RV Air Conditioning sure makes it nicer to be driving in the warm southern states! Depending on the type of RV, length and how much you personally like AC, most manufacturers accommodate us very well.
Since nothing is simple - there are at least 2 different types of AC systems in today's RV.
The "Non-Motorized" RV's all have only roof top style AC.
Motorized will have the engine driven system for the driver and front passenger, of course. Then it gets different.
Your big "Tour Bus" or "Conversion Bus" will have a complete bus AC system down underneath in the luggage area. It takes up a lot of room and works well - only when the coach is moving.
Since we aren't supposed to idle diesel engines anymore, this type of system is not very useful or popular for the usual RV'er.
The typical "Motorized" RV will have 1-2-3-4(?) Roof Top AC units, mostly depending on the length of the RV. A smaller Class B or Class C may have only one in the general area - or if larger, perhaps one in the bedroom also.
Left image of a "Low Profile" RV Air Conditioning Rooftop unit.
Most Class A Diesels will have at least 2 or 3, depending on the internal floor plan and the engineers who designed it. There are several different brands of rooftop AC units available. If you are ordering your RV new, you can select how many RV ac units you want and the BTU's of them.
Depending on the type of RV and manufacturer, you can also specify ducted vents throughout the ceilings or only air from the actual unit itself.
The typical RV Air Conditioning system will have either a "low profile" or standard height rooftop ac unit. As RV's get taller and closer to bridge height limits, the low profile units are more in demand.
As mentioned earlier, if you have a choice at all, please think about the RV colors, sun absorption, roof colors and of course AC rooftop cover colors.
The lighter the color, the cooler the material. Therefore your AC won't be working quite so hard!
What are your options if you have an older RV and one of the AC units isn't working too well? Depending on how you spend your summers - boondocking or campground parking can really help make that decision!
We typically will avoid parks and boondock instead. That's great - except no big power source for that hungry AC System. Actually, that's fine with us - we have lots of solar and great batteries - and love fresh air.
We researched exchanging our bedroom rooftop AC unit with a new quiet 12 volt DC vent fan system instead. Turns out, it isn't all that difficult or complicated to do.
We purchased a new Fan-Tastic Vent Fan System along with a new Maxx Air Vent Cover. We started on the inside area and removed the 4 bolts that hold the rooftop AC unit to the roof, removed the ceiling ducts from that immediate area and cut the power to the system.
We wanted a 12 volt system so we knew we wouldn't need any 110 AC Power. However, I wanted the bare copper (3rd wire) for a ground. I tested the bundle of wires coming to the AC unit from the furnace area and they were 12 volt DC!!! Yeah!!!
The holes in the RV roof are all standardized - whew!!!! That could've been ugly!
However, we just removed our AC unit and there was a pretty 14" square hole - all ready for the 14" vent fan system.
I must admit - the highlight of the day was "launching" our old rooftop AC unit off the roof!!!! Wow - now that was pretty cool!!! Smashed into a million pieces too!!!!!
I cleaned the fiberglass roof down to get rid of all the old sealant, resealed the perimeter with fresh caulking tape and installed our new Fan-Tastic Vent system. I cut the 110 volt AC wires so only the copper 3rd wire was exposed and used that for my ground and tested a wire coming from the furnace to the old AC unit to find 12 volts DC and the fan works beautifully.
The Fan-Tastic model #5000RBT comes with a new 4.5" bezel/garnish in the box. Do NOT purchase a new garnish/bezel separately - not needed. The Fan-Tastic models are a square inside corner system.
We didn't know this and wound up purchasing a "Ventline" garnish because that's all the was offered with no hint of round versus square corners, so we wasted about $20 in product and shipping.
Be careful what you order online. Dyers RV Parts has great pricing, but their website doesn't explain much at all about the products they sell!
They don't indicate that the Fan-Tastic already comes with a garnish for the inside area, or the size of it. Worse, they didn't indicate the Ventline is rounded corners versus the squared corners of the Fan-Tastic.
Aside from the "extra parts", the entire switch was made in about 2 hours. Now we have a nice quiet 12 volt DC fan system in our bedroom. It works very well, pulls lots of heat out of the bedroom/rear of the RV, is quiet and uses minimal power - we like that!!!