How can I keep my RV cool without AC?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How can I keep my RV cool without AC? We will share with you a few essential tips to keep your RV cool. Some of the tasks you must do before the trip, so pay close attention!

How can I keep my RV cool without AC?

It is possible and easy to keep your RV cool without AC even on the hottest summer nights. Here are the essentials to improve the indoor temperature of your RV:

  • Maintain good ventilation, generate drafts but watch out for bugs and mosquitoes, use mosquito nets or screens for doors and windows.
  • Check that the windows, walls, ceiling, floor and doors are well insulated, this is important because if we can cool the cabin we can maintain that temperature for longer, saving on air conditioning.
  • Park in shady areas, and try not to stop at peak times of heat.
  • Keep ice in the freezer to use later with a fan, a cheap trick in the absence of air conditioning.
  • Avoid turning on appliances that emit heat such as laptops, TV, lights, oven, stove, etc.
  • Keep the floor cool, mopping the floor before going to sleep for example.
  • Use window shades to help keep your RV interior cool without AC.

Below we discuss more tips and tricks to keep your RV cool without AC, make sure you read them all!

Keeping your RV cool without AC: Must-Dos before the trip

We start with something basic: insulation. If you choose good insulation, you will surely avoid spending moments of extreme heat in the RV. It is important that it be flexible, continuous and vapour-tight. 

It all depends on the climates in which you move, but generally, it is recommended to insulate the roof more thoroughly than the walls and take into account that the temperature in the RV will be the average between the best and worst isolated areas. There are many insulations on the market, try to choose the one that best suits your needs and also think about the savings that good insulation entails so as not to get cold or hot in the RV.

Keeping your RV cool without AC: On the road

The most important measures must be taken while on the road, on a daily basis:

  • Keep the RV in a cool place. For when you are stopped, reflective insulators for the windows are essential and you can also opt for exterior insulators, which cover the vehicle from the outside and do not allow heat to enter the RV. The interiors can be bought by the meter and can be made to measure with a little skill to sew.

To prevent the RV from overheating prematurely, try not to go out in the extreme heat of midday. On these dates, it is difficult to avoid traffic jams, but if you leave first thing in the morning and preferably on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you will find less hassle on the road and it will take less time to reach your destination. 

Perhaps the most important thing is to consider where to park at night and to think about the place that will have the most shade in the morning.

  • Ventilate: When starting the trip, ventilate the RV by opening the windows and when the climate control is cold, close the windows and turn the air to 25 degrees. During the journey, he renews the air in the RV from time to time with the windows open. Covering the seats with a towel or sarong will help us not to burn our legs and to be cooler.
  • Better not to refuel when it is too hot outside: Try not to fill the tank to the top or put gasoline in hot hours, the fuel expands with high temperatures. It is also not recommended to clean the RV in the full sun using cleaning products because they dry instantly and can damage the surfaces.

How to sleep in the heat in the RV without AC?

That, that moment when the night cools, but inside the RV it is hot as hell. Being under a shade makes the terrain much easier, but sometimes it is time to wake up inventive and resort to some grandmother’s remedies to get rid of the heat.

  • Let the engine cool: The more time that passes between you turning off the engine and going to bed, the better, in two hours the RV has had time to cool down. Open all the windows of the RV and air it, the fewer things you have piled up, the less overwhelming you will have, so you can also collect a little.
  • Tricks for the bed: The sheets and pyjamas have to be cotton to facilitate perspiration and before going to bed, you can put them in the refrigerator of the RV inside a plastic bag. 

Another remedy that will help you at least fall asleep is to put a hot water bottle on the bed but filled with cold water. But if it gives you something that opens and gets the bed wet, you can buy seed corn (the typical popcorn), make a pillow with them and put it in the freezer.

  • Refresh the environment: You can get a solar fan and before sleeping place it inside the cabin, with a bowl of ice in front, pointing towards the windows. There are also solar fans with led light or with a humidifier.  A solar extractor can also help you. 

Another grandmother’s method that will free us from some heat in the RV is to hang wet sheets on the windows so that the air that enters will refresh the environment a bit. From the outside, to prevent the heat from entering the RV, it is best to park on fresh grass, but if this is not possible, you can sprinkle some water around the RV after the sun goes down. It is a good idea to cool the environment and that the ground does not give off so much heat.

  • Stay cool: A warm bath or shower or washing your feet before sleeping also helps release nighttime heat, since heat usually enters the body through these extremities. Everything, with lights off if you do not want to receive the visit of insects. 

Another tip that you cannot miss is that you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids (preferably non-alcoholic drinks) and eating lots of fruit.

Final thoughts 

We hope that these easy and accessible tips will help you not to spend so much heat in the RV this summer, although it must be recognized that sometimes it is impossible to lower the temperature, especially if you travel as a couple.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, concerns, questions or tips on how to stay cool in an RV without AC!

FAQ on How can I keep my RV cool without AC?

How to cool a motorhome?

To cool a motorhome, open the doors, windows and skylights in the evening to naturally ventilate and cool the interior. In addition, do not drive in the middle of the day if your motorhome is not equipped with air conditioning. Engine and heat don’t mix.

What is the best heater for an RV?

The best heater for an RV is forced-air heating. It is the most used heating system in motorhomes if you are told Truma or Webasto it should speak to you.

What air conditioning to choose for an RV?

When choosing air conditioning for an RV, take into consideration the following:

  • Telair Air Conditioner Silent 500H.
  • Aventa Comfort.
  • Airva 12V & 24V.
  • Dometic Freshlight 1600 & 2200 air conditioner.
  • Portable air conditioning SW Cube.
  • Kronings Rooftop Air Conditioner K2400.
  • Euromac AC2400 Split System.
  • Telair Silent 220V-8400H.

How long does an RV AC last?

An RV AC can last up to five years, all depending on how often you use it, how well you maintain it, and whether you recharged it with Freon or not.

Do pop up campers stay cool in summer?

Pop up campers are not known for staying cool in summer. In fact, the vice versa is more accurate: if you are not prepared, you will start sweating in your pop-up camper every summer night. 

How not to be hot in a van?

You can avoid the heat in a van by slightly opening two skylights, the air circulating from the cold (the floor of the motorhome) to the hot (the ceiling). Rubber degrades slowly (but surely) under the effect of the strong sun; therefore put protections on the wheels exposed to the sun (there are some commercially available

How to refresh a van?

To refresh a van in the evening, before bed, open doors, windows and skylights to naturally ventilate and cool the interior. In addition, do not drive in the middle of the day if your motorhome is not equipped with air conditioning. Engine and heat don’t mix.


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