Last updated on August 24th, 2023 at 09:34 am
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There’s nothing better than taking the RV out for a nice summer road trip or long camping session. You may not have an RV that’s equipped to handle hot weather, or perhaps you’re worried about the summer scorch and need a rig able to keep you and your loved ones cool in a warm climate.
If this is your first time shopping for an RV, you may not know what to look for in a travel trailer built for the summertime or other hot weather environment. While RVs are usually utilized during these warmer months, there’s a lot worth considering before making a final purchase.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best travel trailers for hot weather, as well as what to think about while you shop, some good brands of travel trailers, and lots more.
Only interested in seeing our top picks? Use the table of contents below to check out the full list:
What To Consider In A Travel Trailer For Hot Weather?
Like any major purchase, there is a lot for you to consider in a travel trailer for hot weather. Air conditioning is just the beginning! Curious to know what some of these considerations might be? Let’s dive in!
Whether you’re camping with your family of five or taking a solo trip in your brand-new travel trailer, having adequate sleeping arrangements for hot weather is important. You don’t want your RV sleeping area to get too crowded, especially in the dead of summer.
There are many different sleeping arrangements possible in an RV, but you may be surprised to know that some can be better than others. Your master bedroom may have its very own air conditioner, but not all sleeping arrangements will have such a luxury.
Sleeping on sticky leather sofas or cramped and unbreathable bunk beds is not everyone’s idea of a good vacation. You should make sure everyone has a comfortable place to sleep, even if it means pitching a tent outside your RV.
Speaking of having your very own air conditioner in your master bedroom, the number of AC units you have mounted to the roof of your RV matters when it comes to hot weather camping. Most RVs and travel trailers only have one unit and the number of BTUs it can offer may vary. You may want to keep an eye out for travel trailers with an additional air conditioner, especially if the rig is over 35 feet long.
The longer the rig, the harder your air conditioner will work to keep the place cool, so having an additional AC is never a bad idea! However, AC units are expensive, and installing two is only a good idea if you have a 50-amp RV service. Most air conditioners utilize a lot of electricity, which is why some RVers purchase a generator built to power their AC.
No matter your situation, having air conditioning on board your travel trailer is always a good idea. Whether you install one yourself or take the time to build out your brand-new travel trailer with one or even two AC units in mind, you can look forward to safe and cool travels for all.
Window Tint And Coverings
Something potentially able to help combat the hot weather of the average summertime camping trip is the tint on the windows, or the curtains you purchase for your RV. Some RVs offer a darker tint on the windows to help keep the rig cool on the inside while it’s hot outside. Other travel trailers may come equipped with blinds and curtains built to block harsh UV rays and ultimately lower the temperature inside your rig.
Blackout curtains do a surprising amount when it comes to sunshine and hot weather. You may also be able to install dual pane windows in your travel trailer or fifth wheel, depending on the manufacturer and your overall budget. Dual pane windows don’t come cheap, but they can offer additional protection from the heat.
Ability To Boondock
No matter the weather you plan on camping in, it’s wise to pay special attention to your travel trailer’s ability to boondock, or otherwise go off-grid. This can be beneficial to many RVers, as dry camping is all the rage! Camping in wild spots has its perks, but in intense, hot weather, boondocking can feel like quite the mission!
You’ll need to make sure you have adequate battery power for your air conditioning, ample water supplies, and enough protection from the elements, especially during extremely hot seasons. Some rigs are built with off-grid camping in mind and others aren’t. But it’s always possible to add additional accessories and features after the initial purchase price. This will result in great upgrades, but also a significant increase in overall expenditure.
If you plan on camping in hot weather with your RV often, you should make sure it’s a durable and well-built rig. UV rays are powerful and can damage your RV in a very short amount of time. An RV exterior can crack and warp in hot weather, vinyl exterior can fade, and tires can even get damaged when constantly exposed to sunlight.
The last thing you want after making a considerable investment in a camper for the summer season, is to find that the sun harms your rig and causes damage. Many RV manufacturers take extreme weather situations in mind, both hot and cold. Be on the lookout while you shop for RV manufacturers mentioning testing in extremely hot weather scenarios.
Your RV’s insulation will play a huge part in your ability to stay cool in hot weather. This insulation can be found throughout your rig, in the walls, ceiling, and floors. Some RVs are simply built better than others, but there are a few things for you to keep an eye out for while you shop. Many RV manufacturers will boast that their rigs are capable of handling many different weather scenarios, and this is usually based on the quality of their insulation.
You can always ask while shopping if a certain travel trailer is capable of performing well in high temperatures. You can also assume that a cold-weather trailer will likely perform well in hot weather as well. This is because of its added insulation. High-quality insulation will keep you cool in the summertime and warm in the winter, simple as that!
Indoor/Outdoor Living Possibilities
If you’re planning on camping in summer or other hot weather times of the year, having the option for indoor and outdoor living is a huge perk. RV manufacturers understand this want, and are continually reinventing rigs for this purpose.
Some indoor-outdoor living possibilities include an outdoor kitchen or RV BBQ grill, screen doors, or having the option to open the entire back half of your RV to let the outside in. You can always use your RV awning for this purpose too, although look after it well!
One of your top considerations when shopping for any RV should be the overall layout and use of space. While it can be difficult to determine what layout you want or need without touring in person, you can get a fairly good idea from online resources. You should consider how many people you plan on traveling with on average first when it comes time to look at layouts of travel trailers.
A travel trailer with two bathrooms might be the ideal fit, or maybe a rig with a chef’s kitchen ticks the boxes. Perhaps all you need is simply a comfortable area to stay cool and make memories. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s an RV layout for you. Some RVs are more unique than others, however, so keep this in mind while you shop around, and try not to give up hope!
The size and length of an RV matter both for your ability to make reservations and camp, as well as the overall capability of your AC to keep the camper cool. In extremely hot weather, your single AC unit may struggle to cool a 40-foot-long RV. Larger travel trailers are also more difficult to drive, and you may run into trouble when making reservations at various state or national parks.
There are often length limits to RV parks, so this is something to keep in mind while you travel. However, you should make sure that there’s enough space for everyone, especially during hot weather. Many families have a much nicer time in larger RVs, given there’s ample space for each family member to spread out and relax.
8 Best Travel Trailers For Hot Weather
Ready to take a look at our top choices for some of the best travel trailers for hot weather? Grab your sunblock, your sunglasses, and let’s check out some of these cool campers!
Best Overall: Jayco Jay Feather Micro
I love an RV brand that has already thought of everything, and Jayco achieves this throughout all the different types of Jayco RVs. This brand often takes our top spot thanks to the durable construction and ingenuity Jayco rigs are typically matched with. The Jay Feather Micro is another awesome choice for summer and takes the top position on our list of best travel trailers for hot weather.
To kick things off, I first want to mention a feature that’s a game changer for summer sun, and that’s the two AC units within the Feather Micro. With both a rooftop AC unit as well as a wall-mounted one, I know my partner and I along with our dog can stay cool and comfortable even when temperatures skyrocket outside. This particular air conditioner only produces around 8,000 BTUs as opposed to the more standard 12,000-15,000, but it’s still an added bonus to the rooftop AC.
The Jayco Jay Feather Micro is a compact rig, and this is good news for those with limited storage space, or newbies who haven’t towed before! Across the 4 floorplans, the Jay Feather Micro only measures from 19′ 7″ to 23′ 2″, which may be too small for large families or travel groups. The Jay Feather is an alternative trailer to explore and has a bit more size to it than the Micro.
These little rigs aren’t just designed for each and every season, but they’re ready to tackle any destination too thanks to outstanding off-grid features. I love adventuring off the beaten path, but sometimes I turn around is tracks become too bumpy or muddy. With rugged off-road tires and raised axles, off-gridding isn’t a problem with this Jayco.
Since it’s so lightweight too, with the largest floorplan weighing 4,510 lbs, the Jay Feather Micro can be towed with just about any vehicle. Solar prep, a backup camera, and a Bluetooth soundbar all come standard, and this is something I appreciate massively as features like these are sometimes upgrades that can cost a substantial amount.
The outdoor shower is very beneficial when the sun tests limits within the camper, and the insulation and sealed underbelly should help regulate heat well too, no matter the season. Jayco offers some of the best warranties in the business, so traveling can be fun, and I can have the peace of mind exploring in a Jayco rig.
Best Camper With Two ACs: Lance 2465 Travel Trailer
Lance have limited their manufacturing to truck camper shells and travel trailers, and the RV that takes our second spot is the Lance 2465 travel trailer. This rig is a beauty, with a total length of 29′ 10″ and two ACs for keeping cool, no matter how sweaty it is outside! The two ACs give the ducted rig a combined BTU of 25,000. This is more than enough to keep everyone cool, especially in a rig that’s less than 30′ long with fantastic Lance insulation and construction.
Speaking of buildings, Lance puts their exterior and interior walls through a great deal of testing. They build rigs that are weather and four-season resistant, which is great as I travel throughout the year and face whatever each season brings. I find the use of Azdel insulation throughout the Lance 2465 particularly beneficial, as it means the temperature inside the camper can be related well.
This is the largest Lance travel trailer floorplan, and it’s very open, boasting a king bed, sofa, and two space-enhancing slide-outs which make this trailer feel far bigger than it actually is! The kitchen is well-appointed, and having the ability to sleep upwards of 5 people means the whole family can jump on board, park in the shade, and space the hot weather in this Lance travel trailer!
Some specialized optional equipment includes an electric fireplace, backup camera, solar panels, and a unique side mount kayak rack so I can bring along all of our toys and adventure gear. These features bump up the overall cost, but the 2465 is quite an affordable rig compared to some of the other big names on our list such as Airstream!
This rig comes complete with three internal design options, two high-quality batteries, a Fantastic Fan roof vent, and frameless, tinted dual-frame windows to help keep sunlight from overheating the RV. Lance puts quality into their travel trailers, and although this RV can’t handle a huge volume of people, the 2465 is made for successful travel throughout the year.
Best Insulation: Forest River No Boundaries
We’re starting off with a few small rigs this time around, and the No Boundaries by Forest River has to be mentioned for hot-weather camping! This travel trailer ranges in length from 13′ 10″ to 26′ 2″ which is a substantial size variation, but this is because the 14 possible floor plans are broken up into different series.
This may seem a little confusing at first, but I think Forest River creating a travel trailer with such versatility means more RVers are likely to find the trailer ticking every box. The sturdy fiberglass exterior is a huge draw for me, and since the No Boundaries trailer comes with a cold weather package as standard, this rig is ideal for four-season travel.
One of the best things about this rig is its options for the adventurous RVer. Having the ability to add different racks for various equipment means bikes, kayaks and more can come along for a lake-side adventure. Since some of the floorplans even offer ramps, this No Boundaries RV could even be considered a lightweight toy hauler!
Forest River is renowned for manufacturing durable rigs that don’t break the bank, but can also be towed by various vehicles. The NoBo can be towed by many four and six-cylinder vehicles which is a fantastic perk for RVers, as even some of the smallest cars can tackle this travel trailer! Floorplan dependant, there’s ample space for additional gear, and with neat storage and a simple interior, this rig is a catch.
I don’t find the interior as luxurious as other trailers, but RVing for me is all about spending time outside, and with some personal touches, it’ll feel homely in next to no time. Forest River builds quality RVs with impressive warranties and supportive owners’ clubs, creating a safe place to ask for advice, share ideas, and more.
Most Luxurious: Airstream Basecamp
Yes, this is another small travel trailer, but have you taken a proper look at the Airstream Basecamp yet? Even though it’s compact, this four-season beauty is the perfect travel trailer for camping in style, even during hot weather! I’m obsessed with this Airstream, as it’s something totally new and different from the rest of their rigs. It features a unique aerodynamic shape with a large picture window along the front for relaxing with panoramic views of nature.
While this makes the interior of the trailer all about the views, I’m also impressed this window is dual-paned and has UV protection too, as the sun can cause many issues with RVs! But the luxury doesn’t stop there. There’s an important choice between the 16-foot Basecamp and the 20-foot frame to kick things off, and these two options although somewhat limited, provide enough space for a variety of RVers.
The Airstream Basecamp has a wet bath, convertible queen bed, and chef’s kitchen, all inside a unique space that really turns heads. The kitchen faces the large picture window which is dreamy for me, as I can enjoy the beauty of nature while cooking up a storm! Plus, there’s an outdoor shower if the wet bath happens to be occupied, and it’s warm enough for a nature shower!
This travel trailer offers a unique rear hatch opening too, and honestly, this is one of the main reasons I love the Basecamp so much. The hatch is perfect for loading and unloading gear, and it slides effortlessly underneath the rear bed/dinette area so I have storage while I sleep! Thankfully, after a long day of hiking, there’s an efficient AC unit to keep the whole family cool and comfortable even during the peak of summer.
The freedom to configure this Airstream in just about any way is special and allows for a rig that’s the perfect fit for an RV puzzle! Knowing this rig is well-insulated gives me great reassurance that come sun or storm, this Airstream is ready. The Basecamp may not be within everyone’s budget, but it’s a wise investment for a travel trailer that’s compact, luxurious, and excellent in hot weather.
Best For Boondocking: Coachmen Catalina Expedition
I’d love to say this is the last small travel trailer I have on this list, but there may be one more… The compact nature of some of these travel trailers is what makes them perfect for hot weather, and the Coachmen Catalina Expedition is no exception! This rig only comes in a couple of available floorplans, the 192FQS and the 192BH, both of which are just under 22 feet long. This means options are restricted, however, both layouts have plenty to offer, especially for boondocking!
Each floorplan has a queen bed, but the 192BH option has a compact bunk area, transforming this into a family-friendly rig. With a raised underbelly, off-road tires, and a rugged suspension system, I can take the Catalina Expedition just about anywhere, as long as my truck can handle it! Plus, this rig comes complete with 40 amps of solar, all included in the purchase price. An inverter, outdoor shower, and more complete this off-grid rig for just about any young couple or small group of adventurers.
While the build on this rig begins with off-grid living in mind, it extends to four seasons as well, making this Coachman trailer fit to handle hot weather camping. The fiberglass insulation helps to ensure this RV can handle the elements, and the exterior awnings and sound system make this travel trailer perfect for indoor and outdoor living.
Speaking of indoor-outdoor living, this rig comes with a flip-down cargo rack able to hold upwards of 200 lbs, making it an extension of the trailer. Plus, it has quality windows, window coverings, and an efficient AC unit to provide cooling relief from scorching temperatures. Coachmen has a fantastic warranty and owners club too, and such a huge list of standard features which is always nice to see! If you’re looking to get off-grid and have a lot of gear to bring, check out the Catalina Expedition.
Best Hot Weather Toy Hauler: Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pack Gold Series
RVing for me is all about spending as much time having fun in the great outdoors as possible, and returning to a cozy rig at the end of the day. Four-season toy haulers are the answer for year-round travel with additional kit, and the Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pack Gold Series is an awesome option to go for. This travel trailer has plenty to offer, including a heavy-duty ramp, extended height and width, and, of course, multiple AC units to tackle hot-weather camping.
This toy hauler can bring the whole family too! Available in three floorplans ranging from 29′ 6″ to 33′ 5″ in length. This results in ample space to move around comfortably during summer, and also house all of the necessary amenities for successfully RVing. There’s a residential-sized fridge, an outdoor shower, and a quick recovery hot water heater, just to name a few of the features I’m most impressed by!
The hot-weather components continue with a powerful ducted air conditioning unit, along with attractive light-blocking shades in the living room to help prevent the sun’s rays from heating up the RV too much. Plus, Forest River builds their rigs with all four seasons in mind, enclosing their tanks and underbellies in an insulated area to help create a hot weather travel trailer to last many adventures!
The outdoor living is fantastic in this toy hauler too, with power awnings and Bluetooth exterior speakers. While the interior is fairly basic, it’s possible to add homey touches such as comfortable theater seating and farmhouse sinks in the kitchen. RVs are known for not being the best-looking vehicles, yet it’s upgrades like these that transform a travel trailer into a stylish home on wheels for the whole family to enjoy. The innovative layouts allow for sleeping arrangements to be undisturbed, even in toy hauler format.
So no matter how much gear comes along, everyone can still sleep soundly. Plus, Forest River offers walk-around king beds and dry baths on this Wolf Pack, so there’s no compromising in the bedroom or bathroom. All in all, the Wolf Pack Gold Series is perfect for those looking to bring more people and toys along, all in a versatile and cool package. Whether you’re planning on kayaking in the hot sun or simply want to stay inside and nap, this rig will likely tick plenty of boxes!
Most Compact Trailer For Hot Weather: Winnebago Hike 100
With five floorplans sleeping up to four people, we’re back down to smaller travel trailers with the Winnebago Hike 100. This compact beauty is perfect for staying cool and traveling in style, all in a package that’s less than 15′ 11″ long! Winnebago is changing the industry with every new travel trailer they make, and the Hike is one of my favorites the brand has created!
The Winnebago Hike is modern yet simple on the exterior but has awesome off-road capability thanks to offset tires and a lifted structure. Bright and breezy is what Winnebago has achieved with the Hike 100, and matched with light wood cabinetry and gray carpeting, the interior is overall pretty stylish! The many windows throughout the compact trailer allow for the living and bedroom areas to seem bigger than they are. Although the Winnebago Hike 100 is a compact rig, there’s no sacrificing on features.
There are even bars and racks on the outside of the trailer ideal for transporting toys along for the adventure. These features and more come standard, and the roof and frame are even sturdy enough to walk on without a problem! This rig comes with radiant foil insulation and a low-profile AC unit making it a rig fit to tackle the heat of summer. The Hike can also be outfitted with additional packages, such as an all-weather package and an off-grid package, which I think are good investments for full-time life on the road.
Winnebago offers a comprehensive warranty, an owners’ club, and even an app providing tips for getting the most out of the Hike 100. This rig isn’t well-suited to large groups or big families, but it isn’t meant to be! It’s a compact, mighty camper able to tackle summer sun and plenty more for a fair price and up to 4 lucky individuals.
Best For Pets: Coachmen Northern Spirit
It isn’t a vacation unless furry family members get to come along too, at least, that’s what I always say! The Coachmen Northern Spirit thinks so too, with many pet-friendly features available with this small but mighty travel trailer! With 10 floorplans, ranging in length from 24′ 0″ to 37′, it’s effortless to find a Northern Spirit floorplan or layout to suit every RVer. Some layouts sleep as few as four people; other floor plans can sleep nearly ten using a unique bunkhouse!
But this is about the pets: Coachmen has a few rigs that offer a unique pet station, and the Northern Spirit is one of them. The station has built-in pet bowls, a leash clip both inside and along the exterior, and a pet bathing station on the outside of the rig so I can clean the mud off my pup’s paws before she runs it all through the RV!
Along with keeping pets happy, this Coachmen is all about the happy RVer too. The dual-ducted AC system keeps everyone on board you cool throughout the day and the night. Plus, there’s an optional second AC unit able to be installed in the master bedroom suite for optimum cooling. This rig is packed with standard features I normally wouldn’t expect, including a solar panel system standard, a large residential fridge, an oven, a three-burner cooktop, and an interior Bluetooth sound system.
The bunk beds even have privacy shades, which proves to be that Coachmen have truly thought about it all with the Northern Spirit! The construction is also impressive, with Azdel and molded fiberglass exterior panels and insulation. Together, these features help create a strong structure and also aid in the trailer performing well in hot weather.
The largest Northern Spirit floorplan may be too large for some, at nearly 40′, however, with so many other layouts, I think this trailer is well worth considering. As a division of Forest River, Coachmen also offer their RVers a comprehensive warranty as well as an owners club so I never feel alone on the road!
Good Brands Of Hot Weather Campers
Curious to know what brands of RVs make for good hot-weather travel trailers? While all RVs are perfect for summer camping, some are better than others. Here are some of my top picks, both for the summer and for the rest of the year!
Built from quality materials from top to bottom, Jayco is a well-regarded RV brand and has been since the beginning. With quality Azdel insulation, Jayco will keep you and your family cool in the summer and warm in the winter!
Lance is a well-kept RVer secret, with many smaller-size travel trailers capable of handling various weather conditions. Their sturdy fiberglass exterior is met with quality insulation, and Lance offers consumers many options for customization.
Forest River is an umbrella brand for many different RV names. However, this doesn’t mean they slack off when it comes time to build their rigs for hot weather. A Forest River travel trailer is ready for anything, especially camping in the heat of summer.
Winnebago is one of the oldest RV names in the business, and they tend to err on the less expensive side of travel trailers. Being budget friendly is never a bad thing, and Winnebago understands exactly what RVers are looking for after so many decades in business.
How To Keep Cool In An RV?
Camping in an RV is a different experience in both hot and cold weather. You may be curious as to how best to keep cool in an RV, both with and without air conditioning. Here are some tips from a full-timer who lives in their travel trailer without air conditioning!
Install A Reliable AC Unit
While my 1976 Fleetwood Terry doesn’t have this luxury, having a reliable air conditioning unit is the best way of camping in hot weather. Any modern travel trailer nowadays will have at least one AC inside, if not two. However, you should take special care to maintain your AC units so they work at an optimum level for the lifetime of your trailer.
Replacing RV air conditioning units is expensive, and most replacements can be avoided with routine maintenance and care. It’s also important to consider the number of BTUs your AC can handle, as well as the size of your travel trailer. You don’t want to overwork your AC unit, and you may consider installing a second one if you are worried this is the case.
Take Cold Showers
What saves me the most during summertime and living without AC is a cold shower. We all know the average RV hot water tank isn’t very big, so why not spend some time showering in cold water instead!? Taking cold showers or swimming in a cold lake or river can be one of your best bets to combat hot weather when camping in your travel trailer, and even boost immunity too!
Install Light-Blocking Curtains
Blackout curtains specifically designed to block light can be another great addition to your travel trailer when camping in hot weather. Curtains can do a surprising amount of temperature regulation, especially in a small space like an RV. You should consider curtains that have many reviews of customers using them to beat the heat, and it’s beneficial to keep them closed during the day to maintain a cool and relaxing interior.
As I’ve already mentioned, having quality insulation is key to keeping your RV cool in hot weather situations. Even brand-new travel trailers may need updated insulation or higher-quality insulation installed before you bring the RV home.
Many RV manufacturers offer four-season packages for their rigs, and this usually includes some level of additional insulation. If you’re planning on camping in hot weather, this should definitely be something worthwhile considering, as it could make all the difference!
Besides a cold shower, the only thing that keeps me sane in my travel trailer during summertime is a powerful fan. You can purchase fans for your RV that both push fresh air in and suck old air out, which can be valuable in many different scenarios. However, if you’re camping in a location that never really cools off, a fan isn’t going to help you one bit.
Given the fiberglass and metal construction of most RVs, sometimes the interior of your rig is much hotter than the outside world. Plus, aren’t you camping to get outside and see the great outdoors?
Whether you plan on swimming in the local lake or simply want to take a hike, sometimes all you can do is get outside during hot weather. Your travel trailer will wait for you, and it may be a smart idea to let it cool off a bit before returning.
Finding an RV able to handle hot weather isn’t as difficult as you may think. It’s important to make an informed purchase, as RVing can be a hefty investment, but once you’ve found the ideal rig for you, get ready for some epic adventures, even during summer!