Traveling the country in an RV is an exciting experience regardless of if you’re participating in full-time living or are simply taking monthly or yearly trips. However, one of the things that can make you dread traveling is the summer heat.
The last thing you likely want to experience is a sweat-filled vacation or humid summer days that have you wishing for an icy lake to jump into to get away.
That’s why it’s essential to learn more about if RVs get too hot in the summer:
Why RVs Get Too Hot in the Summer:
Some RVs, like teardrop trailers, campervans, popup campers, and travel trailers, get too hot during the summer and can exceed temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit if an air conditioner isn’t installed. Even if an RV has an air-con installed, it can still get too hot during scorching temperatures.
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What Type Of RVs Gets too Hot in the Summer?
Nowadays, most motorhomes are outfitted with air conditioners, but this doesn’t mean every type will possess one. In fact, many older RVs are not equipped with aircon or fans, making holidaying or full-time RV living incredibly uncomfortable in the summer.
Additionally, even newer motorhomes like Class Cs, travel trailers, and amber vans (otherwise known as Class Bs) don’t have aircon.
Fortunately, there are ways around this problem, like installing your own aircon. However, before we get into this topic, we want to share three examples of RVs that get too hot in the summer.
To ensure you get the complete picture, we have included a few comments from RVers with these two types of motorhomes:
Travel Trailer Summer Temperatures:
Many travel trailers are made of aluminum, which means they can get incredibly hot during the summer.
According to some RVers, the best they can hope for when traveling in a travel trailer is between 75 and 95 degrees as an indoor temp during the summer.
Additionally, even for many travel trailer RVers with a single aircon, staying indoors can feel like roasting in an oven, especially if there is no shade nearby.
Popup Camper Summer Temperatures:
Most popup campers are better insulated than travel trailers, but this doesn’t mean they don’t get hot during the summer.
This is because although popup campers stay cooler for longer, they can still feel muggy when the outdoor temperatures get very high.
In fact, many popup campervan owners have found their mobile homes too hot when temperatures go above 80 degrees indoors.
At What Temperature Do RVs Get Too Hot For Sleeping?
Since RVs are like vehicles, it’s safe to say that they can become incredibly hot.
To prove how hot a car can get and, thus, how hot your motorhome could become in the summer, we want to share the results of an Arizona State University study on vehicle heat in the summer.
On a hot summer day, the findings revealed that a vehicle’s internal heat tested at 116 degrees Fahrenheit in an hour while the seat temperature reached an astounding 123 degrees Fahrenheit.
Similar temperatures can be felt in an RV on a hot summer day, making it difficult to stay indoors without aircon.
Additionally, this university study also uncovered that even if a car is parked in the shade, it can reach internal temperatures of up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour of being parked.
If you’re camping in a motorhome without an aircon and not in the shade or following tips to cool your RV down, you could have to contend with these temperatures and potential heatstroke.
Yet, at what temperature do RVs get too hot to sleep in? This is a subjective question, as each person will have a different answer. However, safety-wise, it’s usually best not to sleep in a motorhome that reaches more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit if it has poor ventilation.
What Is The Easiest Way To Cool Down An RV?
If you don’t have an air conditioner in your motorhome but want to know the easiest way to cool down your RV, you can look at the quick tips we have listed below.
These tips will detail how you can quickly cool down your motorhome in the summer and save yourself from heatstroke or an uncomfortable evening:
- Use tarps: Stringing up a couple of tarps over your motorhome can help drastically cool down your motorhome on a hot summer’s day, especially if you can’t find any natural shade.
- Look for shade: Often, the easiest way to cool down an RV quickly is to park it in the shade. Although you might not notice a drastic heat reduction, it should make staying indoors more bearable.
- Buy portable fans: If you don’t have the budget for an air conditioner, why not buy and install portable fans to increase ventilation and keep your motorhome interior cool during the summer? It’s cost-effective and easy, so what more do you need?
- Keep electronics switched off: If possible, switch off as many electronics as you can. Electronics like phones, laptops, lights, and TVs cause heat, so switching them off can lower your indoor temperature easily and quickly.
- Cover skylights: Your RVs skylights attract heat, which is why it’s an excellent idea to use insulating covers to block out the sun and heat from entering through these skylights to keep your interior cool.
How Much Does it Actually Cost to Have an AC Installed?
As you can imagine, traveling in a motorhome that doesn’t have an air conditioner can become incredibly uncomfortable.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem if you have the budget.
All you must do is install a rooftop air conditioner in your motorhome. There are portable options, but they aren’t as effective and tend to cool down only one room instead of the entire RV.
Yet, how much does it cost to install a rooftop aircon in your motorhome?
Although there is no set price, we can give you a ballpark estimate based on our research findings.
To install this type of air con, you should expect the unit to cost between $700 and $1,400, depending on the size, make, and model you need for your motorhome.
In addition to the AC unit price, you will need to factor in labor costs ranging between $200 and $600 depending on where you live and the professional’s expertise. Thus, you should expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000.
Moreover, the costs could go up if you purchase extra materials or specialized equipment to install it.