Setting up in hot weather

Discussion in 'General Weather Forum' started by Koalavan, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Koalavan

    Koalavan New Member

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    Aug 6, 2017
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hi everyone, the thread about how to keep the PUP cool gave me the idea to make this post.

    I'm interested to hear how different people approach setting up your site in very hot weather/harsh sun.

    Most of the campgrounds we've been to allow you entry to your site from around 12pm - the hottest time of the day. We had a scary incident on one of our first few trips where Mr K collapsed from heatstroke after trying to set up the camper in the sun. I've also made myself feel unwell a few times from pushing myself in the heat.

    Now our usual method is to park up and level the camper without opening it, then go off to have lunch and come back to start setting up a bit later. We recently bought a sunshelter with the intention to set up the outdoors shelter, table and chairs etc without fully popping the camper so we'd have a place to eat and relax till later in the day.

    In summer I think it would be best practice for us to wait until after 3pm, or at least do it gradually, maybe letting the camper air out a bit before unpacking. The camper itself is always really hot and we are sweating a lot too, it's hard to keep the hydration up and of course we always just feel like we want to get it all set up as quickly as possible.
     
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  2. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Active Member

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    My general rule is to stay away from heat. In summer I camp in the mountains.

    If stuck with hot weather, I follow these guidelines:

    Have water available in the vehicle - at least 48 ounces.

    Go slow. Start by taking out the chairs and setting them up in the shade. Rest. Pop the top. Rest. And so on. Rest in the shade drinking water after each step. Don't worry if it takes all afternoon - enjoy the scenery and relaxation.
     
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  3. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Well, I think you're correct, best to pace yourself if you're setting up in the heat of the day. Park the camper in it's campsite, level it, lock the coupler, maybe plug in if available so the refrigerator can go on AC, and get lunch/do some site seeing.

    I had to setup at a campsite near Hoover Dam once and it was 108 degrees. I did a full setup (less the awning) in 20 minutes by myself. I'm surprised I didn't have a heart attack.
    IMG_6917.jpg
    Note: No A/C
     
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  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Most campgrounds I've gone to I don't arrive until 4 ish. Like mentioned above I keep water in the car and stay hydrated. I take lots of breaks when setting up. In the summer I try and find sites with shade if possible even if they are further away from playground etc. My mom also went down with the heat once and even worse I had no AC in the camper at the time. It was scary and now find she can't deal with the heat as she once did. She isn't the greatest about hydrating though because she hates water so that complicates things.
     
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  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't done it yet, but take it slow and steady! I would crack the pups windows for a bit before going inside to unpack. Do the outside stuff first while it cools off. Take a brake if needed . The outside shelter thing sounds like a good idea, wait for the cooler part of the day!
     
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  6. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Active Member

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    Have your mom try the water drops. Dasani, Crystal Light, etc. You have to check the ingredients for each flavor - some add calories, sodium, caffeine, etc. I have never been a water drinker - it always made me feel bloated and uncomfortable. The water drops work great and now I only drink water. I like the Dasani lemonade and the Crystal Light strawberry lemonade the best - no calories, no sodium, no caffeine. I can easily drink my 64+ ounces per day now.
     
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  7. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    In our case, more often than not, it's breaking down in the heat of the day that's the issue. We normally don't arrive at the campsite until late afternoon or early evening.

    A couple years ago, I was breaking camp after July 4 and it was hot in east central Kansas. DW was in the middle of radiation treatment so wasn't able to be much help. I had to take a bunch of rest breaks and drink lots of water. When I was finally done my clothes were sweat soaked so I went over and took a shower and put on fresh clothes for the ride home. [:)C]
     
  8. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    The main two things water and pace yourself, if you get over heated stop and sit down in the TV with the AC running. As soon as you can get the top raised, plug in electric ,get the reefer going and the AC cooling, Hopefully your site will have some shade. The main thing is do not over do it, in the heat we have been having the sun will get to you. as the old timers say "don't let the bear get you"
     
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  9. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    We don't typically camp in the 3 hot months here. Last year, we broke that rule and went camping on an island on the Gulf of Mexico. It was hell week. I'll never camp there again in the summer. None of the sites had enough shade, but they had plenty of mosquitoes and yellow flies that bite hard!

    Setting up was evening, so a strong layer of DEET, as soon as we exited the car was all that was needed.

    Leaving a week later was a different story. It was as hot as I've ever been in my entire life. The air was completely still and humid. It was unbearable. We literally did a step or two, then rode around in the air conditioned van for 5 minutes or so, to get our body temps down. We were like a pit crew, jumping from the van, performing a couple tasks, jumping back in to cool down again. It was crazy. Never again.
     
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  10. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Toedtoes has the right idea.... sjm says: I haven't done it yet, but take it slow and steady! I would crack the pups windows for a bit before going inside to unpack.
    My problem is, first thing I crack is a beer! (Which does not really help)....
     
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  11. Koalavan

    Koalavan New Member

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    Aug 6, 2017
    Brisbane, Australia
    Is coconut water a popular drink in the US? It's reputed to have electrolytes in it so that it's like a natural sports drink (ie Gatorade) but I don't know if that's really true. We do find it a bit easier to drink than just water on a hot day. Might be an acquired taste?? Some brands taste better than others.

    Oh here most of the campgrounds want you out by 10am! I normally try to pack up what I can the afternoon & night before, then we have breakfast and start the take-down. It often involves me unpacking the inside and then Mr K winding down and disconnecting etc while I take our 5 year old to the playground, it seems harder for him to amuse himself by that point.
     
  12. Koalavan

    Koalavan New Member

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    Aug 6, 2017
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can you tell me what a reefer is please? I feel that if I google it I'll get the wrong answer. [:I]
     
  13. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Nineoaks is referring to the refrigerator (although reefer can definitely mean different things to different people [:D])... Never had coconut water, but I do try to keep ice cold Gatoraide around!
     
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  14. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    @neighbormike I'm with you. The first thing I do is get a beer from the cooler after that is empty I unhitch Level the pup than more beer. After that it I just take my time doing the rest of the setup and as long as we long as we can sleep inside I dont worry about when anything else gets done .
     
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  15. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Refrigerator
     
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  16. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Amen!
     
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  17. emoney

    emoney Well-Known Member

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    Living in Florida for 20 years helps, so you could try that first. If not, make sure you hydrate before the trip. When I know I’m going to be out in the baking sun on Saturday I start the water on Thursday. Trying to play catch up is bad mojo. 2nd, have a wet cloth to keep on the neck or head. It helps a ton! Monday, we set up at 1:30, but it was pouring rain. However, because of the time, I had packed our big fan that we keep on the patio, with the plan being, set up the pop up canopy first, fan plugged in 2nd. Having that wind blowing and making your shade makes a ton of difference.
     
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  18. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    We have developed a plan when popping down to leave the FL panhandle beach after a week. It’s always hot so we are soaking wet after pack up and we have a 12 hour drive home. We shower and change clothes before hitting the road.
     
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  19. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    We don't get much difference after noon hits. Hottest part of the day tends to be around 5pm. This last campout we arrived at 10pm and didn't get the camper disconnected until close to 11 after trying to find an open spot that would work for the almost 2 weeks we were staying. Temps were around 90-95 and we were drenched by the time we got done.

    I generally get the roof up to the point I can get the A/C running and work from there. I get it blowing before I even get the canvas in place! Awning or canopy all the time. Shade and air movement helps. I have a bunch of smaller fans for inside but I need to get a larger one for under the awning. I think that would help as well .

    Hydrate! I have had some close calls so I really try and watch myself.

    When packing up from an extended trip I start the day before. Kitchen stuff that won't be used gets packed up. Food gets repacked in a bin for transport and the galley shelves come down. Dirty clothes consolidated in one bag and clean in the other. Still a lot of work when your campsite resembles a safari base camp!
     
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  20. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Last time we set up it was in the high 90s. First thing I did was plug in a 20" fan. Never had a fan outside before, it made a big difference.
     
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