How Many Watts & Amps Does A RV AC Use? (Calculator + Efficiency Tips)

Using recreational vehicles is nowadays very common but have you ever questioned the amps and watts of RV AC used in recreational vehicles? Most people just want to know about the generator watt and amps that will be run on, this article will guide you about the wattage and amps an RV AC uses in detail.

How many watts does an RV AC use? 

You should know that there is a very big difference between a generator running an RV AC  and starting RV AC such as the starting wattage is 2- 4x times higher than the running wattage for an air conditioner. 

  • On average every 1000 BTU cooling output of an air conditioner will require about 100 watts of electric power input.
  • Most RV AC has a 10 EER rating and an RV AC with a 15000 British thermal unit will run on 1500 watts so to start this type of air conditioner you need at least 35000 startup wattage

How to find the wattage of RV AC? 

Mostly all the RV AC runs on 115V of the circuit and if you know that generator is of 50 amps generator then it is easy to find how many Watts a 50 amp RV AC use. For this, you need to multiply the amps with the voltage such as

50A × 115V = 5750 watts. 

Next, you will learn to calculate the wattage by using the calculator or going through the chart that is mentioned below:

RV AC wattage calculator:

Let’s take an example to understand how the calculator works, an RV AC of 15000 BTU to find out how many watts does it use. you will get an estimated number of the RV AC voltage which is based on 10 EER. 


Chart of RV AC wattage:

The following is a chart showing the RV AC wattage having different BTUs based on a 10 EER rating:

RV AC Capacity (BTU)Max. Running Wattage (W)
5,000 BTU500 Watts
6,000 BTU600 Watts
8,000 BTU800 Watts
10,000 BTU1,000 Watts
12,000 BTU1,200 Watts
13,5000 BTU1,350 Watts
15,000 BTU1,500 Watts
20,000 BTU2,000 Watts

How many amps does an RV AC use? 

You can find out the amps used by RV AC by using the calculator or going through the chart. 

RV AC amps calculator:

Let’s understand how to use the calculator by taking an example. An RV AC has 13500 BTU then you will get the estimated RV AC amps which are based on a 10 EER rating. 



Chart of RV AC amps:

The following is the chart showing the RV AC amps having different capacities which are run on 115 voltage and are based on an Energy Efficiency rate of 10.

RV AC Capacity (BTU)Max. Running Amps (A)
5,000 BTU4.35 Amps
6,000 BTU5.22 Amps
8,000 BTU6.96 Amps
10,000 BTU8.70 Amps
12,000 BTU10.43 Amps
13,5000 BTU11.74 Amps
15,000 BTU13.04 Amps
20,000 BTU17.39 Amps

Another way to find out how many amps and watts an RV AC uses? 

The following are other ways to determine how many Watts and amps an RV AC runs on. This assumes that you do have a Honda 2000-watt generator and you want to find out if it is able to run a 15000 BTU RV AC such as;

  • The first way is to check the AC label on the label or the specification sheet you will easily find the specified wattage the RV AC will consume. 
  • The second way is to calculate the wattage and amps based on the BTU capacity. 

Tips to increase the efficiency of the RV AC:

The following are some ways to increase the efficiency of the RV AC:

  • You should clean the air filter. 
  • After some time of using the AC, clean the coils or fins so that it runs efficiently. 
  • You should make sure that the AC gets enough power to run it. 
  • To increase the efficiency of RV AC you should check the wire connections of the unit. 
  • Always park the RV in the shade. 
  • You should insulate the window and roof vents in the RV. 


Hence I can conclude here that the watts and amps an RV AC uses can be calculated manually, using the above-mentioned calculator, and using the chart showing the watts or amps used by different capacities of BTU of RV AC. But you should remember that the starting wattage and running wattage used by RV AC are different and according to the starting wattage, you should use the generator. 

Can we run an RV AC all night?

The power source or generator of the RV is designed in a way that an RV AC can be used all night.

What is the more efficient speed to run an AC?

On average 45 miles per hour is a more efficient speed to run an AC.

Rick Costa

Leave a Comment