Choosing the Best Mini Split AC for RV or Trailer

Recreational vehicles are designed to be RV on wheels, which means trading off space for portability. In such tight living quarters, proper air temperature control is essential.  

Window, portable and roof-top air conditioners might do the job quite well. But if you want reliable all-year-round comfort, a mini-split system is undoubtedly the best choice. 

Despite their popularity, choosing the best mini-split for RV can be daunting.

The good news is that we have already researched and picked the top units for you. So read on to find which mini split AC for RV would work well for you.

My Overall #1 Rated Pick

Sale
Pioneer Air Conditioner WYS012A
Built with the latest technologies for superior efficiency, comfort, and performance, this full system set is the best choice for single-zone residential and light commercial applications. It can heat or cool any contiguous area, quietly and effectively.

Last update on 2021-11-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top-rated Mini Split AC for RV

1. Pioneer WYS012-19 Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump(Best RV mini-split)

2.MRCOOL DIY 18k BTU 20 SEER Ductless Heat Pump Split System – (Best DIY mini split for RV)

3. Senville SENL-09CD Mini Split AC Heat Pump(Best budget RV split system air conditioner)

Best Mini Split for RV or Trailer Reviewed (updated List)

1. Pioneer WYS012-19 Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump – Best Pick

Like MRCOOL, Pioneer mini split systems are popular among RV owners who like getting their hands dirty. The 12,000 BTU mini split comes with all you need for DIY installation, except the electrical wiring. 

Pioneer WYS012-19

Made using galvanized metal and finished with electrostatic epoxy paint, this unit can withstand harsh elements.  

An efficient variable-speed inverter controls the compressor. This helps prevent hard starts by feeding a low current and building it up.

The mini-split AC heat pump comes with an auto-restart function to memorize all settings during a temporary power failure. 

RV-friendly mini split air conditioners tend to be among the quietest mini-splits, and this model is no exception.

Activate the Silence mode to enjoy a calm and breezy atmosphere. Other modes you can toggle through are heating, cooling, drying, fanning, and defrosting. The unit also includes self-cleaning, which enables it to keep its insides dry and free of mold – all the time.

Moreover, you’ll love the Pioneer smartphone app and WiFi connectivity. These tech-savvy capabilities allow you to set the temperature in the RV before you even open the door.

Pros

  • Durable, reliable build
  • High efficiency
  • Quiet run
  • Multi-mode operation
  • Self-cleaning capability

Cons

  • Heavy

Click to Check Price


2. Senville SENL-09CD Mini Split AC Heat Pump – Runner’s Up

Seville’s SENL range has capable mini-splits for different spaces. For your RV, the entry-level 9,000 BTU is the obvious choice.

Capable of heating and cooling up to 100-450 sq feet, this mini-split heat pump offers top-line performance and efficiency. 

Senville SENL-09CD The variable-speed inverter control keeps the compressor efficient for heating and cooling on a budget.

Furthermore, you can use eco-mode by setting the optimal temperature to 75°F for maximum energy saving. The RV mini split ac heat pump runs so quietly; you would think it’s off.

What sets a Senville SENL apart is its adaptability. Being multipurpose, the unit that can heat, cool, dehumidify and fan.

With adjustable louvers and a wide range of functions, the system caters to all your RV needs. You can switch between low, medium, high, and automatic fan speeds and set the airflow angle manually.

The unit also features a turbo setting to achieve the desired temperature quickly. The automatic mode is for the machine to choose how best to reach and maintain the temperature you want. 

Pros

  • Energy efficient with eco-mode
  • Versatile functionality with adjustable louvers and various operating modes
  • Runs quietly
  • Relatively easy installation

Cons

  • Installation instructions can seem generic

Click to Check Price


3. MRCOOL DIY 18k BTU 20 SEER Ductless Heat Pump Split System 

Despite being relatively new in the mini-split game, MRCOOL has garnered significant praise for its reliable, feature-packed, DIY-friendly units.

The 18,000 BTU  mini-split system is a powerful unit that can serve 750 to 1,500 sq feet.MRCOOL DIY Ductless Heat Pump Split System 

If you like to tinker with appliances, you will be delighted with how easy it is to install the MRCOOL mini-split.

The mini-split system comes with its refrigerant line sets pre-vacuumed in addition to the standard brackets to secure the indoor and outdoor units.

You can therefore skip the demanding chore of using a pump to vacuum down the lines during installation.

This mini-split AC unit is WiFi-enabled and fully compatible with standard Android and iOS devices. In addition, you can customize your RV feel by toggling through various operating modes, including Sleep, Cool, and Heat.

Also included is the “Follow Me” feature, which allows you to use the remote controller to reference the temperature you want to maintain in your RV.

However, despite being the most DIY-friendly mini-split systems, they still require technical expertise to install, particularly with the wiring. 

Pros

  • Easy Do-It-Yourself installation
  • Quiet operation
  • Energy-efficient variable speed DC inverter
  • WiFi-enabled with standard mobile compatibility

Cons

  • DIY installation still requires professional skill
  • Costlier than most equivalent models

Click to Check Price


How to Choose an RV Mini Split AC Heat Pump

Pioneer system

Most RV owners opt for the smallest RV air conditioners on the shelf when hunting for mini-split AC units. Granted, a 9,000 BTU mini split can cool up to 500 square feet of space, which is more than enough for an RV.

Still, the size of your RV and the capacity aren’t the only factors to consider. So to pick the system that will best suit your RV, keep these additional factors in mind. 

1. Placement – Wall-mounted vs. Ceiling cassettes

Mini-splits AC units have many installation and placement options, and each has its applications and advantages.

Many RV owners prefer wall-mounted units because they come in the widest variety of sizes and configurations. Besides,  wall mounts are also relatively easy to install.

A wall-mounted mini-split will require you to drill a 3” hole through the side of your RV. This hole connects the refrigerant lines and connecting wire to the outdoor unit. 

You know you’ve properly installed a wall-mounted indoor unit when it levels against a straight surface. However, if your RV sides have custom high windows or are blocked by shelving or other obstacles, you might want to consider a ceiling mount. 

Ceiling cassettes are typically installed on the roof-top of an RV.  The ideal position is behind the decorative grill that lies flush with the surface. They offer a sleek, unobtrusive, and clutter-free look. 

However, a ceiling cassette would require you to cut a sizable square on the roof-top of your RV. Only consider this alternative if aesthetics are important enough that you can brave through the installation process. 

2. Operating options: Heating vs. Cooling

Does your RV require just cooling, or do you reckon you will need heating as well? If your area does not get too cold or already has a portable heater, you can save some bucks using a basic cooling-only mini-split. 

Conversely, if you prefer all-climate air conditioning, a unit with both heating and cooling capabilities, otherwise known as a heat pump unit, is ideal.

3. Energy efficiency

RV mini split air conditioners are energy efficient because of their modest size.

However, efficiency varies, and you’re advised to pick one with the highest SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings.

SEER measures an air conditioner’s efficiency over a seasonal period, while EER gives efficiency corresponding to a specific operating condition

SEER is the best indicator of a mini split's efficiency

If you’re looking for a model that’s great to use with solar panels, the YMGI Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner would be your perfect choice.

4. Installation

Most mini-splits AC units for RV are not tasking to install. Just make sure to read and follow the installation manual, step by step. 

It would help if you had basic tools such as a stud finder, wrenches, and levels. If you ever get stuck or have any complications, consult an expert.

  •  DIY features

A decent DIY mini split will have several features for easy and fast installation. Such features include;

  1. Pre-flared and pre-vacuumed copper lines tubing
  2. A base mount pad for the outdoor compressor
  3. Wall brackets for the indoor unit

The more comprehensive the installation kit, the more expensive the unit will be to buy.

5. Extra features

If the choices remaining on your list tick all the important boxes, you can break the deadlock by comparing the extra features. Some of these nice-to-have additions include;

  • Smart connectivity 
  • Louver position memory
  • Customizable operating modes
  • Sleep mode

The top of the line mini splits offers convenience by allowing you to switch from one mode to another, depending on your mood. They also have an intuitive smartphone app that enables you to control the temperature in your RV remotely. 

Read more:

Best Mini Split Heat Pump For Cold Weather

How to vacuum the lines of mini-split heat pump


Conclusion

Mini-split air conditioners have long been the go-to choice for homeowners looking to air condition separate rooms cost-effectively.

Today, they are also sipping into the RV utility market. We hope that our reviews of the best mini-split AC for RV have enlightened you.

Photo of author
AUTHOR
Ronald Watford, the owner of Quality Home Air Care, is a qualified HVACR technician and manages the team of expert writers on this site. He believes that educating homeowners about HVAC systems is one of the most impactful aspects of his job.