Staying cool camping in blistering heat.

dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,279
League City, Texas USA.
Summer has hit us in the south. And until just prior to Halloween we can look forward to daytime highs nearing and likely going over triple digits, and overnight lows in the mid 70s to mid 80s.

For those of us wanting to get out and enjoy the beaches and forests in the south, how do you mitigate the heat (other than just air conditioning).

For me at least, what I have found that works...

#1. Set up in an area that is shaded, particularly directly overhead and on the westerly sides of the campsite, to reduce / eliminate solar heat gain.
#2. Use radiant barrier / insulation. PUGS or similar. For my instant set tent I use a silver tarp in place of the rainfly. My tent has zippable roof window panels. I use a sandwich of attic foil in between the mesh and the fabric of the windows. Not perfect, but it helps.
#3. Keep the air moving. Select a site that has a constant breeze if you can, if not, use a box fan, but keep the air moving, this also keeps the mosquitoes down...
#4. This sounds dumb, but with airbeds. I place ice water in a hot water bottle and put it under a sheet on top of the bed for the last hour before bed time. It REALLY helps.
#5. Stay hydrated.

Looking for more other ideas. What are your best ideas to help extend our camping season?
 

PopUpSteve

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,145
Southeastern PA
All good suggestions. Sometimes, some of those point can't be achieved due to location, but put enough of those points that you listed together, and you can keep comfortable.

One of my main tricks is to keep acclimated to the heat. Since I don't have air conditioning at home, and my employer keeps it in the mid 70s at work, I can keep comfortable with just fans.
 

Oldspurs

Active Member
Jan 2, 2022
238
Central Texas
Central Texas is a great mix of, I can not believe I am sweating there, to not bad I can survive. I agree with Steve, we stay acclimated. We utilize all the recommendations as stated to stay cool. Fans are our best hedge against the sweltering heat, that and minimal clothing. At our age it is about comfort with decorum. We camp year around except for December to February. We love the camp. Will continue until we can no longer make camp for ourselves. That should be when we are about 90 or older. See you on the trail.
 

campfire Joe

Active Member
Jan 27, 2015
386
peru new york
Cool suggestings dbhost. In the summer up here in NY we usually camp at campgrounds that have electrical sites so we set up 2 small fans and we use one of the little plug in light fans that came with the camper. Hook it to the Shepard's pole over our head. We don't have AC, but the fans help a lot on those hot and humid nights.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,740
Northern Virginia
I cheat and seek the mountains in the summer if I’m going to dry camp. Not all the time but most of the time I find temps are about 10 degrees cooler than anywhere lower and sometimes less humid. Outside of that in the mid summer I’m looking at campsites that have electric hookups. Im Not the type to live in the AC but it sure as heck is great to get out of the heat for an hour or two especially during peek sun before venturing out again. I do find camping on a good size lake gives you some decent cooler breezes and as a bonus a great way to cool off during the day. I have found I tended to take naps in a shaded hammock more during the heat of the day and be more active when the sun starts to climb out of the sky. With that said I don’t live in the Deep South. Although Virginia is known to get a taste or two of the suffocating heat. It’s a bit easier for me to find cooler areas.
 

kudzu

Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 20, 2014
579
Knee deep in kudzu
Don't. Just don't camp in the Summer heat. We have A/C in both campers but I don't want to camp when we cannot comfortably do things outside. Late June through mid-September are the miserable times here. Since I am for now stuck in this general area we can't even get to upper altitudes to help. As a result, our June camping trip was our last until Fall. Except...

For some reason we just added a mid-July camping trip. Hanging out at the campsite or outdoor activities will be unpleasant. Thankfully, there are non-outdoor things to keep us busy during the hottest parts of the day. It's a test and I predict it will end with us deciding never to do that again. [LOL]
 

nitrohorse

Active Member
May 27, 2015
206
NE Pennsylvania
Same here Anthony. But if I do go camping in the summer heat, you can bet your bippy I'll take the generator along. I only boondock, so who cares about the noise.
Same here Don. I'm going to an antique engine show in July. It's usually in the mid-upper 90s that week with high humidity. While I spend bulk of the day volunteering in the kitchen (hot!!), I really enjoy cooling off in the PUPs AC.
I have a HF Predator Inverter 3500 that keep the AC running. I'm curious to see what it will cost in gas to run the gennie for the week.
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,818
Southern California
Same here Don. I'm going to an antique engine show in July. It's usually in the mid-upper 90s that week with high humidity. While I spend bulk of the day volunteering in the kitchen (hot!!), I really enjoy cooling off in the PUPs AC.
I have a HF Predator Inverter 3500 that keep the AC running. I'm curious to see what it will cost in gas to run the gennie for the week.
I have the same HF 3500 generator that you have. I don't have to lift it into my truck when I take it. I made a small ramp out of two 2X6X36 inch boards that I use to just roll it up into the camper for transport. I have two videos on my YouTube channel showing a modification I did to drain the fuel system and showing how I load it into the camper using the ramps.
 

NLB

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2021
502
West Palm Beach, Florida
I have the same HF 3500 generator that you have. I don't have to lift it into my truck when I take it. I made a small ramp out of two 2X6X36 inch boards that I use to just roll it up into the camper for transport. I have two videos on my YouTube channel showing a modification I did to drain the fuel system and showing how I load it into the camper using the ramps.
Hey Don- nice fuel drain! I looked on your YouTube for the ramp video, can you send me the link for that? Thanks.
 

Patrick w

Active Member
Aug 13, 2021
593
I would like to find like a 6k ductless unit, if anyone has any ideas. I did a test on my pop up. It's so tiny really a 3k ac would be fine. These new Inverter ones are really good. I have a 8k window one, and if you start it up, it's actually a soft ramp up. I can run it off my 1000w generator.
 

nitrohorse

Active Member
May 27, 2015
206
NE Pennsylvania
I have the same HF 3500 generator that you have. I don't have to lift it into my truck when I take it. I made a small ramp out of two 2X6X36 inch boards that I use to just roll it up into the camper for transport. I have two videos on my YouTube channel showing a modification I did to drain the fuel system and showing how I load it into the camper using the ramps.
I was poking around your videos. Do you transport the gennie on the carrier at the rear of the pup? If so, did you weld the carrier to the frame? I can still lift the Predator into the bed of my F150, but it's getting harder by the trip...lol.
 

nitrohorse

Active Member
May 27, 2015
206
NE Pennsylvania
I would like to find like a 6k ductless unit, if anyone has any ideas. I did a test on my pop up. It's so tiny really a 3k ac would be fine. These new Inverter ones are really good. I have a 8k window one, and if you start it up, it's actually a soft ramp up. I can run it off my 1000w generator.
When you say ductless, do you mean the portable floor units on wheels.
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,818
Southern California
I was poking around your videos. Do you transport the gennie on the carrier at the rear of the pup? If so, did you weld the carrier to the frame? I can still lift the Predator into the bed of my F150, but it's getting harder by the trip...lol.
I made a small two piece ramp and just roll it up into the door of the camper. Here is a short video showing some of the new mods and toys I have and it shows how I load the generator. There is no way I could actually lift mine!

 




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