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Old 01-08-2013, 06:22 PM   #1
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Campers living in hot weather states

I am purchasing a Sabre 281RLDS which is a 31ft 7in fifth wheel camper with one large and one small slide in it. It only has one AC the upgrade 15 model not the 13.5 smaller unit. Anyone with a similar unit that can comment on the camper remaining cool in hot weather would be greatly appreciated. Thanks jtant
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:29 PM   #2
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I am purchasing a Sabre 281RLDS which is a 31ft 7in fifth wheel camper with one large and one small slide in it. It only has one AC the upgrade 15 model not the 13.5 smaller unit. Anyone with a similar unit that can comment on the camper remaining cool in hot weather would be greatly appreciated. Thanks jtant
I guess I would need to understand what you consider hot???

Here in AZ when it can hit 115F easily during the summer you have to run a 15 in the LR & a 13.5 in the BR. This is pretty much a required addon for most folks in any RV here.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:26 PM   #3
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I have 2 AC's so we stay pretty cool in hot summer weather in the SE but I can offer a couple of suggestions among many there are:

1. Always get a shaded site especially protected from the west exposing side.

2. When you know it's gonna be a scorcher the next day, crank your AC down low in the night as if you were a penguin and it'll keep your camper reasonable comfortable into late afternoon.

Have fun!



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Old 01-08-2013, 08:09 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies but still looking to hear from someone with only one AC. Summer of 2011 we took a 30ft travel trailer out west with a 13.5 AC. Painted Desert we stayed at Holbrook, Az with no problem. Grand Canyon we stayed at Williams, Az no problem. Las Vegas we stayed on Lake Meade an there we had a bbbiiiggg problem. About 107 and we could not get the camper cool during the day. 85+ degrees in the camper. The rest of the trip through Salt Lake City, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and Colorado Springs was great but Lake Meade, probably one of the most beautiful campsites I have had was absolute misery. At home in Tennessee most of the time I have some shade and have not had any problem at home or in dozens of other locations in a dozen other states but for some reason (107 degrees) Lake Meade was almost unbearable. Just wondering what other single AC camper experience has been. Do they often run into situations where they can't cool their rigs? For me it is only the one time but one I don't want to repeat. Thanks again for your replies and tips. JT
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies but still looking to hear from someone with only one AC. Summer of 2011 we took a 30ft travel trailer out west with a 13.5 AC. Painted Desert we stayed at Holbrook, Az with no problem. Grand Canyon we stayed at Williams, Az no problem. Las Vegas we stayed on Lake Meade an there we had a bbbiiiggg problem. About 107 and we could not get the camper cool during the day. 85+ degrees in the camper. The rest of the trip through Salt Lake City, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and Colorado Springs was great but Lake Meade, probably one of the most beautiful campsites I have had was absolute misery. At home in Tennessee most of the time I have some shade and have not had any problem at home or in dozens of other locations in a dozen other states but for some reason (107 degrees) Lake Meade was almost unbearable. Just wondering what other single AC camper experience has been. Do they often run into situations where they can't cool their rigs? For me it is only the one time but one I don't want to repeat. Thanks again for your replies and tips. JT
JT, You have answered your own question but from experance we had only one unit in our first camper and like you it was misery, after adding secound unit great. Spend the money and get yourself another unit for the RV. RVing is all about fun and one day and night of comfort will be worth every dollar spent.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies but still looking to hear from someone with only one AC. Summer of 2011 we took a 30ft travel trailer out west with a 13.5 AC. Painted Desert we stayed at Holbrook, Az with no problem. Grand Canyon we stayed at Williams, Az no problem. Las Vegas we stayed on Lake Meade an there we had a bbbiiiggg problem. About 107 and we could not get the camper cool during the day. 85+ degrees in the camper. The rest of the trip through Salt Lake City, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and Colorado Springs was great but Lake Meade, probably one of the most beautiful campsites I have had was absolute misery. At home in Tennessee most of the time I have some shade and have not had any problem at home or in dozens of other locations in a dozen other states but for some reason (107 degrees) Lake Meade was almost unbearable. Just wondering what other single AC camper experience has been. Do they often run into situations where they can't cool their rigs? For me it is only the one time but one I don't want to repeat. Thanks again for your replies and tips. JT
I once owned a 32' TT with 2 slides and one 15K AC...stayed in a campground with no trees, lot of asphalt and concrete pad during a heat wave...110 for a high.
Remember, your camper AC will only cool down about 20 degrees than outside temp...solution, we no longer camped in those conditions and/or get out of the camper for the day and head to a building with AC.

Need two AC's if your gonna be in a lot of these situations...IMO



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Old 01-08-2013, 08:45 PM   #7
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Not sure what kind of answer you are looking for...a 30' camper with only one A/C will be hot in summer, especially out West!! Been there, done that and had a second unit installed in the new unit before we left the dealer.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:54 PM   #8
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To add to the other comments above...The only time we see a 30'+ trailer without 2 ACs here in the southwest deserts ... they have out of state license plates.

My new trailer only comes with 1 AC but is pre-wired for the BR AC...You can bet I will have that installed before the heat comes.

So really it's your choice ... Avoid the desert or add another AC and enjoy the desert.

Best of luck to you and happy campin!
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:14 PM   #9
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Not sure what answer I am looking for either, just others experience. I have stayed in situations where it was miserable outside but could always rest in my cool camper. Don't know why Meade was so bad but that is really my only experience where the camper could not handle the situation. Just wondering if anyone experienced this a great deal but guess if someone did they would make a change as some have suggested. JT
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:03 PM   #10
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We have a 31 RETS ( 36 ft ) with 3 slides. Last spring in the Coachella Valley ( the desert east of LA ) we saw temps of 107. At the time we only had the one AC ( 15 model ) and were only able to keep the interior only about 15 degrees below ambient temps. The site we were in had no shade and was gravel. We returned in late August with the second ( bedroom ) AC installed and were able to keep the interior cool with outdoor temps up to 118. For us the second AC was definitely worth it.

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:35 AM   #11
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Ours is in the 32 - 34 foot range ( I really need to measure that thing...) with 1 15k unit. We picked it up in June of 2012 and did a couple trips where there was no shade and it was less than ideal for us temp wise. After the first hot trip with it I tried to find shady spots and that helped a lot, but do wish I had the option for a second AC in the bedroom. I called the mfg and asked if the supports were in the roof so I could add one, and was told since it was not prepped from the factory for second AC that the roof would not support it.
I guess my point is, the next one we get will have a second AC.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:36 AM   #12
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According to Dometic and plain old logic, any roof that is considered full walk on and will support a 200lb person will easily support an additional AC. With that being said, I have a 30' TT that I added a second AC to. Originally had 1 13.5 unit and anything over 85ish in full sun or 95ish in full shade and we couldn't stay as cool as we liked. Of course, if it's over 70 in the camper we consider it to be too hot. Our TT, like pretty much all TT's was not designed to have a second AC. I had to cut the hole and run a dedicated circuit to the underside of the trailer. This allows me to run a dedicated 12ga extension cord to the 2nd AC and not pull from the 30A service on the trailer. I also had to make modifications to the Air Distribution Box. They are designed to shove air forcefully to reach each end of a trailer. Way too much air movement in the smaller bedroom of a travel trailer. Added 2 directional ceiling vents to force some air to the sides and restricted flow to the original vents. Made this mod in the Fall, so I haven't been able to enjoy it fully yet. But I 've got a feeling there will be a lot less sweating going on in the camper when it's 105, humid, and full sun. One other thing I did was to change out vents on the original ducted system. I installed closeable vents and added vents to the living area and bunk room. This allows me to cool the master bedroom with the 2nd unit and force more air to the rear of the camper with the ducted system.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:45 PM   #13
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What a great question and lots of great answers! We upgraded from a 31ft Class C to 39ft (yeah I know....my DH was not as excited about its length as I am!), 5er toy hauler. Our Class C only had one AC in the coach area. There were many hot summer days that the air conditioner couldn't quite keep it cool unless it ran constantly. I used a fan to help as well. When we were buying the new RV, adding a second AC in the bedroom. I am looking forward to being much happier inside on a miserably hot day outside! Investment well spent and will only add to it's value.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:27 PM   #14
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i owned mine for 2 yrs w/o the second air conditioner. went to Yellowstone and stayed in Cody. the a/c kept it cool but really didn't keep up (mine in 15k). added the second unit (a heat pump) and made a similar trip in 2005. temp in SD was 114 deg. the second unit made the difference.
i have camped in Tn and across the SE. we simply don't get that hot here. too much influence from the gulf. one unit was not an issue at most campgrounds. the one in tx w no shade required both units.

one unit will cool ur trailer. you will run into conditions where it won't quiet do it. my recommendation would be get it.
my trailer has 3 slides and is 35 ft long.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:24 PM   #15
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When it gets too hot to be outside I quit camping. I did get caught once at the Little Sahara in Oklahoma. It was 107 at noon that day. I went outside every hour to see if it was cool enought to sit in the shade with a "cold one". Last time I went out was 2 am and still too hot. Gave up and went back in the camper and went to bed. Five hours later it had cooled enough I was outside drinking hot coffee.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:45 PM   #16
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We have a motor home with one A/C. We don't always stay at sites with electrical hookups. I have purchased shade cloth and I'm making window coverings for the outside of the windows - reflect it before it comes in. There is a HUGE heat gain through the windows, especially the windshield and passenger / driver's windows that are single glazed. However even the double pane windows have a huge heat gain. Last summer I piled pillows against the sofa window and noticed a huge difference. Several companies make external window shades. Right now the big discussion is how to attach them, velcro - boat type fasteners etc. Even in the Winter - now we notice that heat gain. If the sun is out while driving we don't need to run the furnace even with the outside temp quite low. Cloudy, foggy, evening / night it's too cold without the furnace in addition to the engine heat.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:32 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the great replies, you guys and gals are the best. And please if you have more to add continue to chime in. Here is where I landed. Most of the time that I am camping I am not in extremely hot temperatures.if I know a heat wave is coming I am not going camping since when the outside is that hot there is not much to do except sit in camper, I am not hiking in 100 degrees and most other outside activities are also not pleasant in that weather. Most of my camping is in State or National Parks or Corp of Engineers campgrounds and most places in these areas have at least partial shade at least part of the day. The camper is 30 amps so just adding an additionally unit is not an option as far as I know. So that puts me , as least I hope, where the NEED for two ACs is very few days as long as the 15K BTU will do the job in less than 90 degrees with some shade. I feel like I am getting a good price on the RV and upgrading to a camper with 50 amps and two ACs is about 50% more than I am paying I think I will just tough out the few days I get caught when my AC can't keep up since 50% more than I am paying will buy a great many camping trips. I appreciate all the replies and other than fans or shade anyone have other suggestions on how to stay cool are greatly appreciated. Sincere Appreciation JT
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:10 PM   #18
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If you are in very dry hot conditions you could try misting systems off of the awning or fans with a missing system built in. Won't work in humidity above 50% or so though.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:48 PM   #19
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We have the basicly the same settup. 32-34' 5er, 2 slides, 1-15k ac. Here the past 2 summers it has been over 100 most of the summer. Our ac would keep it in the 80s untill it got over 110, then it got up to 90-92, and we had a tower fan blowing all the time. We are adding a heat pump in the spring so we wont have this problem.
- our quick fix was to just stay in the lake or a pool in the afternoons & evenings
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:11 PM   #20
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We have the basicly the same settup. 32-34' 5er, 2 slides, 1-15k ac. Here the past 2 summers it has been over 100 most of the summer. Our ac would keep it in the 80s untill it got over 110, then it got up to 90-92, and we had a tower fan blowing all the time. We are adding a heat pump in the spring so we wont have this problem.
- our quick fix was to just stay in the lake or a pool in the afternoons & evenings
Where are you located? What do you mean by adding a heat pump in the spring? JT
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