Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Ways to keep the cool air IN the RV and the hot air OUT!

Keeping the cool in and the heat out of the RV can be very important in the scorching summertime heat. Where I’m writing this it is 98 degrees – humid and HOT. Our inside RV thermostat reads 99 degrees, and I don’t know if it can even read triple digits! Sometimes it seems cooler outside than in the RV. Wait… sometimes it is cooler outside.

Tips to keep the cool in and the heat out

  1. Start the AC early in the morning. An AC unit doesn’t instantly cool down the RV. When the thermostat hits 99, it is long past time to crank it up. Check the weather and get a jump on cooling the RV. If you’re going to be away for the day, you can always set the temp a bit higher than normal to keep it reasonably cool, then lower the temp when you return to the RV.
  2. Close off vents in unused areas and close the doors to those areas. That keeps the cool air focused where you are. I have closed off the bedroom, open vents and run AC  before going to bed.
  3. Park in the shade if at all possible. It can feel 20 degrees cooler in the shade. (Hint: Here’s how you can find shade at your next campsite.)
  4. Use your awnings. Window awnings and shade awnings all help immensely. Our ice maker in the freezer starts to melt and make one giant cylinder of ice in extreme heat and sun. Shade and awnings help.
  5. Pull down interior sunshades and night blinds to reduce the heat from the sun.
  6. Insulate the back and top of cabinets. Adding Reflectix foil insulation to cabinets can reduce heat transmission. Reflectix can be purchased by the roll. We used it on our RV windows in the cold and in extreme heat in the past. There are several varieties of foil insulation available, this is what we used. (Here’s more on how to insulate your cabinets.)
  7. Add more insulation. In some motorhomes, there is little to no insulation in the cab area. Some people even remove the back of their cabinets and add insulation. If doing that, be careful of the existing wiring and make sure you can easily access the wires and cables when needed.



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1 year ago

After our 2nd trip out during the summer months last year, both sites had no shade, I bought 3 rolls of Reflectix at a local Lowes. I proceeded to insulate all the inside cabinets and food pantry from the bathroom to the kitchen areas, including under the sink, using the smallest sized staples so as not to go through the small thickness of the cabinet walls. Even insulated the 3 outside bay doors using 2-sided tape to adhere. Also covered all the windows, as the shades alone don’t block out much heat. Also use a tall oscillating fan on low speed to help circulate the air inside. Ha, it does make it dark inside, but it helps keep it cooler.

1 year ago

I wrapped my dark ceiling vent covers in heavy duty 18″ aluminum foil and it makes a big difference. It should last all summer. Make sure it is taped on the hinge side and just tuck it up around the inside of the cover. It keeps the heat from coming in the vent cover. This is my third summer using Aluminum foil.

1 year ago

Nanci, the link on “here’s more on how to insulate cabinets” merely led to a product on Amazon. Did you intend to link to an article?

Emily Woodbury
1 year ago
Reply to  Kamwick

Whoops! Thanks for letting us know, Kamwick. We fixed the link so it now goes to the article. Here it is:

Take care!

1 year ago

Switch the water heater off or run it on propane to help prevent tripping breakers with the a/c’s on.

Keith Wiederhoeft
1 year ago

In the article, “Tips to keep the cool in and the heat out” One thing not mentioned that I’ve found to “keep your cool”, if you have slide-outs, bring them in. Less square footage for the sun to heat up and less square footage on the inside for the air conditioner to cool down.

1 year ago

– pull in the slides when practical. this results in less area to cool (or heat)

– for motorhome owners try and park facing north or east. the MH windshield acts as a huge radiator of heat. parking facing east or north will reduce that radiated heat

– the best solution to reduce and nearly eliminate radiated windshield heat is an *exterior* windshield sun screen. we have a MagneShade but there are many other brands.

– cool air drops. floor fans will help move that cool air throughout the RV.

1 year ago
Reply to  Rich

We use a couple of small box fans that measure about a foot square and set on medium speed. They really work well to circulate the air in both heating and cooling seasons.

1 year ago
Reply to  Rich

Floor fans are a great idea – thanks for mentioning it.

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