How Many Watts Does an RV Air Conditioner Use?

Are you wondering how many watts does an RV air conditioner use? This is important to know if you do not want to end up with no electricity whilst boondocking. You will need a good generator to run an AC. RV air conditioners are known to take up much power. At the time that they are running, they are able to draw around 700 watts going to 1,500 watts. When they startup they are able to draw above double this amount of power.

An air conditioner is an appliance in an RV that will be using more power than any other appliance. This is why it is a good idea to know how many watts does an RV air conditioner use.

How Many Watts Does an RV Air Conditioner UseThe following aims to help you answer this:

How much power does an RV air conditioner generally use?

You need to know that the power that an air conditioner in an RV will use will vary depending on the AC’s BTU rating. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. It is a unit of measurement which shows the amount of energy that an air conditioner employs to remove heat from a home in an hour.

When it comes to an air conditioner, this will usually have 2-watt ratings. One watt gets used in the startup of the AC. The other one includes the watts that get used by it when it is running. It is important to keep in mind that the startup watts will be more than the running watts. You will need to get a generator that will have more watts in comparison to the start watts that are required by your AC.

The number of watts that your AC will use depends on BTU. We can provide you with average values that are not totally accurate. There are different factors that play a role in determining how many watts get used. This includes stuff like how old is your AC, the brand of your AC, etc.

Average watts that an RV AC will use

If you have a 15,000 BTU air conditioner you should expect it to generally use around 3200 going to 3500 watts when the startup is occurring. This air conditioner will require about 1200 to 1700 watts when running.

Those who have a 13,500 BTU air conditioner, will need around 2700 going to 2900 watts when the startup is occurring. This AC will use about 1000 to 1300 watts for running.

A 10,000 BTU AC will generally need around 1900 going to 2050 watts when the startup is occurring. It will use about 600 to 750 watts for the running.

Generally, a 7,000 BTU AC will need about 1600 to 1800 watts for the startup. The running will require around 500 to 650 watts.

A 5,000 BTU AC will generally need about 1100 to 1300 watts for the start-up. The running will need around 300 to 450 watts.

If you know the wattage figures, you can determine the amount of power that is being used on the AC which is present in your RV. The figures are able to be used to know which capacity generator to get so that your RV AC can function properly.

Class A RVs employ the most power. Generally, they draw about 430 watts.

If you have a Class C motorhome, this will be smaller than Class As. It will also have lower energy consumption rates which are at 300 to 350 watts, generally.

Fifth wheel RVs are the “fifth wheel” of your truck that tows them. These are able to be moved around easily. The energy consumption depends on the type you have. Some employ between 350 and 400 watts and other users more than 500 watts per hour at the time that the AC is running.

Generator size to get

You will be wondering which size generator will be sufficient to run your AC in your RV. When you go shopping for one, you will see that there are many available from different brands. You can get those that are made for RVs.

When looking for the best RV-ready generator, make sure that its watt rating must be more than the startup wattage that the AC will need.

How Many Watts Does an RV Air Conditioner Use?

If you need to get an AC that is 7000 BTU, then choose a generator that has a watt rating of more than 2000. When it comes to a 13,500 BTU AC, you should get a generator that has more than 3000 watts. With a 15000 BTU AC, find a generator that is above 4000 watts.

When figuring out which BTU to get for your air conditioner, keep in mind the area of cooling required. Find out the approximate area of cooling in your RV.

If you have a 30 feet long RV, that is around 10 feet wide, it will be around 300 sq. ft. This may generally need about 7000 BTU if you want good cooling to occur. If the RV is about 150 square feet then the BTU will be 5000.

  • The RV is about 200 square feet, will require 5500 BTU.
  • A 250 square feet RV will require 6000 BTU.
  • A 300 square feet one will need 7000 BTU.
  • A 350 square feet RV will require 8000 BTU.
  • A 400 square feet RV will need 8500 BTU going to 9000 BTU.
  • If you have a 450 square feet RV, this will need 9500 BTU going to 10,000 BTU.
  • The RV that is around 500 square feet will require 11,000 BTU going to 12,000 BTU.

When looking at these calculations, you can figure out the BTU of the particular air conditioner to get and the generator size which will be perfect for your requirements.

Other appliances using the generator

Keep in mind that the AC will not be the only appliance employing the generator power. You will also have other stuff such as a TV, refrigerator, microwave, the lights you use, and other stuff. This is why the calculation that you do to figure out the max watt rating to get for a portable generator for the RV will depend upon all of the units that will be running wattage. You will need to calculate the wattage of all of these.

Calculations need to occur of the appliances that can start up and also run at one time. The total must not be more than the maximum rating of the generator you get for the RV.

  • A fridge uses about 600 watts for the start-up and 180 watts for running.
  • A small flat-screen TV will use 120-200 watts for the start-up and 120-200 watts for the running.
  • A DVD player will use 350 watts for a start-up then 350 watts for running.
  • A microwave will employ 1000 watts for start-up and 1000 watts for running.
  • A radio uses 50-200 watts for start-up and 50-200 watts for running.
  • A satellite receiver uses 250 watts for start-up and 250 watts for running.
  • A laptop also uses 250 watts for start-up and 250 watts for running.
  • A small portable fan will use about 120 watts for start-up and 40 watts for running.
  • An electric counter-top grill will use 1700 watts for start-up and 1700 watts for running.
  • A 1600 watts hairdryer will use 1900 watts for startup and 1800 watts for running.

Remember that these figures are average ones. If you wish to utilize multiple appliances as well as electronics at the time that the AC is one, it is necessary to get a generator that has a larger capacity.

From the figures, you can see that air conditioning needs the most watts. This is why people use it to decide which generator watt rating to get.

Should I get a 2000 watts generator to run the AC?

An air conditioner that is about 7000 BTU will require a starting up watts that is about 1800 watts. The running power needed will be about 650 watts. This may be the maximum BTU that you can get with a 2000 watts generator. The air conditioner that is more than 7000 will exceed start-up watt power, particularly for the AC.

If you have a 9000 BTU AC, this will require you to start up watts that are about 2000. This will not be sufficient enough to start your air conditioner.

If the starting wattage needs are met moreover the air conditioner begins running, the watts may be employed for other reasons. This includes if you want to use the microwave, refrigerator, etc.

Amps that RV AC will draw

You need to know the amps that the electrical appliances will draw in the RV in a 110 Volt AC at the time that the generator is on. This is due to the fact that there is a threat of circuit breaker tripping.

RVs usually possess a 30 amp or even 50 amp capacity. If you go above this, it can be risky. The size of the RV is important to know if a 30 amp is fine or a 50 amp one is better. If you have a smaller RV it can work on a 30 amp one. If a 35 feet RV has many appliances, this will require a 50 amp capacity. When it comes to a bigger fifth wheel or maybe class A RV, this will usually employ 50 amp capacity.

Generally, an AC will require about 12-16 amps. The BTU as well as the mode that it is operating in is important if you want to know the exact value. A 15,000 BTU air conditioner generally will draw about 12.5- 13 amps in an RV. A 13,500 BTU AC draws about 12 amps.

You need to keep in mind the mode of heating as well as cooling over here. When it comes to a heating mode, this will require extra amps.

Points to keep in mind when choosing a generator

When you decide to go and buy a generator for your RV, you need to keep some points in mind. It is important to know the noise level of the generator. No one will like to get one that makes much noise and keeps them up as well as other campers. This disturbs others as well and is not a good idea to get.

There are many portable generators that claim to make little noise. The operations are said to be at about 50-65dBA.

The weight of the generator is important as well. If the capacity is large, it will be bigger. The 3000 watts to 6500 watts generators possess standard or even optional wheel kits that are included when you buy the product. You can consider getting two fewer capacity generators then link these together. You need to be able to move the generator easily and safely without having to strain yourself.

Will there definitely be an AC in the RV?

Will there definitely be an AC in the RVEspecially if you stay in a place where the weather is usually hot, you will need an AC when going boondocking. This is why you will want to know if the RV comes with an AC. Most RV’s do have an air conditioner. The size of the RV is important here. If you decide to get a smaller one, it may not have an AC. Pop-up campers may not have one installed.

Old rigs may even not have one that is pre-built. You can get one if your RV does not have an AC.

Usually, the later model RV’s will have a rooftop air conditioner which is pre-build as well as properly fitted. The benefit of these is that space is saved. The AC will also remain intact and not disturb you much.

Your window can be kept free with this AC as it will be fitted above. The AC is usually fitted or made in such a way that this will not harm the overall height of your RV clearance. Those who decide to get a bigger RV, i.e. more than 40 feet or also 30 feet. You can get multiple air conditioners.

You can get a portable AC if the RV does not have one pre-installed. The disadvantage here is that you need to fit this in somewhere and it will definitely take up some space.

When you shop for an AC for your RV, you will see that there are those that are mounted on the window. This is similar to traditional ones. A window needs to be given up for this one but you will not be disturbed by it much.

If you decide to get a pre-installed rooftop air conditioner, this will require you to maintain it more. However, it has many other advantages.

Now that you know how many watts does an RV air conditioner need, you can figure out which generator to get for your RV. You need to keep in mind the fact that other appliances will be using the generator also.

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