Best Air Conditioner for Campervans: 7 AC Units That Won't Let You Down - Nomadic Cooling

Best Air Conditioner for Campervans: 7 AC Units That Won't Let You Down

Man working on his camper van - best ac unit for campervans

If you're a campervan owner, then you know that staying comfortable while on the road is essential. However, when it comes to summer months, things can get a little sticky without proper air conditioning. Luckily, there are many options available when it comes to selecting the best air conditioner for campervans.

A good air conditioner can be a lifesaver, providing much-needed relief from the scorching heat and humidity that can make road trips uncomfortable. With so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the right one. Each option has pros and cons, from portable AC units to rooftop AC systems.

In this article, we'll take a look at the best air conditioners for campervans to help you make an informed decision. We'll explore the features, costs, and benefits of each option so that you can find the perfect air conditioner to keep you cool on your next road trip.

Review of the Best Air Conditioners for Campervans

Read on to learn about the best air conditioners for campervans. 

1. The All New Nomadic X³

THE ALL NEW NOMADIC X³

The Nomadic X³ is a compact and efficient air conditioning unit that's perfect for campervans. It's designed to cool small to medium-sized spaces and operates quietly, making it ideal for those who prefer a peaceful night's sleep.

One of the memorable features of the Nomadic X³ is its energy efficiency. It uses a low-power draw, so it won't drain your battery as quickly as other models. This is especially important when you're off the grid and relying on your battery to power your appliances.

The Nomadic X³ is also easy to install, with a quick-connect fitting that makes it a breeze to set up. It's compact, lightweight, and easy to store, which is great for campervan owners who want to maximize their living space.

In addition to its impressive features, the Nomadic X³ also offers a sleek and modern design that will fit in seamlessly with any campervan interior. Its compact size and lightweight design make it easy to move around and install in different areas of your van, allowing you to create the perfect layout for your needs. 

With its energy efficiency and quiet operation, the Nomadic X³ is a top choice for anyone looking for an air conditioning unit that's both effective and practical for life on the road.

2. Nomadic Cooling 2000 48V

Nomadic Cooling 2000 48V

If you're looking for a high-quality, energy-efficient air conditioner for your campervan, the Nomadic Cooling 2000 48V is an excellent choice. This unit is designed to run on a 48V DC power source, making it ideal for campervan owners who want to minimize their reliance on traditional AC power.

One of the best features of the Nomadic Cooling 2000 48V is its energy efficiency. It's designed to use less power than traditional air conditioners, so it won't drain your battery as quickly. This is especially important when you're off the grid and relying on your battery to power all of your appliances.

Another great feature of the Nomadic Cooling 2000 48V is its compact size. It measures just 27.6 x 10.2 x 8.7 inches, making it easy to install in tight spaces. Despite its small size, it can still cool a small to a medium-sized campervan with ease.

The Nomadic Cooling 2000 48V is pricier, though, making it less accessible for those on a budget. Additionally, it may not be suitable for larger campervans or those who require more cooling power.

3. Nomadic Cooling 2000 24V

Nomadic Cooling 2000 24V

Similar to the Nomadic Cooling 2000 48V, the 24v model is an energy-efficient air conditioner designed for campervans. It's a great option for those who want to minimize their reliance on traditional AC power and maximize their battery life.

One of the notable features of the Nomadic Cooling 2000 24V is its compact size. It measures just 27.6 x 10.2 x 8.7 inches, making it easy to install in tight spaces. Despite its small size, it can still cool a small to medium-sized campervan effectively.

Another great feature of the Nomadic Cooling 2000 24V is its energy efficiency. It's designed to use less power than traditional air conditioners, so it won't drain your battery as quickly. This is especially important when you're off the grid and relying on your battery to power your appliances.

However, it's important to note that the Nomadic Cooling 2000 24V is only suitable for campervans with a 24V DC power source. If your campervan runs on a different power source, you must choose a different air conditioner.

4. Nomadic Cooling 1000 12V

Nomadic Cooling 1000 12V

The Nomadic Cooling 1000 12V is an ultra-compact air conditioner designed for campervans with limited space. Measuring just 16.9 x 10.2 x 8.7 inches, it's one of the smallest air conditioners on the market and perfect for tiny campervans.

Despite its small size, the Nomadic Cooling 1000 12V is still able to cool a small campervan effectively. It's designed to run on a 12V DC power source, making it ideal for campervan owners who want to minimize their reliance on traditional AC power.

One of the standout features of the Nomadic Cooling 1000 12V is its ultra-quiet operation. It's designed to operate at just 35 decibels, which is about as loud as a whisper. This means you can enjoy a cool and comfortable sleeping environment without being disturbed by loud AC noise.

However, it's important to note that the Nomadic Cooling 1000 12V may not be suitable for larger campervans or those who require more cooling power. Additionally, its compact size comes at a cost - it's one of the more expensive air conditioners on the market.

5. Dometic CoolAir 2000 RTX 12V

Dometic CoolAir 2000 RTX 12V

The Dometic CoolAir 2000 RTX 12V is a compact and energy-efficient air conditioner designed for campervans. It's designed to operate on a 12V DC power source, making it ideal for campervan owners who want to minimize their reliance on traditional AC power.

One of the best features of the Dometic CoolAir 2000 RTX 12V is its efficient cooling capacity. It's able to cool a small to medium-sized campervan effectively, making it a great choice for those who need reliable cooling on hot summer days.

Another great feature of the Dometic CoolAir 2000 RTX 12V is its compact size. It measures just 23.6 x 20.3 x 8.3 inches, making it easy to install in tight spaces. It's also relatively lightweight compared to other air conditioners, which can be important for those concerned about the overall weight of their campervan.

However, it's important to note that the Dometic CoolAir 2000 RTX 12V may be more expensive than some other air conditioners on the market. Additionally, its cooling capacity may not be sufficient for larger campervans or those in extremely hot climates.

6. Dometic CoolAir 1000 RTX 12V

Dometic CoolAir 1000 RTX 12V

The Dometic CoolAir 1000 RTX 12V is a compact and efficient air conditioner designed for campervans. It's designed to operate on a 12V DC power source, making it ideal for campervan owners who want to minimize their reliance on traditional AC power.

Despite its small size, the Dometic CoolAir 1000 RTX 12V is still able to cool a small campervan effectively. It features a powerful compressor and fan that create a comfortable living environment.

One of the standout features of the Dometic CoolAir 1000 RTX 12V is its efficient operation. It's able to cool a small space quickly and efficiently, using minimal power in the process. This can be important for campervan owners who are concerned about their energy consumption and battery life.

Another great feature of the Dometic CoolAir 1000 RTX 12V is its compact size. It measures just 21.3 x 17.5 x 7.3 inches, making it easy to install in tight spaces. It's also relatively lightweight, which can be important for those concerned about the overall weight of their campervan.

7. IndelB OFF 12V Air Conditioner

IndelB OFF 12V Air Conditioner

The IndelB OFF 12V Air Conditioner is a powerful and versatile option for campervan owners needing reliable cooling. It's designed to operate on a 12V DC power source, which makes it ideal for use in campervans and other off-grid applications.

One of the standout features of the IndelB OFF 12V Air Conditioner is its high cooling capacity. It's able to cool a small campervan quickly and efficiently, making it ideal for use in hot climates or during the summer months. It also features a compact design that makes it easy to install in tight spaces.

Another great feature of the IndelB OFF 12V Air Conditioner is its versatility. It can be used as a standalone unit or as part of a larger cooling system, depending on your needs. This makes it a great option for campervan owners who want flexibility in their cooling options.

One potential drawback of the IndelB OFF 12V Air Conditioner is its relatively high price tag. It may be more expensive than some other air conditioners on the market, which could be a drawback for budget-conscious campervan owners.

BTU Ratings for Campervan Air Conditioners Explained

BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a measurement unit used to describe air conditioners' cooling capacity. When choosing an air conditioner for your campervan, understanding BTU ratings is crucial to ensure that you get an AC unit that can effectively cool your vehicle.

The BTU rating of an air conditioner indicates how much heat it can remove from a space in one hour. In general, the larger the space or vehicle, the higher the BTU rating needed. For example, a small campervan may only require an air conditioner with a BTU rating of 5,000, while a larger RV may need an air conditioner with a BTU rating of 15,000 or more.

It's important to note that factors such as insulation, outside temperature, and the number of people in the campervan can also affect the BTU rating needed. It's recommended to consult with a professional or use an online BTU calculator to determine the appropriate BTU rating for your campervan.

How to Keep Your Campervan Cool Without an Air Conditioner

a white campervan at the side of the road

Whether you choose to install an air conditioner or not, one essential upgrade you'll want to make to your campervan is installing a roof vent fan. Hot air rises, so being able to exhaust it is critical to cooling your campervan.

However, there are other things you can do to keep your campervan cool without relying solely on air conditioning. Here are some tips:

Choose a Cooler Location for Your Campsite

One of the most important things you can do to reduce heat inside your van, regardless of whether you're using an air conditioner or fan, is to park or camp in an area that is cooler and out of direct sunlight. Look for a shaded area under trees, as temperatures will be significantly cooler in the shade. 

Additionally, camping near water can allow you to take advantage of the cooler air coming off of a river or lake. This is a great idea if you're using a fan to cool your van. You can more easily draw in the cooler air from the water and exhaust the warmer air through a roof vent.

Improve Campervan Insulation

Insulation is an essential factor in maintaining a comfortable temperature inside your campervan. Proper insulation will keep the inside temperature more stable and prevent the loss of cooler-conditioned air, even on hot summer days. Unfortunately, you can't typically add insulation to the walls of a van. However, you can start by adding insulation where it's lacking, such as windows, doors, and vents.

Insulate Your Windows

Windows are typically one of the weakest points in a campervan's insulation. While it may not be ideal for keeping windows covered in the summer, especially if you're opening them to allow for airflow, you can insulate windows that don't open or you don't typically use. Reflectix bubble insulation over your windows is a good alternative that can help seal in cooler air and reduce heat transfer.

Install Window Coverings and Curtains

Window coverings and curtains not only provide privacy but can also help with insulation. Thick curtains that fully cover the windows make excellent insulating material, especially when combined with reflective insulation. The thicker the material, the better. Heavy curtains, like blackout ones, work very well to improve privacy and reduce the bright morning sun from waking you up too early. In addition, they will help keep the van cooler by preventing air loss.

Use Sunshades and Reflective Covers

In addition to window coverings, sunshades, and reflective covers can also help keep your campervan cool. Place a sunshade on your windshield or front windows when parked in direct sunlight. This will help prevent the sun from heating up your campervan's interior. Reflective covers can also be used on the outside of your windows to reduce heat transfer and keep your van cooler.

Maximize Airflow

Finally, maximizing airflow inside your campervan is essential for keeping it cool. In addition to installing a roof vent fan, you can also place a small fan on a countertop or table to help circulate air. Leave doors and windows open to allow for cross-ventilation. You can even use a portable misting fan that sprays a fine mist of water to cool down the air.

The Takeaway

There are various ways to keep your campervan cool in the summer heat, from investing in an air conditioner from Nomadic Cooling or a roof vent fan to choosing a cooler location for your campsite and improving insulation. While air conditioning can be a convenient solution, it is not always necessary and can be costly. 

By implementing some of the tips we've discussed, you can significantly reduce the temperature inside your campervan, making it a more comfortable and enjoyable space to spend time in. Remember to prioritize your own comfort and safety while traveling in your campervan, and don't be afraid to experiment with different methods to find what works best for you.