While many full-timers install RV window insulation before winter to trap heat, insulation holds cool air in, too, making it a great solution for improving your air conditioner’s efficiency in the summer.
Check out our tutorial on installing the RV airflow system for another A/C efficiency solution.
Climate control is especially tough when your summer RV trips take you into hot, humid parts of the US. We love waterfront campsites and the best destinations for escaping the cold, but let’s talk about ways to keep your RV’s interior comfortable when outside temperatures rise.
Why Insulate RV Windows?
Adding RV window insulation has a double effect – it’ll keep your RV cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The best modern RVs are built with dual-pane windows, which trap a layer of air between two sheets of glass and reduce heat exchange through that layer.
But many RVs are still manufactured with single-pane windows as a cost-cutting measure and to reduce the unit’s overall weight. Single-pane windows provide much less insulation and are more susceptible to condensation, as moisture is more likely to form on colder window surfaces.
Improving window insulation is one of several ways to manage moisture and condensation in your RV. The others are employing a dehumidifier or improving airflow by using portable fans.
Still, improving RV window insulation is the best way to keep your RV’s interior comfortable in extreme temperatures. It’ll also reduce your electric bill by reducing how much you run your A/C in the summer and furnace in the winter.
Where Should You Place RV Window Insulation?
Some wonder whether improving the insulation value of your RV’s windows happens inside or outside of the RV. The answer is both.
If you upgrade to dual-pane windows, this process requires working inside and outside your RV. The other solutions, like insulated shades and window coverings, are designed to be installed on the inside of RV windows, keeping them protected from moisture and weather outside.
How to Insulate RV Windows for Summer
There are three main ways to improve the insulation value of your RV’s windows:
- Upgrade the windows
- Install new RV blinds or window shades
- Add window coverings.
Let’s take a closer look at each option:
Upgrade your RV Windows
Removing single-pane RV windows and replacing them with dual-pane windows is arguably the best way to reduce heat exchange through RV windows. This, of course, is a lengthy procedure that’s best left to a professional RV technician.
The main risk of a DIY window replacement is failure to secure and seal the new window properly. If not completed correctly, leaks can cause extensive water damage to an RV wall and floor. You must also be cognizant of your cargo-carrying capacity and ensure you aren’t overloading your RV by installing heavier windows.
So you’re best to schedule a service appointment for an RV window upgrade. Our design specialists can help you find the right windows for your project before you schedule an appointment for the removal and replacement at the nearest service center.
Install New Blinds, Window Shades, or Curtains
New window treatments can also keep your RV cooler during the summer. Not all RVs come with curtains that truly block UV rays or provide added insulation value. In fact, new window shades can improve your RV’s insulation and help you get a better night’s sleep.
Blackout shades eliminate annoying light streaming into your RV windows from a neighboring campsite when you’re trying to sleep. They also reduce UV penetration to keep your RV cooler during the day.
There are also dark-out kits that allow you to transform your RV’s existing pleated shades into blackout shades. These kits must be chosen to match the total length and width of the shade and the length of the shade’s pleats.
In addition to upgrading your blinds or shades, you can add new draperies or curtains to your RV windows. Curtain retainers are typically more common on older used RVs, so you may need to install retainers before adding curtains to your RV windows.
Add Window Coverings
Adding insulated window coverings is the easiest and most cost-effective method for insulating RV windows. These coverings include reflective sunshades for your front window, foil insulation for side windows, pre-cut window coverings for the small window in your RV door, insulated roof vent cushions, and retractable roof vent shades.
Take measurements for all your windows before shopping for compatible window coverings. Finding coverings that match your window size is much easier than buying a foil insulation roll and cutting panels to fit.
Technician Tip: Lack of ventilation can add to the amount of moisture within the RV. Ensure that you are not trapping moisture behind the window coverings. This could cause undue mildew buildup inside the RV.
What is the Best Way to Insulate RV Windows for Summer?
The best way to improve the insulation value of your RV windows is to upgrade to dual-pane windows. The best alternative is to use blackout shades in conjunction with insulated window coverings.
All of these solutions can be employed simultaneously for superior climate control in your RV. Installing dual-pane windows requires more time and a larger investment, but the upgraded shades and window coverings you invest in now can work with upgraded windows in the future.
When you’re ready to remove and replace your RV’s single-pane windows, contact Camping World’s RV renovation team to schedule an appointment.
Summer is the preferred RV season for many, but it does come with an increased need for interior climate control. Here are a few additional resources to help you stay cool in your RV:
- How to Keep an RV Cool Without AC
- All of Your Questions About RV Air Conditioners Answered
- How to Stay Cool While Camping in the Heat
How do you insulate your RV windows for summer camping? Let us know in the comments below.