Saturday, September 30, 2023


Hot weather makes tempers rise: Battle the heat, not each other!

It’s so hot! The extreme heat has caused our RV to shrink! Not really. It just seems smaller as my husband and I try to stay out of each other’s way. Yes, the hot weather can make your body feel uncomfortable. The heat can also cause tempers to flare, self-awareness to wane, and emotions to explode. Not that any of that’s happening. Not at all. Really.

“Who are you mad at?”

We chose this week (in the most hellish part of the St. Louis summertime heat and humidity) to take a vacation. It seemed like a good idea back in December. I just hadn’t figured on the heat being, well, so hot. When my loving husband of 47-years-and-counting asked, “Who are you mad at?” I had a moment of clarity. I knew I was acting irrationally: slamming cupboard doors, harrumphing at the television program, loudly sighing every 27 seconds. I blamed the heat. Until I saw how my reaction was affecting people around me. The grandkids were grumpy and argumentative with one another. I was … well, not myself either. Yes, I was hot. But so were they! Only my husband was his usual sunny self—happy to be in the RV and eager for adventure.

Make a new plan

It was time (really waaay past time) to make a plan. A different plan. You see, many of our original planned activities involved being outside, and it was just too hot! (100+ is hot!) What were the options? Continue to gripe about the heat and how it’s ruining our plans for vacation? Or come up with some new plans and salvage a bit of fun in the remaining days? We decided to choose the latter.

Battle the heat early

Our first change in plans involved getting up earlier—much earlier. Hiking at 5 a.m. was doable. Hiking at 8 a.m. was not. By then, temperatures were already inching close to 95 degrees. Early rising meant we could comfortably cook and eat breakfast outside, as we have in past years—a grandkid favorite!

Rising early also meant we could set the RV’s air conditioner down before the heat surged. The AC got a head start on cooling our rig, and managed the heat much better throughout the day.

Water activities for hot weather

The campground swimming pool was losing its appeal, so we decided to do some river rafting. Again, by starting early in the day, we enjoyed our float trip so much more! The water was cool, too, not tepid like the campground pool. Everyone enjoyed seeing the wildlife all along the river: deer, beaver, and even bluebirds, the state bird of Missouri!


We took a tour of a nearby cave one day, as well. Temperatures inside the cave stay at a consistent 65 degrees all year-round, no matter what the temp outside might be. Our Meramec Caverns Tour was a big success and I recommend it, if you’re ever in the St. Louis area.


The local movie theater shows family-friendly movies at drastically reduced prices during the summer months. We saw “Tom and Jerry” one morning. We still chuckle as we recall favorite scenes even days later.

Rediscovering old games

After our daily excursions, we came back to the RV. Following a bit of reading and resting, we played favorite board games like Aggravation; card games, like “Rummy” or “Kings in the Corner;” and other games, like Yahtzee (check out this National Park Yahtzee!) and Charades. After the somewhat rough start to our vacation, the days soon fell into an easy and comfortable rhythm. It was great!

Over so soon?

We were just hitting our stride when our vacation came to an end. On our ride home, we talked about next year’s trip. The grandkids want to hike the “long trail” in Rockwoods Reservation, Missouri, next time, go river rafting again, and check out the flea market that we passed on our drive home. All in all, it was a great vacation! Once we found ways to beat the hot weather, that is.

Do you alter plans or “tough it out” when vacation weather disappoints? What are your favorite ways to have fun during summertime’s heat?



Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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Paul B.
1 year ago

All great suggestions but my favorite would have to be ice skating rinks. Honestly, if someone built a rink in Quartzsite there would be statues erected and parades in honor of the benefactor.

Jim ransdell
1 year ago

For us it’s more the biting bugs, how do you beat that. My wife seems to be a favorite target, plus she’s allergic to the small black flies. They are abundant this year. Any ideas?

Donald N Wright
1 year ago

Sometimes, you just have to change your adventure. spend the day at the museum, take a walk & pickup the trash, watch a children’s baseball game, buy ice cream for everyone.

Dan kalm
1 year ago

We did the Oregon and Washington coast where we scarcely used the ac at all.

1 year ago

We look for campgrounds next to or near a river or swimming hole and spend time tubing and swimming to beat the heat. Bring a sack lunch for a picnic to help make it a complete day.

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