Dometic RV Air Conditioner Reviews and Buying Guide

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Dometic is a company that produces a variety of goods across multiple industries. From boats and trucks to recreational vehicles, their catalog is vast although we’re only focusing on one area this time around. In our Dometic RV air conditioner review, we are going to break down the company’s lineup and highlight the top models currently available from the company.

Dometic Company History

Even if you don’t recognize the brand name Dometic, there’s a good chance you have used one of their products in the past. The company sprang to life in the 1920s, when two Swedish engineers began experimenting with ways to cool using heat, they invented the first cabinet refrigerator.

Sold under the Artic brand, this magical appliance eventually made its way to Electrolux and into the homes of millions of Americas across the sea. Electrolux began selling products under the Dometic brand in the early 70s, as they began to move into other areas outside refrigeration like mobile heating and cooling.

Dometic RV Air Conditioning Systems

Dometic’s air conditioning systems are broken down into three specific categories with RV, Marine, and Truck AC units. While they have some well-received units for marine and truck use, our sole focus is on air conditioning systems geared towards recreational vehicles.

Dometic RV air conditioners are available in four collections depending on your needs and budget. With that in mind, all of their units are nearly identical with the exception of the Dometic Cool Cat. If you’re interested in a system that can stand up to year round abuse, you will want to consider something from the Dometic AirCommand line.

Dometic AirCommand line

Dometic AirCommand line

These premium systems have an electronic display and a design that’s engineered for maximum efficiency while conserving power. They also come with wall-mounted thermostats and remote controls, although the AC-1511B comes with a heat pump for comfort throughout the year. The Dometic Brisk II Commercial rooftop air conditioner is another heavy-duty unit, with a slightly different profile but the same general ratings.

Brisk II collection

Brisk II collection

The Brisk II collection is where you’ll find some of the company’s more affordable units, which are a significant step up from the previous models. They are designed to be lighter, and more durable with a standard profile around 15” tall. Features like a galvanized steel top plate and dampening brackets are highlights of these air conditioners, but they aren’t the company’s most streamlined units.

Penguin II series systems

Penguin II series systems

If you need a RV air conditioner with a low profile, the Penguin II AC units from Dometic should be at the top of your list. They have an aerodynamic design with a height of around 11” that will reduce drag as you travel down the road. Penguin II series systems are geared for ducted or non-ducted applications like most of their other models, and have high performance fans and motor.

Blizzard NXT air conditioners

Blizzard NXT air conditioners

The Blizzard NXT air conditioners offer the best of both worlds if you’re torn between the company’s other air conditioners. They are of average height, but more powerful than the Penguin or Brisk series AC units. High capacity motors and fans rated at 350 CFM provide plenty of airflow, and it’s durable thanks to a sturdy polypropylene injection-molded shroud.

Cool Cat collection

Cool Cat collection

While there’s only one air conditioner in the Cool Cat collection at this time, it’s well worth a look if your RV is tight on space. This compact system comes with a heat pump and is rated at 10,500 BTU. This slinger-fan system has a preinstalled CT control board and can slide into a variety of spots as it’s only 22”W x 14.5”H x 20.5”D.

Dometic RV Air Conditioner Warranties

The warranty process for any RV air conditioner sold by Dometic is straightforward. Every system from the NXT Blizzard, Penguin II, Brisk II, and AirCommand line comes with a 2-year warranty. That’s good for models with heat pumps as well, and it covers labor, freight, and specific parts. The warranty is not transferrable, which is common but something to keep in mind if you are renovating and selling an RV.

When it comes to replacement parts, we’re pleased to say there are no shortage of options to choose from. When browsing their online catalog, we were able to find a variety of parts including foam blocks, roof gaskets, capacitors, housings, and grommets. Needless to say, if something breaks, you should be able to find a part to replace it with relative ease.

Dometic RV Air Conditioner Pricing & Availability 

Consumers within the continental United States should have no problem finding a Dometic air conditioner for their recreational vehicle. You may have a hard time finding them through big box retailers like Home Depot or Wal-mart locally, but there are several e-tailers like Amazon that carry them online. Some of Dometic’s RV air conditioning lines are priced competitively, while others take a backseat in pricing to brands like Coleman-Mach, Advent, and GE.

The Best Dometic RV Air Conditioning Systems

When searching for the best Dometic RV air conditioner reviews, we found that most consumers were pleased with the brand as a whole. With that in mind, the company doesn’t have a lot of variance between collections and all of their units are rated at 15,000 or 13,500 BTU except for the Cool Cat and the Dometic High-Efficiency AC unit rated at 11,000 BTU.

Dometic Penguin II Rooftop Air Conditioner

The Best Low Profile RV Air Conditioner

Dometic Penguin II Rooftop Air Conditioner

As millions of Americans hit the road in their recreational vehicles each year, some of those RVs don’t return from their voyage completely intact. Rooftop air conditioners are prone to damage by design, but that will not be a concern with a low-prolife unit like the Penguin II from Dometic.

The Dometic Penguin II is a roof-mounted system that’s geared towards ducted and non-ducted installations in recreational vehicles. All of the AC units from this series have a streamlined design and use EPF foam in the housing to keep the weight down. They also use R410A refrigerant and have a rib-reinforced base pan for additional strength.

At this time, there are three variants of the AC systems from this collection, and while each has a low-profile design, there is a significant difference between two of these models. By the numbers, the Dometic has the most power at 15,000 BTU. It only has a single thermostat zone, however, and doesn’t come with a control board.

Alternatively, the Dometic 641816CXX1J0 is a multi-zone AC system with the CCC II control board included. The Dometic 641816CXX1C0 is the exact same model, but with a two-tone housing that’s white on the top and black on the bottom. Both are listed at 13,500 BTU, and require the company’s CCC II wall thermostat. 

Our Verdict

The Penguin II RV air conditioner from Dometic is a well-built unit that’s ideal for recreational vehicles in need of a low-profile unit. Consumers feel the collection is reasonably priced and easy to install, even if some have had issues with quality control. That’s something to keep in mind, given the fact they all have a standard 1-year warranty.

Dometic Blizzard NXT Air Conditioner

The Best All-Around Rooftop Air Conditioner

Dometic Blizzard NXT Air Conditioner

Most companies in the HVAC world have tiered product lines with a mix of budget-friendly and premium systems. Dometic is no different in that regard, and their Blizzard NXT series AC units are an excellent mid-range alternative to their flagship RV air conditioning systems.

The NXT collection is a step up from the Penguin II, even if both largely have the same design. All of the air conditioners from this series have an injection-molded shroud and base pan that’s UV stable against damage from the sun. EPP foam was also used in the construction on these systems to provide additional insulation while helping to shed weight.

Nobody wants to deal with a noisy rooftop air conditioner, and NXT utilizes vibration isolation components on their Blizzard AC systems. They have powerful motors and fans that produce plenty of airflow at 350 CFM. While the three models in this collection look identical as well, there are a half-dozen variants including one model with a built-in heat pump.

The Dometic H551816AXX1C0 is rated at 15,000 BTU and has a preinstalled multi-zone CCC II control board, while the Dometic H54816AX1J0 has the same rating and components, but no heat pump. The Dometic H541915AXX1C0 is sans heat pump as well, but is a 13,500 BTU system. It has a single zone CT control board, but has single and multizone variants like the 15K model with a heat pump.

Our Verdict

If you don’t need an AC unit with a low-profile, but like the features and style of the Penguin II, the NXT Blizzard line is an obvious choice. They are quieter and more powerful, but still priced in-line with that collection. We chose the 13.5 Blizzard NXT due to the attractive price point, but the 15.5 variant is just as popular with RV owners.

Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner

A Budget-Friendly AC system from Dometic

Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner

While most high-quality rooftop air conditioners are more expensive than a residential wall-mounted unit, there are some excellent options if your budget is tight. Dometic has several of these systems in their arsenal, which you can find in their Brisk II collection.

These air conditioning systems live up to their namesake as they are lightweight and allow you to briskly make your way down the highways thanks to its aerodynamic style. Dometic designed the newest generation of Brisk AC units with larger vents for maximum airflow and efficiency. They were also able to cut the weight down through the use of EPP foam, although it’s durable and built to last.

A custom composite laminated shroud will keep the components safe from UV rays and the elements. The wraparound shroud has a carbon steel base, and the entire system is designed to be quite and efficient. That’s due in part to the dual rubber bushings and dampening brackets, which keep the noise levels low.

The company also bracketed the evaporator, motor and compressor together, and used a galvanized steel top plate with long copper lines. As you might suspect, there are multiple variants available in the Brisk line, including the Dometic High-Efficiency B59530EXX1J0, which is rated at 11,000 BTU. There’s also one commercial class system with upgraded features including stainless steel components, e-coated coils, and three cooling speeds.

Our Verdict

Billed as smaller, lighter and stronger than the original, the Brisk II is the best option when you want a lightweight, efficient system, but height isn’t a concern. They are said to be 19% lighter, but with 15% more airflow because of the redesign. Several of these systems will require an air distribution box, however, which will raise the overall cost.

Dometic RV Air Conditioner FAQ

Q: What will I need to install a rooftop air conditioner from Dometic?

A: That depends on the assembly package included with your system and whether you choose a ducted or non-ducted installation. If you’re not ordering your system from a dealership, you’ll want to check with the seller to see what’s included beforehand.

Q: Can I purchase an RV air conditioner direct from Dometic?

A: No. At this time Dometic RV air conditioning systems are only sold through select local and online retailers.

Q: How often should I clean the air filter on a Dometic air conditioner?

A: The company recommends removing and washing the air filter with soap and warm water every 6 months if you’re a seasonal RV user or every two months if you recreational vehicle is used throughout the year.

Q: Why won’t by air conditioner turn on?

A: That could because of a variety of reasons, but you can troubleshoot the obvious before becoming concerned. Ensure the system is receiving power and no circuit breakers have been tripped. Check for blown fuses, and makes sure the temperature is set to the proper level for the unit to turn on. When all else fails, consult your user manual for the specific model on your RV.

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