Saturday, December 9, 2023


Shade or sun parking? Here are the pros and cons

We have this ongoing debate: Is it better to park under a shaded tree or out in direct sunlight? Which would you choose?

Here are a few pros and cons of each to help you decide:

Pros to parking in shade/under a tree:

  • Shade, obviously. Great for relaxing outside!
  • AC doesn’t work as hard to keep your RV cool and comfortable
  • You can keep RV windows open in cooler temps without making the RV’s interior overly warm
  • Less sun damage to RV paint, tires, etc.

Cons to parking under shade tree:

  • Sap drips and acorns/nuts/pine cones drop on the roof
  • Greater chance of bugs getting into the RV
  • There is potential danger from falling tree limbs, especially with rain or wind in the forecast
  • Squirrels and/or birds may build nests under slide-out awnings

Pros for parking in the sunshine:

  • In cooler temps, the sun will help heat the RV
  • Sunshine will make RV brighter/lighter (and cheerier) inside

Cons for parking in the sunshine:

  • Fading of RV decals/paint
  • Potential damage to tires
  • Extra electricity usage from the air conditioner
  • Uncomfortable sitting outside in direct sunlight when temperatures climb

Where do you prefer to park: A level lot under a tree or an equally level lot in direct sunshine? Let us know your reasons why in the comments below. Thanks!


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

A quick, easy way to make sure your RV stays cool at the next campsite


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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Michael Galvin (@guest_131704)
2 years ago

The major problem of parking under trees is that the satellite antenna can’t see its satellites–No Dish TV.

Neal Davis (@guest_131662)
2 years ago

If it is one or the other, then I opt for parking in the sun. Ideally, we will be near trees and benefit from their shade without being directly beneath them. A park campground outside Washington, DC that we patronize semi-annually is in the midst of a forest, so sites there are all under trees. So, if necessary, we will opt for sites beneath trees. We like the park and location so much that we tolerate the leaves and sticks that fall onto our roof and slide toppers. We just sweep everything clean before leaving.

Pat (@guest_131624)
2 years ago

Shade is nice if you have electric hookups. Otherwise I need sun for my solar panels

DL Jenson (@guest_131606)
2 years ago

Anymore it is more the case of what spots are open

Lisa Adcox (@guest_131604)
2 years ago

Sun. Seen too many times limbs and even trees fall on RVs.

Ron Cravey (@guest_131585)
2 years ago

If you have a satellite dish on the roof for TV, to use it, you have to have line of sight to the satellite. Sometimes that means parking in the sun.

Bobkat3080 (@guest_131582)
2 years ago

An app called “Sun Surveyor” shows an AR view of the sun at any time of the day in your campsite. We used it for years when tent camping with our motorcycle. (Morning sun and afternoon shade.) Now with the RV I just look for sun for the solar panels.

Bob Palin (@guest_131574)
2 years ago

With half the roof covered in solar panels I obviously park in a clear space. The awning provides plenty of shade.

jillie (@guest_131569)
2 years ago

Shade. When at home I extend the awning after a rain storm to dry it out. But the birds still find the awning a good place to take a dump. No matter what I do. So shade for us and let the birds be damned.

Sharon L Boehmer (@guest_131563)
2 years ago

Depends on weather and time of the year. For us, its mostly shady spots. Keeps our 5th wheel and fridge cooler. We found its easier to heat the place up on cooler days than to cool it down on warmer days.

Tom H. (@guest_131577)
2 years ago

Exactly. When temps are cool, sunny spot, if available. Warm weather, I look for shady spot. Simple.

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