Table of Contents Show
- What Is a Camping Air Conditioner?
- What Is the Best Air Conditioner for Camping?
- Can You Use an Air Conditioner in a Tent?
- Camping Air Conditioners That’ll Actually Keep You Cool
- Is There a 12V Air Conditioner?
- Stay Cool This Camping Season
Do you need a camping air conditioner? Summertime beckons RVers with promises of stunning outdoor landscapes, exciting family adventures, and relaxing meals. But no one mentions the slap of hot air you experience in the rig when it comes time to settle indoors.
Your RV air conditioner just can’t keep up with those South Florida summer temperatures. You don’t want to feel like you have to sleep in an oven, but what can you do?
It might be time to add a camping air conditioner to your rig to bring back the enjoyment of summer camping.
What Is a Camping Air Conditioner?
A camping air conditioner is a mobile unit perfect for cooling down an RV. These portable units cool the air in one room and don’t have to be stationary. Most sit on the floor and have wheels for mobility, making them much more flexible than a window unit.
A camping air conditioner usually comes with an easy installation kit, as they need ventilation to push moisture and warm air out of the RV. But their most beneficial feature is that you can move them wherever the cool air is most needed.
What Is the Best Air Conditioner for Camping?
If your RV needs cooling and the built-in unit can’t keep up, a portable air conditioner may work best. Many of the ones touted for camping act more like glorified swamp coolers, requiring you to fill them with water. You can power some of these ‘evaporative coolers’ with batteries, meaning your comfort can only last for up to five hours.
So invest in a true air conditioner with refrigerant, and check out the BTU rating. It should have a BTU of 4,000 or above. You can use it when hooked to shore power or with a generator.
And you can plug it into an inverter if dry camping. Just remember that the camping air conditioner will use approximately 1,000W of power.
Pro Tip: Find out who makes the best RV air conditioner.
Can You Use an Air Conditioner in a Tent?
Camping in a tent makes keeping cool on hot summer days (and nights) challenging. But with the right portable camping air conditioner, you can take that temperature down quite a bit.
In the case of tent camping, an evaporative cooler might suit your needs well, especially if you don’t have access to power (AC or DC). Battery-operated units need water to issue cool air into your tent but don’t require ventilation.
On the other hand, tenters with shore power can make good use of portable camping air conditioners like RVers. These appliances will provide you with cold air. However, you need to ventilate it outside.
Some tents even have an air conditioner ‘flap,’ giving you the option to install a window air conditioning unit. You will need to prop it up off the ground on a small table outside the tent. It’s not easily portable, but campers will benefit from its powerful flow of cold air.
Camping Air Conditioners That’ll Actually Keep You Cool
If your RV or tent becomes stuffy and hot when temperatures rise, consider adding a camping air conditioner to your essential equipment.
Here are a few that we like because of their ease of operation and dependability:
1. Black+Decker Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control
- QUIET & POWERFUL - Our 4,000 BTU (8,000 BTU ASHRAE) compact air conditioner (16.5 x 11.5 x 26 in,) will keep you cool...
- PERFECT FOR SMALL ROOMS - This floor-standing portable AC unit provides steady, fast, effective cooling for rooms up to...
The Black and Decker Portable Air Conditioner has 4,000 BTUs and a handy remote control. It can cool up to 150 sq ft. Additionally, it has three settings and can cool rooms to 65 degrees.
It measures only 26” tall. This appliance comes with its own window kit for easy and quick setup.
2. Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
- Portable AC Unit: Our portable room air conditioner keeps your room cool while aligning with better environmental...
- Multipurpose: Portable AC air conditioner with dehumidifier features a cooling range of 500 square feet and 3...
The Whynter air conditioner, with 12,000 BTUs, has dual hoses, making this unit more energy-efficient than others. One hose brings in hot air to be ‘conditioned.’
The other gets rid of moisture and residual hot air, sending it back outside. The manufacturer has included a complete window kit for both hoses.
3. 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner with Built-in Dehumidifier
- HANDY AND PORTABLE: The SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner System features a lightweight, handy, sleek body design...
- 3 OPERATING MODES: The compact floor AC indoor cooler conditioning unit features a simple electric plug in operation and...
SereneLife has created a camping air conditioner that can also act as a dehumidifier or a heater. You can run it with a remote control.
It has a rating of 11,000 BTUs to cool 270 sq ft, and it comes with a complete window installation kit. However, if using the unit as a heater, you will need to empty the internal tank frequently.
Pro Tip: Check out our list of 20 things every camper should own.
4. Shinco Portable Air Conditioner with Built-in Dehumidifier
- 【EASY-COOL】- Compact 8,000 BTU portable ac unit，delivers fast, cooling for spaces up to 200 Sq.Ft in Home,...
- 【3-in-1 FUNCTIONALITY】- It has 3 modes to choose from - cooling, dehumidification and fan. The 2-speeds fan can...
This Shinco product has a BTU rating of 8,000 and cools up to 200 sq ft of space. It comes with a remote control and a window exhaust kit.
You can get it set up and running in no time. This camping air conditioner costs $295 and also has a dehumidifying mode.
5. TOSOT Portable Air Conditioner With Remote Control
- Powerful Cooling: Cool spaces up to 400 square feet with an ASHRAE-rated 10,000 BTUs of cool air (6,000 BTU 2017 DOE...
- 1 Product, 3 Uses: This is not only a Portable AC but also a fan and dehumidifier capable of removing 2.5...
TOSOT’s portable air conditioner includes a window installation kit and remote control. As one of the larger units on our list, this appliance can cool up to 400 sq ft or act as a dehumidifier.
Is There a 12V Air Conditioner?
Most 12V portable camping air conditioners are swamp coolers, as they do not have refrigerants. These units require water to cool the air, so they don’t work as well as a 120V air conditioner like those listed above.
However, if you consider replacing a factory-installed RV air conditioner, you can find a few new 12V models on the market that will run off your rig’s batteries. These include ones made by Coleman and Dometic that have just recently hit the market.
Stay Cool This Camping Season
You can cool off many ways during the camping season. From a good swim in the lake at your campsite to enjoying a dish of ice cream after dinner, you will get a reprieve from the heat.
But to make your RV comfortable enough for indoor enjoyment and pleasant sleeping, you may need to invest in a camping air conditioner. It can help your overworked factory-installed AC unit beat the heat and bring back the fun of summer camping no matter where you go.
Last update on 2023-01-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API