The simple answer to your question is yes you need both 12 Volt Direct Current and 120 Volt Alternating Current for most RV Air Conditioners to work. The Air Conditioner Compressor and blower require 120 volt power to operate. The wall thermostat that turns on the AC requires 12 volt power to operate.
The exception to this rule is on older RV's that had the controls directly on the Air Conditioning unit itself. These older types of Air Conditioners run on 120 volts only.
To my knowledge there are no 12 Volt true Air Conditioners for RVs. However there are a few 12 Volt Evaporative (Swamp) Coolers that you can install on the roof of your RV. Evaporative coolers are good for drier climates, but if you are in a hot humid climate they are ineffective.
I hope this helps.
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