First off one of the last tips was to park facing the sun, it heats the van up very quickly and is great for drying your clothes, the down side is if it is summer time and really hot then so is the motorhome. In fact it will get 5 to10 degrees hotter inside than outside and even more on the dashboard, sounds great… but when it starts to get about 25 degrees plus it gets a little too warm, in Italy last year we got up to about 50 degrees inside the motorhome on some days.
Cooling down, well open the door on one side, then open the window on the other, this is better than opening the roof windows as it lets the breeze flow through the motorhome much better.
Park in a position where the door will be in the shade in the afternoon heat, again this keeps the air coming in a little cooler. Our fridge is on the same side as the door so by keeping the fridges vents in the shade also means it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep cool and saves a little gas.
Air conditioning units, well don’t bother, they only work when on electric hookups and only when that electric has got plenty of amps, unlike most aires and campsites throughout Europe that only offer six amps, some as little as just three amps, so don’t bother buying one, plus they create air drag on the roof of the motorhome. Whilst on air conditioning, some motorhome have it in the cab area just like a cars, sadly although great whilst your driving they are no good once your static, plus they too use large amounts of electricity and would soon kill your engines battery. Running the engine isn’t an option either, engines don’t like running on tick over, no oil gets splashed inside to keep it lubricated so it will shorten it’s life considerably. We have seen many people running there motorhome periodically to either heat it up or cool it down which is just silly, diesel is more expensive than gas, which in turn is massively more expensive than solar, it eventually kills the engine and is noisy to boot.
Fans, well yes and no, forget the little USB powered types as they have no air flow, 12v ones are available that plug into your cigarette lighter socket but they have very little air flow plus I have read many reports that they burn out quickly and are a potential fire risk. I looked at many 240v fans before we set off on our travels, I considered exciting things like the amount of watts they consume, size, looks, build quality, weight and air flow. The best one i came across was made by a company called Honeywell, uses a maximum of 40 watts, it has three speeds, it’s black, it’s quite smallish, it’s very well made, but most importantly it’s like having an aircraft jet engine in your face, it really does move tons of air and is extremely quiet, unlike most other fans on the market. I cannot recommend it enough. Currently it’s mounted under a shelf above our bed so Jo can stay Coooool at night. In our old van it was under a cabinet mid van, sadly the fan doesn’t oscillate but does tilt up and down. I mounted it upside down on a tripod ball and socket head, this allowed it to be pointed at any angle or direction very easily and made it look integrated rather that some ugly big bolt on afterthought.
The other option is a Dyson, yes the man who makes vacuum cleaners also makes fans, They look cool, they are cool, they’re very efficient and very quiet but just like his cleaners they are ridiculously expensive so as i’m as tight as a fishes arse it was a no from me.