How Much Does RV Air Conditioner Installation Cost?

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One of the biggest woes while camping in hot temperatures is the heat. If your recreational vehicle doesn’t have an air conditioner unit, it is not a good idea to go summer camping, unless you have one. You might think picking the right air conditioning unit is an arduous task, but believe me, it’s not.

Summer camping requires you to prepare yourself to combat hot temperatures so that you can make the most out of your trip. Having no air conditioning unit in your RV means you are camping in a can. The similarity between an RV without an air conditioning unit and a tin can is both of them can heat up easily.

Regardless of whether your RV doesn’t have an AC at all or it has, but it’s not working properly, you have to fix this issue before you hit the road. In this regard, this article will help you to learn everything related to an RV air conditioner installation cost.

RV Air Conditioner Installation Cost

How much does an RV Air Conditioner Installation Cost? A Rooftop Air Conditioner unit can cost between $700 to $1,400 and the labor cost can start from $200 to $600 depending on the location and labor experience. So in total around $1000 to $2000. 

Major factors that vary greatly on the RV air conditioner installation cost include,

  • Whether the AC is ducted or not?
  • What type of RV AC unit do you want to install?
  • How much work does the RV AC replacement or installation require?

You should expect a labor cost to replace the RV air conditioner that can be run up to $700 if it needs additional material.

Factors to Consider before buying an Air Conditioner for RV

Before you buy an RV air conditioner unit, there are multiple factors to consider. Considering these factors means you will get the most suitable unit for your camper. Some critical factors when buying an RV air conditioner unit include,

1. Power

The greatest factor to consider prior to buying an RV air conditioner unit is its power. The power of an RV AC is generally measured in BTUs, and a stand RV, AC unit, comes with up to 13,500 BTU output power. However, this amount of power is great for smaller RVs and shorter trips.

If you are planning an extended trip while the weather is extremely hot, you should look for an A/C with more BTUs power. However, if you don’t run, you don’t run your A/C all the time, you can go for an air conditioning unit with less output power, which will also be cost-efficient.

2. Dual Usage

You do not want to spend a serious amount to buy an RV air conditioning unit that you can use only in summer. There are ACs that come with dual usage. These versatile ACs come equipped with a heat pump, making them a perfect appliance to use hot and colder temperatures. This also saves your propane cost since you will use the furnace rarely.

However, you should know that dual usage RV air conditioners are more expensive, and the heat pump often fails to work when the outside temperature is too cold.

So, what are the most trusted RV air conditioner brands?

3. Buy Trusted RV Air Conditioner Brands

Another important factor to consider while buying an RV air conditioner unit is its brand. Although some people prefer buying an RV air conditioner unit of a certain brand based on their past experiences, it isn’t wise. You should go for an RV AC brand that offers a durable and trusted product and has replacement parts ready. It is helpful when you want to repair your AC by adding new parts rather than replacing the whole RV A/C unit.

The most popular RV air conditioner unit brands available on the market are Dometic and Coleman. Coleman RV air conditioner units are usually cost-efficient, which makes them a great option if you have a low budget.

Popular Coleman RV Air Conditioner Unit Models are

  • Mach 8

  • Mach 15

While on the other hand, Dometic RV air conditioner units have steep price tags, but they are also more powerful than their counterparts. So, buying a Dometic RV air conditioner unit means you cannot go wrong.

Popular Dometic RV Air Conditioner Unit Models are

  • Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner

  • Penguin II

What Type of AC Should You Buy?

Before buying an RV air conditioner unit, you should also consider your rig height. If you have a tall rig, a low profile roof-mounted AC might be a good option. However, if your rig has an average or below average height, you may want to have standard roof AC.

Some other factors that you should consider are,

  • Ducted or No-Ducted AC

Ducted or Non Ducted AC

If you are replacing an old RV AC to install a new one, you should buy the same AC type. If the older one is a ducted AC, buy a ducted one. A ducted AC also needs a thermostat mounted on the wall. While a non-ducted AC just needs a remote control that you can use to adjust temperatures.

  • Consider AC BTU Output

Bigger is not always better. You should also consider the amperage that your new AC requires. However, if you are going to buy a newer model AC, they are efficient and use less amperage while still provide more cooling.

  • AC with Dual Usage

As I have stated above, some RV air conditioner units can be used all year round. You should thoroughly research before buying an RV AC with a heat pump since they are expensive and often fail in extremely cold weather conditions.

How to Maintain Your RV Air Conditioner Unit?

Who doesn’t want to keep their newly installed RV air conditioner unit up to date? Keeping it in its optimal condition, you have to maintain it. The longevity of your RV air conditioner unit is up to you. If you keep it maintained by cleaning it up, it will last for years.

Here are some simple tips that will help you,

1. Change or Clean Air Filters

Changing the RV air conditioner filters is the easiest way to enhance its functionality. You can comfortably pull out its air filters to clean it. If you don’t have a spare pair of filters, make sure to clean them once a month.

2. Check Coils

While you pull out the filters for cleaning, you should also see your RV air conditioner coils. Use a flashlight to figure out if there is any dirt buildup. If you spot a dust buildup, use a vacuum cleaner to clean it up.

3. Keep the Exterior Clean

Cleaning your RV air conditioner’s exterior is as important as cleaning its interior. Make sure to clean the shroud using a compressed air blow. It will remove any debris build in the condenser coils.

Wrapping Up

That is all about how much does an RV air conditioner installation cost. I have discussed almost everything related to RV AC that you want to know. If you are considering replacing the older RV air conditioner, you should make sure to buy the new one of the same type. Above I have also explained what factors you should consider before buying an RV AC. However, if you have any queries regarding RV AC, you are welcome to write a comment below.


Does dual usage RV air conditioner unit worth it?

Dual Usage RV air conditioner means it can be used all year round. It comes with a heat pump that you can use during winters and an air conditioner to keep you comfortable during hot temperatures while camping. However, these ACs are expensive, and the heat pump often fails to perform when the weather outside is too cold.

What brand RV air conditioner units are durable?

The popular RV air conditioner brands on the market are Coleman and Dometic. Coleman air conditioner units are cheap, while Dometic RV air conditioner units have steep price tags. However, the Dometic brand is known for producing better and powerful RV air condition units.

What size RV air conditioner should I buy for my RV?

While buying an RV air conditioner unit, it is a must to consider your recreational vehicle’s size. If you have an RV with up to 32 feet long, a single AC unit is likely going to work fine. However, if your RV is longer than that, you might need to install two air conditioner units.

About Ted Mosby

My Name is Ted Mosby from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a freelance Architect. I live in New Jersey, USA right now and I take my RV every alternate weekend. As I am a Freelancer I can work anywhere so most of my work is done inside my camper remotely.