Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Keeping cool while boondocking


Here’s a question from a reader of about boondocking. 

Hi Bob,
We are planning a cross-country trip this summer and would like to boondock along the way to avoid campground fees for just sleeping overnight. I’m concerned that without hookups I will not be able to run my air-conditioner while camped in the hot and humid Midwest. Do you have any hints for keeping cool? —Trevor P.

Lake Conasauga Campground in North Georgia

Answer: Go jump in a lake, Trevor. Literally. My wife and I made several trips from California to Connecticut to visit our four granddaughters, and you’re right – it can be HOT and HUMID. This may sound crazy, but we found that for many of our overnight stops we could find forest service (both federal and state) campgrounds that were cheap but of course had no hookups.

Secondly, we searched our guidebook for FS campgrounds next to or near lakes. When we pulled into the campsite (sweaty and tired) we would first open all the windows and turn on the Fantastic fan – to draw the hot air out and the cooler air in as the day winds down. Overhead fans pull very little amperage – and after driving all day your batteries are now fully charged.

After leveling it was off to the lake to cool our bodies and rejuvenate. It did wonders! After a casual swim and long soak in the soothing lake waters we quickly cooled down and relaxed. And unlike commercial campgrounds, the forest service ones often had ample shade trees that helped keep our campsite cooler.

Read more about boondocking at my BoondockBob’s Blog.
Check out my Kindle e-books about boondocking at Amazon.

Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) .





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Sherry Dawson (@guest_7731)
6 years ago

Excellent advice. Being on water also gives a sense of calm which lowers the blood pressure and body temperature.
Other ideas:
~Try to select a site where the RV can be shaded during the heat of the day (and portable solar panels can be set in the sun).
~Orient the RV so that it is broadside to the cooling afternoon breezes. If on water, try to park with the water between the RV and prevailing wind for even cooler breezes.
~If you’re going to be absent from the RV for long periods during the heat of the day, cover all windows with insulated material, then open up the RV when you return to let the cooler air in.
~As a last resort, run the generator and the A/C for a few hours to cool the RV down, then open up and let the evening breezes do their work.
~Don’t cook and eat inside when it is hot. Set up a shaded outdoor kitchen and living area and enjoy the view!

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