The 7 Best RV Air Conditioners 2018: Turning your Vehicle into a More Comfortable Living Space

    best-rv-air-conditioners

    Comfort is one of the most common priorities of those who often live on the road, particularly RV owners and users. It should be noted that an RV serves as a second home for several families. It is a mobile home, which also serves as the perfect getaway in case you want to explore the great outdoors.

    With your RV, you can relax and experience utmost comfort whether you decide to go to the forest, camping site, desert, beach, or a snowy area. Since an RV serves as a second home, you have to fill it up with all the facilities and amenities that can help you live in comfort. One of the most important ones is the air conditioning unit.

    It is a must for you to spot the best RV air conditioner today and install it in your vehicle. Such air conditioning unit is even more useful, especially if you are someone who plans to use your RV to camp out during the summer seasons.

    With a good air conditioner, you can spend an unforgettable vacation time even during the hot summer season in various places, including the beach. So what are the best RV air conditioning units today? Read on to learn about seven of the most recommended products in this category.

    Comparison of RV Air Conditioners

    Product

    Quality

    Price

    Our Rating

    Dometic B59516.XX1C0 - Best of the Best

      A+

    $

    Coleman 48204C866 - Best Bang for the Buck

      A+

    $

    Dometic 640315CXX1J0 - Editor's Choice

      A+

    $

    Coleman 48203C966 - Hot New Product

    A

    $

     A-

    $

    A

    $

    A

    $$

    Best RV Air Conditioner Reviews 2018

    1. Dometic B59516.XX1C0 Brisk II Polar Air Conditioner - Best of the Best

    If a reliable air conditioning unit suitable for RV use is what you are looking for, then I can say that the Dometic B59516.XX1C0 Brisk II Polar Air Conditioner is a great option. I find it impressive as it is strong and sturdy despite being small and lightweight.

    The fact that it has a small size while being lightweight makes it good for a limited space in your vehicle. In fact, it is lighter by nineteen percent when compared to the past models of the brand, which makes it one of the smallest and lightest rooftop air conditioners today.

    I also noticed the smart design used in the unit as well as its tighter allowances as far as its specifications are concerned. It also makes use of sturdy and improved materials designed to maximize its overall performance and airflow. Expect this air conditioner to have an airflow of fifteen percent more than the past models.

    I am pleased with the fact that it makes use of a center discharge air delivery, too, as it is effective not only in increasing airflow but also in improving the unit’s cooling capacity. It is sturdy and durable considering the fact that it has a strong and stable base pan. The unit also boasts of its 15,000 BTU/hour capacity.

    What I do not like so much about this unit is its expensive price. Also, the packaging used in the air conditioner does not offer a lot of protection.

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      Small, smartly designed, and lightweight, making it perfect for limited spaces, like RVs
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      Maximum performance and airflow – thanks to its sturdy and well-improved materials
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      Uses center discharge air delivery, which promotes better airflow and cooling capacity

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      Highly durable with the help of its stable base pan

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      Boasts of a powerful 15,000 BTU/hour capacity

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      Costly

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      Packaging for the unit is not that protective

    With the high cooling efficiency, quiet operation, space-saving design, and heavy-duty motor present in this unit, it is safe to conclude that it is a good air conditioner to install in your RV.

    2. Coleman 48204C866 Mach 15+ A/C Unit - Best Bang for the Buck

    I also suggest checking out the Coleman 48204C866 Mach 15+ A/C Unit if you want to gain access to the best RV air conditioner units today. It is known as a powerful rooftop air conditioning unit designed for RVs. It is also popular for its high cooling output.

    Considering its strong airflow, I can say that it works well as a ducted system, too. It features a 1/3-hp fan motor, which is known as the biggest motor used in an air conditioning unit for RVs. With that, expect it to be capable of providing cool air at an impressive 320 cubic feet/minute (CFM).

    I also find the streamlined shape used in the unit impressive since I noticed how effective it is in enhancing not only its airflow but its cooling efficiency, too. Potential users are also guaranteed of the unit’s durability and sturdiness considering the fact that it has an all-copper tubing, as well as gas-fluxed brazed joints.

    It works in dissipating heat efficiently, too. It is due to the presence of its large evaporator as well as the condenser coils that feature raised lance fins. Furthermore, the unit boasts of its built-in condenser coil protection. The unit is not bulky, too. Plus installing it is a breeze.

    One problem with the unit is that it blows air in just a single, straight direction, not up and down. Still, once the cool air is total spread out, this won’t be much of an issue.

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      Provides high cooling output and strong airflow
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      Comes with a heavy-duty motor
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      Features a streamlined shape and design, which also means better airflow and cooling efficiency

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      Durable and sturdy – thanks to the strong materials used in its tubing and joints

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      Efficiently dissipates heat

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      Blows air in just a single, straight direction

    Despite that minor issue, you will still find this unit pleasurable and satisfying as it has most of the things and features that a reliable RV air conditioning unit should have.

    3. Dometic 640315CXX1J0 Penguin II Low-profile 410-amp RV Rooftop Air Conditioner - Editor's Choice

    Another nice product offered by Dometic is the 640315CXX1J0 Penguin II Low-profile RV Air Conditioner. I think that this low-profile air conditioning unit is ideal for both non-ducted and ducted applications. Regardless of its application, you can still expect it to work as a powerful cooling solution in your RV.

    It boasts of an ultra-low profile while also featuring a streamlined design. Such allows it to be aerodynamically designed to minimize drag significantly when you are on the move. It comes with a powerful and high-performance motor, too.

    In addition, it comes with a high-quality fan, which can deliver a powerful and impressive cooling performance with the aid of its environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant. It boasts of its lightweight and compact design without compromising its sturdiness and durability.

    I can assure you of the durability of this unit as it comes with a sturdy rib-reinforced base pan. Such makes this air conditioning unit from Dometic capable of handling tough environments, thereby prolonging its life. Using it is also easy and convenient – thanks to the fully automated comfort control that you can effortlessly operate.

    One problem, though, is that it produces some sounds when it operates, which is the reason why some hoped that it is quieter. Other than that issue, it is a good air conditioning unit to install in your vehicle.

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      Ideal for both non-ducted and ducted applications
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      Offers a powerful cooling solution for RVs
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      Features an ultra-low profile and streamlined design

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      Minimal drag when on the move – thanks to its aerodynamic design
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      Lightweight without compromising durability

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      Easy to use – thanks to the user-friendly and fully automated comfort control

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      A bit noisy

    Overall, I can say that this product is one of the ultimate cooling solutions for RV, which comes with a sleek and futuristic design, premium quality and user-friendly controls, high-performance motor, and better aerodynamics.

    4. Coleman RV Air Conditioner Reviews - Hot New Product

    Another air conditioning unit, which, I think, is really suitable for use on recreational vehicles is the Coleman 48203C966 Mach 3+ A/C Unit. One of the many things I find remarkable in this unit is its solid 13,500 BTU cooling capacity. I also noticed how reliable this product is.

    It is due to the use of all-copper material for its tubing, as well as the gas-flux brazed joints added to it. Such features guarantee that the unit will last for a long time due to its durability. You also have the option of mounting its powerful motor directly to the bulkhead as a means of preventing angle distortion of the blower wheel.

    It can also guarantee a free turning action, thereby ensuring that the position of the motor is fixed as it relates to its blower. It also works with a 1/3-hp fan motor, which is known as the biggest in the industry. With the sealed shaft built into this unit, there is also an assurance that you can protect it from damaged caused by the elements.

    One more thing I want to highlight is that it is designed in a way that it starts easily even with dealing with high humidity and temperature conditions. It has a plastic drain pan, too, which works in preventing and eliminating corrosion. It also has a better heat dissipation ability, thanks to its large evaporator as well as condenser coils.

    The unit is a bit loud, though, which is one of its issues.

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      Boasts of a solid BTU cooling capacity
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      Durable and reliable – thanks to the all-copper material used for its tubing
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      Prevents ​​​​angle distortion of the blower heel

    • thumbs-o-up

      One of the best RV AC unit reviews

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      Offers protection from damage caused by harsh elements – thanks to its sealed shaft

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      Prevents and eliminates corrosion with the help of its plastic drain pan

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      A bit loud

    Despite that issue, I can still say that Coleman vs Dometic air conditioner has most of the valuable features that an RV air conditioning unit needs to have, which makes it a really good investment.

    5. Dometic RV Air Conditioner Reviews

    Another excellently performing air conditioning unit that will work for your RV is the Dometic Brisk Air II 13,500 BTU Non-ducted System. It is an impressive ductless unit, which is known for providing a lot of power even if it only operates under the fairly standard BTU of 13,500

    What I like the most about this unit is that it can effectively manage excessive moisture and heat in case you and your RV are in a humid and hot location. It is designed in such a way that it can provide the most convenient temperature for you no matter what the outdoor temperature is.

    This air conditioning unit is constructed mainly of aircraft-grade materials. It also makes use of polypropylene, which is the reason why this unit is lightweight. Such material is also the reason why it has better insulation and is known to be stronger when compared to other products in the industry.

    It is versatile with its aerodynamic shape, too. Furthermore, it is known for being drag-resistant, which makes it a really nice product to install in your RV. It also makes use of a technology, which aids in significantly reducing vibrations. This results in a fairly quiet unit even when it operates.

    One noticeable problem is the fact that the length of the wire included in the unit is shorter than expected, which is the reason why you additional wire length is needed.

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      Provides a lot of cooling power
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      Effective in managing excessive heat and moisture in case you are exposed to a humid and hot location
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      Aircraft-grade material construction

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      Lightweight polypropylene used as its primary material

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      Versatile since it comes with an aerodynamic shape

    • thumbs-o-down

      Wire length included is shorter than what’s usually needed

    Even with that minor issue, this air conditioning unit from Dometic can still be expected to deliver an excellent performance due to its strong BTU. It is a good product to buy if you wish to use a unit, which can provide a cooling temperature inside your RV quickly.

    6. Atwood RV Air Conditioner Reviews

    I am also pleased to recommend the Atwood 15026 Non-ducted A/C Unit to anyone who is looking for a reliable RV air conditioner. What I specifically favor in this unit is the fact that it is primarily designed to withstand the challenges linked to harsh elements. That’s possible while also ensuring that it delivers the coolest air.

    It is a non-ducted model, which holds a 15,000-BTU capacity. One great advantage of it is that it is equipped with a heat pump, which is also good during those cold, chilly nights. It is known for its high output as well as its ability to cool down your RV in a quick and efficient manner without consuming too much power.

    It also delivers air at an incredible output of 360 cubic feet/minute. It delivers such air to the digital thermostat, which you can operate with a user-friendly remote control. Furthermore, the unit features separate motors for the blower fan and the condenser fan.

    Such promotes a low amp draw as well as quiet operation. It also has a manageable weight, making it easy to install and move around. It tends to cycle from time to time, though, causing the camper to shake in those instances.

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      Guaranteed to be reliable and durable
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      Can withstand harsh elements while delivering cool air
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      Equipped with a heat pump

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      Delivers air at 360 cubic feet/per minute, which is incredible

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      Promotes low amp draw and quiet operation

    • thumbs-o-down

      Cycles from time to time, which might cause the camper to shake

    Even with that issue, no one can deny the fact that this air conditioning unit does its job pretty efficiently.

    7. Advent Complete RV Air Conditioner Non-ducted System

    Lastly, I would like to talk about the Advent Complete RV Air Conditioner Non-ducted System. While it is not as popular as the other air conditioning units mentioned here, I can still say that this unit performs very well for recreational vehicles, motorhomes, and campers.

    In fact, it features a 15,000-BTU capacity, which, I think, is really good for RVs and motorhomes. It also features a black or white shroud guaranteed to be high in quality. Such feature is helpful in protecting the unit from the harsh external elements. It is also a big help in reducing the noise created by the unit when it operates.

    It is also known for its simplicity. With its simple, lightweight, and compact design, installing it will definitely be a breeze. There is no need to learn a lot of complex things to set it up. In addition, the product already comes with a non-ducted kit, which ensures that you will be able to set it up right away.

    Another thing I really like about the unit is its exceptional cooling efficiency. With that, you have a guarantee that the unit can help keep your RV cool when you are on the road or camping out.

    However, the fact that it is not that popular might be a drawback since it is still questionable if it is indeed durable. In addition, it has also been noted that this air conditioning unit is a bit high-priced.

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      Performs well for RVs, campers, and motorhomes
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      Comes with a high-quality shroud, which protects the unit from harsh external elements
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      Simple, lightweight, and compact

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      Easy to install

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      Provides an exceptional cooling efficiency

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      Not that well-known

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      High price

    While there are issues, I can still safely conclude that this air conditioning unit from Advent is worthwhile to try as it contains the majority of features that make the product a really good one as far as performance and efficiency are concerned.

    Reasons to Invest in an Air Conditioning Unit for your RV

    best-rv-air-conditioner

    There are actually numerous reasons why you should consider investing in an air conditioner for your RV. One is if the RV, pop-up camper, or travel trailer you own has an unreliable cooling system. Note that whether you are planning to use your vehicle as a permanent or temporary vacation home, you need to be really comfortable.

    With a good air conditioning unit, a portable one if possible, you will receive a unique cooling solution, which is ideal for small living spaces, such as inside your RV. It is essential if you want to stay comfortable even when you decide to drive your RV on the road during a hot weather.

    In addition, the favorable and cool temperature that the best RV AC unit provides can also let you sleep peacefully and comfortably, making you feel like you are really at home. Another reason for investing in this unit is that it helps maintain the cleanliness of the air.

    It can improve the air quality indoors. It is mainly because you need to keep the windows closed when you are running the air conditioning unit, thereby preventing dust from penetrating inside. With this, it is easy for you to prevent possible allergic reactions.

    A high-quality RV air conditioner is also worthwhile to invest in because it does not only keeps the indoor air cool but also dehumidify it. With that, expect your living space to remain both dry and cool. Such can keep the humidity levels low and prevent the accumulation of excess moisture. Such is also a bit help in preventing allergies.

    An air conditioning unit specifically made for a recreational vehicle is also a favorable choice considering its ability to handle vibration. It is created in such a way that all vibrations on the road can be handled by it well. With that, you will have peace of mind when you are driving while also ensuring that you stay comfortable.

    Types of RV Air Conditioners

    best-rv-ac-unit

    When learning about the best RV roof air conditioner for your case, it is important to study about the different types of this unit first. By learning about the different types of air conditioners designed for RVs, you can decide which one works best for you. The most types of RV AC units are:

    Non-ducted

    The non-ducted type of air conditioning unit for RVs works by blowing cold air directly derived from the unit to your trailer, motorhome or RV. You can install this via a hole cut in your vehicle’s roof.

    However, you can find a lot of units that are specifically designed to fit perfectly through the roof vents that are already present in your RV. This specific type comes with a condenser, blower, and compressor – all of which are packed together in a single aerodynamic body sitting on your RV’s roof.

    It also comes with a control unit bolted to the ceiling below the vent or hole. Just like what has been mentioned earlier, it blows cold air taken directly from its control unit. It also frequently comes with vents that you can either open or close so you can direct air backward or forward inside the space.

    Ducted

    You can also choose the ducted air conditioning unit for RVs. It comes with a similar kind of aerodynamic package bolting to your trailer, motorhome, or RV’s roof. The only difference is that it does not come with a control unit installed on the interior ceiling.

    One of the reasons why people choose this type is that it provides plenty of headroom inside your RV because it does not come with a bulky control, which tends to hang down. What it does, instead, is to pipe the cool air into a duct system. Such passes via the walls, floor, or ceiling of your RV.

    You can choose to have a few of these units installed in your RV. You also have the option of setting separate temperature zones for each unit that you can control with the help of one central panel.

    Portable

    It is also possible for you to choose the portable air conditioning unit. In most cases, the portable air conditioner makes use of one to two holes as a means of ventilating the hot air in between the unit and the outside. Portable units are often equipped with adjustable frames placed beneath the window, keeping hoses in place.

    However, if you decide to use a unit with a single hose, you have to exercise extra caution as it is possible for hot air to penetrate the room because of improper and poor ventilation.

    Rooftop

    This type of air conditioning unit is often positioned over your RV roof’s windows. While it is a good choice, many are still careful when it comes to choosing it because it is a large unit, which can only add bulk and height to the vehicle.

    However, it is also a good choice for someone who wishes to install an air conditioner, which does not consume extra storage space on the RVs interiors.

    Under Bench

    You can expect this type of air conditioning unit to fit neatly beneath a bench or inside a compartment. It is a good choice, especially if you park your recreational vehicle in a tight space often. It is also ideal for you if your vehicle already comes with a lot of devices.

    RV Air Conditioner Buyer's Guide

    the-7-best-rv-air-conditioner

    Now that you are aware of your different options for an RV air conditioner, it is time to figure out the different factors that can have a direct impact on the overall performance of your chosen unit. Do not neglect these factors when you are in the selection process to increase your chances of picking a really high-quality air conditioner for RVs:

    BTU Power

    It should be noted that air conditioning units designed for RVs have technical specifications that include details about BTU (British Thermal Unit). Standard air conditioning units are often equipped with a 13,500 BTU power.

    It is already a large amount of power if your goal is to use the unit to let you cool down during the hot summer season. In case you are someone who loves to visit areas with high humidity during the high season, then it would be best to look for a unit, which comes with more than the standard BTU power.

    Such is more important especially if the areas you plan to visit have extreme temperatures. A BTU power of more than the standard 13,500 is also ideal if you have a large recreational vehicle.

    Size

    When selecting the best air conditioner for your RV, one factor that you should not overlook is the size. By considering the actual size of the unit, it would be easy for you to create a budget designed for the fuel you should use when you go for long trips. You also have the option to pick small units that consume less fuel and electricity.

    In case you just plan to use your vehicle during weekends, then it would not be a good idea to immediately go for large units. If possible, go for the small or moderately sized ones as this means that they also come with small profiles. The unit should also come at a size, which perfectly fits your RV.

    It should not be too bulky or big. Note that your RV only has a limited space, so avoid buying a really large one, which will only consume too much space. While smaller units do not have the power usually provided by large ones, you can still expect them to compensate as far as price and quality are concerned.

    Installation

    Another factor to assess is the installation process involved. Find out if you can install the unit yourself right after buying it. It should be easy to install so you won’t have to seek the aid of a professional to set it up successfully. That will save you from a lot of trouble.

    Maintenance

    Find out if your chosen air conditioning unit is easy to maintain, too. Keep in mind that appliances and devices break down from time to time while also needing regular cleaning and maintenance.

    The unit should be easy to maintain while also letting you do simple repairs to it for minor issues when you are on the road. That way, you won’t have to contact someone to do the repairs in case you are on a trip. Also, look for models that offer spare parts and warranty so you do not have to think about paying more for repairs.

    Height

    If you own a large vehicle, then it would be best for you to assess the height of an air conditioning unit first prior to buying. Determine how much height it will most likely add to your vehicle.

    Such factor is important, especially if you plan to store the vehicle in a garage. It is necessary to determine the amount of height clearance you have prior to installing it as an extremely large one can make your RV and garage prone to structural damage.

    Heat pump

    Find out if the unit is equipped with a heat pump, too. Remember that your trips won’t always fall during the summer season. Because of that, you also have to look for an air conditioning unit, which comes with a heat pump.

    With this feature, you have an assurance that you will stay cool during the summer season while also receiving more than enough warmth in case you decide to go on a trip during the winter and cold season.

    Power consumption

    For your air conditioning unit to function, it requires a good source of power. In most cases, this comes in the form of a portable generator. The problem with this is that it is considered to be the appliance in a recreational vehicle that consumes the most power.

    Due to that, check the wattage of the unit prior to buying. It will help you know whether the unit will consume too much power or if its power consumption is reasonable.

    Noise

    It is no longer a secret that air conditioning units produce noise when it operates. Regardless of the type of air conditioner for RV you choose, it will still produce noise. However, your choice should be the quietest RV air conditioner 2017 - 2018, which can produce the least background noise in the sense that you will hardly notice it.

    It should not add a lot of noise to your RV when you turn it on. That way, you will feel really comfortable since you can receive the cool temperature and the peace and quiet you are hoping to enjoy your trip.

    Ease of use

    While the majority of air conditioning units today are easy to use, you still have to figure out if it does not consume too much effort to operate on your own. Check its controls first and find out if they are indeed intuitive.

    Also, assess whether you will have an easier time dealing with ongoing maintenance concerns, including cleaning it up and making sure that its exhaust hoses are free of debris. It is crucial to find out whether your chosen unit won’t make you feel inconvenient when you are using it.

    Conclusion

    Finding the best RV air conditioner is crucial to your comfort and convenience while you are on the road. With that, you need to really do an extensive research on different products in this category. Study product and technical specifications so you will know exactly the specific unit you should get.

    Ensure that it is also designed for small living spaces, like a recreational vehicle. In addition, it should be able to handle the amount of square footage that you need to cool inside your RV. Make sure that you do not spend too much for the unit, too. Stick to your budget as you can always find reasonably priced ones of top-notch quality.

    Learn more how to choose the best RV grills and best RV refrigerators 2018 with buyer's guide and in-depth reviews. By the way, have a look at our best electric heaters for RV, best RV washer dryer to make living in a RV easier and more comfortable!

    The 7 Best RV Air Conditioners 2018: Turning your Vehicle into a More Comfortable Living Space
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