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Summer is a prime time for RV travel. Activities like camping, hiking, swimming, kayaking, and fishing are more enjoyable in warm conditions. The longer daylight hours also provide more time for these activities.

However, with the scorching heat, travelling in an RV can be inconvenient. No one wants to swelter in their vacation retreat, nor do they want to return from a day's adventure to an RV that feels as warm as an oven. 

Luckily, there are many ways to keep your RV cool and make the most of your summer escapades. Check them out here: 

Optimize Insulation

When it comes to maintaining a comfortable temperature in your RV, insulation is your best friend. Quality insulation can significantly reduce the heat that comes into your vehicle, keeping the interior cooler for longer periods.

The first step is to choose an RV that already has it to avoid costly upgrades later on. One of the things to check is the R-value, a measure of insulation's effectiveness. Note that the higher the R-value, the better thermal efficiency.

RVs with double-pane windows and weather stripping, like those of Wonderland RV, are also good options. These can prevent heat exchange. Additionally, opt for vehicles with insulated underbelly to reduce heat transmission and foam insulation for superior thermal resistance. 

If you’ve already bought or rented an RV, look for any gaps and seal them with weatherstripping or caulking. This small investment of time and materials can pay off by significantly reducing your cooling needs and energy costs.

Consider a cool roof coating as well. A cool roof coating is a specialized paint that can reduce the surface temperature of your RV’s roof, reflecting as much as 90% of the sun's heat. Applying this coating can be more labour-intensive than other insulation methods, but it's a long-term solution that provides substantial benefits in both heat mitigation and protection against the elements.

Use Reflective Window Coverings

Reflective window coverings act as a barrier that bounces sunlight away from the interior of your RV. You can easily create DIY reflective panels using materials like cardboard or synthetic fabric covered with reflective foil. These can be custom-fitted to your windows for optimum coverage and are easily stowable when not in use.

For a more polished solution, invest in custom-fitted sunshades. These are designed to cover the full window area and are often made of materials proven to resist high temperatures, UV rays, and water. They can be pricey, but their durability and effectiveness justify the cost for frequent summer travellers.

If you're looking for a more temporary fix, especially if you only rented the RV, reflective films can be applied directly to the window's interior. These are less durable than other options but can be a quick and budget-friendly way to reduce heat on the fly.

Improve Ventilation 

While insulation can keep the heat out, ventilation can maintain a comfortable living environment. It prevents the air inside your RV from becoming stagnant, clammy, and overly hot, promoting good airflow in your RV. 

There are many techniques to ensure your RV is well-ventilated. One of the common ways is to create “cross-breeze.”  It’s simply moving the air that passes through your RV, creating a cooling effect that helps reduce the internal temperature. This process is a natural, cost-effective way to cool down your RV without air conditioning. 

Start by identifying two points in your RV that are opposite to each other, like two windows or a window and a door. Open these points to create an air path. The idea is to allow air to enter through one opening and exit through the other, creating a cooling wind tunnel effect. The size of the openings can be adjusted to control the strength and direction of the breeze.

In addition, position a fan at one end of your RV, preferably near the entrance point of the breeze, to help push the air and enhance the cross-breeze effect. You can also use multiple fans to direct the airflow through your RV effectively.

Use Natural Shade and RV Awnings

Parking your RV in a shaded area can significantly reduce heat absorption. Natural shade from trees blocks direct sunlight and provides a cooler surrounding environment. Additionally, make use of your RV's awning. Extending the awning on the sunny side of your RV creates an additional shaded area, which helps lower the temperature inside. 

Cook Outside to Minimize Indoor Heat

Cooking inside your RV can raise the internal temperature considerably. To avoid this, plan to do most of your cooking outside. Utilize a portable grill or a camp stove for preparing meals. Not only does this keep the inside of your RV cooler, but it also adds to the fun of outdoor living. For quick meals or snacks, consider using appliances that generate less heat, like slow cookers or microwave ovens.

Final Thoughts

There are many cost-effective DIY ways to keep your RV cool while on your summer trip. However, if unsure what to do, always seek professional help. Although they require service fees, they’re nothing compared to the costly mistakes you’ll likely make. More importantly, it gives you the peace of mind that your RV is in expert hands.

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