Compared to a full-sized recreational vehicle, a pop-up camper (also called a fold-up camper trailer) is an extremely affordable alternative without sacrificing much utility-wise. These pop-up campers provide almost all the same features found in those pricey RV’s.
Therefore, camper air conditioning is one area where most people have a lot of questions regarding power consumption, installation, or if it will work at all. You are in luck because below, we will talk about the nitty-gritty on Air Conditioning For Pop Up Campers.
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Types of Air Conditioning Units for Pop Up Camper Trailer
When it comes to cooling down options in the pop up camper ac ideas, three viable types of air conditioners are available on pop-up campers. This number may seem limited, but air conditioning for pop up tent trailers are pretty much straightforward affairs. I have listed them below in no particular order, as they each hold their own in specific scenarios.
The portable ac for pop up camper are relative newcomers in the RV world, but it does not count as a negative. These units are quite inexpensive, especially when talking about the range of how much to install air conditioning in a pop up. A portable ac unit is pretty simple to install and operate, and they are no bigger than a tall air humidifier.
They can cool down temperatures nicely, but they do have some downsides. Campers already have limited space to begin with, and a portable ac unit can still take up that valuable space inside the pop up. They also have to located near or almost directly in front of a window. They operate quietly enough, but some people with sensitivity to noise may find it a bit uncomfortable.
Another popular type of AC unit often used in a pop up camper is a window unit. This AC option does not take up space at all inside the camper, therefore allowing whisper-quiet operation – beneficial for a restful evening. This option provides excellent cooling coverage even for hotter nights because the cooling unit is effectively outside the area that needs cooling.
They are easy to mount and set up as they just plug into a standard wall outlet or extension. There is a need to stow away the window type ac unit, though when it’s time to break camp or move to a new location. This might be a bit of a problem if you are already exhausted. However, it is rather straightforward and easy enough to accomplish.
When cooling a pop up camper, nothing beats the practicality of the third option to choose from. A rooftop unit rightfully claims the throne of being the most popular AC type in a pop up camper. Most premium campers already have these pre-installed. Furthermore, there is no need for installation or disassembly when breaking up camp as it is a permanent installation. These operate even more quietly than a window AC unit.
Many units of this type also double as a heating unit, making it ideal for use in the colder months. They do come at a more expensive cost of adding ac to pop up camper, but many who own this think it is well worth it. Another thing worth considering is that these unit types are likely to require one-time professional installation and draws more power than the other two kinds of AC in a pop up camper.
What Size A/C Unit Do You Need for a Pop-Up Camper?
When determining what size ac for pop up camper one needs, the primary consideration is the size of your camper. And then if you want real comfort go about a notch bigger than the recommended size. It might be overkill, but a couple of days enjoying your weekend getaway is well worth it. Most camper air conditioners, like jayco pop up camper air conditioners, need to run on generators, and this becomes the secondary consideration when choosing in terms of size.
Most outdoor camping trips occur far away from the civilized world, and that means no power outlet. An AC unit draws considerably more power than your average camping cooler or refrigerator; therefore, solar power and battery packs are out of the question. The only real solution is to bring your power generator. This brings us to the next thing to consider when having an AC unit installed on your camper, which is the British Thermal Unit or BTU. The BTU is used to measure heat as a unit and helps determine the correct generator size for use in your camper.
The range of generator sizes and wattage needed for your camper will be directly proportional to your camper size, as illustrated by the wattage calculation images below. It is essential to get a generator that can handle the running power draw as well as the initial consumption when starting the AC unit.
Source: Check here
How Many BTUs Do I Need for a Pop-Up Camper?
The BTUs needed is dependent on the area of the interior of the camper to be cooled. The number of people that will usually occupy the camper while it is in use needs factoring in as well. The general rule is to add 600-700 BTUs per additional person. If you plan on doing cooking inside the camper, additional BTUs will need to be allocated for that as well. Another factor is the location of the camper itself, whether it will be staying in direct sunlight or a shaded area.
Check out this BTU calculator to determine AC unit size and power.
(Multiply the length of your camper by its width to get your square footage)
How Much Does It Cost to Install AC in a Pop-Up Camper?
Installation of an AC unit in a pop up camper costs relatively lower than those of a regular home AC units, and some do not require installation at all. A window type Air conditioning unit will most probably be installed by a professional (usually the collapsible mounting brackets). They cost around $300-$500, and this typically does not include installation.
A rooftop mounted air conditioner is by far the most expensive type of pop up camper AC unit. Professionals always install these unless the owner is a professional installer. They are priced like this for good reason because they are the most efficient method of cooling down a camper, even in direct sunlight. An excellent quality rooftop AC unit will cost anywhere from $600- $900, excluding professional installation fees.
Cost is where the portable unit is king, as they are the least expensive of the three types of pop up camper AC. Being mobile means that they are the easiest and fastest to set up, and you do not have to wrangle them onto a window. They are a great and inexpensive way of cooling down a smaller sized camper, but they do take up space inside the already limited real estate inside a camper. Their price starts from $300 to higher-end units at $600.
A/C Unit Maintenance Tips for Pop Up Camper
Most equipment will last long with preventive maintenance, and the pop up camper AC is no exception. Basic maintenance is as simple as cleaning the exposed parts as well as the filters, with regularly scheduled general cleanup thrice or twice a year depending on usage. There are also these best practices to ensure that your AC does not work any harder than they are supposed to. Follow the tips below to ensure your pop up camper’s air conditioner lasts a long and useful life.
Add Insulation Where Possible
Campers are notoriously lacking in insulation, so it is a good idea to add some on those that you can access. Improper insulation allows heat to seep in and the cold air to escape, making your AC labor even harder on an already hot day. Better insulation equals efficiency and savings in the long run.
Augment The AC Unit
Use an air circulator or a fan to help the ac unit reach its intended temperature. This also reduces strain on the compressor resulting in quieter operation as well as less power consumption. This will add years to the longevity of your unit.
Choose Your Location Wisely
Parking your pop up camper in direct sunlight will most likely result in your AC laboring to maintain its target temperature. Locating your camper in a shady spot will reduce strain on your AC, making it run efficiently, resulting in a more refreshing environment in less than the average time.
To wrap It Up
In today’s warmer temperatures, an air conditioning unit is a must for pop up campers. The reason for a camper in the first place is to enjoy and relax away from the stresses of the everyday hustle and bustle. Sweating it out is no way to enjoy a weekend getaway with family or friends. An air conditioner will make any trip more enjoyable, and that is worth more than any