Starling Travel

March 15, 2013

How To Add Air Conditioning to a Popup Tent Camper

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I thought this idea from White Trash Repairs.com was pretty ingenious. It’s a way to add an air conditioning unit to a popup camper.

Popup Camper Air Conditioning from Starling Travel

Their submitter wrote:

Figured out a way to cool my 1979 pop up camper. 98 dollar a.c. from walmart and some dryer vent hose!

It’s a kludgy way to do it, but it looks like it might actually work. On the other hand, here is a poster on Popup Explorer who added an A/C unit in a tent camper.

How to add AC to a Popup Camper from Starling Travel

Buttrys used an inexpensive home air conditioning unit:

Well, after a weekend “test” for the A/C and some talk here on the board I went back and did some re-design to my A/C setup. Since then I added a “duct” that directly channels the hot air out of the camper from the rear of the unit and also added two vent holes under the camper directly into the A/C cabinet. So far it seems to run cooler and should be more efficient.

Outside vent with grill…

How to add AC to a Popup Camper from Starling Travel

Buttrys also had to add an intake vent and drainage tube underneath the camper.

How to add AC to a Popup Camper from Starling Travel

All of that could be avoided if you put your inexpensive A/C unit under the bunk end over the hitch. Then the intake, venting and drainage happens naturally outside of the camper.

Bciaralli on the Popup Portal Forum showed how a previous owner had added A/C to a tent trailer.

How to add AC to a Popup Camper from Starling Travel

Outside, the A/C unit is mounted over the hitch.

How to add AC to a Popup Camper from Starling Travel

Here is the same A/C modification made to an Apache Hard-Sided Popup Camper:

How to add A/C to a Popup Camper from Starling Travel

Dometic A/C Brisk Air Roof Top Air Conditioner at Amazon.comThere is always the option of adding a rooftop air conditioning unit like this Dometic A/C Brisk Air Roof Top Air Conditioner, but they are EXPENSIVE!! It’s hard justifying paying over $500 for an A/C unit when a similarly powered one is only a hundred bucks at Home Depot.

I’ve even seen temporary solutions where a family placed the A/C unit near a window and placed the vent through the window, like this evaporative cooler on Adam Alvarez’s old tent trailer.

Evaporative Cooler on a Tent Trailer from Starling Travel

Here is another example of adding an inexpensive A/C unit through the door opening from Angel and Mike on Flickr:

How to add A/C to a Popup Camper from Starling Travel

Here’s what it looks like from the inside:

How to add A/C to a Popup Camper from Starling Travel

It’s hard to think about cooling in a tent trailer when the top temperatures outside right now are below fifty degrees, but summer will be here soon enough. Time to get my modifications done NOW so that camping in the heat of the Utah desert will be pleasant instead of miserable.

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