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Hot Weather Hacks: Tricks for Staying Cool During Summer Camping

Ingenious Ways to Maintain a Chill Oasis Amidst the Summer Blaze

If you plan to do a lot of summer camping this year, you may be wondering what you can do to keep your RV cool while you enjoy the summer weather. The good news? There are a lot of little things you can do to keep your home-on-wheels perfectly comfortable even when the temperatures begin to soar. 

In this article, we will give you some of our favorite summer camping tips so you can keep cool and have a blast this camping season!

Do Your A/C Maintenance Before Summer Camping

First and foremost, it is important that you stay on top of your RV air conditioner maintenance. Make sure the fins on your A/C are clean and straight, and change out that filter. These simple things can help your RV A/C work as efficiently as possible, something that is going to help tremendously when it comes to keeping your rig cool.

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Choose Summer Camping Destinations Wisely

Another thing that can have a huge effect on how comfortable you are in your RV during the summer? Where you travel, of course!

For instance, summer camping in Acadia National Park or Michigan’s UP (Upper Peninsula) is going to be much more comfortable than summer camping in south Texas. Can’t get that far from home? Even just choosing a site close to the water can help a lot. 

Park in the Shade

In addition to parking near a water source, you should also choose a site that is in the shade. This might require a bit of research on your part if you have to reserve a specific site, or it could mean driving around some if you choose your own site when you arrive at the campground. Either way, having shade is worth the extra effort. 

…Or Create Your Own Shade

If you absolutely cannot find a site with a good shade tree, at least put out your awning. This won’t help as much as shade that covers the whole rig, but it will keep some sunshine from coming in your windows and will offer a shady place to sit outside. 

Switch to LED Lights

Did you know that traditional light bulbs actually put off a good amount of heat? They totally do, and if you have a few lights on throughout the RV, they can absolutely increase the temperature in your rig.

For this reason, we highly recommend switching over to LED lightbulbs. This is a super simple process that will help keep your rig cool and save electricity!

Install a SoftStartRV

During the hottest parts of the summer, an RV air conditioner is a must. That said, it’s not always possible to have 50-amp (or even 30-amp) hookups to run that air conditioner.

This is where SoftStartRV can help. This super nifty device reduces the number of amps required to get your RV A/C up and running, so you can even run it off of a 20-amp house outlet, a 2000-watt generator, or a 2000-watt inverter. 

Invest in Reflectix for Summer Camping

A lot of cool air escapes through your RV windows, and heat from the sunlight can also enter here. Fix this by adding a layer of Reflectix to each of your RV windows. Yes, this will make your RV a bit cave-like, but it will also help the A/C keep up during the hottest parts of the day so you don’t feel like you’re melting while sitting inside your RV. 

Cover Skylights 

Another place cool air escapes and heat enters? The skylights in your rig. Cover those bad boys up with Reflectix, pillows, cardboard, or a cover made specifically for this purpose to keep your nice cool air indoors and block the heat from entering. 

Install Rainproof Vent Covers

Even if you aren’t using your air conditioner at any point while summer camping, you will still want to be able to keep air moving through the rig. This is where your RV roof vents come into play. Open those up and run a fan, like the MaxxAir vent fan, and you’ll be able to get a nice breeze going. 

The problem? You can’t leave your vents open when it rains. The solution to this problem is, of course, rainproof vent covers, which allow you to leave your vents open no matter the weather without fear of getting water inside your RV. 

Not using your vents? Be sure to cover them up just like you did with your skylights and windows. These pillows are great for that!

Try a Swamp Cooler for Summer Camping

Another thing you can try if you want to do some air-conditioner-free summer camping is a swamp cooler. This will not keep your rig as cool as a regular A/C, but it is an alternative way to keep cool and worth a try. 

You can purchase a portable swamp cooler or build your own, as the video above demonstrates.  A simpler solution: put a wet towel around your neck for a personal swamp cooler. 

Jump in a Lake

Swimming is always a great way to cool off. Hopefully, that body of water you parked by is swimmable, and you can jump in during the hottest part of the day for a refreshing swim. If not, a campground pool will do just as well. 

Cook Outdoors

Lastly, we have found it is always best to do your cooking outdoors while summer camping. Not only will the food taste better cooked out on the grill, but you’ll also prevent heat from building up in the RV. This will make the rig a much more comfortable place when it’s time to head inside and get ready for bed. 

Charting a Cool Course Through Summer Camping Adventures

As you can see, there are plenty of great ways to keep cool and comfortable while summer camping. Don’t let the heat keep you from getting out there and enjoying the great outdoors! Instead, change your A/C filter, install a SoftStartRV, pick up some Reflectix, and park under a tree. You’ll make awesome camping memories without ever feeling uncomfortably hot, and we can’t think of anything better than that!

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2 thoughts on “Hot Weather Hacks: Tricks for Staying Cool During Summer Camping”

  1. Good article.
    Unfortunately, some of the information is not entirely correct.
    You are recommending a “Soft Start” be added to your AC, so it can be ran off of a 2000 watt generator or 2000 watt inverter.
    I purchased and installed a soft start on my AC because this was what they were advertising. Run your AC with a 2000 watt generator, etc. When my AC failed to start using the new Soft Start, I contacted the company. The customer service was less than stellar. Further, the representative told me: “Our soft start is designed to work with a Honda 2000 Watt Generator, there is no guarantee it will work with other generators”. I sure wish I had known that before I purchased the Soft Start unit and the 2000 Watt generator I purchased. Seems like that should have been disclosed up front. Not after the two major purchases were made.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your experience. I am not a personally a representative for SoftStartUSA, nor do I speak for them. I have had their product installed on my rig for several years though. Whether it runs with your generator depends on a number of factors (size of AC, actual running watts of generator, how much other stuff is running on your rig at the same time such as converter, fridge, any other electronics, etc.).
      I’ve run my AC with a SoftStart on it with a 1500W inverter on a lithium power station, but to do it I had to switch my fridge to propane, and turn off other appliances, but it did start.

      You may have tried it already, but if not I would try making sure to turn off other electronics and switch the fridge to gas and see if the generator will start just the AC.

      Thanks for being a Camper Smarts Reader and for the comment.


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