How to Travel with Ideal Weather

Traveling in an RV brings you closer to the outdoors, which, in turn, brings you closer to seasonal weather, both pleasant and unpleasant. Even though RVs come equipped with heating and cooling technology, these systems are not typically as efficient as the systems you’d find in traditional homes. For this reason, RV camping in both extreme heat and extreme cold can be rather uncomfortable. This is especially relevant if you are dry camping without access to electrical hookups.  However, if you time your RV travels correctly, you can avoid uncomfortable weather almost entirely. This will also allow you to experience beautiful places in their optimum seasons. Follow along for all the tips and tricks on how to travel with the best weather.

1. Travel north in the summer.

Extreme temperatures on either end of the spectrum can be very uncomfortable. However,  excessive heat can feel especially brutal in an RV. Even with air conditioners running, when the temperature outside is in excess of 100 degrees, the temperature inside will often have a hard time falling below eighty degrees. In addition, outdoor adventures are much less fun and tolerable in overly hot weather, and enjoying the outdoors is one of the ultimate perks of RV camping. For all of these reasons, traveling in the northern regions or higher elevations is most ideal in the hot summer months.

There are many places in the US that are challenging to visit via RV in the winter, due to the snow and extreme cold. Yet, these same places typically boast reasonably warm temperatures in the summer. New England, the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, and the Northern states of the country (Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and North Dakota) are perfect locations for your warm, yet not too hot, summer travels. In these states, you will find mild temperatures and beautiful mountain ranges that are excellent for sunny, summer adventures. 

Traveling south in the winter can have you experiencing warm weather even in the traditionally cold months of the year.
Crested Butte, Colorado, is the perfect location to visit in the warmer summer months.

2. Travel south in the winter.

The same states that have lovely summer weather typically endure brutally cold temperatures in the winter. Keeping an RV warm in temperatures below freezing is not easy, especially while dry camping on public lands or at Harvest Host locations. Instead of suffering through the cold, plan to visit the southern states and the lower elevations in the winter. In doing so, you will experience warm, sunny weather in the winter, perfect for hiking and enjoying the outdoors.

Many of the places that are excessively hot in the summer are warm and comfortable in the winter. These include southern Arizona, Florida, Southern California, Texas, and many of the Southeastern states (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, etc.). While the summer temperatures in these regions may peak at 100+ degrees, or even 115+ in the Southwest, they typically stay at temperatures of 50-75 degrees in the winter months. This weather is perfect for RVing and enjoying time outside, so be sure to plan your winter RV adventures for one of these beautiful locations.

Traveling south in the winter can have you experiencing warm weather even in the traditionally cold months of the year.
Quartzsite, Arizona, is an ideal place to visit in the cold winter months.

3. Visit places with four seasons in the spring and fall.

Many of the states that weather four seasons are both hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Because of this, you may be wondering when is the best time of year to visit these locations. Ideally, saving these regions for the warming spring and cooling fall months is best. This will allow you to experience the best weather to be found and avoid the overly hot and overly cold months of the year.

Ideal locations to visit in the spring and autumn months are northern Arizona, northern New Mexico, southern Utah, southern Colorado, and many of the states of the Midwest (Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, etc.). There is so much beauty to be seen in these places, and encountering them in their optimum seasons is the best way to experience it. 

What to do if you encounter extreme temperatures

Even if you time your travels perfectly, there will likely still be times when you experience uncomfortable temperatures. Heat waves, cold spells, and intense storms can show up even in places where the weather is generally mild. If this happens to you, there are many things you can do to help regulate your RV’s interior temperature and still make the most of your vacation.

Warm weather tips

When the temperature outside is around 85 degrees or more, there are a few simple tricks that can cool your RV even without connecting to shore power and running your air conditioner(s). First, open up all your fans and power them on the highest setting. Next, open your windows to increase air flow while drawing your shades or curtains to block out the direct sun. Consider utilizing Reflectix on your windows to reflect the heat away from your RV. This should bring your interior temperature down by at least ten degrees.

If all else fails and it’s too hot outside to regulate your interior temperature, head to a campground to plug in and fire up your air conditioners.

Cold weather tips

When the temperature outside is 55 degrees or less, it can be quite chilly in your RV. Yet, without even cranking your furnace, there are a few things you can try to warm things up. First, ensure that all windows and fans are closed tightly. Next, consider utilizing your Reflectix on the opposite side to reflect the heat into your RV. Open your shades to let the sun pour in.

In addition, you should consider purchasing a Mr. Buddy heater. These small propane furnaces run without electricity and can keep your RV interior shockingly warm, even in the frigid cold. If all else fails, you can run your on-board furnace with propane or electric if you connect to shore power.

There are many things you can do to stay warm even if you do experience cold weather RVing.

RV adventures are fun in any season, but for many folks, they are even more fun when accompanied by warm, mild temperatures. Timing your travels to properly enjoy the best weather throughout the year is a bit difficult, but totally possible with a bit of planning. Just remember to head north in the summer and south in the winter, and you should find yourself chasing seventy degrees all throughout the year.

Traveling south in the winter can have you experiencing warm weather even in the traditionally cold months of the year.

Do you like to travel with the seasons? What are your favorite places to visit in both the warm and cold months of the year? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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  1. Suzanne
    5th October, 2019

    Hello… Thanks for the article. Curious as to how scary it is to be in your vehicle during storms. Also, If an unexpected tornado alarm goes off, what do you do? Or flooding issues, etc? Storms that creep up on you? Bad weather/storms are one of my vanlife deterrents so I’m interested in your experiential first-hand knowledge. Thanks!