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Old 12-01-2018, 10:54 PM   #1
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Is 13,000 BTU A/C enough?

Hello all, I'm new to the forum. I'm preparing to purchase my first RV. After much research, I have finally narrowed my decision down to two Class C's. They are both 31' and pretty much identical in layout, different manufactures, and both are around the same price. One of the key differences is one has a 13,000 BTU A/C and the other has a 15,000. Naturally, the one with the 13k has a few more amenities and creature comforts than the one with the 15k. But staying cool is more important to me than some of these amenities. Can any of you experienced RV'rs tell me if this is an issue? Is the 13k enough to keep the coach adequately cool during the summer months? Thanks for your input.
Scott
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:07 PM   #2
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If you have any darker paints on your coach, would go for the 15000 btu unit. A 31 footer is pretty big for one ac, especially if you travel in the south in summertime.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:15 PM   #3
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I ordered our 25’ trailer with 13,000 and wish Imhad gone for the larger AC
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:16 PM   #4
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Well it depends on where you'll be traveling Az, Nev Tex, or Idaho. One variable that's extremely important is the outside color of the motorhome. And I mean its really important. The darker the color and the larger the dark area the more difficult it will be to keep it cool. My motorhome had black areas and cream colored areas.
The cream color areas would be slightly hotter than the ambient but the black areas would 40-50 or more-- hotter than ambient. In Las Vegas it was 107f my black areas in the sun were 150-160f. So the a/c wasn't trying to just cool in 107f heat it had to overcome the areas of 160f. Colors are very important! As are the normal things people think of- insulation, double pane windows etc. Safe Travels and good luck with your choice!!
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:02 AM   #5
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I agree with all the above, sun load is a big impact on a class c , ducted roof air is nice but has to put up with sun load on the roof, we live in the deep south of texas at 103 outside temp with no shade the best I could get was 83f indoors 31ft tioga with 2 slides, depending where you camp 15k may not be enough
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:12 AM   #6
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We've been in Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina in summer with our 26' TT. We upgraded to the 15K AC. It was able to keep us comfortable. I don't think a 13.5 would have done the job.
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:20 AM   #7
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I agree with what has been said above, my 28 ft coach with no slides has a 15,000 btu air conditioner, and it has to be running solidly all day to keep the interior below 80 degrees if parked in the sun here in the summer in south Louisiana. Adding an exterior sunscreen on the front windshield does help some though.
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:40 AM   #8
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We had a '02 40' Dutch Star. I purposely ordered it with dual 13k heat pumps so I could run both on 30 amps.
In Yuma in 95° temps we we just fine running one with just a slight bit of shade. Rig was several shades of gold with a white roof, extra factory installed roof insulation and dual pane windows.
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:47 AM   #9
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31' Class A with two 15K heat pumps

My 31' Newmar Bay Star has two 15K heat pumps. Currently my garage only has a single 30A receptacle. This only allows one AC to operate. In Dallas Texas during summer, only one AC will not cool my RV.

In my RV past, I have had 2 different 28' class C RVs. Both of these had two AC units. I think that they were both 13K units. These were also cool in Texas if you could run both.

If I were planning on travelling any where that it's hot in summer, I would only buy an RV with two AC units. If you can only get one AC, I would hold out for a 15K unit. How well your RV is insulated will also factor into the equation.

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Old 12-02-2018, 05:29 AM   #10
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Unless you will not be traveling during the summer months, you will find that a single AC unit will not be adequate to keep the RV cool, especially during the daytime hours.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:44 AM   #11
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2000 btu difference is really not that bad. But the more the better I guess.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:25 AM   #12
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Get the one with the 15k unit . At 31' , you are almost at the point where the coaches will have 2 - 13k units.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:15 AM   #13
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We have a 31ft class c. White in color, awnings at all side Windows and a heavy outside white windshield cover. Gets pretty warm around here in the summer and our 13500 will cool it. We keep it at 72 during the day and most times we are in direct Sun because of sat tv.
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:35 AM   #14
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Wink Go bigger...

I doubt you will be happy with a 31' coach and only one 13K AC. It gets hot just about everywhere in the summer. Keep in mind that a decent coach with enough AC is only going to drop the ambient temperature about 20 degrees. A 31' coach with just 13K is going to be miserable.

Our 24' Class is very well built/insulated and the nonducted 13,500 BTU AC works well but long and hard when the temps approach 100. Using an oscillating DC
fan helps a lot to move the cold air around and as mentioned a screen/sunshade on the windshield also makes a big difference. Also on a Class C hang some sort of barrier material behind the cab to keep the hot air out of the living area of the coach.

Not sure I would ever even consider buying a 31' coach where the manufacturer went so cheap on such a critical system... makes you wonder what else they skimped on.

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