Laying a portable AC on it's side

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by zhaddock, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. zhaddock

    zhaddock New Member

    May 22, 2012
    Do any of you that have portable AC units lay them on their sides so that you can transport them in the PUP? I just bought one last night and allthough it doesnt say anywhere in the manual that you cant do this I have seen some that say they can not be stored in any orientation other than upright.
  2. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

    My portable has now passed on to new hands (as, too, the p'up camper!) - and I remember being told not to do the laying on it's side. Do not recall if that was in the owner's manual or the folks instructions I bought it from. Ir was not a problem for us as I have a pick'em up truck with a bed cover and had a special spot where it rode just perfect when going along.
  3. Tekboy46

    Tekboy46 New Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    Central Oklahoma
    I've read that here too, but we've had a portable in our popup for years and it travels and is stored on its side in the camper. We've never had issues with it and it always cools when started up. I made stiff foam "cradles" that keep it off the floor while on its side, and I feel keeps it from shifting around while we're towing. The foam, I feel, isolates it from road vibration too. I suppose it would be best to store it upright but there just isn't room for that.
  4. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

    Aug 2, 2011
    Steinbach, MB
    You can store it on its' side but you should let it sit in the upright position for 12-24 hours so that the compressor oil and refrigerant can settle before you begin using it.

    Sounds like it'd be fine to store it laying down for the winter but it'd be pretty much a waste of time if you take it camping but can't use it right away.

  5. Hawkester

    Hawkester Hawkesnest

    May 23, 2008
    SE Wisconsin
    Any thing with a refrigerant charge in it (a/c unit, refrigerator,.....) can be stored on it's side. As stated the compressor oil and refrigerant can migrate to a place it shouldn't be so you should place it in it's normal operating position before starting it.

    How long to wait before you start the unit is up for debate, some say 30 min some say 24 hours. Reality is each design will be different.

    If it were me I would leave it up right until you load the trailer, travel on side if you have to and then when you arrive set it upright first thing. By the time your done setting up you'll probably be fine.
  6. larson6

    larson6 New Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    I've always been told that if you lay it on its side, to leave it upright for at least the same amount of time it was sideways before turning it on.
  7. mrkrag

    mrkrag Active Member

    Dec 22, 2017
    Palm Harbor, FL
    2 years??
    I'm reviving this thread because I'm gonna find out the hard way. Owner's manual says give it 24hrs upright after being laid down, I say that's just never gonna happen. So as someone else pointed out, I'll just get it upright ASAP to give it as much time as possible to trickle back to the bottom before turning it on. So it will get a few hours or so to do that, depending on what time we hit camp. I'm not expecting it to fight daytime summer heat in FL so it won't be coming on until bedtime anyway.

    By end of summer I will either have a still working AC or the answer we are looking for...
  8. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2011
    Santa Clarita, California
    Put A/C in your TV for it to stand upright. There is no rule for the A/C to be in camper. Do that the night before you leave for camping.
  9. J Starsky

    J Starsky Active Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    Had a fridge fixin buddy tell me when I moved a fridge: The number of hours it sits on its side equals the number of hours it must sit upright before using. Worked for me!
  10. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    I used a portable in my Apache for 8 years. I stored it on its side in the trailer between trips. I stood it up and usually plugged it in within 15 minutes. It must not have hurt it. The AC is 11 years old now and still works great.
  11. Sneezer

    Sneezer Active Member

    Aug 8, 2015
    DFW, TX
    I found a Haier at Target on clearance last year that is short enough to fit under the bunks upright. I have done some limited testing with it and so far it seems to work OK. I am using it to supplement the roof during extended camping in the TX summer heat.
    mrkrag likes this.
  12. mrkrag

    mrkrag Active Member

    Dec 22, 2017
    Palm Harbor, FL
    No place for it at home, small house and no garage. Most of what goes with the camper has to stay with it. Back of Jeep usually has large cooler, duffels for clothes and bedding
  13. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida

    X 2 I agree totally, seen it a few times when I had the appliance shop ,This includes any type refer, freezer etc,
  14. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

    Jul 18, 2013
    Thornville, OH
    I wait 4 hours with full size fridges.
  15. 3hooligans

    3hooligans Member

    Jul 27, 2014
    Compromise, Lean it in so it rests at a 45 degree angle. The one we use sits upright with an inch to spare, but it also says allow two hours before plugging in stored horizontally.
  16. mrkrag

    mrkrag Active Member

    Dec 22, 2017
    Palm Harbor, FL
    Model?? I still have time to swap. I did not see any that looked short enough, and after this season's hurricanes and power outages, let's say we are big fans of Haier now..
  17. mrkrag

    mrkrag Active Member

    Dec 22, 2017
    Palm Harbor, FL
    I don't for an instant doubt that they need some time upright to come to equilibrium. But there has to be a finite limit on how long that takes, no way it can literally be a linear correlation to how long it spent in a non vertical orientation. Cause if my AC spends 4 months in the winter laid down (not that I would), I can't imagine it would take 4 months to creep back to where it belongs. I imagine the "sweet spot" has to be about 24-48 hours.

    As a few others have either opined or confirmed through experience, I am hoping the time from parking to going to bed that night will be sufficient. If I'm wrong, and my $340 only lasts 2 seasons, I'll still call that money well spent to sleep cool and know better next time anyway.
  18. Sneezer

    Sneezer Active Member

    Aug 8, 2015
    DFW, TX

    This should be the one I have. Target sold it last year and I got it during the end of season clearance.


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