How to Keep Your Caravan Cool in Summer05 May 2023
The long-range weather forecast for this summer is hot. And while that’s great for holidays, it also means that you’ll want your static caravan to be a nice cool refuge from the heat of the sun. That’s why we’ve put together a handy list of tips and hacks to keep your holiday home cool in summer, so you can enjoy the heat rather than endure it.
You probably already know at least a few of these tips - but we’re willing to bet that you won’t know all of them, and it’s useful to have a handy checklist when you’re preparing for summer.
It’s also worth noting that all current-model Willerby static caravans come with our Willerby GreEN Standard insulation specification. As well as keeping you warmer when it’s chilly and being better for the environment, our holiday homes are also better at staying cool in the heat.
Strip it back.
If you’ve been visiting your caravan in spring then you’ve probably made lots of effort to keep it lovely and toasty on those chilly nights. Things like heavy curtains and thick rugs are brilliant for trapping the heat and keeping you warm - but that’s exactly what you want to avoid in summer.
So you need to get rid of all those chunky insulating things. If you can swap out your curtains for lighter ones, that’s a great start. Pack away those heavy blankets, throws and rugs. And if you’re picking up new soft furnishings, try to stick to lighter colours. These won’t absorb the heat in the same way as darker colours - as you’ll know if you’ve ever been out in the sun in a black t-shirt!
As well as helping to keep the temperature cool this will help make your holiday home feel more light and airy - which is exactly what you want in summer.
Not so bright.
The heat in summer comes from the sun. Sounds obvious right? And while there’s not much you can do about the sun itself, there is plenty that you can do to change the way it heats up your caravan.
What you really want to do is avoid having direct sunlight flooding in. So make sure you close any curtains or blinds on the bright side of your caravan before the sun hits them, especially if you’re going out for the day. Do the same with the blinds or curtains in your bedroom well before you go to bed to make sure you can have a nice cool room to sleep in. You can leave the curtains on the shady side of the caravan open so you get some light in - it just won’t be quite as hot.
It might seem like a shame to block out that glorious sunshine, but doesn’t it make more sense to head outside to enjoy it and then be able to retreat to a lovely cool caravan?
If you find your holiday home is just too gloomy with the curtains drawn and the blinds down then you’ll find that net curtains come as standard on all Willerby models, or you could consider adding some tinted window film. Both can help to keep the bulk of the heat out while allowing some light to filter through.
There’s nothing worse than lying awake in a sweaty bed, tossing and turning because it’s just too darn hot to get to sleep. But we’ve all been there, and we’ll probably suffer it again. But there are a few things you can do to help keep things cool and get a better night’s sleep. We’ve already talked about closing curtains and blinds to avoid direct sunlight, which will help to keep the whole room a bit cooler. Here are a few other things you could try.
First things first - if you’re still using a big winter duvet, get it packed away and use a lighter summer one. If you’re shopping for new bedding, you can get three-in-one duvets with a thin summer duvet and a middleweight one that popper together to make a single toasty duvet when you need it. These are great for minimising how much bedding you need to be at just the right temperature all year round.
You could also try using cotton sheets as well as a duvet. It might seem counterproductive to add an extra layer when you’re trying to stay cooler, but actually, it will give you more options to regulate your heat.
A separate sheet can also be soaked in cool water and dried off before you get into bed, giving you lovely cool bedding to slip into. Or you could try freezing a half-full hot water bottle and popping it in your bed an hour or so before you get in. Just be careful not to overfill as the water will expand when it freezes, and make sure it’s in a hot water bottle cover to avoid getting damp sheets.
It’s well worth experimenting with these ideas to see what suits you - you might even end up going to bed too cold if you’re not careful!
Keeping the air moving through your caravan is another key consideration to keeping cool. Still air tends to get muggy and hot, so if you can keep a regular flow throughout the day you’re likely to feel much cooler.
First things first - make sure none of your doors and windows are blocked. When it’s colder it’s easy to stack things up on windows and cover them up. Keeping them clear will help encourage airflow. Then, get them open!
Ideally, you want to open a few exterior doors and windows and keep your interior doors open too so you get a refreshing breeze through the caravan. Even if this can be a bit too much to do all the time, it’s a great way to blast out the stale air. Usually, it’s best to keep the windows on the sunny side (the ones with the curtains closed) shut, to keep the heat out. But it’s worth experimenting to see what works for you.
Leave some windows open overnight too. This will help make sure you’re starting the day with a nice cool caravan, rather than having to cool it down from the get-go. If you’re not keen on leaving them open all night, try and get them open nice and early before the sun is too high in the sky.
On days with no breeze, popping a fan in front of your windows can be a great way to move cool air into the caravan. Or you could try placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan if you want to really cool things down in the room you’re using.
Dine al fresco.
If you own a Willerby then you’ll know just how brilliant our kitchens are. They’re fully loaded with top-class cooking kit, not to mention clever storage solutions. But even the best ovens, grills and hobs kick out a lot of heat, and that heat contributes to making your caravan too hot.
That sounds like the perfect excuse to get outside and fire up the barbecue to us!
Make sure you set up in a spot that’s not too close to your caravan. It’s important for safety, but you also don’t want lots of hot smoke blowing into your nice cool holiday home. And remember that a barbecue isn’t just about burgers and sausages - there are lots of other delicious treats you can cook on the grill too. We love a bit of barbecue salmon and halloumi, pepper and mushroom kebabs if you need some inspiration.
If you’re all barbecued out, or you just fancy a change, why not treat yourself to a nice cool salad dish from the fridge? Lettuce and cucumber can be refreshing on a hot day, and you can easily bulk up your greens with some nice cheese (maybe some feta), some peppers and precooked chicken or ham.
Then if you really want to go all out, but you still need your morning brew (let’s be honest, we all do) then why not set up a little camping stove outside to boil the water instead of using the kettle?
If you spend a lot of time in your caravan, and the heat really gets to you over the summer, then you could think about investing in a portable air conditioner. They’re not cheap to buy or to run, and they’re not great for the environment, but they’re a huge step up from regular fans for cooling power.
We wouldn’t really recommend using aircon all day long, but as a way to quickly cool down a room - perhaps your bedroom before you go to sleep - they’re hard to beat. And if you invest in a portable one then you’ll be able to easily move it between your caravan and your main home.
As well as being great at cooling, aircon units are also really good at removing moisture from the air, and you can get ones with built-in heating modules too. So if you’re thinking about buying a dehumidifier or a portable heater then it might be worth considering upgrading to a do-it-all air conditioner to give you the most options on super-hot days.
And if you’re in the market for a new holiday home then it’s worth bearing in mind that the Willerby Vogue Classique is available with built-in air conditioning in the master bedroom as an optional extra.
So far we’ve mainly spoken about cooling down the space in your static caravan. But what about cooling yourself down? There are a few obvious things you can do, like wearing light-coloured, thin clothing and tying your hair back, but one thing you might not have thought of is a cooling mist spray.
You can buy cooling mist sprays in little aerosol cans and give yourself a little spritz to take the edge off the heat. The liquid sprayed onto your skin helps you to feel cooler as it evaporates from your skin - in a similar way to how sweat works. Some contain other ingredients to help cool you over a longer period of time, so it’s worth trying a few to see which works best for you.
Some people swear by particular brands or other ingredients; others reckon that you get as much benefit from a spray mister full of cold tap water (which is much better for the environment as well as being cheaper).
Shut it down.
We all have lots of tech in our homes now - and holiday homes are no different. Big TVs, smart speakers, laptops and tablets - the list goes on. Not to mention all the lights and lamps we have dotted around the place. And they all generate heat. Not always a huge amount, but enough to notice.
So if you really want to cool down your static caravan, turn off anything you’re not using at the wall. Especially bigger appliances, like your TV and laptop, which can kick out a surprising amount of heat.
Make sure you turn the lights off if you’re not using them too - even modern energy-efficient bulbs generate heat, and that heat will warm up your caravan as well as wasting energy. And if you have an older caravan with old-style bulbs that run hot, it’s worth considering upgrading to more modern energy-savers. You’ll save on your electricity bill even if you don’t notice the heat difference.
Are you cool?
It’s worth having a think about how you’re planning to stay cool in summer before it starts to get really hot, so you can start to put your plans into action in advance. Things like fans can be tricky to find in the middle of a heatwave as everybody wants them - and prices can increase too. And it’s good to have things like lighter curtains and bedding ready to go when it starts to get hot.
Hopefully, if you put a few of our tips into action you’ll have a static caravan that’s a lovely, relaxing cool respite from the heat this summer. Why not let us know on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter if you try any of them and how it goes? Or if you have any handy tips that we’ve missed?