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Bought a pop-up camper and anticipating the climate to be hot and humid? You need a portable air conditioner. But which one should you get? We’ve done the research to find the best portable air conditions for pop-up campers, so fret no more! There are different factors that contribute to what makes a portable air conditioner good/worth the purchase, and we highlight them below for you.
A good portable air conditioner will be compact, efficient, and easily installed and maintained. With an already limited space, the last thing you want to do is purchase something that takes up valuable real estate and doesn’t even work well. Here is a list of the five best portable air conditioners for pop-up campers:
- Black + Decker BPACT10WT / BPACT08WT
- MIDEA 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier
- SereneLife SPLAC10
- Honeywell 300-412CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler
- RolliCool COOL100H
Now, you may be asking yourself what makes these the best? Don’t worry, we go into detail about each model below. So, continue reading to learn more and find out which one is best for you!
1. Black + Decker BPACT10WT / BPACT08WT
Yes, you read that right. There are two models by the same company listed here. They have many of the same features, but we will also highlight what makes them different so you can see how size impacts function.
Let’s start with what both the BPACT10WT and BPACT08WT are capable of. These two models are three-in-one portable air conditioners. This means they are capable of cooling areas, circulation the air (fan), and act as a dehumidifier. They also both have a 24-hour energy-saving timer. You can set the time to shut off whenever you please.
Another great feature these two share is the fact that they both are easy to install and should take no more than 30 minutes to do so. The window kits that they come with fit most standard windows, so there shouldn’t be an issue there. And both come with a remote control!
On another note, the reason the two models are different is to highlight the size difference and what that means in terms of the area the air conditioner can cool. The BPACT08WT is smaller than the BPACT10WT and can cool an area of 100 to 150 square feet, while the 10 can cool an area of 150 to 250 square feet. So plan accordingly to the size of your pop-up camper and whether or not you want more coverage.
MIDEA 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier
Capable of cooling up to 330 square feet, the Midea 3-in-1 portable air conditioner is a great option! It comes standard with a dehumidifying setting and three speed fan (cooling, dehumidifier, fan only) that you can set a timer for. It is Wi-Fi enabled, so you can control it from your smartphone, and has an easy to read LED display with remote control for those times when you don’t have cell service.
Equipped with wheels, this easy-to-move AC includes a washable air filter (making maintenance that much more efficient and easy). It’s a stylish option that gets the job done!
Is portability important to you? Then the SereneLife will appeal to you, as it comes equipped with wheels to roll it around. This slim body AC will be your savior in the hottest areas and comes standard with a dehumidifier. This AC will leave you and your family feeling cool on those days where it seems impossible. SereneLife also advertises on their website that there is a 100% money back guarantee, that’s how confident they are with customer satisfaction.
With both a remote control and touch screen panel, operating it is easy. Another great aspect is that it has a low power consumption, making it the economical choice!
Honeywell 300-412CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler
As one of the smaller options, this lightweight portable AC has three cooling and dehumidifying settings to choose from. Although only good for cooling certain spots due to its size, this product spends less energy, making it cost effective. You can carry it to bed with you and have it running up to seven hours. Another great feature of this AC is that the maintenance is easy! It comes with a detachable tank (easy for draining) and a washable carbon filter.
Although on the heavier side at almost 63 pounds, this modern portable AC comes with eco-friendly parts, meaning it does less damage to the environment. So if being environmentally conscious is a priority for you, this should be near the top of your list.
Alexa, turn on AC. Yep, you guessed it. The RolliCool can be synced up with and iPhone or voice control (Alexa), so who needs a remote control when you have your voice. This is just another modern feature that makes this AC distinct from others.
Again, this is another option that acts as a three-in-one with conditioning, dehumidification, and fan modes to switch between. Set up is also a breeze, as it comes with all the parts and should only take a few minutes to set up.
For those options that don’t come equipped with dehumidifiers, check out our article:
Now that you have five options of portable air conditioners to take a look at, below are some other frequently asked questions that we’ve looked into for you.
How Do You Clean A Portable Air Conditioner?
When cleaning a portable air conditioner, there are a few things that you need to do. The two main things are draining water and making sure the filters are clean. Some models, like the two Black + Decker ones, also act as a dehumidifier, so any water collected will drain. These models can run longer without maintenance.
Draining the water is fairly easy, as most of these kinds of air conditioners come with tanks that collect the water. Using the drain hose (which should come standard with the AC), these tanks need to be emptied regularly from anywhere to every day to once every week. Honestly, it all depends on the humidity of the area you are in with how often you have to drain the tank. But, you should drain it often so the water isn’t just sitting in the tank, it can build mold that way.
If your portable AC has filters, the best option is to replace them when they become too dirty. But cleaning them is also an option and will be highlighted in your machine’s maintenance guide (always keep those). Also, cleaning the outside of your AC is important as well. To make it last, every part needs attention and that includes the exterior.
How Long Can You Continuously Run A Portable Air Conditioner?
Keeping in mind that running your AC adds to your electricity, you can technically leave a regular AC on all day without anything bad happening, and the same thing can be said for portable air conditioners. Is it wise? No. Leaving an appliance on all day is going to put strain on the machine, so don’t expect it to last long. As stated earlier in the models section, some models come with timers that you can set, so you can control how long and when it is on.
While not a set length, the best amount of time to run your AC is however long it takes to cool your space. If that’s an hour, then do that. If it’s two hours, great. Just be smart and do what’s logical with the space you have.
What Happens If You Don’t Drain Your Portable AC?
If you don’t drain your portable AC, there are two possible outcomes that can happen that are not good. One, the water collected from the air will sit in the tank and produce mold. This is why you should regularly drain the tank. Even if you have a model that also acts as a dehumidifier, you should check the tank.
Another thing that could happen is that the tank could overflow. If you aren’t paying attention and let the water reach the tank’s max capacity, it will start to leak. This can easily be avoided by checking the tank and draining it often.
Is It Worth Fixing A Portable AC?
Honestly, depending on the problem, it might just be worth it to get a new portable AC. The first factor to consider is how old your AC is. If you’ve owned one for a while, it could just be natural wear and tear from a long time of use. In this case, getting a new one is the way to go.
The second thing to consider is, is the issue something you could fix on your own? When looking at general searches, it seems a common issue is when a portable AC doesn’t cool. Different people have posted in question forums to get advice from other AC owners, so if you’re in a situation that you could fix, ask around to get advice. This could save you from spending money on a repair or from purchasing a new AC.
In the end, it’s about assessing the situation and seeing if there is anything you can do. If you’re left between a hefty repair or getting a new one, go new. Chances are, you can sell your broken AC, as the functioning parts are still valuable.
Be Confident In Your Choice
Armed with this knowledge now, be comfortable and confident in your choice! You have to pick what’s best for you space wise and functionality wise. Whether that’s a Black + Decker model, a Honeywell or a SereneLife, that’s up for you to decide.
For more information on RV Appliances that can make your life on the road easier, check out these posts: