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Old 07-07-2019, 11:05 AM   #1
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Leaving AC on while away for extended time in AZ

Hello!

I am fairly new to RV living, continuing to learn new tips and tricks each trip I take!

I have been living in AZ in my travel trailer for approximately 3 months. I will be leaving to head back home for a time and leaving my travel trailer at my current RV site until I return. I was wondering about leaving the AC unit on AUTO at a high temperature to keep the unit conditioned. I know that the summers in AZ can get to high triple digits which means the unit with AC off will get very very hot. Does anyone have any advice? Should I leave the AC on or leave off? I am also worried to leave the AC off and warping of the inside trim occurring, as well as leaving the AC constantly running and adverse affects of this. Please let me know your experiences!
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:56 PM   #2
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Leave it on. If gone perhaps set the temp a little higher so the unit doesn't work harder than necessary.

As for worrying about the A/C while gone, If you don't worry about it while sleeping, don't worry about it while gone.

A/C's are like refrigerators. They run and run and run for years without problems. Also like refrigerators many issues occur when shut down for extended periods and then restarted.

In Arizona or any other hot desert area I'd worry more about subjecting my canned goods and even medications to excessive temperatures that can occur in a closed RV when the outside temp is 110 degrees plus. Trim pieces, etc would be the last of my worries.


FWIW, for those who take medication regularly, check the instruction sheet provided by your pharmacist and pay close attention to the temps for safe storage of them. If camping in hot climates you may consider storing them in the refrigerator which should be somewhere between 32 and 40 degrees.

Canned goods subjected to temps over 100 degrees can interact with can linings and lead to early spoilage not to mention just tasting bad.
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:31 PM   #3
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If you turn off your a/c during the day in a Southwest summer, the a/c will not catch up until well after bedtime. Especially if you only have one a/c.
We never turn ours off when in that situation and also block out windows and roof vents with some sort of insulating material.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rvrehab101 View Post
Hello!

I am also worried to leave the AC off and warping of the inside trim occurring, as well as leaving the AC constantly running and adverse affects of this. Please let me know your experiences!
Many folks in our park (in Arizona), leave for the summer and leave the A/C off. However, they also leave tubs filled with water in several places within the RV in order to prevent the warping, etc. The choice is yours, of course. Additionally you'll want to prevent, as much as possible, any sunlight entering the rig. Many use foil in their windows. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:33 PM   #5
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Don't know why I assumed you would just be gone a day or so.
If you are going to be gone many days or weeks, by all means turn the a/c off.
We have lived in the SW all our lives. Unless we travel far North, our RVs sit most of the summer beside our house. A/C off, refrigerator on, roof vents slightly open (Max Airs installed), shades drawn.
Sure it gets hot inside (120°), but have never had any heat related damage or warping.
We do try to limit canned and aerosol products stored inside that may be affected by high temps.
It will take a full day to cool the RV off, if you get back during the heat of the summer/fall.
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:34 PM   #6
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I'd set it as high/warm as the thermostat will go. Running it that way will condition the unit AC and camper. It's better than letting it get to be 125 inside or more.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:13 PM   #7
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Hi NMWildcat: Once I get my Ford P/U running(ECM on order), I will be heading to your area. Planned on early June but truck problems delayed it. I'm heading to Deming and then to Silver City where I hope it is cooler. Rio Grande Valley's weather is HOT & Humid in summer but wear shorts in Winter. Looking for a summer retreat. I have an FR RPod.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:23 PM   #8
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We're in Richmond and temps in the 90s are common but rarely in the 100's. We only camp sporadically and the AC is Off when not camping for weeks at a time. Been 10 months between trips a few times. For extended storage periods the camper is covered completely for sun and rain protection, and the none of the appliances are ever left on. Battery gets solar charged periodically year round.

We're more concerned with dampness than extreme dryness so I can't comment on that issue. We vent the camper like we do with our boats.

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Old 07-08-2019, 05:24 PM   #9
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We're in Richmond and temps in the 90s are common but rarely in the 100's. We only camp sporadically and the AC is Off when not camping for weeks at a time. Been 10 months between trips a few times. For extended storage periods the camper is covered completely for sun and rain protection, and the none of the appliances are ever left on. Battery gets solar charged periodically year round.

We're more concerned with dampness than extreme dryness so I can't comment on that issue. We vent the camper like we do with our boats.

-- Chuck
Our camper is outdoors in Ivor, VA (not too far from Richmond). In the summer we're in it 40-50% of the time. We have never had damagefrom heat. Humidity leaves it with a musty smell and could foster mold, so we run a 30 pint dehumidifier when we're gone. It's in the shower without the tank, draining directly into the gray tank. The trailer always smells fresh when we arrive.

The dehumidifier doesn't run when the air conditioner runs--the conditioner removes more moisture than dehumidifier (at medium settings) does. We've had no issues or damage due to heat.

In these recent days with regular afternoon/evening showers, it's a real pleasure to open the trailer and find that the inside temperature is a few degrees higher than outside, but the indoor humidity is 25-30% and outside is 70-80%.

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Old 07-08-2019, 06:11 PM   #10
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You're a tad more coastal than we are in Winterpock (Chesterfield County). Surprisingly enough I've been thru scenic Ivor on the back way to Hampton. I hate I64 more than I95 these days.

The cover is keeping the interior musty smell free and when it's off the roof vents are both open.

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Old 07-08-2019, 06:32 PM   #11
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Hi NMWildcat: Once I get my Ford P/U running(ECM on order), I will be heading to your area. Planned on early June but truck problems delayed it. I'm heading to Deming and then to Silver City where I hope it is cooler. Rio Grande Valley's weather is HOT & Humid in summer but wear shorts in Winter. Looking for a summer retreat. I have an FR RPod.
Hello! I had to look up where Alamo TX was. I bet your part of the Rio Grande Valley is very humid! Our section is MUCH dryer.
Hope you get your truck fixed soon. Are you going to Deming for easy access to Mexico? If so, check out the Pancho Villa State RV Park which is right on the border.
Also, City of Rocks State Park is fantastic and truly unique. It's on the way from Deming to Silver City.
Silver City is slightly cooler than Deming and Las Cruces, especially at night. Pinos Altos is an interesting area right outside Silver City. Lake Roberts, The Mogollon Catwalks, and The Gila Cliff Dwellings are also great places for day trips from Silver.
Have an excellent trip!!!!
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:38 PM   #12
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We camp along the Ohio River. Summer temps about 90 and 90% humidity some days. During the week we are home. Have to work Monday through Thursday. I leave the ac on and set about 85. Helps keep the trailer cooler and easier to cool down when we get to it on Friday afternoons. Before I left the ac on, I had a bottle of wine leak and make a mess. Can't be wasting good wine!
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:58 PM   #13
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Thanks NMWildcat

for the input. I spent 2 months in Deming summer of 2015 but didn't get around the area that much. Got up to Silver City a couple of times and over to Las Cruces a few more. I volunteered with the Senior Center for a month delivering meals. Got down to the border but didn't go to Mexico. Hopefully get P/U fixed soon. Looking forward to a little cooler weather...101 today with lower humidity(55%) than in the past. Now that I have the RPod instead of the "92 Bounder I feel a bit more mobile and would like to spend time in the parks and do the day trips. Don't want to make a long post(off topic) so...
Thanks again.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:07 PM   #14
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I keep my A/C on set at 90, just takes the excessive heat out of the unit. The residential fridge is also always on, I want to make sure it has at least some air circulating.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:10 PM   #15
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Hello! I had to look up where Alamo TX was. I bet your part of the Rio Grande Valley is very humid! Our section is MUCH dryer.
Hope you get your truck fixed soon. Are you going to Deming for easy access to Mexico? If so, check out the Pancho Villa State RV Park which is right on the border.
Also, City of Rocks State Park is fantastic and truly unique. It's on the way from Deming to Silver City.
Silver City is slightly cooler than Deming and Las Cruces, especially at night. Pinos Altos is an interesting area right outside Silver City. Lake Roberts, The Mogollon Catwalks, and The Gila Cliff Dwellings are also great places for day trips from Silver.
Have an excellent trip!!!!



We live in the central US with temps in the 90's and the humidity almost as high. My first trip west that far was Red River N.M. last year, great area btw, about 40 minutes to the Rio Grande bridge. First time experiencing a "dry heat" which I prefer. Humid and heat equals "that just stepped of the shower" look. N.M. is awesome, mountains and desert.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:30 PM   #16
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Central Fl temps and humidity off the chart ... between trips we keep AC at 87 ... that keeps humidity at 55% .... Just to hot and wet not too
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:43 PM   #17
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When home in the summer, (HOT Arizona) my rig is under a shade structure. I leave my AC set to 90. I keep my unit stocked with the dry/canned goods, use fridge as needed. Keeps the cheap wallpaper from peeling. I also have the bubble-wrap stuff (reflectix?) in the windows and those insulation pillows in the ceiling vents.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:46 PM   #18
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Don't know why I assumed you would just be gone a day or so.
If you are going to be gone many days or weeks, by all means turn the a/c off.
We have lived in the SW all our lives. Unless we travel far North, our RVs sit most of the summer beside our house. A/C off, refrigerator on, roof vents slightly open (Max Airs installed), shades drawn.
Sure it gets hot inside (120°), but have never had any heat related damage or warping.
We do try to limit canned and aerosol products stored inside that may be affected by high temps.
It will take a full day to cool the RV off, if you get back during the heat of the summer/fall.
100% DISAGREE - BIG, big difference between New Mexico and Arizona, folks! And I lived in Phoenix for 5.5 yrs, then Albuquerque for close to 8 years, so I DO know what I'm talking about. In Phoenix, we'd leave our AC set at 90 degrees when gone more than a few days & STILL, our books in the bookcase would be STUCK together upon our return, and our leather furniture (even tho regularly conditioned w/leather treatment!) would dry out & crack.

Now, this was at 90 degrees (candles, perfumes, makeup, rubber bands, etc ALL left in refrigerator, else they would melt, spoil or rot!); so just think of how HOT it gets inside a closed up RV, if it's 90 inside one's well-insulated stucco home; you can bet higher than 120-125 degrees!!

I would ABSOLJUTELY leave it ON, set at about 90!
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:17 PM   #19
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100% DISAGREE - BIG, big difference between New Mexico and Arizona, folks! And I lived in Phoenix for 5.5 yrs, then Albuquerque for close to 8 years, so I DO know what I'm talking about.
. Albuquerque is NOT southern NM. And definitely not representative of all of NM. That's like saying the weather in northern AZ is the same as southern AZ.
We spend a lot of time in Scottsdale AZ, unfortunately sometimes during the summer. We sometimes leave the RV there when we need to go back to NM for a week or two. We've never left the A/C on, and never experienced the problems you described. Guess we are lucky
But, if leaving the a/c on when gone more than a day or two works for you, that's good. We just don't see the need for it.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:23 AM   #20
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Can't compare Phoenix to Albuquerque

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100% DISAGREE - BIG, big difference between New Mexico and Arizona, folks! And I lived in Phoenix for 5.5 yrs, then Albuquerque for close to 8 years, so I DO know what I'm talking about. In Phoenix, we'd leave our AC set at 90 degrees when gone more than a few days & STILL, our books in the bookcase would be STUCK together upon our return, and our leather furniture (even tho regularly conditioned w/leather treatment!) would dry out & crack.
You can't compare Phoenix to Albuquerque. Phoenix to Las Cruces would be a more fair comparison. Both hot and dry.

(Lived in Las Cruces for two years, working for my uncle. Tent-camped at City of Rocks SP)
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