Best RV AC Unit: Stay Cool And Comfortable

Best RV AC Unit: Stay Cool And Comfortable

Publushed by:

George Cummings

Last updated:

If you’re feeling hot and stuffy in your RV, you’ll want to get your hands on a quality AC unit. This will ensure you can stay comfortable in your RV even on the hottest days of the year.

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you’ll also experience relief from using an air conditioner in your RV. 

What is the best RV AC unit? The best RV AC unit will be small and compact, easy to install and provide you with enough power. 

By reading our guide, you won’t have to worry about trying to find enough space for your RV air conditioning unit. The ones in our reviews are small and compact, and they also have a variety of essential features to keep you happy on long road trips.

Here’s the best RV AC unit: stay cool and comfortable wherever you go! 

Best Overall: Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner

Short summary

This best rooftop RV AC unit took two years to become one of the best AC units on the market. It’s small, light, and very quiet, while being durable. 

It makes use of a smart design to maximize space and performance. It is said to provide an increase in airflow of 15 percent and it’s 19 percent lighter than previous models.

This is the best roof mount RV AC unit to get because it offers cooling functions but you can also use it to warm up your RV when required.

This is thanks to its multi-speed blower that you can adjust whether you want cooling or heating options. 

You’ll love that this AC unit is designed to be tough and durable, so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged during RV trips. 

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

Best RV AC Unit

4/5

Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner

Runner-Up: Atwood 15027 Ducted A/C Unit

Short summary

This RV AC unit quickly and efficiently cools a 360-cubic foot area. While it works well to cool down your RV, it doesn’t produce vibrations or noise.

It makes use of a dual-motor so that the blower fan and condenser fan can be run separately. It also has an internal thermostat that switches between the compressor and fan automatically. 

It doesn’t use many amps so you will be able to use other appliances in your RV at the same time.

This RV air conditioning system comes with a remote, vent, and wall-mounted thermostat for increased usability.

It’s one of the best RV AC units on the market if you want greater control of your RV’s indoor temperature as it offers many features to enable you to regulate how and when it works.

It’s built with a hardshell shroud that’s durable and ensures protection to the components within. 

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

Best RV AC Unit

4/5

Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner

Alternative: Airxcel Mach 8 Plus 13.5 Arctic White

Short summary

This small yet powerful RV AC unit will provide you with a maximum airflow of 300 cubic feet per minute when used on its highest fan setting. 

It’s light to carry and install and has compact dimensions to make it easy to use in small spaces.

For increased convenience, you can choose to purchase this RV AC unit with or without a condensate pump. This accessory makes it ideal for use in humid areas.

This AC unit is easy to install and start using immediately. Since it’s a bit lighter in weight than some other AC units we’ve featured in this guide, it’s easy to get it onto the roof of your RC.

It’s also low on noise as it has a reduced fan noise of five decibels, making it quieter than some other AC units on the market. 

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

Best RV AC Unit

4/5

Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner

Best Portable RV AC Unit: BLACK+DECKER BPACT14WT

Short summary

This is a floor-standing AC unit that gives you consistent cooling for rooms that are up to 350 square feet. Not just ideal for RVs, you can also use this for apartments, offices, and dorms.

This AC unit doesn’t just offer cooling functions. It has three energy-efficient functions as it comes with fan, cool, and dehumidifying modes. 

Since it makes use of a bucket-less and self-evaporating operation, this benefits your living space by keeping it cool and dry. 

It comes with all the accessories you need to start using it: a hose and window adapter. Once you’ve connected it, you just have to plug it into an outlet.

It conveniently comes with a hose that’s four feet and 11 inches in length. 

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

Best RV AC Unit

4/5

Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner

Runner Up: Ukoke WiFi Portable Air Conditioner

Short summary

This is the only RV AC unit on our list that works with Alexa. It enables powerful voice control so you can switch your AC unit on and off, and adjust its temperature, with greater use.

By downloading the Ukoke app from the Android Play Store or Apple App Store you can easily control your AC unit anywhere, with your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

For increased user-friendliness, this RV AC unit also comes with manual controls on the digital LED display of the unit, and it comes with a traditional remote control. 

This Ukoke AC unit has multiple functions: it offers heating, cooling, and dehumidifying functions. These provide more comfortable indoor air for areas up to 400 square feet in size. 

Quick Facts

Pros

Cons

Best RV AC Unit

4/5

Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner

RV AC Unit FAQ

If you want to install an AC unit in your RV, you should first know some important things, such as how many watts you’ll require and if a portable AC unit is a viable option for keeping your RV cool and comfortable. Let’s answer these and more questions.

How many watts is a typical RV air conditioner?

How many watts is a typical RV air conditioner?

If you want to install an air conditioner in your RV, you’ll want to know how many watts it needs to operate. It’s important to note that how much power an AC unit needs will vary depending on the unit’s BTU (British Thermal Unit).

It will also have two-watt ratings, the start-up watts which are required, and the watts that it uses during its operation. The generator you’re using to power the AC unit should have a higher amount of watts than the start watts which the AC needs for comfortable use.

Generally, an AC unit with 15,000 BTUs will require approximately 3,200 to 3,500 watts to start up, while a unit with 13,500 BTUs will need around 2,700 to 2,900 watts. By comparison, an air-con with 7,000 BTUs will need 1,600 to 1,800 watts to start up. 

As for running costs, an air conditioner with 15,000 BTUs requires approximately 1,200 to 1,700 watts to run, while an aircon with 13,500 BTUs needs between 1,000 to 1,300 watts. By comparison, a unit that has around 7,000 BTUs will require approximately 600 watts

Can an RV AC unit be recharged?

When we talk about recharging RV AC units, we’re basically referring to how these units contain refrigerant to cool the air when it moves over the unit’s evaporating coil. If the refrigerant runs out, the AC unit needs to be recharged. 

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Find the electrical breaker in the panel box to decrease the amount of power that is being supplied to the AC unit. This ensures you can recharge it safely.
  2. If you’re not sure what refrigerant to use, check the RV AC unit as it should provide this information. 
  3. Remove the AC unit’s lid carefully. Make sure you move it straight up to prevent causing damage to the unit’s coils.
  4. Add refrigerant to recharge the AC unit. To do this, unscrew the unit’s port with a wrench. 
  5. When adding the refrigerant, check the temperature of the air inside the unit and the RV’s air as both have to be monitored. You should ensure that the difference between the two is about 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  6. Once you’ve done that, you can restore power to the AC and check the temperature to ensure that it’s working properly. 
  7. When you’re satisfied, replace the AC unit’s lid and ensure it’s secure.

How can I make my RV air conditioner work better?

How can I make my RV air conditioner work better?

There are important things you should do regularly to maximize the efficiency of your RV AC unit. These include the following:

  • Keep your AC unit’s filters clean. You should clean them regularly, by putting them in lukewarm water with a mild detergent before letting them dry overnight. 
  • Check the air return to the unit to ensure it’s not filled with dirt or debris. 
  • Also, check the condenser coil on the unit. Make sure it’s not pinched or obstructed.
  • Inspect the AC’s plastic cover for any cracks. The cover prevents rain and dust from entering the unit and damaging it. If the cover’s damaged, it needs to be replaced.
  • Clean underneath the plastic cover. Try to clean into the ductwork, such as with the use of a vacuum cleaner
  • Park in shady spots. A roof AC unit is only able to cool the indoor temperature by around 20 degrees, so try to keep your RV cool as much as possible. It’s also useful to keep your RV windows closed and blinds down.

Can you use a portable AC in an RV?

You can use a portable AC unit in your RV. This is a convenient way to cool down your RV’s interior when the temperature is high. However, you must purchase a portable AC unit that has enough power to cool down your entire RV.

To ensure this, you will have to check the RV’s square feet. A table, such as this one, provides the BTUs to look for in an AC unit according to its square feet.

So, for example, you’ll require approximately 14,000 BTUs for an RV that’s 600 square feet, while 12,000 BTUs will be adequate for an area of 400 square feet. 

Conclusion

An AC unit for your RV is an essential item that will help you stay cool during the summer, but some of these units also offer other features, such as dehumidifying and heating functions. 

After reading our reviews, you now have a better idea of which is the best RV AC unit to buy. We’ve also featured FAQs to give you additional information on the best ways to keep your RV indoor air cool and dry.

Resources

4/5

Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner

Large air openings
EPP foam housing
Increased life-span

George Cummings

George Cummings enjoys connecting with nature, meeting new people, and making friends from all over the world. RVing and camping create the perfect opportunity for [him/her] to take part in these activities. After spending several years on the road and exploring the great outdoors, George Cummings shares some of his best pieces of advice on how to make the most of your time while camping. TourTheOutdoors is his way of helping outdoorsy individuals like [him/her] start on a right footing with amazing recommendations and buying guides.