Roof-Top Air Conditioners
How to Power an RV Air Conditioner with a Generator
A sweltering summer heat wave can force even the thickest-skinned RV camper to run for shade. Traveling - or worse yet, trying to fall asleep - inside a mobile sauna can be quite the chore.
That's why many modern-day campers often opt for mounting an air conditioner on their RV. However, powering an A/C unit miles from an electrical outlet can be tricky, so we've developed the following guide to help you pick the best generator for your RV air conditioner.
Built-In RV Generators
Built-in RV generators are specifically designed to power your mobile A/C unit. They fit into the generator compartment on your RV and will power appliances and accessories you have onboard. Their output ranges typically from 4,000 to 12,000 watts.
So if you need extra air conditioning, simply flick a switch to start the RV generator. Then, crank up the roof-top A/C to keep the road trip comfortable. You can learn more about built-in units in our RV generator buyer's guide.
If you own a travel trailer or a pop-up camper, you probably don't have an RV generator compartment.
Instead, you'll need a portable generator with at least 2,800 watts to jump start your rooftop air conditioner. One option is to choose a medium portable emergency generator. These units range from 3,000 to 6,000 watts and can power multiple appliances, including your A/C.
Keep in mind, medium-sized inverter generators aren't light - especially with a full tank of gas. You'll need at least two able-bodied persons to unpack the generator and set it up outside.
For cleaner power that you can use on your A/C and sensitive electronics, a medium-sized inverter generator is your best bet. These units produce low total harmonic distortion (THD), so you don't need to worry about frying your laptop or phone.
Parallel Inverter Generators
If you don't have the manpower to lug around one big generator, just split the load in half.
Some small inverter generators can be combined to generate enough juice to power the air conditioner.
You'll need two small generators and a parallel cable. Surprisingly, the bundled package is more powerful and less expensive than a single medium-sized generator.
Stay Cool on the Road
If you like camping in comfort, then air conditioning is a must-have in the summer. Installing the right generator for your RV will keep you cool, so you can enjoy the sights and sounds of your trip.
If you need more help finding a generator to power your RV air conditioner, please contact us at 800-800-3317.