Summer can be brutal in an RV. With less insulation and big windows, they heat up like cars in the sun. Many RVs these days do come standard with an air conditioning unit, but some don’t, and those converting or building an RV need a solution . Even if you do have an air conditioner, it may have a hard time keeping your RV cool. Adding additional roof-mounted air conditioning units can be very costly. What other options do you have? Today, we’ll look at RV window AC units, installation tips, and whether they might be the better option to keep you cool this summer.
Table of Contents
- Can You Install a Window AC Unit in Your RV?
- What Are the Benefits of Using an RV Window AC Unit?
- Best Air Conditioners for an RV Window AC Installation
- Things to Keep in Mind
- Find Relief From the Heat
Can You Install a Window AC Unit in Your RV?
Yes, you can install a window AC unit in an RV. You might choose to do this instead of installing a roof-mounted RV air conditioning unit. It’s often more budget-friendly and prevents you from adding height to your RV.
➡ If you’ve never used an RV air conditioner before, read this first to learn how they work: The Complete Guide To RV Air Conditioners
What Are the Benefits of Using an RV Window AC Unit?
RV window AC units are beneficial because of their lower install costs, removability, and usability. The cost of an RV window AC unit can be as little as $200, whereas rooftop models can be $700-$3,500 plus installation costs.
You can remove a window unit in winter so that you can get your natural light back from the window. In contrast, you can’t remove rooftop units based on the season.
RV window AC units are also great for targeting areas. If you have a room that has a hard time cooling down, you can install your AC in that room. This will ensure you’re putting the cold air exactly where you want it.
Some manufacturers are even using window AC units in their RV’s from the factory. One example is Kingstar truck campers who we visited recently. They build a special enclosed box for the window unit and use a rooftop fridge vent to allow airflow.
Window air conditioners are also frequently chosen by those who are building or converting a vehicle to an RV. Skoolies and custom campers frequently choose to install window AC units due to their affordable cost. You don’t need a window either, just a hole in the wall. Rear wall that is.
Best Air Conditioners for an RV Window AC Installation
So maybe you want a window AC unit for your RV. What options do you have ? Here are a few of our top picks.
1. GE 6,000 BTU Serenity AC Unit
About: One thing that drives most people crazy about RV ac units is noise. Because of the small space, we believe an efficient super quiet GE Serenity AC is the best choice.
This unit is very efficient operating at just over 500 watts and includes a remote with many modes including a sleep mode to make it super quiet. Weighing in at 56 lbs this unit is a bit heavier and will need sturdy support.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 21.25 x 21.25 x 12.44 inches
- COOLS SMALL ROOMS - Delivers 6,000 BTU cooling capacity for small...
- ULTRA QUIET - This AC provides ultra quiet operation at only 43...
- MAXIMUM COMFORT COOL– Energy efficient cooling with three...
2. Frigidaire Compact AC Unit
About: This budget-friendly window AC unit is great for cooling small spaces. The Frigidaire Compact AC unit comes in at 5,000 BTU. Two fan speeds help you to maintain a comfortable temperature in a room up to 150 square feet.
There’s a washable filter included. It uses minimal energy as it starts up, which is important for RV power usage. The Frigidaire Compact AC unit weighs only 38.6 pounds, making it a lightweight option.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 15.25″ x 16″ x 12″
- Install it at the window to maintain a steady temperature in your...
- Control the temperature prolifically with 1465.36 W cooling power
- With the 150 square feet cooling coverage, keep your kitchen or...
3. GE Window AC Unit
About: The GE Window AC Unit is another great option for those on a budget. This 5,000 BTU option works to cool rooms up to 150 square feet. The adjustable thermostat keeps the room at a steady, comfortable temperature. The slide-out filter is easy to clean. Two cooling fans distribute the cooled air efficiently. The GE Window AC Unit weighs 40.9 pounds.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 15″ x 16.44″ x 12.56″
- COOLS SMALL ROOMS- Delivers 5,050 BTU cooling capacity for small...
- MAXIMUM COMFORT COOL– Energy efficient cooling with two cooling...
- EASY INSTALLATION- This AC has a fixed chassis and installs...
4. Midea Inverter Air Conditioner Unit
About: The Midea Inverter Air Conditioner is both quiet and energy-efficient. This 8000 to 12,000 BTU window unit has plenty of cooling capacity for most RVs and weighs about 59 pounds. Additionally, this air conditioner is Wi-Fi enabled, meaning you can control it remotely.
The design of this unit is unique and may not fit many RV’s, but it might be just right for a few. The U-shaped design allows a window to close between the unit. This means (depending on your RV’s window situation) your window can still open, allowing fresh air in, even with the window unit installed. This U-shaped design works best with RV windows that slide up and down to open rather than side to side.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 21.9″ x 19.17″ x 13.26″
- More than 35% Energy Savings: With the advanced DC Inverter...
- Extreme Quiet: 9 times quieter than some traditional units. The...
- Flexible window open: Midea U-shaped design allows your window to...
Things to Keep in Mind
Before you officially decide which RV window AC installation to go with, you should keep a few things in mind. Let’s look at some important aspects to consider.
Where You Will Install It
Before purchasing your RV window AC unit, you’ll need to decide where you want it to go. You don’t want to purchase a unit only to discover it won’t fit where you were expecting it to. You’ll also need to decide if you need to build a frame to support the unit.
If you plan on traveling with the unit in place don’t stick it out the side as you may make your RV too wide. Many people choose to install them on the back wall if they are permanent.
How Much Power It Draws
Even if you’re new to RVing, you likely know that RVs can’t handle infinite power loads. When selecting a window AC unit, consider how much power it will take to run it. Will you trip the breaker each time you try to run it? The amount of amps you have to spare varies greatly depending on whether your RV electrical system is 30 amps or 50 amps.
➡ Looking for an energy-efficient air conditioner that can run off your RV batteries? Consider a 12V unit: Is There Such a Thing as a 12V RV Air Conditioner?
Keep in mind that your RV, even if large, offers limited space. You won’t need a massive window unit meant to cool a 600 square foot room. On the other hand, if you get too small of a unit, it won’t provide the results you’re looking for. Research the unit you’re looking at to find how much space it can cool.
Make sure your new RV window AC unit doesn’t fall out of your window, or worse yet, damage your RV. You may want to consider building in a frame for extra support or installing brackets to help with the extra weight.
An additional thing to consider is the air conditioner’s cooling capacity. Remember, the higher the BTU a unit has, the more cooling capacity you’ll get from it. A 5,000 BTU unit will cool a room of about 150 square feet.
Find Relief From the Heat
While many of us use our RVs to get into nature, sometimes, we need to escape nature and find some relief from the heat. Installing an RV window AC unit can help keep your RV comfortable.
Have you considered adding a window unit to your RV? Let us know in the comments.
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