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Old 07-14-2011, 12:54 PM   #1
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RV's that keep cool in the (really hot) heat?

Hey all,

So another thing we learned in our shakedown trip before we FT, is that our 2 AC units (one of them brand spanking new) couldn't really manage to keep up in the Southern heat. It ended up being just as hot & sticky in our coach, as it was outside. (we didn't cook inside, we vented when we took our lukewarm showers & generally tried to avoid creating extra heat) Now, we weren't really expecting that we would get the RV down to 70 when it was 95 outside, but the AC units ran constantly, and would only shut off if we pushed it above 80. 80+ is just too hot when you have animals (and for us)!

We've read mods about a floor AC unit, window unit, etc which will be challenging as we are already 30 amp - but then we've also read about Newmar that has a better air flow system.

Does anyone spend hot summers in their RV & if so, what do you have & what do you do? Does Newmar really have a good AC setup? Anyone else in the industry? Is anyone nice & cool when it's 95 out?

We won't always have the option of following the weather due to contracts, and this is giving us some pause as to the viability of RV living - two weeks was long to be hot & sweaty, I can't imagine 3-4 months!

Thanks for any input!

Keith & Tricia
2004 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37C
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:04 PM   #2
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Triple E

Triple E is the BEST insulated RV on the market. Built for Canadian winters, that means they are best against HEAT too.


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Old 07-14-2011, 01:14 PM   #3
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Many air conditioners(most) will state that they will cool 15-20 degrees below outside temperature.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:17 PM   #4
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Just for information what was your setting? Out in the open or shady spot. That's about the most affective thing you can do is find some shade. 37 ft is a lot for two ac to cool in this southern heat and humidity.

In regards to another AC unit portable or otherwise, I've read where some have used an extension cord to connect the extra AC directly to the service pole assuming it has both 30 & 20 amp service available. Just a thought.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:26 PM   #5
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We can hold 68-70 degrees inside at 100 degrees outside with one 15K and one 13.5K BTU A/C thanks to the insulation in our rig.

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Old 07-14-2011, 02:09 PM   #6
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First off, I have two a/c's, 15k main ducted throughout and a 13.5k non-ducted bedroom unit. We live and camp typically in Florida where there are not too many shade sites. Both a./c's would run for all they are worth to keep it comfortable inside. A fellow Montana owner and retired A/C tech came up with a small modification that works unbelievably well.

The duct work on the main unit is at best 2 1/2" to 3" deep. The overhead adjustable vents protrude into the ductwork about 2". Many of us, based on his recommendation, pulled the adjustable vents and with a pair of snips, cut them down so that they are flush with the duct work. The result is amazing. This 4th of July, I got to test mine. Once we did the initial cool down upon arriving, which is done with the dump open on the ducted air unit, (meaning the air is not directed into the duct work), for the first 30 minutes or so and the Fantastic Vent Fan running plus the bedroom air cranked on we were able to shut off the bedroom unit, close the Fantastic Fan, and direct the main unit into the duct work. We did not need to run the bedroom unit again for the balance of our 4 night stay.

Next up mod is the reflective bubble wrap insulation which I have cut to fit our main large rear window that somehow always ends up facing the afternoon sun. I made a few others that can be moved from window to window if need be to also block the sun. I'll be trying this additional mod in a few weeks.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:39 PM   #7
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You're sure not alone. Our 07 DP with basement air can only maintain about 15 degrees below outside temp if we're in the sun. Shade is the only thing we've found that helps. Some with basement air are now removing one of their roof vents and installing a roof AC unit to suplement.

Good luck

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

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Old 07-14-2011, 02:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RickO View Post
You're sure not alone. Our 07 DP with basement air can only maintain about 15 degrees below outside temp if we're in the sun. Shade is the only thing we've found that helps.
Same here. We probably have the same Coleman unit. The only good news is that by 11PM the inside temps are usually down to 75 when outside temps go below 90.

Being retired, I have the option of staying off the road in July and August. Less heat, less traffic.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:19 PM   #9
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We just took a trip through 100+ degree temps

And were just fine with our one 13.5 AC. Get some of this foil insulation.

Multi-Purpose Foil - Product - Camping World

And cut it to overlap your window frames (the metal frame really heats up). Buy some self stick velcro from Walmart to attach to the frame and the insulation. Make some for all your windows.

Also cut panels to fit your roof skylights (above the shower) and vents.

It makes an unbelievable difference. As I said we traveled through a bunch of 100+ areas and were cool and comfy inside. We also tried to pick camp sites with as much shade as possible. And we aim our back end at the setting sun so that we get as little direct sunlight as possible. For the whole trip I never removed the foil from the three bedroom windows at all as it was working so nice to keep it cool back there.

Good luck,
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:27 PM   #10
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It's funny that this came up to read today. We are remodeling our 1997 Bounder, and this week we have taken up the whole rug, and couch, and dinning table. Pretty bare. But we have the motorhome in the drive way and we only have 30 amp and this week it's even plugged into the outside 20 amp plug and if we keep the bedroom door closed the front ac will keep it down to near 72 with not a blade of shade. But what does seem to help more that anything is our nice and heavy window blinds, and the nasty weather here in Norfolk Va is as hot as 95. Working on bare floor and walking outside with trash and back in kind of made me smile thinking at least my a/c was still able to keep us cool. But don't open the bedroom door ....damn..
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:44 PM   #11
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My motorhome will not stay cool in 100 degree heat. I don't not know what size A/C I have but I have installed a small 7000 btu Air conditioner in the bedroom that is free standing, takes a little room but not to much. I vented it to through the small rear window with a template I made. It seems to help. With both air conditioners running the microwave cannot be used. I ran an extension cord from the 20 amp outlet to the air conditioner in Las Vegas but the DW made me remove it because the park rules said you can only connect one cord to the power station. It will also work with the generator running.
Don, Mesquite, Nevada
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:11 PM   #12
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Hi all,

I have a 1992 30' Fleetwood Disovery Coronado. Even though can only use one AC at a time, that's always been more than sufficient to cool my RV in the desert southwest. The warm/hot summers here are over 100 degrees almost daily, with evening temps in the 80s.

Last year found myself in central Arizona in early August with no shade whatsoever; outside temp was 117 degrees for four days straight. It was brutal … but only when we ventured outside. Stayed nice and cool inside the RV!

When the front AC is on, I've found that using an oscillating fan to circulate the cool air helps a lot. In fact, I use that same fan to "push" air back into the bedroom at night. We are kept cool while sleeping without the noise of the AC right over our heads.

Closing the blinds and windshield drapes will help, too. Make sure your ceiling vent fan isn't drawing hot air into the RV. And double-check that your windows are all closed. Oversight of such things -- even if they seem minor -- could significantly impair the AC's effectiveness.
[B]BichonLover is a 100% California gal, driving a vintage Fleetwood in SoCal.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:18 PM   #13
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Another thing that makes a difference, although not much you can do if you've already got the coach, is outside paint color. Lighter paint colors reflect light resulting in a cooler interior where dark paint colors absorb heat resulting in a warmer interior.

We carry an infrared temperature gun to keep tabs on the tire temps. But it's also fun to check on temps of other things. Our Bounder is very light grey & our sides can be up to 50 degrees cooler than the sides of a dark colored coach. Also, when taking a reading on an interior wall, on one instance, our interior wall read 6 degrees cooler than the same spot on an interior wall of a dark painted coach.

For this reason alone, for future purchases, I will not buy a coach with dark painted colors.

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Old 07-14-2011, 05:28 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the replies.

We did seek out shade in our spots - one was partial shade and one was in complete shade to try & help out with the heat.
Our rig is mostly white, so that should also help (but didn't seem to).
We don't have any special screens for the windows - we initially didn't really want to do this because we didn't want to feel like we were trapped in a box. We like the windows in the RV and they are double paned. But...especially with the front window, some type of covering may be needed.
We did keep all the blinds closed (but again, hate to think of months at a time like this)

Nosticks - sounds like a great idea - we can close the duct openings, but we don't have anyway to not use the ducts (that we have figured out). If any Fleetwood 37C owners out there can chime in on how to - we would love to try it.

Tw- Checked out triple e but no class a's. With four animals, we would probably start killing each other at less than 37 feet.

Slightly comforting to know that others struggle - and those who don't without going to lengths, we would love your insulation. lol

Keith & Tricia
2004 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37C
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