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How to stay cool in your motorhome

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Motorhome in the shade in southern Portugal

We have just returned from our “Scenic Switzerland” and “Picturesque Provence” tours and thought before we start our “Majestic Rhine & Moselle Rivers” tour tomorrow, that we should prepare a newsletter on how to protect yourselves against the hot weather we have had all over Europe in the past few weeks.

Here are some tips on how to protect you and your motorhome or van against the heat:

  1. As the Spanish say, “Lo mejor del sol es la sombra” (the best of the sun is its shade), so whenever possible try to park in the shade. Ideally try to get the shade in the afternoon and evening, so you can cool down with the other tips we will give you.
  2. Keep your blinds closed all day to avoid the sun entering your motorhome. If you want to be able to look out of the windows only open the ones where you are protected against the direct sun with an awning.
  3. As most of you probably have inside blinds to close the windows consider using outside thermal covers especially for the windscreen, as this prevents the heat built-up getting behind the windows. You can also get thermal covers for the side windows and sky lights, but most import is the single glass non-insulated windscreen.
  4. Just as you would do at home, ventilate the motorhome only when the outside temperature is below the inside temperature. This is normally the case in the evening/night and in the early morning.
  5. As mentioned before an awning can help to give shade on the windows, but also on the fridge. As most campers do not have a compressor fridge but a standard absorption refrigerator, which can easily reach the cooling limit especially when the outlets are in the sun and the hot air from the fridge cannot be exchanged with cooler outside air.
  6. Some of you might have an air-conditioning for the habitation area on board. This is of course the luxury version of cooling down the motorhome. Unfortunately, they need a lot of energy and also sufficient amperage, which many campsites in southern Europe do not offer, where 6 AMP or less is the norm. They are of course normally no use when staying off grid, as most converters and batteries do not have enough capacity. So the second best option here is the good old ventilator, which does not cool, but the air breeze gives a cooling sensation. We use two MaxxFans in the roof of our motorhome, which can run in both directions and extract the hot air in the evening and the best is you can set them to a desired temperature, and they will run until the temperature is reached. This is of course only possible if the outside temperature is below the set temperature, as there is no cooling like on an aircon! Another option is small units using evaporative cooling with water. They do not really reduce the temperature but give a cooling feeling. You can also use this effect by spraying the fly screens or curtains with water when opening the windows in the evening.
  7. Last but not least, try not to cook in the motorhome, as the heat from the gas fire and the steam of the evaporated boiling water when cooking potatoes or pasta for example will significantly increase the temperature inside. The same is true for a hot shower in the motorhome, so cook outside on a BBQ or an electric plate if sufficient power is available and use the shower block of the campsite or your outside shower if your motorhome is equipped with one.

After having said all this, we hope you will have some great times in your motorhome even when it is hot. Alternatively go on a trip where the likelihood of a heat wave is lower, like our “Amazing Alpine Roads” tour beginning of September, which is also a good time for such a trip.

We now only have 3 tours left for this touring season. The “Delightful Danube” and the “Andalusian Adventure” cannot be booked anymore, but if you would like to book the “Amazing Alpine Roads” tour you need to decide soon and book by Friday 28th of July!

If you are interested in any of our tours for 2023 or 2024, you can find more information on the tour by clicking on the links below:

Touring Season 2023

Amazing Alpine Roads

Tour date:          Sat. 2nd – Sat. 16th September 2023

Delightful Danube

Tour date:                Sat. 16th – Sat. 30th September 2023

Andalusian Adventure

Tour date:          Sun. 5th – Sat. 25th November 2023

Touring Season 2024

Exciting Eastern Germany

Tour date:                 Sun. 14th April – Sat. 27th April
Calais pick-up:         Fri 12th April

Discover Denmark

Tour date:                 Sun. 12th May – Sat. 1st June
Calais pick-up:         Fri. 10th May

Stunning Norway

Tour date:                 Sun. 2nd June – Sun. 23rd June

Majestic Rhine & Moselle Rivers

Tour date:                 Sat. 29th June – Sat. 13th July
Calais pick-up:         Sat. 29th June

Germany’s Romantic Road

Tour date:                 Sat. 14th July – Sat. 27th July

Impressive Italian Lakes & Cities

Tour date:                 Sun. 1st – Sat. 14th September
Calais pick-up:         Fri. 30th August

Captivating Croatia

Tour date:                 Sun. 15th September – Fri. 4th October

All information regarding dates, prices, and itinerary can be found on our website. If you have any additional questions or require any further information, just send us an email. If you would like to book a tour you can do this online, or just send us an email and we will send you a booking form.

Best Regards and safe travels

Audrey & Michael