8 Tips for Keeping Your RV Cool Without Air Conditioning

Last updated on May 20th, 2021 at 11:05 am. Originally published on August 19th, 2015

For RVers who love dry camping and boondocking, hot days can be a challenge. With no electric hook-ups and no desire to disturb the peace by firing up the giant generator to run the roof top A/C unit, it’s necessary to get creative when it comes to keeping cool

Here are a few tips to keep your RV cool on hot day — no air conditioner needed.

1. Orientation of the RV

The direction in which you park your RV with respect to the sun has dramatic effects on the inside temperature. Set up your RV besides a shady tree to reduce the impact of sun. Also, orient your RV so the sun shines on the side with the least amount of windows. By keeping these tips in mind you can greatly reduce the amount of heat the penetrates the RV.

Shade the RV

Love Your RV

2. Cover the Windows

Large picture windows transfer the most amount of heat. Despite their slight tint (and even if they are double paned), the interior temperature rises steeply as soon as the sun hit them. In order to combat this, try covering the windows with a reflective bubble product called Reflectix, or lowering the shades. You will be surprised how it cuts the heat transfer immediately.

3. Ventilation

Always ensure that there is enough ventilation in the RV. The main goal is to pump the warm air out and bring the fresh air in. A simple way to do this is by opening the windows on the shady side, and closing them on the sunny, or warmer, side.

Ceiling vent vans 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.

4. Refrigerator Vent

The RV refrigerator gives off a lot of heat as it cools the food. This heat can get trapped in the RV and contribute to excessive warming.  Most of the units have an external vent on the side or the roof of the RV to remove this heat. Always make sure this vent is clean and not blockage by debris. You can also install an fan in the ventilation area of the fridge to remove even more heat build up. Finally, 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 during sunny days a lot of heat is entering in through this large exposed area. Prevent this problem by taking out the inner covering and replacing it with Reflectix insulation, or attaching a sun block with velcro tape.

6. Always Have Tarps

You should carry one or two tarps in your RV. They are highly useful as they provide instant shade. Attach a tarp to one of the nearby trees and you have just created a cool spot to hang out.

7. Switch to LED Lights

The OEM or the halogen lamps that came standard in your RV put out a lot of heat in comparison to LED bulbs. Making this simple switch can have a huge impact.

8. Cook Your Food Outside

Last but not the least — keep all of the heat generated by cooking outside. You can use a camp stove or a grill to make tea, coffee and many many meals. Use the Dutch or the crock oven instead of hot oven and keep that heat outside.

Source: Love Your RV

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