Coleman Polar Cub 9200 Air Conditioner Truck Camper Upgrade

Our Wolf Creek didn’t come with an air conditioner when we bought it, yet that was fine with us. We wanted to choose our own unit. What we were looking for was simple. We wanted a low profile unit that could keep our camper cool while plugged into a Honda EU2000i portable generator. With those requirements in mind the choice was pretty easy: the Coleman Mach-8 Polar Cub 9200.

We love our little Polar Cub. Only 10 inches high, the low profile exterior of the Polar Cub not only looks great on top of the camper, but it also creates less wind resistance on the road. In our opinion, few things are uglier on an RV than a big, bulky air conditioner on the roof. But the benefits of owning a Polar Cub go far beyond looks and wind drag. The diminutive unit weighs only 96 pounds, a good 30 to 40 pounds lighter than the leading 13,500 BTU air conditioners. That weight may not seem like much, but with pickup truck GVWRs and payloads being limited like they are, every pound counts, especially if you own a half-ton or 3/4-ton truck. Advertised features of the Mach 8 Polar Cub 9200 air conditioner include:

  • Highest Air Flow Delivery On High Speed, And Ultra Quiet On Low Speed For Night Time Cooling
  • Molded One Piece Fiberglass Base Pan Provides Excellent Durability With Reduced Weight
  • Lower Profile Means Less Drag And Improved Fuel Efficiency
  • Delivers The Same High BTUs Of Cooling On Both High And Low Speed Operation
  • Operates Even At Desert Conditions Of 125 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • Has The Largest BTU Resistance Heater Of Any RV Air Conditioner
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Installs Easily From The Roof For Ducted Top Down Mounted Systems
  • Limited 2 Year Manufacturer Warranty

Perhaps the biggest advantage of owning a Polar Cub is its small power requirement. On its highest setting, the Polar Cub requires only 11.7 amps AC to run. Our little Honda EU2000i generator, capable of generating 13.3 amps, does the job with ease and we can even run the Polar Cub with our camper plugged into a regular 110 volt, 15 amp household outlet. You may be wondering, “yeah, but can the Polar Cub keep your camper cool in extreme heat?” That’s a great question! We’ve used our Polar Cub in 112 degree temperatures here in the Arizona summers and it never fails to keep our camper nice and cool. We’ve found the bullet point above regarding the 125-degree capability to be spot on.

I’m pretty handy, but I’ve never installed a roof top air conditioner and probably never will. The units are simply too heavy and bulky to heft up on the roof. The risk for injury or damage to the unit is too great. This task is best left to RV service centers who have electric lifts to hoist these puppies up on the roof. It’s money well spent.

About Mello Mike 728 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator, he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, worked in project management, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top. - KK7TCA

14 Comments

  1. look into a start assist capacitor new 410a is at a high pressure during start very common problem

    • Can you tell me more about your "Start Assist Capacitor". I have a new Polar Cub AND a Honda EU 3000 is generator on my truck camper and the Cub will start and run with the air for about 10 minutes but will then show a "Fault" on the generator and shut down. I was told that I should look into a start assist capacitor but so far I haven't found the right person to give me more information. Appreciate your help, Joel
      joelandlouise@goodmansjourney.com

    • start assist capacitor is for start up only. It gives it that extra kick to start the compressor. sounds like you might have different issue you need to have 12 guage extension cord min. try a different cord. a loose wire in the circuit will get hot and draw more power that could be at outlet on generator plug on camper plug. check for hot spots warm to the touch next test generator on other loads and see how it does plug in a refrigerator and freezer to it see how it does should do fine with a 3000i . if that doesnt work you need to have someone with a amp clamp meter to test the amp draw on a hot day because the draw is more to see if the ac unit is within the manufacturer specs should never draw more than rating on nameplate if it is take it back

  2. I have a Polar Cub in my truck camper. I tried running it off a Ramsond generator – note a 3000 watt generator. The Polar Cub consistently overloaded it when starting up. The compressor pulls 54 amps at startup, much more than larger AC units. I'm considering getting a pair of Honda generators and trying those. Note I will be getting a pair of EU2000i's.

  3. I guess it doesn’t always work best for all of us. It’s great for many, but not for everyone. What works for you may not work for him. Well, what he needs to do is to find a better one that will work perfectly on his RV. There are a lot of options to choose from I’m sure he’ll come across the best one. 🙂

  4. I have had nothing but problems with my Polar Cub since I have owned it! I bought it specifically to run off a Honda 2000ie. It worked fine for 2 weeks but didn't put out very cold air until night time when it was cooler. Then after 2 weeks it sprung a leak while I was sleeping so my dog and I was breathing in all the coolant as we slept. Received no apologies from the manufacturer for my health problems after that!
    Then it took 9 months to get it replaced under warrantee since I bought it out of state! Finally got it replaced after waiting at the dealer for literally 12 hours only to have it leak like a stream when it rained! Thanks Camping World, Roanoke, VA!

    Took it back to Roanoke and they put a bunch of caulk in there to stop the leak. The unit still does not run very cold. It starts up fine with the generator but will just blowing cold air and start blowing hot air… or at least the hot air of the van for no reason! I spent $3,000 for this whole setup just so my dog could travel with me and stay safely in my vehicle without me. I have found it to be fairly useless!!
    The Polar Cub is consistently overloading the generator when it cycles and I have no idea when it is going to happen so I cannot plan for it.
    You might say I am a very unhappy customer!!!

    • Wow! Sorry to hear that you've had so many problems. You're the only person to say anything negative about this unit. I know lots of folks on many RV forums who love the A/C. You definitely got a bad one. Happens to the best of them.

  5. Hi Mike. I'm looking at putting a polar cub on my E150 Van conversion for camping in the desert. I anticipate temps in the 110 range but I'm getting conflicting info regarding the effectiveness of the polar cub. What could I realistically expect in regards to indoor temps in this kind of dry heat? The van has insulation on the back upper panels with half of one side being cabinetry and a bare metal roof. Any info is appreciated; briantroy@yahoo.com

    • Hi Brian,
      The Polar Cub is a great little A/C that can be used with a tiny 2000 watt generator or with a regular 110v 10amp household outlet. It will simply freeze you out of your Van, and that in the low setting. It's money well spent.

  6. Yes that is why we got our Polar cub, too. We wanted to be able to use the Honda 2000 with it. It is a great little unit — quiet and efficient.

    –K

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