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10 Ways to Stay Cool If Your RV A/C Breaks

| Updated Jul 15, 2022

Having a working A/C is a creature comfort I don’t like to go without. But sometimes, your RV A/C will break in the middle of nowhere and your trip turns into a hot and sweaty one. So, here’s 10 ways to stay cool if your RV A/C breaks…

Summer is here! It’s that time of year to check out national parks or other fantastic sites you have been eyeing. 

It’s also that time of year that’s, well, hot! Especially for those traveling in the southern states or desert regions. 

But even typically cool places can have hot days. 

Sure, an RV A/C should keep you cool wherever you go. But what if it breaks?! You will find yourself sweaty, hot, and downright miserable!

Unless, of course, you know how to stay cool without it.

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An RV Lifestyle Member Asked…

Recently, RV Lifestyle member, Ashley, asked our group for their help regarding their dysfunctional AC. Our members replied with many helpful suggestions that may help you if you find that your AC is not operating how it should. 

Ashley wrote: “Anyone has suggestions on how to cool our RV down? It’s 88 degrees in here and our pooch is not handling it well! All our ACs seem fine and working well. We have thought about a small portable AC to add to it? Thoughts/Suggestions? Thanks!”

And Our Community Answered!

The community responded with over 100 comments! I will not spoil it yet, but Ashley updated her inquiry because they figured out the issue. I included that at the end of this article. 

10 Ways to Stay Cool If Your RV A/C Breaks

Our RV Lifestyle members know everything about RVs because they have seen it all. AC issues are no different. 

The following is an outline of the many helpful suggestions our community gave. 

YouTube to the Rescue!

Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

YouTube is an excellent resource for RVers. There are all kinds of videos that can assist with any issue you might encounter. One of our members started the suggestions by adding a YouTube video in the comments. 

If you are having trouble with your RV’s AC, try YouTube first to see if there are helpful suggestions for your particular AC unit. At the very least, they can likely help you narrow down the issue you are experiencing. 

Add a Fan

Of course, one of the best ways to stay cool in lieu of an A/C is a fan! But our members expanded on that expected advice even more.

One of our Rv Lifestyle followers, Rheanna, suggested adding a fan to help spread around the cool air. (She also said getting their adorable Labraddole a dog cooling mat to help keep him cool.)

Another RV Lifestyle member, Mike, also suggested adding a fan. He said that he opens the quick cool opening on the bottom of the AC unit, then places a tower fan under it to move the cool air around. 

He does this because lots of cool air can sometimes get lost in the RV ducting system. 

He added that the quick cool option also helps him cool down quicker when he is gone in the afternoon. He spends much RV time in Arizona, where temperatures can reach 110 degrees. It sounds like he knows what he is talking about!

While many people mentioned using great camping fans, Jules said high-velocity fans are even better! She placed one at each end of the camper and said that they made a “huge difference in our ac being able to keep up” with the demands of the heat. 

Mike and Jennifer's Summer T-Shirts for your next adventure

10 Ways to Stay Cool If Your RV A/C Breaks 1
Your Adventure Awaits! New colors and designs are waiting for you.

Consider Using a Dehumidifier

Another member named Marie suggested that you add a dehumidifier in areas that have high humidity, like Florida and other southern states. When mixed with high temperatures, it can create intolerable conditions. 

Using a good dehumidifier can significantly decrease the humidity inside your RV, making you feel cooler. 

Get a Portable AC System

Another great idea by an RV Lifestyle member is to pick up a portable AC system. You can use it in whatever space that you want to be most comfortable. You can also use it elsewhere areas when not in your RV. 

The drawback is that it will take up storage and usable space when traveling. 

Use Efficient Window Coverings

Another great option is to cover windows with efficient coverings. You can cover windows with shades that prevent the heat from coming through the windows. 

Amy also suggests using a product called Reflectix. (That's what we highlight in the above YouTube video.) It is a double insulation product that insulates your RV and reflects the sun's rays. 

The only drawback to using this is that it will reduce the natural light in your RV. 

Window Awnings Can Help

Shirley suggested window awnings for the RV. It can help block out heat from the sun, effectively helping your RV system cool down the space.  

Close Off Rooms You Are Not Using

Another RV Lifestyle member, Philip, said to be sure you always close bathroom and shower doors. He also said to close outdoor storage doors and the stove vent. 

Leaving those spaces open allows heat to transfer to the areas you are trying to cool. Smaller areas cool faster and more efficiently. 

Vent Covers

Another thing to consider is covering your vents. This will also prevent the hot air from penetrating the RV space and keep the cool air inside where it belongs. 

Seal Openings and Duct Work

Another great suggestion is to ensure you have no holes or openings in the RV. Sealing those can help keep out the heat. Here are the 7 Best RV Sealants.

You can also potentially lose a lot of cool air if your ducts are not adequately sealed. 

A good idea is to check seals during your de-winterizing maintenance. That way, it is always done at the start of the camping season, and you should be good to go once the heat make’s its appearance. 

Facebook Update: Check Thermostat Connections

check you thermostat Ways to Stay Cool
time to check your thermostat?

After our member Ashley posted in our Facebook group asking for members’ help, she updated us. She and her husband have solved their issue, and their AC is now working well!

She said that they were experiencing a bad connection to the thermostat. Her husband fixed it, and they are “finally staying cool.”

So, be sure to check your thermostat conditions if your RV A/C suddenly breaks on you.

I’m sure our members' advice on ways to stay cool helped them in the interim and I hope it helps you, too!

Other Ways to Stay Cool

Have you had to figure out ways to stay cool while RVing? If you have any additional advice on ways to stay cool in your RV, please share in the comments below. We're always looking for tips and tricks and our followers are such a great resource!

The Great Lakes Adventure Guide Bundle
(The Great Lake Shoreline Tour & Upper Peninsula RV Adventure Guide)

10 Ways to Stay Cool If Your RV A/C Breaks 2

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-07-15

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

3 Responses to “10 Ways to Stay Cool If Your RV A/C Breaks”

August 21, 2023at9:41 pm, Pam Shook said:

In front of fam put a container of ice cubes or better yet a block of ice for the air to blow on and create cold air.


August 23, 2023at12:30 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for the tip, Pam! Team RV Lifestyle


July 15, 2022at12:23 pm, Dale Bolen said:

Way to many ADs. Seems that every page scroll has ADs on it. Makes trying to read the article difficult.


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