How To Keep An RV Cool – The Top 10 Tips

When the summer sun is blazing, lots of RVers want to know how to keep an RV cool. This is because RVs don’t handle temperature extremes very well.

Both very hot and very cold temperatures can be a challenge for RV life. But it’s a challenge that can be met and conquered.

This article will show you how to keep your RV cool even on the hottest summer days.

Video on how to stay cool in your RV during the summer heat
Watch my video on how to keep your RV cool in the summer heat

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website

Tip 1 – Get the right campsite

If possible, try to plan your campsite in advance. If it’s in a campground, do your best to get a campsite with as much shade as you can.

Shade from trees or other objects can go a long way toward keeping the temperature down inside your RV.

Tip 2 – Face Your RV The Right Way

Along with choosing the right campsite, you also want to face your RV in the right direction.

The best choice for motorhomes in the summer is to face the front of the RV north. This keeps the sun off the front windshield as much as possible.

That’s because that big glass front end on motorhomes can be great for traveling. But when you park it, the windshield becomes a huge heat radiator in the summer.

If you have a fifth wheel or travel trailer, try to park the side of the rig that has the most windows away from the afternoon sun. This is because windows are heat radiators too, so keep as much sun off them as you can.

Tip 3 – Use Your RV Awning And Window Shades

Almost all RVs come with some kind of awning. So use it to your advantage in the summertime.

Deploy your awning as long as you can in the daylight hours and it will help cool that side of the RV tremendously.

And if you have window shades, use them too. When you keep your RV window glass in the shade it will radiate a lot less heat into the RV.

Tip 4 – Keep Your ACs Clean And Serviced

Of course, one of your best defenses against the summer heat is your RV air conditioners.

So don’t wait until it’s already hot in your RV before turning them on. If you do, they will always be working harder to keep up with the heat as the day goes on.

Instead, start them early and establish a cool temperature right away. Then they can more easily maintain that temperature through the day.

And be sure to clean the RV air conditioner filters. This will help the AC work at it’s best efficiency level.

Finally, be sure to have your air conditioners serviced at least once a year to keep them in tip-top working order.

Tip 5 -Cook Outside If You Can

One of the biggest sources for heat inside your RV is the stove. And the more you use it, the more pressure you are putting on the AC units to cool the rig.

So why not use a portable grill and cook many of your meals outside instead? Besides, a lot of people feel that food cooked outside tastes better anyway.

And you could also choose to have more cool meals in summer that do not require cooking. Foods like salads and sandwiches can be a much better choice in the heat of summertime.

Coleman portable grill for RVing

(These are affiliate links for the product on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

Tip 6 – Use Reflectix

Reflectix is a product that looks like bubble wrap covered with tin foil on both sides. But it is a great insulator and is very adaptable to many uses.

For instance, many motorhome owners use it behind their windshield to keep the heat out. But it can also be used behind windows, or vents and skylights too.

Some have even lined the inside of their RV cabinets and closets with Reflectix.

I have been told that using it that way in the summer has helped lower the inside RV temperature significantly. And it can also help keep the heat inside the RV in wintertime too.

Wherever you decide to place it, it can help insulate your rig’s interior from the hot summer sun.

Class A Reflectix windshield sun shade

Class C Reflectix windshield sun shade

Reflectix – 24 inch X 50 foot roll

Reflectix – 48 inch X 50 foot roll

(These are affiliate links for the product on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

Tip 7 – Use Ceiling Fans

If your RV has ceiling fans, use them as much as you can to make it more comfortable inside the RV.

Just be sure that you have the fan turning in the direction that will bring the cool air down instead of up.

Tip 8 – Close Off Unused Areas In Daytime

If you can, try closing off areas like the bedroom during the day and shutting off the AC vents in there.

This will make sure that all of the cooling power of your air conditioners is going where it is needed most.

Of course, as evening comes on, it may be necessary to reverse the process to provide a cool sleeping area.

Tip 9 – Use Portable Fans

One of the best things you can do to make the RV interior feel more comfortable is to get air moving. And small portable fans in strategic locations throughout the RV can do this very well.

The air movement does not really lower the temperature in the RV, but it makes the living area feel more pleasant. So use fans as much as you can!

Small portable fan for moving air in an RV

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Tip 10 – Consider A Portable AC Unit

If all else fails, maybe you just need more raw cooling power. And here is where a portable AC unit can come in very handy.

There are many of these portable ACs that are getting very good reviews if they are used correctly.

And some RVs only have one AC unit from the manufacturer to keep the cost of the RV down. So you may need to add a portable AC at times inside the RV to get the cooling job done on very hot days.

Portable air conditioning unit for RV

(These are affiliate links for the product on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

Conclusion

It’s hard to enjoy RV camping when you are hot and miserable inside your RV.

But the tips I have shared above can help change your RV trip from hot and irritating to cool and enjoyable.

Depending on the RV, you may need to put more than one or two of these tips in use.

We have spent time in the Phoenix AZ area in the summer months. And when the mercury starts going over 100 degrees, it puts a lot of strain on any RV’s cooling system.

But we have personally used many of these suggestions and tips to be able to stay cool even in that kind of extreme weather.

So here’s wishing you safe, happy and COOL travels my friends wherever you may go!

RV Mice – Learn How To Get Rid Of Them For Good!

If you haven’t had RV mice problems so far, consider yourself very fortunate. Chances are that somewhere down the line you will face having to deal with these unwanted guests.

And it’s important to understand that having mice in your RV is not just irritating or a nuisance. No, they can really do some serious damage to your RV quickly.

This is because mice chew on almost everything in an RV. They love to chew on pipes, wood, clothing, furniture and paper goods of any kind.

But for some reason they seem very attracted to electrical wiring.

So just think about how much expensive damage to RV wiring can be done by mice behind your RV’s walls. Or even in your engine compartment if you have a motorhome.

This kind of damage can cost thousands of dollars in RV repairs. And of course, a lot of frustration and irritation as well.

So this article will help you devise a plan to eliminate RV mice issues as much as possible. Let’s get started!

Video on getting rid of RV mice
Watch my video on getting rid of RV mice by clicking the image above

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website

How To Prevent RV Mice

RV mice problems are most prevalent while an RV is in storage. This is because mice are looking for food and shelter. And your empty RV is just what they need to make a cozy home.

And since humans aren’t around, it seems to be the perfect place for them to set up shop for a while.

So the first action to take against having mice in your RV is to put prevention measures in place to keep them out. After all, it’s a lot easier to keep them out in the first place than have to remove them afterward.

Prevention Steps To Take

So here are the steps to take to prevent a mice infestation:

  • Look under your RV and try to plug up any holes or gaps that you can find where they might get entry. Remember they can get in with just a 1/4 inch gap. So push steel wool into the gap and then seal it further with expanding foam.
  • Remove all food when in storage other than canned food. They can even chew into plastic containers so remove anything other than what is in a can.
  • Many RVers have used strong scents and smells to keep them out. Scents like peppermint oil soaked cotton balls, Irish Spring soap bars, mothballs, and even dryer sheets. You may have to experiment to find the right combination for your area, but many have found these to be effective. Just remember to replenish and renew the scents often.
  • Predator pee has also been used to good effect by some RV owners. Especially bobcat and coyote pee. Mice recognize the scent of their predators and usually vacate the area.
  • LED rope lights under the RV at night has also been effective for some RVers. It’s well known that mice don’t like well lighted areas, so they seem to avoid RVs with lighted underbellies.
  • If you have an RV motorhome, keep the hood open when stored. This lets light and drafts into the engine compartment and mice will probably avoid nesting there.

Click here for expanding foam

Click here for predator pee granules

Click here for predator pee spray

Click here for LED rope lights

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Full-time Travel And RV Mice

If you are a full-time RV traveler, you are less likely to have to deal with mice in your RV.

This is because mice would rather be in an area where humans aren’t around. And since you are on the move, that can also be a deterrent to them setting up long-term living arrangements in your rig.

But that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen if you are a full-timer. We have had to deal with mice ourselves on one occasion.

So you need to have a plan not only to prevent RV mice, but also to remove them if necessary.

How To Remove RV Mice

Here are a few methods that have proven to be effective in getting rid of mice in your RV:

  • Mice killer or poison has proven to work against a mice infestation. The only caveat is to remember that mice can take the poison back to their nest behind the RV walls and die there. That means they are out of your reach, and the smell can be pretty bad for a while.
  • Glue traps have also been good mice control products. You put bait on the pad and when the mouse steps on the pad to get it he gets stuck there. He can’t go back to his home behind the walls. But you have to be vigilant about checking the glue traps regularly to dispose of them.
  • Humane mouse traps are another way to try to catch mice and remove them. And if done right, there is no real harm to the mouse. They are baited into a plastic container where they are trapped. They have food and air holes to breathe. But again, you must check the traps regularly to remove the mouse before he dies.
  • The good old-fashioned spring loaded mouse trap is by far the most effective way of eliminating an RV mice infestation. So if things start getting out of control because the mice are breeding rapidly, it may be your best choice overall.

Click here for Tomcat Mouse Killer

Click here for mouse glue traps

Click here for humane mouse traps

Click here for old-fashioned mouse traps

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Conclusion

If you find that you start to have an RV mice problem, don’t panic. But don’t be complacent either.

You need a plan of action to get them out of your RV as soon as possible. And then, do your best to prevent them from coming back.

The suggestions in this article have been proven over time to be very effective. But some work better than others.

The key here is not to waste any time doing something to remove the mice from your RV. So choose your plan of action and start putting it in place as soon as possible!

5 Essentials That You Need To Know About RV Awning Care

RV awning care is important because awnings make RV living so much more pleasant and enjoyable.

In fact, they can serve many useful functions. They can extend our living space, help cool our RV in summer,and protect things like bicycles and grills.

Besides all that, they also provide a comfortable shelter from direct sun and light rain.

So with all that awnings accomplish, it makes sense to practice some simple RV awning care procedures to extend the life and usefulness of our awning.

This article will discuss 5 ways to maintain and improve the use of an RV awning.

Watch my RV awning care video.
Watch my video on RV awning care by clicking the image above.

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website

1 – Cleaning Is Part Of RV Awning Care

A lot of RVers never even think about cleaning the awning material on their RV. But regular cleaning extends the life of an awning considerably.

Most RV awning materials are made of either acrylic or vinyl. And you can use a dedicated RV awning cleaner on either of them.

Vinyl awnings are more robust and can handle a wider variety of cleaning solutions well. But acrylic awnings call for using the right kind of cleaner to avoid stripping the water-resistant coating away.

The cleaning process is actually pretty simple too. While the awning is out, spray the cleaning solution on both sides of the awning material.

When it is fully covered with solution, roll the awning back up against the RV and let it sit for 15 minutes or so. This allows the cleaning solution to thoroughly get absorbed into all parts of the awning material.

Then open the awning again and thoroughly rinse with water. After that allow it to dry completely before rolling it back up again.

If this is done twice a year, it usually keeps the awning material looking good and generally clean.

Click here for RV awning cleaner

2 – Never Leave An RV Awning Out In Strong Winds

In calm weather an awning functions well and poses no problem. But when high winds start to kick up, it’s time to get that awning back into its storage position.

This is because an awning can become like a huge sail in high winds and it’s easy to experience damage at that point.

Sometimes it just rips the awning material itself, but other times it can even damage the awning frame too.

At any rate, any of this kind of damage is expensive to repair. So it’s best to just avoid the issue completely and take in the awning when winds are strong.

How strong should the wind get before you take it in? That’s difficult to say, but just know that even wind speeds of 15 miles per hour can do damage. And above that speed, the chances of wind damage gets far greater.

So if you plan on leaving your RV for a while, it’s a good practice to think about pulling in the awning while you are gone.

This is because weather can change suddenly and abruptly. So bear that in mind as you decide whether to leave the awning out or not while you are away.

One more tip – always leave one side of the awning lower than the other side when it rains.

This makes sure that the rain water will have a clear path to drop off and not just pool on the awning material. Pooling water can rip an awning easily.

3 – RV Awning Care Can Include Using Tie-Downs

Some RV awnings have better support frames than others. So therefore, some awnings can stand up to more wind speed than others.

In either case, it’s not a bad idea to provide a little extra insurance against wind damage by using tie-downs. They can help provide more strength and stability while the awning is deployed.

They are also very easy to use and don’t take much time to setup and remove.

I often see RV awning stabilizers installed with the tension strap in front of the awning. But I have found that they can work almost just as well if the tie-down stake is placed back toward the RV too.

RV awning tie-downs with the stake installed in front of the awning.
RV awning tie-downs with the stake in front of the awning
RV awning tie-downs where the stake is installed in the ground by the RV itself.
RV awning tie-downs with the stake back by the RV

And in most cases, it will be best to use a ground stake that screws into the ground to anchor the tension strap. This kind of stake is much harder to pull up and so is more reliable.

Click here for an awning tie-down kit

Click here for corkscrew awning stakes

4 – Use RV Awning Deflappers

If wind conditions start to get active, you may notice that the awning material starts to flap in the wind. This is especially true of acrylic awnings.

The sound that a flapping awning makes is irritating for sure. But there is also danger of damage being done by this kind of flapping as well.

Over time, the flapping motion can slowly weaken the edges of the awning and cause them to fray. And it also can eventually have a negative effect on other parts of the awning.

So, it’s part of good RV awning care to install awning deflappers that stretches the awning material and holds it in place.

They also go on easily and quickly, so it’s a simple process. And they can be removed in just a few minutes too.

Click here for RV awning deflappers

5 – Extend Awning Protection With A Sun Shade

Part of RV awning care is getting the most use of your awning. And since one of the main advantages of an RV awning is the shade it provides, just extend that shade further.

You can do that with a sun shade that will extend the shady area of the awning farther toward the ground. But it also continues to allow easy visibility through the shade material.

In addition to the added shade, it can also provide a greater measure of privacy if you are too close to your campground neighbor.

These kind of sun shades are also easy to attach to your RV awning. They have a strip that goes into an open rail that is found in most awning bars.

The strip holds the sun shade to the awning firmly. From there most sun shades have grommets that can be used to tie the bottom of the shade to the ground with stakes.

Many RVers use bungee cords to hold down the bottom of their awning shade. And they work well for this purpose.

RV awning sun shade tied to stakes using bungee cords
RV awning sun shade tied to stakes using bungee cords

Once the sun shade is attached to your awning, you are shielded from much of the sun on that side of the RV. It can make the difference between enjoying your awning in comfort or leaving to go back inside.

There are even sun shades that can fit on the ends of the awning too. And of course, these can increase both shade and privacy when in use.

Click here for awning sun shades

Click here for awning end cap sun shades

Conclusion

Just adding a few ideas and procedures to your RV awning care plan can be very beneficial. It can save you lots of money on awning repairs and extend the usefulness of your awning too.

The 5 tips presented in this article are simple and easy to do. And putting them into practice will improve your RV living experience.

Have safe and happy travels my friends!