How to install a window AC unit for an RV?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to install a window AC unit for an RV?” We will talk about choosing a window AC unit and discuss the installation process. We will also discuss securing a window AC unit in an RV by building a frame and touch upon the alternative options. Additionally, we will discuss installing an AC unit in a pop-up camper.

How to install a window AC unit for an RV?

If you are planning on installing a window AC unit for an RV, you can use the steps mentioned as follows.

  • Window-mounted AC units are great for smaller RVs because they do not require new wiring or ductwork.
  • Because the air-conditioning unit draws its cooling power from the outside, you can install it in the window of your pop-up camper without removing the entire window. However, it is important to take measurements twice to ensure proper fit.
  • Depending on your pop-up camper, you may need to cut two windows before deciding on where to mount the AC unit.
  • Installing an AC unit in a pop-up camper is easy. Just ensure that you have enough space to fit the unit.
  • Attach two L-brackets to the framing. Be sure to fasten them at right angles to make the AC installation process easier.
  • The air conditioning unit should be installed in a few simple steps. The instructions included with the unit will walk you through the process.
  • The first step in installing the AC is to measure the space to be cut. Once you have the measurement, you can use a Sawzall to cut the hole to the exact size.
  • After cutting the hole, mark the ceiling where you plan to place the AC. Once the air conditioning unit is installed, it can be attached to the bracket.

Installing a window AC unit in an RV is not as difficult as installing a portable air conditioning unit on the roof. Many RV owners prefer to use the window in the rear or passenger seat because cool air circulates the vehicle. This process involves some preparation work.

Choosing a window AC unit

Window air conditioners for RVs do not take up much interior space. To make use of window air conditioning in an RV, make sure you choose one that fits the window’s size. If the unit does not fit, it will obstruct the view and reduce natural light. Rooftop air conditioners are the most common RV air conditioners and have the largest cooling capacity.

  • When choosing a window AC, take into consideration the cooling capacity of the space. These units are designed to cool one or several rooms.
  • The first consideration when purchasing window AC is the BTU rating of the unit. BTUs are a basic measure of thermal energy.
  • The BTU rating should be appropriately matched to the space where the unit is going to be installed. Otherwise, it will continuously run and leave you with uncomfortable hot pockets.
  • Window AC units are easy to install. Usually, window air conditioners come with mounting hardware, so they can be installed quickly. However, you must remember that window air conditioners cannot be swung upwards.
  • If you need to remove it, you may have to repeat the process. Under-bench units, on the other hand, require more intricate installation. Aside from the space they occupy, window air conditioners do not affect the window’s view and natural light.

Portable AC units

  • The quietest window AC unit for an RV is a portable one. A 5000 BTU model can cool an area of 400 square feet. These units weigh just 28 pounds and come with window mounting kits. These units are suitable for new caravans. 
  • Portable AC units should be installed in a space that has at least one window with a width of about 23 inches. These portable AC units will provide cooling for the RV’s interior and will save your energy bills.

Wall AC units

  • If you decide to use a wall AC, be sure to purchase a wall-mount kit that is designed for this application. Wall AC installations can require professional consultation and knowledge of specialised tools. 
  • Make sure that you check the manufacturer’s specifications regarding finished wall opening dimensions. 
  • In addition to the BTU, look for the dimensions of the finished wall opening when buying a window AC. If you need cooling in a camper van, a window AC unit might be the best option. The units can be used for camper van conversions and are relatively small and power-efficient. 
  • If you have a small window area, a window AC unit may be an ideal solution. If you plan to spend a lot of time outside, a window AC unit may also work for you.

Securing a window AC unit in an RV

To make sure that your window AC unit fits into an RV, you will need to secure it properly. Two ways to do so have been explained as follows.

  • Securing a window AC unit in an RV can be tricky because these vehicles have less insulation and big windows. Some come with built-in air conditioning units, but others do not. In that case, it can be costly to add a rooftop unit. 
  • Window AC units can be a great alternative that is less expensive than rooftop air conditioners. They also take up less space and can be placed almost anywhere.

Building a frame for your window AC 

You can also build a frame for your window AC in your RV to secure it properly. You can buil the frame by using the following steps. 

  • Because window AC units do not fit directly into an RV’s window, you must make a frame to secure it. Since most fully operating RV windows are circular, the smallest size AC units are too large to fit in these windows.
  • You should measure the window before you purchase the window AC unit.
  • Once you have measured the window, seal the gaps with insulation to prevent the unit from moving around.
  • To install a window AC, you must prepare two pieces: one for the top and one for the bottom.
  • For the top fitting, you must first slot the bottom fitting into the window and wedge the top fitting in place.
  • You may need an extra person to hold the top fitting.
  • After the frame, you need to secure the window AC unit.
  • Make sure to secure it in the desired location so that it does not fall out of the windows. Be sure not to break the windows of your RV.

Alternative AC options for your RV

Another option is to add a portable air conditioner to your RV. This is the cheapest option but might require cutting a hole in the roof. This can be a hassle but it will give you the cooling comfort you have been looking for. A portable AC unit in an RV can save you money on energy bills and make your camping trips a breeze.

You will need to run electrical wiring into the RV to power the AC. If you do not feel comfortable doing this work yourself, you can always hire an electrician to do it for you. If you know a little bit about electrical wiring, you can also do it yourself if you have the skills. In this case, it is important to have some spare time and follow safety precautions.

Installing an AC unit in a pop-up camper

To install a window AC unit in your pop-up camper, first, measure the length of the wire. Then, make sure the wires are tightly connected to the air distribution box. Refer to the manual or install a guide to help you. Remember to use insulation tape to make the connections firm. After connecting the wires, screw on the air distribution cover.

If you are a new RV owner, you may want to consider installing a window AC permanently. If you are looking to install a window AC unit in your RV, you should always check the dimensions of the window of your RV. Installing these units can be easy if you have a little knowledge. However, it is always recommended to hire a professional.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to install a window AC unit for an RV?” We talked about choosing a window AC unit and discussed the installation process. We also discussed securing a window AC unit in an RV by building a frame and touched upon the alternative options. Additionally, we discussed installing an AC unit in a pop-up camper.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!