If you’ve thought about getting an RV, one of the questions you might ask yourself is how will you stay cool during the summer? Another question you should ask yourself is how many A/C units will you need?

How many A/Cs do I need in my RV

In this guide, I will share with you conditions that will require you to get two A/C units and also, some tips you might need to enable your A/C run efficiently, and also some generally answered questions.

To begin with, let’s start with the question that made you click on this article…

Do I Need Two A/C units for My RV?

Well, the answer depends. Here are some factors that will require you to get two A/C units.

  1. Height and Length of Your RV

The height and length of your is RV is the number one variable that determines whether you need two A/C units or just one. If you rig is longer than 32 feet, then you I highly recommend you get two A/C units to keep your rig cool. However, if the rig is less than 32 feet, then one A/C unit will do the job.

Ceiling RV air conditioner

The longer and larger your RV, the more cooling power will be required to keep your rig from getting warm. Also, if you have two air conditioners for a longer rig, it will take less time to get your rig cool, than it would for a single A/C unit.

Also, larger rigs tend to have more sections than a smaller rig, therefore restricting the air flow. Airflow is an important factor when it comes to choosing A/C units, hence when your rig has more rooms, then you definitely need two A/C units.

  1. Location

Your location is another factor that determines if you need a second unit or not. Well, if you find yourself around Florida, Texas or Louisiana, or maybe if you will be traveling to any of these states which are torrid especially during the summer, a second air conditioner would be essential. However, if you find yourself in colder places such as North Dakota or Minnesota, then a second unit might not be necessary.

  1. Paint

From basic science, we know that black absorbs heat and white reflects heat. So, the color of your rig could be a factor which determines if you need a second A/C unit. Well, if you’re looking into purchasing an RV that is painted black, then you might want to also consider getting a second air conditioner since your rig is going to absorb a lot of heat during the summer.

vintage old fan

If You’re Getting a Second Unit, here are a Few Things To Consider Before Buying One:

How Do I Select the Right Size?

Well, the first thing you shouldn’t do is to select an air conditioner based on physical appearance only. So do not look at the exterior look and think this A/C unit might be the right size for you. Physical appearances alone do not determine which A/C is right for you. Some factors you might want to consider when getting the right A/C are:


Two parked fifth wheels

  1. To Find Out the Square Footage of your RV

Picking an air conditioner that has the right space for your rig is necessary because you wouldn’t want an air conditioner that is too small, which will work too hard to keep your space cool, or one that is too big for the type of space needed. When the A/C is too big for space, it turns off early and not get enough time to dehumidify and remove the moisture necessary, leaving you with a very cold and clammy.

  1. Finding The Right BTU

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and BTU determines how much heat your A/C dissipates from a room. So meaning the higher the BTU of your A/C, the more heat the A/C will dissipate and also, the A/C will consume more energy.

  • A 7000 BTU RV air conditioner will require 1700 watts to start up and 600 watts when running.
  • A 10,000 BTU RV air conditioner will require 2000 watts to start up and 700 watts when running.
  • A 13,500 B BTU RV air conditioner will require 2750 watts to start up and 1250 watts when running.
  • A 15,000 BTU RV air conditioner will require 3500 watts to start up and 1500 watts when running.
  1. Do You Need A Ducted A/C unit or a Non-Ducted AC unit?

Another factor to consider when getting the right A/C unit is for you to know whether your A/C unit is ducted or not.

air duck for air conditioning

A ducted A/C unit has an outdoor air compressor and an indoor air handler that is connected via copper refrigeration lines. Whiles ducted units are the most common because they are a great tie in current ductwork when switching from forced air heating systems.

A ductless A/C unit is a little bit different but still has the same primary components. There is an outdoor compressor, that is tied to an indoor air handler via refrigeration lines. However, there are two types of ductless A/C units. These are:

  • The Single Zone

This type has a single outdoor compressor, tied to one indoor head usually in the main living space of the RV.

  • A Multi-Zone

This allows you to connect up to four indoor heads to one outdoor compressor. The indoor heads can be a wall hanging, a floor recessed unit, or a cassette.

Ductless A/C units are great retrofit products, especially in RV’s with non-ducted air conditioning systems.

Now You Know What to Look for When Buying an A/C unit for Your Generator, What Are Some of the Top Brand RV A/C units Out There?

  1. Whynter ACR-143 MX Dual Hose

Weight: 79 Pounds

Size: 16 x 19 x 35.5 inches.

Cooling Capacity: 14,000 BTU, for rooms up to 500 sq ft.

  1. Whynter ACR-122DS Dual Hose,

Weight: 60 Pounds

Size: 17 x 29.5 x 16 Inches

Cooling Capacity: 12,000 BTU, for a room of up to 400 sq ft.

  1. LG LP0817WSR

Weight: 56 Pounds

Size: 23.5 x 18.7 x 16 inches

Cooling Capacity: 8,000 BTU, for rooms of up to 150 sq ft.

  1. Honeywell Contempo HL10CESWG

Weight: 64 Pounds

Size: 18.9 x 15.7 x 31.3 inches

Cooling Capacity: 10,000 BTU, for rooms of up to 525 sq. ft.

  1. NewAir AC-14100E

Weight: 62 Pounds

Size: 16 x 16.5 x 31.1 inches

Cooling Capacity: 10,000 BTU, for rooms up to 450 sq. ft.

Below Are a Few Questions About Air Conditioners Often Asked By Most RVers:

Can I Install a Second A/C Unit?

The answer is Yes you can install a second air conditioning unit, however, if you are in doubt, do not hesitate to call a professional for help.

Can I Run My RV Air Conditioner on Solar?

Well, if you’ve been asking yourself this question, the simple answer is yes. However, the practicality behind the answer can be strenuous. Before explaining the answer, let us first take a look at how the RV solar system works.

a stack of solar panels

What happens is, the solar power keeps the batteries charged, whiles the batteries supply power to everything in the RV. The batteries are wired directly to the 12 volts DC panel, therefore supplying power to all 12-volt DC appliances directly. The batteries are also able to supply power to 120-volt AC appliances, through the inverter.

The inverter receives 12-volt electricity from the battery and converts it into 120-volt AC, and sends it on to power the 120-volt AC panel of the rv. The 120 volts ac panel then supplies power to all 120-volt appliances in the RV like the air conditioner. This is how the RV solar system works. So, all AC loads can be potentially powered by the battery, even the air conditioning.

So basically, running your air conditioning using solar, will depend on how large your solar panels are to keep your batteries charged up. It also depends on, how large your battery’s bank is to last through periods when the sun isn’t shining. And finally, how large your inverter needs to be to handle a high drawing appliance like an air conditioning.

How Do I Properly Use and Maintain my Air Conditioner on my RV?

Sometimes, most people do not need two air conditioners to keep their rig cool. The reason why most people experience warmth when they have their air conditioners on is that sometimes they do not use their air conditioner efficiently, and this prevents the air conditioner from functions efficiently. Well, here are some tips you might need to help your air conditioner function efficiently.

digital gauge for heating and cooling

First of all, air conditioners do not make cool air, what happens is, air conditioners, remove heat and moisture from the immediate environment, this leads to making the place cold.

So, when we allow our rigs to heat up inside, by leaving for the day, and the air conditioner is off, and we go back to our rigs at 5 o’clock at night. A 100 degrees inside our camper. We turn that air conditioner on. The air conditioner has to pull the heat out of the bedding, out of the carpets, and out of everything inside before we start to feel cool.

So what I recommend you do is to, turn on your air conditioner on in the morning. It’s a little cooler at night, so the rig stays a little bit cooler. So when you’re up in the morning, set your thermostat to about 65 degrees to maintain the coolness from the night before.

If you never let your rig heat up, the air conditioner is going to have to work less hard and you get to save a lot of energy.

Another way to maintain your air conditioner while you’re using it is to make sure the filters are clean. So, remove the filters of your air conditioner, and make sure it is vacuumed. If your filter starts to turn brown, that means that there is a lot of dust.

cleaning ceiling vent with sponge


Another thing that makes your air conditioner work effectively is more air flow. So, when your filter is clean, you get more air to flow through your air conditioner, especially on those hot, humid days.

Another thing I recommend you do is to set your fan on high. Personally, I use the auto setting on my air conditioner, thus if I am letting my air conditioner run all day. Again, the more air we are moving, the more heat you take out of your rig, and expend outside and put the cold air back inside our rig. So you would want to put your fan on high.

Another tip is to make sure the doors, windows, and vents are closed. This is one of the reasons why most people complain about their air conditioners not functioning properly. So make sure you close any open space when you turn your air conditioner on.

Another thing to do is, if you have a ducted air conditioner, instead of forcing it through the vents, open the up the quick cool option. This way you will get a lot of air flow, and it will help cool your rig down a little bit quicker. Once the temperature is down to your desired degree, you can go ahead and close the quick-cool option, and you can go through the ducts, which will restrict the airflow a little bit, but once you have the coach cooled down, the air conditioner is running efficiently, then you can go ahead and put it through the vents in the ceiling.

Do I Need 2 air conditioners in my RV

How Do I Replace My Old AC?

To replace your old A/C unit, one thing you need to know it the model number, to find the right fit for your RV. To find this make sure to remove the screws and control knobs to your air box. When that is that, look just above the airbox, and you will find a little white product label, which has all the info that you will need.

Disclaimer* Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual before making adjustments to your RV. This is a general guide.

Summary – Adding a second A/C unit. Know the square footage, take into account the color of your rig, the region you will be visiting. The BTU’s of the A/C, and whether you need a ducted or ductless A/C unit. With the above information, you shouldn’t have a problem when adding a second unit.

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