During summer, staying cool in your camper can be nerve reckoning especially if you don’t have the best RV air conditioner. Whether you are looking to replace your current RV AC or going for an upgrade, you need to get your hands on the best RV AC. And for that, you need to consider important features to narrow down your available options.
We have scoured through the internet for hours to compile the best RV AC reviews and a buying guide so that you can make an informed decision.
Types of RV AC
Window RV ACs
These units don’t need much interior space because you install them outside in one of your rig’s windows. However, finding the right size that fits well in your window is a huge problem. Plus, installing them will obstruct your view and the sunlight.
RV Rooftop Air Conditioner
They come with a large cooling capacity and don’t need any space in your RV either. These designs need a control panel mounted on the ceiling or have a thermostat present within your RV.
Thermostat control is more comfortable to handle, mostly if you prefer having a set-and-forget style of operation for your AC unit. But with a control panel, you can turn it on or off. It can also save a lot of energy and improves the overall lifespan of the unit.
Portable RV ACs
A portable unit is all about portability. They don’t come with any complicated installation procedures, and you can use them in your other vehicles. These units can work well for smaller rigs. You can also use them in combination with your current AC system in a larger rig.
Under-bench RV ACs
These units work great as an alternative to rooftop units because they will not block the sunlight or obstruct your view. However, they need more power to pull the heat and push it out of your rig. You can install them under your bench seat as they do not take much space. And for that, you have to clear this space from any storage.
Non-ducted RV ACs
These units are widespread in smaller rigs and camper vans. They work by blowing out cold air from the unit itself as there are no ducts present. The air passes through the vents, and you can manually alter their direction to cool your desired section of the rig. They also take some space within your rig.
Ducted RV ACs
These units are suitable for longer or larger rigs and can distribute cool air evenly in different sections of your rig. With these units in place, air passes through the ducts and cools down. These units may be there in the ceilings or the walls of your rig.
Ducted RV ACs are directly wired into your rig and can integrate with the thermostat of your recreational vehicle.
What Features to Look for When Buying an RV AC
RV AC Design
You can either go for a low-profile RV AC or a full-height RV AC. The low-profile designs are far more aerodynamic and slimmer than their full-height counterparts.
If fuel economy is a significant concern for you and you drive your rig quite frequently, you need to go for a low-profile unit. These units are relatively light and compact and don’t contribute overall. They also require only a small cut in your roof, so installation will not be complicated at all.
However, low profile units are noisier as compared to full height AC units. Apart from that, full-height units are very powerful and can provide you with more excellent area coverage. They are far better for larger rigs.
Energy efficiency and BTUs
If you go for an energy-efficient unit, it will save a few bucks in the long run because watts’ consumption will be under control. Using such units can also improve the overall lifespan of your batteries as well as other appliances.
You must look at the starting and the running wattage of each of these units. For instance, a 7000 BTU unit will need 1700 starting watts and 600 running watts, while a 15000 BTU unit will need 3500 starting watts and 1500 running watts.
You need to go for more BTUs if you have larger space to cover. Units with more BTUs have larger starting and running watts capacity, so they need more power and suitable for larger rigs.
Best RV Air Conditioner Reviewed
1. Best Overall: Black+Decker Portable RV AC
- 4,500 sq ft Large Dehumidifier: Our 15.4 x 11...
- Designed For Modern Home: That most...
- Super Easy To Use: Dehumidifiers don’t need...
- Eliminites Moistness, Odor & Other Things You...
The best RV air conditioner you can find on the market today comes from Black & Decker. This is a 10,000 BTU unit and has a portable design. It only weighs around 26 pounds, and its dimensions are 16.5-inch x 11.5-inch x 26-inch.
It will take up some space in your rig, but it’s not going to be that much. The best part is this unit is quiet and extremely powerful. It is an excellent choice for all small to medium-sized rigs, and you can easily direct the air where you want it.
This small RV air conditioner has the coolest setting at 65F. It can conveniently cover 150 square feet. There is not much installation you have to do besides plugging in to use it in your other vehicles and home.
It comes with three different functions, including cooling, fan, and dehumidification. It has an extremely user-friendly design, and you don’t have to be an expert on RV ACs to operate it as well.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Lightweight.||Not for humid conditions.|
|Best for small rooms.|
|Simple to clean and maintain.|
2. Best for Low Noise: Dometic Brisk II Rooftop RV AC
- Your purchase includes One Dometic Brisk II...
- Air conditioner dimensions: 29 5/8” W x 13...
- Performance: 13,500 BTU/h. Input voltage...
- Dampening brackets reduce noise and vibration
- The Brisk II's smart design and improved...
The Dometic RV air conditioner unit has a rooftop design, and it will work well for larger rigs. This unit comes with a total power of 13,500 BTUs and weighs around 77 lbs. You can also buy an RV air conditioner cover for this unit.
The installation of this unit is not complicated either, plus your purchase will also include dampers that will reduce the noise and vibrations up to a significant extent. It has a smart design that ensures a maximized airflow and highly efficient performance.
Thanks to its high-quality construction, the unit can last for a long time and keep you away from the summer heat for good. There is not a lot of maintenance required here, and the unit comes with a 2-year warranty. It is the right choice for all mid to large-sized rigs and won’t take up much space in your RV either.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Good for larger spaces.||Cleaning is a bit of a hassle.|
|Upgraded base pan.|
3. Best for RV Mileage: Furion Chill Rooftop AC
- Superior Performance: The Furrion Chill is a...
- High Energy Efficiency: Furrion Chill is...
- Vibrationsmart & Climatesmart: Designed with...
- Lightweight & Aerodynamic: Furrion Chill is...
- Easy Installation & Warranty: The air...
Here’s another powerful rooftop unit you can consider for installing in your RV. This RV roof air conditioner can produce up to 15,500 BTUs and can easily cover an area of up to 200 square feet. The unit is not that difficult to install and features a couple of fans who move cool air faster.
This unit is up to 25% more energy-efficient than the single fan units from the leading brands on the market. This unit is climate-smart and vibration-smart, so it will not make any noise if vibrations and won’t negatively impact the environment.
This 15000 BTU RV air conditioner is an excellent choice for any large rig, and you can conveniently operate it according to your preferences no matter how hot it gets outside. Your interior will always remain cool and comfortable to spend some quality time.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|High-quality materials.||Not for small spaces.|
|Performs in extreme conditions.|
|Simple installation process.|
4. Best for Small RV: Coleman Mach 15+ RV AC
- Cool/Heat Capacity: 15,000
- Delivered BTU Heating Output: 5,600
- Electrical Rating: 115V AC, 60HZ, 1 Phase
- 1/3 HP fan motor
- Exterior Shroud Dimensions: 13.8" H x 26.1" W...
The Coleman RV air conditioner is a powerful unit that is suitable for most mid-sized RVs. This unit can produce up to 5600 BTUs, and for this reason, it can conveniently cover up to 300 square feet of area without any problems.
The installation will not be challenging, and you can get the job done in no time. You might have a little problem lifting the unit and might need some assistance from your partner. But the rest of the installation process is not going to be effortless.
Its powerful motor can generate some serious fan speed. Plus, you will not have to do a lot to maintain this unit either. Coleman stands behind its products’ quality and performance, so they provide you with a warranty for 2 years.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Powerful motor.||No thermostat.|
|Gas-flux brazed joints.|
5. Best for Budget: ASA ACDB Non-Ducted RV AC
- Not compatible with Heat Pump models
- Offers three fan speeds giving you complete...
- Package Dimensions: 61.2 H x 13.0 L x 56.1 W...
- Package Weight: 4.808 kilograms
This non-ducted RV AC by ASA has a simple installation process, and you don’t have to go through a lot to get it installed in your RV.
Three fan speeds are available in this unit, and you can easily control the fan according to your requirements. You also won’t have to deal with any difficult controls as well. This unit can provide you with good area coverage and work in all mid to large-size rigs with ease.
Moreover, to provide you with peace of mind, ASA brings you this product covered under a 2-year warranty. It can handle the summer heat well, but it would be better to keep the rig on the move, or the unit will start to take some toll. However, it’s not compatible with the heat pump models.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Lightweight.||Not compatible with heat pump units.|
Which one of these RV ACs are you considering? They all are good in their respective ways and cater to different needs. Just make sure you understand what you want to achieve with your RV AC and look for a mode accordingly.
The best RV ACs you can find on the market come from Black & Decker and has a portable design. This unit has 10,000 BTUs of power, and it can easily cover an area of up to 150 square feet. It’s an incredibly user-friendly design and doesn’t take much space inside your rig.