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Don’t let scorching sun sizzle out RV fun

By Darla Preston

This winter season has witnessed many record-high temperatures all over the country. Most RVers haven’t complained one bit about the abnormally warm weather, but if this trend continues, there is no telling how unbearably hot this spring/summer is going to turn out to be.

Scorching heat doesn’t make for a fun camping trip, as it can easily send even the most dedicated traveler longing for the relief of centralized air. To keep the sizzling upcoming months from inhibiting your beloved RV treks, here are a few tips to help you beat the heat so that you can stay cool and comfortable on the road:

Use RV awnings and window shades to block the sun

It’s obvious that keeping cool in your RV relies heavily on blocking out the sun, so make sure that you have the equipment necessary to minimize the sun’s entrance as much as possible. Sun shades for the windows are an absolute must, as UV rays penetrating through will quickly lead to elevated temperatures in your vehicle.

There are many brands that sell RV window shades, but you can also find cost-effective DIY options out there as well.

On a similar note, a durable RV awning that molds to your specific vehicle will allow you to manage the blistering heat while still enjoying the outdoors. It can provide shade outside so that you don’t have to stay cooped up in your RV for your entire adventure, and you can further expand your refuge from the sun by investing in extensions/screens that attach to your awning to give you expansive protection.

Also, remember that if you’re looking for a simple fix, taking along a few tarps can help you to create an easy escape from the boiling degrees as well.

Avoid cooking inside during the middle of the day

RVs provide the luxury of being able to prepare home-cooked meals no matter where your travels take you, but during intense heat waves, you may be better off cooking outside.

Using the stove in your home-on-wheels can instantly and dramatically raise the temperature and create a sticky and stuffy environment, which is exactly what you don’t want during the summer months. By bringing a grill on your trip to cook outside with, or by eating cold, easy-to-prepare meals (such as PB&J) during the day, you can keep yourself fed without feeling like you’re being cooked too.

Try to ensure your campsite has shade

To avoid landing in a location that offers no solace from the heat, don’t book your camping spots blindly. When looking for new campgrounds to explore, you should always research the area in-depth to help you best prepare for what kind of environment to expect.

Browsing through camping/RV forums, as well as reading reviews and testimonials of RV parks, are excellent ways to gain practical insight into a new location before you commit to traveling there.

Also, don’t be afraid to call and ask to reserve a shady spot in advance. If a campground attendant is able to save you a particular seat, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll have some protection from the oppressive daylight.

Create ventilation when trying to save energy

While most modern-day RVs do have air conditioners built in, using them non-stop can cause a huge spike in your energy use. If you’re trying to be conservative, try to limit your AC to the hottest times of the day, and in order to encourage optimal efficiency, don’t forget to keep your AC filter consistently clean.

When your AC unit isn’t being utilized, or if you simply don’t have one, creating a well-ventilated space can help cool off your motorhome quite significantly.

If you find a camping spot where you are at least parked partially in the shade, you can open the windows on the shady side and leave the sunny-side ones closed and covered, as this will prevent the warmth from the sun from overpowering the coolness of the shade.

You can also use a small fan to keep the air circulating while still being more energy-efficient than if you were to use the AC for hours-on-end.

Coming to a close

At the end of the day, keeping your RV as cool as possible during the months of sweltering weather conditions plays a major role in allowing your travels to be relaxed, comfy, and most of all, enjoyable.

While you can’t truly avoid the heat entirely, there are simple steps you can take to minimize how heavily it negatively affects your treks, and using the above advice is an excellent way to start. That being said, stay cool, stay safe, and travel on!

About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is the editor of Let's RV and the editor of RV Daily Report. A Wisconsin native and father of three grown daughters, he is now based out of Arizona and travels the country in his Winnebago Adventurer motorhome interviewing industry professionals and interesting RVers alike. He can be reached at

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