18,000 BTU RV Air Conditioner Units: All You Need to Know

So you’ve got a large recreational vehicle, and it’s in the middle of summer, and you realize that maybe your AC isn’t quite up to snuff. You did your research and found that an 18000 BTU RV air conditioner could be a perfect choice. But what is it? How does it compare to other RV ACs? Is it the one for you?

When you’re looking to pick up an air conditioner for your RV, you’ve got a lot of options. Let’s take a closer look at different types of RV air conditioners, so you can see if an 18,000 BTU unit makes sense for your needs.

Different Sizes of RV Air Conditioners

If you’re interested in getting a camper van, you may have noticed that the air conditioner has different sizes. You may be wondering: what the heck is BTU, and what do all of these numbers mean?

The Definition of BTU

BTU means “British Thermal Unit” and it’s a unit to measure heat. It’s measured by the energy required to increase one pound of water’s temperature by 1°F. So when we’re talking about an air conditioner size in BTUs, we’re talking about how much energy it’ll take to keep your camper nice and cool. The more BTUs, the bigger and more powerful your air conditioner is.

What Do Different BTUs Mean?

Well, they refer to different sizes of AC units you can choose from for your RV. When you’re looking at the size of an RV air conditioner, you’re looking at how many BTUs the unit has.

An 9,000 AC unit is small and lightweight, meaning that it’s portable and will work in RVs with less space to spare. An 9,000 BTU RV air conditioner will cover approximately 150 square feet and cool down your room quickly.

But if you’ve got a larger space or want to cool down your RV faster, you’ll need an 13,500 BTU or 15,000 BTU air conditioner. If you’ve got an enormous trailer or 5th wheel and plan to spend a lot of summer nights in your home-away-from-home, opt for an 18,000 BTU unit or something more powerful to make sure that the whole family stays relaxed and comfortable.

large rv ac
A large air conditioner unit for RV. Photo: Jayco

A large camper needs at least an 18K BTU unit to distribute cold air throughout the space. However, you may need a larger AC if you live in a hot climate area.

The 13,500 BTU unit is probably the most common size because they handle most RV sizes and weather conditions without breaking a sweat (or getting too sweaty). They can also work well with other A/Cs if your RV has more than one space to cool off.

In short: the more BTU your AC unit has, the cooler and more comfortable your RV will be when you hit the road this summer.

When Do You Need An 18,000 BTU RV AC?

If you are planning on spending a lot of time outdoors during the summer months, you will want to invest in an camper AC capable of cooling down your rig quickly and efficiently.

An 18000 BTU RV air conditioner is the perfect option for big rig owners looking to stay relaxed and comfortable while on the road. This type of AC can cool down a large RV quickly and efficiently during the hot summer days.

Additionally, an 18,000 BTU RV AC is also powerful enough to keep a small RV cool during the hottest periods.

So why does this matter when deciding what size of AC you need? Because it helps you figure out how quickly and efficiently your unit will cool down a room.

18000 btu rv ac
An air conditioner is essential in surviving hot summer days.

3 Best 18000 BTU RV Air Conditioner Units

When it comes to finding the best 18000 BTU RV air conditioner units, you don’t have to look very far. There are a ton of different companies that make these types of units.

The first thing to consider is how much you are willing to spend on your new unit. You’ll want to find one that will fit into your budget because it will be a long-term investment.

Almost all 18K BTU RV AC are window-mounted units, including our following recommendations:

1. LG 18,000 BTU 230V Dual Inverter Air Conditioner

LG 18,000 BTU 230V Dual Inverter Window Air Conditioner with Wi-Fi Control

Ready for hot summer days? Make sure your RV stays cool with the LG dual-inverter AC unit. This window unit is built to cool rooms up to 1,000 square feet, so you can keep the entire trailer comfortable at once.

LG’s Dual Inverter technology means this air conditioner will consistently provide you with an ultra-quiet operation – and did we mention it’s up to 25% more energy efficient than the Energy Star® certification requirement?

This unit delivers optimal cooling while maximizing energy savings, so you stay cool without spending a fortune on your electricity bill. Keep your home a relaxing oasis this summer with this powerful and ultra-efficient AC from LG.

2. Amana AMAP182BW 18000 BTU Air Conditioner

Amana White 18,000 BTU 230V Window-Mounted Air Conditioner with Remote Control

This 18,000 BTU unit from Amana has everything you need to kick back and relax on a hot summer day.

It has electronic controls with an LED display and a temperature sensing remote control, allowing you to conveniently see, set, and maintain the room temperature from across the room.

This window AC features a universal window frame kit that accommodates horizontal or vertical sliding windows, plus three different fan speeds, allowing you to customize the temperature of your space just how you like it.

Never sweat the heat again, thanks to this Amana window air conditioner. This AC unit can cool rooms up to 1,000 square feet and comes with an easy-to-clean reusable air filter.

3. OLMO 18000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

OLMO 18000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

The perfect cool breeze is never far away with the Olmo air conditioner. It has a large capacity of 18,000 BTU and a powerful motor that supplies fast and efficient cooling to any space up to 1000 square feet.

A compact window air conditioner is a blessing in the hot, sticky summer months. Quiet operation on low and medium settings makes this the perfect machine for your summer getaway. Keep the dust at bay with a reusable and washable filter that’s easily accessible from the front of the unit.

It’s Energy Star rated, which means it won’t waste too much electricity while keeping your home cool—so you can live an energy-efficient lifestyle without sacrificing comfort.

OLMO comes with a universal window kit that makes installation quick and easy without disturbing your home’s exterior or having to replace your existing window frame.

You can enjoy all of this at an affordable price and with reassurance from the company’s one-of-a-kind 12-year limited warranty on the compressor and five years on parts.

Related: Quiet RV Air Conditioners

FAQs about 18000 BTU RV Air Conditioner

1. How much electricity does an 18000 BTU air conditioner use?

From a purely mathematical point of view, an 18000 BTU RV air conditioner draws 5275.28 watts/hr. Running in an ideal condition will consume 126,606.72 watts or 126.61 KW in a day (24-hour period).

However, the power draw will be lower if you have an energy-efficient AC unit. Also, a poorly maintained air conditioner with a dirty air filter will consume that much electricity, but the output will be lower.

2. What size generator do I need for an 18000 BTU air conditioner?

An 18,000 AC unit draws 1,800 watts (or slightly more or less) of power when running. However, it consumes 4500 watts at the time of starting up. For this reason, a good choice for this air conditioner would be a 4500-watt or a more powerful RV generator.

3. What size of an RV can 18000 BTU cool?

If your RV has 820 to 1,000 sq. ft. of space, an 18000 BTU air conditioner can cool it properly. An AC of this size will offer consistent coolness across the trailer. You will need a more powerful AC unit for a bigger trailer.

The AC units we’ve recommended in this article can cool down 1,000 square feet of space.

4. How to install heavy window AC in an RV?

The first step is to measure the space that will be needed for the AC unit. Next, mark out the unit’s dimensions on the wall using a level. Once the measurements are known, measure your window openings to see if the AC will fit into that space.

Our recommended 18000 BTU RV air conditioner models are likely to fit into the windows of all midsize and large trailers. Always follow the installation and user instructions provided with the products. Also, these window AC units come with a universal window kit, so you won’t need to buy any extra mounting and fitting hardware.

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