11 Best RV Air Conditioners (Budget and Premium picks)

Air conditioners are an essential part of staying cool and safe if you’re traveling in an RV during the summer months. It’s as much a health issue as a comfort one, so choosing the right one is important. Here are our top choices for RV air conditioners, as well as some additional advice to help you make a purchasing decision.

Best RV Air Conditioners  Source: crowsurvival.com

Buying Guide

Here are the most important things to consider when buying an RV air conditioner.

  • Types of Air Conditioners: Common types include ducted, un-ducted, rooftop, under-bench, and portable units. We have recommendations for all of these below.
  • What To Consider: The most important things to consider are the price, durability, and effectiveness of each unit, as well as whether or not your RV will fit them correctly.
  • What Type Of Maintenance They Require: Some air conditioners require significantly more maintenance than others.
  • What’s In The Box: Many companies sell RV air conditioners separately from control panels and other necessary devices. Make sure you know what you need before you order anything.

Buying Recommendations

Recommendations
Best Premium
Best Ducted
Best Un-Ducted
ASA Electronics ACM135B RV Trailer Air Conditioners Advent 13 500 BTU Air Conditioner Black
Dometic 651916CXX1J0 Black Penguin II 15,000 BTU Air Conditioner & Heat Pump AC
Atwood 15027 Ducted A/C Unit
Atwood 15026 Non-Ducted A/C Unit
Tripp Lite Portable Air Conditioner for Server Racks and Spot Cooling, Self-Contained AC Unit, 12000 BTU (3.5kW), 120V, Gen 2 (SRCOOL12K)
Cooling Capacity
13,500 BTUs
15,000 BTUs
13,500 BTUs
15,000 BTUs
12,000 BTUs
Weight
68.4 lbs.
119 lbs.
84 lbs.
88 lbs.
73.9 lbs.
Warranty
2 years
Standard
Standard
Standard
Amazon Standard
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
Quiet
Quiet
Quiet
Best Budget
Recommendations
ASA Electronics ACM135B RV Trailer Air Conditioners Advent 13 500 BTU Air Conditioner Black
Cooling Capacity
13,500 BTUs
Weight
68.4 lbs.
Warranty
2 years
Noise Level
Quiet
Best Premium
Recommendations
Dometic 651916CXX1J0 Black Penguin II 15,000 BTU Air Conditioner & Heat Pump AC
Cooling Capacity
15,000 BTUs
Weight
119 lbs.
Warranty
Standard
Noise Level
Quiet
Best Ducted
Recommendations
Atwood 15027 Ducted A/C Unit
Cooling Capacity
13,500 BTUs
Weight
84 lbs.
Warranty
Standard
Noise Level
Quiet
Best Un-Ducted
Recommendations
Atwood 15026 Non-Ducted A/C Unit
Cooling Capacity
15,000 BTUs
Weight
88 lbs.
Warranty
Standard
Noise Level
Quiet
Best Portable
Tripp Lite Portable Air Conditioner for Server Racks and Spot Cooling, Self-Contained AC Unit, 12000 BTU (3.5kW), 120V, Gen 2 (SRCOOL12K)
Cooling Capacity
12,000 BTUs
Weight
73.9 lbs.
Warranty
Amazon Standard
Noise Level
Quiet

Budget RV Air Conditioners

1. ASA Electronics ACM135B – Editor’s Pick

ASA Electronics’ ACM135B is among the most affordable RV air conditioners on the market, but it still manages to provide impressive quality.

Specs
Cooling Capacity: 13,500 BTUs
Weight: 68.4 lbs.
Warranty: 2 years
Noise Level: Quiet
ASA Electronics ACM135B RV Trailer Air Conditioners Advent 13 500 BTU Air Conditioner Black
ASA Electronics ACM135B RV Trailer Air Conditioners Advent 13 500 BTU Air Conditioner Black
The ACM135B offers an outstanding mix of affordability and cooling efficiency. 13,500 BTUs are enough for most RVs, while the added silicone coating helps improve overall cooling efficiency. It may require installing an additional drain line, but its low cost helps offset the price of that.

What we like about it
  • Relatively affordable
  • Efficient cooling
  • Durable metal construction
  • Comes with an overload protector
Drawbacks
  • No premium features
  • May require installing a drain line
ASA Electronics ACM135B RV Trailer Air Conditioners Advent 13 500 BTU Air Conditioner Black
  • ASA Electronics Advent Air Rooftop Air Conditioner
  • Installs in Standard 14.25" x 14.25" Vent Opening
  • Color: Black

2. Dometic Brisk II

Specs
Cooling Capacity: 13,500 or 15,000 BTUs
Weight: 72 lbs.
Warranty: 2-year manufacturer only, no returns
Noise Level: Medium
Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner, 13,500 BTU - Polar White (B57915.XX1C0)
Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner, 13,500 BTU - Polar White (B57915.XX1C0)
Dometic’s Brisk II is available in black and white colors. Dampening brackets help to reduce its overall noise, while the system itself is compatible with both ducted and non-ducted setups. This is one of the most popular systems currently on the market, so it’s worth a look if you prefer ordering from larger manufacturers.

What we like about it
  • Easy to install
  • Choice of cooling efficiency
  • Reasonable warranty plan
  • Affordable
Drawbacks
  • Very loud if installed incorrectly
  • Poor shipping may damage the exterior
Sale
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 Registration card
  • 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

Premium RV Air Conditioners

1. Dometic Penguin II – Editor’s Pick

Dometic’s Penguin II is expensive, but it serves as both an air conditioner and a heat pump to give you the perfect interior temperature regardless of the weather outside.

Specs
Cooling Capacity: 15,000 BTUs
Weight: 119 lbs.
Warranty: Standard
Noise Level: Quiet
Dometic 651916CXX1J0 Black Penguin II 15,000 BTU Air Conditioner & Heat Pump AC
Dometic 651916CXX1J0 Black Penguin II 15,000 BTU Air Conditioner & Heat Pump AC
While it’s one of the most expensive RV air conditioners you’ll find, the added price of the Penguin II allows for some significant improvements to the design. This includes heat pump capabilities, which we always like seeing on RV air conditioners.

What we like about it
  • Fits most standard air conditioning systems
  • Rugged design
  • Well-known brand
  • A powerful heat pump system
Drawbacks
  • Extremely heavy for an RV air conditioner
  • Limited information available online

2. Coleman Mach 8

Specs
Cooling Capacity: 15,000 BTUs
Weight: 119 lbs.
Warranty: Standard
Noise Level: Quiet
Mach 8 15k Air Conditioner with Heat Pump 47024A879 - Black
Mach 8 15k Air Conditioner with Heat Pump 47024A879 - Black
Coleman’s Mach 8 is a reliable, high-performance system with a reasonable amp draw of 15.9 at 115 volts. It’s also quiet enough to avoid being too distracting, which is key to sleeping with an RV air conditioner on. Like all good premium units, it comes with a built-in heat pump to keep things warm during winter.

What we like about it
  • Efficient air conditioner
  • Widely compatible with RVs
  • Has a heat pump
Drawbacks
  • Too heavy for most people to install alone
  • May require buying additional Coleman parts

Ducted RV Air Conditioners

1. Atwood 15027 – Editor’s Pick

The Atwood 15027 is a reasonably affordable ducted A/C unit that’s noticeably quieter than many of its competitors and includes modern features like a digital temperature readout.

Specs
Cooling Capacity: 13,500 BTUs
Weight: 84 lbs.
Warranty: Standard
Noise Level: Quiet
Atwood 15027 Ducted A/C Unit
Atwood 15027 Ducted A/C Unit
This is one of the most efficient ducted RV air conditioners currently on the market. It’s also smaller than many of its competitors, which means it’s easier to fit it on top of different RVs and won’t impact the overall height quite as much as larger units tend to.

What we like about it
  • Small exterior
  • Highly efficient for its size
  • Reasonably quiet
  • Heavy, but not horribly so
Drawbacks
  • May not come with parts besides the A/C itself
  • Runs 24/7 in cooling mode
Atwood 15027 Ducted A/C Unit
  • Two 16K BTU units will operate on 30 AMP service
  • 16K BTU unit is 2000 watt generator friendly
  • 2x Quieter than competitors units

2. Airxcel Mach 15

Specs
Cooling Capacity: 15,000 BTUs
Weight: 90 lbs.
Warranty: Standard
Noise Level: Quiet
Airxcel 08-0080 Mach 15 15.0 Arctic Wht Upper
Airxcel 08-0080 Mach 15 15.0 Arctic Wht Upper
The Airxcel Mach 15 is a popular, highly-rated ducted air conditioner for RVs and easily one of our top choices in this category. While it is a little on the expensive side, especially if you need to buy a control package to go with it, the Mach 15 is worth serious consideration.

What we like about it
  • An unusually powerful cooling unit
  • Delivers 320 cubic feet/minute of cool air
  • Long lifespan
  • Optional heater system
Drawbacks
  • A heater is not built-in at this price
  • Often bent a little during shipping
Airxcel 08-0080 Mach 15 15.0 Arctic Wht Upper
  • Cool/heat capacity: 15, 000
  • Electric heat Element capacity: 5, 600
  • Electrical rating: 115 VAC, 60Hz

Un-Ducted RV Air Conditioners

1. Atwood 15026 – Editor’s Pick

Like its ducted companion, the Atwood 15027 described above, the 15026 is a reliable and effective cooling unit for your RV.

Specs
Cooling Capacity: 15,000 BTUs
Weight: 88 lbs.
Warranty: Standard
Noise Level: Quiet
Atwood 15026 Non-Ducted A/C Unit
Atwood 15026 Non-Ducted A/C Unit
With excellent cooling capacity and an efficient power draw, the Atwood 15026 is quiet and reliable enough to support longer trips in an RV.

What we like about it
  • Quiet enough to do other things while it’s on
  • Excellent airflow
  • Easy to install
  • Comes with pre-mounted gaskets
Drawbacks
  • Can be harder to find than some other units
  • Sometimes shipped in containers that don’t protect it

2. Furrion Chill

Specs
Cooling Capacity: 14,500 BTUs
Weight: 88.2 lbs.
Warranty: Standard
Noise Level: Quiet
Furrion FACR14SA-PS RV Air Conditioner, Rooftop, 14.5 BTU- White
Furrion FACR14SA-PS RV Air Conditioner, Rooftop, 14.5 BTU- White
The Furrion Chill is a compact rooftop RV air conditioner with green-friendly R410A refrigerant and a UV-resistant cover system. While primarily a non-ducted system, it’s compatible with ducted RVs as well, making it more compatible than many of the other units on this list.

What we like about it
  • Air filters are easily accessible
  • UV coating helps limit cracking and fading
  • Requires low amperage
  • Cools spaces quickly
Drawbacks
  • Often shipped with minimal protection
  • You will likely need to buy a full voltage thermostat for it
Furrion FACR14SA-PS RV Air Conditioner, Rooftop, 14.5 BTU- White
  • Superior Performance: The Furrion Chill is a 14,500 BTU Rooftop Air Conditioner for RV, trailer, or campers. The air conditioner has 2 fans to help move cool air faster and efficiently inside your RV.
  • High Energy Efficiency: Furrion Chill is designed with high energy efficiency and high cooling capacity. With up to 25% more efficiency (EER) over leading competitive single-fan models.
  • Vibrationsmart & Climatesmart: Designed with VibrationSmart Technology that helps resist vibration and ClimateSmart Technology that allows the air conditioner to function in extreme climates.

Under-Bench RV Air Conditioners

1. Dometic FreshWell 3000 – Editor’s Pick

Under-bench air conditioners are relatively rare, but Dometic’s FreshWell 3000 offers both power and efficiency in a compact package that fits in most RVs.

Specs
Cooling Capacity: 9200 BTUs
Weight: 46.2 lbs.
Warranty: Store Standard
Noise Level: Quiet

Dometic FreshWell 3000  Source: jacksonsleisure.com

While it’s not as powerful as some roof-mounted units, the FreshWell 3000 is also quieter and an ideal option for many smaller RVs. Three outlets make it easy to position vents throughout your vehicle and provide distributed cooling.

What we like about it
  • More affordable than many roof units
  • Powerful enough to get most jobs done
  • Fits in most under-bench storage areas
  • Optional kit allows for using it while driving
Drawbacks
  • Not as powerful as roof units
  • Harder to find online than some RV A/C units

2. Dometic Cool Cat

Specs
Cooling Capacity: 10,500 BTUs
Weight: 67 lbs.
Warranty: Standard
Noise Level: Quiet

Dometic Cool Cat  Source: dometic.com

Dometic’s Cool Cat is an alternative to their FreshWell 3000. While it doesn’t provide air conditioning in the traditional sense, this efficient heat pump system is fully capable of cooling smaller RVs and campers with energy to spare. Its small size makes it easy to fit in cabinets or other tight areas, not just under a bench.

What we like about it
  • Energy-efficient system
  • Lightweight and possible for one person to move around
  • Also capable of heating an RV during the winter
  • Comes with a washable air filter
Drawbacks
  • Does not come with the required CT thermostat
  • Not effective if the outside temperature is too low

Portable RV Air Conditioners

1. Tripp Lite Portable Air Conditioner – Editor’s Pick

While not technically an RV air conditioner, the same can be said about most portable units and certainly doesn’t disqualify this model from our list.

Specs
Cooling Capacity: 12,000 BTUs
Weight: 73.9 lbs.
Warranty: Amazon Standard
Noise Level: Quiet
Tripp Lite Portable Air Conditioner for Server Racks and Spot Cooling, Self-Contained AC Unit, 12000 BTU (3.5kW), 120V, Gen 2 (SRCOOL12K)
Tripp Lite Portable Air Conditioner for Server Racks and Spot Cooling, Self-Contained AC Unit, 12000 BTU (3.5kW), 120V, Gen 2 (SRCOOL12K)
The Tripp Life Portable Air Conditioner is a self-contained unit that does not require a floor drain and remains portable enough to store in most RVs. Recent product improvements have helped raise its overall quality, too. 18,000 and 24,000 BTU variants exist, but these are usually far too much for RVs, so do not buy those versions.

What we like about it
  • Light enough to move in and out of an RV as needed
  • Does not require complex installation or rewiring
  • Slim profile fits in most areas
  • Easy ducting system for heat removal
Drawbacks
  • May not last as long as permanent units when used often
  • Requires occasional cleaning for its filters
Sale
Tripp Lite Portable Air Conditioner for Server Racks and Spot Cooling, Self-Contained AC Unit, 12000 BTU (3.5kW), 120V, Gen 2 (SRCOOL12K)
  • Small portable air conditioner: this rolling, self contained, compact, portable ac unit cools small network closets and back offices where other cooling solutions don’t fit; this room air conditioner can also be used as a personal air conditioner for residential applications
  • 12,000 btu of cooling power: this AC unit delivers 12,000 betas (3.5kW) of air conditioning capacity to protect vital equipment against overheating; this unit uses environmentally friendly R410a refrigerant to comply with worldwide standards
  • Optional remote management for monitoring & control: install the optional srcoolnet network module (sold separately) to this space cooler to monitor temperatures, receive alerts, review logs, and control settings from anywhere, anytime, via snmp, web browser, ssh or Telnet

Conclusion

RV air conditioners come in many shapes and styles, including units most people don’t associate with RVs. Whether you’re looking for a cooling-only system or a combination heating/cooling unit, order your air conditioner today, so you have time to install it, test it, and order any additional parts you forgot.

Last update on 2020-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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