How To Keep An RV Cool In Summer – Tips That Work

This article is all about how to keep an RV cool in summer. Because nobody wants to be camping in their RV and be miserable while they’re doing it.

So here are some of my very best tips that I’ve learned about how to stay cool in your RV. And they are tips that we have learned during our full-time RVing adventures.

Watch my video on how to keep an RV cool in summer

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How To Keep An RV Cool In Summer – Air Conditioners

The number one tip is make sure that you get your air conditioners serviced regularly. And keep the filters clean too.

Your RV air conditioners may seem like they can just run forever without any attention. But once a year you need to have them serviced.

Now you could have someone do it for you. In fact it’s not usually very expensive to do that.

Or you could actually do it yourself. There’s several videos on YouTube about how to perform the annual maintenance on your air conditioners.

That way you can keep them running at maximum efficiency. But you also need to keep your A/C filters clean too.

That’s because RVs are not airtight. So they pull in a lot of dust. And that dust gets caught in the A/C filters.

My recommendation is to clean them about once a month. Or sometimes even more than that if you’re in a really dusty and dirty area.

You need to pull those filters down and vacuum them. That gets all the dust and dirt out out of them.

Now if the filters are really dirty, then you may need to wash them instead. And then dry them out and vacuum them afterward. Or even replace them all together.

Just make sure that you keep your filters clean. When they clog up, the efficiency of your air conditioners is going to drop dramatically. So be sure to service your air conditioners and keep the filters clean.

How To Keep An RV Cool In Summer – Using Shade Wisely

My next tip is all about shade. And you’re going to hear about that a lot in this article.

Shade helps a lot in the summertime. So when you come to a campground ask them if you can have a campsite in the shade. Or even when you’re making your reservations you can ask for a shaded campsite.

If they do have a shaded spot available, make good use of that. Because shade is going to keep the temperature down inside your RV. So use every bit of shade that you can when you are camping.

Now my next tip is don’t wait to turn on your air conditioner until the RV has already heated up a lot.

Unfortunately, a lot of people do this. But they really shouldn’t. In fact, when you notice that it’s starting to heat up a little bit in the RV, get those air conditioners on.

Because if you wait until it gets hot in there, you put that air conditioner in a hole. And it’s got to climb out of that hole to cool the RV.

It’s really not going to function at its best efficiency that way either. But if you start off when it’s still relatively cool, it should be able to maintain that as it goes.

And it runs at a much more efficient rate that way. So don’t wait until it’s really hot inside the RV to turn your air conditioners on.

Using Awnings To Keep An RV Cool In Summer

My next tip is to use your RV awning as much as possible to shade that side of your RV. Especially if that’s the side that’s always in the sun.

Really, the awning is a built-in shade for your RV. And it’s a great way to have your own shade and bring it with you.

But a word of caution here too. If you use your awning for shade, you have to watch it carefully. That’s because awnings can’t be out when the wind is up.

So if it gets very windy, you’ve got to take the awning in. And that’s just the way it is.

But if it’s not windy out, then put the awning out and shade that side of your RV. You’ll notice a huge difference if you do.

The next tip is to use window awnings on your RV if you have them. Now a lot of towables don’t have that. But many motorhomes do.

So use your window awnings. They are those little shades that come out over your window. We have them on our RV. And it always makes a huge difference in the room where we deploy them.

How To Keep An RV Cool In Summer – Using Sun Shades

Now the next tip that I want to give you is about using a sun shade for your awning area. Of course, the awning is great. But you can take that one step further and use a sun shade like you see here.

How to keep an RV cool in summer using an awning sun shade
Awning sun shade

Click here to view RV awning sun shades

And that’s going to extend the shade even further in that area. Also, you’ll notice that the shade will really drop the temperature under the awning considerably.

You can get sun shades for the front of the awning. And you can also get them for the sides of the awning as well.

Click here to view awning side sun shades

A lot of folks don’t know you can do that. But yes, there are side awning shades as well. And that can lower the temperature under the awning even further.

So you can enjoy the outside even longer by having it really nice and cool under your awning.

Now my next tip is to use a sun shade for your motorhome windshield. And this is super important because windshields on motorhomes are huge heat conductors.

And they conduct the heat right into your RV. So you need to find a way to take that heat and reflect it out of the RV instead.

And having a good windshield sun shade is a great way to do that. Also, you can get ones that are relatively inexpensive like you see right here.

Class A windshield sun shade
Inexpensive RV windshield sun shade

Click here to view Class A RV windshield shades

Click here to view Class C RV windshield shades

Or you can get the ones that are more permanent. They often snap on or are put on with magnets. But they’re quite a bit more expensive.

Class A windshield sun shade set
Better RV windshield sun shade

Click here to view higher quality Class A RV windshield sun shades

These kind of RV windshield sun shades look great. And they do a really good job. Also, they’ll last for years and years.

So make sure that you keep that motorhome windshield shaded. It will make a big difference inside your RV!

How To Keep An RV Cool In Summer When Cooking Meals

The next tip is to cook your meals outside your RV. Or just use cool meals instead when it’s really hot.

When you put a stove or oven on inside your RV, it’s fighting against the effects of your air conditioner. And if it’s a really hot day, the air conditioner is probably going to lose.

So a great way to avoid that is to just do your cooking right outside under the awning. That way you can enjoy the awning too.

And you can set a table up out there and use things like a Blackstone griddle. There’s a lot of RVers that use those to cook their meals on.

Blackstone griddle
Blackstone griddle – click the image to learn more

Or you can use a an electric griddle if you want too. You could also use a grill or a smoker to cook your meals outside.

RV gas stove
Gas camping stove – click the image to learn more
Coleman portable grill
Coleman portable grill – click the image to learn more

There’s all kinds of things that can be used to cook food outside the RV And when you do, all that heat is not trapped inside your RV instead. So use the suggestion of cooking outside as much as you can on hot days.

The other way to do it is to just choose cool meals inside on the really hot days. It’s your choice, and both of those suggestions work well to keep your RV cool.

Insulate Those Windows And Vents To Keep Your RV Cool

My next suggestion is if you’re in a really high heat area, use Reflectix on your RV. It’s a material that’s insulated and has reflective covers on both sides.

Click here to view Reflectix material

We use it a lot on our RV on really hot days, like you might find in Arizona in the summertime. We cut it to the size of our windows and then we’ll tape it in place over the window area.

And you know what? It works great! Because it reflects that heat back out of the RV instead of allowing it in through our windows.

My next suggestion is to install roof vent insulators and skylight insulators in your RV. That’s because RV skylights are one of the biggest sources of heat that you can imagine.

So we put foam insulation up into our skylight. And then we use tension bars to keep it in place as you see here. And it has worked extremely well for us.

How to keep an RV cool in summer - our RV skylight insulator
Our skylight insulator installed

Also, heat can easily come in through your roof vent fans. So you can get insulated pillows or cushions that go up in there to keep that area cool.

Click here to view RV fan vent insulators

And when you do that for your vents and skylight, you’re keeping that cool air inside your RV. And keeping the hot air out.

How About Portable Air Conditioners?

But what if your air conditioner can’t keep up with the heat outside? My next suggestion is to get a portable air conditioner to help out. Especially on the really hot days.

Click here to view a portable A/C unit like we use

Some folks ask, how do you run a portable air conditioner in an RV? Well, if you’ve got a 50 amp service, it probably is not going to be an issue.

You can just plug it into a outlet inside your RV and run it. But if you have a 30 amp service like a travel trailer, you may have to do it differently.

If you look out on the electric pole where you plug in, you’ll often find a 120 volt plug-in or outlet. And you could run an extension cord to it through a window or a slide.

You could then hook it up to your portable air conditioner. And then you have two air conditioners running, instead of just one.

Conclusion

My next suggestion is make use of campground pools to cool off and lower your body temperature. Because when your body temperature rises, you’re probably not going to get cool very quickly.

So it’s a good idea to go use that pool to cool yourself down. And it’ll make everything more comfortable for you on really hot days.

Finally, if the heat is too much where you’re at, there’s wheels on your RV. So use them to go to a cooler area for a while.

Well, those are my best tips for maintaining your cool in really hot weather.

There’s a lot of fun things to do in the summertime when you’re camping in your RV. And there is no need to be uncomfortable and miserable.

Especially while you’re trying to enjoy your RV adventures. But if you follow the tips I gave you here, you can stay cool in your RV. Even in the hottest days of summer.

Have safe and happy travels my friends!

Silver Springs State Park And Campground – Our Review

The Silver Springs State Park and Campground is located near the beautiful township of Silver Springs. And it is only about 7-8 miles away from Ocala, FL.

The physical address of Silver Springs State Park is 5656 E. Silver Springs Blvd. Silver Springs, FL. This is the main entrance of the Park itself where the attraction is.

About a mile away is where the campground entrance is located though. The actual address of the campground is 1425 NE 58th Ave. in Ocala, FL.

There is also an Equestrian entrance that you can look up online, if you need that information.

Silver Springs State Park Campground

Not enough can be said about this beautiful campground which is located in a gorgeous area of Florida. It is an area that is not quite as congested as many other areas of Florida to visit.

It is reminiscent of what we lovingly refer to as “Old Florida”. Meaning that it is where the landscape is not altered to look so groomed and pristine. It has a very natural look.

And there is wildlife galore. Also, fantastic hiking trails are located all through this region. Not just hiking, but bicycle, canoe and kayak trails to explore too.

Within about 45 minutes, there are many other places to explore that are part of the Florida state park system.

There are several bubbling springs with gallons and gallons of fresh water coming up through the aquifer. And usually they allow non or electric powered boating in these areas.

There is also swimming in water that remains a constant temperature all year round. These are great places to visit, particularly on a warm day. But enough about the area for now.

Silver Springs State Park Campground Features

The campground, what can you expect? Well, this is a very nice state park campground. But there are only about 59 sites though.

Click here for a campground map of Silver Springs State Park

They have recently upgraded all their electric to include 50 amp as well as 30 amp at all the RV sites. And as with many state parks, there are very few sites with sewer.

In fact this park has more than most state parks with 13 sites with sewer connections. But that really is not a problem. Why?

Because they have a double dump station to take care of that part of your camping needs. Which works well if you are not able to reserve a site with a sewer hookup.

The sites themselves have plenty of room in them and plenty of space between them. Most are deep enough to hold a larger rig and remain pretty level for the most part.

You definitely have a feeling of privacy when camping in these spots. How are the access roads though?

Well, to get to the campground itself is right off a main route in Forida called State Route 40. And the road leading from the ranger station to the campground itself is paved and well taken care of.

The roads in the campground are not paved all the way through. But they are well packed and very easy to navigate, even for large RV’s.

Silver Springs State Park Amenities

How about park amenities? The bath houses are very clean and well kept up. They even offer a washer/dryer if you are in need of those.

Campground WI-FI is not offered, probably because of the close proximity to Ocala. But there seems to be no issue with cell service from the major cell carriers.

So, you should be able to have easy connectivity through your phone or hot spot.

They also have a nice little playground for the kids if you have a family. And right from the campground itself you can go right onto quite a few hiking trails.

But what is really nice is that when you stay in this campground, you have free admission to Silver Springs itself.

Access To Silver Springs

This is an area with beautiful gardens to walk through. And it is home to the famous glass bottom boats (which are an additional cost, of course).

There is much information about the history of Silver Springs itself to enjoy. And there is an eating establishment on site and activities for the kids too.

They keep the area immaculate and it is such a peaceful place to walk through. Or you can just sit on the huge deck in rocking chairs and reflect.

Also, you can either bring your own or rent canoes and kayaks to navigate down the Silver River. It is crystal clear and you can see the bottom with all the fish and turtles swimming beside you as you go.

There are beautiful river banks with even some monkeys that live there. They are holdovers from when they had a wildlife zoo as part of the Silver Springs attraction.

So as you can see, this campground is unique and does offer a lot.

Silver Springs State Park – Surrounding Area

As was mentioned at the the beginning of the article, the area is within about 45 minutes or so of many other springs and parks to visit.

Many of them are free to access. And if you have not seen an area like this before, it is so interesting and beautiful.

If you choose to go a little further to the west for a day, there are other great places to see. Like Homossasa Springs or Weeki Wachee. And they are known for the manatees in their waters.

How far away from civilization are you at this campground? Not far at all. Silver Springs township is only about 1 mile away.

It offers restaurants and grocery stores. But Ocala itself is only about 6-8 miles away.

And there is a Walmart on Route 40 on the way to Ocala along with Harbor Freight and Home Depot. Ocala offers anything you want as far as groceries and restaurants.

Just so you know, Ocala is one of the RV strongholds in Florida. Although not as many RV’s as perhaps the Tampa area. But it has many RV dealers and repair shops.

So if any issues happen with your RV, you should be able to get it taken care of there.

So how far is this campground from some of the bigger cities that we hear of in Florida? Well, Orlando area is about 85 miles away or about 1 1/2 hours.

And Tampa is about 100 miles away or almost 2 hours. Just far enough away to enjoy the quiet of the real “Florida” at Silver Springs.

Our Conclusion

So, with all this information do you have any idea on how we would rate this campground? Definitely the area would be a big 5 stars. And the campground we would rate as 4.5 stars.

We would consider it a 5 star campground, but for two reasons we would rate it a bit lower. First, because it is so loved, it is sometimes difficult to get reservations. So booking out quite a bit in advance is usually necessary.

Secondly, many RVers like amenities such as pools, and other activities such as that. So since they do not offer those things, we will lower it to the 4.5 star rating.

Would we visit here again? In a hot second!!!! We have been here before three times, and would definitely go back again!

Thank you Silver Springs for a beautiful park and well kept campground!!!!

Fort DeSoto Campground – One Of Our Favorites RV Parks

Fort DeSoto Campground is located in Fort DeSoto Park, 3500 Pinellas Bayway So., Tierra Verde, FL. And it is near St. Petersburg, FL.

It’s a county park in the county of Pinellas. Florida has a beautiful state and county park system that allows you to see the beauty of the state.

Fort DeSoto itself is a very nice state park. And it has a sought after campground located within it. In fact, many of the sites in the campground sit right on the water.

So needless to say, the salt water views are beautiful and the sunsets are to die for.

Fort DeSoto Campground Features

But let’s talk a little about the campground first. This campground has 236 sites and it is divided into 3 sections.

Click here to view the map for Fort DeSoto Campground

There is a section with 85 sites that accommodates tents, vans, pop-ups and RV’s that are up to 16 feet long. At the time of this writing they run $37.86/night.

If you want one located on the water, it costs a little more at $42.38. These prices include taxes, etc.

Their next section, sites 86-164, is for those folks that have pets. The last section, sites 164-236, is for folks with no pets. And both of these two sections can accommodate RV’s of any size.

These campsite prices run $43.51/night. And if you want waterfront, the price is a little more at $48.03 including tax.

These sites have either 30 or 50 amp electric and water. But there is no sewer hookup, as is the case with most of the state parks in Florida.

They do have two very nice dump stations that can take care of those needs though.

Fort DeSoto Campground Sites And Reservations

One word of caution about Fort DeSoto Campground though ….book early. They fill up fast!!

Our experience is that they have a very pleasant office staff. They are actually Florida park rangers, who are extremely helpful.

And the campground also has a camp store where you can pick up a few things, including firewood.

At certain times of the year, it also has a little snack bar in it too. And it even has chairs on the porch that overlook the water.

What are the sites like? Well, they are dirt sites. And most of them are fairly level. But they do have some pull-through sites too.

They are definitely nestled in native Florida foliage and each one gives you privacy. The ones on the water are gorgeous. But as you can imagine, are a little more difficult to secure.

The ability to navigate the park is easy, even if you have a bigger RV. The roads leading to the park are very spacious and it is easy to get to the campground.

Fort DeSoto Campground Amenities

The park doesn’t have many amenities though. It has a couple of small playgrounds. And of course, bath houses with showers. They are older but clean.

But quite honestly, with the ocean as your backdrop to this campground, you don’t need much else. That being said…let’s talk about Ft. DeSoto Park.

Fort DeSoto Campground - lots to see and do nearby
Lots to see and do nearby to Fort DeSoto Campground

Things To Do Nearby

The park itself is just wonderful!!!! It is 1136 acres of unadulterated Florida land with beautiful wildlife and landscapes.

It has 5 interconnected islands or keys. And two of these have ferries that you can take, so you can explore them.

There are beach plants, mangroves and 328 species of birds, plus much more wildlife.

And there are 7 miles of oceanfront. About 3 miles of which are white sandy beaches with designated swimming areas.

There is also one beach that is a dog beach, if you have a furry friend who likes the water.

Anything else in this park??? Definitely!!! There are pavillions to picnic at. And two fishing piers (must have a fishing license), a snack bar and a souvenir shop.

Why a souvenir shop? Well, this was a fort at one time. And the fort is still there to explore along with a small museum. So yes, you can find a little bit of history at this place too.

Boating And Hiking Opportunities

There are also places to launch your boat if you desire, to explore the area or fish. In fact, there is a really cool 2 1/2 mile canoe trail, if you like to canoe or kayak.

There are also trails that can be used for biking or walking. And local businesses rent wind jammers and other aquatic equipment too. That way you can enjoy your time on the ocean.

If you want to just get into the park, it is only $5. Of course, if you are camping in the campground, your entrance fee to the park is included.

Fort DeSoto Campground – Shopping Nearby

What is nearby for provisioning? Well, there is a Walmart about 10 miles away. But there are plenty of other grocery stores in between too.

Publix is a huge grocery chain in Florida and they are just about everywhere. But there are also hardware stores and big box stores as well. So there is not a problem provisioning.

Local Restaurants

What about places to eat? Well, you are near bigger cities and eclectic townships.

So not only do you have the normal chain restaurants. But plenty of Mom and Pop restaurants that are unique to the area.

And if you want seafood, just throw a rock. They are just about everywhere you go. So you can please any taste and everyone will be happy with something close by.

As far as things to do….you are on the ocean. Plenty of water activities, botanical gardens, etc. And just hanging out on the beach enjoying the shelling and the sunshine.

The area offers way too many things to even mention. But if you visit the area, you are sure to find something to do!!!!

Our Conclusion

So how would we rate the area and the Fort DeSoto campground? The surroundings is an absolute 5 stars. This is just a very nice part of Florida to visit.

How about the campground??? Well, we would give it a 4.5 stars. The campground area itself is very serene. And the beauty it brings for everyone to enjoy is outstanding.

The facilities we would give a 4 star rating. It is a little older and could use some updating and there are not a ton of amenities.

But once again, given the area, you don’t need much. Especially when you are staying at a beautiful place right on the ocean.

So all in all, you may definitely want to put this on your agenda if you are visiting the St. Petersburg area.

Thank you Fort DeSoto for the lovely stays we have had there. We look forward to many more!

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