Best 12 Volt Battery Powered Air Conditioners for Camping or Traveling

By | June 19, 2020

Best 12 Volt Battery Powered Air Conditioner for Camping or Traveling
There is no doubt that when there is no air-conditioning it can become uncomfortably hot when you are traveling or camping.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many products on the market that will cool down a space using 12-volts DC.

These units work by using batteries and can be very efficient. There is a variety of ways in which they work. Some work by using ice put in a large container and using a fan to simply blow cool air from the unit.

There are the more expensive units that are standard air conditioner that work by using a 12-Volt DC compressor and can push out cold air like any other A/C unit would but with a battery.

A third option is to use a swamp cooler system which works very well in dry climates where humidity is not high.

Evaporator units work by using water that is pumped up and dripped over pads that air is blown through with a fan and will cool down an area greatly. These are very common in the Southwest where it is a dry climate.

So let’s take a look at some of these different types of 12-volt cooling units that are currently available.

As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, forums, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.

Our Picks for Best 12 Volt Battery Powered Air Conditioners 2020

  1. Zero Breeze Z19-Y
  2. Zero Breeze Z19-Y Portable Air Conditioner for Camping, 5-in-1 Multi Functions, Suitable for 1-4 Person Tent, RV, Van, Truck and Outdoors, Without Battery (Yellow)

    The Zero Breeze Z19-Y is the best 12-volt cooling unit but unfortunately also cost the most.

    It is a small portable air conditioner that has a rated 1100 BTU of output.
    Best 12 Volt Battery Powered Air Conditioner Zero Breeze Z19-Y
    1100 BTU can cool a space roughly 50 feet which makes it ideal for small spaces such as tents.

    It also has USB charging ports, Bluetooth music player, and LED lights.

    The Zero Breeze Z19-Y uses 12-volts 12.5 amps to operate.

    For someone serious about cooling a mobile space Zero Breeze Z19-Y is worth a look.

  3. 5-Gallon Bucket Air Conditioner
  4. 5 Gallon Bucket Air Conditioner – Ice Model (Black)

    Five-gallon bucket air conditioners have become very popular with many YouTube videos for how to build one.

    They are simple units with a a bag of ice placed inside and a 12-volt DC fan that blows out cold air.

    They do require ice to work but do wok until the ice melts.

    If you are a handy type of person and have a spare 5-gallon bucket and 12-volt DC fan they are easy to build.

  5. Personal Evaporative Air Cooler
  6. Personal Air Conditioner, Portable Air Cooler, Mini USB Evaporative Air Circulator Humidifier, 3 Wind Speed Adjustable, Desktop Cooling Fan for Home Office Outdoor Travel, 7 Colors LED Ambient Light

    There are many evaporative air coolers with some that work from 12-volts DC.

    Evaporative air coolers work very well when the air is dry but not so well in humid climates.

    They work from the effect water has cooling a surface when it evaporates.

    If you live in a climate such as the American southwest an evaporative cooler will work very well.

    If you live in a humid climate another option will be better,

  7. Fenebort
  8. SmartDevil Small Personal USB Desk Fan,3 Speeds Portable Desktop Table Cooling Fan Powered by USB,Strong Wind,Quiet Operation,for Home Office Car Outdoor Travel (Navy Blue)

    Small cooling fans can also be bought which can help cool a personal space down.

    They are not the most ideal units since they only blow air but are very low-cost and better than nothing.

  9. Autocool Solar
  10. This is a small low-cost simple unit that has a fan that is solar-powered.

    It constantly circulates air out a window which it hangs on via a hook.

    This is a unit that helps circulate air which can help cool a vehicle.

  11. WoneNice
  12. WoneNice Portable Small Fan & Mini-air Conditioner, Runs On Batteries Or USB-Blue

    The WoneNice is a small and low-cost evaporator cooler system that uses water to cool.

    It can be run on batteries or even a USB port with a small fan blowing out cool air.

    Evaporative units do not cool well in humid environments but work very well in dry climates.



14 thoughts on “Best 12 Volt Battery Powered Air Conditioners for Camping or Traveling

  1. Abbas Ghanbarzade

    Hi dear
    I need the price for camping 12volt

  2. Montie

    I want a mini a/c unit that I can use in the back of my van. My van has a/c and can be turned on with engine running, but when stationary the a/c hose gets so hot that the ends melt. Lol…
    I need something I can put in the back of the van independent from the van power to cool me off when I need to rest between jobs.

    1. Jules Clifford

      Im looking for a battery operated Cooling system for small truck camper shell where my dog travels, I drive 2004 Ford Ranger.
      Thank you
      PS: Im ok with money well spent, want it to be effective and safe.

  3. Bruce

    Is there a heat an air unit that runs off a battery for my deer camper.

  4. Niel. Koch

    I need battery operated air con for canopy on my truck. Ldv

    What can you suggest please

    I am from South Africa

  5. Russ

    We have a 1999 Dodge Durango with the heater chore broken and live in Phoenix!!! Ouch. The air conditioner blows cold air but only through the defrost vent? Is there a flap or something that is stopping the cool air from blowing outward? Or, does the whole front of the inside of the car need to be taken out? Is there a portable air unit one could suggest until we can get this fixed or is the flap blocking the cold air fixable without tearing the car apart?

    1. Aaron Benetti Post author

      Most older cars use a cable that moves a guide inside the air flow duct. I would look under the dash and try to move it manually.

    2. Jose

      sounds like a vacuum problem. A vacuum hose may have become disconnected and the system has defaulted to Defrost. Most cars default to defrost when a component in the climate system fails.

  6. Tom

    I need an ac unit to run in my van while I am moving since the front and rear ac is not working and parts are no longer available.
    Are there any after market add on units that will work for my 95 chevy g20 conversion van or a portable unit that will cool good while I am moving in the van.

    1. Harold Farrell

      Need 12volt ac unit to comfortably cool my 89 Chevy g20 Sport Van while driving,parked ,camping etc.(factory unit too costly to repair,would still be inadequate)live in South West (would consider hybrid systems & evap cooler.Thankyou


    living in the south, i want a battery operated air condition when storms take out our electricity or the condo shuts it down for repairs…i suffer from the heat, and i am a senior citizen….
    sincerely and with thanks, eg

    1. mb bergstrom

      Did you receive a reply? I would like to know the same thing. thank you

  8. Jim Crane

    Want battery powered portable AC for under $200 for car to keep it cool during hot weather while at work


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