Rooftop Tent Air Conditioner (A Complete Guide)

Camping in the wilderness is exciting until disaster strikes. The most common problem with camping, in general, is that it can get very hot in the summer.

You are no longer required to bear the heat. These air conditioners keep you cool regardless of the outside temperature. 

The best part is that, because a tent is such a small space, you don’t need anything too powerful to keep it cool; a well-placed fan will suffice. Cooling a tent in the sweltering hot weather is among the toughest but doable tasks. 

Facts to Consider Before Purchasing a Tent AC

It’s no wonder that many of us are considering purchasing a tent air conditioning unit to cool down a tent.

But we frequently wonder if that would be a smart buy, if it would actually work, or which category of compact air cooling system would be best for tents.

Despite the fact that many companies claim that their air conditioning system is the best for camping, 90% of air conditioner units are not appropriate for camping tents.

An air conditioner must be capable to run within a tent, at least 6000 BTU for relatively tiny tents, and it has to be able to run constantly to maintain pace with the cooling load.

It also necessitates some tent advancements, such as improved durability, barrier properties, and so forth, to aid in keeping the tent cool.

This article will walk you through all of your options for finding the optimal air conditioning unit for your tent and thus saving you a great deal of money.

Different Types of Air Conditioners for Tents

There are numerous types of tent coolers available. You can pick the finest one for you based on how you intend to strengthen it and how hot it gets where you are heading for camping.

You should be aware from the start that there have been no brands specifically designed to be used as a tent air conditioner.

All we can discover are units crafted for other uses but easily adaptable to use in a few camping scenarios. 

Large water cooler

These days, everything that provides a gentle cooling effect appears to be referred to as an air conditioner. These are simply fans that disperse tiny water droplets. Evaporative coolers are the most cost-effective option, with a good one costing under $60.

However, don’t expect miracles from them, and use them with caution inside a tent; the water vapors must escape somewhere, or the tent will become damp and soggy.

Cooling fans

Using a fan is yet another way to stay cool while camping. Buying a fan is often preferable to buying a compact air conditioner.

Fans use slight power and are a great way to keep your body cool inside your tent. Tents can feel like bathhouses at times because the light comes on the fabric, heating the air inside. Fans are an excellent solution to this problem. 

Portable mini air conditioner 

Because they are portable and easy to transport, portable air conditioners, which are more advanced than the basic fans mentioned above, can be used while tent camping.

There are battery-powered portable units available, but if you have access to power, the less expensive cabled edition will work just as well. The main drawback is that the smaller units we’re looking for typically have BTU ratings of no more than 4000. 

Window installed air conditioner

Most of the window-installed ACs are easily adaptable to a tent with an ac port. Anyone shouldn’t be put off by the price, as $150 could perhaps get you a very efficient unit capable of providing up to 8000 BTU, which is more than enough to conduct well in a 6-person tent. The disadvantage is that you’ll need to modify your tent to fit it correctly.

Rooftop Tent Air Conditioner 2

Some Recommended Air Conditioner Models for Tents

Some of the best air conditioner brands have been picked for you that is great for tent air cooling.

These are not specifically designed for tent air conditioning, but most features of these air conditioners match with an ideal tent air conditioning device. The specification of these air conditioning brands are explained below-

Lifesmart outdoor and indoor AC

It’s compact and light enough to take on a camping trip with you. The deployable setups are simple, and anyone can easily adjust the speeds and mist levels.

It uses very slight energy to function, making it an excellent choice if you have a generator. When it comes to evaporation coolers, all of the specifications listed on the datasheets do not apply to camping conditions.

Water vaporization consumes a significant amount of heat, making it a very efficient way to cool things down. However, it is not a pleasurable time to be inside a camping tent.

Frigidaire window installed AC

When the cooling ability is considered, it is the most affordable unit on the market. Because of its lightweight and portable size, installing this ac unit for camping purposes does not necessitate extensive tent alteration.

Its 6000 BTUs make it ideal for small tents, usually used for 2-3 people when camping. It is also suitable for use on larger tents that have been correctly shielded and sealed.

The remote control can be used to access the timer function, which is a very useful feature that allows people to set it and forget it. If your tent is no larger than 100 square feet, the mini-compact unit is probably the best choice.

SereneLife portable AC

Remote control is unquestionably useful because it allows you to operate without entering the tent. The unit has a fan-only mode, which is ideal for those who cannot be near air conditioners.

There are several models to choose from, each with a different cooling capacity. During the hot summer days, the SereneLife portable ac unit will come in handy and make your outdoor experience more comfortable. 

Ontec arctic air cooler

The Ontec arctic air cooler is the lightest available vapor cooler. The portability of this device should not be an issue if you choose it. It’s usually on sale, and you should be able to get it for a reasonable price.

Because the heat transfer takes place within the unit, it is less likely to dampen items inside the tent. This air cooler appears to be popular. It is currently Amazon’s best seller, so it must be doing something right.

It works slightly differently than the Lifesmart device. Rather than squirting water everywhere, the Ontec Arctic draws in hot air and cools it within the component. 

Evaporation is still used to cool the air, but this time it is done within the unit rather than on your skin. This feature significantly improves its indoor usability. The method isn’t perfect, and the device will still humidify the air, but not significantly more than other devices.

The term “personal cooler” refers to the fact that all of these devices are designed for use in small spaces. Arctic Ultra, on the other hand, is ideal for use in a small tent. Any larger, and you won’t feel anything cool.

As a great delight, the designer was able to incorporate some filters into this very small unit, providing you with a nice purified breeze, which is greatly enjoyed in the dry atmosphere of a campsite. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can fire be caused by a portable AC?

Portable air conditioners must be plugged into specialized outlets rather than a power adapter. Any flaw in the cable will cause it to fracture and catch fire. The insulator will wear out and the heat will be lost.

Which tents have in-built AC ports?

Popular companies that manufacture tents with built-in AC ports are- Core10 Person Lighted Tent, Bushnell Shield Series Cabin Tents, Coleman Tenaya Lake 8 tent, Ozark Trail Cabin Tent 12, Coleman Weather Master 6 Tent and many others. 

Generally how long does a portable AC lasts? 

Portable air conditioners have a 5- to 10-year lifespan. Portable air conditioners can be transported from place to place and produce cooling capacity ranging from 7,000 to 14,000 BTU. Portable air conditioners have the shortest lifespan of any AC type as they are frequently relocated.


However, some claim that their products are built to operate with camping tents, keep in mind that no ac unit works perfectly with a camping tent.

You must select the best tent air conditioner from among all the gadgets that can be suited for camping use. It must be small and light enough to be carried out, as no one wants to add another burden to their luggage when they have so much else to load for their adventure. 

Even though battery technology is still far behind for operation today, you should not rely on battery-powered air conditioners. Keep in mind that you’re attempting to cool a space that can’t keep the heat out.

Unless you want to go the extra mile and buy a windproof jacket or extra tent insulation. The same shielding could be used for winter campsites and still be effective.