Buyers Guide & Information

Best RV Air Conditioner and Heater Combos

Enjoy your travel in style & comfort in summer and winter with these top-rated cooling and heating brands for RVing.

Cooling and heating RVs and campervans can be challenging. Small spaces, moving vehicles, and unreliable power can contribute to the difficulties of warming and cooling your RV. Do not fear though as we have you covered with the best RV air conditioner and heat pump combos for year-round comfort.

In this article, I’m going to show you the features and specifications to look for when choosing the best RV air conditioners and heat pumps. This will help you make a more educated decision when it comes to buying RV air conditioner and heat pump combos.

Best Low Profile Rooftop AC

This Dometic Penguin II is ideal for reducing drag. It is sleek in its design, cools quickly, and is easy to install.

Best Rooftop AC for RVs

The Coleman Mach 15 is powerful, reliable and quiet. These reasons make this our #1 choice for RV owners.

Best 12V Option

The Zero Breeze is a great choice when traveling. It is lightweight, portable and rechargeable.

7 Best RV Air Conditioner and Heater Combos Reviewed

We have reviewed and compared several RV air conditioner brands for the best RV air conditioners and heat pumps combos. Read more below or watch our video of the best RV AC units at the end of this review.

1. Coleman Mach 15 – Best For Medium/Large Areas

Best For Medium – Large Areas
BTUs 15000
Amps 14.8
Power Source (V) 115 V
Price Guide $$$$

The Coleman Mach 15 is one of the most powerful rooftop RV air conditioner units on the market today. Running with 15,000 BTU of cooling power, it can quickly cool down some of the largest areas smoothly and efficiently.

This RV air conditioner unit can perform tremendously, even in the hottest of conditions; in fact, this rooftop AC unit is so good you can even take it to the desert and it will still hold out.

Various Popular RV websites confirm the grunt of this RV unit, adding that it has an increased cooling efficiency than most other AC units on the market.

Not only does this RV air conditioner offers better cooling efficiency but it also works as a heat pump, allowing you to generate 5,600 BTU heating output. Not to mention, it puts 2-1/2 times more heat in your RV air conditioner than the heat strip. This means you can use this perfect RV air conditioner all year round without a problem.

This RV rooftop air conditioner can be used either by fitting it as a ducted unit or non-ducted, making it very versatile and giving you options. The AC can be installed using the standard 14×14 inch vent. If you’re opting to run it non-ducted you will have to purchase a Coleman ceiling assembly kit to make the installation process a breeze.

The 1/3 HP fan motor provides the additional force. With so much cooling ability we only recommend this RV AC unit for larger spaces or for those willing to spend the extra money on a high-quality unit.

For my own RV, I replaced the Dometic 13500 with this compact RV air conditioner and I am very happy!

Overall this rooftop AC unit is a powerhouse and has excellent build quality and functions very well in all weather conditions, which is why it made it into our top picks.

What We Like
  • Easy installation process
  • Excellent BTU heating output
  • Works great even in hot conditions
What We Don’t Like
  • Heavier than most RV air conditioners
  • Louder than Dometic air conditioner units

2. Coleman Mach 3

Best For Smaller Areas
BTUs 13500
Amps 15.3
Power Source (V) 120 V
Price Guide $$$$

If you are looking for a cheaper but reliable rooftop air conditioner, the Coleman Mach 3 RV air conditioner and heat pump is just what you are looking for.

This new RV AC unit is ideal for small to medium size RVs and has 13,500 BTUs cooling power with an airflow rating of 320 CFM which is very good for a smaller size RV AC.

If you are planning to travel to a colder area we would suggest that you add the optional 5,600 BTU heater assembly, which will provide a source of warm air. For the cheap price, it will defiantly be worth the extra time and money.

Even though the installation process is easier, you’ll require a spare of hands to lift this RV AC unit as it’s a bit bulky. The air conditioner will fit into the standard 14×14 inch RV roof opening so need to start cutting the roof open. This is the same size RV air conditioner as the Mach 15 so they can be replaced or swapped easily.

For a 13,500 unit it delivers great cooling power, and with the heater element attached it will warm your RV very effectively. Although Mach 3 RV air conditioner features are quite similar to the Mach 15, there are some subtle differences. This Mach 3 plus model will pull fewer amps (slightly) than its big brother.

The Mach 3 also comes in a PS or Power Saver option. That means the PS uses fewer amps without sacrificing cooling efficiency. For this extra feature, you will need to spend a little more.

We would strongly recommend this RV air conditioner with built in heat pump to anyone with a small RV and is looking for a cheaper option.

What We Like
  • High energy efficiency
  • Works well in hot conditions
  • Well made
  • Large cooling fins to dissipate heat
  • Heat strip available
What We Don’t Like
  • Noisier than other RV AC units
  • Compared to most other RV air conditioner models, it’s slightly heavier

3. Dometic 640315C Penguin II – Best Low Profile Option

Best For Low Profile Option
BTUs 13500
Amps 13.2
Power Source (V) 115 V
Price Guide $$$$

Although low-profile RV air conditioners are increasingly similar, this AC unit has an entirely different style compared to previous models on our list.

This Penguin II RV air conditioner by Dometic sits under 10 inches so if you have to park in a low roofed garage then this works perfectly. The low-profile design also stops the drag, allowing you to get extra miles from your gas.

Unfortunately, you can’t use this RV AC as part of a ducted system; however, if you’re looking to use it that way, it’s best to get the high-capacity version. On the plus side, this RV AC unit uses R410 refrigerant, which allows it to be very effective at cooling heat.

It holds an impressive 13500 BTU of cooling power and is suited to all types of RVs. In saying that, this size RV AC is best for small to medium spaces and larger recreational vehicles may require more than one air conditioner to cool the area quickly.

This RV air conditioner fits into the standard 14×14 inch RV roof opening like the other top RV air conditioners, making it easier to install. But even with its small size it is still very heavy so make sure you have an extra set of hands when you are installing.

Believe it or not, we can say with absolute confidence that the Dometic Penguin II RV air conditioner is one of the quietest RV air conditioners on the market.

This RV air conditioner performs very well overall. It’s very energy efficient and has a sleek design which looks very nice. Not to mention, it performs well in hot conditions and has great cooling efficiency. If you are looking for a low-profile, best RV AC unit, this one is for you.

What We Like
  • Lowest low profile unit
  • Nice design
  • Copes well in hot weather
  • Quieter than Coleman RV air conditioners
What We Don’t Like
  • Heavy considering size
  • Compared to other RV air conditioners, this unit costs you more

4. Dometic B59516.XX1J0 Brisk II

Best For Medium Sized RVs
BTUs 15000
Amps ~16
Power Source (V) 115 V
Price Guide $$$$

The final air conditioner for RVs on our list (of regular styled products) is the Dometic Brisk II RV air conditioner. This air conditioner runs at 15000 BTU of cooling power and gives a tough competition to Coleman Mach 15 RV air conditioner. Brisk II by Dometic model is the highest selling RV AC unit on the market today.

This small RV air conditioner can be used in a ducted or non-ducted system and comes standard with a heater, allowing you to stay warm in all conditions. You can add a thermostat, which is sold separately, giving you total control with just a touch.

This new air conditioner fits into the normal 14×14 inch roof opening allowing for quick installation. Also, the unit is lighter than previous RV air conditioners. Once again, this is the size of almost all roof air-con units and installation is relatively easy.

Overall it’s one of the best RV air conditioners with heat pumps. According to Dometic, it has a “high-performance design that delivers 15 % airflow increase over previous RV air conditioners”.

Dometic technology has developed ADB or Air Distribution Box, which is a fancy way of saying – we use quality materials and advanced design.

This is one of the best RV air conditioners on the market today and is similar in design to the Coleman Mach 15. Both models are regularly discounted so we believe it’s best to compare prices, read reviews and decide from there.

What We Like
  • Great cooling
  • Energy efficient system
  • Lightweight unit
  • Wall thermostat controls available for smooth operations
What We Don’t Like
  • Louder than most other RV AC units

5. Frigidaire FFRA051WAE

Best For Small Areas
BTUs 5,000 BTU
Amps 56.5 dBa
Power Source (V) 115 V
Price Guide $

If you’re looking for an RV window air conditioner, consider the Frigidaire FFRA051WAE window-mounted RV air conditioner. Starting with range of 5,000 BTUs, perfect for small areas, the air conditioner goes up to 15000 BTUs for people looking for stronger units.

The air conditioner uses a standard 115V plug socket and has an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 11.1 which is pretty good. It also has a very low energy startup which is ideal for RV’s. Additionally, the FFRA051WAE RV air conditioner performs quietly, save your eardrums and allowing for an easy nights sleep.

The unit size is 12x16x15 inches (HxWxD) and comes with a complete window mounting kit, which is ready to install as soon as it arrives. Installation process can be difficult when comparing to a home. Once installed, the 5,000 BTU unit can quickly cool a room up to 150 sq ft, while dehumidifying 1.1 pints an hour. The cleaning filter helps to reduce bacteria and room odors giving you a more comfortable environment.

We would recommend this RV air conditioner for someone that is looking to cool down a solo room as a cheaper option compared to rooftop RV air conditioners. It works perfectly, keeping your room cool even in the higher temperatures. The heating function allows you to stay warm even in colder weather which makes it a great all-rounder.

What We Like
  • Easy to install
  • Great cooling ability
  • Light
  • Effortless air temperature control
What We Don’t Like
  • Unlike the best RV air conditioner models, this unit only cools one room

6. Honeywell HL09CESWK – Best Small Portable AC Option

Best For Portability
BTUs 9000
Amps
Power Source (V) 115 V
Price Guide $$

Looking for a portable RV air conditioner? If so, we recommend the Honeywell HL09CESWK.

It has the cooling capacity of 9,000 BTU which is suitable for most sized vehicles. This gives it the ability to cool a room of 400 sq ft with a powerful airflow, and adjustable temperature.

Staying in hot and humid countries couldn’t be more comfortable with this portable RV AC unit. The dehumidifier can remove up to 80 pints a day and the continuous drain system makes it a must-have portable air conditioner; it saves you time and effort not having to empty the tank.

The unit runs at 45 decibels, which makes it one of the quietest portable AC units we have reviewed in this article. Also, sleeping at night is not an issue with this unit.

If you want something with quick installation, go for this one, it comes with a pre-assembled window kit. Of course, be sure to check your window size and clearance before buying.

Overall it’s one of the best portable air conditioner units in the market. It’s very easy to use, the remote functions work very well and so does the digital control panel. With all the above being said it’s no wonder this is the best air conditioner in our reviews.

What We Like
  • Quiet
  • Quick installation
  • Easy to move
  • Good in hot weather
What We Don’t Like
  • Takes up space
  • Very heavy

7. Zero Breeze – 24V Portable AC

Best For Up to 60 sq. ft.
BTUs 2300
Amps 5.5 (average)
Power Source (V) 24V
Price Guide 52 dBa

Believe it or not, the Zero Breeze Mark 2 is the best RV air conditioner. It’s portable and lightweight, making it perfect for homes on the move, and is battery-powered for ease, you won’t have to worry about electrical connections.

The fact that it’s a multitasking product is also fantastic for those short on space. It works to cool areas of up to 60 square feet but is best suited for quickly cooling approximately 40 sq.ft. This means it’ll slot right into your home on wheels.

The airflow is nice and strong. Zero Breeze claims it offers the highest cooling output you can buy in a truly portable camper AC unit. By using specific RV’s roof ACs we reviewed above and supplementing it with this small, portable device, you will be cool in any situation. Running on 2300 BTU, you can only rely on the Zero Breeze to cool down a small area so do not expect large rooms to get instantly cool.

The technology behind this compact unit is fantastic – the evaporator is large, along with the condenser coils, meaning you don’t need to worry about any leaking or maintenance.

The 24V micro-compressor has doubled from the previous Mark 1 model and allows for various charging options. Wall outlets should be mostly used and a 24-volt DC car is for charging the ‘smart’ battery. This removable charger comes with several options including USB, 12V, etc. We highly recommend adding this as part of any purchase.

Another updated feature for Mark 2 is the Dual hose function. The dual hoses drag air into the AC unit, converting it to cold air. The unwanted, hot air escapes out from the back of the unit. This reduces condensation that some AC units can generate and discharge.

The unit itself is compact, at 20”L x 10”W x 11”H. It is also lightweight at 16.5 lbs and easy to move inside or outside at your convenience. It runs smoothly and quietly, around 52 dBa with is means it’s quieter than the previous Mark 1 model. You can leave it on in the night and although noise can be heard, it’s certainly manageable for a cool night’s sleep.

What We Like
  • Converts to a heater
  • Lightweight
  • Strong airflow
  • Large evaporator
  • Quiet for use in an RV
What We Don’t Like
  • No control board
  • No control over airflow direction

5 Important Questions For RV Owners

Owning a camper means open road, great times and fun adventures. Having a great AC unit in your RV is vital when battling the heat in summer and cold in winter. Before starting your search for the best air conditioners for RV, consider these 5 questions as they will make the buying process much smoother.

1. What Type of AC Unit Do You Want?
  • Rooftop – Roof air-conditioners are the most common type of AC used by people with RV’s. They come in varying styles and can be installed in both ducted and non-ducted methods.
  • Small & Portable – Portable air-conditioners are self-contained units that are used to cool a single room, with the advantage of being movable.
  • Window – These air-conditioners are placed in the window of your RV they are one of the simplest forms of AC.
  • Under Bench – Under bench units are stored away nicely under your seats in the RV freeing up space and keeping the AC hidden.
2. Do You Want an AC & Heater Combo?

Yes – If you plan to travel around cold places than a portable AC heater combo is just what you are looking for. It will save you having to buy an additional heater unit when the cold arrives.

No – If you spend all your time in hot weather then there would be no point spending the extra money on this unit.

3. How Big is the Area Inside the RV?

Before buying your air-conditioning unit it’s important to know the size of the RV, the bigger the RV the more power output you need. Recreational vehicles typically range from 150 sq.ft. up to 400 sq.ft. in size so its vital to consider this before installing any AC unit.

4. How Much Do You Want to Spend?

Deciding how much you can afford to spend before you start looking is a great idea, it can help make the decision for you. If you’re looking for a cheap option then you’d be looking for a portable or window AC as they tend to be the cheapest of all.

If you have the extra cash then a 15000 BTU RV air conditioner which is ducted, will set you back a little more but it will do a better job. The amount of BTUs will also affect the price of all styles of AC, the higher the number the more cash you will have to spend. Most people opt for these types as they provide sustained and reliable cooling.

5. To Self-Install or Not?

With multiple online tutorials and detailed manufacturing instructions, it makes it a simple task, especially if the wiring is done already. But this does take time and a reasonable amount of DIY skill.

On the flip side, you may find yourself completely helpless when it comes to DIY, in that case, you might want to pay someone to do it. This will cost you though, the work doesn’t come cheap.

RV AC & Heater Combos Compared

Image
Coleman 48204C866 Mach 15+ A/C Unit
Coleman 48203C966 Mach 3+ A/C Unit
Dometic 640315C Penguin II 410 Amp Low...
Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner,...
Zero Breeze Mark 2 Battery Powered Portable...
Model
Coleman 48204C866 Mach 15+ A/C Unit
Coleman 48203C966 Mach 3+ A/C Unit
Dometic 640315C Penguin II 410 Amp Low...
Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner,...
Zero Breeze Mark 2 Battery Powered Portable...
BTUs
15000
13500
13500
15000
2300
Amps
14.8
15.3
13.2
~16
5.5
Voltage
115 V
120 V
115 V
115 V
24 V
Image
Coleman 48204C866 Mach 15+ A/C Unit
Model
Coleman 48204C866 Mach 15+ A/C Unit
BTUs
15000
Amps
14.8
Voltage
115 V
Price
Image
Coleman 48203C966 Mach 3+ A/C Unit
Model
Coleman 48203C966 Mach 3+ A/C Unit
BTUs
13500
Amps
15.3
Voltage
120 V
Price
Image
Dometic 640315C Penguin II 410 Amp Low...
Model
Dometic 640315C Penguin II 410 Amp Low...
BTUs
13500
Amps
13.2
Voltage
115 V
Price
Image
Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner,...
Model
Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner,...
BTUs
15000
Amps
~16
Voltage
115 V
Price
Image
Zero Breeze Mark 2 Battery Powered Portable...
Model
Zero Breeze Mark 2 Battery Powered Portable...
BTUs
2300
Amps
5.5
Voltage
24 V

Types Of Air Conditioners Used In RVs

Rooftop RV ACs

Rooftop air-conditioners are installed on the roof of your RV and are a self-contained unit. It conditions 100% outdoor air only so there is never any recirculated air running through your RV.

It works when hot air flows over cold the refrigerant inside these coils absorbing the heat and making the cold liquid turn into a cooled gas state. This, in turn, pushes the cool air out through the fan giving you a nice cool RV. To do this effectively the AC has to convert the gas back to a liquid state again.

Ducted Or Non-ducted. What Is The Difference?

A ducted AC unit allows you to cool multiple rooms by using just one unit, it passes the cool air through ducts made from a thin metal tubing. These ducts run through the walls or ceiling of the RV and can deliver either cooled or warm air through little vents.

This cools all the rooms in the RV using just one AC unit. When it comes to choosing a ducted system, one of the best in the business is the Dometic Brisk II. It is one of the most popular choices worldwide. This unit also supports non-ducted system also so you have the choice in the long run.

Ductless AC works a little bit differently, it’s in the name really, you don’t have any ducts running through the walls or ceiling. Meaning that if you have a lot of rooms in the RV it will be harder to control the temperature unless you have different units to put in each room.

The Most Popular BTUs Options

The best AC roof units are usually 13,500 or 15,000 BTUs but is there much difference between the two? Does an extra 1,500 make that much difference? The answer depends on where you plan on going and how big your RV is.

If your RV is small then the 13,500 Coleman Mach 3 would work perfectly fine it won’t take a lot to cool down a small space. The problem is RVs have never been insulated that well even the better ones, this means you can gain and lose heat fairly quickly.

So the upgrade to a Coleman Mach 15, the 15,000 unit can be beneficial especially in hotter climates and if you have a large RV. Ultimately the decision is up to you it’s usually inexpensive for the upgrade to 15,000 so it will save you money if the 13,500 was the wrong choice.

Low Profile and Why It’s Popular

Low profile units have become popular due to their small sleek designs. This is their main advantage the small design allows you to park in areas with low roofs without ripping off your AC unit. If you are considering getting a low profile design you look at the Dometic Penguin II, it has the lowest design on the market.

The downside to these low profile designs is that they tend to be a lot nosier than the traditional AC units. It’s something you must take into consideration before purchasing to ensure a low profile AC is for you.

What AMPs They Draw and Why It’s Important?

When looking at what BTU option you want to proceed with you need to consider how what AMPs it draws. Most AC units will draw around 10-20 amps depending on how high the BTU is.

The problem is if your RV only runs on 30 AMPs then you may find your self-short on power when you come to using your kettle. According to ohms law, the amount of current through a conductor in a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage and inversely proportional to the resistance.

However, you can use ohms law calculator to calculate the current (I) in amps (A).

Noise Considerations

Looking into the decibels (measurement of sound) your AC unit makes can save you sleepless nights in the long run. Different units will admit different noise levels and over time could get worse.

An average conversation can fall between 40-60 decibels so when you comparing it to 37-82 decibels your AC unit might make, you can see why looking into how noisy it is will help. Don’t worry though there are things that you can do to help reduce the noise though. By using noise-absorbing material around the unit like rubber, you can greatly reduce the noise output.

When I was looking for the AC with the least noise output I found the Dometic brisk II  of all the rooftop AC this runs the quietest.

Are Heating Possibilities Included?

If you are planning to visit or stay in cold countries then finding out if your unit has heating possibilities can be a lifesaver. As we all know RVs can lose heat very quickly in colder months. So if you’re going to be spending a lot of time traveling in your RV it is important to find a unit with heating. You want to be comfortable or else it may ruin your camping experience.

Size of the Unit

Most AC units will fit straight into the skylight section of the camper van with very little cutting needed. The average size of an RV AC unit is 14×14 inches so it’s important to check this out before purchasing. It can save you time and stops you having to measure and cut out big chunks of your RV.

What is Included in the Purchase?

Checking what’s included when you make your purchase will help you out a lot and save you time. For example, you might find the AC unit doesn’t come with the shroud or the wiring. If this is the case once the unit arrives you will not have the right stuff to install the AC with. Another thing I would check is if the thermostat is including this helps you to control the temperature in the RV.

Portable RV ACs

A portable AC unit is used to cool a single room the advantage is that you can move it different rooms as required. They are usually some of the cheapest options on the market and cost half the price of roof ACs.

They are also the easiest to install because they are pre-made which makes it quick and easy. Since some of them remove warm air, the most you will have to do is set-up a hose from the AC to the window. Once this is done you can simply plug it into the mains and start using it.

The Most Popular BTU (British Thermal Units) Options

When it comes to BTUs your best options range from 8,000 to 18,000 BTU making it one of the most powerful options. Depending on your price range and the size of the area you need to cool will depend on which one you get.

The 8,000 BTU will give the excellent cooling ability for a room between 300 to 350 sq ft if placed correctly you might even be able to cool two rooms.

If you have you have a large open space RV then the moving up around 18,000 BTU option may be for you, this can cool a room the size of 1,000 to 1,200 sq ft. It depends on the size and layout of the RV which one you choose.

To help you understand this I have inserted a table to show you what power output you need to look for.

BTU Calculator For Portable Air Conditioners
Room Size In Feet Area Sq. Ft. Recommended BTU’s
Full Sun

Kitchen
20 x 30 600 14000 15400 18000
20 x 20 400 12000 13200 16000
15 x 20 300 10000 11000 14000
10 x 20 200 8000 8000 12000

source: http://heart.impulsar.co/

The Amps They Draw And Why It’s Important?

As always it’s important to check the AMP rating of the unit, as they’re plugged into the mains and you don’t want to damage the plug or power source. Depending on the BTU rating will depend on how many AMPs it will require. Make sure you check that your RV can handle it.

Noise Considerations (Dba)

The decibel rating of portable air conditioners can vary around greatly. The average of 53 decibels is not always consistent with every model as you can see from our previous article on quietest portable AC. It is possible to find a nice unit if you looking for something on the quieter range.

Of course, different units may admit more noise then others make sure you check this out. No

Size Of The Unit

When you’re thinking about buying a portable AC unit you need to think about the space it’s going to take up. Due it not being a fixed unit it will take up room where you put it.

To ensure it’s not going to get in the way I would check out the dimensions of the unit and see if you have space. It will save you a lot of heartaches if it doesn’t fit or is too heavy.

Are Heating Possibilities Included?

Many portable ACs will come with heater possibilities, if you like staying warm then choosing one with this will help.

RVs are known for getting cold really quick so be sure to check yours has the ability to keep you warm. This is especially important when visiting colder areas of the country.

Pros & Cons

For me the best thing about a portable AC is that there is little to no installation required, most of the time it’s a case of plugging the unit in. They can also work out being cheap, depending on what you get. Most units come on wheels, making it very easy to move the unit to different places as required.

Some downsides are that it will only cool one room, and it takes away room from your RV especially if you have a small camper. Another thing I was not a fan of is having to empty the water output, it takes time out of your day and you constantly think about it.

Small Window RV ACs

Small Window RV AC

As the name suggests, these ACs are mounted into a window making them very easy to install. They are designed to cool one room only and are one of the simplest forms of air-conditioning.

These units work by taking the warm air out of the room and moving it through the cooling coil which removes the heat. On some models you can select the temperature that you desire, the thermostat will then turn the AC on or off depending on what it needs to do.

You can also set the unit onto fan only mode this will not use a lot of energy but it will not cool down the air around you.

The Most Popular BTU (British Thermal Units) Options

Window air conditioners are not always recommended for campers and travelers. This is because a hole or cutout needs to be available before installation.

When it comes to the most popular options you will usually be picking the 5,000 – 15,000 BTU models, but which one you choose depends on what your needs are.

5,000 BTU works great for a room in the range of 100-350 sq ft. So ideally it will be suitable for most RVs. Bigger options up to 15000 BTU are rarely used although some very large trailers or 5th wheelers can use a bigger machine.

To help you understand this I have inserted a table to show you what power output you need to look for.

BTU Calculator For Window Air Conditioners
Room Size In Feet Area Sq. Ft. Recommended BTU’s
Full Sun

Kitchen
39 x 40 1560 24500 26950 28500
25 x 40 1000 18000 19800 22000
25 x 32 800 15000 16500 19000
22 x 25 550 12000 13200 16000
18 x 25 450 10000 11000 14000
17 x 20 340 8000 8800 12000
14 x 20 280 7000 7700 11000
13 x 20 260 6000 6600 10000
10 x 15 150 5000 5500 9000

source: http://heart.impulsar.co/

The Amps They Draw And Why It’s Important?

As for the amps they draw, it works similar to the rooftop AC units. You need to ensure that the RV can handle it, window ACs are not wired in so you need to make sure the plug can handle it. You don’t want to burn out the socket due to it being overloaded. You might also want to check the electric supply is powerful enough, you don’t have to compromise on the equipment you can use.

Noise Considerations (DBA)

From looking into the decibel ratings of window AC units I’ve found to perform at the same level as rooftop AC units. They tend to range from 40-60 decibels, which is no louder than a two-person conversation. Check out their ratings before you make a purchase to save your hearing. We have reviewed and compared the quietest window air conditioners in a separate article here.

Size Of The Unit

Before purchasing your RV window air conditioner you should check out the dimensions of the unit. Most of the units will fit into the window nicely but, it’s best to make sure your window is big enough.

Installation is very easy with these units but is best done with two people it can be awkward and heavy, you don’t want to drop your new AC unit. Once you’ve taken the window out it is a simple case of replacing it with the AC, and attaching it to the mounting brackets and window extensions. Make sure the unit comes with all the necessary installation equipment so you don’t have to order it a later point.

Related Article – Small Window AC Buying Guide

Are Heating Possibilities Included?

Some of these units will include heating possibilities so have a look to see if it’s included. It all depends on your personal choice though. RVs can get cold quickly so it’s always a bonus to have the option. If you spend your time in the colder northern countries then I would highly recommend getting a unit with heating.

Pros & Cons

There are a few advantages to getting a window AC unit. Firstly, they are really easy to install. Secondly, these units can work out cheaper than a rooftop AC. Another reason is the energy efficiency of these window AC units are really good and can save you money. Lastly, with low noise output, these are great if you want something that won’t keep you up all night.

Unfortunately it not all roses it does come with its downsides due to being installed through a window it is known to rust. The other thing is these will only be able to work in one room as it doesn’t allow for ducted use. Also, the look of them isn’t very nice and takes away the view from your window. We recommend window air conditioners for small –  one-room campers as they will effectively and quietly cool these spaces.

What About Solar Powered Or 12v Air Conditioning?

If you looking for something a little more environmentally friendly then you have the option to go solar powered. This uses the sun to power your AC unit, unfortunately, this means that it is very weather and system dependent.

Bad weather can make the unit very unreliable, for optimal efficiency you have to track the sun. Which can be consuming, having to point the solar panels towards the sun whenever it moves.

From the research I have also found that you require more than one solar panel to run it effectively, all the products I’ve seen either come with one or no solar panels meaning you would have to purchase another. If you’re looking for a solar AC unit you should purchase this one it comes with everything you need to start, but it is expensive.

If you want another low powered option you could go with a 12 V air-conditioner like the MightyKool 12 V. But these seem rather pointless as it will only cool the whoever is sat directly in front of it. It can offer immediate, short term relief though.

The other problem I found is that you have to fill it with cold water for it to work if you’re in a place where cold water is hard to find then you could become stuck.

RV Air Conditioner Troubleshooting

The AC Won’t Turn On?

Check your air filter it may be clogged this can cause the AC to freeze up and not turn on. To prevent this make sure you change your air filter every 3 months.

If that doesn’t help check the circuit breakers your AC may of overloaded causing it to trip, simply check all the breakers are on.

If the drain pan gets full or clogged up then the float switch will stop the unit turning back on, check sure nothing is blocked or overflowing.

The AC Compressor Is Not Coming On?

This could be from a tripped fuse check the circuit breaker is on and not broken.

If that fails it could be a loose connector on the AC unit, simply check all connections aren’t loose or damaged.

The AC Is Not Blowing Cold Air?

This could be for several reasons, the refrigerant levels may be low or empty. This is one of the most common causes without the refrigerant your AC will be unable to remove the heat.

If this is the case you will have a leak in the system somewhere, this must be found before refilling the levels. To get someone to fix it you might be looking at $200 for the problem to be solved.

My AC Keeps Freezing Up?

This could be from the coils freezing you should check the air filter, it might be blocked so make sure the air flow is not impeded.

The refrigerant might also be too low causing the coils to get too cold and freeze up, you can replace the refrigerant for around $42.

The other options included a faulty thermostat and drainage problems if this doesn’t fix the problem you are best off calling a technician.

Maintaining Your AC Unit

Maintaining your AC shouldn’t be taken lightly it will make all the difference and ensure a long life for the unit, this should be done regularly. There are things that you can do easily that are fairly inexpensive to ensure you get the best out of your AC.

  1. .Clean the air filter it takes no time at all and it can stop a whole lot of problems before they start. If the filter is over 3 years old you should replace the old one it’s really cheap, for example, a Dometic AC filter only cost under $10. This cost is nothing compared to what fixing the damage could be.
  2. .Making sure that your refrigerant is topped up can stop the coils from freezing or make the unit trip. It’s worth buying a bottle of coolant so you can refill as you need, the bottles cost around $40 dollars and could save you having to replace the coils.
  3. .When you’re not using your RV you might want to consider getting an air-con cover to protect it from dust and dirt. When sat there for a long time it can pick up a lot of dirt which could clog the AC up. For approximately $20 dollars it’s a fairly cheap preventive.

Conclusion

So that’s everything you need to know about choosing the right RV AC unit for your specific needs. With all these tips and troubleshooting solutions you will know exactly what to do if anything goes wrong. I hope this helps you to make an informed choice.

Last Updated on July 4, 2022

Josh M
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