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The Must-Have Summer Gear and Tips for RVers Camping in Hot Weather

Published on July 13th, 2023
This post was updated on July 21st, 2023

Summers are hotter than ever, and this must-have summer gear for RVers can help you beat extreme heat to make the most out of your RV adventures. 

This selection of cooling gear will make your hot weather camping experience a breeze. Not only will this summer RVing gear and list of essentials keep you comfortable, but they’ll keep you safe under the scorching sun. 

The Essential Must-Have Summer Gear for RVers

It’s not your imagination. The Earth’s temperature has risen by an average of 0.14 Fahrenheit per decade since 1880, according to Although that is only around 2 degrees Fahrenheit total, most warming has occurred in the past 40 years with the most recent seven years being the warmest, according to NASA. So, you should not feel bad about needing a little extra help with our list of must-have summer gear for RVers.

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Your RV Needs a Good Fan

Even if your RV comes with three air conditioners, they can usually only keep the rig cooled down about 20 degrees less than the outside temperature. An A/C in an RV works hard to get cool air into the rig, but circulation is not always effective. Here’s how to help your RV A/C move cool air:

Place small floor or table fans around the RV.

Extra fans can stir the air or redirect A/C from the vents, which makes a significant difference in keeping your space cool.

Consider installing a ceiling fan.

The RV A/C air runs through ducts in the roof, so by the time it gets to the hot spots, it may heat up. A ceiling fan can help push the cool air down faster, as well as circulate it around your RV.

Buy at least one direct current (DC) fan.

You can run a DC fan without hookups, and it also won’t use up your RV’s energy reserves when summer boondocking.

Smart RV Shade Options for Summer RVing

It can be up to 20 degrees cooler in the shade (even better when there is a breeze, or if you have fans). There are many options to supply shade for your RV and yourself.

  • Park under trees if you are not trying to access the sun for your solar panels.
  • Keep light out. Add sunscreens, darkening shades, or Reflectix insulation to the windows and sides of your rig to keep the sun from beating on the sides of your rig. Area rugs and heavy curtains indoors can also absorb heat and prevent it from leaking into your rig.
  • Make shade with a 10×10 pop-up canopy. Portable pop-up tents can shade your outdoor picnic area.
RV Sunshade made with Reflectix insulation. (Image: Amazon)
RV Sunshade made with Reflectix insulation. (Image: Amazon)

Use the Outdoors to Your Advantage

Cook outside to keep heat out of your RV. (Image: Shutterstock)
Cook outside to keep heat out of your RV. (Image: Shutterstock)

Sometimes staying cool is about not heating up the RV. Think about anything you do that creates heat inside the rig and choose outdoor alternatives to doing them.

Top ways to prevent heat build-up in RV cupboards, your kitchen, living space, etc.

  • Cook Outside. Find yourself an RV barbecue grill. But make sure you can use it in RV parks according to the park rules. Cooking outdoors cuts down on heat in your rig.
  • Prepare meals ahead of time, or opt for chilled meals. You can also cook early morning or late evening to prevent building heat midday. Some of the must-have summer gear for RVers include portable ice makers, ice chests and small refrigerators.

The Right Summer Camping Clothes Help, Too

Whether you are spending time at the rig in the city, camping in the mountains, or exploring your bucket-list destination, you need the right clothing to keep you cool. From your head to your toes, there are principal factors to consider.

Arctic Air Evaporative Cooling Hat (Image: Amazon)
Arctic Air Evaporative Cooling Hat
For the most part, you can consider any joint in your body to be a potential heat area. The top of your head and bottom of your feet are too.

Know what the key heat points are on your body. This can help you decide what must-have summer gear for RVers to have on hand for your trip.

Examples of common heat points on most people

Know how to keep heat points cool in summer. (Image: Shutterstock)
Know how to keep heat points cool in summer. (Image: Shutterstock)

Here are various ways you can keep those heat points cool.

  • Head. Heat escapes from your head in winter, and takes the brunt of outdoor heat in summer. It is good to wear vented hats, letting the heat out but not the sun in.
  • Neck. Take a bandana, fill it with ice and tie it around the back of your neck. Plan well and you can freeze the entire neck scarf which can increase use time.
  • Wrist. Wet down wristbands or keep a damp paper towel to wipe down your wrists to help you feel cooler.
  • Knees. I hate the feeling when the back of my knees gets all sweaty. But it is your body’s way of cooling down. This is a clue you are getting too hot. Treat this area like you do your wrists.
  • Feet. For me, feet are my temperature gauge. Wear plastic flip flops so you can spritz your feet with water and sunscreen. Or consider wearing athletic shoes with cooling insoles.

Being an avid motorcyclist riding in all kinds of temperatures, I have learned these solutions on rides. These tips transfer over to personal gear to prep for summer RV travel

Bonus Tips for Summer Camping in Hot Weather

This must-have summer gear for RVers is not the only part of your arsenal for successful RVing in the summer. Here are straightforward hot weather camping tips you can add to your daily routine.

Find RV parks with community centers and pools.

These are wonderful places to escape potential heat in your rig during the hottest parts of the day. So, think about bringing pool toys, extra towels, and a cart to transport your outdoor gear.

Live your life around the heat.

Pick the hottest part of the day (usually between 3-6 p.m.) and go grocery shopping, see a movie, or do other indoor activities where someone else supplies the cool air conditioning.

Get the right summer boondocking gear.

If you prefer living off-grid, consider purchasing an extra propane tank and have an RV generator too. These tools can allow you to run an A/C for brief periods – enough to keep the heat at bay.

Wear moisture wicking clothing to cover as much skin as possible and keep the air moving.

PRO TIP: Never think wearing less clothes will keep you cooler when you are in the direct sun – it does not.

I hope these must-have summer gear for RVers suggestions as well as tips help you enjoy your hot weather summer getaways in your rig. Preparing for scorching heat ahead of time can make a realm of difference in your escapades. 

This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.

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