Newish to TX and needing advice for camping with kids in the heat!

Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by Synstars, Aug 15, 2021.

  1. Synstars

    Synstars New Member

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    Aug 15, 2021
    Hey everyone, my wife and I are considering purchasing a PUP but a little unsure how the baby (3 month old) will handle Texas heat. While we can NOT go in the summer it would be nice if we at least had the option. My question is, what does everyone do for insulating and cooling their PUP's? I have read that using Gizmo "wraps" is a good option for repelling UV and some insulation. Adding something under the mattresses to help insulate the bunks.

    Do the AC's work fairly well? 13.5 or 15 BTU be sufficient?

    Any and all advice is welcome, we just missing camping in BFE and getting the itch!

    Thanks all!
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    May 31, 2018
    You pretty much got it covered. Use reflexdex in the windows also. Some tarp there whole site. Ac is a must ( imho). Ac will work but bigger is better and some work better then others. You may still need a fan to distribute the ac to the bunk ends. Try to stay on the shade is good also. Good luck.
    FTRVer likes this.
  3. popup-flyer

    popup-flyer Active Member

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    May 11, 2021
    Central Texas
    Yeah, Im in TX. Gizmos, Reflectix in the zippered windows on the same side the sun is shining on and of course A/C. 13,500 vs 15k depends on the quality/efficiency of the unit and size of the camper.

    I actually had enough reflectix to put some in regular windows that have the clear plastic as well. It all helped.

    I have a 13.5 A/C and without gizmos or reflectix the best it could do was 86-88 on a 105 degree day. That was also turned on after it was 100 outside not started from a cooler temp inside. With reflectix and gizmos it was high 70's on a similar day.

    I have to replace a single roof sideboard but the cost is so high for crating/shipping from F.R. I am buying both sides. In the process of having the roof side panels opened up I intend to see if I can tuck some reflectix in there across the inside of the outer roof and inner roof between cross members to block radiant heat. Not sure how helpful that will be given the roof is well air conditioned at least on the inside :D

    My kids are all teenagers I can't compare my kids reactions to yours. I will just say kids survived outside for years before A/C ;)
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
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  4. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    Mar 2, 2019
    Oakland, California
    be careful of fire ants and kids getting together
  5. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    Aug 8, 2015
    DFW, TX
    I live and camp in TX. A/C is pretty much required if you want to use a pup in the summer. Mine has a 13.5k btu roof unit, it struggles without mods. Having camped for extended stays in Austin in July, this is what I found works best to maintain a comfortable interior.

    Camp in the shade - I had one trip where I got stuck with a site with no shade. That was a hard one. Even with my other mods I couldn't keep it below 85-88 in the heat of the day while in full sun. Since I was working remote at the time while my son attended Camp Half Blood, this was a problem.

    If you have an awning, use it. It helps shade that side of the camper as well, and really does make a difference.

    Pop up Gizmos - I have them on my bunks and the slide out dinette. I also put some pool noodles in between the pugs and the canvas. That little bit of air gap helps. An ideal solution would be no pugs but a big shade tarp to cover the whole pup. I have seen it done, but it is a lot of work. I have thought about making some DIY awnings to have on the other 3 sides as an option, but again lots of work to set up. The pugs are a reasonable compromise I think.

    Reflectix - buy a roll and put it everywhere. I made inserts for all the windows on the bunks, the street side galley window, and big window on the dinette. I did not bother with the curb side under the awning. It will make the interior darker, and you lose the views, but when it is 100+ outside with 90+ humidity I don't care about a view.

    Clean the A/C - make sure the fins on the roof unit are clear of dust/dirt/bugs. Run it on high cool 24/7. I found that if you didn't do that the interior turns into an oven in short order. Tweak your roof level a little to help with runoff. I hate it when it ends up draining over the door or something.

    Interior fans to help circulate the air. The bunks are the worst, and will be hotter than the rest of the camper. Those little plug in fan/light combos are worthless. I got some cheap desktop tower fans, 12V box style fans for camping, and magnetic 12V fans for the bunk ends. I keep them on to help circulate the air inside during the day, and shut many of them off at night.

    Got a 2nd portable A/C at home? Use it if you have room. I got a deal I couldn't pass up on an 8k btu portable, just the right size to stand upright under the bunks in transit. I modded the hose to exhaust through a dinette side window, and run it off a dedicated extension cord from the power pole. With both running I can maintain 72 in 105+ temps. Night time it can get down into the 50s If I keep both running.

    With these mods I was able to successfully and comfortably work from the pup while my son attended week long day camp for about 4 summers without having to use precious PTO. Pup paid for itself for that camp experience. My experience may be a little different than others, but then again I keep the house at 68 for sleep during the summer here, so I like it colder.
    Big_O and tml01 like this.

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