10 Tips and Tricks for Staying Cool in Your RV This Summer
During the heady days of summer, keeping cool in your RV can sometimes be a challenge, even with the AC on full blast. But don’t let high temps keep you from checking items off your RV summer road trip bucket list.
When you run your AC at top speed, often times it overloads the system. You don’t want that, especially on very hot days. When your RV air conditioner is operating properly, the difference between the air conditioned inside and the outside should be between 16-22 degrees. You will want to utilize some strategies to supplement your cooling system whenever possible.
Luckily, with some know-how and a little pre-planning, you don’t have to sweat it out in your RV this summer. Follow these tips to keep your RV cool so you can focus on having fun.
Park in the Shade
When selecting a campsite, whenever possible, pick a spot in the shade. This may sound obvious, but it really does do wonders in preventing your RV from becoming a sauna. If possible, orient your RV so that it is shaded during the warmest part of the day – mid to late afternoon. Use your awning as shade in the morning hours.
Create Your Own Shade
To create even more shade, invest in some white tarp to rig up a nice shady spot to relax. Use tree-friendly straps, such as wide nylon to avoid damaging nature’s natural air conditioning (the trees). If there are no trees, tie one side of the tarp to the top of your rig and secure the other side to the ground using tent stakes to create a triangular shaded area.
Go With the Flow, Baby
One simple way to keep things cool inside is to orient your RV to where the wind is blowing. In the U.S. winds generally blow west to east, but check the local weather conditions in your area and adjust accordingly. Open the windows and let the air flow through early in the day; you may have to close them and draw the shades when it gets really hot later on. Use window screens to keep bugs, dust, and debris at bay.
Protect Your Windows
Glass is a poor insulator and tends to let in heat. For your RV’s windshield and any bay windows you may have, invest in good black out curtains or insulated window covers. Also, it may be helpful to install reflective insulation to reflect the sun away from the windows. Shop your local home improvement stores where they have various sizes of reflective insulation at affordable prices.
Keep Your Cooling System Efficient
Proper maintenance of your RV’s air conditioning system will ensure it doesn’t clunk out on you at the most inopportune times. Make sure that all filters remain clean, inspect, and replace them at regular intervals throughout the year, and at least every month during the summer.
Cook Your Meals ‘Al Fresco’
Summer is all about eating outdoors, so why not cook your meals outside as well? Using your tiny RV kitchen is a great way to unnecessarily heat up your home on wheels. Plan for lots of cold side dishes, and use that outdoor grill every day, if necessary! Besides, everyone loves a nice home-cooked meal fresh from the grill for that nice, smoky flavor.
Keep your Door and Skylight Shaded
If your RV has a skylight, it will attract heat when the sun is high in the sky. Use insulated covers to block out the rays and solar radiation. It will help keep your RV cooler. Same is true for doors, with or without windows. Always keep the door closed, and try to limit your camping crew from going in and out of the RV too much on hot days. If possible, position your RV so the door is facing south. This may be easier said than done, so try to strike a balance between shade and exposing large glass areas to the sun.
Use Proper Ventilation
Increase your RV’s coolness by installing vent covers over existing roof vents to help increase the ventilation system. They are easy to install, inexpensive, and let the fresh air in without the heat. Use a vent cover at both ends of the RV to promote cross-ventilation.
Make the Switch to LED
Perhaps you’ve already done this, or someone’s been beating you over the head with the notion, but LEDs really are the wave of the future. They also generate far less heat than your average light bulb. Consider replacing every single light source in your RV to keep it cool in the summer. Additionally, try to not use a lot of indoor lighting during the day.
Use a Swamp Cooler
It sounds so rustic, doesn’t it? If you are traveling through dry climates, using an evaporative cooler (a/k/a swamp cooler) is ideal. It can be an efficient way to cool your RV, and you can even DIY a swamp cooler! Just take a 5-gallon bucket, a fish tank pump, a forced air filter, and a bit of ingenuity. But hey, if that’s too complicated, just put a damp towel over your head and neck and sit in front of a nice fan. It has a similar effect.
Take it easy and stay cool this summer at Leisure Resort!