At The Dyrt, we share camping tips from our community of campers and campgrounds. With so many campers staying home, we continue to share this info so you can plan future camping trips across the U.S.

Having an air conditioner in your RV is a no-brainer. Summer is when you’ll be exploring most, and you’ll want to stay cool and happy while on the road or enjoying downtime in your RV.

RV Air Conditioner Tips to Stay Cool this Summer

Although you may already have an air conditioner for your RV, it’s important to make sure you are maximizing its use to stay as cool as possible. We’ve listed some tips to ensure that your air conditioners runs to its best ability and creative ways to stay cool  if you don’t have access to an air conditioner.

Power Your Air Conditioner Correctly

In order for your air conditioner to operate correctly, make sure you have enough power coming from your generator. For one air conditioner, this should be about 4,000 watts and 5500 watts for two air conditioners. If you’re not using a generator, make sure to be plugged into a 30 or 50 amp outlet.





Use a surge guard to protect the compressor to ensure your air conditioner and all electrical parts of your camper operate smoothly. If low voltage is detected, surge protectors will turn your off power.

Maximize Use of Your RV Air Conditioner

Your RV air conditioner is helping you cool down your RV, and you want to keep it that way. There are things you can do to ensure that your RV air conditioner is working to its best ability. Make sure to open windows initially so that cooler air from the outside can circulate within your RV. If your air conditioner has the option to bring in outside air, doing so can cool down your RV and is a more energy efficient option. A good rule of thumb is that if the air temperature outside is warmer than outside, draw air from outside.

When the RV starts to cool down, make sure to keep doors and windows closed so that you are keeping cold air in. Use blinds, pull the shades down, or use reflective vent insulation to keep cool air inside your RV.

Make sure to also use LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs. These are not only a better use of energy, and more sustainable but they don’t emit as much heat so you’ll stay cooler.

Take Care of Your Unit

Person fixing RV air condtioner

Treat your air conditioner with care so that it lasts. Some great ways to do that are to keep the air conditioner on a low setting. It will take longer for your RV to cool down, but extreme temperature can impact the lifespan of your unit.

Keep in mind that your air conditioner operates off of an intake temperature from outside air. Because of this, RV air conditioners only cool to about 20 degrees below the outside temperature, so don’t blast your air conditioner at its highest setting mindlessly. Remember to keep it “low and slow”.

Clean Your Air Filters

If cold air is not coming through, the filters may be clogged. To clean air conditioning filters, remove the grill and shake out debris, or rinse the filters with warm soapy water. For rooftop RV air conditioners. make sure vents are clear and clean as well.

Ways to Stay Cool Without an Air Conditioner

No air conditioner? No problem. Below are some quick and creative ways to stay cool without an RV air conditioner:

  • Park in the shade
  • Don’t stay cooped up in your RV — go outside and enjoy fresh, cool air.
  • Park near a water source
  • Open your windows
  • Bring a battery powered fan
  • Don’t use the oven, toaster and microwave much during the day — cook outside instead
  • Use an awning or shade feature of your RV

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  • Emily Gallegos

    Emily Gallegos

    Emily Gallegos is a travel-lover, backpacker and is generally curious about all this world has to offer. She grew up in the front range of Colorado where she fell in love with snowboarding, fishing and being outside as often as possible. She has studied Spanish in Spain and Argentina and has written for magazines in Boulder, CO such as Elevation Outdoors.