Is there a way to air condition my 2005 toyota car without running the car? I would like to travel in my car but because of health issues I would need to be able to sleep in my car also, or at least rest for long periods. I have read about the extra battery to power computer, etc. But if it's hot, is a battery powerful enough to run an air conditioner?

3 Answers 3


In a normal car, there is no way to run the A/C without running the car. To make the A/C work, it requires a compressor to act on the refrigerant, and the compress runs off of the engine, not the battery. Even with a spare battery, this would not work. You would have to have an aftermarket A/C unit installed which might run off of a battery, but I don't know of any for automotive use which doesn't involve punching a hole in the roof of your car and attaching a unit there.

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    To give an idea, the AC compressor requires several kW to run, an electric motor this powerful would drain your battery in minutes.
    – Hobbes
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 7:40

5000btu a/c with a Honda eu2000i generator. Generator will run 8 to 9 hrs off 1gallon of gas. I work in the oilfield and sit in my truck all day. This is what I use. You can also run a phone charger and small radio with it.


The A/C compressor is too tough for an electric motor running off of a battery to turn for extended periods. You do get automotive airconditioning systems that run off the battery, but the problem is that they are so feeble that they only really work when it's cold enough that you don't need them in the first place. They use water instead of refrigerant to cool you down, so the water needs to be chilled in the first place.

A big aftermarket fan that plugs into the lighter socket and a spray bottle with chilled water might be a cheapo solution. The circulating air will ensure the water evaporates, so don't worry about mould. Just leave the windows open a tiny bit.

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    Work OK until the monsoon season. Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 23:31
  • Haha. Yeah I bet that would be a problem. Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 10:10

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