Can You Put An Air Conditioner In A Tent?

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Updated February 11, 2023
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Difficulty Easy
Steps 4
Time Required 15 Minutes
Things to Know

Every summer, millions of people go camping around the globe. To make the experience more enjoyable, many search for the best air conditioner and the leading evaporative A/C to use in their tent. If you’re one of these star-gazers who want a climate-controlled experience, we will show you how to use an air conditioner in a tent. And if you’re looking for general AC tips, we have an article on how to use an air conditioner efficiently.


  • With a power supply, AC unit, and proper air conditioner port, you can cool your tent space for camping trips.
  • Some tents come with an air conditioner port built-in. You can also make the port yourself if your tent doesn’t have this.
  • Depending on the unit’s BTUs, you can use a window AC or a portable unit to cool your tent.

How Do You Use An Air Conditioner With A Tent?

Camping AC units come in both portable air coolers and window air conditioner models. Using one to cool your tent is relatively easy. And even if your tent has no AC port, you can still install a window unit, portable air conditioner, or a ventless air conditioner. Another option is an evaporative cooler, like the SPT-SSF 48lb heavy-duty air cooler. You can also check out this article covering how to vent a portable air conditioner.

Insider Tip

If you are going on a camping trip with no access to a power grid and no generator, consider battery-powered air conditioners.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Required: 15 Minutes
  • Total Steps: 4
  • Tools Needed: AC Unit, extension cord, stand/platform for AC unit., tool for cutting the tent material (box cutter/scissors, knife), generator.

Step 1 – If you own a tent with an air conditioning unit port, set up the tent with the port conveniently facing the electrical outlet. If your tent doesn’t have an AC port, you’ll have to cut a hole.

Step 2 – For a window unit, measure the face of the AC. Then, trace an outline on the spot of your tent where you want to place the AC unit. Next, use a sharp box cutter or scissors to cut the hole. For portable AC units, measure the diameter of the exhaust hose and cut a hole in the tent that’s the same size.

Step 3 – For a window unit, place your AC platform down on a level spot and set the unit on top. Then put the face of the AC through the tent AC port and seal it with a weatherstrip or duct tape. For a portable unit, place the AC inside the tent and run the exhaust hose through the AC port. Then seal with a weatherstrip or duct tape.

Step 4 – If you are at a campsite with an electrical outlet nearby, run an extension cord from the power outlet to your AC unit. You’ll have to bring a power generator for campsites that don’t have access to electricity.


Clean your air filter after using an AC for camping, as using an AC outside typically causes it to ingest more debris.


What is the best type of air conditioner for camping?

Window AC units ‌provide more power, but portable air conditioners are easier to set up.

What should you look for when purchasing a portable AC unit for a tent?

The first thing to consider is the power supply and if you’ll have access to a power outlet. If not, consider buying a battery-powered unit.

How can I cool my tent without electricity?

There are options for battery-powered AC units. However, they are pricey and aren’t as effective as regular ACs.

STAT: More than 40 million Americans go camping every year. (source)

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