Best RV Air Conditioner: Dometic Harrier vs Aircommand Ibis 3

Best RV Air Conditioner: Dometic Harrier vs Aircommand Ibis 3
3.7 | 3 votes

Dometic makes great, reliable RV air conditioners like the Dometic Harrier. So, if you’ve narrowed a decision on a new purchase down to this brand, you’re off to a good start.

However, you still need to decide on the best model. The Dometic Harrier was released in 2016 and is tipped to be the latest and greatest rooftop air con unit in the market. But the Aircommand Ibis 3 has been an Aussie favourite for some time, and for good reason.

Which one has got the edge? We’re here to help with a comparison of the Dometic Harrier VS the Aircommand Ibis 3.

 

 

Price

Let’s get straight down to the bottom line. The Dometic Harrier and Aircommand Ibis 3 are actually pretty comparable when it comes down to price. There isn’t much in it (around $100). And both come with a 3-year warranty. This means choosing between them really does depend on what you want from your RV air con unit.

Power

The Dometic Harrier is said to be suitable for vehicles up to 7.5 metres in length, compared to 6.5 metres for the Aircommand Ibis 3. That’s because the Dometic Harrier is not only more powerful, it’s the most powerful in its class. Take a look at the numbers:

Dometic Harrier:

  • Compressor capacity 3.7 kW
  • Cooling capacity 3.1kW
  • Heating capacity 2.8kW

Aircommand Ibis 3:

  • Compressor capacity 3.2 kW
  • Cooling capacity 2.7kW
  • Heating capacity 2.4kW

Installation

The Dometic Harrier Inverter fits 360 × 360 mm and 400 × 400 mm roof openings straight out of the box. No need for extra components or accessories. For some RV owners, this could be the clincher!

The Ibis 3 is also easy to fit and maintain – not to mention, it looks super stylish. It’s an ultra-thin, low profile unit which reduces drag on the roof, and reduces the risk of damage from overhanging obstacles while driving (think low hanging branches…). A revolutionary weather collar improves the seal on the roof while reducing the amount of sealant required to install. Best of all, the Ibis 3 adjusts to suit your RV roof thickness with a self-adjusting connecting duct, so you can enjoy a simple one-click system.

Features

Where the Dometic Harrier really stands out is with the highly efficient inverter technology. This is the first use of an inverter compressor for an RV and it’s a big deal.

First, it eliminates the typical start-up issues you might have when running an air con unit from a generator or restricted current supply. With a low start-up current, you can run it off a 2000w generator. It’s also extremely quiet, even when running at top speed.

And there’s more… The Dometic Harrier has three blower speeds, remote controlled oscillating vents, timer function, sleep mode and cold plasma air purification. The sleep mode is brilliant for RVs, as it reduces the compressor and fan speeds while you’re sleeping. This means no noisy, vibrating air con to keep you awake. The air purification is also a big plus if you’re likely to travel to areas with low-quality air (not to mention it will remove unwanted cooking odours!).

That’s not to say the Ibis 3 doesn’t have its own fair share of top features. It too has the sleep mode, remote control operation, timer and dehumidifying function. Plus, the premium quality generator start technology is included as standard, so you simply need to check with your generator supplier for compatibility. The Ibis 3 also has an electronic defrost, handy for low temperatures.

Energy Efficiency

With a variable speed compressor, the Dometic Harrier slows down or speeds up to maintain the output as needed. This reduces energy consumption to the absolute minimum required, while keeping the noise and vibration down too.

The Ibis 3 is also incredibly efficient, thanks to the unique ‘S Flow’ air distribution which provides more air, more efficiently. The airflow is 780 m³/hour compared to the Dometic Harrier at 649 m³/hour. Plus, the Aircommand Ibis 3 boasts whisper quiet operation even on high fan speed – at least 8dB(A) quieter than the original Ibis model. Another great feature is the heating mode; the reverse cycle heat pump gives unmatched efficiency.

Operating Temperatures

Both the Aircommand Ibis 3 and Dometic Harrier can operate between minus 2 and +52 degrees C. That’s an incredible range, and makes either a great option for Aussie roadtrips in harsh conditions.

The Verdict

Both the Dometic Harrier and Ibis 3 are two of the most popular RV rooftop air con models. Sure, the Dometic Harrier is newer and has all the bells and whistles. But the Ibis 3 model is tried and tested in the Aussie environment. At the end of the day, you need to look closely at the specs to choose the ideal unit for you and your vehicle.  

 

 

S Reynolds
Steve Reynolds, Power Product Expert at mygenerator.com.au is a small engine specialist with particular expertise in Generators, Water Pumps, Pressure Washers and other Outdoor Power Equipment products. Outside of work; an avid caravan enthusiast who enjoys time on the road and has gained years of familiarity with Caravan & Camping products also. A passion for power products used for work, home and leisure!

Comments

  • David July 1, 2018, 11:13 am

    Hi, I am in the process of choosing a new caravan and because of height issues, have virtually decided on an under bunk air conditioner. They seem to be quiet (at least in heating mode), keep the weight down low, and use space effectively. However I have read reports that there could be issues with condensation on the ducts, and given we store bedding under the bed that could be a concern. Have you any experience or comments re this issue?

    • L Adams July 4, 2018, 6:10 pm

      Hi David, great question. This is something that I have heard of, but our team has not experienced first hand. Upon inspecting the manual of one of our popular under bunk models (Air Command Sandpiper Ducted Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner), there are the following comments regarding condensation:

      CONDENSATION:
      In areas of high humidity, the humid air within the van will cause “sweating” or condensation in parts of the unit as the humid, warm air contacts the colder air discharged from the system. If this occurs please ensure the following:
      – Close all doors, hatches, windows and blinds to limit the ingress of warm humid air.
      – Don’t route the ductwork near any heat producing appliances such as the rear of a refrigerator.
      – Avoid running the inside fan on LOW or AUTO in humid conditions. Running the fan on HIGH fan speed will result in higher airflow and reduce the tendency to have condensation form.

      Similarly, the Truma Saphir Comfort Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner has condensation traps and drain to help with this issue should it arise.

      Both product manuals are available for you to read on the product pages of our Website.

  • Stephen Owen July 9, 2018, 12:10 pm

    Does a 2000 watt generator run the Dometic Harrier? Does it need a continuous or startup wattage of more than 2000w?

    • L Adams July 11, 2018, 6:50 pm

      Hi Steve, yes a 2000 watt inverter generator will definitely run a Dometic Harrier A/C unit. Please let us know if we can help further? Thanks

  • matt July 20, 2018, 4:06 am

    The HOnda E2200 Generator only has a 120 V plug, so how do you run the 220 V Harrier Ac unit off of the generator?
    Maybe it is different in the USA.

    • Paul July 20, 2018, 9:46 am

      Hi Matt,

      All of the generators sold in Aus should have 230V or 240V power outlets that are built to Australian Electrical standards

      regards

      Paul

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