About the only places in North America with temperatures below 90-100 degrees in the summer are on the extreme Northwest or Northeast coasts, in the mountains above 7,000 feet, or in far north Canada or Alaska. If you can’t escape to a great, cool weather place for the summer, here are seven tips for keeping your rig cool in the heat.
Put Reflectix on Your Windows
Reflectix is an aluminum foil type bubble wrap insulation. It’s durable and lightweight, but bulky, so you’ll need to have a place to store it. The optimum place to put up the Reflectix would be on the outside of the windows, with removable painters tape. But that is not always practical, especially in high wind areas, or if you move a lot. Most RVers cut it to size, and wedge it into the inside of the windows.
Park With Your Windshield Facing North
If you have a motorhome, the windshield will be the biggest heat sink in your rig. Park north, or if that’s not possible, park with the windshield facing east. Another option would be to park with your bedroom facing north or east, to keep it cooler in the evening.
Put out your awning, but you may need to take it in during high winds. Park near trees, especially shading the north and/or west sides of your rig. You could also rig up custom shade awnings; a unique product is “Aluminet”, a type of metallic netted awning, perfect for reflecting away heat. Try rigging it up on the sides not covered by your awning.
You’re camping, right? Break out the BBQ grill, or better yet, try out a solar cooker. Or use both!
Use your roof vents and fans, and open windows and screen doors to allow for a cooling air flow. Simple electric fans can make a big difference, and are generally low wattage. You can even get small solar powered fans.
Portable Evaporative Coolers
A portable evaporative cooler is definitely an option, although they are bulky, and do require storage space. Most are pretty low wattage, making them suitable for running on solar. Check how much energy it will take to run before you purchase.
Be Mindful of Your Solar and Battery Power
Although electric fans and a portable evaporative cooler are generally low wattage, the more cooling gadgets you use, the more power you will burn. Consider getting an extra panel to keep your system running strong in the summer.