Summer days are here, which means it’s camping season. It can also mean “feeling unreasonably hot” season for many campers. Getting sweaty and feeling warm should be expected, but there are things you can do to help keep yourself comfortable in and out of an RV when the weather gets hot.

Start early.

It’s going to be more difficult to keep the RV cool if you’re fighting rising temperatures. So, start early with your cooling tactics. Basically, you use nature to your advantage. For instance, we know that it’s cooler at night than in the day, that it’s cooler in the shade, moving air feels cooler than still air, and the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

  • Open the windows at night and use air vent fans to help keep air circulating. If you have portable fans, place them on the ground to help push cool air up from the floor to combat the warm air that has risen to the top of the RV.
  • During the day, open windows for air circulation on the shady side of the RV. Keep the shades down if it’s sunny and not windy. Which shades are closed will change throughout the day.
  • Create shade if your campsite isn’t shady – another tip: ask for a shady site when you’re making your reservation – utilizing awnings and sunscreens. Shade can feel five to ten degrees cooler than being in direct sunlight. Sun reflectors in the windows, especially the dashboard on motorized RVs, help keep those rays from warming up the RV.
  • If you have air conditioning, run it in the morning and in conjunction with fans on to help pull hot air out. If the interior of the RV gets very warm and the A/C doesn’t seem to be helping to bring the temperature down, then consider turning off the A/C (saves lots of power) and increase air circulation by opening windows. Likewise, as the air temperature gets cooler in the evening, turn off the A/C and get the air flowing through the RV if it’s been closed up all day.
  • If you have a large RV, you can conserve and concentrate cool air by closing doors and forcing air into the main living areas.

Plan your activities in accordance with nature.

Summer days start off cooler, get warm from around lunch to sunset, then cools off again. During that time period between lunch and sunset, choose activities that are better for warm weather such as swimming, boating, fishing, and visiting museums. You can do more active endeavors anytime, such as hiking or biking, as long as you stay hydrated, dress appropriately, and take breaks to lower your core body temperature. However, planning those types of outings for the morning hours when the air temperature is cooler will help you have a head start.

Drink plenty of water.

Your body is designed to handle temperature swings. Staying hydrated when it’s hot is crucial to keeping cool and regulating your body temperature. When you get dehydrated, whether you’re doing some physical activity or not drinking enough, your body can’t function as well because it loses plasma and electrolytes. You’ve got to replace what you’ve lost. If you get tired of plain water, then mix it up with infused water using fruits and even vegetables, or picking up some sparkling water at the store.  Hydration affects your mental capabilities, endurance, and strength, as well as improves blood oxygen circulation.

Upgrade your windows.

If you’re planning on camping frequently, consider upgrading to dual-pane windows. Windows are often the largest source of heat loss during colder weather and heat gain during summer. Between the two panes of glass is a hollow gap. This increases its insulating capabilities, helping the interior of the RV to remain at a more consistent, more controlled temperature. This will help you stay cooler in the summer months.

Avoid indoor cooking and preassemble meals.

Hot weather cooking doesn’t need to be uncomfortable. Plan for meals that can be cooked outside on a grill, can be made in a crockpot or pressure cooker, or don’t require cooking at all. Prepare for meals outside, in the shade, or meal prep in the morning when the air temperature is usually coolest. Preassemble meals or parts of a meal prior to leaving for your camping trip. This is much simpler if you’re going to be taking a long weekend compared to a trip that covers a couple weeks, or even all summer. And of course, make sure to toss in a healthy side of cold fruits and veggies.