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Old 01-20-2019, 08:23 AM   #1
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Dry camping in northern US summers

Good morning,

I use the term dry camping here oppose to boondocking as we will be going to State and National forest rustic campgrounds.

We have only ever dry camped in spring and autumn and got on fine by using our generator an hour in the morning and evening and deploying our 200w portable solar setup during the day.

Coach has 440AH of Agm batteries and propane heating, fridge, water heater and cooktop. Coach has dual pane windows and we have refelctix for the windshield, insulated vent covers and plan to put refelctix in the cabinets. We should be parked in shade and coach is light colored.

My wife's big concern is not having air con overnight. Our Air con is a Coleman Mach basement unit. We do have portable USB fans for our bed stands which we run from USB bricks.

Depending on the camp ground quiet time is either at 8pm or 10pm.

How do folks handle situations like this? Day time temps will be 80-90f dropping to 70's at night.

Cheers,
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:14 AM   #2
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Elevation and humidity are the biggest factors in staying cool. Stay high and dry as they say. Our sticks and bricks is at 9000’ in Colorado and have no need for
a/c.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:40 AM   #3
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Thanks Ike,

These will trips will be upper mid west so not much elevation.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:41 AM   #4
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Where in northern US? If it’s out west good luck being in a park that’s only in the 80’s during the summer unless like already stated at elevation or on the coast. What we have done is run the generator and air conditioner as long as you can to get the rig as cool as you can. Then switch to running fans, opening the windows as the temperature inside equals the temp outside. If your in the notwest it doesn’t get dark until 10 so it won’t really cool down until early morning which is usually the problem. I can’t think of what it’s called now but I am a hot box so my wife got me this deal that you lay or bed and it cools you. It really does work
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:42 AM   #5
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Hi Elite,

Mainly Michigan.

Cheers,
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:01 AM   #6
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Hi Elite,

Mainly Michigan.

Cheers,
Haha I was asking that just as you answered it. I would think your biggest problem would be the humidity no matter what the temp is. Out west you don’t have to worry about that so it’s much easier to keep it cooler.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:18 AM   #7
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Hi Elite,

The humidity is the bad one here.
If its stupid hot we would just book in to a park.

I am thinking even running the gen to cool the coach up until quiet time might help.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:24 AM   #8
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We've dry camped in northern Michigan. 70's at night isn't bad for us. We ran the Fantastic fan which was in the bedroom which blew in the cool air over us. We also had a Fantastic fan in living area and we'd close all windows except for two open slightly opposite each other. That did the trick. In fact, many hot days just running the fans and closing most windows helped a lot. Also, keeping window coverings closed on the sunny side. Try for a site that puts your refrigerator in the late afternoon shade. If the RV is cooler during the day it helps at night. Try to get some trees on the campsite and a higher campsite than the other might be. Water breezes also help.

If you're going to be in the Upper Peninsula this works even better.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:40 AM   #9
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Hi Two gypsies,

I would definitely be happy if it was 70f at night time. I will be in the UP again in late August :-)
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:48 AM   #10
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We have several 12 V DC and several 120 V AC fans. Both types require about 10 to 15 W. These are quite sufficient to keep us cool at 85 F on beach in Yucatan.

We try to have right side of 5th wheel (canopy side) facing south. We then use 70% reflective Aluminet over the right slide to reduce solar loading. We have a 32’ x 12’ section of Aluminet to cover left side of RV if site forces this side to be facing south. The difference is perhaps 10 F or more I. Surface temperature
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:38 PM   #11
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Hi Reed,

That's interesting you cover the whole side of the coach. How do you attach the Aluminet?
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:12 AM   #12
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We were using the 12’ x 8’ sections but decided in ordering 30’ x 12’ section (maybe 32’ x 12’).

This goes length almost full length of fifth and covers tips of slides.

We have 6 x 235 W solar panels. Have to get on roof to attach Aluminet to solar panels (and other protuberances) with bungee cords. Also run bungles to attached ladder around back and varied protuberances around fringe such as open panel of front bay (kept open to keep LFP panels at ambient - and there are no Carolina Wrens ready to nest).

Tie into screw in tie downs, bushes, 6 gallon water canisters, extra 7 gallon propane canisters etc to keep Aluminet away from side of fifth wheel.
Have a 12’ section of 2” PVC that is placed between the two left slide outs to support the Aluminet.

Have taped 2” pool foam floaters at edges of slides to prevent tearing of Aluminet in wind. The foam stays on when slides retracted. The Aluminet has stayed on in fairly strong winds..

We keep the old 12’ x 8’ sections to cover right hand slide and the back of RV when site requires

Reed and Elaine
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:15 AM   #13
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Two Gypsies

Will not be down to San Miguel this year due to Elaine’s shoulder operation. Plan to return to Yucatan and Belize next year
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
We've dry camped in northern Michigan. 70's at night isn't bad for us. We ran the Fantastic fan which was in the bedroom which blew in the cool air over us. We also had a Fantastic fan in living area and we'd close all windows except for two open slightly opposite each other. That did the trick. In fact, many hot days just running the fans and closing most windows helped a lot. Also, keeping window coverings closed on the sunny side. Try for a site that puts your refrigerator in the late afternoon shade. If the RV is cooler during the day it helps at night. Try to get some trees on the campsite and a higher campsite than the other might be. Water breezes also help.

If you're going to be in the Upper Peninsula this works even better.
X2. If you choose Great Lake campgrounds (Michigan, Superior) you normally have enough breeze to keep cool.
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