How to beat the heat whilst travelling

Hot enough to fry and egg: Photo by Pockafwye
Summer is great for a lot of things: road trips, camping under the stars, walking barefoot in the sand, swimming, fishing, boating, and, of course, travelling holidays.

We are having a serious heat wave here in Australia at the moment, with some days officially listed as catastrophic fire dangers. In our house we rarely ever need to have the air conditioning on as we have a double brink house with concrete floor and ceiling and so it is well insulated and has an even temperature most year around.

Heat exhaustion 

is not only uncomfortable but dangerous. If you are not careful on extremely hot days, then a fatigue occur which can last for months. To avoid the damaging effects of heat fatigue, take it easy. Keep well hydrated by drinking lots of water, and limit your alcohol intake as this raises your core body temperature. Cover up and stay out of the sun as much as possible. Do not under any circumstances get sun burnt.

Shimmery heat: Photo by Alchemist-hp
However travelling in a caravan or RV, it is a whole different ball game. No one wants to travel with cranky, over-tired travel companions. Hot bedrooms make for restless nights. Add to that any type of work even cooking can really add misery on top of sweaty misery

How so do you cope in such hot weather whilst travelling around Australia.

Towradgi Rock Pool: Photo by Neil Taylor
Visiting a nearby water feature is great whether it be a river, ocean or pool.

When the above is not available then one option is frequent cool to cold showers. If water is limited then you can rig up a system where you recycle your own shower water by standing in a tub and reusing the water run off.

I like to have a mist spray bottle handy to spray myself and my husband with it.


In your RV or vehicle

Insulation in your caravan or motorhome is great if it is already installed but still it can get hot inside the RV. It is not very easy to retrofit it without major renovation work. Either way you can use a paint that reflects the heat especially on the roof

Open up the windows and vents when the air is cooler outside
especially at night. If you want cooling air flowing past you, you'll need a cross-breeze.

Fans and air conditioning Get a 12 volt fan where possible.
Either way, make sure it's the oscillating kind that rotates from side to side, the better to rake the length of you with blasts of air. However at night time, have it positioned from feet area and set the oscillating feature to off. Depending upon the humidity factor where you are, you might want to set up a dish of water before the fan. Unless you have invested in a 12volt fan, you generally require power and frequently it needs 240 volt, which obviously you can get if you are visiting family, friends or a caravan site where mains power is available. As much as I hate them, this might be just one those times you need a generator to run appliances if you are not near electricity.

Remove the quilt and just sleep under the cover or bed sheet only if you still need something over you.

In bed, the trick to keeping cool is staying still. Try to sleep in a position where you are sprawled out, exposing as much of your body surface area as possible. For example I sleep on my side. So I have one arm straight out in front of me and the other arm lower in a bent scissor fashion, the bottom leg is straight and the other leg is bent and resting on the bed surface. If this is too low for you, try resting the top on a pillow. Once you're position in bed, remain absolutely motionless. Impress the importance of this rule on anyone who shares your bed. Tell them the future of your relationship depends on it. This is one of those nights where you do not want to cuddle up with your loved one, whether it be your spouse or your furry friends!

Be prepared

If you know ahead of time, that it is going to be a blistering hot day, then you can also prepare by freezing some ice for drinks etc

Now remember if you are actually driving in the high heat of summer, that this will also affect your vehicle.

In a nutshell you need to keep your car well tuned up, checking air con gas, coolant and oil fluid levels, tyre pressure. Read how to Beat the Heat with Summer Car Care for more details on looking after your car in the summer.

What are your top tips for staying cool in your RV?

I love comments, so comment away dear readers. I reply to all questions!


  1. Hi, when we lived out west and had no air con in the vehicles our way of keeping cool: attach a wet towell in the door over the OPEN window. We kept the towell wet (having a large container of water in car) and the breeze coming through the window would keep us cool. The same wet towell/sheet system worked in front of a fan in the house. Who wants the old times back? I will have my air con! The photo of the egg reminded us also of our Wilcannia years. yes we did put eggs on the footpath, and yes they did cook, and NO you would not eat them!! Cheers Gail

    1. Hi Gail, The wet towel is a great idea. I hadn't thought of that. Wilcannia has changed since you lived there. When is the last time you've been through?

    2. Hi Michelle, yes unfortunately Wilcannia has changed. We passed through two years ago on the way from Brewarrina to Broken Hill. Shane was teaching at Bre. he had also been teaching for a short while at Wilcannia. (He now teaches at Nowra, lives Huskisson).
      We stopped at the service station, I had camera in hand and started crossing the road to take photos, but the emotions were too much and I went back to the car. Our place was a mess. We had seen it a few years ealier and were invited in, was not too bad. It is so sad to see the town go like it has. We are renewing our wedding vows in August, and someone asked if we were going to the original church where we were married. With NO hesitation Greg said NO! Cheers Gail

  2. hi michelle, nice to meet you. i'm so very excited to have found you due to our travel blog award contest. you were nominated for the 2012 most inspirational travel blog award and are now in the run-offs.
    from jan 27 to feb 5, you can ask people to vote for your blog so that you can be one of the 23 out of the nominated 50 to win.

    you can check it out here: . good luck to you lauren! happy belated new year... gabi and family, in dalat, vietnam

    1. I am honoured to even be nominated for your award. Thank you. I will certainly tell my friends to consider voting for me.

  3. How bad has the heat been?? We stayed inside and cranked up the aircon here....thanking my lucky stars that I have an aircon right now!

    1. Yes, Vicki, The heat is bad though very inconsistent. When it is super bad, I hope I am near power, but that is not always possible.
      And now as I write Qld is flooding and Bundaberg is bracing for its worst ever recorded flood. Australia is a fabulous country but when it is bad, it can be terrifying.


Thank you so much for popping by, I appreciate your comments!