This is our review of the five best small RV air conditioners for your camping needs.
After a tiresome week at work, you probably need time to relax and unwind. While there are many activities to indulge in during this time, camping is among the best. It not only helps in socializing but also in exploring new ideas and places.
Unfortunately, hitting the road requires comfort, where a perfect RV air conditioner comes in. Generally, RV’s heat up quickly, especially when exposed to the sun in summer. And since there are different types of AC’s, finding one can be daunting.
This is because you need to consider different aspects to get the one that will suit your camping needs. For this reason, we’ve curled up an array of RV air conditioners to help you select the perfect one.
From our list provided below, our favorite choice is the Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner. This is because it contains dampening brackets that reduce vibration and noise. Additionally, it is made with a unique and updated design incorporated with quality and improved materials.
For more details, read on to explore more!
Why RV AC’s are an Essential Component of Camping
An RV is a motor vehicle that has living quarters used mainly by campers. RV air conditioners play a vital role while on the go. But the best thing about camping is staying in a comfortable zone.
Being comfortable is a key factor while on vacation, and this is only possible through a recreational vehicle air conditioner. What’s more, AC’s aid in cooling the air when outside temperatures become too hot.
Furthermore, the reversible cooling system produces heat during cold temperatures since it contains a heat pump. To add, they are lightweight and easy to install.
What Size AC do I Need for My RV?
Summer is here, but no one desires to go on a trip or vacation with an AC that is not working properly. While the most exciting part about summer is the high temperature, it is unenjoyable to go out without a proper AC for your RV.
While there are many air conditioners in the market, they also come in different features and sizes. But you need to ask yourself this question, “ What are the different AC sizes, and which one is suitable for my RV?” Apart from that, you also need to check on your needs to determine the actual size required.
As a result, you’ll evade overpaying for an air conditioner that is not needed. Among the sizes is 13,500 for RV models with moderate conditions. However, it does not exhibit a robust cooling system.
On the flip side, an RV AC with a size ranging from 15,000 and above BTU is suitable for providing a better cooling capacity. So, if you are camping in humid or hot areas, this size will be the best for you.
But if you need one with less cooling capacity, opt for a smaller RV air conditioner. Overall, an RV having a size of 15000 BTUS Is enough for almost all types of RVs.
In terms of Reliability, Which Brands are the Best?
There are different types of RV air conditioners on the market. Each of the AC’s contains different specifications but performs the same function.
For this reason, check out the following brands that you can rely on at any time. Talking of reliability, you need to select an AC where you won’t spend much time fixing an issue. But how can you identify a reliable RV air conditioner?
Check the Brand as a Whole
First and foremost, this is the most important and practical aspect to determine the reliability and authenticity of the best RV air conditioner. In this case, one way to identify is by looking at an established brand.
As a rule, a brand that has been in the market for a long time has the best quality products, as you can be assured of a track record that will prove the longevity of the products. For instance, an established brand like Coleman can assure you of its products lasting between three to ten years.
On top of that, their warranty is guaranteed. Now that you know how to identify a reliable RV air conditioner check out some of the best brands:
Dometic is a famous company known for a wide range of products such as recreational vehicles. It has a vast network where its products are distributed globally.
The second best brand is ATWOOD. It falls under the Dometic manufacturing umbrella. Dometic mainly bought it out due to its high-grade products spanning from heating systems to windows and doors.
Furrion is the third-best brand devoted to marrying modern luxury with sustainability. The company recently expanded its reach globally over the past years.
The last brand is commonly known as Emerson, a Fortune 500 company. It manufactures a wide range of air conditioners. Moreover, it operates on the New York Stock Exchange under the name EMR.
Lightweight RV AC’s vs. Heavy-Duty RV AC’s
RV air conditioners come in different weights. And among them is lightweight and heavy-duty. The two perform the same function but have two distinct weight categories. Here are the major differences between the two systems.
Lightweight RV AC’s are light in size ( less than 100 lbs) and will not add extra weight to your vehicle. On the other side, a heavy-duty RV AC weighs more than 100 lbs and can add some extra weight to your vehicle.
On top of that, lightweight RV air conditioners are easy to install since they don’t require more energy and workforce. Nonetheless, lifting a heavy-duty RV AC is not a walk in the park as it requires more human resources to install.
Why Trust Us?
We are a company focused on giving out the best advice to our customers. Furthermore, we strive to align our reputation and services. Moreover, we are driven by passion and hard work–majorly the heart of testing and trying out new products to help you find the best devices for your needs.
Types of RV Air Conditioners
RV air conditioners come in different shapes and sizes. Among them are:
Topping the list of the best type of RV air conditioner is the Rooftop variant. This is the most popular RV AC since they are space-efficient. They are placed on the top of the vehicle to allow air from outside to cool the camper.
Furthermore, they come in two options; Ducted and Non-ducted. Ducted rooftops are expensive and suited for large RVs, while non-ducted are suitable for smaller RVs and cost less.
The second type of RV air conditioner is Portable. They are commonly known for having a unique design and smaller size. The best part is that they don’t require fixed installation since they are mobile.
However, they need extra care as they can cause water leakage. Although these devices require additional space, they work best in dry heat conditions.
Just like the name suggests, this type of RV air conditioner is located inside the vehicle. When you enter any camping trailer, you might spot them inside a cabinet or a sitting bench.
What’s more, is how it allows you to keep your windows open and ductwork-free. On top of that, it won’t affect your RV’s overall height clearance as its low position makes it a better heating option.
Closing the list of RV air conditioners is Window. This type of RV AC is similar to those used in homes as it saves space and has a great cooling capacity. In addition, it is efficient and smaller in size, thus making for easy installation. However, it is suited for long-term parked RVs but not those on the go.
Our RV Refrigerator Buying Guide
Staying cool in your RV during summer can be a daunting experience when the temperatures soar. Nonetheless, it can be more challenging if you lack the right tools to nature your skills.
A time might come when you’ll need to go the extra mile and purchase the one that will suit your needs. However, this can be an arduous task if you’ve been searching for one. Fortunately, you are a few miles away.
But before doing this, opt for something that will serve you best. For instance, you can look for factors such as space, time, and feeding capacity. Then, with all that in mind, take a look at the following factors.
Air conditioners are not only created for passing the time but also designed in terms of reliability. In this case, reliability is broken down into detailed forms, including the duration it will last and availability.
Before buying an RV air conditioner, consider something that will serve you for a long time. This is essential since you’ll be able to use it to the maximum. To add, look for something that is always available when the need arises. As a result, you’ll be able to save your money and frequent trips to an electronic shop.
Another important thing is the cooling effects. Cooling will enable your machine to take breaks and work efficiently. According to experts, it is essential to check if your vehicle has adequate light. If so, you’ll end up getting something that overheats and gives you a hard time.
Typically, an RV air conditioner is made from safe materials. Furthermore, it works best when there’s an equal distribution of heat.
BTU involves the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. It aids in deciding which AC type suits your recreational vehicle.
Consequently, different air conditioners come with varying ratings of BTU. So instead of measuring the amount of heat added to the air in your household, it focuses on the amount of water removed. And as a rule of thumb, the higher the BTU rating, the more power.
An air purifier is another crucial factor to include at your fingertips before bringing an AC for your RV. This is essential since it aims to purify and filter pollen or dirty air stuck in the machine.
The dirt can easily be located on the outer part. However, you don’t have to worry since they are washable. Another point to note is that not all RV air conditioners exhibit built-in air purifying systems. However, they can remove odor for those who have them, thus keeping the purifier fresh and clean.
Another vital aspect to keep in mind is the heat pump. This is an extraordinary device in an RV AC. The heat pump is responsible for moving warmth to the whole upper part of the RV. It absorbs heat from the outside and transfers it inside, thus keeping you cozy even in winter.
Frequency of Use
Before purchasing an RV AC look at the number of times you’ll use the whole system. You need to record how you’ll be using the system to avoid overloading the entire unit. If not, you’ll end up distorting the whole machine as it might be used for the intended purpose.
For better results, opt for a more powerful model to adjust to your needs.
Another crucial factor to consider before buying an AC for your RV is noise. As a camper, you won’t love to have an air conditioner that produces a lot of noise. As much as almost all ACs make a lot of noise, select the one that produces the least noise to enjoy a peaceful night.
Size plays a significant role in every product. In this case, not all air conditioners come in the same size. Since there are different RV ACs, ensure that you measure your camper before purchasing an AC system.
The Best RV AC at a Glance
|Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner, 13,500 BTU|
|Dimensions||29.18” x 27.23” x 12.7”|
|Rating||4.3 out of 5|
|Coleman 48204C869 RV Air Conditioner|
|Best||Portable RV AC|
|Cooling Capacity||15,000 BTU|
|Dimensions||38” x 26” x 15”|
|Rating||4.4 out of 5|
|RecPro RV Air Conditioner 15K | With Heat Pump for Heating or Cooling Option | RV AC Unit | Camper Air Conditioner (White)|
|Cooling Capacity||15000 BTU|
|Dimensions||48” x 42” x 25”|
|Rating||4.5 out of 5|
|ASA Electronics ACM135 Advent Air 13,500 BTU Roof Top AC, White|
|Cooling Capacity||13,500 BTU|
|Dimensions||33.46” x 25.6” x 15”|
|Rating||4.3 out of 5|
|Coleman 48204C866 Mach 15+ A/C Unit|
|Cooling Capacity||15,000 BTU|
|Dimensions||42” x 28” x 16”|
|Rating||4.4 out of 5|
5 Best Air RV Conditioners Reviewed in 2021
Here are our top 5 picks for the best RV air conditioners for camping.
Rooftop – Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner, 13,500 BTU
Amazon’s Best Seller in “RV Air Conditioner”
- It utilizes corded electric power.
- Dampening brackets to reduce noise and vibration.
- White in color.
Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air conditioner from Dometic is a must-have for your next trip or vacation. It is the best overall because it contains dampening brackets that reduce vibration and noise.
Besides that, Dometic AC is made with a unique and updated design incorporated with quality and improved materials. These materials combine to maximize airflow and performance. With a star rating of 4,3 out of 5, this device comes in handy since it includes one Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner.
It also features one – Polar White B57915.XX1C0 model, one warranty card, and one registration card. Dometic also contains 13,500 BTU/h and an input voltage (AC) of 115V. However, it does not include a heat pump.
- It is made of quality materials.
- Has a warranty.
- Easy to install.
- Quite expensive.
Portable – Coleman 48204C869 RV Air Conditioner
Best Portable RV AC
Amazon’s Best Seller in Rv Air Conditioners
- Comes with two screws and two red wall inserts.
- Has a voltage of 12.
Being a product from one of the best manufacturers and known brands, Coleman 48204C869 Air Conditioner is your next big deal. This product weighs 83.4 lbs and contains a cooling and heat capacity of 15,000 BTU.
With a star rating of 4.4 out of 5, customers love the electric heat element capacity of 5.600.
Moreover, the Coleman air conditioner for RV contains an electric rating of 115 VAS, 60HZ, ⅓ HP fan motor, and 320 CFM Airflow.
- It keeps the temperature much more consistent.
- Easy to install.
- Easy to operate.
- Some AC’s don’t come with wiring instructions.
Non- Ducted – RecPro RV Air Conditioner 15K | With Heat Pump for Heating or Cooling Option | RV AC Unit | Camper Air Conditioner (White)
Best for Dual Use
Amazon’s Best Seller in Portable Air Conditioners
- Produces less noise.
- Runs-off 115V power.
- Has a low amperage.
If using an AC that produces less noise is your biggest priority, check out the RecPro Air Conditioner 15K. This is the best choice for quiet air conditioners. The sound produced is much lower than many of the other air conditioners on the market.
The quiet air conditioner is non-ducted and comes in black and white. Being attractive and durable, it runs off of 115V power.
With a star rating of 4.5 out of 5, the amperage (amps) on the model is lower than other air conditioners. While this might not mean a whole lot, it means that it draws less electricity, saving you power and money to use for other appliances or RV devices.
- Money-back guarantee.
- Easy to Install.
- Quite expensive.
Rooftop – ASA Electronics ACM135 Advent Air 13,500 BTU Roof Top AC, White
Best for Rooftop
Amazon’s Best Seller in “RV Air Conditioner”
- Weighs one pound.
- Has a smooth exterior.
If your biggest priority in the position of RV air conditioner is on the rooftop, then SA Electronics Air Conditioner is your next big deal. This device contains 13,500 BTUs and 115 Volt AC power.
Among the best RV rooftop air conditioners, it also features a rigid, metal constructed base pan and a premium, thick, watertight vent opening gasket with six dense foam support pads. Furthermore, the three fan speed AC installs in standard 14.25″ x 14.25″ vent openings.
With a star rating of 4.3 out of 5, you’ll get an optional plug-in heat strip.
- Works perfectly.
- Fair price.
- The unit distorts itself.
Coleman 48204C866 Mach 15+ A/C Unit
Best Cooling Output
Amazon’s choice in “RV Air Conditioner by Coleman”
- Cool/heat capacity of 15,00.
- Exhibits ⅓ HP fan motor.
- Easy to Install.
- It functions properly.
- Quite expensive.
- Some don’t come with all accessories.
The Benefits of RV Air Conditioners
Air conditioners come in various brands, each suitable for the same purpose but exhibiting outstanding features. By installing an air conditioner, you’ll be able to get clean air and equal amounts of air in the room.
Clean Indoor Air
There’s no question that air conditioning in RVs is a valuable commodity. As much as they can heat up quickly, they provide clean and fresh indoor air, especially in adverse weather.
Monitor The Levels
Sometimes, temperatures outside become unbearable, but RVs come to the rescue since they provide cool air. The RV monitors the levels and brings them to the right point. So if you want cool, moderate, or freezing air, that’s what you’ll get.
Our Top RV AC Maintenance Tips
Whether you are using your RV air conditioner on the rooftop or any other place, it still needs to be serviced regularly. But, on the contrary, many owners forget that their RVs need proper maintenance.
As much as they are self-sufficient, they need regular care to function well. Here are some of the must-dos.
Look for Leaks and Water Intrusion
RV air conditioners provide a good time when hitting the road. But sometimes, leaks might occur due to poor installation. For example, if it is not well mounted, or the mounting is loose at the rooftop, rainwater may find a pathway and destroy your RV.
Ensure That the Cooling Fin is Straight
Apart from checking on water leaks, check on the fins too. Fins play a vital part in an RV. If you find out that the fins are bent, use a knife or comb to straighten them. Ensure that you do this carefully and effectively because bent vanes prevent airflow and lower the cooling ability.
Boost the AC Power With SoftStartRV
Today, the need for electricity when road tripping and camping have significantly increased. This is because new technology has brought about different gadgets such as televisions and mobile phones, which require charging.
In addition, these devices can make it tough to start the AC since they require special software. This can be solved by getting a SoftStartRV to reduce the start-up demand.
Check on Wind Debris
The outer part of the whole system might get damaged due to exposure to the sun’s UV rays or wind debris from branches and leaves. In addition, UV rays may weaken the plastic shroud. If this happens, purchase them online or in any available shop.
However, you can avoid this by checking regularly. As a result, you’ll be able to save money that you could have spent from regular visits to an electric technician.
Track Your Maintenance
With all that in mind, close the list by tracking your maintenance. Keeping track of all records is essential and needs to be kept in one place. This can be effective by using online tools such as Maintain My RV.
Afterward, you’ll be receiving reminders via email to make you prepare for the next maintenance session. It will also increase the resale value since the camper will be in good shape.
FAQS on RV Air Conditioners
Q; How Long Does an RV AC Last?
A; Since there are different RVs in the market, finding the best one can be cumbersome. However, it all depends on the duration used on your RV. Moreover, some can last between five and ten years. While sometimes may last longer if given care.
Q; Can I run My RV Air Conditioner On Battery Power?
A; Yes, you can run your RV AC on battery power. However, you’ll need an extra battery and a source of energy to recharge them.
Q; How Often Should I Maintain My RV Air Conditioner?
A; You should maintain RV air conditioners at least every two months. By doing this, ensure that you inspect filters and air vents. On top of that, check for cracks and tear marks.
Q; Can I Heat My RV With the same Air Conditioning?
A; The unit does not effectively heat the RV, especially during cold weather, unless it comes with a heat pump. If it doesn’t have a heat pump, buy strips or a heater assembly kit.
Camping is one thing that has taken over the world of people who love traveling. It is essential for our mind, body, and soul and helps us explore new things as we unwind. As much as there are different types of RV air conditioners on the market, finding the best one can be cumbersome, especially with so many different options at your disposal.
For this reason, Domestic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner, 13,500 BTU emerged as our best overall choice among the list of air conditioners tried and tested.
This is essential because it is easy to install and works properly due to the unique design. Consider the air conditioners outlined above if you are still browsing the shops and online e-commerce stores searching for the best brand.