On scorching summer days, you want your RV to be a retreat from the heat, but keeping your RV cool when it’s hot outside can be a challenge. To help you stay cool and comfortable during the sunny season, check out these tips and tricks to turn your tin can in the sun into a refreshing oasis under the sun!
Where you park your RV will play a huge factor in determining its internal temperatures, so park in the shade whenever possible. When traveling to hot destinations, we usually do one of two things: refer to a campground map when making a reservation and choose a site with trees for shade, or we call to ask which sites offer shade and choose one of those. Unfortunately, these sites are usually the most popular, so they go fast. Try to position your RV so that the midday sun will shine on the side of your unit with the least amount of window area. Deploy and pitch your awning to provide additional shaded protection to your RV. You can also use tarps and sun screens to maximize shade. Block out the sun’s rays by keeping your blinds down and your curtains closed inside the rig. Covering your windows and skylights with reflective bubble insulation will dramatically help in deflecting the heat away from your RV even more.
Generate Air Circulation
Proper air ventilation inside your unit can help to expel warm air by replacing it with fresh air. For optimal air circulation, open up your ceiling vents and the windows on the shaded side of your unit. Keep the windows that are directly in the sun’s rays closed and covered. Fresh, cool air will circulate through the open windows and force warm air, which rises, out through the ceiling vents. When the sun has gone down and temperatures start to cool, you can open opposing windows for superior cross ventilation on hot summer nights.
Cooking inside of your RV can make for some pretty uncomfortable conditions, especially when the weather is hot and muggy. To avoid this, do your cooking outside whenever possible. Utilize your grill, exterior camp kitchen, or the campfire as much as you can, and plan for foods that will compliment the high temperatures, like fresh fruits and veggies. It can also be a smart idea to cook extra food intentionally, and then eat the leftovers later. Not only will this generate less heat, but it will use up less of your electricity or propane.
Add-Ons & Upgrades
- Attic Vents: The more attic vents you have, the more air will be ventilated. These help to remove excess heat that can get trapped beneath your RV’s ceiling.
- Vent Covers: These inexpensive covers are an easy DIY install and they allow you to promote ventilation even when it’s raining outside.
- Air Conditioners: Most RV designs feature an air conditioning unit on the top of the RV. Keep the filter in your unit clean for optimal performance.
- Evaporative Coolers: If you are handy and up for a DIY project, you can even make one of these contractions yourself, using a cheap cooler or a five-gallon bucket.
- Ceiling Fans: Having a ceiling fan in your unit can drastically improve your ventilation as it creates a constant source of circulation (and a nice breeze!).
- Insulation: While insulation can help you stay warm in winter months, it can also help to trap in your cold air, keeping you cooler in the summer months too!
- LED Lights: Switching from incandescents to LED lighting will produce dramatically less heat, allowing your RV to stay cooler.
- Paint Color: Dark objects absorb a lot more heat than light-colored objects, so if your RV has a dark exterior, consider painting your roof a lighter color to absorb less heat. Keep this in mind when choosing interior accessories or fabrics (on pillows, bedding, window treatments, etc).
There are a lot of methods available for keeping RVs cool during the hotter months, and they all have varying degrees of success depending on the intensity of your conditions. Hopefully, with a few of these simple tips and tricks, you won’t be dreading the sun, but rather soaking it up comfortably knowing that your RV is there to provide a pleasant retreat when the heat becomes too unbearable.