Off of the Grid

A Question of Heat

So, when living full time in an RV, you end up dealing with all temperature extremes.  When we bought the rig, we were concerned about the cold – we purchased a rig that we knew had a broken heater.  We didn’t think about heat.

Then we moved to southern Arizona…

About that heat…

 The first time it got into the 90’s, I discovered that windows were my enemy.  I could literally smell the fabric of our curtains cooking against the hot glass.  And our windows are tinted!  When it hit 100 for the first time, I thought, “This must be what hell feels like.”  We hadn’t yet come up with an adequate cooling solution inside.  The windows were killing us.  When it went over 110 – I became numb.  An almost immobile slug, staring in wonder at the people around me who seemed to be unaffected by the heat.  There were people walking around in long sleeves!  What were they thinking!!!  And don’t even get me started on the people who were wearing sweatshirts!  My car became a small mobile torture device where turning was always exciting, as the steering wheel was too hot to touch for the first 10 minutes I was in my car.  I would sit and sweat, directing all the cooler air to my toddler in the back seat only relaxing the blast when the bright pink heat spots on his cheeks would go away.

I am glad to say things have mellowed a bit.  I’ve gotten to the point where I can identify the difference between a day in the 90’s and one in the 1o0’s just by poking my head out the door.  We now have a car dash cover that reflects the heat and I have an honest-to-goodness redneck fix on the steering wheel.  I had some extra white batting so I used packing tape and taped it to the steering wheel.  Might not look that great, but there is no more burned hands as I drive!    I still monitor the little guy for too much heat and travel with lots of water, hats, and a quick energy snack (something like dried cranberries or raisins) even if we are going to the grocery store down the street.  It means that all outside play times are before 10am and after 5pm.  The mall has become my friend and not for shopping.  The kids play area has become a haven where I can commiserate with other moms about the heat while our kids run around like little crazy people safely.

I now know where most of the free water parks are and have two bathing suits packed in the baby bag along with swimming diapers, a towel, two things of baby safe SPF 60 sunscreen and a picnic blanket to sit on.  I am still finding the various places where we can go and he can play.  Gymnastics is an appealing option.

We’ve insulated the rig.  We have installed 3/4″ insulation in all the windows of the cab and all southeast facing windows.  The AC goes on at 6am and stays on till midnight if we don’t just keep it on all night.  I hardly ever have to turn on the hot water as the cold water comes out of the tap almost as hot as the hot water and lasts about as long before cooling off so I’ve got the hot water heater turned off most of the time.  It generates too much heat!  Cooking has become a challenge and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a new favorite.  Hey, whatever works!

Daniel and I working together created an awning out of burlap.  I sewed some hems that would support a narrow gauge rope to pass through and Daniel somehow hooked it up to the rig so we can step out of our home without being instantly seared by the heat.  It remains about 10 to 15 degrees cooler under the awning and provides some additional privacy.

Thus far, we are surviving and doing OK.  The locals tell us June is the hottest month here in southern AZ and June is almost half over.  We’re headed to CO for a short vacation and the highs are only in the 80s.  LOL – times sure have changed.  Now when I see a temp like that, I shout, “Bring on the cool!”


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