The dog days of summer always feel like the longest and hottest of the year, and sometimes, you just want to escape into a cool space to relax. If you’re camping in your RV, finding that cool space can be a challenge, especially if your rig heats up quickly every day. Body heat, movement, cooking, and the sun beating down on the vehicle can all contribute to increased interior temperatures.
Luckily, many RVs come with air conditioners, which can drastically reduce the heat in your rig. But just like any machine, it takes energy for an air conditioner to cool a space down, which can be costly and even wasteful. And while the energy needed to cool your RV in the dead of summer is less than what is required to cool a traditional brick-and-mortar home, you can still find ways to help make your rig more energy efficient.
Here are some tips you can use to keep your rig cooler during hot weather:
- Apply weather stripping – Hot air can infiltrate your rig (and cool air can escape it) in a variety of locations, making it harder for your air conditioner to cool the interior. To minimize air flow and reduce the strain on your cooling equipment, use weather stripping around doors, windows, and even the storage bays under the belly of the RV. You can also use expanding foam spray and carefully inject it into holes and gaps where hoses and other connections enter or exit the RV.
- Add stuffing into vents – Your rig’s air vents other openings through which air can flow freely. While weather stripping can also be applied to your vents, consider stuffing the vents with foam insulation or pillows to prevent air leakage in either direction.
- Get a skirt for your RV – A skirt that wraps around the lower half of your rig acts as an insulator, reducing the amount of air flow that enters and exits the underbelly of your rig. While this is a helpful tool in cooler weather (to help hold heat within the rig), it can also serve an insulating purpose in hot temperatures.
- Use light-blocking curtains and shades – Letting natural sunlight into your RV is a wonderful idea, but the radiant heat that comes along with sunlight can warm up your rig quite a bit. If you use light-blocking curtains and shades during the parts of the day when the sun is most intense (10 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m.), you can reduce the amount of heat your rig absorbs and thus make it cooler inside.
- Limit cooking to outside – The act of cooking food can heat up the interior of your RV – think about how much warm, moist vapor can be released into the air just while boiling water for pasta! Instead of cooking inside, utilize a grill or campfire as much as possible for outdoor cooking.
Following these tips can help keep your RVs interior as cool as possible so that when you’re ready to escape the heat of the day, you have a comfortable space to retreat!
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