Choosing The Best Mini Split for RV – 2020 Buyers Guide

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Best Mini Split for RV InstallationRecreational vehicles are designed to be an 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 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 researched some of the finest products to help you. Read our reviews on mini split ac for RV to see which one works well for you. 

5 Best Mini Splits for RV

The mini split market is awash with great choices for RV owners like yourself. Like most other appliances, however, there are those models with which you cannot go wrong.

Below are our picks for the best RV mini splits out there today.

1. MRCOOL DIY 3rd Gen E Star Mini-Split

MrCool DIY 12k BTU 22 SEER Ductless Heat Pump...
  • Control your MrCool DIY 3rd Gen mini split with the included wireless remote, IR Wifi Thermostat, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or an app from your Android or Apple device.
  • The 3rd Generation MrCool DIY mini split has an anti-mildew feature that activates in Cool, DRY or Auto mode. This keeps the fan running on low for roughly 10 minutes to dry condensation that can lead to mildew growing.
  • New SmartHVAC app: wifi control - compatible with Alexa and Google assistant - you can control your DIY anywhere with your Apple or android smart device and an Internet connection
  • Easy Do-It-Yourself installation: The included 25ft Quick Connect line means no special tools, training or equipment are needed. Gold fin condenser means it's corrosion resistant; Perfect for coastal conditions!
  • 7 year compressor, 5 year parts Warranty. Low Ambient Cooling: Cooling down to 5°F - this makes the MrCool DIY unit great for computer server rooms, greenhouses, or any other application that requires cooling year round. Unit is Energy Star rated.

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Despite being relatively new in the mini split game, MRCOOL has garnered significant praise for their reliable, feature-packed, DIY-friendly units. The smallest in the bunch is the 12,000 BTU  mini split system, which can adequately serve an area of 500 to 1,500 square meters.

This unit operates quietly so it won’t be competing with the engine for your attention when you are driving.

If you like to tinker with appliances, you will be delighted with how easy it is to install the MRCOOL mini split. In addition to the standard brackets to secure the indoor and outdoor units, the mini split comes with its refrigerant line-sets pre-vacuumed. You can therefore skip the demanding chore of using a pump to vacuum down the lines during installation.

The MRCOOL DIY mini split is WiFi-enabled and fully compatible with standard Android and iOS devices. You can customize the feel in your RV 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 as a reference for the temperature you want to maintain in your RV.

Most MRCOOL users speak proudly of the performance that the models offer. However, despite being the most DIY-friendly mini splits on the market, they still require some technical expertise to install, particularly with the wiring. A unit will also cost you considerably more than most other models.

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

All in all, the 12,000 BTU MRCOOL is a stellar RV mini split. If you can save up, you will be rewarded with excellent performance, efficiency, and a seamless installation process.

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2. Senville SENL-09CD Mini Split AC Heat Pump

Sale
Senville SENL-09CD Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat...
  • 4-in-1 Mini Split Air Conditioner with Heat Pump. Built-In Air Conditioning, Heating (Up to 5F/-15C), Dehumidifier, Fan and Turbo Function.
  • Great for Bedrooms, Additions, Living Rooms, Garages, and Commercial Applications. Can Be Installed in Virtually Any Home, Condo or Space.
  • Whisper Quiet Operation (25dB). Energy Efficient Consumption and Engineered for the Harshest Climates.
  • 5 Year Manufacturer . Senville Trusted Quality and Design. Free Technical & Installation Support Included.
  • Includes 16 Ft. Installation Kit with Communication Cable and Copper Lines (Pre-Flared) and Remote Control. R410A Pre-Charged (25 Ft. ) *Requires Professional Installation.

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Senville’s SENL range has capable mini splits for different spaces. For your RV, the entry-level 9,000 BTU SENL-09CD is the obvious choice. Capable of heating and cooling up to 5000 sq ft space, this mini split offers top-line performance and efficiency. 

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. On eco-mode, the unit runs so quietly; you would think it is not operating.

What sets a Senville SENL apart is its adaptability. Even the 9,000 BTU mini split is a multipurpose unit that can an heat, cool, dehumidify and fan. With adjustable louvers and a wide range of functions, the system caters for all your RV needs. You can switch between low, medium, high and automatic fan speeds, and set the angle of airflow manually. The unit also features a turbo setting to quickly achieve the desired temperature. 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

This mini split wins the hearts of RV lovers because of its efficiency and unmatched all-season versatility. While the installation guide is admittedly lackluster, you’ll still find great DIY videos online.

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3. Pioneer WYS012-17 Mini Split Air Conditioner & Heat Pump

PIONEER Air Conditioner Pioneer Mini Split Heat...
  • Ultra high efficiency inverter++ ductless mini split heat pump system
  • Cooling capacity: 9, 000 btu/h with 22.5 seer efficiency
  • Heating capacity: 9, 800 btu/h with 10.5 hspf efficiency
  • Voltage: 110~120 vac, 60 hertz (standard household power, l-n-g)
  • Please see the active links on this page for full specks, manuals, etc
  • Arctic heating version with base pan heaters. Heats down to -12°f ambient

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Like MRCOOL, Pioneer WYS mini splits are popular among RV owners who like getting their hands dirty. The 9,000 BTU split comes with all you need for DIY installation, except the electrical wiring. 

Made using galvanized metal and finished with electrostatic epoxy paint, this unit can withstand harsh elements. Even better, it’s all-season meaning you’ll be covered whether it’s blazing hot summer or the harsh winter. 

 An efficient variable-speed inverter controls the compressor. This helps prevent hard starts by feeding a low current and building it up. The unit comes with an auto-restart function to memorize all settings during a temporary power failure. When power is back, it restarts and continues operating the same way it was before the power outage.

RV-friendly units tend to be among the quietest mini splits on the market, 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. 

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

When it comes to RV air conditioning, this mini split ticks all boxes. The rugged materials used to construct the unit might make it heavier than most other models. Nonetheless, if you can brave through these initial stages, you will enjoy the model for a long time. 

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4. Gree 9000 BTU 38 SEER Sapphire

GREE 9,000 BTU 38 SEER Sapphire Wall Mount...
  • Introducing Gree Sapphire, the Ultra high-efficiency, smart ductless split system from Gree, one of the world's most trusted HVAC manufacturers. With the Sapphire Wall Mount Ductless Mini-Splits, you can keep any room comfortable without sacrificing aesthetics.
  • The quiet, unobtrusive design delivers advanced performance with an industry-best energy efficiency rating of up to 38 SEER in cooling and 15.0 HSPF in heating. The Sapphire provides ULTRA Heating technology to keep you reliably warm when temperatures drop as low as -22degs F.
  • Universal Wi-Fi technology makes operation simple - enjoy direct control from any smartphone using the Gree+ app. With efficiency and unparalleled technology make Sapphire the perfect choice for any home or office space.
  • Items included: Condenser and Indoor Wall mount with remote. | Required, but NOT included: 1/4" x 1/2" line set | Other accessories sold separately.
  • SEER: 38.0000 -- EER: 16.7000 -- Room Size: 300 - 500 ft2

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Arguably the simplest system on this list all because of its straightforward controls. It also ranks as one of the cheapest RV mini splits without any significant compromises. 

Gree’s indoor units are stylish and will do a great job at complementing your RV interior. The compressor unit uses inverter technology to create a comfortable experience.  This technology helps in regulating temperature and avoiding rapid fluctuations in energy uses. 

Pollutants can be a problem when retrieving air from outside. So, this unit has photocatalytic filters to purify the air before it flows into the RV. A dehumidification setting called Dry Mode is also present to control moisture levels. Further, Auto Clean runs the fan continuously after a cooling cycle, allowing the coil to dry. As a result, it helps prevent the growth of mildew and bacteria.  

Despite its pocket-friendly price, it has WiFi connectivity and smartphone remote control. You also get sleep pattern monitoring for automatic night mode switching. 

Pros

  • Affordable RV air conditioning
  • Sleek and minimalist design
  • Energy efficient
  • Dehumidifying and auto-clean functionalities
  • WiFi connectivity

Cons

  • Relatively challenging to install
  • Gets noisy over time

If you’re strapped for cash and in need of a small mini split for RV, the Gree 9,000 BTU Sapphire is the best option for you. While it might produce some noise, most owners agree that the Sapphire offers exemplary bang for the buck. 

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5. Air-con Seer DC Inverter Heat Pump

Air-Con 9000 BTU Ductless Mini Split Air...
  • Save Money - 19 SEER efficiency will bring savings to your monthly electricity bill.
  • Installation Ready - 12 feet insulated copper tubing, power and signal cables included.
  • Heat and Cool - Unit is capable of 9000 BTU cooling and 9500 BTU heating.
  • Low Ambient Ready - Can continue to heat in temperatures as low -4° F
  • Warranty - 5 years on Parts, and 7 years on Compressor

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Air-con’s mini splits squeeze heating, cooling, ventilating and dehumidifying in an affordable, highly versatile unit. These systems start at 9,000 BTU, with the largest model offering a staggering 60,000 BTU. However, while most other 9,000 BTU units will be adequate for the average RV, Air-con specialists recommend the 12,000 BTU system. This is because of the consistent, reliable all-climate conditioning that 12k BTU offers.

Though not marketed as DIY-friendly, the Air-con system is still a breeze to install. The outdoor unit comes pre-charged with refrigerant. And the installation package also includes pre-flared insulated copper tubing and connection leak guard sealer. 

The Air-con 12,000 BTU unit runs efficiently and quietly, thanks to its variable speed DC inverter compressor. You can also adjust the air louvers both horizontally and vertically to control the angle of air flow. 

Air-con mini splits are distinguished for their wide range of intelligent safety functions and modes. Moreover, it comes with a remote-control temperature reference feature, called “I FEEL.” This is arguably the most accurate temperature reference you can get in any unit

Pros

  • Relatively straightforward installation
  • Energy efficient
  • Adjustable air louvers
  • Comprehensive set of safety functions

Cons

  • Comparatively underwhelming performance 

The Air-con mini split comes with all the components, parts and tools you need to install and secure it in place. The versatile settings allow you to customize your space, while the intelligent protection functions guarantee safe operation.

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How to Choose the Best Mini Split for RV

 

When hunting for a mini split, most RV owners opt for the smallest units on the shelf. A 9,000 BTU mini split can cool up to 500 square-feet 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. 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 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. If the sides of your RV have custom high windows or are blocked by shelving or other obstacles, you might want to consider a ceiling mount. 

Ceiling cassettes, as the name implies, are typically installed on the roof 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. Apart from that,  their position can be crucial in confined RV spaces. 

 

However, a ceiling cassette will require you to cut a sizable square on the roof 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 you already have a portable heater, you can save some bucks by 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, is ideal.

3. Energy efficiency

RV mini splits are generally light on the energy budget because of their modest size. However, efficiency varies from one unit to the next. The system that will go easiest on your vehicle’s battery is 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

The value of a higher energy rating cannot be understated. Upgrading from a 9 to a 13 SEER unit can reduce total power consumption by as much as 30 percent. Systems that come with an Energy Star rating have a SEER of 25 and above.

4. Installation

Most mini splits are generally not tasking to install. Just make sure to read and follow the installation manual, step by step.  You will only need to have basic tools such as stud finder, wrenches and levels. If you ever get stuck or have any complications, consult an HVAC pro.

  •  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 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.

  • Voltage

It is crucial that the voltage rating of your mini split matches that of your RV. Incorrect matching can lead to poor operation, or worse, a fire. RV-friendly mini splits typically run on a 110-120-volt plug. Before buying a unit, make sure that your RV will have enough voltage to support it. 

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

mini split for rv

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

Conclusion

Mini splits have long been the go-to choice for homeowners looking to air condition separate rooms cost-effectively. Today, these useful appliances are also sipping into the RV utility market. The best mini split for RV will offer excellent air conditioning in a simple to install unit.

We hope that our reviews of the best mini split for RV will make it easier for you to buy the perfect unit. If you are like most buyers, you probably lack the time to extensively analyze a unit’s capabilities. And that’s why we put together this useful guide. Nevertheless, a general idea of your requirements is all you need to choose the best system for you from our top picks. Happy hunting!