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Old 04-30-2015, 12:10 PM   #1
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Camping in extreme heat

We are new to this whole experience. We are planning a trip across country, which brings us to Vegas and Lake Havasu City (to visit friends) in late June. The temps will be over 100. We have a fleetwood bounder 33c with dual roof a/c units. Does anyone know if these will be able to keep us cool? Thanks

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Old 04-30-2015, 12:26 PM   #2
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Depending on the day and the site you should be ok , but remember a few things .
Awnings down ; if winds prevent this you could be in trouble; sun coming in the windows ( windshield is the worst ) can make cooling a real problem , get a spot where you face the coach , north or east, shade tree would be a real plus. Make sure that the site you book has the power you need ! Some older parks in the area only offer 30 amp service.
Start the A/C early and don't try to keep the interior of the coach more than 15 degrees cooler than the outside temps. If it's too cool inside , stepping out is too much of a shock on your system.
93 when we were in Vegas, for 3 days last month and we only ran the A/C for about 3 hrs., but there will be more daylight hours when you're there.

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Old 04-30-2015, 12:34 PM   #3
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Daytime temps in both places in late June will be at 110 or more (Lake Havasu City is hotter than Vegas) with lows in the high eighties to mid nineties. You'll be lucky to get the interior of your coach down to the low 90's in the heat of the day.
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:41 PM   #4
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Try to park your rig so that the awning side faces the afternoon sun, or so that the REAR of the coach, not the windshield faces the sun in the pm.

Try to keep the heat from entering; window shades down, awnings down, some form of solar screen or shield on the windshield and windows. Put vent pillows into any skylights you have.

If necessary, you can attach Reflectix (mylar-covered bubblewrap, basically) to your windows and it does a great job of insulating, but! if you have dual-pane windows it must be on the outside.

If you have a gas absorption refrigerator, use some extra 12 volt computer "muffin" fans either blowing up/out at the top of the stack or blowing on the coils from the bottom to help your fridge in the heat. No problems if you have a residential fridge.

When we've been in very hot weather and had an extra 30amp hook-up available, we've used an additional portable upright air conditioner hooked into a 30 amp extension cord. Set it up on the driver's seat with the exhaust ducted out the window and it kept us comfortable in 112 degrees in the back country of south Texas.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:59 PM   #5
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Others have mentioned window screens... I live and camp in South TX, and the inside-the-RV screens are not enough. When temps creep up here, I put on my external windshield screen. There are many different versions available. I own a Prompt RV screen (RV Sunscreen | No More Snaps, Drilling or Climbing) and have used it on two different RVs... It is easy to install and does a nice job. My friend has one by MagnaShade (Home | Magne Shade | Sunshade for RV, RV Shade, Installs from the ground, Magnetic Shade, Magnet Shade) and it also goes on easily and is very effective. Neither of these two brands require you to drill and mount snaps on the RV, which is why we both choose these brands. Prices vary... do some research and see what fits in your budget. I would NOT go camping without my external windshield screen. And while I don't own them for other windows, where you are heading might be hot enough to get them for your side/front windows too!
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:13 PM   #6
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We will definitely look into getting these rv screens. Sounds like something we will want to have! We also think we will change our plans. We are kind of worried about the strain on the a/c units running constantly. We have a dog that will be left in the rv for short periods of time and are afraid they could go out while we are gone. We have to be in Cortez Co mid-June and think we will just go north to Salt Lake City, then over through Lake Tahoe - to Napa and on up to the places up that way. We will do the southern part in better weather conditions. We appreciate your responses and helpful tips, which we will probably need to incorporate at some point in our travels.
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:26 PM   #7
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We live in the desert and camp in the desert – even during the hottest part of the summer. Real easy to get a nice spot - especially at Lake Pleasant! Shade is good if and when you can find it – but it is rare or real limited. Not much water in the desert to grow big trees.  Exterior sun screens really are a plus. We do use them regularly when parked and when in storage. (We also have sun screens on our S&B) As stated, park so the windshield is east or north if possible. We bought the bubble wrap insulation at Home Depot and cut a piece to put inside the windshield during the hottest part of the day – generally take it off in the evening and open the drapes. But our coach is plenty cool with 2 ACs running and NOT non-stop – but frequent. Keep the blinds closed during the day. Keeping the difference 15 degrees makes little sense when it is 105-110 outside, any more than when it is 20 outside – you would only heat the coach to 35 so you didn’t have a “shock” when you went outside!? We set the thermostats to 68 and let them rip - They are made to run. Today is our first official 100 degree day… Hello summer…
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:39 PM   #8
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If they make you travel to the hot part of the country during the hot part of the year, they are not really your friends!!!

(just kidding...they must be really good friends for you to want to travel to the hot part of the country during the hot part of the year).

Summer highs peak around 90F around here, and maybe 100F for a day or two every other year. I prefer to go to those hot places from October through April. Sure, I realize Vegas can see snow, but when it's 35F and snowing there, it's generally below zero here in MT!

Use your awning if winds permit, consider auxiliary screens/walls/curtains on your awning, keep sun off your windshield, keep your blinds closed, use trees for shade, stock up on ice, stock up on sunscreen and spend time by the pool!
If the park you're staying at has a community center, spend time there if their AC blows ice cubes....and enjoy the evenings when the sun drops and temps fall below 80.
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:52 PM   #9
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OP, you're wise to save the southern route for your return trip or at another time. Even with all the precautions, it's difficult keeping any kind of RV cool in 115 degrees! We've tried stopping at Havasu mid-May one time on our summer travels to the north. We lasted one day. We stayed at Cattail Cove State Park right on the river and even got a site with a tree. We have two ACs, and did all the above-stated hints and although our motorhome stayed reasonably cool it was still too hot to do anything outside.

One things we do first is to park with our refrigerator on the shady afternoon side. Those RV refrigerators have a hard time keeping up.

Also, since you have a dog, there's always a possibility of power failure. Hope you make it there for a visit at some time - but not in June.
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:31 PM   #10
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AC's dont "Strain" Whether there running 20 min cycles or running continuously 24 hours a day the strain is the same. A motor runs the fan and the compressor squeezes the hot gas into a liquid. They either work or they dont. No such thing as the heat killed it. If it did it was dying anyway.

Run the crap out of it. IF it dies get another.
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:44 PM   #11
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:05 PM   #12
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Let us know if your AC does the job. It can get warm there.....
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:11 PM   #13
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It's difficult finding a sun shield for a MH windshield that covers the entire thing. I went to a pole building builder and bought left-over generic reflectix made to go under a pole barn roof. It comes in 8' wide rolls, and about 6' is all I needed. Tape it to the top of front cap, tape bottom and ends-you are done.
One time we spent a week in Vegas in August at the old Silverado casino, in our old 5er. We had to run the bedroom air conditioner, and close the door to the rest of the 5er to stay cool.
Air conditioners do not work as well in dry air at those temperatures, swamp coolers work much better.

A residential refrigerator would add heat inside the RV, instead of going up the chimney like an RV frig. Our old Dometic didn't have a chimney fan and did just fine, but frig's in a slide must have a fan to pull hot air away.
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Fl_Richard View Post
AC's dont "Strain" Whether there running 20 min cycles or running continuously 24 hours a day the strain is the same. A motor runs the fan and the compressor squeezes the hot gas into a liquid. They either work or they dont. No such thing as the heat killed it. If it did it was dying anyway.

Run the crap out of it. IF it dies get another.
Yep, I agree. We got caught in 105 F last summer and while on the road ran the gen set continuously to power the 2 AC's and had the dash AC on full blast MAX setting.

I have installed the Coleman ChillGrills on both AC's to help quickly cool down the interior. I think the AC air warms up going through the ducts before it reaches the living space so a direct shot from the AC should help.
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