It is now a necessity to have an air conditioner in an RV. This is especially true when the temperature soars. You need to have an efficient AC that is installed in your RV. For those who love boondocking or dry camping, you will probably need a generator as there will not be a direct electric supply. When this is the case, it is essential to be careful how many watts are required to run RV AC.
An AC is an appliance in an RV that requires more power than other devices. This is why it is necessary to carefully do the watts calculation so that you use it more efficiently.
This article aims to tell you how many watts an RV air conditioner will draw. We will also present you with other points you need to remember when using an AC in a motorhome and travel trailer.
Average power consumption of an RV AC
It is essential to know that the power consumption of your AC in your RV will vary depending upon the BTU rating of your AC. BTU is an acronym stating British thermal unit. It measures heat or thermal energy.
When it comes to an air conditioner, this will often possess 2-watt ratings. We will need watts to pursue the start-up. The other watts will be used by it during running.
The start-up watts needed are higher in comparison to the running watts necessary. Therefore the portable inverter generator you are employing to run your AC must have watts that are more than the start watts needed by the AC.
So, How Many Watts do To Run RV AC?
This depends upon BTU. The figures we give you are average and inaccurate as they depend upon many factors, such as the age of the AC, brand, etc. If you have a more efficient generator, this will employ less wattage. On average, the numbers given below will be the approximate watts needed:
- A 15,000 BTU AC, on average, will require about 3200 to 3500 watts, particularly for the start-up.
- A 13,500 BTU AC, on average, will require about 2700 to 2900 watts, specifically for the start-up.
- A 10,000 BTU AC, on average, will require about 1900 to 2050 watts, particularly for the start-up.
- A 7,000 BTU AC, on average, will require about 1600 to 1800 watts, specifically for the start-up.
- A 5,000 BTU AC, on average, will require about 1100 to 1300 watts, particularly for the start-up.
The running wattage for various RV ACs for varying BTUs is given below. The watts tend to be more than half compared to that needed for starting up.
- A 15,000 BTU AC, on average, will require about 1200 to 1700 watts for running.
- A 13,500 BTU AC, on average, will require about 1000 to 1300 watts for running.
- A 10,000 BTU AC will require about 600 to 750 watts for running.
- A 7,000 BTU AC will require about 500 to 650 watts for running.
- On average, a 5,000 BTU AC will require about 300 to 450 watts for running.
When considering the wattage needs, you must be able to figure out the amount of power that is being used on the AC running in your RV. You can use these figures to determine the generator capacity you will have to purchase.
Size of the generator to run AC in RV
When you look for generators made particularly for RV or camper employment, you will see that many brands sell these. It would help if you did not get confused by the options but selected the one best fit your needs.
The generator watt rating in the RV must be more than the particular start-up wattage needed for the AC. If you, for instance, have an AC that requires 2500 watts for starting, get a rated generator above this value.
Remember that the running wattage will be lower than anything below 1800. If you employ a smaller BTU RV, it will be less than 700. Generally, RVs operate ACs with a running wattage of around 400-700 watts.
If you require an AC of 7000 BTU, get a generator with a watt rating above 2000. If you have a 13,500 BTU AC, this will require a generator with watts above 3000. With a 15000 BTU AC, a generator above 4000 watts is needed.
You may wonder how you will know which BTU is required for the air conditioner. This concerns the area of cooling. You also have to consider approximately how much space is in your RV.
If the RV is 30 feet long and about 10 feet wide, it will be about 300 sq. ft. This may need about 7000 BTU if you want good cooling.
It would help if you also remembered that the air conditioners would not be the only things employing the generator power. There will be other appliances using them as well. This includes the TV, fridge, lights, microwave, etc.
Therefore the calculation required for figuring out the max watt rating needed for a portable generator for the RV will depend upon all of the units that are running wattage and not just the AC. It will generally be the summation of the total running watts.
It is essential to calculate the number of things that can start up as well as operate at the same time. You will be adding the wattage that is used at a particular time. The summation must not be more than the max rating of your RV generator.
People require a refrigerator when boondocking. On average, a refrigerator may consume about 400-1000 watts. A television will require fewer watts. It may be around 100-500 watts. Overall this means that the air conditioner decides which generator watt rating to get. This is because it uses most of the electricity.
Air conditioner in an RV
You may be wondering if all RVs come with an air conditioner. Most have one, but it depends on its size. Smaller RVs may not come with an air conditioner.
These days’ old rigs may also not come with pre-built AC.
Usually, a new build and current RV will have a rooftop AC. This will be pre-built as well as properly fitted. With these, you will save space, and the AC can remain intact and not disturb you. When shopping for an RV, it is better to look for an example like this.
Because the air conditioner is fitted above, a window is unnecessary. They are often included and designed not to impact your RV clearance’s overall height negatively. A bigger RV above 40 feet or 30 feet can have more than one air conditioner. They will be equipped with these.
You can get a portable air conditioner when no AC is pre-installed in the RV. The disadvantage of this one is that it needs to be put somewhere in your RV. It will take up plenty of space.
However, there are also air conditioners for the RVs mounted on the window. These are similar to the traditional ones. With this, a window will need to be sacrificed, but you will not be disturbed by it much.
Pre-installed rooftop ACs require more maintenance to work correctly. Their advantages are nevertheless tremendous. It is typical to have scheduled maintenance of all the stuff in the RV so that it functions properly.
Solar panels to run RV AC
You can use solar panels to run your air conditioner on your RV precisely.
You need to keep some points in mind when determining whether to use solar power for the AC. This is because the AC energy requirements tend to be too much for solar panels to provide. When it comes to the solar panel system, it is the solar panel that first charges your battery. This then gives the dc to different appliances.
The size of your inverter, solar panels, and air conditioner will determine if the AC can run on solar energy. The battery that you have mattered as well. Solar panels also have to have solar power to keep working. This may not always be practical. We recommend you save all points in mind before choosing solar panels.
To employ an RV AC more efficiently, you should use electricity efficiently. You must try and cook outside of your RV. Only use the AC when it is required. Get an AC of BTU, which is perfect for your needs. Try and have adequate air circulation in the RV before starting the AC. It is better to get a good air conditioner from a reputable brand.
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