Using Reflectix to Keep Your RV Cooler

Triple digit temps in an RV can be a challenge. Using Reflectix can help keep the interior cooler.

New Mexico in July.

This wasn’t in the original plans.

Most of the time we can follow the weather and not stay where it’s too cold or too hot.

But plans are Jello. Ours jiggled in an unexpected way and so here we sit in temps ranging from 95-105.

Single AC

We optioned our trailer with a 50A package. This package added the wiring for a 2nd AC unit up in the master bedroom. We opted for a powered vent fan with a cover instead. That fan runs almost constantly, helping make up for having only a single bedroom window.

We could add the 2nd AC unit, but don’t want the expense and would rather not lose the natural light that still filters through the vent.

Reflectix to the Rescue

Reflectix is a flexible bubble wrap and foil insulation commonly available at home improvement stores. I bought one of these 48” x 50’ rolls of Reflectix for just over $40 at a local Home Depot.

It comes in narrower widths but our main dining area window is tall - I needed the 48” width to cover it in one piece of Reflectix.

Cutting Reflectix

Reflectix cuts easily with a scissors. I marked out the sizes using a Sharpie marker and cut the pieces out a little bigger than I thought I needed.

Ditching Suburbia Sticker

Ditching Suburbia Sticker Sticker up your RV, boat, or water bottle with these Ditching Suburbia stickers from StickerMule.

They're approximately 3" x 3" and made from premium vinyl designed for outdoor use. They can even be run through a dishwasher.

Working with each “plug” I trimmed corners and edges until the fit was right. If you leave a little extra material you can run your finger along the edge and “smoosh” the Reflectix into place.

Command Hooks

There are places - like our shower skylight - where I couldn’t make the Reflectix smoosh-fit.

The hack I found there is using these Command brand decorating clips. They are the perfect size to slip Reflectix into.

I used a series of these hooks around the plastic trim on our shower skylight to secure a Reflectix plug. This blocked a significant source of heat coming into the RV.

Truck Windows

I cut plugs for the truck side and rear windows as well.

We often use the truck while parked. It’s our podcast recording studio. It’s a private place to read. It’s a place to work on secret Mother’s Day projects.

We have a foil sunshade for the windshield - but that’s not aways where the sun is. I cut Reflectix plugs for all the door windows and rear window as well.

Reflectix in our shower stall, secured with Command decorating hooks.

Reflectix in our shower stall, secured with Command decorating hooks.

Bathroom vent blocked with Reflectix

Bathroom vent blocked with Reflectix

Command hook holding Reflectix in place.

Command hook holding Reflectix in place.

Reflectix in the truck rear window.

Reflectix in the truck rear window.

Reflectix plugs for the truck doors.

Reflectix plugs for the truck doors.

17 Plugs

3 of our RV windows had plugs already - so between the ones that didn’t and the truck I cut 17 new plugs. The 48” x 50’ roll would have been enough to do everything, so I had some extra. I offered it to the neighbors and had a nice conversation to boot.

I label each plug with a Sharpie - it helps make sense of them when there’s a pile and also helps me figure out which way to re-install it into the window.

Results

We don’t currently have a thermometer inside the RV, so I can’t give you hard numbers. With all the plugs in place and temps just over the 100 degree mark I was able to sit inside the RV and work. It wasn’t “ice-cold” - but it was more than tolerable.

I don’t like listening to the AC run all day nor do I like being cooped up inside with all the windows blocked.

But - as a short-term solution until we find that Goldilocks-approved temperature zone again the Reflectix helps keep the interior temperature of the RV tolerable.

How Do You Beat the Heat?

Do you have other tricks to beat the heat while RVing? Let us know about them in the comments below.

Curious About the Costs?

Join our newsletter and get our budget numbers.A family of 3. Traveling fulltime in an RV. What's that cost? Join our periodic newsletter and we'll show you our 2016 budget.


No spam ever, pinky-promise.

1 Comment Using Reflectix to Keep Your RV Cooler

  1. Picture of Mary IhlaMary IhlaMarch 17, 2017

    If you subscribe to HelloFresh meal service, each delivery box comes lined with a huge bag made of the same material as the Reflectix insulation. So far I’ve collected enough to cover our cab windows, all the skylights, and a few of the windows in our rig. I secure them with velco so they’re easy to remove and replace.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *