Hot, humid, plus a lack of insulation calls for a bit of back for your conventional central air conditioner. That’s where the best portable AC for RV living comes in handy.
Many RVers use them as a backup or assistant to their roof-mounted AC. Portable air conditioners can be small but pack all the heat (cool airflow).
The best portable RV air conditioners cover all bases: cooling, dehumidifying, and fanning your camper. Basically, conditioning the air as it’s needed.
Here we highlight the top 3 RV portable air conditioners (Frequently Asked Questions and the top 5 reviews are below + a bonus!):
- Best Budget: SereneLife SLAC8 Portable Air Conditioner
- Best Overall: Black + Decker BPACT10WT Portable RV Air Conditioner
- Best For Large RV’s: Homelabs Portable AC For RV
Can You Use a Portable AC in an RV?
Yes, you can use a portable AC in an RV. In fact, for RVers living in humid areas, most of the best portable air conditioners for RVs can also run as a dehumidifier.
So, You can kill two birds with one stone (no animals were harmed in creating this post). See the best portable air conditioning for your RV reviews below to choose one that fits your needs.
Related: RV Dehumidifier Reviews
Types Of RV Portable Air Conditioners
- Vent-Free Air Conditioner
- Vented Air Conditioner
- Window Air Conditioner
Best Portable AC for RV Reviews
The SereneLife unit is the best portable AC for RV living on a budget. Well, that depends on your budget. Still, it is safe to say it is one of the least expensive portable air conditioners we’ve reviewed.
It’s 53 pounds, stands or window mounted and it blows cooling power at 8,000 BTU’s. And, like all other top-rated portable ACs it functions as a fan and dehumidifier.
It can cool campers, TTs, and RVs around 215 sq ft. Many other RVers use the SereneLife as a back AC for their RV.
- Easy Install
- Cools Room
- Double Screened Washable Air Filter
Coming in at 14,000 BTU’s, the Homelabs portable air conditioner is a top 7 contender for the best portable AC for RV living.
You can condition the air (cool, dehumidify, and blow) in spaces between 450 to 600 sq ft.
It has a drain hose that you need to install to allow water to drain out your Rig from the dehumidifier system. You can also remove and wash the air filter every two weeks (no need to repeatedly buy air filters).
We love the simple setup, so you can have it running in just a few minutes.
- Powerful: Cools Large Spaces
- Eco-Friendly Sleep Feature
- Simple Install
- 100 Pint Dehumidifier Function
Some say the best portable AC for RV cooling is a dual hose unit because they over more space and cool rooms faster than single-hose models. The Whynter ARC is that AC unit.
Looking for a portable air conditioner that can cool 500 square feet or a 40-foot RV? Look no further. It can remove excess moisture, up to 101 pints, from your RV per day.
These facts make The Whynter ARC Dual Hose more than a good portable air conditioning for RV living.
Once you have it installed, which can be an annoying process, it will be worth the wait and easy to operate. Again, not for small RVs or campers though.
The Whynter ARC-14S is our second Eco-friendly unit on the best portable AC for RV living list. It uses an activated carbon air filter and CFC-free refrigerant.
- Keeps Things Chill
- Multiple Functions
- Large RV’s (40 Feet ) and space (500) Sq Ft can be cooled and dehumidified.
- Dual filtration system improves air quality
- Don’t have to empty a water tray daily
- Aesthetically Pleasing
- Large Unit
- Installation Process
- It doesn’t come with hose duct wrap
- Noisy (relative)
The Black and Decker BPACT10WT is next on the best portable ac for RV use list because of its performance, affordability, and trusted brand.
This portable air conditioner is our second 3-in-1 air conditioner/dehumidifier (with self-evaporating operation)/fan with a remote but it is our first certified environmentally-friendly AC. Although it does seem to give off less than 10,000 BTUs it still cools quickly and quietly.
It’s not exactly small but it doesn’t take up much space and is energy efficient for those running on low power or off-grid.
It will for sure cool your most occupied area but not the entire RV. Other RVers have used the Black + Decker Portable Air Conditioner to supplement their RVs’ central air or roof AC.
- Water Reservoir Doesn’t Need To Be Changed Often
- LED display with a 24-hour timer
- Easy To Install (Window Kit Included)
- Environmentally Friendly R410a Refrigerant
- Window Kit May Require Cutting
- The exhaust duct is not insulated
Black and Decker RV AC Installation Guide
To kick off the best portable ac for RV we have the Midea Smart 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner review.
With your remote controller, you can adjust the condition of the air in your RV from the driver’s seat or anywhere within range. You can even use voice control with Alexa (so you can also take this into your house if you are a part-time traveler).
It has four modes: Auto, cool, dry (dehumidify only), and fan. This portable AC is easily maintained with washable air filters.
There is also a Midea App that allows you to share with other people.
You can monitor the temperature while you’re out which is fantastic, especially if you have pets you are planning to leave in the RV for a while.
Can cool a 275 square feet area and is rated at 14,000 BTU (ASHRE) or 8200 BTU (SACC standard).
- Easy To Assemble
- Effective Cooling
- App and Alexa Compatible (you can set a schedule on the app)
- Monitor Temp While Out
- Loud (65-70 dB of noise)
- App setup can only be done with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
Midea Portable Air Conditioner User Manual
What is the best air conditioner for a camper? The Honeywell MO08CESWK6 9,100 BTU Compact Portable Air Conditioner.
What Are BTU’s?
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit: A single BTU represents the amount of energy required to increase the temp of a pound of water by 1 degree F.
In regards to the best AC for RV cooling, the number represents how much heat is being removed from the air. It’s a battle between yin and yang.
How Many BTUs Do I Need for my RV?
Your RV will need 18,000 BTU to make sure you have a significant amount of power to cool the RV, especially a large RV.
What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need For My RV?
A simple answer is, If you are driving a 32 foot RV then you will only need one average-sized portable AC.
Not a large AC (it won’t hurt if you have space and the power) but, definitely not a small AC that basically operates as a personal fan.
It can get a bit more complicated, this is where you have to start assessing your square footage needs.
How Many Square Feet Can a 13500 BTU Air Conditioner Cool?
400 Area Square Feet = 12,000 to 13,500 BTU’s Needed
500 Area Square Feet = 13,500 to 15,000 BTU’s Needed
Also, it would be best if you considered amps.
For instance, a 15000 AC unit can draw around 13 amps. If your RV provides 30 amps you can definitely use the 15000 AC, assuming you aren’t using other high-power applications like a microwave at the same time.
How Can I Keep My RV Cool without AC?
By following these alternatives to the best portable AC for RV tips:
- Cover All Windows
- Cook Outdoors
- Refrigerator Vent
- Always Have Tarps
- LED Lights
How Long Should an RV Air Conditioner Last?
An RV air conditioner will last 3 to 5 years, generally. The exact life span depends on the make, model, and its use.
Can I Run My RV AC All Day?
Yes, you can run your RV AC all day and all night. You can get power from the best RV generator or connect to a 50 amp hookup at a campground, National Park or RV Park.
Cheers To Great Airflow!
Grabbing a portable air conditioner for your RV is the most effective way to keep cool and maximize comfort in your Rig.
Once the temperature begins to rise or you drive into a more humid climate, having the best portable AC for RV use will feel like a no-brainer.
Now that you’ve looked through these portable air conditioner reviews, which one do you think is the best AC for your RV? You can click the link on any AC unit to see more details, prices, and where to buy it.
Keep cool and be safe!