Published Date: August 24, 2023
Last Updated on August 24, 2023 by Camper Front
You’re planning the perfect summer road trip, aren’t you? But don’t let the heat ruin your adventure. You need a top-notch RV air conditioner to keep you cool.
We’ve analyzed the market and compiled a list of the best RV air conditioners for 2023. Let’s dive into the details, understand the different types, and guide you to make the right choice.
Stay cool and enjoy your journey!
Table of Contents
Best RV Air Conditioners: Our Picks
Let’s take a look at our top picks for the best RV air conditioners in 2023 that you should consider.
What Size RV Air Conditioner Do I Need?
Determining the right size of your cooling unit is crucial for maintaining a comfortable temperature during your travels. Size matters a lot when it comes to an RV air conditioner. A unit that’s too small won’t cool your space effectively and one that’s too large may not properly control humidity levels, leaving you uncomfortable. Typically, you’ll want between 60 BTUs and 80 BTUs per square foot.
When you’re choosing an air conditioner, it’s not just about size but also power. The power of an RV air conditioner is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). The larger your RV, the higher the BTU rating you’ll need. For instance, a 13,500 BTU unit can typically cool a space up to 200 square feet.
Brands such as Dometic offer a range of sizes with cutting-edge technology and quality to ensure you’re not compromising on comfort. Their air conditioning units are known for efficient cooling, precise temperature control, and reliable power.
Understanding the Different Types of RV Air Conditioners
As you navigate the world of RV air conditioners, you’ll encounter a variety of types, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Let’s delve into four key types: window air conditioners, rooftop air conditioners, mobile air conditioners, and under-bench air conditioners.
Understanding the differences between these types will equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision about the best air conditioning solution for your RV.
Window Air Conditioners
You’ll find that window air conditioners are a popular choice for RVs in 2023. These air conditioner units are designed to fit snugly into your RV’s window, providing efficient cooling and maintaining comfortable temperatures in the vehicle. They’re loved for their compact designs and easy installation.
These conditioners work by drawing in hot air, passing it over a refrigerant, and then expelling the heat outside. This process effectively cools the air within your RV, ensuring a steady airflow and a comfortable environment regardless of the exterior weather conditions.
The components of window air conditioners are designed for energy efficiency. They utilize less energy while providing optimal cooling, making them an excellent choice for sustained use during those long summer trips. So, you can keep the heat at bay and enjoy your journey.
Rooftop Air Conditioners
Switching gears, let’s talk about rooftop units, which are another popular cooling solution for recreational vehicles.
As an option, these units offer a host of features that can make your travels more comfortable. Unlike portable air conditioners, rooftop units are permanently installed on your RV, saving you precious interior space. They’re powerful, designed to efficiently cool your entire vehicle, even in sweltering heat. Plus, they come with heating options, providing comfort year-round.
That being said, they can be more expensive and harder to install than portable or window units. But if you’re after a robust, long-term solution, a rooftop unit could be worth the investment. Remember, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and budget before making a decision.
Mobile Air Conditioners
Now, we’re moving on to mobile units, which are known for their flexibility and convenience. You’ll appreciate the adaptability of these units, as they can be moved from one location to another within your RV. This feature is especially handy for larger RVs with separate living and sleeping areas.
Mobile air conditioners, unlike rooftop units, aren’t a permanent fixture. You can easily store them away when not in use. They’re also less expensive to maintain and repair, given their simple construction. However, they may not cool as efficiently as rooftop units, depending on the size and layout of your RV.
It’s crucial to consider your specific needs and RV layout when choosing between mobile and rooftop units. Ultimately, the best RV air conditioner for you balances performance, ease-of-use, and cost-effectiveness.
Under-Bench Air Conditioners
Diving into under-bench units, they’re a great option if you’re looking for something discrete and out of the way. They’re installed in the storage space under a bench or bed, taking up minimal room. You might appreciate their quiet operation, making them ideal for nighttime use. They’re not as powerful as rooftop units, but they’re efficient enough for smaller RVs or caravans.
In terms of power consumption, they’re on the lower side, saving you on energy costs. Installation might be a bit tricky, so professional help could be needed. They’re a great choice if you’re keen on maintaining the aesthetic of your RV’s exterior. Just remember, for larger RVs, they might not provide adequate cooling.
What to Consider when Buying an RV Air Conditioner?
When you’re in the market for an RV air conditioner, there are some critical factors you’ll need to consider to ensure you’re making the best investment.
It’s important to look at the reliability of the unit, as you don’t want to be stuck in the heat with a broken air conditioner.
Additionally, the cooling performance and the size and weight of the unit can significantly impact its functionality and your comfort, so it’s essential to weigh these factors carefully in your decision-making process.
It’s crucial to consider the reliability of an RV air conditioner before making a purchase. You need a system that can withstand the rigors of the road and consistently provide cool, refreshing air. Look for brands that have a reputation for quality and durability. Check the warranty period too. It’s a good indication of the manufacturer’s confidence in their product’s reliability.
Thoroughly review customer reviews and ratings. They offer invaluable insights into the product’s real-world performance. But remember, even the best systems and thermostats might have some negative reviews. It’s normal. Don’t let a few bad reviews deter you from a product that otherwise has a stellar rating.
Ultimately, you’re looking for an air conditioner that delivers reliable performance over time – that’s what truly counts.
In addition to reliability, you’ll also want to consider the cooling performance of your prospective purchase. This feature is critical as it will directly impact your comfort level during those hot summer months. Look for units with high BTU (British Thermal Units) ratings, as these signify a stronger cooling ability. But remember, bigger isn’t always better. You’ll need to match the BTU to the size of your RV to ensure efficient cooling.
Moreover, check for air conditioners with multiple cooling modes. This allows for greater control over your comfort by adjusting temperature and fan speed.
Lastly, consider units with energy-saving features. They may cost more upfront, but they’ll save you money in the long run by reducing your power usage.
Size & Weight
You’ll need to consider the size and weight of the unit you’re eyeing, as it’s crucial to ensure it’ll fit appropriately in your space without causing undue stress on your vehicle’s structure. This isn’t just about convenience; it’s about safety. Overloading your RV with a heavy AC unit could lead to structural damage, or worse, an accident on the road.
Also, remember, a larger unit doesn’t necessarily mean better cooling. It depends on the efficiency of the system. A compact, lightweight model can do wonders if it’s built well. Explore options that offer a good balance between size, weight, and performance.
Don’t forget, ease of installation also plays a key role. A bulky, cumbersome unit might prove tricky to install and maintain. Choose wisely, your comfort and safety depend on it.
Keep Your Drive Cool
Maintaining a comfortable temperature in your RV isn’t just about luxury, it’s also about safety. In fact, it’s a vital aspect of your journey. The right air conditioning unit can make your travel experience significantly better, especially on those hot summer days when the inside of your RV can feel like an oven.
Choosing the best RV air conditioner in 2023 isn’t an easy task, because there’s a lot to consider. You’ll want to think about factors like the size and weight of the unit, as well as how efficient it is. The best air conditioners aren’t always the biggest or the most powerful. Sometimes, it’s more about how well they circulate the cool air and how quietly they operate.
You’ll also want to consider durability. A good air conditioner should be able to withstand the rigors of the road. It shouldn’t break down easily, and when it does need maintenance, it should be easy to fix.
In the end, it’s all about finding the right balance. You need an air conditioner that cools effectively, operates quietly, and stands the test of time. So, take your time, do your research, and choose wisely.
Don’t compromise on quality – your cool, comfortable drive awaits!