Summer in Australia can be smoking hot and it’s that time of year when your caravan can turn into a sauna. We will share with you some easy and cost-effective ways to keep your caravan cool and comfortable during Australia’s hot summer days.
Insulation ( for old caravans )
Most new caravans come with roof and wall insulation, but for an oldy, like we have, you might consider adding some wall and roof insulation when you are doing a DIY Caravan Renovation or building your own van. And did you know that old and peeling paint can significantly affect the temperature inside your caravan?
When you have a pop-top caravan you can open all the vents in the retractable skirt, which allows the heat to escape and creates airflow when a nice sea breeze comes along.
Awnings and Annexes
An awning or annex not only provides you with an extra living space but can also give you shelter you from the hot Ozzie sun.
If you open the side walls ( when having a fully enclosed annex ) the breeze can nicely come through. With our caravan, we also have window awnings, which is perfect as we can leave all the windows open at night and during the day when we have a nice sea breeze but protects us from the sun coming in.
Find a shady campsite
One of the most important things to do when you want to keep you caravan cool in summer is finding a shady campsite. Not always easy. At the caravan park, we are currently located, there is not one single spot available that has shade all day.
We relocated 3 times to find the best spot and walked around the caravan park several times on different times of the day to see which site had the most shade at the end of the day, so our caravan would be cooled down at night.
Look at where the sun comes up and where it goes down. A bit of morning or evening sun isn’t too bad, but you don’t want your caravan to be in the full sun all day.
Keep the air flowing
Open all windows so you got a natural airflow. Make sure you have mosquito and insect netting installed in front of your windows. Most new vans have these flashy insect screens, but some oldies haven’t. And especially in some parts of Australia, it’s either insect netting in front of your windows, or keep them shut at all times to prevent you from being eaten alive.
Keep your curtains or blinds closed when you are away and have your windows shut. Not only better to keep your caravan safe for nosey people, but also to keep those scorching sunrays out.
Cook Outside (If Possible)
Indoor ovens and stovetops can quickly make any caravan feel smoking hot, so it’s best to cook outdoors as much as possible to keep your caravan cool during summer.
We always cook outside, apart from when we use the oven. When we do so, we put on the exhaust, open all windows and turn on our Dimplex Portable Airconditioner
Air conditioners and fans
Obviously, air conditioners are the best way to keep your caravan cool during summer, but can also be expensive and can not always be used when you are on the road and staying at free camps and national parks without power. Unless you have a generator, but keep in mind that generators are not always allowed in certain camp areas and that caravan airconditioners also eat a lot of power.
As we have an old caravan, we didn’t have an air conditioner installed, but as we live in the hot and humid tropics at the moment, having an air conditioner to keep our caravan cool was a number one priority.
We do have a little fan, which works on 12Volt and 240Volt and is great to keep some airflow going, but for severe heatwaves and tropic Ozzie weather you need an air conditioner in your caravan, especially with a little one.
We looked at several options and did extensive research on the perfect air conditioner for our caravan.
First, we looked at special RV and Caravan ( rooftop ) air conditioners. Although these are great in regards to not taking up any extra space as they are installed on the roof, these are at least over a 1200 Dollar new ( without installation ) which would drastically bring down the profit on our caravan IF we would ever sell it in the future.
On top of that, as we are traveling down South, the changes of using it very extensively down South are getting lower, so those things added up, we decided that those ones weren’t an option for us.
Then we looked at window-mounted air conditioners as they are cheaper than the special RV and Caravan airconditioners.
But, the cons about those Caravan air conditioners is the fact that you lose a complete window, they look ugly, and we had to make a complete construction to support it, which would also add extra weight on our caravan.
Then we started to look at portable mini caravan airconditioners and after an extensive research we narrowed our selection down to a few and ended up with our Dimplex portable mini air conditioner, which absolutely works a treat!
Yes, it takes up a bit more space than a roof or wall mounted air conditioner, but we can easily transfer it from one side to the other side of the caravan, we can store it when we don’t need an air conditioner in winter, and it’s way cheaper than all the other air conditioners.
The Dimplex service team is great and as a sign of their commitment to quality, all Dimplex products are covered under warranty. We got a 2-year warranty on our Dimplex Mini Portable Airconditioner for our caravan!
Do you have any other great tips to keep your caravan cool in Summer? Let us know!