Fortunately, recreational vehicles are equipped with air conditioners for when the weather turns hot. Unfortunately, RV air conditioners have some limitations; air conditioners, whether on a home or an RV, take a lot of power, and the RV’s batteries will be sufficient to power this load. Thus, you will need to be plugged into power either at an RV park or with a generator.
Another thing, recreational vehicles have a lot of “heat gain”. This means the interior will heat up quickly, similar to a car. The walls on an RV are thin, and often, inadequately insulated. Likewise, the glass from the windows can heat up very quickly, radiating into the entire interior. This all means it can get very hot inside the RV, typically, the interior can get 5-15 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. That means your RV air conditioner will need to work even harder to cool the inside down.
Ways to Make Your RV Air Conditioner More Efficient
You can help your air conditioner work better by addressing the issue of heat gain; which means, stopping the RV from getting overheated in the first place.
Reflectix for the Windows
Reflectix is a type of insulating material that is like a silver foil bubble wrap. You can buy it in rolls; you can sometimes find it at a building supply or hardware store, an RV store or you can buy it online. Most RV owners cut pieces of Reflectix to fit into the windows to keep the heat from coming inside. Likewise, put the window shades and curtains down over the Reflectix. It will be dark inside, but it will also keep the heat out.
Park in the Shade
Parking your motorhome or trailer in the shade can make a big difference! Find an RV park with lots of shade trees for the summer. Being surrounded by trees is not only a lovely environment, but it also keeps the heat down around your RV. Likewise, as long as it’s not windy, put your awning out to shade that side of your RV.
Most RVs come with a big awning, and the higher-end models often come with individual awnings on each window. Installing window awnings can also significantly reduce heat gain. While this can be costly, it is also a very good way to help keep your RV comfortable in the summer.
You can also apply a heat-resistant window film to your windows. However, if you choose to tint the front windshield of a motorhome, check for legal requirements, and leave that job to a professional.
In conclusion, your RV air conditioner is serviceable, but you may need to help it a little by preventing heat gain in the first place. The best way to stay comfortable in your RV during the summer is to travel to a cooler climate and stay at an RV park where you can plug into power.