7 Best Pop Up Camper Air Conditioners – Best AC Units of 2023

Nothing makes camping more comfortable than a breath of cool air in the sweltering heat of summer. That’s why one essential piece of equipment for your pop up camper is a reliable air conditioner.

Now, the market is flooded with a variety of AC units suitable for different types of campers, from pop up trailers to caravans. Selecting the right one, however, can be quite challenging given the range of options available.

To help you make an informed choice, we’ve compiled this article, providing in-depth insight into the different types of pop up camper air conditioners, their advantages and disadvantages, and a comprehensive buyer’s guide.

If you’re looking for our ultimate recommendation, the BLACK+DECKER 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner stands out among the best AC units for pop up campers. Its high BTU rating ensures ample cooling, while its portability adds to its overall convenience, making it a fantastic option for most pop-up trailers and caravans.

It’s important to remember, though, that not all air conditioners are built the same. There are certain factors to consider, like the size and weight of the unit, installation requirements, and additional features.

Now, let’s dive into the world of pop up camper air conditioners and find the best fit for your needs.

7 Best AC Units for Pop Up Campers

Types of Pop Up Camper ACs

Pop up camper air conditioners are not a one-size-fits-all kind of appliance. Instead, they come in various types, each with their distinct set of features, pros, and cons. Understanding these types will help you decide which one is the best fit for your pop up trailer or caravan.

The three primary types of ACs for pop up campers are rooftop RV air conditioners, window unit air conditioners, and portable air conditioners. Each of these serves the same purpose – to keep your camper cool – but they do so in slightly different ways and with unique benefits.

Rooftop RV Air Conditioner for Pop Up Campers

For campers with a little more space and structural support, the rooftop RV air conditioner is a popular choice. These units are installed on the roof of the pop-up camper, allowing for efficient cooling throughout the camper’s interior.

Rooftop RV air conditioners are designed to withstand the rigors of travel and the harsh conditions of the outdoors. They also free up valuable floor space, which is often at a premium in pop-up campers. However, their installation is more complex and might require professional assistance.


  • Efficient cooling
  • Frees up floor space
  • Built for durability


  • Complex installation
  • Might require additional support
  • Could add considerable weight to the roof

Window Unit Air Conditioner in a Pop Up Camper

Window units are a versatile option for air conditioning in pop up campers. They are typically installed in one of the camper’s windows or a custom-made vent, providing direct cool air to the interior.

While not as powerful as rooftop units, window air conditioners are usually easier to install and more affordable. However, they can block a window and limit the camper’s natural light.


  • Easy to install
  • More affordable
  • Does not add weight to the roof


  • Can block a window
  • Not as powerful as rooftop units
  • May require a custom vent for installation

Portable Air Conditioner in a Pop Up Camper

A portable air conditioner offers the greatest flexibility among the AC options for pop up campers. They can be moved around within the camper, allowing for targeted cooling wherever it’s needed the most.

These units are typically light, easy to install, and are ideal for campers with limited structural support. However, they take up floor space and may require an exhaust vent.


  • Flexible and movable
  • Easy to install
  • Ideal for campers with limited support


  • Requires floor space
  • May need an exhaust vent
  • Not as efficient as permanent installations

Do Air Conditioners Really Work in Pop Up Campers?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Air conditioners for pop up campers are specially designed to work effectively in smaller, enclosed spaces. They can drastically reduce the temperature inside your camper, turning a potentially stuffy environment into a cool, comfortable haven.

However, the efficiency of an AC unit in a pop up camper depends on several factors. These include the size of the camper, the BTU rating of the air conditioner, and how well the camper is insulated. With the right unit and adequate insulation, you can maintain a comfortable temperature inside your pop up camper even on the hottest of days.

Best AC Units for Pop Up Campers – Detailed Comparison

1. Best Rooftop: Dometic FreshJet 3 Series, Rooftop Air Conditioner, 13.5K BTU

The Dometic FreshJet 3 Series Rooftop Air Conditioner is a standout in the market of rooftop air conditioning units. With its 13.5K BTU cooling capacity, it’s built to keep your camper comfortably cool, even in hotter climates.


Compared to other models this air conditioner offers 13% higher cooling capacity and 15% more airflow. This means you get a better-cooled space, faster, without the accompanying noise usually associated with high-powered AC units.

Another great benefit of the FreshJet 3 Series is its lightweight construction. Weighing in at a mere 64 lbs, it’s 14% lighter than Dometic’s previous lightest unit. This reduced weight lessens the load on the roof of your camper, helping to improve fuel efficiency and minimize structural stress.

The FreshJet 3 Series also boasts several innovative features. One of these is the use of E-coated evaporator coils, which Dometic is the only company to use in the RV industry. This revolutionary design involves a flexible epoxy polymer coating process that’s engineered specifically for HVAC heat transfer coils.

The result? Exceptional flexibility, durability, and excellent coil coverage that provides superior corrosion resistance.


  • High 13.5K BTU cooling capacity
  • Powerful yet quiet operation
  • Weighs only 64 lbs
  • E-coated evaporator coils
  • Backwards compatible
  • Turbo airflow feature


  • Professional installation may be needed
  • Higher energy consumption

2. Best Portable: Black+Decker Portable AC Unit – 12,000 BTU

The Black+Decker 12,000 BTU is one of the leading contenders in the market for portable AC units. With its capability to cool rooms up to 550 square feet, this unit can be your personal oasis during the sweltering summer months.


But this unit isn’t just about cooling; it’s a 3-in-1 powerhouse offering air conditioning, dehumidification, and fan functions. Its 7000 BTU DOE (12000 BTU ASHRAE 128) capacity ensures efficient cooling while the dehumidifier helps to maintain a comfortable humidity level, especially in muggy conditions.

The fan mode is ideal for those times when you want a gentle breeze rather than full-on cooling. Weighing in at 56.8 lbs, this portable air conditioner comes with a handy remote control and an LED display on the top-mounted control panel for easy operation.

The slide-out washable filter makes maintenance a breeze, and the auto water evaporation system eliminates the need for manual draining. The 24-hour timer allows for optimal energy usage by cooling the space only when needed.

Mobility isn’t a concern either, thanks to the casters on the bottom and side handles, making it easy to move the unit around. The package includes an easy-to-install window kit and features a large vented airflow outlet for efficient cooling.


  • 3-in-1 functionality
  • Cooling spaces up to 550 sq. ft.
  • Remote control for easy operation
  • Slide-out washable filter for easy maintenance
  • Easy mobility
  • Includes an easy-to-install window kit


  • May be heavy to move around for some
  • Might be too powerful for small spaces

3. Best Smart AC: LG Smart Portable Air Conditioner – 10,000 BTU

If you’re on the hunt for an efficient and versatile air conditioner for your pop up camper, the LG 10,000 BTU Smart Portable Air Conditioner is one unit you’ll definitely want to consider.


This AC unit is designed with the modern camper in mind, blending cooling performance with today’s latest technology. Capable of cooling an area up to 450 square feet, this portable AC is perfect for medium-sized pop up campers and rooms measuring approximately 22′ X 25′.

With LG’s ThinQ technology, you can control the air conditioner from anywhere using your smartphone. Whether you want to start or stop the cooling, change the mode, or set the temperature, all these functions can be performed remotely.

This portable AC unit is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can simply use voice commands to change settings, a handy feature when your hands are full or dirty from outdoor activities.

This air conditioner isn’t just a one-trick pony; it offers 3-in-1 operation, covering cool, fan, and dry modes. The cool mode provides potent cooling and dehumidifying on hot days. The fan mode offers air circulation for those slightly warmer days, while the dry mode proves ideal for rainy and damp days.


  • Robust cooling capability for medium-sized rooms or campers
  • Smart controls through LG ThinQ, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant
  • 3-in-1 operation (Cool/Fan/Dry)
  • Multiple fan speeds


  • May be too powerful for smaller campers
  • Requires a reliable internet connection for smart features
  • Higher price point compared to some less-advanced portable units

4. Black+Decker Portable AC Unit – 10,000 BTU

When it comes to achieving the perfect indoor climate in your pop up camper during those hot summer months, the Black+Decker 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is a great alternative.


Designed for rooms up to 450 sq. ft., this AC unit is perfectly sized for the average pop up camper, ensuring you stay cool and comfortable no matter how high the temperature rises outside.

Its compact dimensions (15.3” x 14” x 24.8″) and 47.3 lbs. weight make it a practical choice for campers where space and weight are critical factors.

This unit is a 3-in-1 powerhouse, also functioning as a dehumidifier and fan. The 10,000 BTU cooling capacity ensures efficient temperature control, while the dehumidifier function can help maintain a comfortable humidity level inside your camper, a real plus in damp weather.

The fan mode offers an alternative for when full air conditioning might not be necessary. This AC unit also comes with a remote control and a top-mounted control panel with an LED display, offering convenience and ease of use.


  • Compact and lightweight design
  • 3-in-1 functionality
  • Easy to install with the included window kit
  • Washable filter for easy maintenance
  • Easy mobility
  • Energy-efficient
  • Remote control and LED display


  • May not be powerful enough for larger campers or extremely hot climates
  • Might be a bit noisy for light sleepers.

5. Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner – 9,100 BTU

The Honeywell 9,100 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is a versatile and compact unit designed to provide impressive cooling power in a small package. This unit, available in sleek white/black or white/blue color schemes, fits seamlessly into any pop up camper decor.

With a cooling power of 9,100 BTUs, it’s capable of comfortably cooling rooms up to 400 square feet, making it a strong contender for larger campers or those who enjoy camping in warmer climates.

The digital display provides a user-friendly interface for easy control, while the built-in dehumidifier can remove up to 44 pints of moisture over 24 hours, a handy feature for humid climates or rainy seasons.

The dust filter is washable and comes with a filter change alert, ensuring easy maintenance and longevity for the unit. Installation is quick and easy, with an exhaust hose length of 12” to 47” and a flexible window bracket width.

User reviews frequently praise the ease of use and installation, the efficiency of the remote control, and the unit’s overall energy efficiency.


  • Powerful cooling capacity of 9,100 BTU
  • Dehumidifier with a capacity of 44 pints
  • Auto evaporation for easy maintenance
  • Digital controls
  • Easy and flexible installation


  • Not Energy Star certified
  • May struggle to effectively dehumidify in very high humidity conditions

6. Costway FP10120US-GR AC – 10,000 BTU

The Costway 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner offers four distinct modes—cool, dry, fan, and sleep— to cater to different needs, whether you’re looking to cool down, dehumidify your space, circulate air, or maintain a comfortable temperature during your slumber.

The option to adjust the wind speed to high or low allows for a customized airflow, while the temperature can be varied between 60.8˚F and 89.6˚F, making this air conditioner an excellent fit for a pop up camper.

An great feature is its extensive cooling area coverage. With a 330 m³/h airflow, this unit can effectively cool an area up to 350 sq.ft., making it ideal for small to medium-sized campers.

The smart control panel and remote control offer convenience and ease of operation, while the front LED display lets you keep track of the unit’s working state. Safety has also been thoroughly considered, with the child lock, grid design, auto-defrost function, and overload protection.


  • Versatile with four modes
  • Customizable temperature speed
  • Cooling up to 350 sq. ft.
  • Smart control panel and remote control
  • Robust safety features
  • Portable design
  • Easy installation


  • Only two speeds available
  • Low energy efficiency with a SEER rating of 5
  • Manual drainage
  • Limited to a 47” long/wide window for the installation kit

7. Best Budget: SereneLife SLACHT109 – 8,000 BTU

For those in search of a convenient, portable solution to keep their pop up camper cool and comfortable, the SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner could be just what you’re looking for.


With its built-in dehumidifier, fan mode, and remote control, this unit brings together a host of features designed to enhance your camping experience.

Measuring a compact 13.8″D x 14.6″W x 27.2″H, the SereneLife AC unit fits comfortably in most pop up campers without taking up too much precious space. Thanks to its lightweight design and handy rolling wheels, moving it around is a breeze, and you can easily position it where it’s needed most.

The three operating modes – cooling, dehumidifier, and fan – allow for versatile use, depending on your needs, and the automatic swing mode helps ensure maximum air circulation.

Plus, with a noise level of just 55 dB, it won’t disrupt the peaceful ambiance of your camping environment.


  • Powerful Cooling Capacity With 8,000 BTU
  • Offers three modes
  • Built-in Dehumidifier
  • Quiet Operation at 55-57 dB
  • Lightweight design with rolling wheels


  • Low energy efficiency
  • Not as powerful as other models in the list

BTU Rating and What it Means

When it comes to air conditioners, one term you’ll frequently come across is BTU, or British Thermal Unit. But what does it mean, and how does it impact your choice of AC unit for your pop up camper?

The BTU rating of an air conditioner measures the amount of heat it can remove from a room in one hour. Therefore, a higher BTU rating signifies a more powerful air conditioner, capable of cooling larger spaces or cooling smaller spaces more quickly.

Choosing the right BTU rating is crucial for the effectiveness of your air conditioner. Too high a BTU rating, and you may end up with an AC unit that cools your space too quickly, leading to an uncomfortable environment and higher energy consumption.

On the other hand, an AC unit with a BTU rating too low for your camper’s size will struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature, making the camper stuffy and humid.

Generally, for a pop up camper, a unit with a BTU rating between 5,000 and 15,000 is considered ideal, depending on the size and insulation of your camper.

Benefits of Having Air Conditioner in a Pop Up Camper

Choosing to install an air conditioner in your pop up camper can significantly enhance your overall camping experience. The biggest benefit is, of course, the comfort of having a cool space to retreat to on hot summer days.

A well-chilled camper can be a lifesaver, especially if you’re camping in areas where the temperature soars. After a long day of outdoor activities, being able to unwind in a cool, comfortable environment can make your trip much more enjoyable.

Here are some of the benefits you get with an AC unit in your pop up camper:

  • Comfort: The main benefit of having an air conditioner in your pop up camper is the ability to maintain a cool and comfortable environment, especially during hot summer days. It provides a much-needed retreat after a long day of outdoor activities.
  • Health and Safety: High temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. An air conditioner helps prevent such ailments by ensuring a cooler temperature inside your camper.
  • Insect Protection: A cooler environment can deter bugs and insects that thrive in hot, humid conditions. This can protect you from insect-borne diseases, contributing to safer camping experiences.
  • Better Sleep: A cooler environment promotes better sleep, ensuring you’re well-rested for your camping adventures.
  • Humidity Control: Besides cooling, air conditioners also help reduce humidity inside your camper, which can prevent dampness and the growth of mold or mildew.
  • Increased Camper Lifespan: By controlling the temperature and humidity, air conditioners can contribute to the longevity of your pop up camper’s interior materials and furnishings.


While having an air conditioner in your pop up camper comes with some advantages, it’s important to also consider the potential drawbacks as well.

These range from practical aspects such as weight and power consumption to maintenance and cost factors. Weighing these disadvantages against the benefits will help you make an informed decision about whether to invest in an AC unit for your camper.

  • Weight: Air conditioners, especially rooftop models, can add significant weight to your camper. This could impact the fuel efficiency of your towing vehicle, and the added weight on the roof can also put extra strain on the camper’s structure.
  • Energy Consumption: Air conditioners consume considerable power. If you’re camping without a reliable power source, running an AC unit might be challenging.
  • Noise: Some air conditioner models can be quite noisy, which could disrupt the tranquillity of your camping experience or disturb your sleep.
  • Cost: High-quality air conditioners can be expensive. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the ongoing costs of maintenance and increased fuel consumption due to the added weight.
  • Space: Especially for portable and window AC units, they can take up valuable space in your camper which is usually limited.
  • Installation and Maintenance: Installing an air conditioner, particularly a rooftop unit, can be complicated and might require professional assistance. Regular maintenance is also essential to keep the unit running efficiently.

Pop Up Camper Air Conditioner Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best One

Before you decide on the best air conditioner for your pop up camper, there are a few factors to consider. These include price, space, size and weight, installation, and features. Each of these elements plays a crucial role in determining the right air conditioner for your camping needs.


As you begin your search for the perfect air conditioner for your pop up camper, one of the first factors you’ll need to consider is the price. Like any significant purchase, you’ll want to find a balance between quality and affordability.

Air conditioners for pop up campers come in a wide range of prices, influenced by several factors such as brand, type of AC unit, BTU rating, and additional features.

The most affordable options usually start around a few hundred dollars, but these might not have the cooling power or the durability needed for regular use.

On the other end of the spectrum, high-end models can cost well over a thousand dollars, offering superior cooling efficiency, durability, and extra features. It’s crucial to set a realistic budget based on your needs and how frequently you plan to use the air conditioner.

Remember, while it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option, an AC unit is an investment in your comfort and should be able to withstand the rigors of camping.


The available space inside your pop up camper is another factor to consider when choosing an air conditioner. Given the compact nature of most pop up campers, space is scarce, and the size of your air conditioner can significantly affect your camper’s interior layout and your overall comfort.

If space is limited, a rooftop AC unit might be your best option as it doesn’t take up any interior room, unlike portable or window units. On the other hand, if your camper’s roof can’t support an AC, or you’re concerned about adding height to your camper, a window or portable unit could be a better fit.

Both of these will require some interior space, so you’ll need to think about where you could fit them in without sacrificing too much living area.

Size and Weight

When it comes to pop up campers, every inch and pound matters, meaning you have to consider the weight and size of your air conditioner. These two factors can impact not only the layout and comfort inside your camper but also the overall towing weight and fuel efficiency.

The size of the air conditioner plays an important role in where and how it’s installed. For example, a large window or portable unit might require you to sacrifice valuable living or storage space. While a bulky rooftop unit can increase the height of your camper, which could potentially limit your access to certain camping areas with height restrictions.

Make sure you measure the available space in your pop up camper and consider the dimensions of different AC units before making a decision.

The weight of the air conditioner is another key aspect to take into account. A heavy unit could add a substantial load to your camper’s overall weight, potentially affecting its towability and fuel consumption. This is particularly important for pop up campers, which are generally designed to be lightweight and easy to tow.

Before purchasing an AC unit, check your camper’s weight capacity to ensure it can safely support the additional load.


Installing an air conditioner in your pop up camper can be relatively straightforward, but it could also be quite complex, depending on the type of unit you choose. A complicated installation process can add significantly to the overall cost and time required to get your AC unit up and running.

  • Rooftop units, for example, are usually the most complex to install. They often require professional installation due to the need to accurately cut a hole in the camper’s roof, ensure the roof can support the weight of the unit, and properly seal it to prevent leaks.
  • Window units, on the other hand, are simpler to install but still require secure mounting and proper sealing to prevent water intrusion.
  • Portable air conditioners are generally the easiest to set up, often only requiring an exhaust hose to be vented out a window.

Regardless of the type of AC unit you choose, it’s essential to consider whether you’re comfortable undertaking the installation yourself or if you’ll need to budget for professional assistance.


Finally, it’s important to consider the various features that different air conditioners offer. While basic units might only offer simple cooling functions, others come with a range of added features for increased comfort and convenience.

The features you prioritize will depend on your individual needs and how you intend to use your pop up camper.

  • Thermostat/Climate Control: An air conditioner with a built-in thermostat or climate control allows you to easily adjust and maintain the desired temperature in your camper.
  • Remote Control: A remote control can make adjusting your AC unit’s settings more convenient, especially if the unit is mounted in a hard-to-reach place.
  • Timer/Sleep Mode: Some air conditioners come with a timer or sleep mode, allowing you to program the unit to turn off or run at a lower capacity during the night.
  • Energy Efficiency: An energy-efficient AC unit can save you money in the long run and is more environmentally friendly.
  • Dehumidifier Function: Many air conditioners also act as dehumidifiers, removing moisture from the air which can be especially useful in humid climates or seasons.
  • Air Purification: Some models come with built-in air filters or purifiers, providing cleaner air in your camper.
  • Heat Function: Depending on when and where you camp, an AC unit with a heating function can be a great addition, making your camper comfortable year-round.

While these features can provide extra comfort and convenience, they may also add to the cost of the unit, so it’s important to consider which ones are most important to you.

Final Words: Best Air Conditioner for Pop Up Campers

Choosing the best air conditioner for your pop up camper ultimately boils down to your specific needs and preferences. It’s a balance between the size of your camper, your budget, your camping style, and the climate conditions you’ll be camping in.

While there are many excellent air conditioners for pop up campers on the market, the BLACK+DECKER 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner stands out for its high cooling capacity, portability, and reliability of the BLACK+DECKER brand.

Remember, your choice of an air conditioner should enhance your camping experience, offering comfort and convenience no matter where your adventure takes you.

Happy camping!