Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Jessica Lauren Vine
Are you trying to find the best portable AC for a pop up camper?
Popup campers are a great way to get out into nature and enjoy camping without spending a fortune on a fancy RV. They’re capable of comfortably housing families of up to six or even eight people, depending on how big they are. While there are plenty of upsides to popup campers, they have one glaring downside: the lack of air conditioning.
If you want to have air conditioning in your popup camper but don’t want to install a permanent one, a portable AC is your best option. Portable air conditioners can be easily moved around until you find the perfect spot for them. While they usually aren’t large, they’re powerful enough to provide ample cooling for your popup camper.
If you like the idea of a portable air conditioner for your popup camper but aren’t sure which one to get, you’ve come to the right place. This article will look at how to choose the right portable AC and some of the best options on the market.
What to Look for in a Portable AC for a Popup Camper
Before you can choose the right portable AC for your popup camper, it’s important to know what to look for.
Size of the Unit
If you’re in a popup camper, every foot and inch of space matters. The last thing you want to do is have a massive portable AC taking up valuable space in the middle of your camper. At the same time, you want to make sure you choose an AC that’s big enough to cool down your camper effectively and efficiently.
Easy to Install
Portable air conditioners are, by nature, easy to install. However, some are certainly easier than others. The most difficult aspect of installing a portable air conditioner is the venting. While venting for portable ACs is usually straightforward and simple, different models are more difficult than others.
Popup campers are small, and you’re likely going to be wanting to run your AC at night to stay cool. Finding one that’s quiet and won’t disrupt your sleeping is very important.
BTUs are a measurement of how powerful your portable air conditioner is. The higher the BTU count, the more powerful it will be and the more cooling it will provide. While you want a small, quiet air conditioner, you also want one that’s strong enough to keep your camper comfortable. Otherwise, what’s the point of even having one?!
Top Portable Air Conditioners for a Popup Camper
Now that you know what to look for in a portable air conditioner, let’s look at some of the best options out there.
Best Overall Portable Air Conditioner
The first portable AC is one that I would say is the best overall.
- 14,000 BTU
- Dual Hose
- Activated Carbon Filter
- Energy saving
- Some people have not had good experiences with this unit.
Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
The prize for the best overall portable air conditioner has to go to the Whynter Dual Hose AC. This unit is a one-stop shop when it comes to providing comfort to your popup camper. It’s powerful enough to provide ample cooling to campers of all sizes, even larger than typical popups. Additionally, you can also use this unit as a dehumidifier or heater if you go camping during the winter months.
Because it has a dual hose system, one hose is bringing fresh air in from the outside while the other hose is venting stale air out of your camper. This provides for excellent cooling, clean air, and top-notch dehumidification. The Whynter Dual Hose AC comes with flexible- 5-foot vent pipes so that you can have the unit wherever you want inside the camper. While it’s a powerful 14,000 BTU AC, it’s also surprisingly quiet and efficient.
- Can be used as an AC, dehumidifier, or heater
- Very quiet in spite of its power
- Can cool popup campers and RVs of all sizes
- Cools your camper with fresh, outside air
- At 80 pounds, it’s fairly heavy for a portable AC
- Could be overkill for very small popup campers
- Slightly pricy if you’re on a budget
Runner-Up for Best Overall Portable Air Conditioner
Another great option to consider is the runner-up here for the best overall portable air conditioner.
Black & Decker BPACT10WT
While the Black & Decker BPACT10WT takes the runner-up spot on our list, it’s arguably better than the Whynter model listed above. It has the ability to function as an air conditioner, a fan, and a dehumidifier, but lacks a heating feature. For optimal efficiency, the Black & Decker model also has an energy-saving feature.
One advantage that this portable AC has over most of the competition is how easy it is to install. There’s a single vent hose attached to the back of the unit that runs out through a window, but there’s a vent kit that accompanies the unit to make this process simple.
Additionally, this Black & Decker model has the ability to cool between 150 and 200 square feet, which is plenty for most popup campers.
- Solid cooling abilities capable of handling most popup campers
- Very efficient with an energy-saving option
- The accompanying vent kit makes installation very simple
- Can also be used as a dehumidifier
- Doesn’t have a heating function
Best Portable Air Conditioner on a Budget
Don’t have a ton of money to spend on a portable air conditioner? This is your best option for a portable air conditioner when you’re on a budget.
This unit performs best in hot/dry climates and has a low water alarm.
- Cool breeze
- Easy operation
- Simple to program
- A bit noisy
Honeywell Portable Evaporative Cooler
While the Honeywell Portable Evaporative Cooler isn’t technically an air conditioner, it functions essentially like one. It features a built in water reservoir where water evaporates into the air and provides cooling. That, combined with a surprisingly powerful fan, and it will feel like a cool breeze coming off of a river or ocean.
Because it’s not a true air conditioner, the Honeywell Evaporative Cooler is best used for spot cooling and small applications. It might not be able to cool down your entire popup camper, but it certainly make it more comfortable. The water inside the cooler will provide cooling for up to seven hours before you need to refill it.
- Very affordable at less than $300
- Provides surprisingly refreshing cooling despite not being a true air conditioner
- A surprisingly powerful fan to provide ample cooling
- Very lightweight and easy to use because there isn’t a vent to the outside
- May not be enough to cool an entire large popup camper
Best Portable Air Conditioner for Larger Popup Campers
If you have a larger pop up camper, you might need more umph in your portable AC and this one can give it to you.
Pinguino Portable AC
If you have a larger popup camper or want to use one in a full-size RV, consider the Pinguino Portable AC. At 14,000 BTU, it’s one of the most powerful portable ACs on the market. It also has a very powerful fan and dehumidifier built into the unit, which adds to the cooling it provides.
Another benefit of the Pingiono Portable AC is that it has a highly efficient Eco Real Feel mode. This mode automatically kicks in when the camper you’re cooling reaches the set temperature, and the compressor starts running at a slower pace to keep the temperature set without running at full throttle.
This bad boy is powerful enough to cool up to 700 square feet at a time, which is more than enough for a camper of any size. Because of how strong it is, you’ll likely only have to run this AC on low to keep your popup camper comfortable.
- Extremely powerful for maximum cooling
- Very efficient for energy saving purposes
- Built in dehumidifier for optimal comfort
- Fairly pricy compared to other options
- Very heavy and may require two people for installation
Also in the Running for Best Portable Air Conditioner
If you need another one, have no worries. Here’s another great option for you.
- Cools up to 175 sq ft
- Remote control included
- Window kit included
- Fast cooling for small spaces
- Easy to operate
- Easy to install
- Some people complained the remote didn't work great
Midea 3 in 1 Portable AC and Dehumidifier
If none of the options above are tickling your fancy, take a look at the Midea 3 in 1 Portable AC and Dehumidifier. This powerful AC can cool up to 300 square feet, but it’s smaller and lighter than many of the other large models on this list. It’s also one of the most efficient portable ACs for popup campers because it will reach temperature quickly and maintain it.
Best of all, this portable AC is very easy to control and has a built-in timer and even has wifi capabilities. Along with its small size and light weight, it has wheels attached to the bottom of it for easy transportation. Combine these features with the stylish and futuristic design, and this AC could easily take the top spot on our list. The only downside is that it doesn’t have a heating option.
- You can control it with Alexa, Google Assistant, and other wifi features
- Nice design and LED display for style points
- Fairly lightweight and easy to move from place to place
- Powerful but quiet
- Fairly pricy, especially since it doesn’t double as a heater
As you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing the right portable air conditioner for your pop up camper. The addition of a portable AC can take your camping experience to the next level and make it much more comfortable.
The main thing to keep in mind when choosing your AC is making sure it’s powerful enough to cool your camper but not so powerful that the noise level will be overwhelming. If you can keep this in mind while sticking to your budget and making sure you can install the unit yourself, you should have no trouble choosing the best portable AC for your needs!