EXTREME Heat – Staying cool whilst out on the road

We Australians like to take our holidays in the summertime and take the opportunity of the good weather to enjoy all the outdoor and water-based activities that we love.

But sometimes, summer is just a little too good, and temperatures heat up more than is comfortable. When it gets too hot outside, you can guarantee that it’s going to be even hotter in your motorhome.

In this article we’ll look at some common sense tips for keeping your motorhome as cool as possible, so that you can be comfortable and enjoy your summer holidays.

These tips may seem somewhat simplistic, but they are a reminder to think about and plan for these before you head out on the road.

Use the shade whenever possible

We don’t always get to choose where we park our motorhome for the night (especially when you’re in a caravan park) but when you do have a choice, try and make the most of any available shade. The afternoon sun is the hottest so if you are able to get shade at that time of the day, you’re on to a winner!

Put out an awning and/or shade cloth

An awning does more than just allow you a shaded spot beside your motorhome, it also helps to keep the sun off that side of the motorhome, preventing the wall from heating up in the sunlight.

You’ll see some caravans and motorhomes with a shade cloth on the other side of the motorhome as well. Often it’s shielding the whole wall from the sun, but sometimes it’s just to protect the fridge from being warmed up by the sunlight.

Add covers to your windows

You’ll discover very quickly that the sun belting through the window will heat up a motorhome in record time. So making sure that you have curtains or shades that are solar or thermal backed will help in both summer and winter.

If you’re keeping your windows closed (like when you’re using the air conditioner), you could use reflectix (foil windscreen covers) to cover your windows as these do a great job of reflecting the sun’s rays so that they don’t heat up your motorhome.

Open roof vents to let the hot air escape

If you’re not using an air conditioner, you’ll get value out of keeping the air moving in your motorhome. If you have a rooftop vent, then open it up to allow the hot air to escape, and if you’ve got a fan in your roof vent sucking the air out, this will make it work even faster.

Cook outside or eat cold meals

Learn to enjoy dinners that don’t need to be cooked, like cold meats and salad, sandwiches or even cereal! You can also make the most of eating out or indulging in takeaways!

Cooking in the motorhome will certainly help to heat it up, especially if you’re using a gas cooker. We all love a good BBQ so make the most of doing as much cooking outside as you can.


Fans will help a lot. If you’re in a powered site you can use a regular domestic fan but if you’re camping off-grid there are lots of 12V or battery powered fans that will make such a big difference.

As well as using a fan, we’ve found that a spray bottle filled with water is a cheap and easy way to cool yourself down. As the fan hits your wet face it cools you down instantly.

Air Conditioners

If you don’t have a built in air conditioner in your motorhome, you could also buy an evaporative cooler or a portable air conditioner. Both will help you to be a lot more comfortable when the temperatures heat up.

An air conditioner is obviously the most effective way to cool your motorhome down (if you have access to power), but the above tips (like parking in the shade, covering your windows and not cooking inside) will reduce the workload of your air conditioner.

So when you’re experiencing extreme heat, these tips will help you to stay cool whilst out on the road.