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How To Keep Your RV Cool This Summer
It’s almost summertime, where livin’ is easy and camping is a must! Summer is known as the camping season in the United States. Did you grow up going camping in the summer? As full-time RVers, we basically camp all year long. Living in Florida, we’ve learned that summertime can be brutal in an RV. RVs aren’t insulated as well as houses are, making them hard to keep cool in the summer heat. Since our RV is our home full-time, we wanted to keep it as cool and comfortable as possible. We’ve tried many things over the last year and here are the 11 most effective ways to keep your RV cool in the summertime.
1. Consider the orientation of your RV
It’s not always possible to choose where you park your RV, but when it is consider your spot carefully. Choose a shady spot, either with full shade coverage or enough shade to cover open vents (fridge and AC). If a shady spot isn’t available, consider a spot where your large windows will have the least amount of sun exposure.
2. Install black out shades or curtains
Blackout shades or curtains help to repel the sun and keep heat out. The best option is to install custom shades that fit perfectly to your windows. Select Blinds and Home Depot are great places to custom order blinds. Although it’s the best option, it can be very pricey and may not be the best option if you don’t use your RV often. For a cheap, temporary fix, you can use a reflective sun visor for cars. You can cut them down to size and put them up during the day.
3. Use awning as a way to shade the RV
If you can’t find a shade spot, use your awning as shade during the heat of the day. It will help to block the sun from your door if you’re coming in and out frequently. Remember, only use the awning if you are home and the wind gusts are low!
4. Purchase a portable AC unit or use a window AC unit
A portable AC unit can help cool those hotspots in your RV. Bunkrooms are known to be hotspots, as they are usually the furthest from the AC. A portable AC unit can help to cool that room down. It also helps to alleviate some of the work from your main AC unit. You could also get a small countertop AC unit to keep next to your bed to cool you off at night. If you travel in a hotter climate and want a more permanent solution, you can install a window unit and run it from a separate power cord.
5. Use fans to circulate the air inside the RV
An oscillating tower fan can help to circulate cool air. Tower fans take up less space and can tuck into a corner or fit in underbelly storage when not in use. You can use a fan to suck cool air from the coldest part of your RV. We have a fifth-wheel is a dual AC and the master bedroom is the coldest room. We turn it on high and use the fan to suck the air from the room to the main living space.
6. Use ceiling ventilation and fans to suck out hot air
Hot air rises and ceiling vents are a great way to suck that hot air out. Most newer models have fans built into the ceiling vents to help. If you’re using ceiling vents, make sure you only have them open when you are home just in case the weather changes.
7. Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible
Doors and windows are the main source of heat. Keep them closed as much as possible and use blinds or curtains to keep the sun out.
8. Avoid cooking inside as much as possible
Cooking, especially with a gas oven or stove, gives off a lot of heat. Cook outside as much as possible or use appliances that give off less heat, like a griddle or instantpot.
9. Clean air filters frequently
Your AC unit can’t run as effectively if the filters are dirty. You can clean your unit with a vacuum and wash your filters weekly with warm, soapy water. This will help to eliminate dust and prevent build-up. I recommend replacing them monthly in the summertime to keep your unit running effectively.
10. Swap out incandescent lights for LED bulbs
Incandescent lights give off a lot of heat. If you have incandescent lights, keep your lights off as much as possible or replace them with LED bulbs.
11. Cover Skylights
You would be surprised at how much heat can come from skylights. If you have a skylight in your bathroom, you may notice that it is the hottest spot in the RV. You can keep your bathroom door closed, cover the outside with a tarp, or you can fill the space with a skylight insulator.
A hot RV doesn’t have to ruin the summer camping season. Whether you’re a full-time RVer or a weekend traveller, a hot RV can be miserable. These tips and tricks can help you keep your RV cool all summer long, even in the hottest climates. You can shop all of our favorite RV products on our Amazon Storefront. For more RV tips and tricks, check out the RV LIFE category on our blog or follow along on Instagram.
Laura Jean says
This is so helpful, Chelsea! Especially going into summer I’ll be using many of these tips! Thank you!
Chelsea Hawley says
We’ve tried all the tips and tricks down here! I’m glad they are helpful for you.