Summer is here, and for RV enthusiasts, it’s time to hit the road! But before you pack up and set off on your next adventure, one important thing to consider is your RV’s air conditioning. Let’s be real, and there’s nothing quite as miserable as being stuck in a hot and stuffy RV on a sweltering summer day. But with the right portable RV air conditioner, you can say goodbye to that discomfort and hello to a comfortable and enjoyable trip.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the top 6 portable RV air conditioners for 2023, comparing their key features and overall value for money. We’ll also cover some important factors to consider when choosing a portable RV air conditioner and recommend our top picks in different categories.
So, whether you’re in the market for a new portable RV air conditioner or just looking to upgrade your current one, this guide has you covered.
So, don’t wait; let’s get started and find the perfect portable RV air conditioner for your next road trip!
Recommended Portable RV Air Conditioners
1. Top Pick Overall: COSTWAY Portable Air Conditioner
The first on the list is the COSTWAY Portable Air Conditioner. The 970W rated power and 8,000 BTU cooling power of this Air Conditioner allow for a steady and fast cooling effect. It can cool down a space up to 230 square feet. The quiet operation of the AC is perfect for when you are working or sleeping, as it doesn’t disrupt the peace and quiet of your living space. Not only can it be used as an air conditioner, but it can also be used as a dehumidifier with a 50 pints/day dehumidifying capacity and a fan with low and high optional speeds. The design of this portable air conditioner is great for those who are looking for an AC that is easy to move. The built-in handle and 4 universal castors make it easy to move from room to room. It is also low maintenance, and the removable filter can easily be cleaned.
2. Best Option for Larger RVs: Whynter ARC-14S Portable Air Conditioner
If you need a powerful, efficient, and multipurpose portable AC, then Whynter ARC-14S Portable Air Conditioner is your best bet. It features CFC-free Green R-32 refrigerant and lead-free RoHS-compliant components. It can cool rooms up to 500 square feet. The auto-drain technology is also a game-changer – it uses and recycles moisture collected during the cooling process to produce cool air and has a dehumidifying capacity of 71 pints per day. The package also comes with a protective cover for when the AC is not in use.
Moreover, it runs surprisingly quietly at under 56 dBA. Its eco-friendly features and auto-drain technology make it stand out from other portable AC units on the market. It’s a significant investment that will keep you cool and comfortable during those hot summer months.
3. Best Option for Energy Efficiency: BLACK+DECKER 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
The BLACK+DECKER 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control is a powerful and efficient cooling solution for an RV. With its FOLLOW ME function, the easy-to-use remote control allows for precise temperature control. One of the standout features of this air conditioner is its quiet operation. Despite its powerful cooling capabilities, the unit operates at a low noise level. The Sleep mode feature makes it even quieter, so you can rest comfortably without any disturbance. Another great feature of this air conditioner is its 3-in-1 functionality, which combines cool, fan, and dehumidifying modes all in one machine. The bucket-less, self-evaporating operation makes your living space cool, clean, and dry, and the top-mounted LED display with a 24-hour timer allows you to easily control the unit and set it to turn on and off at specific times.
4. Best Budget Option: SereneLife SLPAC8 Portable Air Conditioner
The SereneLife SLPAC8 Portable Air Conditioner is the most budget-friendly option on the list. This air conditioner’s 8000 BTU cooling power is more than enough to cool a room of up to 215+ sq. ft. The automatic swing mode with a moving wind vent is also a great feature, as it ensures maximum air circulation throughout the room. The airflow is rated at 290 M3/hr. Another great feature of this air conditioner is the built-in dehumidifier. The moisture removal/dehumidifier is at 1.2 liters/hr. The remote control is also a great feature, allowing you to control the power, mode, timer, temperature, and fan speed settings from the comfort of your couch.
5. Best For High Humidity: Midea Portable Air Conditioner
The Midea Portable Air Conditioner, SMARTCOOL, is a fantastic addition to any RV. With an ASHRAE rating of 10,000 BTU, it can quickly and effectively cool spaces up to 200 sq. ft. The unit also includes fan and dehumidification functions, creating a comfortable and relaxing environment. One of the best features of this air conditioner is the Wi-Fi connectivity and voice control capabilities. You can control the unit from anywhere using the smartphone app and even pair it with Alexa or Google Assistant for easy voice commands. This makes it easy to switch modes, set a schedule, and more without ever having to leave the room. The portable AC also includes digital controls, an easy-to-read LED display, and a compact remote control. The 24-hour adjustable timer can cool a room to a temperature between 62 F-90 F and has 3 modes to choose from – cooling, dehumidification, and fan only.
Types Of RV Portable Air Conditioners
Vent-Free Air Conditioner
These units are compact and easy to move from room to room, making them perfect for RVs and campers. They also don’t require any ventilation. This makes them an excellent option for those without a window or vents to install a traditional air conditioner. In addition, vent-free portable RV air conditioners are designed to be energy efficient, which means they use less power to cool your RV, saving you money on your electricity bill. They are also easy to clean; it’s mostly a matter of cleaning the filters and keeping the unit clean, making it a low-maintenance option.
Vented Air Conditioner
A vented air conditioner is also known as a window air conditioner or split-system air conditioner. It is a type of air conditioner that is installed in a window or through a wall in a building. These air conditioners work by pulling in hot air from the room, cooling it, and then blowing the cooled air back into the room. Vented air conditioners require proper installation and regular maintenance. They need to be installed by a professional. It’s also important to clean or replace the air filter regularly to ensure that the AC is running perfectly.
Window Air Conditioner
A window portable RV air conditioner is designed to be installed in a window or opening in your RV. Window portable RV air conditioners are also cost-effective. They are less expensive than central air conditioning systems, which makes them an excellent option for RVers on a budget. Another benefit of window portable RV air conditioners is their ease of installation. These units can be easily installed in a window or opening in your RV; however, they still need a professional to be installed.
Finding the right portable RV air conditioner for your needs can be daunting, but with our buyer’s guide and top 5 picks for 2023, we hope to have made the process a little easier for you.
Whether you’re looking for a compact and lightweight option or one with more advanced features, there is a portable RV air conditioner on this list that will suit your needs.
Remember to consider the size of your RV, the number of people using it, and your budget before making a purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is ‘BTU Rating’?
The BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating is a measure of the cooling capacity of an air conditioner. The higher the BTU rating, the larger the room the air conditioner can cool. It indicates the amount of heat a portable air conditioner can remove from a room per hour. This is useful when determining the appropriate size of portable air conditioner for a specific room.
What Are Some Best Practices for Maintaining a Portable RV Air Conditioner?
Here are some best practices for maintaining a portable RV air conditioner:
- Regularly clean or replace the air filter to ensure proper airflow and efficiency.
- Check the air conditioner’s compressor, condenser coils, and evaporator coils for dirt or debris build-up and clean as needed.
- Keep the air conditioner level and stable to prevent damage to the compressor.
- Run the air conditioner for a short time each month during the off-season to keep it in good working condition.
- Before each trip, check the air conditioner for proper operation and have it serviced if needed.
- Consult the user manual or consult the manufacturer for specific maintenance instructions.
How Do I Install a Portable Air Conditioner in My RV?
Installing a portable air conditioner in an RV is very easy. Here are some steps you need to follow:
- Choose a Location for The Air Conditioner: Look for a flat surface that is close to an electrical outlet and has good ventilation.
- Assemble the Air Conditioner: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the air conditioner, making sure all parts are fitted perfectly.
- Connect the Electrical Power: Plug the air conditioner into an electrical outlet and make sure it is properly grounded. You may need to use an extension cord if the outlet is not within reach.
- Set the Air Conditioner: Turn on the air conditioner and set the temperature and fan speed as desired.
Can You Run a Portable RV Ac All Day?
It is technically possible to run a portable RV AC all day, but it may not be the most energy-efficient or cost-effective option. Portable air conditioners draw a significant amount of power and running one all day could put a strain on your RV’s electrical system and cause your battery to drain quickly. Moreover, it will consume a lot of energy, increasing your electricity bill.
Do You Have to Put Water in A Portable RV Air Conditioner?
Not all portable RV air conditioners require you to fill water. There are two main types of portable air conditioners: evaporative and refrigerant-based.
Evaporative air conditioners use water to cool the air. These types of air conditioners require a constant supply of water to operate and will need to be refilled occasionally.
Refrigerant-based air conditioners, on the other hand, do not use water to cool the air. Instead, they use a refrigerant gas that is compressed and expanded to transfer heat from the inside of the RV to the outside.