“Cool” Camping on Hot Summer Days

It’s hot outside now, but families usually start thinking about camping in the winter months when they start to get the cold weather blues and can sometimes forget the importance of planning to stay “cool” in the hot summer months.  Summertime is the season when people take the RV out on the open road, but it can also be a time of extreme heat.  Today’s modern RV’s have excellent climate control systems but they can still get hot and stuffy as you travel during the hottest months of the year. 

When you hit the road this summer, keep these tips in mind to help keep your camping trip “cool” no matter how high the thermometer goes.

Camping in a RV can be “cool” when you travel to Hickory Hollow Campground located in Somerset County, PA.  Somerset County, typically sees an average July temperature of about 80 degrees making it a great destination for mid-summer camping.   Located in the heart of the Laurel Highlands, Hickory Hollow Campground accommodates today’s larger motorhomes with wide roads, tree lined drives, scenic mountain and wooded areas, and gentle breezes softly blowing off Lake Ann.

Motorhome drivers have the option at  Hickory Hollow Campground of using back-in or pull through sites which provide an opportunity to orient the RV so the sun shines on the side with the least number of windows keeping the RV a bit cooler on warm days. The shaded campsites are popular with our campers, but so is the large, clean swimming pool located just a short distance from the campsites.  In the heat of the summer, the pool can be a great source of cooling off, along with a refreshing cold drink.  If you forgot your sunscreen or drink, no problem, just visit the camp store and check out the large assortment of “camping necessities” available. 

Staying “cool” while camping takes some planning, so do your research and ensure that the campground you choose has the right amp to properly run your air conditioning unit and equipment.  Remember, it doesn’t matter how good your air conditioning is, it is only as good as the power on which it runs and you could easily burn out your unit if the amp isn’t correct.   Small fans can offer a littler support to your air conditioning unit and can be the perfect addition to use under that awning or at night in the RV.  By strategically placing a few fans within your RV, you can keep the air circulating and your campers cool. There are many portable and mountable fan options available, as well as battery powered fans so find one that meets your expectations.  Proper maintenance is also crucial to keeping air conditioning units running and it is important to perform regular cleaning and filter changes throughout the course of the summer.


Seasoned campers offer a little bit of advice and suggest purchasing a RV that has good quality windows and plenty of them that open wide.  When choosing your own site option is available, which is not always the case during peak season, aim to park the RV in a shady spot at the campground. Keep your shades lowered during the hottest points of the day, and open the windows to let fresh air in during the cooler evening hours.   Cover large picture windows with ultra violet protective shades or a reflective bubble product called Reflectix.  Remember to cover the skylight in your RV shower area also, as this typically is a large exposed area that invites the heat in.  Ensuring there is enough ventilation in the RV is also important if you want to stay cool in the heat of summer.  Ventilation allows you to pump the warm air out and bring the fresh air in, so make sure your vents are clean and free from blockage.   To help with ventilation, open the windows on the shady side of the RV and close them on the sunny side of the RV.  The use of awnings or tarps are another opportunity to provide some afternoon shade when you’re trying to stay cool outside the RV. 

As camping becomes more and more popular, new and exciting technologies are changing the way RV’s are powered and cooled.  Solar power is becoming a popular alternative for some seasonal campers at Hickory Hollow campground as well as the rest of the country.  Drive through a campground and you will see RV’s with solar panels on their roofs and maybe even the latest lithium ion batteries.  Hopefully someday, we will see many more self-contained RV’s that get all the electricity they need to run air conditioners, microwaves, and other devices using solar power, thus giving the environment a healthy boost.    

RV’s are great and offer the camper the convenience of taking their kitchen with them.  However, cooking indoors in a RV can create a lot of excess heat, so think about cooking outside on a camp stove, the grill, or using a Dutch oven over the campfire as a cooler option for some delicious meal alternatives. 

Staying cool in your RV this summer is possible – just remember these 4 points — locate-ventilate-insulate-coordinate.  And the most important thing to remember when camping in the summer, turn off the TV, shut down the computer, and get outside and enjoy all the wonderful amenities that the campground has to offer. 

Check out Hickory Hollow’s website or camp office for a list of activities for this weekend.   You won’t want to miss the Duck Race Memorial Fundraiser for Tika Hetrick and Cory Roadman on Saturday, July 10 at the pool at 10 am.  Ducks are $5 and all money will go to purchase a campground memorial for the couple.  

“When the weather is hot, keep a cool mind. When the weather is cold, keep a warm heart.” – Ajahn Brahm

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