A heatwave can be a blessing on a camping holiday, but make sure you enjoy the sun safely. Here are our top tips for making the most of warm weather while staying cool.
Don’t forsake water to avoid toilet breaks – dehydration can sneak up on you and cause heat exhaustion which would make it dangerous to drive as well as uncomfortable and unsafe for you. Adults need up to 3 litres of water on a hot day.
Use heat reflecting sun shades
Even if you already have curtains or shades in your motorhome, invest in some thermal/reflective materials for your blinds to help keep the internal temperature down. Especially useful for large surface areas like windscreens
Be mindful of your parking space
Prioritise pitches under the cover of trees to keep the worst of the sun off your vehicle. It also makes it more enjoyable to spend time outside your motorhome while on the campsite.
Choose coastal sites or ones that are high up
While seaside views are the main attraction, a sea breeze can make a world of difference on a hot day. Keep your windows open to make sure the van is well-ventilated but remember to keep your sun cream topped up – the wind can make you forget how hot it is. For a great coastal campsite, take a look at some of our favourites.
Consider an air conditioner
If you do most of your touring in summer or if you regularly visit warmer countries, it might be worth investing in an air conditioning unit. Choose between an under-bench unit or roof-mounted. If you’re leaning towards an under-bench model, remember that it’s much better to fit this during the build. If you’re retroactively adding air con, roof-mounted models will be better. Truma and Dometic are your best bet for finding one that suits you.
Make the most of your awning
Make sure to extend your awning as far as your pitch allows and try angling it so that the side of your van is in the shade – it can massively help to keep the internal temperature down. If you’ve decided against an awning, think about a tent or gazebo.
Keep an eye on your windows
When the sun is on your van, open the windows that are in the shade and keep the ones in direct sunlight closed and covered – this keeps the worst of the heat getting into the motorhome and if you’re using reflective window covers that’s even better. Open your windows at the coolest time of day and keep them closed when it’s hottest.
Cooking up a storm
It almost goes without saying, but cooking inside will most definitely make your motorhome hot and uncomfortable. To minimise dinner time temperatures, opt for cold preparation meals like sandwiches and salads. Alternatively, embrace the nice weather and dine al fresco – cook on a barbecue, portable stove or even over a fire.
Small but mighty cooling
If you don’t want to shell out for air con, small fans can be effective in moving the air around your motorhome and helping to make it more comfortable. There are some great choices in battery powered and 12V models.
Get a good night’s sleep
What is glorious heat in the day can turn into a nightmare come bedtime – try some cooling bedding for your sheets and pillow cases and stay away from fluffy, feathery pillows. If you just can’t cool down, keep an ice pack in the freezer to apply to your pressure points (wrists, temples, elbows and neck) or wrap it in a tea towel and hold it as you drift off! Check out our guide for sleeping well on tour.
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