Air Conditioning in a Palomino Bronco Truck Camper

I wanted to add AC to my Palomino Bronco “Soft Side” Pop-Up truck camper.

I didn’t want or need a large roof top unit.  A small window residential unit would easily be powered for a single Honda 2000i generator or equivalent.

I ordered the smallest window AC unit I could find.

Frigidaire FRA052XT7 5,000-BTU Mini Window Air Conditioner .

Ordered it from Amazon yesterday morning and it was on my doorstep at 2pm today. Amazing! $119…No tax / No Shipping!

I wanted it removable as I camp three seasons and two of those seasons up here in New England, AC is not needed.

The only spot I really had for it was in the top portion of the rear entrance door. I wanted it as high as possible as cold air falls. Putting it close to the floor would decrease the AC’s effectiveness considerably

The door opens in two pieces to facilitate the top lowering

First step was to create a frame out of aluminum angle to hold it in place

Second thing  was to cut a piece of plywood  to fit into the upper opening and and install “T-Nuts” to secure the AC unit

A 2″ X 2″ piece of aluminum angle was bolted to the bottom of this plywood frame to hold the weight of the AC unit

This plywood / aluminum angle frame is permanently attached to the AC unit with small nuts and bolts

The entire assembly is lifted up and inserted into the space that the top half of the door normally occupies

Inside, I used steel “T” nuts and made up a few aluminum catches that are fixed with 1/4-20 thumb screws to hold the AC unit on place

I made a small wrench to secure the thumb screws firmly

Plug it in and be cool!

During travel, I remove it and place it in a large plastic tote as there is usually water in the condensate tray. This bin is simply secured within the camper for travel. It only takes 10 minutes to set it up.

Since it is secured to the door frame and not the door itself, when the AC unit is removed the door reverts back to its normal function. I did no modification to the door or the door frame.

Folks ask if I hit my head on it getting into the camper. Never once! These campers are high and you really do not need the top door as you tend to enter under the door anyways. Newer version of these Pop-Up truck campers don’t even have the top door and all its troublesome weatherproofing issues.

This unit is super quiet. Doesn’t disturb me in the least. Much quieter than the AC in my bedroom in my house!

This AC dropped the temperature of my Palomino Bronco 1200 from 78 degrees to 65 degrees in under 30 minutes. It appears 64 degrees is the bottom limit because it cycles the compressor on and off once it reached that temperature.  65 degrees is A-OK with me! Recently in a 90 degree day the interior temperature was a nice 69 degrees


“Be Cool!”


Lots more pictures of modifications I’ve made to my Palomino Bronco are here:




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6 comments on “Air Conditioning in a Palomino Bronco Truck Camper”

  1. Jen Reply

    We’re thinking of buying this camper this week and copying your set up. What power source do you use? 100% hook up, what type of generator?

    • Roy Bertalotto

      We rarely use hook ups. Mostly boondocking with a single Honda 2000 generator. We use camping as a means to an end. Attending events where we are in the middle of acfield or in a parking lot.

  2. Bill Ebel Reply

    I just bought a Bronco popup truck camper and was trying to figure out the best way to add ac. Thank you for providing the great detail about your set up. I will definitely be copying it.

  3. Mike Smeaton Reply

    Roy, I would like to see pictures of your other modifications but the link above has expired. Would you be willing to send me some via email or provide a different link? I have the exact same camper.


    • Roy Bertalotto

      Sorry, but the picture hosting site I was using started charging exhorbiton rates and I lost all images. Unfortunately they only existed on that site.

  4. Dale's AC Reply

    Hey friend, thanks for the great content on AC. I am about to buy a Camper for my Dad who will be retiring soon and your lesson has taught me a lot. Thanks

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