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Old 06-11-2020, 01:58 PM   #1
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Name: Andy
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How Hot...

Since this section mentions camper concerns, I suppose it can go here, but moderators feel free to move if need be.

I envision most of my camping to be at places with hookups, but for those times I cannot get a hookup, so cannot run the air conditioning - well... how hot do the campers get? Does opening the windows, and really just using the camper for sleeping (rolling hotel room), keep it cool enough to not die of heat exhaustion during the night?



I grew up with popups, and we were always fine by just opening up all the windows and letting a breeze flow through. These little FG units seem like they could be ovens in the heat.


And to be fair, I have no desire for a generator, so I am seeing what my future might look like while trying to sleep in a hot desert campground.


Thanks,

Andy
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Old 06-11-2020, 02:38 PM   #2
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Name: Lynn
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Deserts, and most other camping spots, cool down at night. With your 12V ceiling exhaust fan on low, that cool air with come blowing in any open window. With only one window open right by your face, it could even be cooler than you'd like.
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Old 06-11-2020, 03:11 PM   #3
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As someone who spent 6 years in the Tucson, AZ area, the desert, be aware that when it cools down at night, it takes a long time for the surrounding area to cool down even as the temps drop. Beware that "dry" heat is only when the monsoons aren't blowing through and bringing a ton of humidity. Daytime temps are 100+, so hanging around outside isn't very pleasant either. I am wondering exactly what location you have in mind. Closer to the mountains, it would cooler, but you would have to be very close. If you just talking winter in the desert and boondocking, that would be very doable for probably 3 months out of the year.

We have had 3 tent/folding campers, and the experience of camping with them does not compare to a "bubble" or a "box". Tents and tent campers are especially nice in the desert to camp in too! We didn't have 3 tent campers in a row, we just kept going back to one after going with a hard shell.

Not to sell the fiberglass molded short, but explore your needs and desires carefully before taking a leap.
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Old 06-11-2020, 05:54 PM   #4
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"I am wondering exactly what location you have in mind."


Well I shouldn't have mentioned deserts. It was more just a general hot area. As the destination in mind is the United States and Canada. Lots of summer camping (wife is a professor, and kid in school).



Basically I want to know how hot these campers get and how easy, or difficult, it is to cool them off at night without air conditioning.


As to a reply for this, "We have had 3 tent/folding campers, and the experience of camping with them does not compare to a "bubble" or a "box". Tents and tent campers are especially nice in the desert to camp in too! We didn't have 3 tent campers in a row, we just kept going back to one after going with a hard shell.

Not to sell the fiberglass molded short, but explore your needs and desires carefully before taking a leap."


I spend most of my youth in a popup. Have no desire to go back to them for many, many, many, many, many reasons (the only plus to them is the ability to open the all windows to cool off). Currently we are tent camping (me, wife, kid, one large dog, and one tiny dog, squeezed in a 4-man) and it can get hot in there but usually cools off by morning.
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:06 PM   #5
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When it’s 20 below or 80 above it’s not the time to go camping IMHO !!
I see no sense in dragging my trailer down the road , setting up my campsite and then enjoying nature by spending the whole weekend inside
Makes more sense ( common and economic) to just stay home
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:12 PM   #6
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
When it’s 20 below or 80 above it’s not the time to go camping IMHO !!
I see no sense in dragging my trailer down the road , setting up my campsite and then enjoying nature by spending the whole weekend inside
Makes more sense ( common and economic) to just stay home

Not helpful.
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Andy Avram View Post
Not helpful.
Piffle.
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:13 PM   #8
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How Hot...

I’d say as a general rule if nighttime temperatures are below 65 degrees you’ll probably be comfortable without mechanical cooling. Between 65-75 degrees, you might manage with help from a power roof vent. Above 75 degrees at night, you’ll be sweating. That’s based on recent experience in a relatively dry climate. Humidity and wind can shift the comfort points either way.

I also grew up camping without A/C in a tent trailer in all kinds of conditions, including a July night in Needles. A tent trailer can stand more extremes because of all the ventilation. I also understand why one might not want to go there again.

The closest you might come in a molded fiberglass trailer is a vintage Trillium, with banks of jalousie windows on all sides. Some molded trailers are better set up for ventilation than others. My Scamp is pretty good at the back, but the front bunks can get stuffy.
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
There once was a parable about a traveller who asked how the people in the next town would treat him. He was asked in turn how he had been treated by the people in the last town. The predictable result was that he was advised he would find the people in the next town treated him much as he had been treated in the last town.

We're generally a pretty friendly group on this forum. Heck, sometimes we even go waaay out of our way to dig up information and help someone just because they are friendly. In fact, it's about the only currency we have here.

Heck, I've even seen where Steve Dunham has calculated the Btu/hr's required to heat or cool a molded fiberglass trailer. I think that demonstrates some real knowledge and ability.

In closing, Andy, I can personally guarantee that the information you are receiving here is from genuine people who have broad ranges of personal experience and expertise, and that the advice you will find here is worth every penny you pay for it, plus some.

In closing, I wish you the best in your quest for the information you seek.

I've been on forums a long time, and know it is bad form to get snarky right away. I also know that people with high post counts are probably from someone who has a passion for the topic, so take their advice to heart.

However, I asked a pretty focused question because I am researching this type of camper (and likely will pull the trigger on one soon) but have a few straight forward but very real concerns about potential heat in the unit if I can't get an electric site on occasion. My follow-up post further detailed I have a wife and kid who both are part of the school systems. Therefore one should be able to deduce that my availability to camp is going to be heavily skewed towards summer. There isn't much of this country (especially with me being in Ohio) that doesn't get over 80 during June, July, August.



So instead of the dude answering my question (as a newcomer to this site, as shown by my post count of <10, where maybe a welcoming approach would have worked better instead of instantly making me defensive of my desire to go camping, as shown by my posting on an essentially camping forum), he 100% told me to just not camp. Not sure how "that the advice you will find here is worth every penny you pay for it, plus some" is actually true in this case.
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
I’d say as a general rule if nighttime temperatures are below 65 degrees you’ll probably be comfortable without mechanical cooling. Between 65-75 degrees, you might manage with help from a power roof vent. Above 75 degrees at night, you’ll be sweating. That’s based on recent experience in a relatively dry climate.

That is exactly the type of information I am looking for! Thank you! So it seems like if it is hot out I should do my best to make sure I can get electric so the air conditioning can run.



Does that mean most people here have generators?
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
When it’s 20 below or 80 above it’s not the time to go camping IMHO !!
I see no sense in dragging my trailer down the road , setting up my campsite and then enjoying nature by spending the whole weekend inside
Makes more sense ( common and economic) to just stay home
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Avram View Post
Not helpful.
Steve (and Glen) apparently only use their campers for recreation, and have nice homes to stay in when they are not recreating. So their point of view does not include using a camper as a substitute for a hotel room when visiting relatives, or on a job assignment away from home. If you assume that they pick and choose their climate then you know they cannot help you much in figuring out how to live comfortably in the camper under more harsh conditions. So just move on...

Moving on.. I have seen well over 100 F in my Scamp. Airflow with a roof fan is not bad, but it might be less than a pop-up tent camper with all the panels open. So it depends a lot on the outside conditions and more than anything.. the humidity.

For comparison I think it is fair to say that your camper will be much like your car with the windows rolled down. In the sun with no breeze.. hot. In the shade with a breeze better.. with low humidity also, then it is comfortable. Consider the conditions.. If you think you would not be too hot in your car with the windows open then the camper wont be too hot either. But I would not be able sleep some nights without the A/C, car or camper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Avram View Post
...
Does that mean most people here have generators?
I would guess that most people who want to run A/C get hookups with power. Or they choose their climates and dont use the A/C.
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:37 PM   #12
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It’s 10:00 PM , temps are in the 90’s , humidity is in the 90’s , there is absolutely not one hint of a breeze and your inside a FG trailer with a couple of small windows that barely open and the question is “ Is it too warm in the trailer to sleep comfortably ? “
I am not trying to be snarky but you asked a rhetorical question !
I’ve slept in a tent , a tent trailer , a stick built trailer , a FG trailer and on the bare ground when temps are in the 80’s and they were all too hot ,and uncomfortable .

When temps are going to be in the 80s or 90’s we get a campsite with electricity , or if that is not possible we stay home
I have no intentions of running a generator so I can be cool and my neighbors get to enjoy the noise , fumes and smell .
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
It’s 10:00 PM , temps are in the 90’s , humidity is in the 90’s , there is absolutely not one hint of a breeze and your inside a FG trailer with a couple of small windows that barely open and the question is “ Is it too warm in the trailer to sleep comfortably ? “
I am not trying to be snarky but you asked a rhetorical question !
I’ve slept in a tent , a tent trailer , a stick built trailer , a FG trailer and on the bare ground when temps are in the 80’s and they were all too hot ,and uncomfortable .

When temps are going to be in the 80s or 90’s we get a campsite with electricity
or if that is not possible we stay home
I have no intentions of running a generator so I can be cool and my neighbors get to enjoy the noise , fumes and smell .
See, I've never slept in a travel trailer before. Popups, tents, and the front seat of my car. Without supplemental cooling a popup is fine, a tent can get hot, but opening all the windows helps, and I have survived the car if I pull over deep enough into the night to not have the sun blaring. I also tried to sleep in the back of my crossover with my wife and dog. With open windows it was alright by my face, but the dog started overheating by our feet so we have to change tactics in the middle of the night. In many of the above cases I have sweated a lot and not slept comfortably - which was never the benchmark I asked to reach, it was not die of heat exhaustion. So to me the question was not rhetorical because I have no clue how much breeze these campers can create with all the windows open. I also know there are extreme circumstances such as high night temps, high humidity, and no breeze, but I can live with exceptions.



I camp mostly in the summer because that is when my family is available. I don't want to run a generator for the exact reasons you don't - we actually wholly agree on the point that they are obnoxious in a campground! Hopefully with that common ground we get past our rocky start on here!
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Andy Avram View Post
That is exactly the type of information I am looking for! Thank you! So it seems like if it is hot out I should do my best to make sure I can get electric so the air conditioning can run.



Does that mean most people here have generators?
I do own a generator that can run the AC on our Escape 19 (no AC on our Trillium).

Two issues with generators:

1. A generator big enough to run an AC is pretty bulky/heavy. Mine weighs about 110 pounds. Relatively easy to get out of the back of my truck, relatively difficult to get it back in.

2. Most of the camping world hates people with generators, and most campground limit the hours you can run one.

Most of the time, I just take my suitcase solar panel instead. Easy to carry, gets a thumbs up by other campers, keeps my battery charged up. No AC of course.

My "solution" to no AC is to adjust my route, and seek out higher elevations. I camped last June in Utah with no hookups. Utah can be really HOT in June. My solution was simple: I camped at Bryce Canyon National Park. Never got over about 75F for a high during the day, more like 50 or less at night. From Bryce I could take day trips to Zion NP (plenty hot), and so on.

Anymore, I rarely take my generator.

I would guess most here do NOT own generators. Many count on variable speed ceiling fans, like the Maxxfan or similar. These fans tend to be 12V DC powered, so a battery with a solar panel and you are set.

On the subject of windows for a second, my vintage Trillium 1300 has SIX Jalousie windows that open fully, basically 100%, giving me awesome airflow. Newer campers do not have jalousie windows, and my 19 foot Escape has LESS open window area than my 13 foot Trillium.

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Old 06-11-2020, 08:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Andy Avram View Post
Does that mean most people here have generators?
We don’t, nor A/C. We camp regionally throughout the Southwest and choose our destinations according to the weather: beaches and mountains in summer, deserts in winter.

Generators cannot be used at night in most developed campgrounds. You’ll need power if it’s too hot to sleep.
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Old 06-11-2020, 08:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Avram View Post
See, I've never slept in a travel trailer before. Popups, tents, and the front seat of my car. Without supplemental cooling a popup is fine, a tent can get hot, but opening all the windows helps, and I have survived the car ...I camp mostly in the summer because that is when my family is available. ...
What I just learned from the above is that you have a much higher tolerance for hot and humid than I do.. and therein lies the reason that it is so hard to answer your question.. how hot is hot is very individual.

I doubt you would find much difference between a travel trailer and a pop-up, tent, car, etc. The environment is the major factor.
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Old 06-12-2020, 06:28 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Andy Avram View Post
I've been on forums a long time, and know it is bad form to get snarky right away.

Andy, I am not intending to be snarky here and in regards to your participation on other forums, it has been my experience that members here often post statements expressing their personal approaches to RVing, which may or may not be in line with other’s opinions and attitudes. And threads almost always go off topic at one point or another.

So instead of the dude (I’m not sure if calling Steve Dunham a “dude” displays the same respect with which you were hoping to be greeted) answering my question (as a newcomer to this site, as shown by my post count of <10, where maybe a welcoming approach would have worked better instead of instantly making me defensive (It seems to me that is a part of the problem. Any forum I have ever participated in has resulted in posts where someone felt mistreated when in reality 99+% of the cases no slight was intended) of my desire to go camping, as shown by my posting on an essentially camping forum), he 100% told me to just not camp. No, he expressed his approach to extreme temperatures. Not sure how "that the advice you will find here is worth every penny you pay for it, plus some" is actually true in this case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Avram View Post
That is exactly the type of information I am looking for! Thank you! So it seems like if it is hot out I should do my best to make sure I can get electric so the air conditioning can run. Yes, highly recommended if heat keeps you awake at night.

Does that mean most people here have generators?
As to your original question, I would say each individual has a personal heat tolerance, and it may be somewhat age related. Children seem to be more temperature tolerant. Like you, my spouse was a career long teacher. Any camping we did, with our two children, was restricted to the summer months. When we moved to Florida from New Hampshire, we had a Coleman tent trailer with no A/C. We also made the mistake of taking it to the Florida Keys in July. We spent one night and came home, and it was the worst night of camping I ever spent. Not only was it Extremely hot and humid, but there were biting insects that were small enough to come through the screens. My prime advice to you would to avoid going anywhere to far south of Ohio if you do not have a functioning A/C. And while I dislike excessive heat as does Mr. Dunham (who based on my interactions with him really is a decent guy, I have camped in daytime temperatures well over 100° and slept cool and peaceful due to A/C.

I do have a generator, specifically a Honda EU2000i which is rather quiet. It will run my A/C, even at elevation because I have An EZ-Start system installed on it. But, I have NEVER taken it camping with me. Living in Florida, we do not have power outages due to snow storms. Our power outages typically occur during the hurricane season. With daytime temperatures and humidity both in the 90s at that time of the year, the generator allows me to sleep in the trailer in air conditioned comfort. Even more importantly, when Hurricane Irma was heading for Florida (the eye went right over my house), I was in Ontario, Canada. We decided to get closer to home in case we had to address damage. Driving all day we ended up at the last available site in a campground in northern Kentucky, filled with RVs having Florida Tags; all were hurricane evacuees. If I were evacuating my home for a few days, I would take the generator so if needed, I could run the A/C. But in “normal” situations, I have found that unless I am in a particularly hot/humid climate, without hookups, opening windows and reversing the fan sucks enough cool nighttime air in for comfort.
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Old 06-12-2020, 08:22 AM   #18
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Aside from the issue of air temp, could you not rig an awning over the top of the camper to keep the sun from directly baking it?

As a long time tent camper, I've seen that a lot where people pitch their tent under a pop-up canopy. Dunno, maybe that's more to eliminate a rain fly.

Just a thought...
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Old 06-14-2020, 09:09 PM   #19
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For a different point of view .....
We live in Southern Ontario and camp mainly in Ontario, Michigan, NY, PA, Ohio

It gets hot in summer and very humid. We carry a battery pack and an Endless Breeze 12v fan (3amp draw)
We hang it from a window and we sleep. We usually end up turning it to low. We travel with large dogs and their comfort is very important to us.

Without AC, the more jalousie windows you have, the better. We started with a boler, then upgraded to an old-style Trillium. The difference in air flow was/is huge.

So it can be done. But you need to look at trailer design and window placement. Ours is basically one huge window with a kitchen and a closet in the middle
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Old 06-15-2020, 12:10 AM   #20
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My 2 cents here.


The first year I had my trailer I stayed in an area that in June normally hits mid nineties, no trees, dry heat. All the fans in the world were of no use to me the bedding felt like it just came out of the dryer. Year two I had air conditioning.
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