Sleeping in an RV : Ventilation v/s Safety


We have rented a 30feet long 7 sleeper RV and plan to sleep 7.

We do plan to camp on BLM and or Forest lands.

Since it is our first time, I want to ask how I can maintain ventilation at night when all 7 of us will sleep in the RV. And if I open the windows, would it not be an invitation to bears, other safety concerns?

Or is it advisable to keep the air conditioner or heat on all night. I don’t think AC’s and heaters run off batteries.

Really confused on this one. Any ideas? Any product I should keep with me, any other tips?

We plan to travel to Zion, Bryce, Sequoia and Kings Canyon if it helps.

Where are you camping? In the parks or at RV parks outside the parks. Either way, you’ll need ventilation with that many people so you’ll need to have some roof vents open and possibly a window or two cracked as well.

Heater uses propane & battery but with 7 of you in the RV you probably won’t need much heat in May. AC is only an option if you have hookups (it will run on generator but you will not want to run a generator all night as it will disturb others and is most likely against park rules).

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If you’re camping on BLM/forest service land, you will be “dry camping (no hookups).” Therefore, you’ll be dependent on your batteries, generator, and water supply (and with 7 people, that can be a lot of water). Also, be very aware of the roads you’ll be on, because a 30 foot RV is not very nimble, agile, or much ground clearance. You shouldn’t have any problem cracking open a few windows & running your vent fan for adequate air exchange. Another factor to consider is your “day use;” if you plan on using a 30 foot motor home to travel around during the day, parking is very limited for rigs that size in most parks. That’s why you often find larger motor homes towing a vehicle (car or small SUV) for day use; it also saves you from having to “break & set up” camp every morning & night. I might suggest you try a simple one or two day “getaway” in you your local home area just to familiarize yourself with the routines of camping with the motorhome so you don’t have a frustrating learning experience on a long trip (motorhomes have a lot of surprises you need to be prepared for). Another thing to consider is that you’re going to some very popular places, and finding campsites (particularly for a “big” rig) can be difficult, if not impossible, without making reservations. That said, this sound like a wonderful trip if you keep the surprises to a minimum. We (two of us) camp in remote areas frequently, and absolutely love it, but we’ve got a 21 foot van conversions we’ve used for years, and are pretty “professional” at it now.

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If in a motorhome, bear and wildlife are not serious concerns. Many people camp in tents. Try to relax. Open windows and vents. Black bear, cougar may move through a campground but usually avoid people. A 30’ RV most likely will not be in grizzly territory.
Biggest thing, keep all food stored properly and either in bear boxes or inside. Keep a clean site and dont leave snacks outside. You most likely will see a raccoon before anything else and they can open, and eat, a cooler full of food very quickly.

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