Just when the temperature starts soaring to the 30s, many campers dream of journeys far and beyond on their camper homes. RVs can get totally hot on these sojourns thus, the need to find the right size of an air conditioner is a must to prevent that icky feeling of stickiness.
What size of air conditioner do I need for my RV? Quick answer– it all depends on your rig. Important factors to consider when choosing the right air conditioner for your RV are the following:
- Size/length of your RV
- Type of window/tint
- Type of insulation
- Location of AC
- Power type
Of course, BUDGET is also an important aspect that must be taken into mind. But apparently, longer or should we say bigger vehicles like those over 8m may need more than 1 AC to provide cool air to circulate for the entire rig. RVs with large panoramic windows may also heat up faster than one with small windows.
There are 4 main types of RV air conditioner units– roof type and under-bench type, window-side and portable — each has its set of advantages and disadvantages. If you want to go sustainable, a solar-powered AC may be your best bet. An AC with heater combo is also a good choice when traveling various climate zones. All these should be taken into consideration when picking an RV air conditioner to cool your rig.
How much does an RV air conditioner cost?
Prices of RV air conditioner vary in accordance to the style and type of unit you wish to buy. Cheaper ones usually start around the $200 range like this manual-type non-ducted Dometic Penguin Control Assembly to a unit that dances around $1000 or more like the Coleman Airxcel Arctic White.
The price of an RV conditioner is often dependent on its BTUHs, power type, and added features like heat combo. If you wish a more comfortable trip each time, an RV with 15000 BTU may cost you more, but will most likely do the job of delivering a reliable cooling system for you and your family.
Can you run an RV air conditioner with solar power?
Technically, yes. It’s entirely possible to run an RV’s air conditioning unit on solar power. As what’s always mentioned, solar power is 100 percent renewable and deemed cost-effective. It can also be used for other electrical purposes for the RV like say cooking, lighting, heating, and so on. Maintenance is also low in terms of efforts and cost.
The downside, however, is that it can be costly to set-up. Think inverter, batteries, and wiring. Of course, DIY installation can be done but if you want to make sure that it works right, a professional’s help will be needed. The solar panels and battery pack, however, requires space– big! It’s also weather-dependent hence, may only be useful when traveling to hot areas where the sun delivers your rig’s power needs.
Can RV air conditioners be recharged?
Quick answer – yes. For an RV air conditioner to operate in utmost efficiency, it must be recharged when deemed necessary. RV air conditioning units use refrigerants to cool its air when passing the evaporating coil. This will ensure that the air conditioner’s efficiency is maximized. When the refrigerant is low, it must be refilled to a standard level. If it runs out, however, it must be completely recharged.
How to clean RV air conditioner filter
Uncleaned filters is a prevalent issue in RV air conditioning units. This will reduce airflow leading to freezing up and cooling inefficiency as well as electrical problems later on. To clean, the steps are pretty simple – but must be done with great care and with regularity:
- Remove the filter.
- Vacuum the loose or accumulated dirt.
- Wash it with warm + lukewarm water then, rinse and dry.
- Get rid of bacteria, molds, and microbes by using equal parts water + vinegar as spraying liquid. Let sit for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly.
- Dry filter and fix it back to the air vent.
It’s natural the call of the dry summer-y wind will add an unbeatable itch off your wanderlust footsies. But before you rev up, consider the aforementioned aspects when picking an RV air conditioner for your rig. From budget to size or length of your rig, to insulation, tint and windows size, power type and filtering, it always pays to know what your rig really needs. Enjoy!