The lack of insulation in an RV might be a concern if you live in a hot or humid region.
As a consequence, it might seem like you’re living in a heated box with no ventilation. Why bother with window air conditioners when a portable RV air conditioner can readily fix such problems?
Rather of attempting to get a huge roof-mounted unit into position, go with a portable air conditioner – at least for now.
While many RVs already have a roof-mounted air conditioner, having a portable unit has various advantages.
A portable air conditioner may be used to replace or augment a roof-mounted unit without the need for costly installation.
These tiny RV A/C units are meant to cool your RV and are also much simpler to transport (after all, they’re on wheels), allowing you to use them in areas other than your RV and eliminating the need to climb onto the roof when your A/C requires servicing.
By precisely directing cool air where you need it in your camper, the finest portable RV air conditioners will make your area more pleasant.
Some portable air conditioners may also act as a dehumidifier, which is a useful feature for RVers who live in humid climates.
Choosing a portable air conditioning unit for your RV necessitates knowledge of how these systems function and what is required for your particular RV.
To assist you in making the best decision possible, we’ve compiled a list of the six finest RV portable air conditioners, as well as a shopping guide to assist you in selecting the ideal one for your motorhome or camper trailer.
The following are the top tiny and portable air conditioners for RVs:
- Overall, the Black + Decker BPACT10WT Portable RV Air Conditioner comes out on top.
- JHS 8,000 BTU 3-in-1 Floor Portable AC Unit For Camper is the best value.
- Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable AC is best for high humidity.
- LG LP1417GSR Remote Control Portable AC for RV with Oscillating Discharge
- Frigidaire FGRC1044T1 Smart Window AC is the best RV window air conditioner.
- Homelabs 14,000 btu Dehumidifier Function AC For RV is excellent for large RVs.
In 2023, The 6 Best Portable Air Conditioners For RVs
These are the six greatest tiny and portable air conditioners for RVs, in my opinion. I’ve classed each by its greatest usage or feature to help you narrow down your search even further.
The Black + Decker BPACT10WT Portable Air Conditioner is the finest portable A/C for RV if you’re searching for a portable RV air conditioning unit that balances performance and price.
It’s a small 10,000 BTU air conditioner that can chill rooms up to 250 square feet.
This implies it’s best suited to RVs with a length of less than 31 feet. It does, however, deliver remarkable cooling power at an inexpensive price for these settings.
This portable RV air conditioner also has an adjustable fan speed and a Sleep Mode that enables you to keep air flowing in your RV while sleeping without having to listen to loud buzzing.
Personally, I like that this device has three different settings. A chilly setting, a fan setting, and a dehumidifier setting are among the options available.
If air conditioning or dehumidification aren’t required on a particular day, you may just utilize it to enhance air movement. This may also help you save money on power.
This device, however, is strong enough to chill or eliminate moisture from the air in your RV.
Unlike other dehumidifiers, this one does not need you to empty a water bucket.
It comes with a hose adapter that attaches to the rear of the unit and allows water to be drained out the window rather than gathering in the unit.
Things We Enjoy
- This air conditioner has a BTU rating of 10,000.
- Adjustable Fan Speed: Ensures that air is circulated throughout the night without creating too much noise.
- This item is simple to install and works with a variety of window types.
- Bucket-less Design: Unlike with other dehumidifiers, you won’t have to worry about emptying a bucket of water from the machine.
Things We Don’t Appreciate
- Maximum Square Footage: This unit has a maximum square footage of 250 square feet.
- Size: This unit’s proportions may make it difficult to live in an RV.
The JHS 8,000 BTU portable air conditioner is a cost-effective solution for RVers looking for a high-performance portable air conditioner.
This device is certified to offer air circulation, cooling, and dehumidification for areas up to 170 square feet and has an 8,000 BTU capacity.
This is a terrific little and compact A/C unit for RVs or trailers that are less than 22 feet long. The remote control for wireless operation is one of its outstanding features.
If you leave the remote next to your bed, for example, you’ll be able to adjust the air conditioner for nighttime usage without having to get out of bed.
The LED display on the front of the machine confirms a number of critical settings visually.
Temperature and humidity settings, as well as mode, timer, and speed, are all included in this portable rv air conditioner. When the unit’s onboard water tank is full, the display will alert you.
The importance of the final statement cannot be overstated. This air conditioner, unlike the first on our list, features an integrated water tank for storing the moisture it extracts from the air while in dehumidifying mode.
This means you’ll have to remember to empty that tank on a regular basis, but it also means you’ll have more flexibility to move it about your RV since you won’t be reliant on a window installation.
Things We Enjoy
- Remote Control: You won’t even have to get out of bed to turn off the air conditioner before going to sleep.
- LED Display: Allows you to monitor the temperature and humidity settings of the device visually.
- Price: This is the cheapest air conditioner on our list.
- Capacity for dehumidification: This machine can remove up to 31.7 pints of water per day from the air.
Things We Don’t Appreciate
- If this device has been kept or carried in a horizontal posture, you must wait 24 hours before using it.
- This air conditioner has an 8,000 BTU rating.
The Whynter ARC-14S Portable Air Conditioner is a good option for those looking for a portable air conditioner that can chill their RV, remove excess moisture from their area, or just give more air circulation.
This unit is particularly ideal for RVers with rigs longer than 40 feet, since it can cool and dehumidify areas up to 500 square feet.
The ARC-14S can remove up to 101 quarts of water from the air in your RV every day in terms of dehumidification.
You’ll need to correctly install this air conditioner in one of your RV windows before turning it on.
It includes an installation kit that enables you to put it on windows with lengths ranging from 20 to 47 inches.
The exhaust and intake hoses of the system may be extended up to 60 inches in length.
Its eco-friendly characteristics are two of my favorite elements. It cleans the air that goes through it using an activated carbon filter, and it cools with chlorofluorocarbon-free refrigerant.
Things We Enjoy
- This device has a BTU rating of 14,000 and can cool rooms up to 500 square feet.
- Set it to Cool, Fan, or Dehumidifier for a variety of functions.
- Capacity for dehumidification: Removes up to 101 quarts of water per day from the air.
- This unit is environmentally friendly since it employs an activated carbon air filter and CFC-free refrigerant.
Things We Don’t Appreciate
- Size: With dimensions of 19 inches by 16 inches x 35.5 inches and a weight of 80 pounds, this is a bigger item.
- Window installation is required, and it works on windows ranging in length from 20 to 47 inches.
You’ll like the LG LP1417GSR A/C unit’s oscillating discharge function if you’re seeking for a portable air conditioner that can both cool and increase airflow in your RV.
This function sweeps and circulates air more evenly throughout your RV, preventing hot areas where warm air builds up.
Because it can handle areas up to 500 square feet, this is a wonderful option for RV owners with rigs longer than 40 feet.
Whether you have it set to Cool, Fan, or Dehumidifying mode, this is true. You won’t have to worry about emptying a water tank every other day if you use the latter.
All moisture that this unit collects from the air within your RV is evaporated inside the unit itself thanks to its auto-evaporation mechanism.
This eliminates the need to shut it down on a regular basis to empty an onboard water tank.
It must, however, be fitted in one of your RV windows, and it may suit windows with lengths ranging from 18 to 50 inches.
Because so many of us are already acclimated to touch displays in our everyday lives, I enjoy the touch controls on this device.
This simplifies the unit’s functioning and enables you to quickly switch between modes and settings when you need to adjust the air conditioner’s performance.
Things We Enjoy
- Oscillating Discharge: Provides a more uniform distribution of air throughout your RV.
- This powerful device has a 14,000 BTU rating and can cool rooms up to 500 square feet.
- When the device is set to dehumidifying mode, the auto-evaporation system eliminates the need to empty the water tank.
- Touch Controls: It’s simple to modify the settings or switch between modes of operation thanks to the touch controls.
Things We Don’t Appreciate
- This is a more costly form of portable air conditioner.
- For smaller RVs or trailers, the square footage rating may be excessive.
#5. Frigidaire FGRC1044T1 10000 BTU Best Energy Star Certified Cool Connect Smart Window Air Conditioner
Stop and take a closer look at the Frigidaire FGR1044T1 Air Conditioner if energy efficiency is a major concern for you.
According to Energy Star’s 2017 ratings, it is an Energy Star certified product with a 12.0 energy efficiency ratio (EER).
The Energy Star designation is linked with air conditioner energy efficiency, and a higher EER typically signifies more efficiency.
This is also an excellent option for RV owners who suffer from allergies all year or at certain times of the year.
Pollen, allergies, and other contaminants are removed from the air in your RV by the unit’s built-in clean air ionizer.
As a result, you’ll be more comfortable since you won’t be as hot, and you’ll sneeze less throughout allergy season.
I really like that this air conditioner can be connected to your smartphone. You’ll be able to adjust the mode or settings on this air conditioner from anywhere within your RV, just like the previous one that came with a remote control.
You’ll also be able to switch on the air conditioning from your phone if you’re gone and want to chill things down before you return, thanks to Wi-Fi compatibility.
Finally, this is an excellent air conditioner for RVs that are longer than 40 feet. It’s a 10,000 BTU device that can heat and cool rooms up to 450 square feet.
It will need to be installed in one of your RV windows, with lengths ranging from 24 to 40 inches.
Things We Enjoy
- Energy Efficiency: This device has an energy efficiency ratio of 12.0 and is Energy Star certified.
- Wi-Fi Ready: The Frigidaire mobile app allows you to control the unit from your smartphone.
- Pollen and pollutants are removed from the air using the Clean Air Ionizer.
- BTUs: This device has a 10,000 BTU rating and can heat up to 450 square feet.
Things We Don’t Appreciate
- Compatibility: This device is designed to accommodate windows that are 18.167 inches tall.
- Product Weight: This 70-pound device must be correctly placed to avoid slipping out of your RV window.
The HomeLabs 14,000 BTU unit is a fantastic alternative for people looking for a portable RV air conditioner with one of the highest BTU ratings on the market.
You can circulate air, chill, or dehumidify areas ranging in size from 450 to 600 square feet with a strong device like this one.
It’s one of the heaviest air conditioners on our list, but it has wheels so you can move it about your RV with ease. It works well with double-hung windows and can accommodate windows up to 48 inches wide.
It does come with a dehumidifying drain line, which must be attached in order for water to flow out of your RV or into the drainage system.
Unlike other versions with built-in air filters, the filter on this machine can be removed and washed.
This means you won’t have to replace your filter when the old one wears out.
To promote cleaner airflow and increase the filter’s lifetime, the manufacturer suggests washing it every two weeks.
This unit’s Eco-Friendly Sleep function is something I truly like. This lowers the noise output and lowers the unit’s energy usage throughout the night, allowing you to sleep better.
With the accompanying remote control, you may adjust the settings on this item directly from your bed.
Things We Enjoy
- This 14,000 BTU unit is powerful enough to handle RVs up to 600 square feet in size.
- Washable Air Filter: Rather than buying a new filter, you can clean and replace your old one.
- Easy to Install: Most customers have reported that this unit can be installed in eight minutes or less.
- Eco-Friendly Sleep Feature: When used at night, this feature reduces energy usage and noise production.
Things We Don’t Appreciate
- Because the unit releases water during operation, it requires an accessible drainage system.
- This item weights 88 pounds and must be placed correctly to prevent damage to the unit or your RV window.
How To Choose The Right Portable Air Conditioner For Your RV
Every RV (and every RV owner) has their own set of concerns. So I’ve put together this shopping guide to help you prioritize your needs while looking for a portable air conditioner for your RV.
Type of Portable Air Conditioners for RVs
You may select from various different models of portable air conditioners. Let’s start with some of the most important benefits and drawbacks of each kind.
Air Conditioner with No Vents
Air conditioners with no vents are the most portable alternative available. They just need an AC power supply to take warm air from your RV and push cooler air out the other side.
In essence, they work in the same way as a swamp cooler and use very little electricity.
These devices, on the other hand, are only useful in locations with dry heat.
They don’t work as well in humid conditions and may sometimes result in a pool accumulating beneath the unit if you don’t use an external hose for drainage.
Some of them do have a water tank to absorb moisture, but you’ll have to empty it on a regular basis.
Recommended reading: The 8 Best Air Conditioners For Pop Up Campers
Air Conditioner with Vents
This sort of RV air conditioner ventilates the air from inside to outside using a hose (or hoses).
Many of them function well with windows that swing open upwards so that the hose may be secured in a frame underneath the glass. These air conditioners have the benefit of being reasonably priced.
However, there are a few disadvantages. During the installation of these devices, sufficient ventilation is required.
Because incorrect ventilation can let hot air back into your RV, it’s best to purchase a model with at least two ventilation hoses.
These units might make more noise than many RV owners desire since their compressors will be operating inside your RV.
Air Conditioner in the Window
This sort of air conditioner is placed in one of the windows of your RV. They usually provide excellent cooling in a small container, and they also take up much less room than a unit that stands on the floor. These units are often quieter and less difficult to maintain than their equivalents.
Recommended reading: Top 5 Quietest Air Conditioners for RVs
The disadvantage of this sort of air conditioner is that it may need some modification in order to be correctly installed.
This makes them a better option for RVers who plan on staying in one area for a lengthy period of time since you won’t have to remove and reinstall your air conditioner as often.
Identifying Your Square Footage Requirements
The majority of RVs are eight or nine feet wide. Of course, lengths vary all across the map.
And the heights vary greatly, despite the fact that all rigs must fit under the smallest overpasses and underpasses available.
All of this is to say that before choosing a portable air conditioner, you should take some measurements of your RV’s living area. For example, my RV is 36 feet long and 8 feet wide.
This adds up to 288 square feet in total. However, considering it’s an older model with poor insulation, I’d definitely go with an air conditioner with a minimum capacity of 350 square feet.
It’s also important to consider the sort of RV you’re driving. For example, Class A motorhomes might have much less headroom than a 5th wheel with higher ceilings.
You’ll need a more powerful air conditioner than your basic square footage calculation suggests if you want to efficiently cool all that extra head room in a 5th wheel.
Most of these air conditioners do not need permanent installation since they are ‘portable’ machines.
However, several of them performed best if placed temporarily in one of your RV’s windows. Others are designed to be placed on the ground and plugged into a wall socket in your RV.
Look for an air conditioner that doesn’t need window installation if you often move your RV to different areas.
This indicates there isn’t a hose coming out of the rear that has to be drained outdoors.
Those of you who plan on staying in your RV for a lengthy period of time might consider installing an air conditioner in the window.
This will save you room on the floor while also improving overall cooling and air circulation.
Before you make your final decision, be sure you’re familiar with the installation process for the device you’ve chosen.
Otherwise, you’ll have to spend more money to hire an expert to assist you with the installation of your air conditioner.
Fortunately, most of the finest portable air conditioners for RV usage come with a variety of settings and modes.
If they don’t, you should usually look for a model that can be used for a variety of applications.
There should be at least three settings on a good RV portable air conditioner: fan, cool, and dehumidifier.
This enables you to alter the mode based on the most pressing demands in your present area, which is very useful for RVers who constantly relocate to different sites.
Recommended reading: 6 Smallest Portable Air Conditioners for RV in 2023
Most Commonly Asked Questions
Let’s cover some of the most often asked questions regarding portable air conditioners before you choose the correct one for your RV.
Information about maintenance, installation, and technical requirements will be included in these questions.
What exactly is a ‘BTU rating’?
‘BTU’ stands for ‘British Thermal Units,’ to put it simply. It’s a measurement that measures the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
What are some of the best ways to keep a portable air conditioner in good working order?
It is essential to maintain your portable air conditioner on a regular basis to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. To begin, keep the exterior of the unit clean on a regular basis.
Once a week isn’t excessive, but you should check and clean the filter at least once every two weeks, so you may as well include outside cleaning into your schedule at that time.
Inspection of the condenser coils, ensuring that your exhaust pipe is straight, cleaning around the air conditioner, and arranging frequent check-ups with an HVAC professional are all additional maintenance recommended practices.
In my RV, how do I install a portable air conditioner?
The precise answer to this question will be determined on the model you choose.
Some types may be placed on the floor at a suitable position and connected into the nearest available power outlet.
Other units must be put in your RV window in order for the hose from the rear to drain outdoors.
For RVers who plan on staying in their rigs for a lengthy period of time, a portable air conditioner is a fantastic option.
If that’s the case, you’re undoubtedly well aware of how uncomfortable your RV may get when the weather warms up.
These units are also fantastic holdovers if you’re waiting until next season to replace your RV’s onboard air conditioning equipment.
The finest portable air conditioners for RV usage have comparable cooling power and characteristics as typical built-in RV air conditioners.
However, since they’re portable, they’re generally simpler to maintain and provide multi-purpose capability.
We hope you’ve found these air conditioner reviews helpful, and we wish you success in your search for the perfect unit for your RV!