Every trip in your RV is memorable and those great days stay with you forever. They can be made far more comfortable when you get an RV air conditioner that will help you and your family stay cool when the heat rises. It’s hard to have a good time when the stuffy air is stifling and there feels like there is no escape from it.
Thankfully, RV air conditioners are reasonably priced and very effective. You want to find one that offers you the convenience of cool air on the go, and that is economical. Without the right amount of power, it will not give you the coolness you need. Make sure your next vacation is memorable for the right reasons, and equip yourself with one of the best in the business. Here are our top eight.
Top List of Best RV Air Conditioners
#1. Dometic Polar White 15,000 BTU Conditioners
Pushing out a big 5000 BTU/Hour this RV air conditioner is capable of keeping larger vehicles cool and has the reliable brand name of Domestic behind it. What a lot of people like is that you can choose how much output it gives and can be more economical, using 13,500 BTU or just go straight for the 15,000 BTU power. It can be installed in any RV thanks to the ducted or non-ducted installation. Thanks to its sturdy base pan it will last a long time and comes with a 2-year warranty for peace of mind. Easy to install and with virtually zero maintenance required, it is a great option for cooling everyone down as you travel in comfort.
#2. Airxcel 08-0079 Mach 3
This is ideal for smaller RV’s as they are often the vehicles that trap the most heat. A more compact drive means you don’t need the bigger 15,000 BTU units and in terms of 13,500 BTU, this is one of the best. It has eco-friendly technology to be kinder on the environment but this takes nothing away from its performance. It’s easy to get to grips with because of the simple controls and a large evaporated that helps to get rid of heat as it pumps cool air into your RV. It might be bulky compared to some of the competition but with 320 cubic feet per minute airflow, it can work fast to cool you down.
#3. Dometic 651816.CXX1C0 Penguin HP
Another powerful RV air conditioner from Domestic and this one is simple but reliable. Energy-efficient and quiet as it goes about its job it will fill the RV with cool air without making a fuss. There is a heat pump that comes with every purchase so you can make sure you are always comfortable which is important for long trips and overnight drives. Although it comes at a price you are getting the quality of a Domestic product, just keep in mind this is a bit heavier than most units at 100 pounds, although this shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
#4. Advent ACM150 Rooftop Air Conditioner
For a mix of value and performance, Advent has made this high-performing RV air conditioner an intriguing option. With 3 speed controls, it puts you in the driving seat ensuring the optimal comfort during those long drives. The six dense foam support pads keep everything in place and are built to stand up against the bumps on the road without effective performance. The rigid materials make it an easy pick in any top ten list and at 50 lbs, it weighs half the amount of some of the other air conditioner units out there. You can plug-in the heat strip to turn the heat up when the colder months approach making it a well-rounded option that will please any RV owner.
#5. Dometic Brisk Air II 15,000 BTU
You’ll see domestic and RV together a lot since the brand name has such a long-standing relationship with RV air conditioners. So much so that a lot of people won’t use any other brand so if you are considering the powerful 15,000 BTU unit here, you’re in good company. This is a complete package so it is ready to be installed from the moment it arrives. It comes with a non-ducted ceiling kit and the ability to switch from cool air to heat thanks to the heat strip. Because it is so easy to install it is a great option for anyone who isn’t sure what they are doing.
#6. AIRXCEL 08-0080 Mach 15 15.0
With the ability to cool things down or heat them up, this quality RV air conditioner comes with the highest cool output available to make those sweat-filled months bearable. With a 1.3 HP fan motor, it can push out air at a rate of 320 cubic feet per minute which is powerful, to say the least. That means it can dish out cold air faster than any other yet it remains one of the more efficient products as well. Of course, this comes at a price but the quality that comes with the 15,000 BTU power makes it worth it.
#7. ASA Electronics ACM135 Advent Air
Easy to install, rigid and well built, this RV air conditioner even has a heat strip to warm up the colder trips. Anyone who likes to make the most of their RV and take it out whatever the weather will appreciate the ability to feel their fingers as they hold the wheel. With 3 different speeds to choose from, it gives the driver the ability to take the edge off the warmth, or turn the RV into a cool box on wheels. Many people comment on how light it is compared to other air conditioner units and since it attaches to the rooftop, this can only be a good thing.
#8. Atwood 15027 Ducted A/C Unit
Anyone looking for a quiet RV air conditioner that is barely noticeable besides the fact that the vehicle is nice and cool, then Atwood has a great option on the market. It fits most 14″ x 14″ roof cutouts and with 13,5000 BTU’s it is powerful with the ability to bring the temperature down in medium-sized RV’s. There isn’t an optional heat control and it is a bit trickier to install than other products on the list but with fast shipping and has a digital temperature readout. The remote control makes it easy to adjust as you are on the go and there is even a sleep timer, making it energy efficient.
Unsure? Here are some suggestions directly from Amazon:
RV Air Conditioner Buyer’s Guide
Being comfortable on a road trip is one thing, but the day in day out comfort is important in your RV. This is why a quality RV air condition is a must-have. Some products are much better than others but when you aren’t sure what sets them apart, it is important to do a little research to find the best fit.
this is why we have created the following RV conditioner buyer’s guide. By the end of it, you’ll know exactly what to expect from the best products for a comfortable drive.
What To Look For In An RV Air Conditioner
This will vary depending on the size of the RV as the larger the vehicle the more powerful the RV Air conditioner will need to be. Considering the fact that an RV can easily be well over 300 sq ft, some products will need to be pretty powerful to keep things cool when the sun is out.
Easy To Install
Some products are known for being easy to put in place than others. If it requires the use of an expert then this can hike the price a fair amount so may need to be factored into the price of the unit itself.
This (British Thermal Unit) is the amount of heat the product can remove per hour. It will be measured in the thousands with the most reputable products being capable of at least 5,000 for an RV air conditioner. The higher the number of BTU’s, the more energy it is likely to use, and the higher the price will likely be.
Although the main trait it needs to do is provide cool air, being able to do this without piercing the eardrums or making it dangerous to drive is a must. Most products make an effort in this area, look for low decibel products that only create around 40 dBs as a maximum.
This isn’t a deal-breaker for a lot of people, especially those who don’t use their RV in cold weather. The idea is that the unit can be used to push both cold and hot air through the RV depending on the season. Sometimes, this can be installed later so it isn’t always important to start.
When using a rooftop unit, it is important to make sure it isn’t going to make the RV too tall to fit into the garage or elsewhere. Most stand at around 10 inches or below but even this can make a difference so make sure it isn’t going to be incompatible with where the RV is kept.
Roof Opening Size
To ensure it is compatible with the RV, look for the dimensions. Most RVs have a roof opening of 14 x 14 inches, and if this is the case, be sure to go for an RV air conditioner with the same measurements.
An important consideration because although everyone wants more BTU’s, the RV will only have so many amps to spare. Since a lot of RV air conditioners can use up to 20 amps, it is best to check on the max that the RV has to offer. If it has 40 then this doesn’t leave a lot of room for using other appliances.
Different Types of RV Air Conditioners
Much like the vehicles themselves, different types of air conditioners use a different approach. Here are the most common:
The most common type which means more options for the consumer. They can be installed in either ducted or non-ducted variety and may require more amps to start but when they are running they should use fewer. The convenience is that they do not take up any space inside the RV yet still provide comfortable airflow.
Arguably the cheapest and easiest to use since they slot into the window. This type doesn’t always provide as much coverage as some of the other options but it is an affordable product.
These conveniently sized units can be moved around the RV, into different rooms and can also be used in other vehicles and places. Because they are light and standalone units, they can be moved with ease.
Not as common but still useful, they are kept out of the way, freeing up some room as they are stored under the seat.
What Is Ducted Vs Non-Ducted RV Air Conditioner?
The main difference is that non-ducted units only use the bottom of the unit to blow air out whereas ducted products use multiple ducts, located in the ceiling of the RV. This is why this is only a concern for rooftop products. The design is intended to be matched to the ducts to ensure there is an even distribution of cool air throughout the RV.
A non-ducted air con unit is going to be cheaper to run, but the better performance comes from ducted products.
How Much Does An RV Air Conditioner Cost?
This depends on the type and spec of the product, but most reputable brands can be picked up for anything between $300 – $1,000. Of course, the higher the budget, the better the spec and more features the product is likely to have.
What Is The Best RV Air Conditioner?
After reviewing multiple products we found the one that stood out was the Dometic Polar White 15,000 BTU Conditioners. Not only can it be installed either ducted or non-ducted but it has a lot of power to ensure there is always cool air when the sun is out. Also, a sturdy base plan gives it a solid feel and there is also a 2-year warranty which is more generous than a lot of brands.
Is Ducted Air Con Worth It?
This depends on the environment but one thing is for sure is that in the middle of summer, it will feel like a god-send. Some products can be installed as both ducted and non-ducted to help reduce running costs. The bigger the RV, the more important a ducted unit will be.