Do pop up campers stay cool in summer? (5+ ideas)

In this short guide, we will answer the following question: Do pop up campers stay cool in summer? We will also give you a few essential tips for keeping cool in a camper, no matter how hot it gets this summer. 

Do pop up campers stay cool in summer?

Pop up campers are not known for staying cool in summer. In fact, the vice versa is more accurate: if you are not prepared, you will start sweating in your pop-up camper every summer night. 

Apart from a few fearless pop-up owners who are not afraid of anything or anyone, most of us use this type of camper, especially in the summer. This is why it is important to organize yourself in the best possible way so as not to be caught off guard by the heat, otherwise, the internal temperatures can make your life difficult.

Some simple solutions to stay cool in summer in a pop-up camper

Some simple solutions to mitigate the heat inside the camper are the so-called “grandmother’s remedies”, which experience and tradition teach. Added to this is the precious contribution of modernity, with new materials and new appliances.

  1. Air recirculation inside the camper: your first line of defence when the temperature rises is to make as much current as possible. This involves opening the windows and doors of the camper so that heat and hot air are not trapped inside. 

Make sure you open both the pop-up roof and the vents so that the hot air can escape (remember that hot air goes upwards!) and so that cooler breezes can enter;

  1. Apply tinting films for windows: to attenuate the incoming warm sunlight as much as possible, use adhesive films and sparse sheets;
  1. Keep the awning open: it serves for shade, just like an umbrella. Keep in mind, however, that if you are travelling in an area with many insects, it is best to consider installing mosquito nets to prevent them from entering.
  2. Close the pop-up when it is too hot: when summers are serious it is better to close everything in the middle hours. By keeping the blinds and curtains down in the camper it is possible to keep the sun’s rays out and help keep the air cooler inside. It’s a simple trick, but it can make a big difference;
  1. Turn on the air conditioner: first of all, you need to distinguish between the cabin air conditioner and the actual air conditioner. The first is the one that works with the vehicle in motion to cool the passenger compartment, while the other is the household appliance like the one at home. 

It is necessary to be connected to the mains to use the air conditioner, however, a good solution is to have a portable air conditioner of the latest generation. Being portable, it can also be easily transferred inside the veranda, it can also be used only for the function of dehumidifiers and can heat if equipped with heat pumps;

  1. Avoid cooking inside: the heat generated by the oven and stove inside the camper can be very difficult to dissipate to the outside, especially on those summer days when a leaf does not move. 

Also, consider that this heat is added to the heat generated by people and appliances, so take advantage of the good weather to cook in the shared areas of the equipped spaces or with electric or gas grills or something more sophisticated and professional designed for fantastic BBQs in American style.

As you can see, there is no shortage of tricks and solutions also designed to live a joyful experience in a pop-up camper, without having to suffer from a hot climate.

Other questions you may be interested in

How long does it take to set up a camper trailer?

Do you store a pop-top caravan with the top up or down?

Are pop top caravans good?

Stay cool in a pop-up camper in summer with these Air-coolers

Of course, classical methods may work, but if you really want to stay cool in a pop-up camper during summer days, consider investing in a portable air-cooler.  They have the appearance of a portable air conditioner but be careful because as we will see, they are not the same.

They are also called evaporative air conditioners or even misnamed “tubeless air conditioners.” The main difference with portable air conditioners is that they do not use compressors or gases to cool the air. Therefore, its cooling power is not comparable to that of a compressor equipped air conditioner.

They have an internal water pump and an air diffuser (fan). They absorb the hot air from the room they are in, pass it through their internal water or ice reservoir, and finally expel the much cooler air.

Advantages of portable air coolersDisadvantages of portable air coolers
Are cheapLittle cooling power
They make almost no noiseHigh humidity in the environment
Very low consumptionThey work by proximity.

Stay cool in a pop-up camper in summer with a portable AC

Portable air conditioners are, of course, a great alternative to air coolers.  These are air conditioners like those at home but with an integrated motor (compressor), not separately as is usual in domestic air conditioners. For this reason, they are the loudest type of device that we will see here.

The presence of the compressor also makes them heavy, it must be taken into account that they can reach, even perfectly exceed 25 kilos.

On the other hand, in addition to cooling, these air conditioners also extract moisture from the air, that is, they dehumidify. For this, they have a tank to house the environmental humidity or with a hose so that you can evacuate the water while it is in operation.

Advantages of portable ACDisadvantages of portable AC
Have a great cooling powerThey are expensive
You can move them and use them during the day in the car and at night in the pop-upThey are heavy
Do not require installationThese are the loudest type of air conditioners that you will see
Cool, dehumidify and ventilate with the same deviceYou will need to install a duct to evacuate the water outside the camper. 
Some have a heat pump, which will keep you warm in winter.

Final thoughts

After seeing the different air conditioners that can be useful in camping, we must know certain aspects to make an appropriate choice.

  • Cooling capacity: Air conditioners (not air conditioners) have to report their cooling power in the specifications. It is expressed in Frigories or in BTU (British Thermal Unit). One Frigoria is equivalent to 4 BTUs, so a 1000 Frigoria air conditioner has a cooling capacity of 4000 BTU / hour.
  • Additional functions: It is common for these devices to integrate various functionalities: dehumidification, humidification, ventilation and even heat pump, undoubtedly advantages that you should assess at the time of purchase.
  • Noise: Let’s face it, air conditioners are annoying. If you are a very light sleeper you should look for a device that is not very noisy, which are generally more expensive.
  • Weight and dimensions: As we have seen, an air conditioner with a compressor easily exceeds 25 kg. The wheels help to move it somewhat, but they are heavy and bulky. Air conditioners do not have this problem. You should also consider it.
  • Remote control: Almost all air conditioners have a remote control, some can even be controlled by Wi-Fi. They can also be programmed to turn on or off by themselves.

And with this we come to the end of the article, we hope that this guide will serve to better guide your purchase of an air conditioner for your pop up camper.  Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content!

FAQ on Do pop up campers stay cool in summer?

Does AC work in a pop up camper?

Yes, AC works in a pop-up camper. We recommend you invest in a portable AC, that is easy to install and a great long-term acquisition. 

Can you sleep in a pop-top in winter?

Yes, you can most certainly sleep in a pop-top (also known as a pop-up camper) in winter, as long as you take all the necessary precautions to stay warm during those cold nights.

Is insulating a pop-up a good idea?

The insulation of the pop-top camper can be more or less valid and efficient, but it is still there. This means that the interior can be heated and the heat maintained, perhaps some models “hold better than others”, but this is not very important: your camper can face the cold. 


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!