How to Stay Cool In Your RV This Summer

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A couple sits outside their RV on a hot day and try to keep cool with cold water.

It’s no secret that summer is a popular time for vacations and adventures. Families often take advantage of the summer holiday from school to make memories together. While we love adventuring during the summer, it can be a sweaty and miserable experience if not done right. Let’s look at a few tips on how to stay cool in your RV! Let’s get started!

How to Keep Your RV Cool in Warm Weather

Staying cool while in your RV can make or break your RVing experience. While there is no one hidden secret to keeping your RV cool, utilizing a combination of these tips will significantly help. Here are a few things to keep in mind while RVing in warm weather.

A sunsets on a warm summer night and to keep cool in your RV you can keep the windows and door open once the cool night air rolls around.

Parking Orientation 

If you’re camping in a campground or a standard campsite, you may not have many options for how you park your RV. However, if you have a little flexibility in how you park your RV, you can keep it much more comfortable.

Your RV will likely have one side that has more windows than the other. Positioning your RV with the least amount of windows facing the sunny side during the heat of the day can keep your RV cooler. We understand you’ll want to enjoy the views from your RV, but your windows will allow massive amounts of sunlight into your RV. The sunlight will quickly warm up your RV and counteract any air conditioner you’re running.

Use Window Coverings or Reflectix During Heat of Day

One of the best ways to prevent sunlight from heating your RV is not to let it into your RV in the first place. Window covers or Reflectix materials are a popular choice for many RVers who find themselves adventuring in warmer weather.

Window covers or Reflectix materials prevent sunlight from entering your RV. Your RV’s air conditioner will be more efficient at keeping your RV cool, and you’ll be a happy camper as a result.

Whether you’re making your window covers or using Reflectix, it’s easy to cut and fit the material to your unique needs. We love this option as material such as Reflectix is widely available at many big-box retailers and on Amazon. We also love that it’s light and effortless to store when not in use.

Reflectix BP24010 Series Foil Insulation, 24 in. x 10 ft, Multicolor
  • Inhibits or eliminates condensation
  • Nontoxic/no carcinogenic

Use Your Awnings

If your RV has awnings, they’re a great resource to use on non-windy days. By extending your awnings, you’ll shade a portion of your RV from the harsh sunlight. Using them is most effective in the morning and evening hours. When the sun is at the highest point in the sky, your awnings will not be much help with keeping your RV cool. However, during this time, your RV awnings will likely produce a tremendous amount of shade outside your RV. 

RVers should not leave their awnings extended when they will be gone for an extended period. One strong gust of wind is capable of ruining your RV’s awning. This repair is often not cheap, and you’ll be awning-less during the heat.

A woman stays cool by sitting under the RV awning outside with the sun poking through the forest trees.

Choose Shady Campsites

If you’re lucky enough to snag a campsite with a generous amount of shade, you’ll find it much easier keeping your RV temps in check. A shady campsite is often easier to find when camping in campgrounds or a forest environment. If your camping style lends itself to camping in a handful of campgrounds, it might be worth scouting out campsites based on shade.

Use Interior Window Shades

Your RV will likely come with some sort of interior window shades. These are another great tool to help combat the warm temperatures. These shades are exceptionally great when paired with other window coverings or Reflectix window coverings.

To keep cool in your RV in the summer heat you can shut your RV window shades to keep the sun's heat out.

Use Roof Vent Fans

Warm air rises and tends to gather at the highest point in your RV. If you open the roof vent and turn on the fan, it will help the warm air escape and allow air to circulate in your RV.

Having a generous amount of air circulation is critical when trying to keep your RV cool. Many RVers upgrade their factory-installed roof vent fans (here’s what we upgraded to) to help with air circulation. These are often relatively inexpensive and easy DIY upgrades that can make a significant difference.

If Not Using Fans – Use Vent Pillows in Roof Fan Vents and Skylights

An RV vent pillow does a tremendous job of insulating your RV’s vents and skylights. These are often massive opportunities for heat to enter your RV and cause the temperatures to rise.

Using a vent pillow, you insulate the vent cavity and block the sunlight and heat from entering your RV. These pillows are often covered with Reflectix to further guard against heat and warm temperatures entering your RV.

Camco Camper / RV Vent Insulator and Skylight Cover - Features 3 Layers to Reduce Heat Transfer & Increase A/C Efficiency - Fits Standard 14” Travel Trailer / RV Roof Vents (45192)
  • RV VENT REFLECTIVE INSULATION: Camco’s vent insulator blocks the sun's damaging rays. It helps keep your RV cooler in...
  • SAVES ENERGY: This product reduces heat transfer and increases A/C efficiency.

Pull In Cool Outdoor Air at Night With Windows and Fans

Once the sun goes down, you’ll notice the temperatures will often begin to fall as well. The cooler nights are an excellent opportunity to open your windows and use fans to circulate air to decrease temperatures further. Fans placed near windows can help pull in cooler air from outside into your RV’s interior. 

You’ll want to make sure to close your windows in the morning to limit letting heat into your RV. This method is a standard method used while boondocking or not connected to shore power to run their air conditioning.

Upgrade to LED Lights Inside

If you’ve ever touched an incandescent light bulb in use, you know that it is capable of generating a tremendous amount of heat. Having multiple incandescent light bulbs can create a generous amount of unnecessary heat.

However, LED lights produce very little, if any, heat when used for extended periods. If your RV is newer, it likely already has a generous amount of LED lighting throughout your RV. If not, be sure to do your research or contact a qualified electrician to complete the upgrade for you.

Use Standalone Fans to Move Air

Sometimes a standalone fan or two in your RV will do a great job moving and circulating air in your RV. You want to increase the air circulation in your RV to avoid it sitting and heating up. If the air moves, it is difficult for the air molecules to heat up and cause the temperature to rise in your RV.

Turn Electronics Off when Not in Use

You may or may not realize it, but all of those electronics in your RV produce heat. Laptops and TV screens are by far the guiltiest electronics for this, but all are guilty. If you’re not actively watching your TV, turn it off. While newer TVs produce substantially less power than older models, it’s still an unnecessary opportunity to invite heat into your RV. Using an electrical surge protector, or multi-plug is an excellent option for turning several electronics off at the same time.

Cook Outside

If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen – but why not just move the kitchen outside? Cooking in your RV is one of the fastest ways to raise the temperature in your RV. If your RV is equipped with an outdoor kitchen, using it will help keep your temperatures down. Using items like instant pots, air fryers, and portable smokers outdoors will serve you well when looking to keep your RV cool. If fires are permitted, cooking over a fire always seems to add to an RVer’s sense of adventure.


We’re confident that by using a combination of the tips we’ve provided, you’ll experience cooler temperatures in your RV. Don’t let the warmer weather stop you from making memories. What are some of your favorite tips for staying cool while in warmer weather?

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1 comment
  1. Thanks for the tips. We were told by an RV Consultant/Inspector not to use Reflectix materials because they absorb the heat and will melt and/or deteriorate the window seals.

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