Dear RV Shrink:
We love our new trailer. We are teachers and take each summer off and head to the mountains. Our kids love the many National Parks we visit and learn so much from our travels.
One thing we never considered when planning our purchase was the summer heat. My wife wants me to add an air conditioner to our rig. I think it would be a waste of money as we spend the majority of our time camped in National Forests and Parks with no electricity. She has become very insistent on this point especially on hot days when we do have access to power.
Could you give me your take on this point? —Hot tongue and Cold shoulder in Sandpoint
Dear Hot and Cold:
I would look at it this way. AC is not a bad investment. Even if you do not use it that often, it is wonderful to have when you need it and have access to power. It would also help in resale value.
Another option would be a swamp cooler. They can cost as much as an air conditioner, but allow you to operate on 12 volt power. They are simple to install on an existing roof vent.
Until you work this decision out I would suggest you find a shady campsite on hot days, make use of 12 volt fans, and pick a site that may offer lake frontage or a breeze.
Another thing for people to consider on very hot days are their pets. If you’re going off for the day and leave a pet in your rig, consider the extreme temps that can build in an RV if you do not take precautions.
We have a 12V fan made by the Fan-Tastic Vent company called “Endless Breeze.” It was designed for pets but we enjoy it as much as our cat.
By the way, I grew up just like your kids. My parents took us to the mountain parks each summer, in an Airstream, on great adventures. It has had a continual and dramatic impact on my life, as I am sure it will on your children. I applaud you. —Keep Smilin’, RV Shrink
Editor: Here’s a link with more info on the Endless Breeze fan at Amazon.