For The Coolest Holidays: Portable Air Con for Caravan


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With summer temperatures shooting up, you may be stressed about keeping your caravan or motorhome comfortable while on holiday. There’s absolutely no need to simmer, or break the bank with a sophisticated air con system. Affordable, portable air con for caravan (or motorhome) is the perfect solution. Any make or model can do the job, but you need to confirm that it is suitable in size and compatibility. 

If it’s hot outside, it’s sure to be hotter inside while you’re traveling. Don’t rely on throwing open all the windows and allowing moving air to cool your vehicle’s interior. The Met Office predicts that the mercury’s all set to soar over the next few months, and you could find yourself in the middle of a heatwave when you’re on the road. 

What Are Portable Air Cons?

Portable air cons are a good option to cool single rooms, home-offices and are usually placed in bedrooms, kitchens, garages, computer rooms, family rooms, and dens. They are floor-standing units, usually with wheels, and are easy and quick to set up. Since they can be conveniently moved around, they’re a popular choice even if you have a separate HVAC system. They work on typical home power of 115-120V and don’t need special wiring or installation.

They remove warm air from the room, exhaust it out, and must be placed close to a window for best results. They produce condensation during operation. Some models are fully self-evaporative, while others have a drain hose and pump. Standard models need to be manually emptied every 8 hours. You can choose the right make and model according to your unique preferences and budget. This is a great long-term investment and a one-time cost that will certainly enhance your comfort and the quality of your holiday. 

Best portable air conditioner for caravan 

Air cons designed for caravans differ from those designed for homes and offices. They need to keep water out and withstand the moving vehicle’s vibrations. The mounts and fitments have to be more sturdy and well anchored. Poorly fitted air cons can pose a safety hazard, especially if mounted at a height. 

With so many great options available, choosing the best air con for your caravan is not easy. Before you purchase, it’s smart to spend a little time and effort on research. Analyze your needs, special requirements, and what you’re willing to pay. Obviously, you would want a unit manufactured by a reputed and reliable brand. It should be long-lasting and easy to maintain.

Other factors include:

  • The length and duration of your trip
  • Whether you live long-term in the caravan
  • A region that you will visit
  • Time and season of travel
  • Number of people in the group
  • Individual needs and preferences 
  • Space limitations
  • Noise tolerance 
  • Safety
  • Cooling capacity
  • Energy consumption
  • Taste and lifestyle
  • What features you’d like: remote control, WiFi, one-touch, etc
  • Whether you cook inside the caravan
  • How much maintenance is needed
  • Whether an after-sales support network is available

Once you’ve ticked all the boxes and got the answers to your queries, it’s much easier to shop for the perfect product

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Can you use a portable air conditioner in a caravan?

If you have an older caravan, camper, or motorhome, it’s likely that it doesn’t have an air con already installed. Even if you have one, a portable air-con is essential if you plan to travel in high summer or to a hot place. 

It’s important to remember that portable air conditioners are ideally suited for trips that don’t last more than a few weeks. They are most effective for travel during late summer and early autumn. The biggest advantage of these units is that there’s no installation required. They are the perfect plug-and-play products, and you’re travel-ready in minutes after purchasing your portable air con. 

Being versatile, they can double up as cooling units for your home and home office too. They are ideal for your recreational vehicle because they fit well into tight spaces. 

One of the deciding factors is the noise level of the portable AC, so if that is a major issue, look for a quiet air conditioning unit

A vented version will need a hose attachment to drain the collected moisture away, or it may have a self-evaporative process. Air cons without vents can increase the humidity inside the caravan. 

Some vented units can do double duty as dehumidifiers. This is a good feature to have on board to enhance your comfort. It keeps the interior of your motorhome dry and prevents mold and bacteria growth. 

How to install a portable air conditioner in a caravan

You’ll find any number of videos and articles online that tell you the best way to install portable air con in your caravan. 

  • Pick the right portable air conditioning unit for your motorhome or caravan well ahead of your travel schedule. This allows you to figure out the installation and iron possible glitches. 
  • Your caravan’s manual may give you information on the ideal air-con solution for this particular make and model. Read the manual carefully to understand all the features of your unit. 
  • If you plan to install it yourself, ensure you have the right tools. 
  • Assemble all that you need so you don’t have to waste time running out to buy one after you’ve started the process. 
  • Safety is paramount, so make sure that you wear protective clothing and work in a well-ventilated area. 
  • Decide on the best location for the unit. The mounting and fixing parts should be sturdy enough to withstand vibration. The unit should be at least 8 inches away from a wall. Mark the spot and drill holes for the mounting. 
  • Fix the unit with strong mounting bolts according to their place on the unit. 
  • Connect up the wiring according to the instructions. 
  • Plug it in and check that everything is working fine. Wait for a few days before you take a long trip to confirm that your portable air con is doing its job well and is compatible with your needs. 
  • Retaining the box, invoice, and other papers connected with your purchase is wise. This will help ease things if there’s a problem with the unit. 
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