Can I add a pop up camper air conditioner?

Question: I didn’t think air conditioning was going to be necessary when I got my pop up, so I didn’t really look into it. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure whether a pop up camper air conditioner exists, so that’s my first question. Does a pop up camper air conditioner exist? Because now I’m starting to think that that I should have looked into the option, as it got really hot on our last camping trip, and we had trouble sleeping at night. I tried setting up a fan, but it was still insufferably hot inside our little camper at night!

Is it possible to add an A/C unit to a pop up camper that I already have, or am I out of luck?


pop up camper air conditioner fits in roof vent

If your pop up camper has a standard roof vent, it may already be wired for A/C.

The short answer is that, yes, pop up camper air conditioners are an option. They’re available from the factory, and you can also add an aftermarket A/C unit to just about any RV out there, big or small, regardless of what type it is. If your rig has a solid roof that’s capable of supporting about 100lbs, and it has at least one standard roof vent, then you can add a standard roof a/c unit without too much trouble. And we’re talking a standard RV A/C unit here, so there won’t be any issues keeping the interior of your rig cool, even if there is heat leakage through the canvas.

A lot of hard-roofed tent trailers are even wired from the factory for air conditioning (this is what is known as “air conditioning ready”), so  there’s a good chance that all you’ll have to do is remove the existing roof vent, set an aftermarket A/C unit in place, and connect it to the existing wiring. This is, by far, the easiest way to add a pop up camper air conditioner, but it isn’t always an option.

If you have a roof vent, but your rig isn’t actually wired for A/C, then it’s a little more complicated to add a pop up camper air conditioner. The basic installation will be just as simple, but you’ll have to run new wiring before you can actually fire it up. Worst case scenario, you might have to run out a separate cable to plug directly into shore power (if your circuit breaker doesn’t have the capacity to wire in an A/C unit.)

The least straightforward situation is if your roof can’t handle a standard A/C unit, you don’t have a solid roof, or you just don’t want to have a big air conditioner on the roof of your pop up all the time. In that case, you might want to look into a standard window A/C unit. There are a lot of different ways to set up a window A/C unit in a pop up camper, including both permanent and temporary installations.