Staying cool in warm weather is hard enough on its own, but it’s especially challenging in an RV. Traveling in a camper is fun, but dealing with an unbearably sweltering van can make you wish you had stayed in a hotel instead. That’s why having a dependable RV air conditioner is important.
Just like apartment window units, there’s substantial variation in rooftop RV units. BTUs are an important factor to consider, and higher BTU units will be able to more effectively cool larger spaces. And, while the shape of an apartment RV unit doesn’t matter that much, anything that you’re attaching to the roof of your vehicle should be aerodynamic. That’s why the RV air conditioners on this list have curved shapes.
RV Air Conditioners are not cheap, which is why it’s worth spending some time researching before you choose one. These are some of the best options available right now.
1. AIRXCEL Mach 15 Arctic AC
This unit from Airxcel has a heating/cooling capacity of 15,000 BTUs, and it has a powerful 1/3 HP fan motor which can produce cool air at 320 cubic feet per minute. At 90 pounds is not lightweight, but it also isn’t so exorbitantly heavy that it requires professional help.
Pros: Powerful but quiet unit that is easy to install.
Cons: Not packaged especially well.
2. Dometic Polar White 13,500 BTU Conditioners
This unit from Dometic is available in either in 13,500 BTUs or 15,000 BTUs. A major appeal of this unit is that you can install it in ducted or non-ducted campers. At 72 pounds for the 13,500 unit, it’s substantially lighter than comparably powered units.
Pros: Lighter weight than comparable units, can be installed ducted or non-ducted.
Cons: Control panel must be purchased separately.
3. Fan-Tastic Vent 807350 Series Vent-White
Fans obviously aren’t as powerful as AC, but they can create good airflow and ventilation. Plus, they require less maintenance than an air conditioner. This fan mounts to the ceiling window of the camper, and it has a hinged cover that can be controlled by remote. The most impressive feature is that the cover automatically closes itself in rain, and reopens when the rain sensor is dry.
Pros: Includes remote control. Hinged cover automatically closes in the event of rain.
Cons: Noisy. Not an AC unit.