How Many Watts Does an RV Air Conditioner Use?

Are you wondering how many watts an RV air conditioner uses? This is important to know if you do not want to end up with no electricity whilst boondocking. You will need an excellent generator to run an AC.

RV air conditioners are known to take up power. When running, they can draw around 700 watts going to 1,500 watts. When they start up, they can draw above double this power.

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

How Many Watts Does an RV Air Conditioner Use

The following aims to help you answer this:

How much power does an RV air conditioner generally use?

You need to know that the power 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 that shows the amount of energy an air conditioner employs to remove heat from 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 crucial to remember that the startup watts will be more than the running watts. You will need to get a generator that will have more watts compared to the start watts 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 accurate. Different factors play a role in determining how many watts get used. This includes stuff like how old your AC is, 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 occurs. This air conditioner will require about 1200 to 1700 watts when running.

Those with a 13,500 BTU air conditioner will need around 2700 to 2900 watts when the startup occurs. 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 occurs. It will use about 600 to 750 watts for 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 startup. 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 statistics can be used to know which capacity generator to get so that your RV AC can function correctly.

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 generally have lower energy consumption rates at 300 to 350 watts.

Fifth-wheel RVs are your truck’s “fifth wheel” towing them. These can 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 when the AC is running.

Generator size to get

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

When looking for the best RV-ready generator, ensure its watt rating is higher 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. Regarding a 13,500 BTU AC, you should get a generator with more than 3000 watts. With a 15000 BTU AC, find a generator 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 measurement of cooling in your RV.

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

  • The RV is about 200 square feet and will require 5500 BTU.
  • A 250 square feet RV will require 6000 BTU.
  • Three hundred 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, around 500 square feet, will require 11,000 BTU 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

Remember 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, etc. This is why the calculation you do to figure out the max watt rating 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 must occur of the appliances that can start up and run at once. 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 startup and 180 watts for running.
  • A small flat-screen TV will use 120-200 watts for the startup and 120-200 watts for the running.
  • A DVD player will use 350 watts for a startup and 350 watts for running.
  • A microwave will employ 1000 watts for startup and 1000 watts for running.
  • A radio uses 50-200 watts for startup and 50-200 watts for running.
  • A satellite receiver uses 250 watts for startup and 250 watts for running.
  • A laptop also uses 250 watts for startup and 250 watts for running.
  • A small portable fan will use about 120 watts for startup and 40 watts for running.
  • An electric countertop grill will use 1700 watts for startup 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. Suppose you wish to utilize multiple appliances as well as electronics at the time that the AC is one. In that case, 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 of about 7000 BTU will require a starting up watts of about 1800 watts. The running power needed will be about 650 watts. This may be the maximum BTU you can get with a 2000 watts generator. The air conditioner that is more than 7000 will exceed startup 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

When the generator is on, you need to know the amps the electrical appliances will draw in the RV in a 110 Volt AC. This is because 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 essential to know if a 30 amp is acceptable 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 giant fifth wheel or maybe class A RV, this will usually employ a 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 essential 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.

It would be best if you kept the heating and cooling modes in mind. 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 essential 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.

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

The weight of the generator is significant as well. If the capacity is large, it will be more prominent. The 3000 watts to 6500 watts generators possess standard, or even optional wheel kits included when you buy the product. You can consider getting two fewer capacity generators and then link these together. You need to move the generator quickly and safely without straining yourself.

Will there be an AC in the RV?

Will there definitely be an AC in the RV

Especially if you stay in a place where the weather is usually hot, you will need an AC when going boondocking. This is why you want to know if the RV comes with an AC. Most RVs do have an air conditioner. The size of the RV is essential 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 not even 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 that is pre-build and 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 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 30 feet. You can get multiple air conditioners.

You can get a portable AC if the RV has no pre-installed one. The disadvantage is that you need to fit this in somewhere, which will take up some space.

When you shop for an AC for your RV, you will see that some 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 an RV air conditioner need, you can figure out which generator to get for your RV. It would help if you kept in mind that other appliances will also be using the generator.

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