How to Keep an RV Cool in Summer Heat?

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Summers are the perfect time for RV travel. However, the high temperatures of the sweltering days can also make for an uncomfortable experience. Fortunately, with some pre-planning and gear, you’ll be able to stay cool and comfortable during your entire summer vacation. So, here are a few tips on how to keep an RV cool in the summer heat.

Tips on How to Keep an RV Cool in Summer Heat?

how to keep an rv cool in summer

1. Park in the Shade

One of the sure ways to prevent your RV from becoming a toasty sauna is by finding a campsite with shade. It might seem common sense but if you’re booking a parking spot months in advance, it can easily slip your mind.

That’s why before you make a reservation, do some research first. Look at the layout of the campground to determine which sites would have the most shade. Or just call them and ask which areas offer as much shade as possible.

On the other hand, if you arrive at a campground directly, without prior reservation, just look around to find the best spot.

2. Park in the Right Direction

The way you position your vehicle when parked at a campsite can also help in limiting the amount of heat entering your RV. Ideally, you want to position it so that most of the windows are facing away from the direction of the sun. The largest area of your RV’s glazing should face north instead of south. This way, when the sun starts shining, its rays will hit the least amount of windows, keeping your RV cooler and more comfortable.

3. Ensure Proper Ventilation

If you don’t have an air conditioner in your RV, you can prevent excess heat by ensuring that your vehicle has proper ventilation. If sufficient air circulation is not present in an RV, the air becomes stagnant. This causes the cool air to settle to the ground and the hot air to rise, bringing the overall temperature to an uncomfortable level.

To keep the inside of your recreational vehicle at a comfortable temperature, consider adding vent covers over the existing roof vents. They are inexpensive, simple to install and they encourage the circulation of fresh air.

You can also further improve the circulation by closing the sun facing windows and opening the ones on the shaded side. This will create a breeze in the RV and at the same time, it will also let the warm air out.

4. Use Small Portable Fans

You can also improve ventilation in your RV by assisting the air flow with a vent fan or a portable fan or two. Since these units are typically small and portable, you can place them anywhere you want in the RV. Alternatively, you can also find options that can be built into your roof.

5. Add an Air Conditioner

If you want to really cool down your RV space, consider getting an RV air conditioner. Though, keep in mind that this option of cooling your RV is the most expensive. And on top of that, they consume a lot of energy, so it might not be the best option for those who want to save energy.

That said, it is the most effective way of cooling your mobile, even in the most extreme temperature conditions.

And if you’re using an AC, make sure that you don’t leave any windows or doors opens. That might be difficult if you have kids or pets running in and out all day. However, try to minimize door openings, so you can keep your rig as cool as possible.

There are two main types of RV ACs: under bench and roof mounted ones. Do some research to decide which option would be more suitable for your recreational vehicle.

6. Install Patio Awning

If your RV doesn’t have a patio awning, we recommend you get one. It will give you extra shade, reducing the amount of light entering your RV. And it will also give you a covered area to enjoy the outside. On top of that, they are really easy to set up and use.

7. Protect Your Windows

One more way to keep the sunlight from entering your RV is by using window shades or reflective insulation. You can install either window awnings or window shades. Awnings are attached from the outside, while shades function similar to blinds. But both serve the purpose of blocking the light.

Alternatively, you can add to your windows reflective insulation. It typically looks like silver bubble wrap that you tape onto windows. And the function of this type of window insulation is not only to block the light but to also reflect it, keeping the sun and heat out.

You can use them to cover any windows or large spans of glass, such as windshields.

8. Use LEDs

Incandescent lights tend to get hot. And using them on hot summer days can add to the high temperature inside your RV. To avoid that, replace them with LEDs. They give off only a fraction of the heat of incandescent lights. They are also more energy efficient and they produce a brighter light.

Moreover, whether you use LEDs or incandescent lights, keep them off when you’re not using them. Both emit heat, especially the incandescent ones. So, if you’re camping in high temperatures, you may want to avoid that.

The same goes for all electronics and appliances. Their operation produces heat, warming up your RV space. On top of that, they draw electricity, which could otherwise be used for powering the AC.

9. Cook Outside

One more trick for keeping your RV cool in the summer heat is by cooking outside. Nothing heats the confined space of RV as running an oven or stove. So, use an outdoor grill or camp stove and take your cooking outside in a shade.

Moreover, on hot days consider skipping hot foods. Instead, cook cold foods, salads, fruit platters, and sandwiches.

10. Hydrate

During hot summer days, it’s also important to stay hydrated. The heat is making you sweat more and as a result, you’re losing moisture, especially when you’re staying active during the hottest parts of the day. That’s why in the summer you should drink more water than you usually do in order to ensure that you’re getting enough liquids.

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