What size AC do I need for my RV?

You need a 15k BTU AC for an average 24 foot RV. You will need bigger size if have more than 2 people or are in hot spot.

In order to choose the right size of the air conditioner for your RV, several factors must be taken into consideration. Remember that the physical appearance of an AC unit cannot wholly determine whether or not it will comply with the cooling needs of your camper.

You might come across some air conditioning units that almost have the same hole sizes required for their installation in the roof but, their heights will inevitably vary. The standard size of an RV air conditioner is 13,500 BTU but, depending on the requirements of the camper, it can differ. In the following section, we will be jotting the chief aspects that influence the ideal size of the AC for an RV.


  • The square foot of the RV

First things first, to ensure that the air conditioner at your disposal is of the right size, re-calculate the square foot of your RV. This is so because if the size of the AC doesn’t correspond with the dimensions of the camper, you will either end up obtaining something that is too large for the given amount of space, or the one that is too small and will have to work double as hard to bring down the temperatures of the outsized interiors.

If you are of the opinion that a large AC will cool down the insides of the RV faster and resultantly, reduce your utility bills then let us burst that bubble of myth for you. ACS that are too big for the space they have been set up in, do not get enough time to dehumidify and remove the necessary moisture thereby, leaving the space extremely cold and muggy.


  • The BTU

For the uninitiated, BTU translates to British Thermal Unit and it is used to measure the amount of heat that is emitted in the room by the air conditioner. Hence, it is understandable that if the BTU of an air conditioner is more, it will automatically dissipate more heat and consume extra energy.

For instance, if the RV air conditioner is of 15,000 BTU, it will require around 3500 watts to get started and 1500 watts while running. Similarly, in the case of a 7000 BTU RV air conditioner, 1700 watts power will be needed to start it up and 600 watts to keep it running.


  • Duct or ductless unit

An AC unit that is ducted will have an outdoor air compressor along with an indoor air handler that is connected through copper refrigeration lines. On the other hand, although ductless AC units have the same set of components there are two different types of units classified under them, which are, single-zone units and multi-zone units.


On a general note, an RV air conditioner is designed to last for three to five years. However, if you invest in its maintenance and take good care of the appliance, it will inexorably survive longer.


The price of an AC unit for an RV is influenced by its type and style. Their cost can start from $300 and go up to $1200 based on the profile, BTU’s, or whether or not the mechanism depends on a heat pump or just cold air. You will also have electricity costs which can be over $100 per month.

If you are looking forward to installing an AC unit in your RV and wondering how much it will cost you, here’s a guide that will help you decode it. Unlike our homes and offices, the interiors of the RV tend to heat up as soon as the first ray of sunlight hits and trust us when we say that the temperature can spike in not time and consequently, make it very excruciating for everyone to bear, especially during the summers. Therefore, the problem is, setting up a random unit of an air conditioner in the RV will not alleviate your ordeals.


  • The amount of space available

Before you choose an air conditioning unit for the RV, re-calculate its height so that you can ensure your investment is worthy. If the camper is tall and fairly spacious, it would be wiser to settle for low-profile air conditioners that can be mounted over the roof.

But, if the RV is of average height or still smaller than that, you can save a lot of money by procuring a normal RV roof air conditioner. Remember that if you are using multiple units, mount them over each other to get access to faster and more effective cooling.


  • Usage

If youmore on the air conditioning units and utility bills as well, opting for a dual-usage unit will inevitably turn things in your favor.

These appliances come with a heat pump that can be allowed to function as both air conditioners and heaters thus, negating those extra charges of using the propane furnace during winter. But, there’s this one glitch that should be diligently heeded on. If you don’t manage to procure an efficacious unit, your expenditure will go down the drain as the heat pump w want to save a little ill not really warm up the space in freezing conditions.



You can use a portable AC in an RV. You will need a six inch hole in window to pipe the hot air outside. It works.

Riding luxuriously across the country in your RV is one of the best feelings ever. According to us, the essence of summer essentially lies in the excitement of being on the road 24*7 and exploring the breathtaking panoramic landscapes that you have only witnessed in pictures.

However, as merry as it sounds, if not controlled effectively, the summer heat can turn out to be the biggest ordeal standing between you and your happy time. If you don’t already have an air conditioner installed in the camper, we would suggest you resort to a portable one.

Naturally, you will have a wide array of options to choose from but to ensure that you have got your hands on the best one, make a list of your needs.

Before anything else, know the amount of BTU that will be required to efficiently cool your RV. For those of you who might not know, the BTU for an air conditioning unit depends on the square footage of the RV it is expected to work for.

For instance, if your RV is of the standard size, a 13,500 BTU air conditioner will be enough but, if your rig is larger than this, the capacity of the AC unit shouldn’t be less than 18,000 BTU.


Types of portable RV air conditioner

  • RV window air conditioner

The RV window air conditioners are the most straightforward choice for portable ACs and justifiably so. They are accompanied by the virtues of incredible cooling, hassle-free installation, and easy maintenance.

If you browse through the choices carefully, you will certainly come across an AC unit that perfectly corresponds with the size of your RV and comprises of all the indispensable cooling components that nullify the aggravating noise of the thermostat.

  • Vent-free portable air conditioner

Vent-free portable air conditioners are, undoubtedly, one of the most popular appliances from this category. Unlike the conventional RV AC units, these are smaller in size, and their designs are bound to sweep you off your feet.

If aesthetics matter to you, this style is the one you should go for. Also known as “swamp cooler”, the air conditioner works on a unique moist air ventilation technology that eliminates the necessity of using the refrigeration process to cool the air.

Instead, the air conditioner depends on evaporated air which when released in a dry room can instantly drop the temperature. Additionally, the air conditioning unit is light and compact and consumes very little energy as only the vent must be supplied with power.

Nonetheless, if you mostly have plans of traveling to humid places, this portable air conditioner will not be the perfect companion owing to its cooling technique.

  • Portable RV air conditioner

Even though the portable RV air conditioners are cheaper than their counterpart mentioned in the preceding segment, they take up more space.

The piece of equipment, depending on the model, can have one or two holes to ventilate the hot air. Besides, it also has adjustable frames that can be affixed under the window of the RV to keep the hoses intact.

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