How to Keep an RV Cool Without AC

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RVs can be warm. Especially if you are traveling in the south or someplace hotter than normal for you. Warm is also a bit subjective as a southerner might do better in heat than someone from a cold climate.

There are definitely methods of cooling down your RV without using air conditioner. While the air conditioner is one of the best ways of cooling down, it also uses electrical and gas – and if yours is broken, it doesn’t help!

Other methods of cooling down your RV without AC are using fans, drapes, and a few other ways. Simply parking your RV thoughtfully can help too.


All RV’s should have vents that allow air to flow in and out. Ensure these vents are open to allow air to flow out, especially on a hot day. Otherwise you might feel like you are living in a green house, in part because you are!

Cover your windows

Thermal curtains work great. These can also be sized to fit your RV. One obvious way to keep your RV cool is to keep the heat out. 

Thermal curtains will absorb or reflect heat and prevent it from entering your RV. Thermal curtains also tend to be relatively cheap and can be removed. You might even want them in the winter as some of them retain heat in the cold.

Park in the shade

If shade is available, definitely park near a tall building or trees. These can provide natural heat relief and keep the sun from shining in even more.

Cook outside

Do you have a grill? Use it! Instead of using a gas or electric stove, cook your meals outside. Your RV might also have an awning that keeps you cool.

The best part about cooking outside is that you won’t be adding heat to your RV. Instead, you can heat where it’s already hot. You can also limit your exposure to heat by just going inside and setting a timer.

Change to LED lightbulbs

This is bigger than you think! Your RV probably came with regular lightbulbs. Changing to LED can both change the color of lighting and give off less heat. You’ll also use power more slowly, which is always a good thing.


In addition to ventilation, you’ll want circulation. Most any department store has fans, especially oscillating fans, that can push air around and maker your RV cooler.

Fans are also generally highly mobile though they do take some space.


Making your RV cool down when it’s hot out is easier than you might think. The idea is primarily to release the heat from your RV or not let it in.

This can easily be done using curtains, fans, or just parking in a place better served to cool.

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