RV Air Conditioners: Keeping Cool with Minimal Power

The summer months may be the best time for you to gear up, put on your travel socks and hit the road for an awesome adventure. For RV owners, home is where the RV is. The compact space inside the RV calls for enjoyment along with a bit of comfort.

(Yeah, it’s kinda like that)

An RV air conditioner is the perfect device for keeping the space comfortable, especially during summers, without much ado.

What is an RV air conditioner?

An RV air conditioner is designed to be installed either on the vehicle’s roof top or inside an internal storage compartment of your vehicle. For installation of the RV air conditioner, the roof must be flat and there must be ample space in the vehicle. However, RV owners who own smaller vehicles can also install this air conditioner in the compact space. There are few rooftop air conditioners that may block the entrance of light into your vehicle, but you may still consider getting yourself an air conditioner with an integrated window.

Depending upon the size of your RV, you may have one or more RV air conditioners installed. Rooftop air conditioners, however, need maintenance on a timely basis to avoid any unexpected failure.

Benefits of a RV air conditioner

  • An RV air conditioner has an edge over the traditional air conditioner in terms of the space occupied. The traditional AC not only takes an extra space but also spoils your RV’s appearance from outside. Moreover, it also exudes dangerous fumes which might turn out to be a disaster some day.
  • One of the main benefits of using an RV air conditioner is that it operates without causing a slightest amount of noise pollution as against a ceiling fan or an AC motor. However, noise pollution may also arise due to some mechanical problems such as a loose vent.
  • An RV air conditioner provides you the required amount of comfort and health when traveling to hot places.
  • An RV air conditioner is usually made of a metal shell that captures a significant amount of heat thus keeping the interiors of your RV cool for a longer period of time.
  • This device is super easy to install and does not require additional tools or support.

Important factors to consider while purchasing an RV air conditioner

1 – The size and features of your vehicle

A single RV air conditioner would do if your vehicle is small. However, large vehicles require an air conditioner that has greater capacity. In most cases, several RV air conditioners have to be coordinated and installed in order to cool down the entire RV. Apart from this, you also need to check whether the air conditioner needs to be installed on the roof top or somewhere in the storage compartment of your vehicle. The color of your RV also determines the choice of air conditioner. If your RV is dark in color, it will absorb more heat from the external environment and thus will require greater cooling. Light colored vehicles will take less time to cool down comparatively. Also, a vehicle that has proper insulation requires a low capacity air conditioner as compared to one that does not have any insulation.

2 – The shape of your RV air conditioner

Choose an air conditioner that has a sleek and aerodynamic shape. This will keep your vehicle running even in extreme weather conditions and provide resistance against wind. The aerodynamic shape also maximizes the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.

3 – British Thermal Units (BTUs)

BTUs may be defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The places you are traveling to will determine the BTUs you need to have in your RV air conditioner. For instance, if you are traveling in hot and humid places, you will require an RV air conditioner with at least 13,500 BTUs. Moreover, if your RV is big enough, it may require air conditioner with BTUs upto 18,000 since the RV needs greater capacity to cool down.

4- Maintenance and installation

You need to check whether the new RV air conditioner that you are purchasing can be installed without any external help. There are numerous air conditioners available in the market that are slim and light in weight easy for anyone to lift and install. There are general instructions also provided by the manufacturer as to how to install an RV air conditioner in your vehicle. Apart from them, there are guidelines on the internet too, which you may dig into anytime for ease of installation.

5 – Brand loyalty

RV air conditioners that are manufactured by bigger brands have several in-built features providing them an edge over other lesser known brands. Moreover, in case some parts become defective or go missing, you can easily replace them without any difficulty. The customer service will also be of higher quality in case of bigger and well known brands.

6 – Size of the RV air conditioner

We have already discussed how the size of your vehicle influences the kind of air conditioner you buy. However, the size of RV air conditioner is also a deciding factor in the type of air conditioner you would want to buy. A low profile RV air conditioner maximizes the fuel efficiency of your vehicle whereas a large profile air conditioner generates more drag and may even reduce the fuel efficiency. You may also end up spending more in case of large profile air conditioners. The smaller RV air conditioners may turn out to be of lower capacity; however, they are less costly as compared to peers

7 – Heat Pump (Optional)

An RV air conditioner that comes with a heat pump provides you an added convenience over others. This way, your RV air conditioner will work both as a cooling system as well as a powerful heating system because of the unique reversing valve that it contains. However, these heat pumps do not come as an add-on; rather you need to buy them as a separate unit and it may cost you a fortune.

Dometic Polar 13,500 BTU Conditioners 13.5 Pw Upper Unit

Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner, 13,500 BTU - Polar White (B57915.XX1C0)
  • Your purchase includes One Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner, 13,500 BTU - Polar White B57915.XX1C0 model, One Warranty card and One...
  • Air conditioner dimensions: 29 5/8” W x 13 7/8” H x 27 5/8” D. Weight 77 lbs
  • Performance: 13,500 BTU/h. Input voltage (AC): 115V. Does not include Heat Pump
  • Dampening brackets reduce noise and vibration
  • The Brisk II's smart design and improved materials combine to maximize air flow and performance

The Dometic Polar White RV rooftop air conditioner is best popular amongst users for its weight, air flow and capacity. Its smart design and world class materials combine together to escalate the air flow and overall performance. This device is fully tested to ensure its superior performance in extreme conditions. The conditioner’s design exhibits large air openings that enable efficient air flow and enhance the cooling mechanism. Its EPP foam housing helps reduce the weight of the device along with improving the cooling. Its durability comes from carbon steel base that undergoes vibration tests for approximately 30 hours or so. The device’s heater function can be used on cold evenings and comes with a multispeed blower to adjust the temperatures. The motor, compressor and the evaporator have been twinned together to reduce the operating noise apart from the long copper lines and dual rubber bushings that are also incorporated for the same purpose.


  1. Its high-performing design with large air openings to improve air flow and cooling.
  2. The EPP foam housing makes this device light in weight.
  3. The carbon steel base amplifies the strength and durability of the device.
  4. It operates with minimum noise and vibration.


  1. Its condenser motor may not operate efficiently.
  2. Poor customer service.

ASA Electronics ACM135 Advent Air 13,500 BTU Roof Top AC, White

ASA Electronics ACM135 Advent Air 13,500 BTU Roof Top AC, White
  • 13,500 BTUs, 115 Volt AC power
  • Rigid, metal constructed base pan
  • Premium, thick, watertight vent opening gasket with six dense foam support pads
  • Three fan speeds Installs in standard 14.25" x 14.25" vent opening
  • Optional plug-in heat strip available

The ASA Electronics ACM135 roof top air conditioner is made of a rigid, metal constructed base pan which ensures its long-lasting durability. This device has been exclusively designed and engineered from square one in order to grapple with the challenges related to RV environment.


  1. This RV air conditioner consists of premium, thick, watertight vent opening gasket with six dense foam support pads.
  2. It is extremely light in weight rounding up to 50 lbs.
  3. An optioned plug-in heat strip is available along with the device.
  4. There are three fan speeds installed


  1. Some components of the device are poor quality.
  2. The product support is poor.

Dometic Penguin II 410 Amp Low Profile Rooftop Air Conditioner (Polar White)

Dometic 640315C Penguin II 410 Amp Low Profile Rooftop Air Conditioner(Polar White)
  • Aerodynamic low profile reduces wind drag, saves fuel
  • Quiet power: Delivers the optimum balance of air flow
  • Easy-to-reach, easy-to-use controls - three-speed blower
  • Manual, electronic and wall thermostat controls; Input voltage (AC): 115 V
  • Pre-installed module board & heat strip for thin ceiling application

The Dometic Penguin rooftop air conditioner is aerodynamically designed in order to minimize the drag while moving it from one place to another. This air conditioner looks stunning with its sleek and futuristic design serving a premium level comfort to its users. Its high performing motor and fan are responsible for extraordinary cooling capacity. The motor also uses an eco-friendly refrigerant R410A for cooling purposes. Its robust base pan with ribs ensures its resistance to tougher environments for a longer period of time.


  1. It is a low profile fully automated air conditioner, around 10 inches, which is the lowest in the industry.
  2. Its sleek and contemporary design reduces drag in order to improve the mileage.
  3. Its eco-friendly refrigerant helps release heat with greater efficiency.
  4. This device is best suited for both ducted and non-ducted cooling systems.
  5. Its base pan makes it a durable device.


  1. The device’s compressor may not work as stated.

Dometic Penguin HP Heat Pump 15k 15,000 BTU Air Conditioner

Dometic 651816 651816.CXX1C0 Penguin HP Heat Pump 15k 15,000 BTU Air Conditioner
  • Pre-Installed CB for CCC2 Tstat ONLY
  • Heat Pump/AC operational range--40-110....

Dometic Penguin HP Heap air conditioner is a compact and lightweight RV device that is fit for use only above 40 degrees of temperature.


  1. This RV air conditioner is easy to install.
  2. Its units function extraordinarily.


  1. A comfort controller wall mounted thermostat is required to use this device.
  2. It may turn out to be a difficult device for users to operate.

MaxxAir 00-325001 TuffMaxx A/C Shroud – Polar White

MaxxAir 00-325001 TuffMaxx A/C Shroud - Polar White
  • Features A Built-In Rear Fin Guard
  • Made From Extra Thick, Extra Tough Uv Protected Plastic
  • Protective Rear Intake Grill Prevents Damage To The A/C Condenser Coils
  • Country Of Origin :United States
  • Unique Front Bumper Design Deflects Tree Branches And Prevents Wind Lift

The MaxxAir TuffMaxx RV air conditioner features a built-in rear fin guard and is made from extra thick and extra tough UV protected plastic. This makes it an eco-friendly air conditioner. This device is thermal tested to ensure its superior performance.


  1. The protective rear intake grills protect the device’s condenser coils from damage.
  2. Its unique bumper design in the front deflects tree branches and prevents wind lift.


  1. This device may not fit all applications.


This Low Profile RV rooftop air conditioner proves to be the best pick amongst all the other RV air conditioners due to its distinguished design and performance. Weight, air flow and capacity are the three parameters it ranks best on when compared with other air conditioners. It is durable, light in weight and operates with minimal noise pollution.