Question Camping in a running car with AC on



I am wanting to camp in my van but I have to have AC. Is it safe to leave running when you have recirculating air and all windows closed?


Well-known member
The concern with running a vehicle for long periods of time is carbon monoxide entering the cabin. I would guess that if you made sure to park in a very well ventilated area and made sure all exhaust pipe were totally clear, the risk of CO2 poisoning would be low.

However, depending on where you plan to camp, you might not be able to run your vehicle all night. And take into consideration the effect on the environment idling a car for 8-10 hours. And I can't imagine it would be good for the wallet to pay for the gas that it would consume.

Another idea would be to get a site with electric (or bring a battery to plug into) and bring a portable air conditioner with you. You wouldn't have to run your vehicle and any risk would be lessened quite a bit.


Active member
I can't imagine the other campers will appreciate your car running all night either. I think the idea of some type of fan would be much better.

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