While these cooling tips are valid for all RV’s, I’ll be focusing on off-grid camping and boondocking. Those of us that frequent regular campgrounds with all their amenities have it much easier.
It is always difficult to stay cool in the Heat of Summer or warm when the temperature drops. The best we can strive for is a comfortable experience anytime we’re in our RV. But what do you do in a small van or Class B RV?
Before we talk about lifestyle changes, we have to discuss the structural composition of the vehicle. Unfortunately, many factory-built RV’s are still manufactured with little insulation, but with a custom van conversion we can add as much as we feel is necessary. The transfer of heat is a major concern, yet can be addressed with a variety of thermal insulation products. Continue reading 10 Cool Ideas To Lower Temperatures In Your RV
Thermal curtain between cabin and living area for more privacy and heat insulation from Fiamma.
PREVIOUS: Passive Cooling
This discussion here is not about the solution to the great insulation debate among RV’rs, but my personal view of the many topics involved when insulating an RV. The decisions I take are based on my preferences, my budget, my location(s) and how I’m going to use the van, thus your selection will definitely be different.
I’ll focus primarily on boondocking, where temperatures are mostly unregulated; if you’re spending most of your time on campgrounds, you may opt for more or less insulation materials.
A highly contested subject is the use of vapor barriers in an RV. I regard the outside metal skin of the van as the main vapor barrier, others would like to add a separate layer. The skin of the van will always sweat and some airflow is needed, for this condensation and the existing moisture inside the van, to escape, otherwise it will lead to moisture, mold and rust problems. An extra vapor barrier doesn’t make sense. Continue reading Insulating Your RV: Thermal Insulation
PREVIOUS: Acoustic Insulation
Insulating is only one approach to avoid heat gain/loss. Passive cooling techniques were developed for the home, yet also apply to recreational vehicles.
Cooling is enhanced through natural breezes or by fans that move the air; improved evaporation exposes the skin to dryer air as long as the humidity is not too high. Rising warm air flows out out the vehicle through the roof-mounted vent and that pulls in cooler air from lower ventilation openings.
To boost air movement, exit locations in the form of roof vents can be found in most RV’s, yet low placed entryways are virtually non-existent. Windows and doors take their place, but doors are often closed and windows are located fairly high in the walls of the van. A better solution may be to introduce a floor vent at the opposing end of the vehicle and away from the roof vent. Relatively cooler air from the permanently shaded area below the vehicle would be able to enter the vehicle here, move through the interior to the other end of the van, to exit at the roof vent location, either naturally or mechanically. Continue reading Insulating Your RV: Passive Cooling
Insulating an RV is a controversial subject among RV owners. With such a great variety of products and even more opinions about the ones to use, it’s unavoidable that individual choices will lead to multiple solutions, customized to local climates and personal convictions. But in the end, if it works for you, then it works great!
Cooling the RV starts with minimizing heat gain by using lighter colored vehicles to reflect as much heat as possible. Parking in the shade will reduce direct solar radiation and insulation limits any radiated and conducted heat gains.
To me, insulating an RV or Cargo Van involves more than just applying a layer of fiberglass insulation; attention should be given to both sound & temperature insulation. Several of the new European style vans are already equipped with some sound-deadening materials and combining them with temperature regulating insulation that has good sound vibration limiting properties is the ultimate goal. Continue reading Insulating Your RV: Acoustic, Thermal & Passive Cooling