Top 5 Best Small RV Air Conditioner Review (With Buying Guide)

If you’re spending this summer in a Recreational Vehicle, an air conditioner is absolutely essential.

Since RVs are compact and tight living spaces, it makes sense to conserve as much space as possible so that you don’t feel constricted or suffocated between your own walls. 

This is why small RV air conditioners are a good way to go. They’d occupy less space while giving you great cooling throughout your vehicle. 

So to help you decide what AC fits your financial, personal, and spatial situation, I’ve compiled a list of the best small RV air conditioners. 

Hopefully, one of them ends up accompanying you on the road this summer!

THE BEST SMALL RV AIR CONDITIONERS

Below is a list of small air conditioners for your RV. I suggest that you look through these reviews keeping in mind the factors we discussed beforehand.

  • Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner
  • Dometic Penguin II High Air conditioner
  • RecPro Low Profile RV Air Conditioner
  • ASA Electronics ACM135B RV Air Conditioner
  • Atwood 15027 RV AC Unit

1. Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner 

At only 54.9 pounds, the Dometic Brisk II is a good option for a small and light RV air conditioner. The dimensions for this unit are 29.18 x 27.23 x 12.7 inches.

This unit will fit well if you’re looking for a small AC to cool a small or a mid-sized RV. The Dometic Brisk II has a BTU ranging from 13,500 to 15,000 meaning that the unit can cool up to 650-750 square feet in area. 

It is a rooftop AC that can be fixed through ducted and nonducted installation. Moreover, the Dometic Brisk is a great option as it also has noise and vibration-reducing features (dampening brackets), ensuring that it functions quietly. It can be credited for its efficient performance and airflow.

Pros
  • It is small and lightweight.
  • It has good cooling power.
  • It works with noise and vibration-reducing features.
  • It has a simple setup.
Cons
  • It has a delicate exterior that can be easily damaged.
  • If not installed properly, it can work really badly and noisily.

2. Dometic Penguin II High Air conditioner

Another small but powerful option from Dometic, if you’re looking for a compact-sized air conditioner, is the Dometic Penguin II model. Where most rooftop ACs simply cannot be designed small, Dometic puts out small rooftop units without compromising on power or quality.

This model has a BTU range of 13,500 to 15,000, indicating that it has a pretty high cooling capacity for a unit that’s as light as 97.8 pounds. The product dimensions are 29 x 40 x 9.5 inches. With 15,000 BTU this little AC can cover an area of 800-850 square feet.

Additionally, the penguin II model combats the troubles of being a rooftop unit through its aerodynamic nature, which enables it to resist wind and drag.

It is a pretty well-built system, with a rib-reinforced base pan, a high-impact motor, and fan, and an air filter, all of which improve the unit’s endurance and airflow. As for the installation, like the Brisk II, you can opt between a ducted or a non-ducted setup for your Penguin II AC.

Pros
  • It is incredibly small and lightweight, and thus easy to install without creating too much of a hassle.
  • It has a powerful cooling capacity.
  • It has an aerodynamic build, meaning that it is pretty durable.
Cons
  • It can be quite expensive due to brand reputation.
  • It does not come with the internal ducted vents

3. RecPro Low Profile RV Air Conditioner

A good competitor to the Dometic Penguin II unit is the RecPro Low Profile air conditioner. Coming in at a solid 100 pounds, this unit is almost as small as the Penguin. The product dimensions measure 26.7 x. 39 x 13 inches, so it will fit into your mid-sized RV nicely.

This is a low-profile air conditioner, so you can count on it to be a small and aesthetic fit for your vehicle. This unit has a solid cooling capacity at a 13,500 BTU rating and 375 CFM (air flow rate) and distributes air evenly well up to 650 square feet.

Additionally, it operates at a sound level lesser than 60 decibels while running at its maximum speed indoors, so it is a relatively silent unit and does not cause much disturbance. In terms of installation, the RecPro AC utilizes the non-ducted mode.

You also have supplementary features like the air filter, a remote control, sleep mode, and a timer. Also, it should be noted that the unit draws less power to cool the room, meaning that it’ll be a more efficient air conditioner.

Pros
  • Features loaded RV air conditioner.
  • The cooling airflow capacity is quite good.
Cons
  • It may not be worth its price as RecPro is not a big brand.
  • It uses a non-ducted mode of installation, so it can only cool one part of the RV efficiently.

4. ASA Electronics ACM135B RV Air Conditioner

The ASA Electronics ACM135B Air Conditioner is another suggested AC in this list, not only because it lives up to the ‘small’ label, but also because it is known in the market as an affordable and effective model.

The unit weighs only 68.4 pounds, making it one of the lighter air conditioners in the line. It’s measurements extend from 33.46 x 25.6 x 15 inches. Due to its small nature, the model will take up little space in your RV.

Despite its size, the unit manages to deliver an impressive BTU rating of 13,500. So, the AC could cover a surface area of up to 650 square feet. It has an extra silicone layer which only aids the cooling quality of the unit.

The ASA Electronics AC can be installed through a Ducted as well as a Non-Ducted system, depending on the RV, of course. Also, a 2-year warranty accompanies it. You can also count on this unit being noiseless while it works as it comes with composite foam packing.

Pros
  • It is very reasonably priced.
  • It has an overload protector which would ensure its durability.
  • It has a relatively good cooling capacity.
  • It runs quiet and noiselessly.
Cons
  • Its features are not as exciting in number.
  • You may have to compromise on the installation and buy some of the parts, such as the drain line, etc, yourself.

5. Atwood 15027 RV AC Unit

Finally, I have for you the Atwood 15027 AC Unit. This air conditioner is another example of a small but plenty powerful AC unit for your RV. The Atwood 15027 weighs only 84 pounds but exhibits a cooling capacity of 16,000 BTU.

This means that the unit can cool up to 850 feet. It can fit into your standard rooftop measurements of 14 x 14 inches. The product dimensions are 21.82 x 15.6 x 6.36 inches.

You also don’t have to worry too much about noise when it comes to this unit, as it has a noise-reducing quality that makes it much quieter than other models in the market.

Additionally, you have features like the remote control, and the temperature control for easy and convenient use. You don’t have to move a muscle to change the fan speed or the temperature. You can also access ‘sleep mode’ on this device.

Pros
  • It is small and compact and functions efficiently.
  • It has noise-reducing properties.
  • It has a remote control feature that makes it convenient to use.
Cons
  • It does not have a heating mode.
  • All parts are not provided, including extras for future repairs and replacements.

Related: Also Check Our Best RV Air Conditioner Review Click Here

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHILE BUYING A SMALL RV CONDITIONER

There are certain elements to consider before you go on your search for the perfect small air conditioner for your RV. However, you’ll find that there is a lower limit to the size of an AC, as they need to be able to cool an entire RV. Additionally, you’ve gotta figure out what a ‘small’ AC means in relation to the size of your RV! For this reason, the following factors may help clear the fog of confusion before buying your first AC.

SIZE AND TYPE OF THE RV

As I’ve mentioned, your AC has to be compatible with your RV. So, it might be a good idea to sit down and assess the kind of RV you have in terms of space, size, rooms, windows, and so on.

If you own a traditional RV, those usually come in three sizes or classes- Class A, B, and C. Class A are the large RVs that usually have space for more than one rooftop AC system. Class B is the smallest in size. Class C RVs are mid-sized. For a larger RV, a ‘small’ AC may be a different size compared to a small AC for a small RV. 

ROOFTOP VS PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONERS

You might want to consider the risks and the difficulties that may arise based on the type of AC you go for. Although rooftop air conditioners seem ideal for RVs, they have their own set of problems. That is to say, they do free up floor space.

However, consider the complications that may constitute the installation process, wiring, etc. Moreover, you may have to buy extras like thermostats, control panels, and so on.

On the other hand, you can also choose to go for portable ACs, where you’re spared the extra expenses and the extra labor of fixing and setting up the system.

In fact, portable ACs also award you a bunch of additional features compared to the former. However, if you’re extremely space-bound, or if you live in an already small and compact RV, this may not be the best option.

DUCTED VS NON-DUCTED ACs

Ducted air conditioners will ensure that the cooling effect is distributed through the air throughout your RV. This is in contrast with Non-ducted ACs because Non-Ducted ACs generally blow air in the direction in which their nozzles are fixed. So the latter may be more suited for singular rooms.

COOLING CAPACITY/POWER

Since you are looking for a relatively small and compact air conditioning system for your RV, make sure to carefully look through the cooling capacity of every AC. The BTU (British Thermal Unit) and the CFM usually convey the cooling power and the surface area covered by the unit during operation.

Remember that you may not even require a high cooling capacity from your AC if your RV is small. The size of the AC may also increase as cooling capacity increases. 

OTHER FEATURES

Consider these kinds of features you’re looking for remote control, a sleep-mode feature, an air filter, or maybe some heating extensions. Also, keep an eye out for the build and the durability of the unit.

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