Best Air Conditioner for Tent Trailer

A tent trailer can bring some much-needed shade on your camping trips. But that shade is rarely enough to really cool you down.

On a hot summer day, you could be sweating all over, especially if you’ve got clear skies and the sun is beating down, there’s no breeze, and the air inside the tent trailer is stuffy and stale.

But there’s no need to worry. I have the solution.

All that you have to do is invest in a small air conditioner for your tent trailer. And the good news is that we’ve already been looking into air conditioners for tent trailers for you.

After much deliberation I was able to come up with a shortlist of our top 5 favorites, which I’ll be showing you very shortly.

But that’s not all. I’ve also got a handy buying guide for you that walks you through some key things to think about before you buy.

Then you should totally stick around for our section at the end, where I answer all of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.

And without further ado…

OUR TOP PICK

Honeywell HL10CESWK, 10, 000 BTU, Black/White Portable Air Conditioner, 10,000

Again, we’re looking at a top brand here. And one that’s had a lot of positive feedback from customers. It’s been rated at 4 and a half stars out of 5 for ease of use, and easiness to assemble and install.

It’s available at different levels of BTU (more on that in our buying guide). But, luckily for you the cheapest one, which is 10,000 BTU will be sufficient for keeping your tent trailer nice and cool.

But that’s not all it does. It also features dual filters that are designed to remove dust particles, pet dander and hair from the air, which is great news for those who have dust allergies. These filters are easily removed for cleaning, and all they need is a quick swill under the faucet.

It also features built-in dehumidifier properties, and as such is able to remove up to 80 pints of excess moisture in the air over a 24 hour period.

And if you’re not in high humidity, you don’t have to worry about a bucket to empty, because the auto evaporation feature will take care of the excess water. Or if needed, you can set up continuous drainage.

There are 3 different fan speeds to select from, including low, medium and high. And there’s also a sleep mode, which will keep you cool as you sleep at a noise that won’t disturb you at all.

This sleep mode is a 10 hour program, which also serves as an excellent energy saving mode too.

It’s very easy to operate with an intuitive touchscreen control panel running across the top of the device. And there’s also a remote control so you don’t even have to get out of your seat to operate it.

It features a smart digital thermostat system, so you just pick a temperature you like and let the device take care of the rest. We love how you can switch between degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Installation is pretty easy too. You get a 4 foot long hose included in the box, along with an adjustable window bracket. Better yet it can be installed on either vertical or horizontal windows.

In fact if you click on “Check price” you will be taken to the product page which shows you a video of how to install the device.

I’m also a fan of safety features, such as this beauty’s thermal overload protection. So reassuring when you have kids to worry about.

I was particularly impressed with the warranty available on this machine - it lasts an entire 5 years.

Pros

  • Features a handy sleep mode
  • Dual filters for dust & pet hair
  • 3 different fan speeds
  • Easy to install and use
  • Also a dehumidifier
  • 5 year warranty

Cons

  • Some customers weren’t impressed with the noise when the fan is at high speeds

EDITORS CHOICE

BLACK+DECKER BPACT10WT Portable Air Conditioner, 5,500 BTU DOE (10,000 BTU Ashrae), White

This portable AC unit comes from top brand Black & Decker, and is a bestseller with online retailers.

As a portable AC unit, rather than roof or window mounted, it will take up space inside your tent trailer. But we would argue that this space is minimal, since the dimensions are just 16.5 x 11.5 x 26 inches.

At 6,000 BTUs (more on that in our buying guide) it’s able to cool down spaces as large as 150 square feet, which is certainly adequate for your tent trailer. And it only needs 11.5 amps to run.

And it doesn’t just cool, it has three modes, cool, fan and dehumidifying. We love the dehumidifying option because it reduces the humidity and prevents the growth of bacteria in hot but wet conditions.

The fan settings are pretty cool (pun intended!). You can choose from low, medium or high. And there’s even an auto-fan setting in the cooling mode which adjusts the fan speed according to how cool it is in the room.

I also like several other features it has, such as a timer, to reduce unnecessary energy, and the sleep mode auto-control preset.

It’s easy to set up and everything you need is included in the box. And it's easy to use once set up, thanks to the intuitive control panel on the top of the device. And it also comes with a remote control besides.

It's also easy to clean and maintain too. The air filters simply slide out for cleaning, and there’s no buckets or drain pans to worry about thanks to the self-evaporating operation.

And it’s not too noisy. Even at its highest speed the noise level is below that of a normal conversation.

It also comes backed by a 1-year warranty, as you might expect from such a top brand.

Pros

  • Relatively affordable price tag
  • Is also a dehumidifier
  • Easy to install, maintain & use
  • 3 fan settings & auto setting
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Takes up floor space
  • Has to be set up near a window
  • Much noisier than a roof AC unit

BEST VALUE

Midea MAW10R1BWT Window Conditioner 10000 BTU Easycool AC (Cooling, Dehumidifier and Fan Functions) for Rooms up to 450 Sq, ft. with Remote Control & Fresh Air Vent Control, White

If you like the sound of a window AC unit, then this is the one we would go for. It’s a bestseller with online retailers and comes highly recommended.

Window air conditioners do tend to be quite bulky, however, it is positioned on the outside of the trailer window, and not the inside, so you don’t have to worry about it taking up any precious floor space.

And the installation is a breeze (pun intended!). Better yet, you don’t need to make any adjustments to the existing window frame. All of the hardware you need will be included in the box when it arrives, and all you will need to install it is a screwdriver.

It does more than just cool the area down too. It’s 3-in-1 technology means that in addition to air conditioning, it can also work as a fan, and as a dehumidifier.

You can have any of these working at any one time, together or separately. This means not only do you all keep cool, but you also get excess moisture removed from the air.

What I love about this model though has to be the ECO Energy Saver functionality, which allows the unit to automatically shut off once it has reached your set temperature. Great for the environment.

And you can also save energy by using the timer, and only have the unit on when you’re actually there.

I also love the sleep mode, and how it adjusts the temperature throughout the course of the night to align with your body’s natural sleep cycle. Perfect.

It’s available at 5 different levels of BTU. Please refer to our buying guide to work out what number of BTU machine you need.

If you decide to buy this one, you can request a limited one year warranty from the manufacturer.

Pros

  • A highly recommended bestseller
  • Its installed outside rather than inside
  • Also works as a fan and dehumidifier
  • ECO Energy Saver functionality
  • 1-year warranty available on request

Cons

  • It’s a fairly bulky and heavy device to be taking on holiday
  • You’ll have to uninstall it when you change campsites

RUNNER UP

Dometic Brisk II Rooftop Air Conditioner, 13,500 BTU - Polar White (B57915.XX1C0)

This roof mounted AC unit comes from a top brand in the industry, and comes highly recommended by those who’ve tried it. Plus it’s also a best seller with online retailers.

What we love about this unit, like other roof mounted units, is that it takes up zero precious floor space in your tent trailer.

Unfortunately roof mounted AC units such as this one are far more expensive than their portable counterparts or their window mounted counterparts for that matter.

But on the flip side, you have the advantage that once it has been set up, you never have to remove or uninstall it. You can fix it and forget it.

This is an upgraded version of Dometic’s previous model and has been reengineered to offer a whopping 15% increase in air flow. But not only is it stronger than the previous models, but it’s also more environmentally friendly.

But despite this clear improvement in power, it’s also strangely smaller, quieter and lighter than previous models. Impressive hey? The reduced noise and vibration is thanks to the dampening brackets.

It’s available in two different levels of BTUs, 13,500, and 15,000. But you’ll only need a 13,500 version to keep your tent trailer nice and cool.

Dometic is so confident in their product that they back it up with not a 1-year, but a 2-year warranty.

Pros

  • A bestseller from a top brand
  • Comes highly recommended
  • Surprisingly quiet running
  • Upgraded version of previous model
  • Comes with a lengthy 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Premium product at a premium price

RUNNER UP

Dometic 640315C Penguin II 410 Amp Low Profile Rooftop Air Conditioner(Polar White)

This is the smallest rooftop RV air conditioner around, and as such it’s very lightweight and takes up no precious floor space in your tent trailer.

It also has an aerodynamic low profile, which serves to reduce wind drag, which in turn saves you fuel. It’s under 10-inches high, which makes it the lowest in the industry.

The 13,500 BTU option will provide all the cooling power you need for your tent trailer.

It features easy to use controls, allowing you to choose from 3 different fan speeds, and has a thermostat so you can just set a temperature you like and let the machine do the rest.

And it’s not too loud for an AC unit either.

We’re going to level with you here though, this is an expensive AC unit, even as far as the roof mounted models go, which is why it didn’t make it further up our shortlist. But if you have the budget for it then it’s a good option.

It comes from a top brand, is a bestseller and is also backed by a 2-year warranty.

Pros

  • Takes up no floor space
  • Very aerodynamic
  • 3 fan speeds & thermostat
  • Relatively quiet running

Cons

  • Premium product at a premium price

Best Air Conditioner For Tent Trailer Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide.

Type Of Ac: Rooftop Mounted Vs Window Mounted Vs Portable

Roof Mounted - Advantages & Disadvantages

In a tent trailer, space is at a premium, so rather than have a portable AC unit taking up space on the floor or on some other flat surface, you may find it advantageous to have an AC unit that’s mounted to the trailer’s roof out of the way.

Roof mounted AC units have an extended cooling area compared to their portable counterparts, and run at a negligible noise level.

But they aren’t perfect. They tend to cost more money than their portable counterparts, and they increase the load of weight on the roof.

Portable - Advantages & Disadvantages

Portable AC units, as we’ve already imated, are very affordable, and tend to be notably cheaper than roof-mounted units. They also come fully assembled and there’s no installation to worry about. All you have to do is plug them in.

But despite being very compact and lightweight, they do take up precious space. And they’re also notably louder than their roof-mounted counterparts. Another potential disadvantage is that they usually have to be placed near a window, which could cause issues.

Window Mounted - Advantages & Disadvantages

Like roof-mounted AC Units, window mounted numbers also require a little installation. They are installed outside of the window, so will not take up space inside the trailer. They’re easy to set up, and most of the noise is outside, so that’s one less thing to worry about. They’re also stronger than portable AC units.

But there are drawbacks. They’re less powerful than their rooftop counterparts, and you have the hassle of removing the unit from the window every time you want to move on somewhere else.

So there’s no right or wrong answer as to which type of unit is best, and we were sure to include at least one of each type in our shortlist of top 5 picks.

What Size A/C Do You Need?

The power of an AC unit is typically described by its number of BTUs. The higher the number of BTUs (British Thermal Units), the more powerful the AC unit.

To find the best number of BTUs for your particular tent trailer, all you have to do is multiply the square foot area of the trailer by 40.

That said, if you were to go a little over that number, that might be better because your pop up trailer is not insulated and the equation accounts for insulation.

What to Look for in an AC Unit for a Tent Trailer

Compact Dimensions

In a tent trailer, floor space is precious, so the smaller the dimensions of your portable AC unit the better.

Or for even more floor space, you can go for a roof mounted or window mounted unit.

Easy to Use

AC Units are typically very easy to use, with very few settings to be concerned about. All of the AC units that made our shortlist are easy to operate, and some even come with a remote control.

Easy to Install

The easier your AC unit is to install the better. We would argue that all of the AC units that made our shortlist are easy to install.

Moreover, where appropriate, they come with all the installation hardware you need included in the box.

Additional Features

Some AC units go far beyond basic cooling of the air. They can also act as air purifiers, cleansing the air of dust particles and such.

And some can also double as dehumidifiers, by removing excess moisture from the air.

Quiet Running

One of the more annoying features of an AC unit is the sound they produce when switched on. This cannot be avoided entirely, but you can seek out ones that are quieter than others.

Cost

Air conditioners for tent trailers can vary quite considerably in cost. You can get some that cost less than $200, while at the higher end you can get ones that cost well over $1000.

This is why we recommend that you check prices as you go along. Air conditioners do tend to be expensive, but we feel that all of the units that made our shortlist of top 5 picks are all really good value for money.

FAQ's

Can you put an air conditioner in a tent?

I am pleased to report that you can indeed put an air conditioner in a tent. But of course you can’t just put any old air conditioner in a tent.

You need one that’s suited to the job at hand. Any one of the 5 air conditioners we showed you earlier would be a really good choice.

How can I keep my trailer cool without AC?

Of course AC is not by any means your only option to keep your trailer cool. You can have open windows, you can have open doors, you can have partially open windows and doors, you can have mesh windows or insect screens and so on.

You can also use portable handheld fans, but the drawback to these is that they only provide a breeze to targeted areas, such as your face, and are not equipped to cool your whole body down.

Can you add air conditioning to a pop-up camper?

I am pleased to report that you can indeed put an air conditioner in a pop-up camper. But of course you can’t just put any old air conditioner in a pop-up camper.

You need one that’s suited to the job at hand. Any one of the 5 air conditioners we showed you earlier would be a really good choice.

Can you use a portable air conditioner in a camper?

I am pleased to report that you can indeed put a portable air conditioner in a camper. But of course you can’t just put any old portable air conditioner in a camper.

You need one that’s suited to the job at hand. Any one of the 5 air conditioners we showed you earlier would be a really good choice.

How many amps does Portable AC use?

Portable air conditioners need a minimum of 3.52 amps to run, but some can draw up to 20 amps of current.

Can you put a mini split in an RV?

Sometimes a mini split system is worth looking into for your RV. A mini split is both a cooling system, which is what you’ll need in hotter weather, and is also a heating system, for those colder winter climates.

The good news is that you can put a mini split in an RV. Here’s the link to a YouTube video showing you how to do exactly that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcyWW4bB34w.

What is the smallest rooftop RV air conditioner?

The smallest rooftop RV air conditioner around is the Dometic Penguin II Roof Mounted AC Unit, which made our shortlist of top 5 picks. Please scroll back up for further information and details.

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