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How To Insulate Your RV For Summer

motorhome in front of forested view - feature image for How To Insulate Your RV For Summer
Keep the heat out with these RV insulation tips. Photo: Shutterstock

RV Insulation Tips For Summer Camping

As the weather warms up, many people are pulling their RVs out of storage and preparing for summer road trips and campouts. Unfortunately, some RVs can get pretty hot, and it’s tough to cool them down. This is why it’s good to know how to insulate your RV for summer. 

When we talk about insulation, it’s usually in regards to cold weather. All RVs have some type of insulation, but it often needs a bit of reinforcement/upkeep to perform well. This is a worthwhile pursuit because a well-insulated RV will be able to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

Below are some ways you can improve the insulation in your RV as well as some tips for how to stay cool as the weather heats up. By following this advice, you’ll be able to enjoy a nice breezy trip the next time you head out on the road. 

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Add interior insulation

The first thing you can do is reinforce the existing insulation in your RV. The best types include fiberglass, rigid foam, and spray foam. They each have their pros and cons, and you will need to do the process yourself or hire professional help to get inside your walls. Spray foam is one of the easiest types to install and it’s a popular choice for RV owners.

Seal windows and doors

Windows are notorious sources of heat leaks during hot and cold weather. Glass doesn’t retain heat very well, so windows can have a major impact on the temperature of your RV. Doors also have cracks along the edges that let hot or cold air inside. There are ways to minimize these issues, though!

You can start by replacing the weather strips around your doors. Caulk can also be used to seal any gaps or weak points in your windows or doors. A door snake along the edge of your door can seal up drafts as well. If the problem can’t be fixed with these measures, you can also replace or upgrade your RV windows and doors with more insulated models. 

RV skirting

RV skirting is often used during cold weather, but it’s a good way to insulate your RV for summer as well. Skirting protects the bottom of your RV from temperature fluctuations. This keeps the interior mechanisms cooler and protects your tires from overheating as well. RV skirting can be bought from stores or made from a variety of materials such as vinyl, plastic, and plywood. Airskirts has also made an innovative line of RV skirting products.

Reflective covers in windows

Obviously, the sun is the thing that heats up your RV. If you can prevent the rays from making it inside, the interior will stay cooler. Reflective window coverings are a great way to achieve this. Whenever you’re facing a hot day, place reflective covers over each window, door, and skylight. You can also use curtains or blankets, but reflective covers are often the most effective choice. 

How to stay cool

Insulation is certainly important, but it’s not the only way to keep your RV cool. There are some practices you can incorporate into your RV life to prevent the interior from getting too hot. 

Use awnings

Almost every RV comes with a built-in awning. This gives you access to shade everywhere you go! If you use it frequently, you can cool down your surroundings a bit and enjoy a patch of shade. There are also ways to extend your awning if you need a larger shade area. Pop-up pavilions and tents are another way to achieve this effect. 

Park in the shade

It may not always be possible to find a shady spot to park, but do it as much as possible. Keep an eye out for campgrounds and RV parks that have lots of trees and shaded areas. You can check RV LIFE Campgrounds to learn more about the shade available at each campground. If you park near a source of water, you can also enjoy a cooler campsite. 

Use fans

All RVs are equipped with air conditioning. You can always use this feature as much as you’d like, but it can be a major drain on your battery and fuel reserves.

Electric fans are a good alternative/supplement. These can be run at all hours of the day without a problem. Improving the ventilation and air flow in your RV is another major bonus.

Keep openings closed

If you have a nice cool interior on a hot day, you need to keep it this way. To limit the amount of heat loss, keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible. There are other openings that can let in heat as well, so take these into account.

For example, if you have exterior storage compartments, these areas can let hot air into the RV. Make sure these compartments are well-sealed to prevent this issue. Vents can also be a problem, so keep them covered when they’re not in use. 

Cook outside

Cooking is a major source of heat. It’s easy and convenient to cook in an RV kitchen, but if you use the oven or stovetop, you’ll be warming up the entire interior. This is miserable on a hot day. So, to prevent this, try to cook outside as much as possible. If you have an exterior kitchen attachment, this is perfect!

You can also use good old-fashioned campfire techniques. It’s a great way to spend time outdoors. Plus, you can keep the RV interior nice and cool. It’s a win-win! 

Paint the exterior

The color of your RV can have an effect on its temperature. Many RVs are already painted white, but others may be grey, black, or other dark colors. If you have a dark-colored RV and are having issues with temperature, try painting the exterior. White reflects light and heat, so the whole thing will be able to stay cooler. 

Hopefully, you now know how to insulate your RV for summer! With just a few additions and changes of habit, you’ll be able to enjoy a difference of several degrees. As a bonus, many of these techniques will also help you during cold weather. Your RV is now ready to deal with all types of weather conditions and temperatures. 

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and much more.

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