How to Keep Cool in Your RV During Summer

How to Keep Cool in Your RV During Summer


The inside of an RV can turn into a sauna during those scorching summer months. You might think you’ve accidentally parked in the Sahara instead of your favorite campsite. But don’t sweat it—there are plenty of ways to keep cool and make your summer RV adventures enjoyable.

The Power of Ventilation

Good airflow is essential when you’re trying to keep your RV cool. It’s the behind-the-scenes factor that can make or break your comfort level. Without adequate ventilation, the heat just sticks around, turning your RV into a sauna you never asked for.

Opening windows is a straightforward yet effective way to get the air moving. But don’t just open them randomly; be intentional. Open windows on opposite sides of the RV to create a cross breeze. This helps circulate the air and push out the hot, stale atmosphere.

Fans are another excellent tool for keeping things breezy. A quality oscillating fan can make a noticeable difference. Place it near an open window to draw in the fresh air and distribute it throughout the RV. If you have roof vents, use them to your advantage. Turn them on to remove the hot air that rises to the ceiling.

Ceiling fans are also worth considering if your RV doesn’t already have one. They’re relatively easy to install and can help circulate air more efficiently than smaller, portable fans. Just make sure the blades are spinning in the right direction to pull hot air up and away.

Don’t overlook the value of a good exhaust fan in the kitchen area, especially when cooking. Cooking generates a lot of heat, which needs an exit strategy. Turn on that exhaust fan to send it on its way.

Even your floor can help in keeping things cool. If your RV has floor vents, open them up. Hot air rises, so let the cooler air come in from below. It’s a small adjustment that can have a big impact.

The Magic of Reflective Surfaces

Reflective surfaces are like your RV’s personal bouncers, turning away unwanted heat. They work by reflecting sunlight, which in turn helps to keep the interior cool. It’s a simple science that can make a big difference in your comfort level.

Window film is a popular choice for adding reflective surfaces. You can find rolls of this stuff at most auto parts stores. It’s easy to apply, and you can do it yourself in an afternoon. Just clean the windows, cut the film to size, and stick it on.

Aluminum foil is another budget-friendly option. It might not win you any style points, but it’s effective. Just tape some foil to the windows, shiny side out, and you’ll notice the difference. If you’re parked for a while, this is a quick fix to keep the sun at bay.

Reflective tarps or sunshades are also worth considering. These can be placed on the outside of your RV, covering windows or even an entire side that’s facing the sun. They’re a bit more cumbersome to set up but offer excellent heat reflection.

Don’t forget about your skylights or roof vents. These areas can let in a lot of heat. Consider covering them with reflective material as well. Some people use reflective insulation boards, which can be cut to size and placed over these openings.

Reflective paint is another option, especially for those who want a more permanent solution. This special type of paint is designed to reflect sunlight and can be applied to the roof or sides of your RV. It’s a bit more of a commitment but can be highly effective.

Insulation Isn’t Just for Winter

Insulation is often associated with keeping warm, but it’s just as crucial for staying cool. Good insulation acts as a barrier, keeping the hot air out and the cool air in.

Foam boards are a popular choice for DIY insulation. They’re lightweight, easy to cut, and can be tucked into various nooks and crannies. Just measure the space, cut the board, and secure it in place. You’ll be amazed at how much cooler your RV feels.

Weatherstripping is another simple hack. Check around your windows and doors for any gaps that might be letting hot air in. A roll of weatherstripping from the hardware store can seal those gaps and improve your RV’s insulation.

Spray foam is also worth considering. It’s great for those hard-to-reach areas where traditional insulation might not fit. A can of expanding foam can fill in gaps and crevices, adding an extra layer of insulation where you need it most.

The Right Way to Use Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is often the go-to solution for beating the heat in your RV. But cranking it up to the max isn’t always the best strategy. You want to use it efficiently to keep your space cool without draining your energy resources.

One key tip is setting your AC to a moderate temperature. Blasting it might feel good for a minute, but it’s not sustainable. A moderate setting will keep you comfortable and conserve energy.

Regular maintenance is crucial for optimal performance. Clean or replace the filters every month during heavy use. A clogged filter can make your AC work harder, which isn’t good for the system or your energy bill.

The Importance of Shade

Parking in the shade is like finding an oasis in the desert. The temperature difference between sun and shade can be dramatic, and your RV will thank you for it. Plus, your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard, which is always a win.

If you’re scouting for a spot, look for large trees or structures that can provide ample shade. The goal is to keep as much of the RV as possible out of direct sunlight. This simple move can make your RV feel like a cool retreat instead of a hotbox.

But what if you’re in an open area with no natural shade? That’s where your RV awning cover comes into play. Extend it to create a shady area on one side of your RV. This not only gives you a cool outdoor space but also helps to lower the interior temperature.

Another option is to use portable sunshades or screens. These can be placed on the sunny side of your RV to block out heat. They’re easy to set up and can be moved around as the sun shifts.

Timing is Everything

When it comes to staying cool in your RV, timing can be a game-changer. Planning activities during the cooler parts of the day can make your RV experience much more enjoyable. Early mornings and late evenings are your friends here.

Hiking, sightseeing, or even just lounging outside are best done when the sun isn’t at its peak. You’ll not only feel more comfortable, but your RV will also stay cooler. It’s a win-win situation.

Now, about travel schedules. Driving your RV during the hottest parts of the day can be a real energy drain, both for you and your vehicle. Consider hitting the road early in the morning or as the sun starts to set. Cooler temperatures mean your RV’s air conditioning won’t have to work overtime.

When you do decide to drive, make sure your RV door lock is secure. A good lock not only keeps you safe but also ensures that the door is properly sealed. This helps maintain the internal temperature, making your air conditioning more effective.

If you’re someone who loves the nightlife, this is your time to shine. Many RV parks and campgrounds are quieter at night, and temperatures are generally cooler. It’s a great time to explore or simply enjoy some quiet moments.


Staying cool in your RV during those sizzling summer months is more than just a luxury; it’s a necessity for enjoying your travels to the fullest. The good news is that keeping your RV comfortable doesn’t have to break the bank. From smart use of air conditioning and ventilation to DIY insulation hacks and strategic parking, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat without roasting in your mobile home.