With the record-breaking temperatures still lingering over the Pacific Northwest and the likelihood of continued effects from global warming, we thought it might be helpful to go over how to stay cool during hot weather while you’re staying in one of our rental trailers.
Our rigs are fairly stock as they come from the dealer, because usually heat isn’t an issue here in the Bridgeport area. If anything, it tends to be rather cool here, especially at night, up in the mountains where most of our units get positioned. So they don’t have air conditioning units. But heat can become excessive anywhere, and there are things you can do to keep the heat out and the cool in.
Close your windows in the morning.
If you close all windows and vents before the sun gets too high in the sky, you’ll trap the cool overnight air in your rig. At some point, once the sun gets up there, you will eventually need to open them. But carefully controlling airflow like this can really help you keep the cool longer.
Keep those blinds closed.
Just like closing windows keeps the hot air on the other side of the glass, closing blinds keeps sunlight from entering and heating what’s inside. If your trailer doesn’t have blinds you can buy cheap blackout curtains at WalMart.
Because RV stoves use propane, that’s an open flame and will quickly heat up the inside of your trailer. On hot days, opt instead to use a camp stove outdoors, or even a dutch oven or grill and pans over your campfire. You can even make “hobo packets” by cutting up some root veggies like carrots, potatoes and beets, mix them with some ground beef, season to taste and add a little olive oil. Then put it all in aluminum foil packets you can throw directly in the fire. 45 minutes later, voila! Instant camp meal, without heating up your rig.
Cover roof vents.
Roof vents and shower skylights can let in a lot of heat. You can buy square cushions made expressly for this purpose. They are covered with faux Sherpa and one side has Reflectix, which prevents light and heat from entering from above. For skylights, you may want to make a temporary cover out of a bath towel and hook-and-loop faster strips.
Bring a portable fan.
It’s a fact: Moving air is cooler than static air. So the trick to avoiding stultifying air is to keep it in motion. There are a number of great portable fans available in many sizes. Your trailer’s 120v outlets will only provide power if you’re using a generator, so you may decide to opt for 12v fans that power with portable power packs, or even self-contained, battery-operated fans. One way to best use them is to position them to create cross-flow between windows, and to suck heated air outside.
Use roof vent fans.
If your trailer has roof vent fans, use them to pull the cool air inside at night so there’s as much of it there as possible to cushion you against heat in the morning.
Try a swamp cooler.
In drier climates like ours, an evaporative (or swamp) cooler can work really well to cool off your trailer. There are plenty of how-to videos on YouTube to make your own, or you can buy them on Amazon, eBay and other online sellers. They essentially use the heat transference powers of melting ice to create coolness.
Use old-fashioned methods.
Back before air conditioning was a thing, people routinely used wet rags, towels or bandannas on their skin to create evaporative cooling. Another favorite method is to keep a spray bottle full of water nearby and spritz yourself as needed. It’s like sweat without the salt.