Updated: May 9
There is nothing like a cool RV on a hot summer day. Make sure your RV stays cool and comfortable throughout the season with these top 7 RV AC units.
Hitting the open road in comfort is what traveling in your RV is all about. That’s why if you are traveling during the warmer months, living in your RV can get tricky. After all, the interior design aside, your RV is a metal box - and the heat is proof of that. That is why it is very important to have the right air conditioning unit to keep your RV cool.
Air conditioning units are essential equipment for all RVs. Whether you need to replace your current AC unit or update it, there will be quite some market research involved to choose the best pick. Fortunately, we have done all the legwork for you. This list will cover all the best RV AC units of 2022 so that you can choose the best AC unit for your rig. Happy reading!
Factors To Consider
Buying the right AC unit for your RV can be a complicated process. Here are a few factors you need before purchasing your RV AC.
The nightmare AC unit purchase would be one that you have to fix every couple of months. Living on the road requires smart budgeting and consistent high performance to provide the best comfort. The best way to measure the reliability of an AC unit is to review the brand and see its track record: how long do their air conditioners last? How long is the warranty period?
Your AC unit should be strong enough to cool down your RV adequately during the summers. An AC unit with a weak cooling effect would be one that cools well during mild temperatures but not much when it is needed. For a strong cooling effect, make sure that your AC unit has at least 12,000 BTU/hour of cooling output.
The weight you carry on your RV can affect several aspects of your journey. The more weight you carry, the more fuel your RV will use and the more you will have to spend on the road. RV AC units can be heavy, easily weighing up to 150 lbs and more. Try to find AC units that weigh on the lighter side, which could be anywhere below 100 lbs.
10 Best RV AC Units
Now for the long-awaited part - our top picks for the best RV AC units of 2022!
Furrion FACR14SA-PS Rooftop RV Air Conditioner
If a silent and vibration-resistant air conditioner is your priority, this one is for you. The Furrion Chill AC unit is one of the few ACs in the market that feature VibrationSmart Technology. This technology works well to guard the internal components of the AC from strong vibrations, and also reduces the overall noise production. It also features the ClimateSmart Technology that works to operate the AC unit effectively even in harsh weather conditions. Apart from that, this model of the Furrion Chill has a 14,500 BTU rating and is also electrically efficient, using up to 40% less energy than competing single-fan air conditioners.
Price: $1,177 - $1,327
Dometic Penguin II 20 Amp Low Profile Rooftop RV AC
Looking for a low-profile and sleek design for your RV AC unit? The Dometic Penguin is here to serve. It has a height of fewer than 10 inches, and this reduces the drag effect on your RV and increases fuel efficiency. This unit can be used with both ducted and non-ducted air conditioning systems, and its easy-to-reach controls are convenient for the ceiling component of the non-ducted system. However, if you decide to use it with the ducted air conditioning system, it will connect directly with the wall thermostat in your RV so setting your preferred fan and temperature settings will be very convenient. The highest fan setting produces 320 cubic feet per minute of airflow, but they are noisier than their full-height counterparts. The Dometic Penguin has a rating of 13,500 BTU, so it can cool up to 675 square feet of the interior.
Airxcel 08-0080 Arctic 15.0 Rooftop Camper AC
This RV AC unit fits the bill for optimal small size and powerful motor. In fact, its fan motor is one of the largest in the industry, with a horsepower of 13 units. This allows the air to distribute equally and effectively throughout the RV. What sets the Airxcel apart from other models in this list is its dual heating and cooling ability. During the summers, it is more than adequate to chill the RV with its 15,000 BTU rating. On the other hand, the unit also consists of an inbuilt heating element, with around 5,600 BTUs dedicated to providing heat in the cooler months. Another plus point is that even on high cooling, the Airxcel AC unit will consume electricity economically, just below 15 amps.
Dometic Brisk II (B59516.XX1J0) Rooftop RV AC Unit
Make way for a high performer! The Dometic Brisk II unit can be installed in both ducted and non-ducted air conditioning systems. Its high-performance motor and fan, paired with a 15,000 BTU rating, means that it has a strong cooling effect even in RVs with up to 750 square feet of interior. It is a full-height rooftop air conditioner, and since its compressor, motor, and evaporator are all grouped together to avoid vibrations, it is also quieter than most other AC units. That’s not all. Another great advantage is the unit’s all-new base pan which reduces the unit’s weight. This helps it weigh 19% less than its earlier version with 15% more airflow. However, this AC unit is only intended for RVs with single-zone thermostats, so it is not suitable for rigs with multi-zone thermostats.
Price: $1,070 - $2,000
Honeywell MN12CESBB Portable Multipurpose AC
Flexibility is key for RV living, and the Honeywell AC unit ticks that perfectly. Its unique selling feature is its portability. This makes the AC unit perfect for smaller RVs, campers, and trailers. Of course, talking about flexibility, the Honeywell unit could very well serve as a complementary air conditioner in big RVs that already have rooftop AC units too. It has a BTU rating of 12,000 and includes a dehumidifier as well, so you’re set for travels in humid regions too. For milder seasons, it has the option for fan circulation too. When you are not traveling, you could utilize this portable AC in your garage, home, or office space.
Dometic Penguin II 651816 AC Unit
If you’re specifically looking for a dual-purpose AC unit, this one is calling your name. With great heating and cooling capabilities, It is a great choice for full-time RVers. It has a 15,000 BTU rating, making it perfect for cooling bigger RVs, trailers, and fifth wheels with interiors sized up to 750 square feet. This mini split AC for RV is a flexible model and simple to install, fitting all the standard 14-inch RV AC vent holes. While it works best with the ducted ventilation system, it can also be used in its non-ducted version. However, you will need to purchase the ceiling assembly and controls of the unit separately to finish the installation, so it is not a standalone solution.
Dometic Blizzard Nxt RV AC
For those whose RV has a multi-zone thermostat, take a look at what this one has in store for you. The Dometic Blizzard is incredibly adaptable, performing well in trailers, fifth wheels, and RVs that have ducted ventilation systems. Its versatility comes from its ability to be used with single-zone or multi-zone thermostats. Of course, its BTU rating is great too at 15,000 units, chilling up to 750 square feet of interior RV space. This Dometic RV AC has a high-powered fan motor that creates airflow between 330 and 350 cubic feet per minute. However, the price tag on this RV AC is a little on the expensive side.
Price: $1,761 - $1,800
Furrion Chill RV AC is a line of RV rooftop AC units designed specifically for use in recreational vehicles (RVs). Furrion RV AC units are known for their efficient cooling, quiet operation, and ease of installation. The Furrion Chill RV AC line includes several models with different cooling capacities ranging from 5,500 BTU to 15,500 BTU. Some of the key features of these air conditioners include:
VibrationSmart technology: This feature helps to reduce vibration and noise levels, making for a more comfortable and quieter RV experience.
Dual fan motor design: The Furrion Chill RV ACs have two fan motors, which help to distribute cool air more evenly throughout the RV.
Easy installation: The Furrion Chill RV ACs are designed to be easy to install, with a simple plug-and-play setup.
Energy efficiency: These air conditioners are Energy Star certified, meaning they meet strict energy efficiency standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Remote control: The Furrion Chill RV ACs come with a remote control that allows you to adjust the temperature and fan settings from anywhere in the RV.
Price: $899.9 - $2239.65
Coleman RV AC Unit
Coleman is a well-known brand in the RV industry, and their AC units are known for their durability and high performance. The Coleman RV AC line includes several models with different cooling capacities ranging from 9,200 BTU to 15,000 BTU. Some of the key features of these air conditioners include:
Quiet operation: The Coleman ACs for RVs are designed to operate quietly, which is important in the close quarters of an RV.
High cooling capacity: With cooling capacities ranging up to 15,000 BTU, these air conditioners can quickly cool even the largest RVs.
Easy installation: Coleman rooftop AC units for RV are designed to be easy to install, with a simple plug-and-play setup.
Energy efficiency: These air conditioners are designed to be energy efficient, which can help save on fuel costs during long trips.
Durable construction: The Coleman small RV AC units are built to withstand the rigors of the road, with durable materials and components.
In addition to these features, Coleman portable AC unit for RV also come with a range of options and accessories, such as digital thermostats and ceiling assemblies, to make installation and operation even easier. Overall, Coleman RV AC units are a popular choice among RV enthusiasts for their high performance and reliability.
Price: $634 - $2,090.99
GE RV AC Units
General Electric, or GE, is a well-known brand in the appliance industry, and their RV ACs are known for their efficient cooling and quiet operation. The GE RV AC line includes several models with different cooling capacities ranging from 5,000 BTU to 15,000 BTU. Some of the key features of these air conditioners include:
Energy efficiency: GE RV ACs are designed to be energy efficient, which can help save on fuel costs during long trips.
High cooling capacity: With cooling capacities ranging up to 15,000 BTU, these air conditioners can quickly cool even the largest RVs.
Digital thermostat: Many GE RV AC models come with a digital thermostat, which allows for easy temperature control.
Quiet operation: GE RV AC units are designed to operate quietly, which is important in the close quarters of an RV.
Durable construction: The GE RV AC units are built to withstand the rigors of the road, with durable materials and components.
In addition to these features, GE portable ACs for RVs also come with a range of options and RV AC parts, such as ceiling assemblies and remote controls, to make installation and operation even easier. Overall, GE portable RV AC units are a popular choice among RV enthusiasts for their high performance and reliability.
RV AC Units Troubleshooting and FAQs
How many Watts does an RV AC use?
The power consumption of an RV AC unit can vary depending on several factors such as the make and model of the unit, its cooling capacity, and the ambient temperature. However, a typical RV AC unit uses between 1,200 and 1,800 watts of power when running. It's important to note that starting up an RV AC unit requires more power than running it continuously. This is because the compressor needs a surge of electricity to start up. The surge can be up to 3 times the running wattage, so you may need a generator or an RV with a large enough power source to handle the starting surge.
How to replace RV AC unit?
Replacing an RV AC unit can be a straightforward process if you have some basic DIY skills and the right tools. Here are the general steps to follow:
Determine the size and type of the old AC unit: Before you buy a replacement AC unit, you need to determine the size and type of the old unit. This information is usually available in the RV owner's manual or on the label of the old AC unit.
Choose a replacement AC unit: Once you know the size and type of the old AC unit, you can choose a replacement unit that will fit the same space and be compatible with your RV's electrical system.
Remove the old AC unit: To remove the old AC unit, you will need to turn off the power to the RV, disconnect the electrical and ducting connections to the unit, and remove any screws or mounting brackets that hold the unit in place.
Install the new AC unit: To install the new AC unit, you will need to follow the manufacturer's instructions for mounting the unit, connecting the electrical and ducting, and sealing the unit to prevent leaks.
Test the new AC unit: Once the new AC unit is installed, you should turn on the power to the RV and test the unit to make sure it is functioning properly.
How to run RV AC without generator?
Running an RV AC without a generator can be challenging, but it is possible if you have access to an alternative power source. Here are some options:
Shore power: If you are parked at a campsite or RV park with access to shore power, you can run your RV AC unit by plugging your RV's power cord into a designated electrical outlet at the campsite. This will provide your RV with the power it needs to run the AC unit without the need for a generator.
Solar power: If your RV is equipped with a solar power system, you may be able to run your AC unit using solar power. However, you will need to make sure that your solar system is capable of generating enough power to run the AC unit, which can be a challenge.
Inverter and battery bank: Another option is to use an inverter and battery bank to power your RV's AC unit. This involves installing an inverter in your RV and connecting it to a bank of batteries. The inverter will convert the DC power from the batteries into AC power that can be used to run your RV's appliances, including the AC unit. However, you will need to make sure that your battery bank is large enough to provide enough power to run the AC unit for an extended period.
What to do if RV AC is freezing up?
If your RV AC unit is freezing up, it may be due to a few different issues. Here are some possible causes and solutions:
Dirty air filter: A dirty air filter can restrict airflow and cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. Check your RV's air filter and replace it if it is dirty. Also check the RV AC vent to see if it is clean and clear.
Low refrigerant levels: If the refrigerant levels in your RV's AC unit are low, it can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. You may need to have a professional RV technician recharge the refrigerant levels to fix the problem.
Clogged condensate drain: If the condensate drain in your RV's AC unit is clogged, it can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. Check the condensate drain and clear any clogs that you find.
Faulty thermostat: If the RV AC thermostat is faulty, it may be causing the unit to run continuously, which can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. You may need to have the thermostat replaced to fix the problem.
Dirty evaporator coil: A dirty evaporator coil can restrict airflow and cause the coil to freeze up. You may need to have the coil cleaned by a professional RV technician.
What to do if RV AC is not cooling?
If your RV AC unit is not cooling properly, there may be several issues that could be causing the problem. Here are some possible causes and solutions:
Dirty RV AC filter and/or low refrigerant levels
Faulty compressor: The compressor is a crucial component of your RV AC unit, and if it is faulty, it may not be able to compress the refrigerant properly, reducing the cooling capacity of the unit. You may need to have the compressor replaced by a professional RV technician.
Dirty evaporator coil: A dirty evaporator coil can restrict airflow and reduce the cooling efficiency of your RV AC unit. You may need to have the evaporator coil cleaned by a professional RV technician.
Electrical issues: If there are electrical issues with your RV AC unit, such as a faulty thermostat or a blown fuse, it can affect the cooling efficiency of the unit. You may need to have a professional RV technician diagnose and fix any electrical issues.
Poor insulation: If your RV is poorly insulated, it can affect the cooling efficiency of your AC unit. You may need to add insulation to your RV or upgrade to a more efficient AC unit to improve cooling.
How to clean RV AC coils?
Cleaning the coils of your RV AC unit is an important part of AC maintenance that can help improve the efficiency of the unit and extend its lifespan. Here's how to clean the RV AC coils:
Turn off the power: Before you start cleaning your RV AC coils, turn off the power to the unit to prevent any electrical shocks.
Remove the air filter: Remove the air filter from your RV AC unit to expose the coils.
Brush away debris: Use a soft-bristled brush or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to gently remove any debris, dust, or dirt that has accumulated on the coils. Be careful not to bend or damage the delicate fins of the coils.
Spray with coil cleaner: Spray the coils with a coil cleaner, following the manufacturer's instructions. Let the cleaner sit on the coils for the recommended amount of time, usually around 10-15 minutes.
Rinse with water: After the cleaner has had time to work, rinse the coils thoroughly with water, using a hose or a spray bottle. Make sure to rinse away all of the cleaner and any debris that has been loosened by the cleaner.
Let dry: Allow the coils to dry completely before reinstalling the air filter and turning the power back on. Make sure the coils are completely dry before starting up the AC unit again.
In general, it's a good idea to clean the RV AC coils at least once a year or more frequently if you use the AC unit frequently or if you're traveling in dusty or dirty environments.
Now that you have gone through the top RV AC units in the market in 2022, it is time to make a decision. Weigh your requirements, budget, space, and all other needs carefully then go ahead and choose the best one. Don’t let summer by without a trip of the sun shining on your RV roof as you bask in the chilly interior with your new RV AC unit!
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