Can an RV AC run all day?

If you are plugged into a good source of power, then you can run the AC the whole day, with a colder temperature set inside to allow the compressor to cycle properly. The AC unit will comfortably cool down or heat your RV while you are not in it or throughout the night while you sleep.


Most RVs have their own AC units, with many larger RVs having one in the front of the vehicle and back. Understanding when you should be using your AC is important and will require that you have the right temperatures set to allow for the most comfort.



What should you do to run the AC all day?

You need to ensure that the RV has enough power to run the AC for the whole day; it is extremely risky to run the AC when using battery power. It is always recommended that you run the AC when you are plugged into a power source, like a socket or camping socket.


The AC uses a lot of power, with hotter climates experiencing that the AC is draining power almost three times as fast as any other climate. Heating a full RV is almost easier than keeping it cool when the outside temperatures reach well over 30C, causing your AC to run almost nonstop. Energy usage:

  • 7k btu – 600 watts
  • 10k btu – 750 watts
  • 15k btu – 1500 watts


Further, we always recommend ensuring that the RV will be fully closed when the AC is running, ensuring that no hot or cold air can come in. Many RV owners have the AC running while the windows and doors are open, causing a lot more strain on the system than necessary.




When can you run the AC in an RV all day?

Generally, there are a few locations around the world where you can comfortably run the AC the whole day without having to stress about anything. We always recommend that you ensure you have a constant supply of power when you decide to do this as it can cause issues.


When the AC has caused problems, broken, or failed to work, it is because people are not using the AC of the RV at the right locations. To properly have your AC do the perfect thing to keep you and your family cool, we recommend that you only use it under the right conditions.


At Campsites

Campsites built for RVs will usually have a plug that can handle a lot of amps and watts, allowing you to run the entire RV without worry. When you are at these campsites, you can comfortably run the AC for the full duration, allowing you to enjoy a perfectly climate-controlled RV comfortably.

You may require 50 amp connection, or a standard 30 amp may be enough.


These are usually the locations where people want to have their AC running the whole day, allowing them to camp in extreme luxury. It is vital that you remember this when you plan your trips through your country; having campsites with plugs will mean more luxury.


At Overnight Stations

Overnight stations for trucks and RVs are not all the same; however, most will allow you to plug in your vehicle to charge the batteries if needed. However, these stations can be hard to find and may ask for a payment, but they will be a great spot to rest for a day or two as most have several things to do.


Many people describe a good overnight station as a mall that has been built for truckers to relax when they are going on longer trips. RV owners are part of the group that these establishments focus on, allowing them to enjoy a bit of relaxing and maintenance while driving comfortably.


With Built-in Systems

Newer RVs with the best tech in them will have low-power AC systems built in, relying on battery packs that may include a solar charger to cool the RV. These are not always as effective as a normal AC system but allow you to use them anywhere the sun can shine.


If you know that you will most likely be camping in wilder areas where few other people have ever been, we recommend looking at these types of systems. They will comfortably keep you hot or cold even when you know the nearest power socket is more than 500 miles away from your RV.



Why should you not always run the AC the whole day?

Your AC draws power from the battery of your RV, with most RVs only having two or three extra batteries to run the appliances. If you do not have an external power supply, the AC unit can drain the batteries of your RV within a few hours, leaving you with no way to keep your food cold.


Further, older RVs with a bad design had relied on these batteries to start the engine; with the AC having drained the power, you cannot move your RV. This has left many people stranded in the middle of nowhere as the RV batteries have been drained completely by the running AC. Be sure to have the correct size.


If you know that your AC system is old, it may damage the system to run constantly, with the pumps and compressors eventually failing. The AC units are usually checked when the RV is sent in for inspections, allowing people to rest assured that they won’t end up in the desert without cooling.


Can you run the AC in an RV while driving?

Yes, as your RV is moving and the engine is turning, the vehicle’s alternator will charge up all the batteries inside the RV. If your RV has a solar power system, it will also help keep the batteries fully charged, allowing you to use the AC while moving easily.


Many people prefer to drive during the day with their RVs, laying down thousands of miles before reaching their destinations, with the AC always on while doing so. In these situations, you can rest comfortably as the RV has been specifically built to handle almost everything you can throw at it.


However, we do feel the need to warn that the more power is drawn from the engine and the batteries, the more fuel. This is why many RV owners build solar arrays to power their AC and a few other things, removing the strain placed on the engine.



Should you be running the AC the whole day?

We recommend having the AC running when you are camping in extremely hot or cold locations; however, it is not a must. Many people not using the AC at all when they are in moderate to normal temperature locations, preferring to have the natural air temperature reign.


Most experienced RV owners will only use the AC when driving as this is the longest time they spend inside the vehicle. When the RV is parked, they will be outside the vehicle, experiencing the camp location they have chosen, preferring to use blankets at night for warmth.


However, it is completely subjective, and if you are aware that most of your time will be spent inside the RV, you should ensure that the internal temperatures are always comfortable. If your RV can be more comfortable than your own home, you should enjoy its luxuries.

If you notice the air is not cold you may need a recharge.


When you are driving around the world, you may find that many places are so hot or cold that you can barely think straight.

Your RV will usually be able to easily handle the AC running almost all of the time, giving you the comfort of having the perfect temperatures when you need it. We recommend that you have it plugged into a stable source of power, though, to ensure your batteries don’t run low.


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