Smart Motorist » Desert Dilemmas: How Arid Climates Can Affect Your RV

Desert Dilemmas: How Arid Climates Can Affect Your RV

One of the benefits of the RV lifestyle in an arid climate is the lack of mosquitos and other flying critters. Unlike other more humid parts of the country, desert camping or boondocking can provide cool, pleasant nights after long, hot days. However, arid climates can cause havoc to RVs and quickly turn them from a shiny haven to a hellish hotbox. While some RVers find the desert to be a quiet paradise, it could be hell for their RV.

How the Desert Can Damage an RV

The hot Arizona sun can heat up the desert to 120 degrees, and with very little shade, an RV is not only exposed to the sun’s harmful rays, but it can turn its interior into an oven-like experience. Triple-digit temperatures can cause a lot of harm to a rig, and without proper precautions and maintenance, yours could wind up being junk.

Of course, the easiest and most profitable way to unburden yourself of a difficult-to-sell junk RV is to sell it to a specialized dealer who buys them all regardless of costly repairs, decades of use, or high mileage. If the desert has destroyed your home on wheels, you can get cash for your junk RV in Arizona by selling it to a specialized junk RV dealer. They’ll offer much more than a junkyard and will come directly to you, tow it away, and leave you with cash in your pocket.

Regardless of your choice, it is good to know what may expect you to be properly prepared. So, here’s a look at what the arid Arizona desert can do to your RV:

Exterior Damage

RVs that are left exposed to Arizona’s scorching sun for long periods will eventually experience problems. Their roofs will be hit by the sun and the heat from sun up to sundown, which can cause sealants and moldings to become dry and brittle. Once they’re compromised, when the rain finally does come, it’ll find its way into the rig’s interior. Water damage, even from small leaks, can cause issues with mold, mildew, and the rotting of the RV’s wood frame.

The sun’s powerful UV rays can quickly cause the RV’s paint to oxidize and fade. Once the rig’s exterior surfaces have been weakened, moisture or rainwater can creep inside and cause delamination. If not repaired quickly, the bubbles and ripples will spread, causing an expensive repair.

Battery Damage

The most common type of RV batteries are what’s known as “wet cell” batteries. They require a constant high level of an electrolyte solution, hence their name. The arid climate of the desert will easily evaporate this solution, and if left unchecked, the battery’s life will deteriorate much faster than it should. No RVer wants to be caught stuck in the high heat of the Arizona desert with a non-functioning battery.

Battery damage

Expanding Windshield Cracks

The hot Arizona sun is sure to heat up an entire rig and that includes its windshield. If your rig has a small chip or cracks in it, the excessive heat from the desert sun could cause that almost unnoticeable hairline crack to spread quickly.

When camping in the desert, if you have access to cold water, do not use it to clean your rig’s windshield. The extreme contrast in temperatures will cause any small cracks to become much larger ones.

Damage to Interior Wooden Surfaces and Trim

While Arizona summers are of low humidity coupled with high temperatures, this isn’t a good environment for any wood that’s within your RV. This combination can be damaging to wooden countertops, trim, and even the RV’s wood frame. The lack of moisture along with high temperatures, can cause any wood in the rig to crack. Some Arizona RVers place buckets of water inside their rigs in an attempt to increase the humidity, which can help to slow down the process of the wood becoming brittle and dry.

Damage to Tires

Similar to what the hot Arizona sun can do to an RV’s roof and exterior surfaces, a rig’s tires can face the same fate. If boondocking for weeks in the desert, an RV’s tires can take a beating without moving an inch. The combination of hot, dry air and intense UV rays can cause premature aging of a rig’s tires. Sidewalls become brittle and crack, which can cause an unexpected blowout once you’re back on the road.

How Arid Climates Can Affect Your RV: The Bottom Line

The dry heat of the Arizona desert may sound divine to some RVers who enjoy its quiet and sparse beauty, but their rigs may not feel the same way. The sun’s UV rays and intense heat can cause some unique problems for motorhomes. If left unchecked and neglected, it won’t be long until your RV is junk.

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