Best RV Air Conditioner: Buyer’s Guide 2019


Living inside an enclosed space like a house trailer can be difficult especially in face of morbid humidity during warm weather. The interiors can become clammy and you cannot afford even a good nap.  Summer is one of the best times to go for an “RV-trip” with the pleasant outdoors. But, without the best RV air conditioner, it may not turn out to be that pleasant. In such situations, a good air-conditioning system is your friend for relief.

An RV fixed with airconditioner

While traveling inside a camper you go on roving from one place to another every now and then, this constant change of places also means a frequent alteration in the weather conditions you are subjected to. In face of such vicissitudes on a long term basis, you may be prone to many health issues. Installing an air conditioning system helps to ensure a steadier temperate zone inside your RV. Thus, it helps to sustain your overall well-being.

Wondering how to decide which air conditioner will be the best fit for your RV. If you plan to get an air conditioner, it is critical for you to make a mindful judgment.

Important factors for you to ponder upon

  • The Size of your RV: If you have a bigger trailer you will need a more powerful RV air conditioner.
  • Where do you want to fit the Air Conditioner? You need to decide as per your need the place where you would like to install your air conditioner.
  • The Colour of your camper: The color of your RV is another determining factor which will decide the amount of cooling you will require. A camper which has a light colored outer surface will require less cooling than a camper which has dark exteriors.
  • The Level of Insulation of your RV: The factor which you need to consider in deciding the capacity and power of your AC is whether your vehicle is well insulated. Proper insulation means you can go for a low-powered air conditioner.
  • Other factors: When you decide on what type of Air conditioner you want you should also consider your lifestyle needs and preferences.

Let’s throw light on some such crucial factors:

  1. The number of people your RV is currently accommodating
  2. The frequency with which you shower and cook inside the RV. Does a considerable amount of steam formation take place?
  3. Do you need air conditioning for just your sleeping area or the entire vehicle?
  4. What region you are currently traveling in and in which seasons of the year you will be dashing through the roads?
  5. The amount of cooling you require inside your camper.

Types of air conditioners available in the market

Broadly, there are two varieties of air-conditioners generally used inside a caravan. The air conditioners differ as per the place they are installed and the operations they perform.

Compressor air conditioner

Functioning like an RV refrigerator, a compressor air-conditioner consists of a refrigerant circulating in a defined space. Using the compressor and the evaporator, it absorbs the thermal energy from the surroundings leading to a reduction in the room temperature. It is best suited for humid areas.

Evaporative air conditioner

It uses water for cooling. The air drawn by the device from the room passes over a surface which is continuously moist. The water evaporates and the heat gets eliminated from the air around you. Since this type of air-conditioner is not much effective in dehumidifying the air the evaporative air-conditioner is more appropriate for arid zones and moderate temperatures.

Other factors to consider for best RV airconditioner

Ducted and Ductless

You can find both ducted and ductless varieties in the above type of air conditioners. The ducted air conditioner in a layman’s language refers to the centralized air conditioning system while the ductless variety consists of individual units for cooling each of the defined spaces separately.

Location of the air conditioner

Another factor to take into account is the location where you would like to place the device in your RV. You can opt for either roof-mounted or storage box air conditioner. A roof-mounted air-conditioner is installed on the roof of your RV. It is a space saving option and cools directly through the air distributor. On the other hand, there is the storage box air-conditioner. This kind of appliance is installed in the storage area of your vehicle. A decent air conditioner for your RV possesses features like less power consumption, provides rapid cooling and space saving design.

Strength of the air conditioner

An essential thing to understand is the strength of the air conditioner likely to be most suited to you. Most RV’s have 13500 BTU (British Thermal Units) units installed inside them. As per your lifestyle, you should determine the strength that is best for you. For instance, you can analyze the usage pattern you will have, if you will use the air conditioner only for few hours during the whole day, a model having less than 13500 BTU will be conducive for you. When you are likely to wander in the hot regions, a model with more than 13500 BTU should be preferred.

Best RV AirConditioner 2019

The most desirable air conditioner brands in the RV niche include the Coleman, Dometic, and Atwood. These brands provide a variety of air conditioner models with or without additional features. You can research different options available with each of these brands to decide upon your final purchase.

Take a glimpse of some of the top models which are listed as favorites by the members of the RV club.

Domestic Polar White RV Air Conditioner

Domestic Polar White RV Air Conditioner
  • Wattage: 2800 Watts
  • Weight: 72 Pounds
  • 13500 BTU/hour – normal capacity
  • Rooftop model
  • Ducted and ductless
  • 2-year protection warranty
  • Electrical rating- 115V AC, 60 Hz, 1 Phase

Dometic is a brand which is in the top league in the RV air conditioning segment. The Brisk II is one of the high-quality models with a top performing motor and fan is available in both ducted and non-ducted installations. It uses an environment-friendly R410A refrigerant. This rooftop air conditioner is lightweight due to EPP foam made exteriors and is easy to maintain in comparison to other brand models. Being one of the most compact designs available, the air conditioner is almost 20 percent lighter and provides 15 percent more airflow than its predecessors. It has almost noiseless operation ensuring a more peaceful sleep for you. This model is priced at around $745.

The device is designed to easily fit in the standard 14 X 14 air vents with central air discharge for a streamlined air movement inside your motor home. It has a newly designed base pan with enhanced durability.  Although users have reported issues with its fan, motor, and noisy working, overall it has got a good performance record. You can surely bank upon this model for a pleasant summer season inside your motor home.

Dometic Atwood Air command 15027 Ducted A/C unit

  • Wattage: 2000 Watts
  • Weight: 80 Pounds
  • 13500 BTU (16000 BTU Equivalent) units
  • Quiet work settings
  • Digital Temperature Readout
  • Wireless remote control
  • Generator Friendly with Sleep Timer
  • Powerful Cooling

No wonder Dometic is one of the best brands because we have another of its model among our recommendations. This rooftop model which is known for its innovative features has an electronic digital display to enable accurate temperature control. It comes with a distinct condenser fan and a blower fan motors which gives you an extra quiet cooling experience inside your camper. What makes the model more appealing is that it comes handy with a wireless remote control making it possible for you to operate the device sitting anywhere inside your camper. Equipped with a sleep timer this model makes its usage simpler.

With an input voltage of 115V and frequency of 60Hz, the air conditioner puts a lower burden on your RV’s generator. It is available at a deal of $690. On most e-commerce sites this model and has got positive reviews from many users. Although some issues with the fan of this air conditioner were found a warranty for its parts is available so you don’t have to worry much. Get this Atwood Air command model and recreate a “mini-arctic” scenario inside your mini-motor house.

Coleman Mach- Airxcel 48204C866 08-0080 Mach 15 Ducted model

  • Wattage: 1800 Watts
  • Weight: 90 Pounds
  • 13500 BTU capacity
  • 1/3 HP Fan Motor
  • Two-year Limited Warranty
  • Standard 14 X 14 Cut out
  • Incredible cooling
  • Optional heater assembly available
  • Enhanced Durability

Claimed to be one of the most powerful RV air conditioners in the world, this Mach 15 model from Coleman Mach is a top-notch air conditioner with a powerful motor fan being one of the largest used in RV A/cs so far. You can enjoy a streamlined cooling of 325 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute). It comes with a more efficient compressor which helps in optimum consumption of electricity. It is a durable machine due to the full-copper tubing and gas-fluxed joints which ensure a longer product life. The air conditioner has an electrical rating of 115VAC and 60Hz. The unit is designed in a way that makes its installation in the camper quick and trouble-free.

An interesting ability is the heater assembly which can be added to the system and to help warm up your RV in winters. It can dispense heat of around 5600 BTUs. The bigger evaporators and condenser coils enhance the ability to heat up the inside space. Coleman Mach provides a 2 years limited warranty for this device which allows you to remain less worried in case of any initial defects.

With a cost of around $780, it has some great capabilities to look forward to.

Dometic 640315CXX1J0 Penguin II Black Low Profile Air conditioner

  • Wattage: 3000 Watts
  • Weight: 100 Pounds
  • 13500 BTU normal capacity
  • ISO 5151 Certified cooling mode
  • Eco-friendly refrigerant
  • Available with both Ducted and Ductless systems
  • Compact design
  • 2 years of Protection plus warranty

This model by Dometic is one of the sleekest and very low profile air conditioners in the market. It is a roof-mounted RV air conditioner which has a height under 10-inches which reduces wind resistance while your RV is dashing on the road. This Penguin model comes with the best performing motor and fan which provides a wintry experience inside your house trailer even in the hottest of weathers. Due to its sturdy reinforced base pan, it can last longer while maintaining the best cooling for you. The unit can be accommodated for Ducted as well as Non-Ducted systems. 

Since it uses R410 refrigerant it ensures a more sustainable usage. This Dometic model is a good combination of style and strength. However, it is quite heavy as compared to other models both in terms of weight and price. Another unique feather to its cap is the ISO certified cooling mode which speaks for the quality standards it adheres to. Available with a 2 years protection warranty it is a can cost you around $1000. Check out this Penguin II model now.

Coleman Mach- Airxcel 48203C966 08-0079 Mach 3 Plus

  • Wattage: 1750 Watts
  • Weight- 90 Pounds
  • Energy efficient
  • Electric heating element
  • 13500 BTU
  • High-efficient compressor
  • Uses Green Technology
  • Good Airflow

This Coleman Mach Model is designed to provide you amazing cooling experience while using lesser power. Termed by the brand to be its second most powerful air conditioner after Mach 15 among the series of RV air conditioners it offers.

Manufactured with an advanced evaporator and bigger condenser coils with raised fins it cools down the insides of your RV in no time. With a nominal capacity of 13500 BTU, it delivers an amazing air flow of 320 CFM. Like the Mach 15 model, it also presents the choice to get the heater assembly. Thus, you can get a heater cum air conditioner in a single unit. This makes it purposeful the whole year round. The heater is capable of 5600 BTU’s of heat. For cooling, it uses environmentally safer R-410A refrigerant giving it an edge over other products.

The product is designed to be more durable making it a good value for your money. You can get this Air conditioner at a price of around $780. Given its superior traits, it can be a good deal.

Decide and Get Your Best RV Air Conditioner Now!

For your beloved RV, there are many varieties of air conditioners available depending on the size of your vehicle and your requirement. Ensure that you service the air conditioner regularly for its longevity and consistent performance. Go grab one of the best RV air conditioner for your “Mini-motor home” and enjoy a cool summer season.

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