Looking to maintain the perfect climate in your mobile sanctuary? Understanding the right size of air conditioner for your trailer is key.
Our detailed guide simplifies the process. Ensure you travel in comfort, no matter the destination or season.
Say goodbye to sweaty summers and chilly winters inside your trailer.
What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need For A Trailer?
For a trailer, the ideal air conditioner size depends on its square footage and local climate. Measure the trailer’s length and width, then multiply to get the area. The BTUs needed vary: hot climates require around 20-25 BTUs per square foot, moderate climates 15-20 BTUs, and cooler climates 10-15 BTUs.
Air Conditioner Size chart for Trailer:
|BTUs per square foot
Key Considerations When Selecting an AC Unit for a Trailer
There are other factors that you should consider when selecting an AC unit for your trailer, besides the size. Here are some of them:
Trailer Dimensions and Layout
The dimensions and layout of your trailer affect how well the AC unit can cool it.
If your trailer has high ceilings, large windows, or multiple rooms, you might need more cooling power than the calculation above suggests.
You might also need to use fans or vents to distribute the cool air evenly throughout your trailer.
Local Climate Conditions
The local climate conditions also affect how well the AC unit can cool your trailer.
If your location has high humidity, strong sunlight, or frequent dust storms, you might need more cooling power than the calculation above suggests.
You might also need to use filters or dehumidifiers to improve the air quality in your trailer.
Desired Cooling Capacity
The desired cooling capacity is how cool you want your trailer to be. Some people like their trailers to be very cold, while others prefer a moderate temperature.
The desired cooling capacity affects how often and how long you run your AC unit.
The more you run your AC unit, the more energy it consumes and the more wear and tear it suffers.
Power Supply Available
The power supply available is how much electricity you have access to in your location.
Some trailers have their own generators or solar panels, while others rely on external sources like campgrounds or RV parks.
The power supply available affects what type of AC unit you can use and how much it costs to operate.
Physical Size Limitations
The physical size limitations are how much space you have in your trailer for an AC unit.
Some trailers have built-in spaces for AC units, while others require modifications or additions.
The physical size limitations affect what type of AC unit you can use and how easy it is to install and remove.
The noise levels are how loud the AC unit is when it runs. Some AC units are very quiet, while others are very noisy.
The noise levels affect how comfortable and peaceful your trailer is when you use the AC unit.
Air Conditioner Types Suitable for Trailer Use
There are different types of AC units that are suitable for trailer use. Here are some of them:
Roof-Mounted AC Units
Roof-mounted AC units are installed on top of your trailer’s roof. They are easy to install and remove, and they do not take up any interior space.
They can cool large areas efficiently, and they have low noise levels. They are heavy and bulky, and they can affect the aerodynamics and stability of your trailer.
They also require a lot of power to run, and they can be damaged by weather or debris.
Mini-Split Ductless AC Systems
Mini-split ductless AC systems are composed of two parts: an outdoor unit and an indoor unit.
The outdoor unit is installed outside your trailer, while the indoor unit is installed inside your trailer. They are connected by a thin tube that carries refrigerant.
They are very efficient and quiet, and they can cool multiple rooms separately.
They are expensive and complicated to install and maintain, and they require a lot of power to run. They also need a hole in your trailer’s wall to connect the units.
Portable AC Units
Portable AC units are standalone units that can be moved around your trailer.
They are easy to use and store, and they do not require any installation or modification.
They can cool small areas quickly, and they have low power consumption. They are noisy and bulky, and they can only cool one room at a time.
They also need a window or a vent to exhaust the hot air.
Through-Wall AC Units
Through-wall AC units are installed in a hole in your trailer’s wall. They are similar to window AC units, but they do not block the window.
They are relatively cheap and easy to install and remove, and they can cool medium-sized areas effectively.
They are noisy and unattractive, and they can affect the insulation and security of your trailer. They also need a hole in your trailer’s wall to fit the unit.
Calculating the Appropriate BTU for Your Trailer
To calculate the appropriate BTU for your trailer, you need to consider the following factors:
BTUs per square foot based on climate
As explained above, you need to multiply the area of your trailer by the BTUs per square foot for your climate.
This gives you the basic cooling power you need for your trailer.
Added capacity for occupants
You also need to add some extra cooling power for each person who stays in your trailer.
Each person generates heat and moisture that needs to be removed by the AC unit. You can add 600 BTUs for each person who stays in your trailer regularly.
Confirm electrical supply is sufficient
You also need to confirm that your electrical supply is sufficient to run your AC unit.
Each AC unit has a voltage and an amperage rating, which indicate how much electricity it needs to operate.
The voltage is the force of the electricity, while the amperage is the amount of the electricity.
You can multiply the voltage by the amperage to get the wattage, which is the power consumption of the AC unit.
Make sure that your electrical supply can provide enough wattage for your AC unit, without overloading or damaging it.
You can check the wattage of your electrical supply by looking at the breaker or the fuse that controls it.
The breaker or the fuse has a number on it that indicates how many amps it can handle.
You can multiply this number by 120 volts (the standard voltage in North America) to get the wattage of your electrical supply.
For example, if your breaker or fuse has a 15 on it, it means it can handle 15 amps of electricity.
You can multiply 15 by 120 to get 1800 watts of power available from your electrical supply.
If your AC unit has a voltage of 120 volts and an amperage of 10 amps, it means it has a wattage of 1200 watts (120 x 10).
This means you can safely run your AC unit on your electrical supply, without exceeding its capacity.
Key Installation Considerations
Once you have chosen the right size and type of AC unit for your trailer, you need to install it properly. Here are some key installation considerations:
Proper roof sealing
If you have a roof-mounted AC unit, you need to make sure that the roof is properly sealed around the unit.
This prevents water leaks, air leaks, and heat loss from your trailer. You can use caulk, tape, or foam to seal any gaps or cracks around the unit.
If you have an AC unit that produces condensate (water droplets) from cooling the air, you need to make sure that the condensate is drained properly from your trailer.
This prevents water damage, mold growth, and corrosion in your trailer. You can use a hose, a bucket, or a pump to drain the condensate from your AC unit.
If you have an AC unit that is mounted on your trailer’s wall or window, you need to make sure that it is securely mounted on your trailer.
This prevents vibration, noise, and damage from your AC unit. You can use screws, brackets, or straps to mount your AC unit on your trailer.
FAQs About Right Size AC For Trailer
What are typical BTU sizes for trailer air conditioners?
For small travel trailers, 5,000-9,000 BTU units are common. Larger units up to 15,000 BTU may be needed for big 5th wheel campers.
Are roof-mounted or portable ACs better for trailer use?
Roof-mounted units cool more efficiently but portable ACs allow flexible placement.
How Much Space Can A 1.5 Ton AC Cover Of A Trailer?
A 1.5-ton air conditioner can effectively cool an area of 150-160 square feet. you should follow the star rating to get the best size AC unit for your certain size trailer.
How can I estimate the electrical load of a trailer AC?
Check the AC unit’s amperage draw and ensure your generator, shore power, or onboard electrical system can supply adequate power.
What fuel type is best for running a trailer AC?
For portable generators, dual-fuel propane/gas units are ideal to avoid refueling. Get at least a 30 amp generator for 15,000 BTU ACs.
You’ve taken the steps to ensure perfect comfort in your trailer. Remember, the right size of an air conditioner is pivotal for optimal relaxation.
Keep your travels cozy and your energy bills in check. Now, gear up, hit the road, and revel in your well-cooled space. Safe travels!