how to vent portable ac in rv

How To Vent Portable Ac In Rv?

How to vent portable AC in an RV? Ventilating a portable air conditioner inside a recreational vehicle may be challenging due to the often constrained area. It is essential to do this correctly so that you can effectively cool down the whole room.

Even while summer camping is a lot of fun, temperatures may become rather hot during this time of year. Don’t fret if you are unsure how to cool your car with a portable air conditioner in an RV since we will assist you.

In the following paragraphs, we will go through the proper way to carry out this process in more depth. Also, you’ll learn the things to think about before buying one and learn several methods to maintain the air quality in the travel trailer.

Is it Possible to Use a Portable AC in an RV?

Using a portable air conditioner is perfectly acceptable in a recreational vehicle or trailer. Even while traveling, people still need some relief from scorching temperatures. Therefore bringing an air-conditioned vehicle along with you will be beneficial.

The most important question is how much of an area you wish to cool down. Portable air conditioners, in contrast to those installed on rooftops, have a limited reach. This is due to the fact that they might lack the BTUs or the wattage necessary to distribute the cool air uniformly throughout the RV.

You will need to figure out the RV’s total area before selecting a model that can effectively cool it. Once you have determined the precise area in square feet, you may use the following chart to determine the necessary BTU output:

Size the Room

Area in Square Feet

Required BTU Level of 

10 x 20 200’8,000
15 X 20 300’10,000
20 X 20400’12,000
20 X 30 600’14,000

The warm air inside an RV needs to be vented in some way. Returning hot air to the room it came from defeats the purpose of utilizing a portable air conditioner. Because of the ventilation system and the hose, the warm air passes outside, and only refreshing and chilly air enters the room.

It is quite effective to have air conditioning units that vent to the outdoors. Although it is possible to vent one space into another, doing so is not recommended despite the fact that some individuals have considered executing precisely that.

Additionally, ensure that the air conditioner is sitting on level ground. The air conditioner’s efficiency will improve if the surface is leveled since the coolant won’t be able to circulate as easily.

How To Vent Portable AC in RV?

Allow us to assist you in correctly venting a portable air conditioner by walking through the procedures below. 

Step 1: Find out the perfect location 

Determine where in the room the portable AC will work best. Some individuals have eliminated a sink and installed the unit in the spot that was once occupied by the sink’s plumbing. The location where you set up your portable air conditioner will have an effect on every other phase of this procedure.

In addition, you may need anywhere between six and eight inches of clearance between the walls of the trailer and the unit.

Step 2: Vent Measurement 

Before getting started, you should take some measurements of the vents. This will give you an accurate indication of the size of the air unit window kit you require. Ensure that they are aligned with one another and verify that there is sufficient space between them to allow the exhaust pipe to pass through without putting any pressure on it or encountering any obstructions.

Step 3: Window Kit Installation 

RV window ventilation kits are an excellent investment that can keep your recreational vehicle comfortably cool during the summer and toasty warm in the winter. They come complete with all of the tools and materials necessary for installation, as well as instructions. 

There are primarily two categories of RV window vents: those mounted on the exterior of the RV and those mounted inside the travel trailer.

If you are still deciding which design you should choose, you can compare the two and determine which one would be simpler for you to implement. It is important to keep in consideration that vents that are located on the outside of a building are more susceptible to the effects of the environment. As a result, they may require additional maintenance. Some vents offer extra features, such as shields or rain guards.

You have to set up the window kit for your portable air conditioner in accordance with the manual that came with it. After you have finished installing your air conditioner, be sure to utilize the mounting hardware you received and give it a firm twist to ensure that it stays in place. To prevent tiny animals from constructing a nest within the vents while you are working on them, you may want to install shields and insulation.

The tape helps in blocking the hole surrounding the ventilation opening, and the meshes may be placed in the vent. The vent pipe needs to be routed along the path of least resistance. If you want to make use of your window, then you need a kit that will assist you in sealing the uncovered window area by the exhaust outlet.

Step 4: Connecting Exhaust Pipe 

After you have installed the window kit, you should attach the exhaust pipe to the rear of the transportable air conditioning unit. The overall length of the exhaust hose may be adjusted accordingly, allowing it to rest easily and seamlessly between the vents.

Step 5: Securing the vents  

Before you finally switch on your air conditioner, check to see that both of its vents are closed and locked. If you have used a window ventilation kit that came with adhesive strips, they should be placed firmly into each vent prior to you utilizing them. This is a critical step if you have used the installation kit.

Step 6: Switch on the portable AC 

Plug in the portable cooling unit, switch it on, and carefully check whether or not it is operating correctly after doing so. Check to see whether the vents are letting the heated air out in the correct manner. Repeat the process of looking for any kind of hole.

That completes it! You will be able to make use of an RV mobile cooling system that is ready to go.

Why Is It Necessary To Vent A Portable AC?

This is because modern air conditioners utilize evaporated water to chill the inside of the RV, and doing so actually adds extra moisture into the space rather than taking it away. When shopping for a portable AC unit, seek a model that has an external leading ventilation system. 

If the warm air removed from the place returns to the same space, it defeats the purpose of employing a movable air conditioner. The vent and the exhaust pipe work together to ensure that the warm air escapes out the opening and that the only thing that enters the room with you is wonderful, chilly air to enjoy.

What To Consider While Choosing Portable AC for an RV?

You may choose from several different portable AC units to cool your RV. But the question is whether or not they will fit in your car or trailer. There are three types of portable air conditioning units: vented, vent-free, and window.

Each of them has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to your preference which one will serve your needs the most effectively. The rooftop model is yet another transportable variant. However, If you choose this one, installing it could be easier and more cost-effective than installing a permanent air conditioning system.

To choose the option that best suits your needs, you will need to take into consideration the following factors:

Square foot measurement 

 Some units that produce 10,000 BTU are designated for places that are at most 250 sq. ft. in size. It might not be suitable for you if the length of your trailer is more than 31 feet.

BTU Rating 

The number of British Thermal Units (BTUs) the device produces is crucial; the smaller the space, the fewer BTUs it would require. A portable air conditioner with a low BTU rating is suitable for pop-up travelers, trailers, and smaller Class B recreational vehicles. However, it wouldn’t be as suitable for oversized recreational vehicles and trailers.


You should look for one that has a wide variety of valuable functions. All of these features, such as a wireless remote, multiple air settings, controls for thermostats, and an automatic sleep mode or a timer, come in very useful. They enable you to make the most of the cooling system’s capabilities without requiring you to use a significant amount of energy.


It really doesn’t matter how high the quality or how low the price for the portable units is; when they are missing the right measurements for your RV, your money will be wasted on them. You should get one that can fit in a limited area while yet effectively cooling the rooms.


Weight is often a problem since several portable devices are relatively heavy. If there isn’t plenty of excess space in the room’s weight capacity, you may need to start considering which item you can manage without. Check that the item is not too heavy for the space it will occupy in your RV.

However, make sure you choose a device that is manufactured by a reputed brand. Unknown brands could be more affordable, but there’s a chance they won’t function as well, which means you’ll wind up paying more money to replace them with an equivalent item from a well-known brand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Vent Hose Necessary for a Portable AC to Function?

You will not be able to use a portable cooling device without having the vent hose. For the unit to function effectively and prevent humidity and condensation from building up within the unit, the emissions generated by the unit have to be evacuated to the outside. In addition, if the exhaust is not correctly vented, the unit might overheat, increasing the risk of breaking.

Should the Vents on a Portable Air Conditioner Point Upward or Downward?

The vents on an AC unit should face upward. Warm air rises and exits through the roof while cooler air descends and settles.

How long should a portable AC in an RV last?

An RV air conditioning unit’s typical lifespan ranges from three to ten years, sometimes even more. The lifespan of an RV air conditioner depends on a number of variables, including how often it is maintained, how it is kept, and how frequently it is used. Additionally, there are several things you can try to extend the life of the air conditioning units in the travel trailer.

Final Thoughts

So, now you know how to vent portable AC in an RV. It’s not as tough as it seems to evacuate a portable air conditioner inside an RV. You must take the necessary measurements for your ventilation holes, fit the window vent kit, attach the exhaust line, and then fasten the vents in place. If you follow these instructions, your air conditioning machine will be able to function properly and will be able to swiftly and effectively cool down the RV area! Cool down and enjoy the summer!

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Behind Best Darn Product is Kevin Pena, a passionate blogger and e-commerce enthusiast based in Atlanta, Georgia. With his finger on the pulse of the ever-growing online marketplace, Kevin is dedicated to sharing his extensive knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for the products and services that shape our modern lives.

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