Most of us have had the unpleasant experience of getting a nasty sunburn after forgetting to put on sunscreen one day while out in the sun. Now imagine how terrible you would feel if you forget to, say put on sunscreen and stay properly hydrated while you’re out enjoying yourself on an RV camping trip and you come down with something worse than a sunburn?

Heat stroke for example, is one of the leading heat-related deaths every year, resulting in over 600 deaths per year, and causes the following symptoms:

Body temperature exceeding 104°F, unable to cool itself down

  • Irritability, extreme confusion
  • Increased heart rate and respiration
  • Unconsciousness, seizures
  • Red, hot, wet skin

Heat exhaustion, the less extreme version of heat stroke and occurs when the body can’t cool itself down as fast as it is heating up, causing the body to lose water and salt which results in rapid pulse and overheating.

But despite the fact that RV camping during the summer can be very hot and potentially dangerous if you don’t take care of yourself, every heat-related ailment, from a sunburn to a heat stroke, is preventable with the following tips:

  • Seek out the shade: A shady RV campsite can make a big difference in reducing the heat of your summer campout, so try and choose a site with trees and natural shade to help keep your RV cool. Utilize your RV’s awning and tarps to help create shade as well.
  • Start hydrating early and stay hydrated: We can’t emphasize enough how essential it is to stay properly hydrated while RV camping during the summer if you want to avoid the harmful consequences that come with heat-related illnesses. Bring plenty of water with you and a filter if you need to rely on the water at the campsite for drinking purposes, as you might not have access to a store nearby. Avoid drinking sugary drinks and alcohol during the heat of the day; fruit can be used as a hydrating snack.
  • Wear protective clothing/sunblock:Wear light-colored clothing, wide-rimmed hats, sunglasses, and plenty of high-SPF sunblock, being sure to apply multiple times throughout the day when in the direct sunlight.
  • Avoid cooking in the RV:Cooking in the small space of your RV kitchen can generate a lot of unwanted heat, so avoid cooking inside as much as possible during the day.
  • Control the AC wisely:A well functioning air conditioner is key to keeping your RV cool during summer camping trips, so be sure to check the functionality of your RV before leaving for your trip, checking the filters for cleanliness, etc. Try to use the A/C only after temperatures inside the RV reach 75°F, being sure to close the widows and doors when it’s in use.
  • Hottest time of day is between 11am; 5pm-try to be out of the RV during this time: Do your best to plan your day around this window so that you can be out of your RV during the hottest time of the day (11am-5pm), and avoid the stifling heat that can bring about dangerous heat-related illnesses.

So with smart hydration strategies and other tips listed above, you can stay safe and healthy on your RV trip and focus on the fun instead!