14 Tips on Keeping Your RV Cool in the Summer

Summer has already arrived for much of the country. If you full-time in an RV or camper, trying to keep your coach cool during high outside temperatures can be a challenge. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of 13 tips on keeping your RV interior cool in hot weather.

Look at our pathetic looking nomad cats. They never lay that way! But because it’s so hot in Texas (in the 100’s!!), this is how they slumber…all sprawled on the floor airing everything out. Why? Because scientifically, heat rises. This is why they lay on the floor instead of their little beds or any other place in the RV that they own. It’s cooler for them.

Well, we (and they!) are going to help you with some ideas that work for us.

1)  Start your AC early

Even before it starts getting hot outside, turn on your air conditioner to cool the walls, floors and ceilings of your coach. Its more beneficial to do this than to try to cool a hot RV.

RV TIP: Use these little portable usb fans to circulate the air! We LOVE them!! We will even put them on the floor for our kitties. They are rechargeable so you don’t have to stock batteries!

2)  Pull your shades

As the sun moves (actually the earth moves around the sun but you get my drift) around your RV, pull the shades to keep the sun from coming through the windows.

3)  Extend your awnings

If it’s not windy outside, extend your awnings on the sun side. This will shade your RV at least for a few hours. Its recommended you only do this while you are at your RV.

RV TIP: Never leave your extended awning unattended!!!

4)  Cover your RV door window

Most towables don’t come with shades on RV doors. Even as simple as taping a piece of cardboard onto the inside window frame of the door will minimize heat from the sun coming into your RV. You can also use Reflectix Foil Door Window Cover to keep the sun and heat out.

5)  Insulate your RV windows

There’s a product for insulating RV windows called Reflectix Foil Insulation. It looks like silver bubble wrap that you tape onto your windows if you’re going to be in hot temperatures for longer periods of time and don’t mind your windows being covered all of the time. You can also use the Reflectix Tape to insure proper adhesion.

6)  Insulate your fantastic fan

You can insulate your Fan Vent and Skylight with an RV Vent Insulator with reflective surface. This will keep the cool air from escaping up into the vent. As well, it will keep the sun from beating down into the spaces below.

7)  Use your ceiling fan

Your ceiling fan helps circulate the air in your RV living space. Since your AC vents are in the ceiling, you’ll want to adjust your fan’s direction to push the cool air down.

8)  Close off rooms and AC vents you’re not using

Just like your S&B (Sticks & Bricks house), closing off rooms conserves and concentrates the airflow in the area that you want it. If you spend time in your kitchen and living area, close the bedroom and bathroom door and AC output vents. This will help your AC unit force the cold air only in the spaces you want it.

RV TIP: See those vents in the pic above? We replaced our former vents with Spaceport AC closable ceiling vents. What a difference! We can even turn them to directionalize airflow.

9)  Turn off lights and lamps

Incandescent and halogen lights emit tons of heat when they are turned on. Shut them down for the day and use your LED lights instead.

10)  Leave the television and electronics OFF

Televisions and Electronics (ie. computers, etc.) get warm when they’ve been on for any period of time. Turning them off lessens the electricity draw and allows more energy to go to the Air Conditioner(s).

11)  Don’t cook or use the oven

Cooking on your stovetop or in your oven obviously gives off heat. On hot days, eat cold foods, salads and sandwiches, go out to eat (it’s cooler in restaurants anyway!) or order takeout.

12)  Minimize opening Your Door

Our mothers told us when we were kids to ‘close the darn door’ and now its our turn to tell every one else who enters to do the same. Minimizing opening the door will allow the cool air to stay in and the hot air to stay out.

13)  Make sure your AC vents are clean

These are a huge culprit in Air Conditioner malfunctions. You should clean your AC output and intake vents AT LEAST MONTHLY! Make sure nothing is blocking the air flow in each.

We’ve shared a great informational blog on How to Clean Your RV’s AC Vents and Filters.

14)  Service your AC unit annually

This last one is a biggie! If you have your AC unit serviced every year, you minimize expensive repairs down the road. As well, it will minimize the potential of your AC going on the fritz when you need it most. Hire an RV Tech who is qualified and knowledgeable to service all of your AC components. Make sure your Tech also inspects the intake and AC vents in your RV.

We hope these 14 tips help you keep your coach cooler in the summer. The ticket to keeping your RV or camper cool in the hot temperatures is just be mindful and conservative with how you are cooling your units.

If you enjoyed this blog, you’ll want to read this…

RV Tips for Weather Emergencies


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22 Replies to “14 Tips on Keeping Your RV Cool in the Summer”

  1. You’ve got some great RV tips for staying cool. We want to take ours on some trips this summer, but man it gets hot in there! I’ll have to look into getting some insulation for the windows, like you said.

    1. Ridley, We’re glad you enjoyed those tips. Please pass our blog info onto some of your clients. Oh, and you’re so right about it getting HOT (or already has!) Look at cooler places to go enjoy. Being near a lake or place where you can take a dip is always a plus.

      BTW, we will be in Elkhart the first week of September if you’d like to do a meet and greet! We’d love to meet our Liberty Crew followers!

      Stay cool! -Dan & Lisa

  2. I took the inside covers off our units and sealed all areas between supply and return. Huge difference. The manufacturer spends no time sealing these areas which shud be seperate. Major loss of cold air right back to the return. Now we have good flow to the bunk house thru the duct work.

    1. Travis, thanks for taking time to read our tips. We agree, every RV owner should inspect their air duct system and if they find discrepancy, they should consult a professional or research how to fix the issue. Good for you knowing how to do it. Safe travels! -Dan & Lisa

    1. Paprika, we’re so glad that our information is helping you along the way. We hope you keep reading; lots more good info to come! -Dan & Lisa

  3. Except for having a clean filter inside & making sure there’s no debris on outside AC unit & its able to drain properly. These units are NOT serviceable. They either work or they don’t. Learn your unit & “service” it yourself every year.

    1. Hi Kim, Great note! We service our own AC’s often. As we all should know, if we take care of our equipment, it will take care of us. This is one of the reasons we avoid long stays at the beach or salty air. We’ve seen first hand on another RVers’ AC roof units what salt air can do. Totally destroyed the components inside and of course, the efficiency depleted significantly. -Dan

    1. Hi Theresa, those tips should help conserve energy as well because they help the AC work more efficiently. Thanks for asking! -Lisa & Dan

  4. Good tips! We just picked up one of those little fans. Might have to get another.

    This might seem obvious but we found if you keep an RV in a shady spot it makes a huge difference in temperature.

    1. Hi Scott! Thanks for reading! Yes, shade makes it nice. Well, unless we’re boondocking and needing the solar. But hey, did you see those new batteries we have now? Can store energy for days!! Yay! Those little USB fans work awesome. We even take them outside with us when we’re sitting around. They chase the bugs off at the same time, keep us a little cooler. In fact, we need to order two more; thanks for the reminder.

      Hope to see you soon. We miss you cool kids! Safe travels! -Dan & Lisa

      1. Hi Gloria, thank you for visiting and following our blog and our travels. Have you gotten up on your roof and opened up your AC unit? It may need a good cleaning. Smelling musty may mean you have mold or moisture up in your unit or vents. We recommend reading our blog RV Maintenance Tip #2 – Air Conditioning Vents and Filters. If you’re not able to do the maintenance yourselves, we suggest finding a reputable RV Tech to do it for you. – Dan & Lisa

  5. I never really think about the A/c unit itself or the filters. My awning has had it’s better days and I swear it is always windy when I want to extend it . The wind sensor causes issues. So I leave it in most of the time. I’m still learning how to adjust but I guess summer time is a bad time to learn. I did install the reflective shades in all the windows and it makes a HUGE difference.

    1. Bloggin Brandi, thank you for taking the time to read our blog. I’m glad that you found relief with our recommendation of the reflective shades. I wish they were a little more stylish on the inside portion. When you make reservations at a campground or RV park, check the orientation of the sun. We do better when the afternoon sun is on the left and front side of the RV if possible. That allows shade on the door side. Just another idea to give you some relief. Happy Trails! -Dan & Lisa

  6. Such an informative article you had shared. All the information you had posted is beneficial. Thanks for sharing this article. Your tips will help me to keep my RV cool in the summer. Keep posting this type of helpful post. Good wishes… 🙂

    1. Hey Travis, thanks for taking the time to read our blog post. We hope you’ve read others that will help make your RV travel a little more fun and stress free because we’ve taken the guess work out of it. Travel safe and stay the cool guy you are! -Lisa & Dan

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