RVs can be considered as comfortable homes for a majority of people. However, most people often use them as the perfect getaways for exploring outdoor scenes. RVs are just mobile homes that will allow you enjoy the comfort you could have enjoyed at your home whenever you are out in the campsites, beaches, deserts and even forests.
In as much as RVs are fitted with all the amenities that you might need; their use during summer often becomes quite challenging especially if they aren’t fitted with cooling systems. The situation might even become worse if you did not remember to bring along your camping fan.The outside temperatures plus the RV’s interior will make it totally unbearable to use one.
Keeping in mind that you will be out in the woods camping, the worst thing you can do is open the windows to let in fresh and cold air. This will be a security threat to your life. So what you need is the best RV air conditioner which will provide the necessary cooling effect.
Air conditioning units should, therefore, be part of the RVs as summers will always be there; you can’t run away from that reality. Off the grid camping shouldn’t even feature among your worries with this system properly installed in the RV.
In this article, we are going to have a look at the very best of these air conditioners in details.
5 Features to consider before buying RV Air Conditioners
Not every air conditioner you come across will work best for you. You, therefore, have to sieve through all the available ones to come out with the best. And now that we’ve given you the best four to consider, it is now important that we have a look at what we used to settle on them.
Here are some of them:
1. Size of the air conditioner
The size of an RV air conditioner in a way determines the amount of electricity and fuel it consumes while in operation. And if there is something that you must be really keen on is the cost of running such a product. This is because if you will be using it alongside an RV generator then you must work on a plan to minimize the rate at which the two consume fuel.
The smaller the RV,the less fuel and electricity it consumes. And it is better to be in a position to use the size to calculate the total cost you are likely to incur as a result of fuel consumption, more so if you are going on a long trip. Can you imagine running out of fuel to power the air conditioner on a hot summer afternoon in a remote place like in the middle of the woods?
If the trip is a long one and you are on a very tight budget, then you need to go for smallerconditioners which areat times known as low profile air conditioners. This way you will save a lot of gas. However, if you have anadequate supply of gas, then decide to go for a bigger profile air conditioner for use in your RV.
Again you need to consider the size of the vehicle that you have to fit the RV air conditioner in. Why should you install a bigger air conditioner in a very small RV?You will just be limiting your space for movement in the process.
2. Power output
The output power of an RV air conditioner is often denoted by British Thermal Unit (BTU). Standard RV air conditioners have their BTUs rated at 13,500 which inreality is a good amount of power.
Anything higher than 13,500 BTU is of higher performance and that is not what you generally need for those long trips during summer. Another thing you should consider when checking on the BTU is the size of your RV. Larger RVs require air conditioners of higher BTU.
3. Installation and Maintenance
Before you buy any appliance, you have to consider how easy it is to install it. Does it come with manufacturer’s instructions to make the installation a simple task? On something like an RV, you do not need to spend some extra cash on paying somebody to do the installation for you.
But it is only possible to do so if its installation process is easy and quick. The good thing with the best RV air conditioner is that it is easy to install just like our four products above. If there is something that you do not understand,however, it is advisable that you consult a professional who is well acquitted with theinstallation of the products.
Maintenance of these products can drain a lot of money off your pockets if you have to hire a professional to do it for you. Before making any purchase, make sure that the product is easy to maintain and you can actually do it on your own to prevent damages early in its lifetime.
The best ones are less demanding when it comes to maintenance, however.
4. Brand of the air conditioner
Well, this is an area which is often ignored but is of great importance. RVs have been in the market for quite some time now,andsome manufacturers have constantly produced them over this period of time. They have in the process come to know about most of the faulty areas and in the process re-engineered their products to meet the needs of the customers.
Products from such brands will often beat any kind of competition that might come their way. Their replacement parts have also been done with a lot of precision. Anyway, personally as a camper, I like to go for brands that produce other camping gear and equipment as well. Such brands know what satisfaction means to a camper.
5. Dual Use
Remember there are 4 seasons and not all of these seasons are hot. Therefore buying an RV air conditioner that has a heat pump to provide the warmth in the cold weather such as in the winter is very necessary.
The heat pump can be bought separately for such purposes. And only the best RV air conditioner has the capability of being integrated with such additional accessories to get the best results during outdoor adventures.
Types of RV air conditioners
RV air conditioners can be classified into two types based on the mode of installation. These are ducted and non-ducted units.
1. Ducted Units
Ducted RV air conditioners are enclosed in some casings which are then bolted on the RV’s rooftop. They are not accompanied by the control units. A lot of room is therefore left in your RV due to the absence of the heavy control units.
Cool air passes through a duct system that runs through the ceilings or walls of the RV. The good thing about such units is that you can install several of them in the RV.
2. Non-Ducted Units
If you want the simplest of RV air conditioners, then these types are what you can consider. They are usually installed through a hole that is made on the vehicle’s roof. Most of the manufacturers are however working on designs that fit through the already available vents on an RV.
These types do include compressors, blowers,and condensers which are often enclosed in casings that sit on the RV’s top. Control units are then installed in the RV. The cold air is then carried from the control unit with the vents capable of directing the cold air in different directions.
RV Air Conditioner Reviews
Due to the high demands for these products, many manufacturers have created different versions that will make it hard for you to choose a specific one in the market. Our high-quality research and analysis based on customer experience and feedback helped us settle on the following as the best products that you can consider any day:
With the highest BTU rating 15000 per hour, the Dometic Polar White Air Conditioner takes the overall prize as the best RV air conditioner. The fact that it can be installed in two different ways; that is the non-ducted and ducted ways even gives it an upper hand compared to the rest.
Not to mention that it is environment-friendly, compact and lightweight. Its innovative design that makes it the smallest available air conditioner makes it perform well. The product has a whole new base that is designed for better stability and durability.
It is fitted with a high-performance motor as well as a fan to help in the process of ensuring that the RV is comfortable at any given time. It is the fan and the motor that are of great importance in the air conditioner. If the two are not up to standard, then you will have bought something else in the name of an air conditioner.
This product has been designed with electrical ratings of 115V of alternating current (AC) which is single phase. Its operating frequency is fixed at 60Hz. Being that it operates on a single phase source of power makes its installation and maintenance a breeze. It is also compatible with most standard air vents.
It has undergone re-engineering in all areas to make its performance better. And the materials that have been used to manufacture it are Hi-tech and durable. It weighs 74 pounds with dimensional measurements of 29.2 by 27.2 by 12.7 inches.
The Dometic Brisk II Black Air Conditioner is the best alternative to our top pick. Being that the two are from the same manufacturer, you can trust this as well. Its 13500 BTU per hour for its nominal capacity is still within the recommended range.
When it comes to matters about convenience, its maintenance and installation alike aren’t quite demanding. Its black color gives it a very nice look that stands out among a wide variety of RV air conditioners. It is designed and made of a lighter material which reduces its weight making it somehow lighter.
This air conditioner is compact with increased airflow capabilities compared to other models out there in the market. It is compatible with thermostats and universal air distribution box though these products are sold separately.
Its dimensions of 27.23 by 29.18 by 12.7 inches fit in most standard air vents of 14 by 14 inches. It utilizes air delivery technology that features a center discharge. On its base, it is stable and rigid with a smart design for a tighter fitting.
This product also comes with a gasket that fits on to the RV’s roof perfectly well. Its electrical ratings stand at 115V of AC power which is provided at the single phase at a frequency of 60 Hz. Its amperage stands at 410A.
The product is backed by a warranty of two years. It weighs about 72 pounds. The performance of its fan and motor cannot go unnoticed. One more thing, it can be installed either as non-ducted or ducted type; whichever suits your RV setup.
Stable and durable
Easy and quick installation
Lightweight and compact
A bit loud during operation
Other accessories bought separately delay its operation
Could you be in the market for the cheapest yet high-performing RV air conditioner? Well, we have you covered if you are in such a situation. The MaxxAir 00-325001 Air Conditioner is what you have been looking for. This product will offer the best performance despite coming at a relatively affordable price.
Its condenser coils are made damage-free as a result of the intake grill built at the protective back. Its uniquely done front design is capable of deflecting hazardous obstacles and other branches that can be encountered during travel on the roads.
A rear fin guard has been integrated to provide additional protection. The polyethylene material used is tough besides being of high-quality. This makes the whole air conditioner strong and long-lasting for use in long trips.
It is covered by a lifetime warranty. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason to worry about manufacturing damages or even factory defects that you might come across in the process of operating this product. It comes in an attractive polar white color that many people like. What’s more, it comes in dimensions of 44 by 32 by 14 inches plus a weight of 13.2 pounds.
Thick and strong
Easy and quick installation
The lifetime guarantee is a breeze to many
Very much affordable
Some hole misalignment can be experienced during installation
And there are also those products like Dometic Penguin II Air Conditioner whose prices are always high, but the good thing is that their price matches their quality and performance. So if you feel blessed with some extra cash to spend then consider this product.
It fits well on RV rooftops with standard measurements of 14 by 14 inches of roof openings. It has a low profile design with heights of less than 10 inches alongside sleek and contemporary appearance of the shroud.
This product is often accompanied by a refrigerant (R410A) which is so efficient when it comes to cooling down as well as the improved and quick release of heat from inside the RV. Its nominal capacity stands at 13500 BTU in an hour with electrical ratings of 120V of alternative current (AC) provided in single phase 60 Hz.
The base pan of this air conditioner is redesigned with ribs for additional strength to your RV’s rooftop. It runs on amperage of 410A but can also be found in high capacity models. With measurements of 40 by 29 by 9.5 inches, this product is highly compact.
This air conditioner can be installed either as ducted or non-ducted cooling system. It is also compatible with most air distribution and control kits. What’s more, it is capable of operating at a minimum speed of 250 rpm and a maximum speed of 320 rpm.
On the higher capacity model, it can operate at minimum and maximum speeds of 230 and 310 respectively. This product weighs 99 pounds and also comes with a backup warranty of two years.
Quick and easy to install
Compatible with other accessories
Works well in cooling the RV
Quick replacement in case of defects
A little noisy
The best RV air conditioner is on everybody’s wish list. It is what will relieve you from the extreme summer heat while on a long trip. It may not be used so often but is very necessary when duty calls. Keeping you refreshed and cooled in the humid air is of great importance and the best RV will not let you down at such times.
Of the four products reviewed above, Dometic Brisk Polar Air Conditioner is the best RV air conditioner that we would like to recommend for your future use. It has the highest nominal capacity of 15000 BTU per hour that will result into very high performance.
Additionally, the product is easy to install and maintain therefore it won’t get damaged so quickly. Another good thing about it is that it can be installed as either non-ducted or ducted type. The two-year protection and warranty that it has is an assurance of the value for money that accompanies its purchase.
Our list of products is a completely rich one. If any of them amazes you, don’t hesitate to go for it.