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Top 5 Best RV Air Conditioner Options

rv traveling daytime

RV air conditioners are essential if you are traveling on the road or camping, especially if you plan on traveling to a place that is known for being very hot or cold. It can be quite annoying traveling with people that are complaining due to being cramped, and if you add the fact that everyone is in a bad mood from the heat or the cold, then it can spoil the fun intentions that made you plan the trip in the first place.

man standing at side of orange RV

Image via Pexels

 

Product FAQ

 

1. What Is an RV Air Conditioner?

It is an air conditioner much like the ones in our homes and apartments, but unlike those units, these are made specifically for RVs. They are made so they don’t use too much power or produce too much cold air for the smaller space that the RV has compared to our homes and apartments. Some RV air conditioners can not only produce cold air for the RV but are also able to produce hot air should you need it.

 

2. What Does an RV Air Conditioner Do?

Just like the air conditioners we have in our homes, they mostly cool down the air in the RV so we don’t have to withstand horrible bouts of heat and so we can live or travel in peace. As mentioned before this is not the only function of some air conditioners available for RV’s. Some can produce hot air so that if you are in a cold environment you don’t have to worry about adding on too many extra layers, and you can relax in clothing that is more comfortable for you.

 

3. How Does an RV Air Conditioner Work?

Much like the ones in our homes, they work almost exactly the same, just on a much smaller scale. There is some variation from model to model though. Most air conditioners work by drawing hot air into the location, cooling it down, sending the now-cool air back to the location, and expelling excess air that is heated outside so it doesn’t interfere with any of the now-cool air.

 

4. Where Can You Buy an RV Air Conditioner?

You can buy an RV Air conditioner online at Amazon.com or you can find some in stores like Walmart or at locations where you can purchase RV’s. If these options don’t suit you, then you may be able to purchase one online at their manufacturer’s websites.

 

 

 

How We Reviewed

We scoured the internet for the 5 best RV air conditioners we could find so there will be something for anyone looking for a new AC unit for your RV. In order for us to make things fair, we reviewed based on the features that each unit has, pros and cons of each, the price of the units, where to buy, and finally what kind of warranty it is that they include with the product.

 

Overall Price Range of These Products

These units can typically cost from around $630 dollars up to around $1420 dollars. This is a large gap in price, but the more you pay, the higher quality product you get, and higher quality products will last you a lot longer and will function much better than those that are cheap. Not to mention that some more expensive ones also have the heating feature while some cheaper units do not. The materials put into their production also make a big difference – while the expensive ones feel good and like they will last, the cheaper ones sometimes feel so fragile that it feels like if you touch them the wrong way they will break.

 

What We Reviewed

 

RV Air Conditioners

  • Dometic Penguin Heat Pump/Air Conditioner
  • Coleman Mach 8
  • Dometic Brisk II Air Conditioner
  • Atwood 15027 Ducted A/C Unit
  • Kingtec SLIMLINE RV Air Conditioner

 

 

 

Dometic Penguin Heat Pump/Air Conditioner

 

[amazon box=”B00CA2V5X2″]

 

Features

Key Features of this product include that it is not only an excellent unit for cooling down your RV, but it also contains a method to heat the RV. So if you are the person who wishes you could travel with your RV all year round then this would be an excellent model for you to purchase. Something that shocked us as well was that not only does it work with ducted RV’s, it also works for those that aren’t ducted, which is impressive as it leads to a much higher chance of it being compatible with your RV.

 

Pros

  • Compatible with both ducted and non-ducted units
  • Has the ability to heat as well as cool
  • Is excellent at cooling down your RV, has 15,000 BTU’s
  • Not as heavy as some other AC units
  • Has eco-friendly refrigerant

Cons

  • Costs a lot of money
  • They sell some things separately
  • It does not come with any installation instructions

Where to Buy

[amazon fields=”B00CA2V5X2″ value=”button”]

 

Warranty

The warranty was not very amazing to us, but it covered parts so if something expensive should break before the warranty expires you should not be out too much money from purchasing this unit than if it didn’t include any warranty.

 

Coleman Mach 8

 

[amazon box=”B01BCI4VGW”]

Features

The Key Features of this product include that it is a 15,000 BTU air conditioner and due to its shape it has low drag and better fuel efficiency. So for those of you that are worried about your RV eating up too much fuel with an air conditioner, this unit may appease any issues you might have with other units. We also noticed that this unit has two motors, which means that it has an excellent cooling capacity when you compare it to other units that only have 1 motor. In addition to these amazing features, this is also one unit in this list that offers a heating pump for when you face cold weather.

 

Pros

  • Able to produce heat should the need arise
  • Has low drag and good fuel efficiency
  • Has 2 motors instead of just 1
  • Weighs 100 pounds

Cons

  • Does not come with all needed parts
  • Costs a lot to not come with everything

Where to Buy

[amazon fields=”B01BCI4VGW” value=”button”]

 

Warranty

The warranty for this one is a limited warranty that spans 2 years, which should be plenty of time to see if anything important breaks on the unit that would lead to it not working as intended.

 

Dometic Brisk II Air Conditioner

 

[amazon box=”B00VZ547NU”]

 

Features

Key Features of this product include that it weighs 75 pounds, which is much lighter than the other 2 units we have looked at so far. It also comes in different models, one of which gets 15,000 BTU and one of which gets 13,500 BTU. For the purposes of this review, we are using the 15,000 BTU model. Another thing we noticed is that this unit does not have heating capabilities.

 

Pros

  • It is only 75 pounds
  • Can choose different amounts of BTU for models
  • Costs much less than the other 2 units

Cons

  • Some potentially important parts are sold separately
  • No heating capabilities
  • Not very aerodynamic

Where to Buy

[amazon fields=”B00VZ547NU” value=”button”]

 

Warranty

They set the warranty for 2 years and they offer a protection plus option, so if anything should happen to your unit it should be covered for the duration of the 2-year warranty.

 

Atwood 15027 Ducted A/C Unit

 

[amazon box=”B00BFU4UX2″]

 

Features

Key Features of this product include that this unit is one of the much cheaper ones that are on this list and that this weighs 80 pounds. Another important factor to note is that this unit is meant for a ducted RV so it covers the area it is supposed to, but if your RV is not ducted then it will not work well. This unit also gets 13,500 BTU which is much less than the other units we reviewed, and sadly it had no options for a model that has more BTU. Be forewarned that if you need a machine to cover a larger area than 13,500 BTU, you may not get it as cool as you would like it.

 

Pros

  • Less expensive than some of the other units
  • Quiet
  • Weighs 80 pounds

Cons

  • Meant for ducted RV’s
  • Only has 13,500 BTU unit available
  • Potentially important pieces are sold separately

 

Where to Buy

[amazon fields=”B00BFU4UX2″ value=”button”]

 

Warranty

This unit has a warranty that will cover some parts, so if something important breaks that would normally cost a lot to repair on your own the company should cover it within their time limit.

 

Kingtec SLIMLINE RV Air Conditioner

 

[amazon box=”B00WH10XMK”]

 

Features

Key Features of this product include that it is the cheapest model we looked at for RV air conditioners and that it is also the heaviest, weighing in at 140 pounds, so keep that in mind if you can’t lift very much weight. This unit also only has 10,238 BTU, making it the unit with the least BTU out of all the units we reviewed. There is also a very high charge for shipping, around $112 dollars. Add to that the fact that you may need to purchase additional items to get it to work and it ends up not being the cheapest unit, which is quite disappointing.

 

Pros

  • Includes most things it needs
  • Decent customer service

Cons

  • The costs add up quickly
  • Heavy
  • Low BTU; has trouble cooling
  • Warranty is bad
  • Shipping price is very high

Where to Buy

If you still want to check out this unit despite the cons we named, then you can find it here on Amazon:

[amazon fields=”B00WH10XMK” value=”button”]

 

Warranty

The warranty for this product is almost non-existent, and if you wish to return it, you also need to pay the shipping to send it back. If it costs as much to send the unit back as it did to receive it, then you are paying around $240 in shipping costs alone.

 

 

The Verdict

rv truck

Image source: pxhere.com

Out of all the RV air conditioners we looked at, we settled on one you should definitely avoid before we found the one you should get. In our opinion, you should avoid the Kingtec unit, due to the number of negatives it has plus the very high cost of shipping.

We enjoyed most of the units that weren’t the Kingtec, but the one we enjoyed the most was the Coleman RV air conditioner, due to it being available for a good price, and due to the fact that the designers seemed to put a lot of thought into their product as far as what a typical shopper would look for and appreciate in an RV air conditioner.

Granted, the Coleman model does not come with everything you may need, but for the price you will pay, we think it’s a pretty good deal, especially since it includes heating. If you can’t afford this or are still on the fence, then another one we enjoyed was the Atwood, which should also be quite suitable.

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