I love my RV and heading out on an adventure with the wife and our two boys is something we look forward to each year. But it can get a little hot (or even cold) in an RV and that is why today we are looking at what the best RV air conditioner is. There is actually a lot of choice on the market and it can be hard to know what to look at, what to spend your money on and even where to start looking! But do not worry as today we are looking at some of the best BTU RV air conditioners on the market.
Why Do I Need An Air Conditioner For My RV?
I will just crack open all the windows if it gets too hot is what some of you may be saying to yourself. But would you do this in your car? Of course not, imagine driving to and from work in the hot summer without any AC!!!! It would be a nightmare, it is even worse in an RV. Just think about it. It is summer, it is very hot there is you, your other half and possibly a couple of kids and maybe even a dog, not to mention all of the electronics you have running.
Things can get very hot, very quickly and before you know it, everyone is sweaty and your RV is very, let’s just say ripe smelling! Keeping your RV cool makes things so much more comfortable and spending a few hundred bucks on a good RV air conditioner is money well spent. If you want to travel and be in comfort, you need to look at the best RV air conditioners!
Do All Air Conditioners Also Provide Heat?
This is a great question and one that many people are confused about. But unless its specifically states that it also has a heat pump, an RV air conditioner will most likely be just that, an air conditioner and only provide cool air. You can get some that also provide heat, but these tend to be far more expensive and not really what we are looking at today. I just wanted to let you know that heat is not something the average RV air conditioner is going to provide.
The Best RV Air Conditioner Reviews
Yes, we know that we have put 15,000 BTU in the title, but to be honest, we are looking at all kinds of RV air conditioners today. I was actually able to test out three of these and I have thrown in another one that I found online which has a lot of positive reviews as well to make it an even four.
- Dometic B59516.XX1C0 Brisk II Polar White Air Conditioner
- Dometic 641816CXX1J0 Penguin II Black 410 Amp Low Profile Rooftop Air Conditioner
- MaxxAir 00-325001 TuffMaxx A/C Shroud
- Coleman 47201A876 RV Air Conditioner
1. Dometic B59516.XX1C0 Brisk II Polar White Air Conditioner
- Keeps the whole RV nice and cool
- Easy to install
- Comes in black and white
- Maintenance is very minimal
- Has a nice design
I am aware that the 500 bucks price tag is the first thing you see, but this RV air conditioner from Dometic quite often is listed when there is a list of best air conditioner for RV. First thing, this is a 15,000 BTU capacity so it gets top marks for that. Now unless you are rich and pay a guy to do all your RV maintenance for you, you are going to have to install this yourself.
Well the good news is that it could not be any easier, I will be honest I am not the most technical minded person in the world, but I managed to get this installed fairly quickly and without cutting my fingers or cursing loudly. I really like the design of this air conditioning unit, it has some nice curves (yes I know that sounds weird) but it looks very unassuming when it is installed on your RV. The version I received was all white, which was ideal as my RV is white, but there is a black version available, but it does seem a little harder to come by.
Once it is all connected, which by the way if you have a brand new RV and this is the first RV air conditioner to be placed on it, you may need to buy an electrical connecting kit as it does not come with one, it is very easy to use. It works like a charm and where mine is positive it is right near where we sit to eat so that area is very cool, but it does keep the temperature down in the RV very well, even on those hot summer days.
- Costs over 500 bucks
- You may require an electrical connection kit
I am very happy with this and I know that the asking price may seem high, but trust me when I tell you the last thing you want on a family road trip is a hot, sweaty and grouchy family. One thing I will say is that some reviews say that it is a little on the loud side, I never really found this, but it could be an issue for you. If yours is a little on the noisy side I would suggest that you make sure it is positioned correctly.
2. Dometic 641816CXX1J0 Penguin II Black 410 Amp Low Profile Rooftop Air Conditioner
- Very small design
- You hardly even notice it
- Easy to install
- Keeps your RV nice and cold
- Black and white designs are available
Next one I got to try was also from Dometic. Again it comes in both black and white, this time they sent me the black one. I must admit, it does have a cool look to it and is flatter than the other Dometic RV air conditioner that I looked at so you do not see it as much. At ten inches high, Dometic says that this is the lowest RV air condition unit on the market and I would have to agree with this as when it is installed it is actually very hard to see it from the ground which I thought was pretty cool.
This is a high capacity RV air conditioner so it is nice and powerful. I have a standard 14 x 14 roof opening on my RV and this fitted like a charm, as a matter of fact, it could not have been any easier installing it and getting on top of my RV was actually the hardest part of the operation!
I was very excited to fire this up and see just how much better it would be than the other Dometic RV air conditioner I tried. Well despite being nearly twice as expensive if I am honest, I do not see why. It works wonderfully well and if you are looking for a way to regulate the temperature in your RV just right this is a way you can do it. It is not too loud (although some people seem to think it is) and it does the job it is supposed to do very well.
- Asking price is very high
- Maybe a little loud for some
My main complaint is that huge price tag, yes it is a lot smaller and goes almost unnoticed thanks to the sleek design. But if you do not care what your AC looks like, you may not want to spend close to a grand on this. Still, with that being said, I must be honest and say that it does keep the RV nice and cool.
3. MaxxAir 00-325001 TuffMaxx A/C Shroud
- Price is very reasonable
- Made surprisingly well
- Will not cause you any problems when it comes to installation
- Will fit most RV’s
- Nice cool air for your RV
The last one that my RV got the pleasure to try out was this one from MaxxAir. Of course, the first thing that will catch your attention about this is the price at a little over 100 bucks this is a steal and a great way to keep the temperature down in your RV at an affordable price. The design of it is kind of retro. I do not think it looks as cool, sleek or modern as the other two that I tried out, but really as this is sitting on top of your RV who cares?
Still, with that being said, I do feel that it has a bit of a bulkier look to it. This was the third one I tested so by this point I was quicker than The Flash when it came to installing an RV air conditioner, but still, even if this was my first time, I would not have had much trouble at all. There is some talk online that some of the holes are not drilled properly, but this seems to be a case with older models and the one I received had this issue fixed.
Despite the price the plastic they have used for this is nice and thick so I can see why this unit regularly appears on the best RV air conditioner lists. Once connected I fired the unit up and it worked very well. It was a little on the noisy side, but I was very happy with how cool this kept the RV. Also while I said it was noisy, I am sure that if I were to keep this in my RV, I would get used to the sound eventually. It may not be as cool as the other two, but if you just want something that is going to keep the temperature down a little bit, this will keep you happy.
- Not the prettiest looking thing
- Early units may have defective holes
Just know that this is a budget priced RV air conditioner and as a result, there are a few sacrifices, but none that are so bad that I would not recommend this unit to someone looking to keep the temperature down in their RV at a low price.
4. Coleman 47201A876 RV Air Conditioner
- Has a rather classic design to it
- Body is very solid and well made
- Price is not bad at all
- Installation is said to be very easy
- Pumps out a nice amount of cool air
Last of all is this one here from Coleman, which I did not have the pleasure to try out, but as it has a lot of positive reviews on Amazon, I felt that it was worth mentioning. This looks to be one of the larger RV air conditioning units so if you do not want one that you can see easily, you may not like the style. For me though, it is kind of cool and has a rather classic look to it that I get a kick out of.
The asking price of a little over 500 bucks is in line with other similar quality RV air conditioners so in that regard I do not have any complaints. I read a few reviews in regards to installation and people seem to have no trouble installing this. The only thing I would say to keep in mind is the weight as some people said they had a bit of a hard time getting this on top of their RV by themselves.
As far as keeping the RV nice and cool, I did not read any reviews about this unit being bad in terms of the amount of air it pumps into the RV. So if you are taking a family trip on the west coast or down south in the dead of summer, it will come in very handy. Interestingly, I did not read any people complain about the sound that this makes which is unusual as there is usually at least one person who is not happy about the noise.
- It does cost over 500 bucks
- Maybe a little hard to get up on roof by yourself
So while I have not personally tested this unit, with the number of good reviews online and the rather trivial negatives that I have read, I have no trouble saying that this may be something you want to take a closer look at.
What Is The Best RV Air Conditioner?
So out of the three that I had the pleasure of testing on my RV, I do have one that I feel is a real winner and that is the Dometic B59516.XX1C0 Brisk II Polar White Air Conditioner. Now while I tested the white one, the black one is just the same so go for that if you prefer that color. The asking price is more than reasonable considering just how much cold air this can pump out along with the way it looks, how easy it is to install and also one thing I forgot to mention in my review is that it comes with a two year guarantee.
So while the other Dometic did the job, it was a little high priced for me. If you are on a tight budget and want something cheaper then go for the MaxxAir unit. But if you are asking me right now what is the best RV air conditioner it is the Dometic B59516.XX1C0 Brisk II Polar White Air Conditioner.