Living in sunny Rockport, Texas means you can enjoy all the advantages of a warm climate, especially during the winter months. It also means you will have a few hot periods that require exceptional temperature management to maintain comfort in your RV or camper. You can stay comfortable into triple digit temperatures with some careful planning and a few simple tips. It certainly makes the hot days more bearable when you have a nice cool camper to retreat to during the mid-day.
Get Your Shade Right – awning, trees, etc.
Shade is obvious enough but worth discussing. A high quality awning is really a must-have for long term parking. Awnings over large windows also can have a huge impact by blocking out the sun and heat during peak hours.
Going beyond the shade you make with awnings, also look for parking around cool shade trees. Even if they are not directly overhead, the trees will cool down the ground around the camper and the air temperature will drop just enough to help out. When a direct piece of shade is available, take advantage to cool off the camper by avoiding the sun.
Head Out to Cool Down
The middle part of your day is flat out hot, especially during the summer. In winter, it’s comfortable and often perfect but sometimes it’s just hot and worth avoiding the high sun. Luckily, air conditioned attractions are not hard to find. This is a great time to save on your power bill by not running your air conditioner.
Instead, head to the art museum or go out for a late lunch. Better yet, do both and throw in your shopping for the day while the sun sets and things cool off for the evening. Just get out and take advantage of the numerous museums and attractions in the region that offer indoor, air conditioned spaces.
You can also opt for an outside option and hit the water. Go for a swim, sunbathe on the beach or paddle a kayak around the bay. Everything near the water is a few degrees cooler. Wear your sunscreen and take advantage of the great outdoors in the area.
Trapping Cool Air – close blinds, use vents, push out hot air, reflective window covers, ac
If you want to stay inside for the day, it’s all about pushing out the hot air and trapping the cool air inside. A well insulated camper really helps to trap the cool air inside. Open your windows and vents at night and let the cool air circulate through the camper. Just before the sun rises, go ahead and pull down the blinds and close the windows to keep that air inside. You can even add a short blast of air conditioning before trapping that air. It should keep you cool through the morning hours.
As the internal heat starts creeping upwards, open the roof vent to let that air out. Remember, heat rises. Turn on the air conditioning to cool everything down and close the vents after the hot air escapes. Consider running this cycle every couple hours to save energy and to prevent wearing out your air conditioning unit. If the heat is bad enough, you can depend more heavily on the air conditioning to cool off the interior.
You might even consider adding a portable unit to cool off specific sections of the camper. For example, if you want to nap, close the door to the bedroom section and use a portable unit to cool that area. It’s also nice to have as a backup in case your primary unit breaks.
Minimize Heat Generation – cook outside during the day, use vents and windows
There are a few extra tricks to minimize heat in your camper. One major thing to consider is avoiding cooking inside. Your stove top is like a little heater and it will quickly change the interior temperature in a small space. Setup and outdoor camp stove or barbecue if possible and use it to cook lunch when practical.
Same goes for taking a hot shower. If you must, make sure the bathroom vents are fully open to let the heat escape. Take your showers early in the morning or at night to avoid adding more heat to the hottest part of the day.
Lastly, consider using heat reflective covers for the windows. ReflectX insulates the window while blocking the sunshine. The material just reflects the sun and does not absorb the heat and it works wonders to keep things cooler without using energy. It’s the same material used for common windshield shades. The big accordian, tin foil looking shades work exceptionally well at turning away the sun.