have to stay in hotter climates. Moreover, it is also suitable for those who do not have much prior experience with the installation and other technicalities. It is also a good choice for ones with a tighter budget.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Since the only major thing that seems to be a con of this AC is the loud noise, perhaps Airxcel could work on that. The unit is supposed to be installed in small spaces like RVs; therefore, loud noise can be highly noticeable and annoying. Therefore, this could be improved in this overall best product.

Bottom Line

To sum it up, this affordable and high-quality AC is a good option for RV. It is easy to install, has good airflow, and is highly affordable.

Best Coleman RV Air Conditioner: 
Coleman Mach 3 Power Saver

Airxcel 08-0080 Mach 15 15.0 Arctic Wht Upper

Pros

  • Most Powerful AC Unit on the Market
  • Low Profile Look With Easy Installation
  • Trustable Brand With a Great Track Record of Excellent Customer Service

Cons

  • Not the Most Durable
  • Loud When Set to High

The Coleman Mach is among the most powerful and recommended air conditioning units on the market. Coleman is a trusted brand and has released other great products with this top of the line RV air conditioning unit.  

The Coleman Mach is a low profile unit that offers 15,000 BTUs of power to ensure your RV is cool and comfortable. As far as RV air conditioning units go, the Coleman Mach is a top of the line model at a reasonable price point.

Bottom Line

The Coleman Mach is a great deal in the mid priced units considering how powerful it is. This AC unit is a great choice for campers planning on being in very hot conditions.

Most Portable RV Air Conditioner:
Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner

Honeywell HL09CESWK Portable Air Conditioner, 9,000 BTU Cooling, with Dehumidifier & Fan (Black/white)

Pros

  • This is a Highly Portable Product
  • It can Cover and Cool Spaces up to 300 to 400 Square Feet
  • This Honeywell Product is Well-Known for its Quiet Operation
  • This is a Highly Advanced Unit Due to its Remote Control and Digital Functionality
  • It Also Features a Bucket-Less, Self-Evaporating Functionality for Easy Maintenance

Cons

  • It has a High Price Tag
  • It Comes With Rather Unclear and Misleading Instructions

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers seem to be very pleased with this portable RV air conditioner. It is stylish, and also offers powerful performance. Customers have highly praised it for its advanced and easy-to-use functions like the digital controls. Moreover, other than RV owners, people have also given positive reviews about the cooling power of this unit in larger rooms.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most impressive feature about this unit is that it is highly multi-functional. It is a dehumidifier, cooling, and heating unit all in one. This makes it versatile and extremely useful in all kinds of conditions. Moreover, it is also bucket-less, which means it requires minimum maintenance. Therefore, we have added this Honeywell air conditioner on our list of some of the best RV ACs in the market.

Who Would Use This Most

The product is extremely useful for people who travel a lot. This is because, firstly, it is portable and comes with a comfortable design. It's also low maintenance, which means that it won’t bother you during your traveling. Secondly, the AC is also suitable for more than just one condition. It is a dehumidifier for high moisture conditions, a heater for cooler climates and a cooler for hotter climates.

What Could Be Improved and Why


Even though it is considered to be a portable, travel-friendly AC, it still has a bulky weight of 64 pounds. While this might not seem to be a huge inconvenience if you plan on keeping it in one place, it will be a problem if you want to move it around. Therefore, a lighter unit may be a better option. Moreover, it is also pricey, so that area can also be improved for better affordability.

Bottom Line

This is the most diverse and versatile AC on the market. Its travel-friendly, easy to use, and also has a sleek design. The only problem is that it's pricey. However, investing in this high-quality product will be a one-time thing.

Best RV Window Air Conditioner:
Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 5,000 BTU

Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E 5, 000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner with Mechanical Controls

Pros

  • The Filter Slides Out Easily
  • It can Dehumidify the Air by 1.1 Pints Per Hour
  • It has Adjustable Fan and Cooling Speed Settings
  • This Unit Comes With a Mesh Filter that is Easy to Clean
  • It’s a Suitable Unit for Areas of Sizes up to 150 Square Feet

Cons

  • It has Comparatively Lower Air Flow of 101 CFM
  • It May Not be the Best for Large Rooms and Areas

What Recent Buyers Report

The 6000 BTU rating has made buyers unsatisfied for its limited area coverage. However, users who have smaller areas to cover, like RVs, are satisfied with its performance. It is also reported to be long lasting and is powerful. However, customer satisfaction is not at the greatest due to its restrictive features like the 101 CFM capability. Although, customers love it for its extremely quiet performance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The best feature about this unit is its lowest sound production. It’s not the lowest on the market; however, it’s still very low compared to its competitors. Moreover, the low sound production makes it extremely appropriate for smaller areas like RVs. Hence, the product has made it to our list for its exceptionally quiet operation.

Who Would Use This Most

It’s a great choice for people who have a small area to cover. It’s also not extremely expensive, so you may want to consider buying it if you have a limited budget. Moreover, the AC also has a powerful cooling system; therefore, it’s useful for those in hotter climates.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Perhaps the airflow, BTU, and the energy efficiency of the unit can be worked upon. Users have complained about it being heavy on the bills. It also has a low airflow, which makes it inappropriate for large rooms. Therefore, these features can be worked upon and improved.

Bottom Line


Overall, the AC is a good choice if you are looking for a window unit for an RV or a small space. However, for larger rooms, you may have other better options to consider. Also, you can find more diverse and versatile products in the same price range.

Best Low Profile RV Air Conditioner:
Airxcel Mach Polar Cub 9.2

Airxcel 08-0212 Mach Polar Cub, 9.2 Arctic White

Pros

  • It Delivers Cool Air to About 300 CFM
  • It Has a Low-Profile Design Suitable for RV
  • It is Highly Suitable for Hot Climates for its Cooling Capacity
  • The AC is Extremely Energy Efficient, Helping You Cut Down on Your Energy Bills
  • It has a Rating of 6000 BTU Which Makes it Good for Small to Medium-Sized Spaces Like an RV

Cons

  • It Comes With a High Price Tag
  • It Can be Bulkier than Other Competing Models

What Do Recent Buyers Report

Most of the recent buyers of this unit have reported it to be highly reliable and powerful. It cools a good range of area quickly and efficiently. Moreover, the users have also reviewed this AC to be highly low profile, which means that it won’t stand out in the small space of an RV.

Why it Stands Out to Us


The most distinctive feature about this unit is that it is only 8 inches tall. This makes it fit for absolutely anywhere, be low profile, and will also be not noticeable. Moreover, customers also have not complained about its noise production, which means that the unit will cool your room without getting noticed it is there at all.

Who Would Use This Most

It’s a good choice for small RVs and use in small areas. It’s also beneficial for people with children and pets since it is low profile and can hardly come to notice. Moreover, it is also useful for people looking for an energy efficient unit that will be easy on their utility bills.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The only thing we found to be of little inconvenience is its high price tag. Perhaps working on the price and trying to offer the same functionality in a rather affordable price range will be a good improvement.

Bottom Line


Overall, the unit is incredible in terms of power efficiency, and performance. However, it may not be the best option for people who have a tighter budget. It will be easier to find equally efficient units in a more affordable price range.

Smallest RV Air Conditioner:
Dometic Sanitation Rivet Semi Tube PKG

Brisk Air II Air Conditioner with Non Ducted Ceiling Assembly.

Pros

  • It’s Affordable
  • It is Extremely Easy to Install
  • It has a Sleek, Simple Design that Won’t Stand Out
  • It's Made with Highly Durable and Sturdy Material
  • This is an Amulet Functional Unit that has the Capability of Both Heating and Cooling
  • It’s One of the Smallest Units on the Market, Making it the Best for RV and Small Spaces

Cons

  • Many Reports About Defective Deliveries
  • Its Operations are Noisier than Other Models

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love the unit for its compact size, which is extremely travel-friendly. Moreover, many user reports suggest that it is suitable for small to medium sized spaces. They are also satisfied with the build quality of the unit. Customers are also praising its ease of installation.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The most distinctive feature of the product that made it onto our list is its small and compact design. Since we are looking for RV ACs, this unit fits all the requirements as it’s lightweight, compact and easy to install. It will make anyone’s traveling easy and comfortable with its travel-friendly design.

Who Would Use This Most


This is an essential AC for people who are on the go on their RV frequently. Moreover, it is also extremely budget-friendly. This means that people with limited budgets can easily avail high quality performance at a good price.

What Could Be Improved and Why


The only problem and complaint users have made about this unit is its loud noise operations. This can be a serious issue in small spaces. Therefore, the manufacturers could look into this matter and make it less noisy.

Bottom Line

To sum it up, the unit is incredible when you weigh its features with other higher priced models. It is useful for traveling and is portable. It is also durable, therefore ensuring security for your investment. Other than the loud noise production, the unit seems like a good choice as an RV AC.

Quietest RV Air Conditioner:
Dometic Brisk Air II 15,000 BTU

Dometic Brisk Air II 15,000 BTU Rv Ac Complete ND System W/Heat

Pros

  • Comes in Black or White
  • It is the Smallest AC Unit on the Market
  • Engineering Optimizes Air Flow and Performance to the RV Unit
  • The Brisk II is the Most Environmentally Friendly AC Unit on the Market

Cons

  • Noisy When on High
  • Occasionally Delivered Damaged

Dometic is a global mobile air conditioning company that started in 1919. Years of innovation has lead them to creating the awesome B59516.XX1C0 Brisk II.

The new Dometic Brisk is smaller and more powerful than before with a 15,000 BTU unit that is mounted on the outside of the RV for spatial convenience. This unit is also one of the most durable on the market packaged with a 2-year protection plus warranty.  

Bottom Line

The Dometic Brisk II is a great mid-price unit with a lot of benefits that other units don’t offer. It is a great unit to keep cool in the hotter months.

Dometic 640315C Penguin II 410 Amp Low Profile Rooftop Air Conditioner(Polar White)

Pros

  • Color and Power Options for User Needs
  • The Penguin II Comes With a Strong 2-year Protection Plus Warranty
  • The Low Profile Design Reduces Wind Drag and Minimizes Gas Consumption

Cons

  • Can be Loud on Higher Powers
  • Middle Upper Range Price Point

The Penguin II is an all around great air conditioning unit for any RV due to its power and color options. For smaller RVs, the user can choose a lower power (13,500 BTU) unit or choose the more powerful option for a larger RV.

The AC unit also comes in cool low profile black or white so it flows with the RV for a more natural look. The sleek design minimizes gas mileage drag to help cut gas costs on long trips. When choosing air conditioning units for an RV, you can’t go wrong with the Penguin II.

Bottom Line

The Penguin II is one of the best air conditioning units on the market at its price point. With a strong warranty and great user options we highly recommend the Penguin II AC unit.

Comparison Overview

As with every product in the market, there are certain variations that you may come across. To save your time, we have presented a concise yet apposite description regarding various types and brands of air conditioners. You surely don’t want to settle for anything less than the best in your RV!

RV Heat Pump vs. Air Conditioner

Typically, the working and functioning of both these devices revolve around the same lines. However, there are a few pros and cons to each of them. 

A heat pump has a significant edge over air conditioners, owing to their heating properties, making them a versatile option for traveling in colder seasons. So, a heat pump will keep you snug and comfy in the cold, but will also cool your indoor RV air in the heat. 

Nonetheless, they might not be able to combat extreme heat or cold, but their best capabilities are witnessed in moderate climates. Heat pumps are more energy-efficient and utilize lesser fuel. When it comes to cost, an average heat pump is cheaper than an AC, but you might need to purchase a furnace for better heating abilities.

Air conditioners have a limitation in cold weather because they only serve to cool the air and lower temperatures. But their cooling properties are sure to leave you spell-bound because they can fight severe heat and sweltering temperatures effortlessly. 

Due to single-season use, ACs usually tend to last longer than heat pumps, so one can rely on the investment to last a long time. In addition to this, air conditioners typically feature high SEER ratings that guarantee energy-efficiency and less burden on your bills. In the end, it’s all a matter of your choice and preference to choose the one that suits your budget and usage.

Ducted vs. Non-Ducted RV Air Conditioner

The two types of air conditioners available can either be ducted or non-ducted ones. In this case, the former surely has the upper hand owing to several reasons. The first and foremost reason is that ducted ACs are better for larger RVs because they transfer cool air to several rooms through the duct system running in the roof. 

The metal tubing will ensure targeted and uniform cooling in all areas of the RV. In addition to being highly energy efficient, one can also control the temperature of all rooms through a central control system. 

Ductless ACs are less efficient because they cannot keep the temperature cool over larger ranges. Being much simpler, they make a good choice for small-sized RVs usually fitted into the roof. The AC lowers the temperature several degrees by sucking air from outside, cooling it, and then blowing it directly downwards into the RV. 

A downside to this kind of air conditioners is that they are noisy in working and tend to create humidity inside. Although it appears as a much cheaper option, it is preferable only for smaller RVs or single room usage.

Dometic vs. Coleman RV Air Conditioner

A distinct comparison cannot be made between both brands because each one of them is a big name in the air conditioning market. People often consider purchasing a brand with former experience, while others tend to form their decisions on price, quality, and availability of replacement parts.

Many buyers have commended the quiet running of Coleman air conditioners that allow them to sleep and work in peace. They last a long time, and one will hardly face any complaints during their operation. 

On the other hand, Dometic ACs have a much solid and sturdier construction hence, enhancing their longevity. People often complained of the loud noise levels that Dometic air conditioners produce, but this issue was solved in the newer models. In terms of cooling the air and ensuring a consistent airflow, both brands have exceeded expectations!

How to Maintain an RV Air Conditioner 

With regular cleaning and maintenance, your air conditioner is bound to stay in a good state and serve you for a longer time. Before you get on with maintenance, make sure your device is turned off, and the unit is disassembled following the manual’s guide. Read the steps mentioned below to better understand how to get the most out of an ordinary AC.

  1. Protect Your RV- Start off by disconnecting the wiring and the main control switch from the rest of the unit. Cover the roof vents to prevent any water or debris from falling into your RV. Look out for any insects, bird nests, or animals that might have taken refuge in the unit, and shoo them away. Now you’re good to begin!

  2. Cleaning the Evaporator- The evaporator's fins are usually made of aluminum and are prone to get damaged even by slightest pressure, so you don’t want to use water on it. Instead, go for a can of evaporator coil cleaner and spray it generously all over the coils. Let it sit for around ten to fifteen minutes to reach all the dust deep inside.

    Only use a water source if you can arrange a very gentle and thin stream that won’t damage the fins. Once you’ve done with the cleaning part, take a fin comb and work on all the kinks to straighten them out in the evaporator.

  3. Cleaning the Condenser- This is quite similar to cleaning the evaporator, so you’ll want to start by using a condenser cleaner spray. Coat the condenser fins with the cleaning spray and let the product soak for a good fifteen to twenty minutes. After that, you can use a garden hose to rinse the fins and make them look as good as new. You can repeat these steps until your machinery is clear of all the dirt.

  4. Oiling the Fan- Every air conditioner has a fan that is constantly running the entire time your AC is working. Often, the fins of the fan and the shaft connected to the motor fall prey to corrosion, which can severely impact their life. For this purpose, using lubricating oil or a silicone lube will fight the rust and keep it running smoothly in top shape.

  5. Cleaning Out the Ducts and Filters- In case you have a ducted system, it is always a good choice to vacuum the metal tubes running through the flooring or the ceiling. This will prevent any sort of clogging and ensure unrestricted airflow. Also, wash the AC filters with soap and water to clear out the dust particles. For final touches, just give a good look to all the parts from the interior and the exterior, to make sure your AC is working as good as new! 

Spare some of your time and see this video for a better visual guide to understand how to clean your RV air conditioner.

RV Air Conditioning Tips to Stay Cool 

Who wouldn’t prefer an air conditioner to keep off the heat on your next road trip? RVs usually come with compact spaces, and traveling in the hot, intolerable weather can sure become disastrous. Installing an air conditioner in your RV or travel trailer is guaranteed to provide you a cooler indoor atmosphere and comfortable sleeping space at night. A few basic tips that will help you are:

Buying Guide

Before you choose a product, you’ll have to keep in mind certain features to make your purchase promising enough. Check the BTU units because this determines the cooling capacity of the unit. It is advisable to go for energy-efficient setups that will minimize power consumption. You must also be aware of the RV area so that you can choose an AC that can cool the entire space. Additional features include a dual-use with heating capability, air purifier, and noise-free operation. 

Regular Maintenance

To boost your air conditioner's lifespan, it is crucial to take proper care of it. Regular maintenance and cleaning will also uplift the cooling power of your unit. Clean the air filters and free them of debris and dust to allow better airflow. Oil the fan and the shaft to keep it running in good condition. 

To maximize efficiency, you can also check up on the fins and straighten them with a fin comb. Remember to clean and wipe the condenser and evaporator coils every once in a while. Owners of ducted ACs should remain cautious about vacuuming the air vents to eliminate any clogging by leaves or debris.

Enhancing Efficiency

To make sure your air conditioner is not overburdened, it is advisable to keep the thermostat at a moderate setting, neither low nor high, to better circulate cool air inside. You can also open the windows initially to allow thorough ventilation, but once the RV starts to cool, you’ll have to shut the windows and lower the blinds to prevent heat from entering. LED lights are an energy-saving option because they don’t contribute to heat production.

Considerations When Buying a New RV Air Conditioner

Choosing the right air conditioning unit for an RV can be a complicated decision. When finding the perfect unit at a good price, there are a lot of variables to consider.

The size of the unit has to be considered because you need a place to store it. The power of the unit is important when choosing an AC unit, smaller RVs don't need the same amount of power a larger RV may need.  

There are also personal preferences involved, AC units offer indoor options and outdoor attachment options. It’s best to consider all of the variables of each unit before making your purchase.

Conclusion

Choosing the right air conditioning unit can make or break a hot summer RV camping trip. The air conditioning units we’ve selected throughout this article are all known for quality and are currently some of the most popular among RV owners.  

Our list offers a diverse range of prices and styles so there is one for all RV types. When considering the units above we suggest taking all factors provided into account. These are some of the top AC units on the market and hope it makes shopping easier!

People Also Ask

Air conditioners require a lot of technical knowledge or past experience in order to be properly utilized and maintained. Therefore, many people who do not have that kind of technical understanding have several questions regarding these products. Here, we’ve tried our best to answer frequently asked questions that customers always struggle to find answers to.

How Cold Should an RV Air Conditioner Get?

As a general rule of thumb, air conditioners operate in such a way to keep the temperature 20F cooler than outside environmental temperature. Generally, the temperature around your AC should be above 75F to maintain a cool surrounding. However, the cooling performance is affected by extreme heat or humidity.

How to Clean RV Air Conditioner Filter

Begin by detaching the filter from the rest of the unit and make sure that the AC is powered off. Then, use a vacuum on a low setting to clear out the apparent dust and dirt from the surface. 

To ensure a thorough clean, wash it in soapy water or using a mild detergent that won’t damage the filter. You can either rub it off with your hands or use a brush to release every part of the dust. Finish off by rinsing it with a garden hose and letting it air-dry for further use.

How to Recharge an RV Air Conditioner

After long-term usage, an air conditioner tends to run out of refrigerant. In such circumstances, you’ll need to recharge the unit to boost its efficiency. Turn off the power supply and lift the lid smoothly by unscrewing the shroud to prevent any damage to interior parts.

 Now, locate the refrigerant gauge, unscrew it, and add in the required amount. You’ll have to keep checking the AC's temperature to know when to stop adding more liquid. A 20F temperature difference is what you’re aiming for, and once you’ve achieved this, screw back the parts and check the temperature to know you’ve mastered the procedure correctly!

RV Air Conditioner Leaks When it Rains - What Do I Do?

This is nothing to be surprised at; this is actually the most frequent problem associated with RV air conditioners. You’ll have to monitor all the parts of your AC to detect the actual culprit.

Usually, there is an issue with the rubber gasket, so check for the monitor bolts and tighten the gasket to the roof. Also, if the gasket has worn out or become brittle, getting it replaced immediately is the answer to your problem. 

Occasionally, leaks result from damage to the roof and not the AC unit. Inspect your roofing to check for any kinds of leaks, sagging, or deterioration, and you might have to install another gasket to prevent water from pooling up.

How Many Watts Does an RV Air Conditioner Use?

Typically, an RV air conditioner will require an average of 2000 to 4000 watts to power it. The overall watt consumption depends on the BTU and cooling capacity of the unit; higher BTUs will demand a greater power consumption. Providing a simple example for better understanding, consider a 10,000 BTU air conditioner - 2000 watts are required for starting it up, but 700 watts will be enough to keep it running. 

How Much Solar Power to Run an RV Air Conditioner?

Solar panels are an energy-efficient and cheap option to keep the air conditioning powered up without electricity expenses. For a 13,000 BTU air conditioner, you will need a minimum of 1500 watts of solar power in the right setup, which can be acquired by having an array of solar panels. This will prove to be a feasible option if your RV is constantly exposed to sunlight.

Picture courtesy of togorv.com 

Why Does My RV Air Conditioner Keep Tripping the Breaker?

The only reason why your breaker trips is an excessive load on the circuit. If your AC draws in more current than the breaker’s limit, it is bound to trip to avoid fires and damage. 

The most frequent and possible causes can be a clogged air filter, dirty condenser or evaporator coil, or an unclean outside unit. The dirt and debris buildup increases the workload on the AC to disperse heat, which ultimately draws in more current. 

Apart from this, loose wiring, compressor failure, or refrigerant leaks are other issues that must be addressed immediately. It is much better to call in a technician and get your problems resolved.

How to Clean an RV Air Conditioner

It is important that RV air conditioner is cleaned from time to time. The condenser and evaporator fins must be cleaned every couple of years to maintain its efficiency. Over time, the cooling fins become clogged with dust and dirt.

Good spray or foaming cleaner should be used to clean debris and then use shop vac to remove the loosened dirt and dust. The vent must be covered leading down into the interior to keep the grime from sweeping down inside. A special fin comb tool should be used to straighten the fins.

What Size Generator Do I Need to Run My RV Air Conditioner?

The size of your unit will determine the size of a generator that is needed. If your unit requires 2800-3000 starting watts, and 1500-2000 running watts, then a 3000 watt RV generator will be sufficient for your air conditioner. Similarly, a 15,000 BTU unit will require a generator of more than 4000 watts.

How to Remove an RV Air Conditioner

To remove an RV air conditioner, first, you need to remove the inside plastic cover from the RV which is completed by removing some control knobs and screws. When the cover is removed, the AC’s interior is easily accessed. The unit’s breaker should be turned off before disconnecting the wire harness.

Secondly, remove the outer plastic cover which is on the roof, and is usually held in with screws. After the unit is free from the roof, then lower it down. The help of a friend is recommended in this part.

How to Make Your RV Air Conditioner Quieter

The noise of an RV air conditioner may disturb your sleep during the night. There may be some ways to make it quieter. In order to address this issue, it is important that the major source of the problem is identified. The noise of the unit may indicate that repairs are required. However, if the unit still continues to make noise after performing regular maintenance work, then there may be a need to remove or replace a component such as a compressor or a fan motor.

How Many Amps Does an RV Air Conditioner Use?

Air conditioners are important in most RVs. They are the vehicle’s energy hogs. The amps required vary with the size of your chosen unit. A 7000 BTU rooftop AC will require around 1700 watts to start up and 600 watts to keep running. Similarly, a larger 10,000 BTU RV AC will need 2000 watts to start up and 700 watts to keep it running. Average use of electricity for a typical RV is around 20KWh a day. This makes it 608kwh a month or 7,300 kWh a year.

How to Add Freon to an RV Air Conditioner

RV air conditioners use refrigerants to pass chilled air over the evaporator coil. Units with low refrigerant levels need to add refrigerant to operate at maximum efficiency. In some systems, refrigerant levels can be topped off, or adding more refrigerant will recharge the unit.

Freon is one of the brands of refrigerants. The power must be lowered that is supplied to the air conditioner before starting to work on the unit. Then, lift the lid straight up in order to protect against damaging the coils inside the unit. By using a refrigerant gauge, the level of the refrigerant can be checked.

To add refrigerant, unscrew the port with a wrench. Then, slowly add refrigerant to the air conditioning unit. The temperature differential between the unit and the RV temperature must vary by about 20 degrees Fahrenheit after the refrigerator is added. Monitor the temperature to ensure that the unit has been charged effectively.

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