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Keeping Your RV Cool and Comfortable This Summer

Summer is a prime time for RVers to hop aboard their homes-on-wheels and hit the road for fun-soaked adventures. Seasonal events are bountiful, outdoor activities abound, and laid back vibes are in full swing. However, there is one part of summer travel that can put a damper on the season’s idyllic image: the blistering heat. Across the country, many areas have seen record-high temperatures, and these high temps can add an element of frustration to an otherwise perfect travel scenario. The good news is that there are ways to mitigate the discomfort that comes from the heat and keep an RV cool and comfortable.

If you’re an RVer who would like to beat the heat on your summer treks, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:

Replace Air Conditioning Filters Often

If your air conditioner doesn’t appear to be working as optimally as usual, check to see if the air filters are dirty. When air filters are covered in a build-up of dirt and grime, the air conditioner can’t work efficiently to keep the temperature down. While it’s always a good idea to read the manufacturer’s suggestion of how to best clear your filter, most can be cleaned with soapy water and then reinstalled once they have been rinsed and allowed to dry. Others can be cleaned simply by vacuuming the dirt away. Of course, if a filter is in significantly worn-out shape, it may be a better idea to replace the filter altogether.

Utilize Your RV Awning

When you set out on an RV adventure, you most likely don’t want to spend the entire day cooped up inside. Part of the thrill of the RV lifestyle is getting to take in the sights of the great outdoors, but the fun of this can be hampered by unrelenting sunbeams. By creating a comfortable area underneath your RV awning, you can escape the sunrays and still get to enjoy the view from the shade. There are also sun-blocking shades that are designed to attach onto awnings and create a stronger force-field from the sun.


Awning Photo

The type of fabric that your RV awning is made of also makes a difference in how hot or cool it stays underneath the canopy. Acrylic and vinyl fabrics are the most commonly utilized fabrics for awnings, and while they each have their merits, acrylic tends to be a better option for keeping the heat out. Acrylic is made from breathable woven fabric that allows for better air circulation, and this tends to keep the temperature cooler under the canopy than vinyl does.

Eat Cold Food or Cook Outside

Cooking inside your RV during a hot summer day is an easy way to turn your rig into a sauna. Instead, consider eating meals that don’t require heat, such as sandwiches or salads. If you have your heart set on meals that cannot be made al fresca, consider cooking in the evenings or early mornings, so everything is prepared in advance and only needs to be reheated later. You can also always barbeque or cook over a campfire in order to keep the heat away from the inside of your RV.

Take Your RV to Cool Locations

One of the best benefits of having a home-on-wheels is the benefit of being mobile. If you live in an area where sweltering heat is a constant reality during summertime, consider hitting the road and heading to higher elevations where the temperatures are a bit more tolerable. Mountain towns tend to remain cooler, and the views tend to be breathtaking, which is all the more reason to head to higher hills.

Switch to LED Lights

LED lights use less energy, last longer, and run cooler than incandescent and halogen bulbs. This makes them an option that saves money in the long run, and they also help keep a home cooler than the alternatives. If you haven’t made the switch to LED lights yet, doing so can be a great way to benefit your budget and help your RV feel a bit more comfortable during the hot summer days.

Park Strategically

Where and how you park your RV can make a difference in how hot it gets inside during the day. If possible, always try to park in the shade. If you’re making a reservation at an RV park, you can ask if the campground attendant has any campsites with shade available. If you’re going boondocking, try and do some research on whether or not the area you plan to camp at has adequate shade coverage. Choosing an area you know is abundant in trees can help improve the chances that you will be shielded from the sun.


Awning Photo

How you orient your RV also plays a role in how cool it stays inside. If possible, try to park your RV in a manner that allows the side with the most windows to be in the shade. Keeping windows away from the sun will prevent heat gain from raising the temperature inside.

Prevent Heat from Entering Your RV

You can also minimize heat gain by preventing the sunlight from entering through the RV windows. Installing skylight covers, sun-blocking window shades, or window awnings are effective outlets to achieve this. If you’re looking to keep costs low, an inexpensive way to prevent heat from entering your RV is to cover your windows with reflective insulation, an affordable material that will reflect the sun away from your RV.

Closing Thoughts

Soaring temperatures can put a wrench in the good vibes that typically accommodate summer RV trips, but fortunately, there are options RVers can take to mitigate the discomfort that sweltering sun rays often bring. Hopefully this information helps you narrow down a few actionable ways to stay cool and comfortable during your own summer travels. By using a variety of different strategies, you can cover all of the bases you need to enjoy the laid back ambiance of summer without getting bogged down by the sweltering heat.

Happy trails!

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