Can You Keep a Travel Trailer Cool in the South Carolina Heat?

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Austin’s Happy Place

When I was a little girl, I was convinced that there was no place hotter than my daddy’s half-acre garden. As he accumulated more land and begin cleaning it, I knew I’d been wrong. There was no place hotter than land you’re trying to clear. As an adult, I realized that the hottest place in the world has got to be a hay field, but a travel trailer baking in the South Carolina sun has to be a close second to any hayfield, garden, or land clearing.

Cooling a travel trailer is no easy feat, but it can be done using tricks of the trade like camper placement, insulation, and skirting.

Can You Keep a Travel Trailer Cool?

Those who know me avoid me when it is hot. I’m a miserable, sweaty, angry mess when South Carolina turns on the heat and humidity. Those who want to spend time with me during the summer opt for visiting near large bodies of water, swimming pools, or in air conditioning that could make a snowman shiver.

Yet, I go camping – all summer long. (And my husband still enjoys the trips.)

I’ll be the first to admit, cooling a travel trailer is no easy feat. First, you’re dealing with little, if any insulation, the materials manufacturers use beckon the sun, and the air conditioning units are never sufficient. But all is not lost. Here are some things we’ve tried or plan to try this summer.

  1. Be Selective About Where You Park. Wherever your largest windows are, make sure they are facing north, this way, when the sun sets, you are in the shade. Also, request a spot with plenty of shade.
  2. Have Your Windows Tinted – all of them. Travel Trailers come with lots of windows that do not open. They are great for viewing majestic scenery but do nothing for helping you cool your rig. Anyone who tints car windows can tint travel trailer windows. We used Unique Visions in Rock Hill, but any company that tints windows could do the work. This trick alone has provided a measurable difference for us.
  3. Tint the windows Yourself – This is not an option our marriage would have survived, but it seems easy enough to do. You might check out the following Amazon products:
    1. Protint Windows 5% Shade. This product allows you to select between a 5% and 50% visual light transmission, but there are many other products you might choose.
    2. Heat Control Window Film – This option is nice because it offers daytime privacy and there is no glue involved. Static cling is the magic that makes this product work. 
  4. Use a Door Window Shade Amazon has two shades we like. The first is an RV Door Window Cover Reflective shade and the other is the Latch.IT RV Door Window Shade. Both are easily installed in under two minutes and they work equally well.
  5. Cover Your Vents. This was the single greatest investment we made after tinting our windows. The temperature difference in the trailer was noticeable within 5 minutes. It may not seem like it, but the heat coming in through the skylights and bathroom vents is incredible. We bought ours at Camping World, but Amazon sells them cheaper. Try these models: Camco RV Vent Insulator or the VanEssential Magnetic Insulated Roof Vent Cover.
  6. Insulate Your Travel Trailer. Austin was surprised at how easy this task actually was. For underneath the rig, we chose the SilveRboard R-5 from Lowes for the area underneath the bed. Next weekend we will use Amazon’s EZ Cool RV Vehicle Insulation for the area behind the couch. In our trailer this space is a dead area, but boy does it trap the heat.
  7. Use a WindSkirt. We have not tried this idea yet, but will when we retire and can camp for longer periods of time. I’m considering trying this RV WindSkirt available on Amazon.
  8. Invest in Sun Shades. This option is our next big purchase and though we have not decided on which model we’ll use, here is a picture of an Amazon product I’m referring to. It’s the Shade Pro Vista Shade for the awning. I have seen many campers use these shades to create an outdoor room and plan to do the same for our trip to OceanLakes Campground this summer.
  9. Get A Dehumidifier. Space is always at a premium in the travel trailer, and this option is not for every camper, but considering my extreme aversion to heat and humidity, this LONOVE Dehumidifier seems like a worthy contender for space. I’ll let you know if Austin goes for it. 

Why Camp When It’s So Hot?

Some people only camp during Spring and Fall, while others camp year-round. In South Carolina, we are fortunate enough to have mild winters, so we seldom have to winterize the camper and can often take off camping whenever we feel like it, but camping in the heat is HARD.

We do it though, because we love the camping life. Most often our electronics are seldom used and we get to see amazing sights, experience incredible things, and get to know each other better with every trip. Granted, Austin likes me much better in every season except summer, but that’s why I’m writing this blog. Where there is a will, there is always a way.

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