How To Keep Your RV Cool Without AC

Nov 19th 2019

When renting or buying an RV, air conditioning isn’t always a necessity, especially in the cooler months. However, since RV travel usually takes place during the summertime, it can get very hot. Canadian summers can be very hot and humid, and when your RV doesn’t have air conditioning, you can really start to feel the effects of the heat.

On the bright side, there are multiple ways you can keep your RV cool when you don’t have AC. All of these methods are very easy and affordable, which is great if you’re on a budget. Some of these don’t even cost a cent! So if you’re looking for ways to keep your RV cool without AC, then follow these tips:

RV Fan

Portable Fan

Portable fans are life-changing if you don’t have AC installed in your RV. While you can keep them on all day if needed, they’re also great to have while sleeping as the extreme heat can take away a good night's rest. There are lots of different kinds of fans available, but the most popular ones for RVs are those that clip on to the sides of tables, or rotating fans.

This is the closest thing to an air conditioner, as it blows cold air around the RV. If you don’t want to use electricity, you can get a fan that’s battery operated as well. Keeping a couple of fans rotating in your RV during the day will help the air flow, which will ultimately cool down your RV.

RV Lights

Switch To LED Lights

While it may not seem like it, lightbulbs can actually make a room really hot. If you keep the lights on in your RV all day, then the chances are you are making your space twice as hot without even knowing it! In the summertime, you really don’t need the lights on until it gets dark outside, so turning off your lights when you it's light out is a great way to keep the RV cool.

However, if you really need to keep the lights on during the day, then switching to LED lights will actually benefit you a lot. With regular light bulbs, 90% of the light coming from it turns into heat. No wonder bright rooms are always so hot! With LED lights, you can be sure that your RV will remain cool as they only give off a fraction of the heat that incandescent light bulbs do.

RV Reflectix

Cover The Windows

Your RV is hottest when the sun is beating down onto it. If you’re camping in a spot that has no shade, then you can expect your RV to quickly become an oven. Covering the windows is a great idea to prevent the sun from heating up your camper.

Covering our windows with the blinds or with window coverings is the best option to keep the heat out. There is a product named Reflectix which is a bubble insulation that reflects light off of your RV. You can put it on the windows of your camper on very hot days in the summer and you’ll notice a huge difference.

You can also put awnings on the windows to keep out any extra heat if you are really trying to keep your RV cool. Both of these methods used together will make your RV feel like it does have air conditioning!

RV Grill

Cook Your Meals Outside During The Day

Think about how hot your kitchen gets at home when you are cooking a meal. Now imagine that when you are cooking a meal in your RV, where it’s already hot and with no AC. Cooking meals beforehand and leaving them in the freezer is the best way to make sure that you’re not making the RV even hotter than it needs to be during the day.

You can have meals that don’t require cooking during the day, or just barbecue outside. It gets cooler at night so you don’t have to worry about what to cook at night. There are many food options that don't require cooking that you can eat during the day, like lettuce wraps, sandwiches, pasta salad, etc. All of these options can be prepared in advance so that there is no cooking with the stove or oven required.

You can find great lunch ideas here that you can make ahead of time with no cooking necessary.

RV At night

Open The Windows At Night

At night there is usually a slight breeze, especially when you’re camping. Keeping the windows open, whether, you have a fan or not, will help make sure the RV is cool when you’re resting. This will also help if you have window awnings that prevent the sun from coming in.

Try to make sure that you close the windows as soon as you wake up, as the hot air from outside during the day will definitely make your RV hotter. Windows should only be open from the time you go to bed until you wake up, and then you can do everything else like turn on fans, turn off lights, etc. to keep it cool.

RV Shade

Ask For A Shaded Campsite

This is definitely key to keeping the heat out of your camper. If you've tried everything, and your RV is still hot, make sure that you're not in the direct sunlight. You can request a shaded campsite when booking your spot so that you will feel more of a breeze during the day and at night.

If you ask for a campsite that is near the water as well, then you will be able to feel more of that breeze you're looking for. Oh, and it's also a great way to cool off quickly!


All of these tips will help you if you've been struggling with a super hot camper. You should feel at home when you're away, and these are the best ways to feel like you aren't missing out on AC. You can try one or all of them at the same time, but either way, you'll be glad you did!

Other articles you might be interested in:

RVezy Spring Update - 2020

We’re incredibly proud of our community of RV owners for helping when it really counts.

Read more »

How to Get a 5 Star Rating Everytime

We’ve teamed up with Ivey Business School to dive deep into what motivates our renters and what affects their reviews. Their study has helped us pinpoint what you need to do to make sure you always get a glowing review!

Read more »

RVezy Guest Writers: How our mobile sanitization solution can help keep you and your RV safe.

Ride Clean is the perfect way to ensure full peace of mind for RVs used by front-line workers throughout Canada or renters looking to enjoy the outdoors in 2020.

Read more »