Having a generator for your RV air conditioner ensures you can keep cool and comfortable no matter where the road takes you. With summer heat and boondocking being common parts of RV life, investing in the right generator is crucial. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose?
When shopping for an RV air conditioner generator, consider the unit's power output, fuel type, noise level, and portability. Make sure it can handle the start-up load of your A/C, which is heavier than the running load. Also ensure it runs quietly enough for camping and can be easily moved in and out of storage.
Will you be mostly camping at full hook-up sites or living off-grid? Are low emissions a priority? Answering questions like these will help narrow the field. Working with a trusted RV technician can provide personalized insight as well.
A quality generator allows you to enjoy cool, comfortable temperatures no matter how remote your campsite. With some forethought and smart shopping, you can find the perfect power solution for your RVing needs. Let the open road call knowing you'll be prepared for every climate it brings.
6 Best Generator For Rv Air Conditioner
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The product is ideal for cooling RVs and campers efficiently and quietly.
The product is ideal for starting air conditioners and appliances on an RV power system with a small generator.
The product is ideal for starting an RV air conditioning unit and other appliances using a small generator.
The product is ideal for cooling or heating options in RVs and campers.
The product is ideal for cooling or heating an RV or camper efficiently and quietly.
The product is ideal for starting RV A/C units, campers, and HVAC compressors smoothly on small generator power.
1. Recpro Low Profile 9.5k Non-Ducted Rv Air Conditioner
I am thoroughly impressed with this AC unit. It operates quietly, even when placed just a few feet away from where I am in my camper. I can easily carry on a conversation without any disturbance, especially when using the low fan setting. The cooling capabilities of this AC are excellent and it effectively cools my truck camper.
One of the standout features of this AC is its vent setup. The louvers have a wide range of motion, allowing me to direct the airflow in various directions. I particularly appreciate the ability to point the outlet away from the main living area, directing the cool air into the living space. When needed for the upper bed, I can simply point it straight out as usual.
Installation of the AC was relatively easy, although I did encounter a few issues. The manual provided with the unit was not very helpful and lacked clarity. It mentioned the need to create a wood box under the external mounting flange, which was confusing. Thankfully, I contacted the company and learned that this instruction is intended for non-flat RV roofs. It would have been helpful if the manual had included this information. Additionally, the recommended sealing method using only one bead of caulk seemed insufficient to me. To ensure a proper seal, I drilled two holes on each side and used stainless steel screws to secure the bracket against butyl tape. I then applied self-leveling caulk around the outside, following the standard procedure for vents.
In terms of power consumption, the AC's current rating is provided as the worst-case scenario. The manufacturer states a maximum of 14A, and although my meter recorded a startup current of 13A, it may not have captured the true peak due to its slow response time. Therefore, the rated 14A seems believable. One minor drawback is that the condenser fan turns on before the compressor, adding an unnecessary 1A load to the peak. It would have been more efficient if the fan started a few seconds after the compressor. On high, the AC runs at approximately 7.5A, while the cabin fan consumes negligible power, with a difference of less than 0.5A between the low and high settings.
I tested the AC with a small inverter generator (Champion, rated at 1800W run and 2500W peak) and it handled the load without any issues. However, the startup power was too much for the quieter eco mode of the generator, so I had to turn it off. Consequently, the generator ran at a higher RPM even when the compressor was not running. This is more of a characteristic of the generator itself, and it might be worth considering alternative options, such as the popular red generator.
One aspect that could be improved is the clarity of the manual. Although the features of the remote are explained, it is not explicitly mentioned that some of these features are only supported by certain models. For example, the heat function is not available on all units. This information is present in the manual, but it would be helpful if it were more prominently highlighted.
2. Rv Power Ease: Soft Starter For A/c & Appliances
I recently purchased a Dometic roof AC unit and had some difficulties finding an installation video for my specific unit. However, I reached out to the manufacturer through their website and was pleasantly surprised by their prompt and helpful response. They provided me with the necessary information and directed me to a video that answered all of my questions and made the installation process much easier. I must say, the customer support from Dometic was outstanding.
Once I had the correct instructions and guidance, the installation of the AC unit went smoothly. I didn't encounter any issues or problems along the way. The unit works beautifully and immediately began cooling as soon as it was turned on. The green light indicator confirmed that the unit was functioning properly, just as advertised. I am a happy camper!
I would like to mention that there are a couple of minor drawbacks to this product. Firstly, it did not come with the double-sided tape as stated and shown in the videos. This made mounting and placement a bit challenging in the confined space. I had to resort to using the provided screws, but drilling pilot holes was difficult due to the limited space in the mounting location.
Secondly, the provided crimp connections were yellow and not suitable for the purpose of connecting larger gauge wires. This was not mentioned in the instructions, both in the box and on the website. Additionally, there was no mention of what to do with the Dometic start capacitor. The instructions only mentioned cutting and taping an extra red wire on the run capacitor. I had to guess and ended up removing the start capacitor myself.
3. Powerez Rv A/c Soft Starter For Easy Generator Use
<span class="cr-original-review-content">The construction of this unit appears to be good, comparable to more expensive ones. I just installed it and am currently in the testing phase. The instructions provided are limited, consisting only of an image on the unit's cover. However, it's important to note that each air conditioner model is different, so it's not uncommon for manufacturers to not provide detailed instructions. I wouldn't rely on instructions from other similar manufacturers either, as the details can vary significantly between different models. This is not specific to this product alone.
I installed this unit in a Dometic Penguin II 15k BTU air conditioner. I am a believer in this product and so far, it seems to be functioning well. Considering its price, I would recommend it. It appears to be well-constructed and is operating as expected, although I can only comment on its sound, as I haven't measured anything else yet. I plan on conducting further tests and will update my review accordingly. For now, I give it a 5-star rating.
4. Recpro Rv Air Conditioner: Heat Pump And Cooling
I recently purchased the Houghton air conditioning unit and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed. The packaging was excellent, with three well-padded boxes ensuring the unit's security during transit. The build quality of the unit is exceptional, with all copper components silver-brazed with grade 3 b cup 5. The robust and heavy-wall construction of the unit instills confidence in its durability.
One of the standout features of this unit is the whisper-quiet compressor. It is incredibly impressive how little noise it produces while still delivering powerful cooling capabilities. In fact, I was so impressed with the performance of this unit that I ended up buying a second one to replace my previous Coleman Mach series units. Not only do these Houghton units cool better and run quieter, but they also have a lower power draw, allowing me to run both units simultaneously without any issues.
The installation process was a breeze, thanks to the comprehensive instructions provided. All the necessary hardware, seals, and even a remote control were included, making it perfect for the DIY enthusiast. With just four bolts, three wires, and the installation of two batteries, the unit was up and running in no time. The convenience and simplicity of the installation were truly impressive.
This Houghton unit replaced a troublesome Dometic Brisk AC that was constantly tripping the breaker. The removal of the old unit was a more involved process, but the Houghton unit fit perfectly into the original opening, simplifying the installation. The weather-tight seal was easily achieved with the included bellows unit, steel plates, and screws. The only hiccup I encountered was my own fault for discarding the relay box from the Dometic unit, which affected the operation of my 12v furnace controlled by the wall thermostat. However, I am confident that I can reconnect the thermostat using the leftover wires from the previous unit.
Once installed, the Houghton unit started right up and provided efficient cooling. I did have to switch to a more powerful generator to handle the AC's load, but that was expected given its superior performance. Overall, I am highly impressed with the Houghton air conditioning unit and am eager to see how it performs over the next year.
5. Ducted Rv Air Conditioner: 15k Quiet Cooling & Heating
I recently purchased this AC unit for my camper and I have to say, it exceeded my expectations. Despite weighing close to 100 pounds, I was able to easily get it on top of my camper using a ladder as an inclined plane. The unit fit perfectly in the hole left by my old rooftop AC and after a bit of fidgeting and tightening the mounting bolts, I had it up and running in no time.
One of the features I love about this AC unit is the remote control. It allows me to adjust the temperature from the comfort of my bunk, which is incredibly convenient. The temperature display on the inside duct cover was also a pleasant surprise, as I can now easily confirm the temperature inside the camper without having to get up.
In terms of performance, this AC unit is outstanding. On a scorching 90-degree day, my camper was a comfortable 72 degrees before I knew it. It's also quieter than my old AC unit, which is a bonus. I also appreciate that I can run both this unit and another one on my generator, whereas before I could only run one.
Although getting the unit on the roof of my motorhome was a bit challenging, the rest of the installation process was relatively easy. And so far, the AC unit has been working great for both cooling and heating. It's worth noting that you won't need to purchase a separate square foam sealing pad, as it comes with the unit.
Lastly, I also installed this AC unit on my cargo trailer that I use as a tool/office trailer, and it has been performing exceptionally well. It cools the trailer with ease and I would definitely purchase it again without hesitation.
6. Rv A/c Start Kit: Smooth Power For Small Generators
I recently had the opportunity to try out the 364 Soft Start Kit for my RV's air conditioner, and I must say, it has truly impressed me. As someone who often travels with a small generator and limited power, this kit has been a game-changer for me.
One of the main issues I faced before installing this kit was that my air conditioner would cause a surge in power when turning on, forcing me to keep my generator running at full power rather than in eco mode. This not only consumed more fuel but also created unnecessary noise. However, after installing the 364 Soft Start Kit and following the provided instructions and online videos, I noticed a significant improvement.
The soft start technology incorporated within this kit allows my air conditioner to start smoothly and without any hiccups, even when the power supply is limited. I tested it first with the generator on full power, and it worked flawlessly. The startup process was quieter and more controlled, thanks to the staged startup feature of the kit.
After shutting off the air conditioner and waiting for a few minutes, I decided to put the generator in eco mode and give it another try. To my delight, the air conditioner started up without any issues, and I could hear the generator adjust accordingly. This means that my smaller generator is now sufficient to power the air conditioner, which is a huge relief.
While I haven't tested heavy amp draw appliances simultaneously with the air conditioner, I doubt that the kit could handle both at the same time. However, for its intended purpose of powering the air conditioner efficiently, it does an excellent job.
The installation process of the 364 Soft Start Kit was straightforward and hassle-free, thanks to the detailed instructions included in the kit. I appreciate the effort put into ensuring that even those with limited technical knowledge can install it with ease.
Since using this kit, I have noticed a significant improvement in my RV's air conditioning performance. Not only does it run more quietly, but it also operates more efficiently, providing me with cool temperatures without any sudden power surges or drops. This has greatly enhanced my camping experience and made it much more comfortable and enjoyable.
Are there any safety precautions to keep in mind when using a generator for an RV air conditioner?
Yes, there are several safety precautions to keep in mind when using a generator for an RV air conditioner. Here are a few important ones:
1. Proper ventilation: Ensure that the generator is placed in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide. Never operate a generator in an enclosed space such as inside the RV or a garage.
2. Grounding: Make sure the generator is properly grounded to avoid electrical shocks. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to properly ground the generator.
3. Fuel safety: Store and handle fuel for the generator safely. Keep it in approved containers, away from heat sources, and never refuel the generator while it is running or hot.
4. Electrical connections: Inspect all electrical connections and cords for any signs of damage or wear. Use appropriate extension cords and ensure they are rated for the generator's wattage.
5. Maintenance: Regularly maintain the generator according to the manufacturer's instructions. This includes checking oil levels, cleaning air filters, and inspecting for any damage.
It is important to consult the specific guidelines provided by the generator and RV air conditioner manufacturers for proper usage and safety precautions.
Are there any special considerations when choosing a generator for a ducted RV air conditioner?
When choosing a generator for a ducted RV air conditioner, there are a few special considerations to keep in mind. First and foremost, it is important to ensure that the generator has enough power to handle the air conditioner's electrical requirements.
Ducted RV air conditioners typically require a higher wattage compared to other appliances in the RV, so you will need to choose a generator that can provide sufficient power.
Additionally, noise level is another important factor to consider. Since you will be using the generator in close proximity to your RV, it is crucial to select a model that operates quietly. Look for generators that are specifically designed for RV use and offer features like noise reduction technology.
Fuel efficiency is also worth considering. Opt for a generator that offers good fuel efficiency, as this will help you save on costs and ensure longer running times without the need for frequent refueling.
Lastly, portability is a practical consideration. Choose a generator that is lightweight and compact, making it easier to transport and store.
Considering these factors will help you select a generator that is suitable for your ducted RV air conditioner, ensuring reliable and efficient operation while on the road.
Are there specific generator brands recommended for RV air conditioners?
While there are not specific generator brands that are exclusively recommended for RV air conditioners, there are certain factors to consider when choosing a generator for this purpose. The first and most important consideration is the generator's power output.
RV air conditioners typically require a significant amount of power to function properly, so it is crucial to choose a generator that can provide sufficient wattage. It is generally recommended to opt for a generator with a minimum power output of 3,000 watts, although this may vary depending on the specific requirements of your RV air conditioner.
Additionally, it is wise to choose a generator that is specifically designed for RV use, as these often come equipped with features and technologies that make them more suitable for powering RV appliances, including air conditioners.
Some reputable generator brands that are known for their quality and reliability include Honda, Yamaha, and Champion. It is advisable to research and read reviews about different generator models to find one that meets your specific needs and budget.
Can I run multiple RV air conditioners with one generator?
Yes, it is possible to run multiple RV air conditioners with one generator, but it depends on the capacity of the generator and the power requirements of the air conditioners. RV air conditioners typically require a significant amount of power to operate, so it's important to ensure that your generator has enough capacity to handle the combined load.
To determine if your generator can handle multiple air conditioners, you need to check the generator's wattage output and compare it to the power requirements of the air conditioners. The power requirements for each air conditioner can usually be found in the owner's manual or on the unit itself.
Add up the wattage requirements of all the air conditioners you want to run simultaneously, and make sure it does not exceed the wattage output of your generator.
If your generator does not have enough capacity to run multiple air conditioners, you may need to consider using a larger generator or running the air conditioners one at a time. It's important to never overload a generator, as it can cause damage to both the generator and the appliances connected to it.
Overall, it's crucial to check the specifications of your generator and the power requirements of your air conditioners to determine if running multiple units is feasible.
Can I use a portable generator to power my RV air conditioner?
Yes, you can use a portable generator to power your RV air conditioner. However, there are a few factors to consider before doing so. First, you need to ensure that the generator has enough power output to handle the air conditioner's electrical requirements.
RV air conditioners typically require a significant amount of power, so you should check the specifications of both the generator and the air conditioner to ensure compatibility.
Additionally, it's important to consider the noise level of the generator. RV parks and campgrounds often have restrictions on noise levels, so you may need to choose a generator that operates quietly.
Look for generators specifically designed for camping and RV use, as they are often more suitable in terms of noise levels.
Finally, you should also take into account the fuel consumption of the generator. RV air conditioners can consume a significant amount of power, which means the generator will need to run for extended periods. Make sure you have enough fuel or a plan to replenish it.
In summary, while it is possible to power your RV air conditioner with a portable generator, make sure to consider power output, noise levels, and fuel consumption to ensure a smooth and enjoyable camping experience.
How long can a generator power an RV air conditioner on a full tank of fuel?
The duration a generator can power an RV air conditioner on a full tank of fuel depends on several factors, such as the size of the generator, the fuel tank capacity, the load of the air conditioner, and the efficiency of the generator.
Typically, a small portable generator with a 1,000 to 2,000-watt capacity may provide around 8 to 10 hours of runtime on a full tank of fuel while running an RV air conditioner. However, larger generators with higher power capacities, such as 3,000 to 4,000 watts, can potentially provide longer runtime, potentially up to 12 to 15 hours or more.
It is essential to consider the fuel consumption rate of the specific generator model you are using, as it can vary. Additionally, it's important to note that running an air conditioner continuously can significantly decrease the runtime compared to intermittent usage.
To get a more accurate estimate, consult the generator's specifications and consider factors such as the load on the generator and the efficiency rating provided by the manufacturer.
How many watts does an RV air conditioner generator need?
The specific wattage required for an RV air conditioner generator depends on several factors, including the size and capacity of the air conditioner unit, as well as any additional appliances or devices that may be running simultaneously.
Generally, RV air conditioners can range from 1,000 to 3,500 watts. However, it is recommended to have a generator with a higher wattage capacity to handle the initial surge of power required when the air conditioner starts up.
A generator with a minimum capacity of 3,000 watts is often recommended for most RV air conditioners, but it is always best to consult the manufacturer's guidelines or seek professional advice to ensure you choose the right generator for your specific needs.
What are the fuel efficiency ratings of different generators for RV air conditioners?
The fuel efficiency ratings of generators for RV air conditioners can vary depending on the specific model and size of the generator. Generally, larger generators with higher wattage outputs will consume more fuel compared to smaller ones.
However, it is important to note that fuel efficiency is also influenced by other factors such as the load placed on the generator, the type of fuel used, and the generator's overall design and technology.
To determine the fuel efficiency of a generator, it is recommended to look for information provided by the manufacturer. Most reputable manufacturers will provide fuel consumption rates or estimated run times at specific load levels.
These details can give you an idea of how efficiently a generator will operate and how long it can run on a specific amount of fuel.
Additionally, it is advisable to consider inverter generators, as they are generally more fuel-efficient compared to conventional generators. Inverter generators automatically adjust the engine speed based on the power demand, resulting in better fuel efficiency.
Ultimately, when selecting a generator for an RV air conditioner, it is essential to consider the power requirements of the air conditioner, along with the fuel efficiency ratings, to ensure you choose a generator that meets your needs while minimizing fuel consumption.
What are the noise levels of generators suitable for RV air conditioners?
Generators suitable for RV air conditioners typically have noise levels ranging from 50 to 70 decibels (dB). It is important to choose a generator with a noise level that is acceptable for your needs.
In general, a generator with a noise level of 50-60 dB is considered relatively quiet and suitable for most RV camping scenarios. This level of noise is comparable to a normal conversation or background music.
It allows for a comfortable camping experience without causing excessive disturbance to yourself or neighboring campers.
However, if you prioritize even quieter operation, there are generators available with noise levels as low as 50 dB, which is comparable to the sound of a quiet suburban neighborhood. These generators are specifically designed to minimize noise and provide a more peaceful camping environment.
It is worth noting that noise levels can vary depending on the load and distance from the generator. Therefore, it is always a good idea to check the specifications provided by the manufacturer and read customer reviews to get a better understanding of the noise levels of specific generator models before making a purchase.
What is the best generator size for running an RV air conditioner?
The best generator size for running an RV air conditioner depends on the specific requirements of your air conditioner. RV air conditioners typically have different power requirements, with smaller units requiring around 2,000 to 3,000 watts and larger units requiring up to 5,000 watts or more.
To determine the appropriate generator size, you need to check the specifications of your RV air conditioner. Look for the starting wattage (often higher than the running wattage) and the running wattage.
It is crucial to choose a generator that can handle the starting wattage to ensure a smooth and reliable operation.
As a general guideline, a 3,000-watt generator is often sufficient for smaller RV air conditioners, while larger units may require a 5,000-watt generator or more. It is always recommended to choose a generator with a higher wattage rating to account for any additional power needs or fluctuations.
If you are unsure about the specific requirements or cannot find the information, it is advisable to consult the manufacturer of your RV air conditioner or a qualified electrician to determine the best generator size for your needs.