By Cheri Sicard
The folks from Campendium have produced a short video with tips on how to stay cool while boondocking if you don’t have a generator to run your air conditioner. It may seem daunting, but I speak from experience when I say I know it can be done.
The first tip is to seek out camping spots at higher elevations. That’s because for every 1,000 feet you go up in elevation, you can expect the temperature to drop by 3.5 degrees. Campendium has a filter on their service where you can set your elevation preferences, making it easy to find campsites at higher elevations.
The internet can also help you find cooler temperatures. Weather maps, like the one at Weather Underground, show you temperatures across the U.S. in real time. This is one way to see how dramatic the temperature differences can be from the top of the mountain to the bottom.
More ways to stay cool(er) while boondocking
- If you can avoid camping on asphalt or concrete, do so, as these tend to hold and radiate heat.
- Whenever possible, try to find shady campsites as the trees can provide a lot of cover from the hot, blazing sun.
- Camping near the ocean or other large bodies of water will usually be cooler than inland areas.
- Putting Reflectix in your RV’s windows can reflect the sun out and keep your RV’s interior cooler.
- Open the windows of the RV. They do say that if the sun is really beating down on your windows, you will be better off with Reflectix. But if it is not, open all those windows and get the air circulating through your RV.
- Use fans to keep the air moving. If you are not in a campground you will need power for this. The video recommends, and I highly concur, a solar power station. Mine kept me cool all last summer on my long, long RV trip and I expect it will again this year. If you are in the market for a good fan, it’s hard to beat WooZoo’s oscillating fan that moves up and down and side to side. I talk more about it in this article on essential summer RV accessories.
- Upgrade your rooftop vent fans as the ones that come with most RVs are not all that powerful. Fan-Tastic Fans and MaxxAir are two popular brands that will seriously increase the ventilation in your RV. They can also blow fresh air in.
- Use your awning. Not only will this provide you with a nice shady outdoor space, but it can also block the sun from hitting the side of your RV.
- Cook outside! Taking the heat of cooking outside your rig’s oven at all costs on hot days.