RV Utilities: Cooling and Heating
Learn from RVillage members about RV cooling and heating systems.
Staying cool in an RV is one of the biggest challenges. RVillagers complain that even rigs outfitted with a "four season package" seem to have non-existent insulation. When the outdoor temperature exceeds 90 degrees (F), you may want to move on to a cooler climate—or simply understand that RV air conditioning is not going to keep up!
If you're going to be traveling cross-country during the warmest parts of the year (late spring through early autumn), you may want to choose a more northerly route; and if you're driving a motorhome, many RVillagers report running their generator and the "house" air conditioning while rolling down the road to keep things cool inside.
Getting parked and plugged in before the hottest part of the day is advised.
Or find other ways to stay cool...
Types of cooling units
Rooftop air conditioner
The most commonly-used was to stay cool. RVillagers have LOTS of information to share about these units:
Issues and possible solutions with rooftop units
Just when you need it most...
Watch those settings: "On" and "Auto" behave quite differently.
Humidity can be challenging for RV air conditioners:
SoftStart technology for your A/C
Use this device to run TWO or more air conditioner units on a 30 amp circuit, or dry camp with a smaller generator. Learn more here (and purchase with an RVillage discount).
Watch a video by Mike Sokol explaining the SoftStartRV.
Have a Coleman Mach non-ducted unit? Learn more about these from RVillagers.
Roof vent fans
The two most popular brands of roof fans are Fan-Tastic and Maxx Air, each offering a range of similar functions & features. RVillagers rave about what they love about these over the standard RV roof vents.
Watch a video of Mark Polk installing a Maxx Air fan.
The most common form of heating found in an RV is the built-in propane furnace. They put out a lot of BTUs—however they can be propane guzzlers, and RVillagers report that they vent almost as much of the heat outdoors! The fan uses a lot of battery power as well (not so good when boondocking). The good news is that a 10- or 20-minute blast from the furnace will heat the house up quickly, unlike small space heaters.
Favorite stand-alone propane space heaters are the Mr. Heater "Buddy", and the Olympic Wave-3 catalytic heater. See suggestions for more types of space heaters.
Get LOTS more information in this Related post: Propane heat.
A popular and aesthetically pleasing way to get some heat in less-cold climates is an electric fireplace.
See this clever space-saving tip for a pull-out fireplace/drawer.
Alternative sources of heat
You could get adventurous and try other sources of heat, such as pellet, diesel, or wood stoves. Be sure to install safely with proper wall (and roof) clearance and ventilation.
Check out this ambitious project: self-installed heated flooring!
Get more tips for heating things up in this related post: Snowbirds RVing in the Snow?!
How do you keep your furry family members warm?
The heart of the cooling and heating system. Whether standard or digital, this simple device makes all the difference in your comfort!
Join some helpful groups to find answers and offer solutions!
Return to The Guide Chapter: RV Utilities
Disclaimer: The information gathered here is compiled from the posts and opinions of RVillagers, and not of RVillage itself. RVillage assumes no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions.
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