A Quick Guide About Using An Camping Tent Air Conditioner: All You Need To Know

If you’re a frequent camper, you know how unpleasant it is to camp during the hot days as the tent can retain a lot of heat. While many would think that air conditioning is a luxury, it becomes a necessity if you like to camp in excessively hot places. So I was searching for ways to cool my tent and I think getting a camping tent air conditioner is cost-effective.

Now there are various types of air conditioners that you can choose for your tent. Some are expensive while others are affordable, depending on your needs. Here is a guide to help you decide the best camping air conditioner for your tent.

A Quick Guide About Using An Air Conditioner When Camping

Do You Really Need A Tent Air Conditioner?

Buying a tent air conditioner can be expensive that’s why you need to be certain if you really need one. You can try using a battery or electric-powered fan if you camp in moderately hot places. However, if you’re sensitive to heat or camp in excessively hot regions, like Florida, then getting a tent air conditioner might be a good idea.

There are many benefits of using a tent air conditioner and they are the following:

  • Prevents perspiration and fatigue
  • Reduces unpleasant heat inside the tent
  • Makes you sleep soundly on a very hot night
  • Prevents heat strokes by regulating the loss of water from your body
  • Makes your camping experience pleasant

2 Main Types Of Tent Air Conditioners

Now that you have realized the necessity of an air conditioner, you need to decide whether to choose a window air conditioner or a portable one. Keep in mind that camping tent air conditioners need a 120-volt power source and consume a slightly large amount of electricity.

1. Window Air Conditioners

Most tent campers prefer window air conditioners because they offer more cooling capacity at an affordable price. However, installation can be a problem. You need to customize your tent to fit the unit, for instance, cutting a hole in your window or mounting it through the doorway.

2. Portable Air Conditioners

Qua ac fraserside
Qua ac fraserside

These air conditioners are free-standing units designed with an exhaust hose to release the warm air out the tent’s window or doorway. Unlike their window counterparts, portable units are easier to install.

However, you need to empty the reservoir that collects the water in every couple of hours, especially during humid days. Portable units tend to be heavier and more expensive than window air conditioners for the same cooling power.

How Much BTU’s You Need

Selecting the best air conditioner is very simple if you have the right data. Prior to buying a unit, determine how many BTUs you require. This means determining the size of the tent to fit the required BTU.

A family-dome tent with a floor space of 100 square feet may need a 5000 BTU window air conditioner. A large cabin tent with a floor space of 150 square feet may need a 6000 BTU window air conditioner. For oversize cabin tents or large tents, an 8000 BTU window air conditioner is your best option.

What You Should Look For In A Good Tent Air Conditioner

Size And Weight

Most air conditioners aren’t made for camping but some can be customized for this purpose. You need to consider the size and weight of the air conditioner to determine whether it can be transported easily or not. The window air conditioner is less heavy than a portable unit.

Power Source

Batteries might power some smaller units of air conditioners. This is adequate if you have a small tent but what if you have a more giant tent? Then you have to look for a unit that’s powered by electricity.

When choosing which air conditioner to choose, determine whether you have access to electricity. If you plan to camp in a remote area without electricity, then a battery-powered unit will be needed.


A timer is a feature that allows you to program the running time of your air conditioner unit. This feature is great if you want the unit to shut itself off automatically during the night. Although this might not be the most significant feature, it might still be worth considering.

Remote Control

If you’re looking for great ease of use, look for a unit that can be operated with remote control. I like this feature because this can allow you to operate the unit at a distance.

Lamp Off Feature

Sometimes the light of the panel display can be really distracting, especially at night. Look for a lamp-off feature if you can’t sleep with a bright light. This feature lets you turn off the panel display to keep your tent dark.

Tips For Using A Camping Air Conditioner

  • Clean the air filter of the unit to enhance airflow. The air filter should be accessible and located behind the front grill. Also, clean the evaporator and condenser fins.
  • Use an outdoor extension cord with a rating of 15 amps or more. Make sure that the extension cord has no gaps in the insulation.
  • For your safety, don’t run the unit when the ground is wet. Before the rain can wet the ground, turn off the unit, wear some shoes, and unplug the extension cord. Shelter the front of the unit from rain.
  • Unlike a portable air conditioner, a window model needs to be installed properly on the tent. First, get the dimensions of the unit and fit it on the tent.

Final Thought

Did you enjoy learning this guide on choosing and using a camping tent air conditioner? A hot climate won’t bother your camping experience if you have a good air conditioner. Remember to select the right BTU to cool your whole tent effectively.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this guide, tell us in the comment section. Please share this article with your camping friends if you like it.

jeff grayson
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