RV-ers who love dry camping are challenged on hot sunny days. Without electric hook-ups or solar panels, and no desire to disturb the peace or waste precious fuel by running a generator ongoing, the roof top A/C unit won’t be usable, so it is necessary to get creative when it comes to keeping as cool as possible.
Here are some tips to keep your RV cool on a hot sunny day — no air conditioner needed.
1. Positioning of your RV
If possible, set up your RV in a shady spot to reduce the impact of the sun. If there is no shade at all, position your RV so the sun shines on the side with the least amount of windows and keep the windows exposed to the sun closed.
2. Cover the Windows
Large windows transfer the most amount of heat. Even if they’re slightly tinted (or double paned), the interior temperature rises quickly as soon as the sun hits them. Cover the windows immediately by lowering the shades, this will cut the heat transfer instantly. There are many different types and brands of RV thermal/reflective window covers available at several stores such as Home Depot, Canadian Tire and Walmart, that greatly help with keeping the heat out, one of them is called ‘Reflectix’.
Always ensure to keep your RV well ventilated. Open the windows on the shady side and place a cordless fan in front of the open window to blow in the cooler air. Ceiling vent fans help tremendously when it comes to moving air around the RV. Brands such as Fan-tastic and Maxx-air both make RV specific fans that can move around a lot of air, but be careful not to keep them running too long as it drains your batteries.
4. Refrigerator Vent
The RV refrigerator gives off a lot of heat as it cools the food. This heat could get trapped in the RV and contribute to excessive warming. Most of the units have an external vent on the side or on the roof of the RV to remove this heat. Always ensure this vent is clean and not blocked by debris. You can also install a fan in the ventilation area of the fridge to remove even more heat build up. Finally, yet super important, be sure to shade the external panels of the fridge so it runs more efficiently and produces less heat.
5. Cover the Shower Skylight
If you have a skylight in your RV shower, be aware that a lot of heat comes in through this large exposed area from the sun. To prevent this, cover the skylight with a tarp. It is recommendable to always have one or more tarps in your RV – they make excellent screens and provide instant shade when tied between trees.
6. Cook Your Food Outside
This is essential to camping right? Use a camp stove or a grill to make tea, coffee and many meals. Use the Dutch or the crock oven instead of your inside oven and keep that heat outside.