Saturday, September 30, 2023


Here’s how having an “outside bin” keeps your RV’s interior cooler

No, this isn’t a new gadget that somehow boosts your air conditioner’s output, nor is it some cobbled-together swamp cooler system. So, what is it? Simply put, it’s a thoughtful collection of items stored inside a bin that’s housed in your RV’s basement. And this simple outside bin will actually keep your RV cooler! Here’s how.

The carefully thought-out items are the key. These items will help reduce the number of times your children, visitors, or even you open and close your RV’s entry door. The less often that door is opened, the more air-conditioned air remains inside your rig—keeping the RV cooler! See what I’m getting at?

Put these items in the outside bin to keep your RV cooler

So, what’s inside this magical storage bin? Take a look at what we keep in ours. Then see how you might tweak my list so that it best fits your family’s needs.

  • Cooler: Each morning I fill the bottom of a small cooler with frozen ice packs. Then I place a few beverages inside. Kids love juice pouches and because they come with a straw and don’t require a cup, the children can help themselves. I also include a few granola bars or a bag of grapes inside the cooler. These easy snacks are self-serve, as well.
  • Games, balls, rackets: No more running inside and out again to find toys. Everything we need is in the outside bin. Kids and adults stay active and the RV stays cooler.
  • Coin purse: The children love going to the campground store for special treats, like ice cream. (Who am I kidding? So do I!) I keep a couple of dollars’ worth of quarters inside a special coin purse. The purse stays inside the bin and is readily available. I’ve even been known to swipe some quarters from it when I do laundry!
  • Sunblock: Even though my husband and grandchildren apply sunscreen at the start of their day, their activities often require a reapplication of the lotion during the day. With a spray bottle of sunblock inside the storage bin, they can apply it themselves outside.
  • Antiseptic wipes and Band-Aids: Small scrapes happen and are easily tended to with the necessary supplies right inside the outdoor bin. My husband can also clean his hands with the wipes before eating his granola bar.
  • Bug spray: Having this outside and accessible to all means we keep our RV entry door closed and our RV stays cooler because no air-conditioned air escapes.
  • Beach towel: This towel dries wet hands, helps brush dirt off feet, provides seating on the ground, and so much more.
  • Citronella candles: When evening comes, I no longer search for the bug-repelling candles. They “live” inside the bin.

It makes sense

Just in case you’re wondering … no, I do not push the kids out the door in the morning and keep them locked out until dinnertime. It’s important for all of us—parents and grandparents—to monitor our children to keep them safe. When I’m working inside, my husband is with the kiddos outside. The idea of an outside bin just makes sense for our family. By keeping the RV door closed as much as possible, we are able to reduce the strain on our air conditioner and keep our electric costs down. We all enjoy a more comfortable interior environment because the RV stays cooler.

A collapsible bin suggestion

Also in case you’re wondering … we have this collapsible bin and it’s great!

By now, you’ve probably gotten the gist of how a simple outdoor bin can keep your RV cooler. What items would you add to my list? Please let me know in the comments below.


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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1 year ago

And you won’t disturb the neighbors with the screen/door slamming shut every 5 minutes! I stayed in a campground where the rig beside me and the one behind them were a family and the kids were in and out soooo many times it drove me crazy. Plus, the one beside me was the one with the outdoor “kitchen” so I had to listen to that also. If they had put it on the other rig it would have been on the outside of the row with no one beside them.

Lexi's Mom
1 year ago

Awesome idea 🙂 Lessens all the questions “where’s this, where’s that, and me stopping to go get it. Ya’ can just say its in the tote/crate. Could even use different colors to help find.
We always have 4-5 kiddos, so this idea is perfect. Thanks much Gail

1 year ago

Great idea—but you’ve never met our grandkids, LOL! And…you mean you’re actually supposed to SHUT the door??? (It might work for the adult kids, though.)

Donald N Wright
1 year ago

I use the collapsible crates, never saw an enclosed one before. Thank you.

1 year ago

As kids in the summer, we used to leave in the morning, play all day and only come back home for the evening meal. Mom never had to push us out; we went on our own. Good days!

1 year ago
Reply to  volnavy007

You bet! I couldn’t wait to get outside. Great memories for sure! Have a great day!

1 year ago

That’s a terrific idea! It would keep the inside of the RV cleaner too!

1 year ago
Reply to  Debra

Bonus, right?! Enjoy your day, Debra!

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