When the summer heat and humidity set in, even the best air conditioners seem like they can’t keep up. It’s not your imagination, but it’s also not your AC’s fault. Keeping cool during the hottest part of the year takes some experience and knowledge, so we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks for your next summer vacation.


Making sure your RV’s rooftop AC unit is working properly is the first step to beating the heat. Your air conditioner should be serviced about once every twelve months. This preventative maintenance is well worth it to help ensure you’ll have cold air once the temperature reaches triple digits.

When packing up for your trip, make sure to bring a few standalone fans and extra filters for your AC units. These two items on our packing list are well worth the space. Additional fans circulate air in your RV, stopping any hot air pockets from forming where the AC vents can’t reach.

When on your trip, check the small filters in your interior AC vents. Dirt and debris from your travels quickly build up during the summer when the ground is dry and dusty. If they get too dirty and you don’t have time to clean them, just pop in your extras and you’ll have maximum cool airflow again!

Before you leave for your adventure, check how many of your interior lights use halogen or incandescent bulbs. It might not seem like much, but all that heat from older bulbs gets stuck in your RV throughout the day. Try replacing them with cooler running LEDs before you head out.


Making changes to your RV and your packing list isn’t the only way to stay cool. There are also plenty of tricks you can use to keep yourself cool after you get to the campsite.

  • Start your AC in the morning before the hottest part of the day.
    It’s always easier to keep a space cool than it is to make a space cool. By starting your AC a little early, you give it the head start it needs to keep up with even the worst heat waves.
  • Park your RV with the windshield facing north.
    When you park facing north, you make sure the largest window, your windshield isn’t allowing direct sunlight into the RV. Even if you’re using a towable RV, parking to the north or south will help you maximize the shade provided by your awning throughout the day.
  • Use your window shades.
    The sunlight constantly barreling down on your RV interior is what keeps it getting hotter and hotter throughout the day. Nip that heat in the bud by keeping your windows shaded and letting less light in.
  • Cook outside.
    Another big heat source in an RV is the kitchen. Stoves and ovens give off a lot of heat when you cook, so trying to BBQ outside with a small grill to avoid accidentally heating your RV. Some RVs even come with exterior kitchenettes, so put them to good use.

Don’t forget that the best way to ensure a crisp, cool summer trip is to get your rooftop AC unit annual service before you head out for your trip!