USA Road Trip Temperature Guide, We need 42-73 Degree Nights

What is the best temperature for RV, Camper, SUV, Van, or Motor Home travelers for living?

Jason Odom, in a book called "Vanbode" recommends:

"Avoid places that are colder than 42 degrees Fahrenheit at night."

"Avoid...muggy or humid states... In these wetter places you need a nighttime temperature that is not above 73 degrees.

"In the dry areas like the West, you can sleep well with nightly temperatures as high as 80 degrees."

"Avoid dry places in the West when daytime tempertures go above 90 degrees."

- Vanabode: travel and live forever on $20 a day

Road trip Weather

I am here in Fort Wayne, Indiana, trying to buy a van for a USA road trip. This book by Jason Odom is good, a friend of my Chris sent it to me, and I thank him. The book is loaded with tons of good practical information.

Presently, I have decided to travel the USA by road, then when possible, I will find rooms for 2-8 days, and when I fail to find a room, then I will sleep in the back of the van. This is just a guide... there are no plans....

Note, a flight to Guatemala feels very tempting, where life if easy.

Andy Lee Graham
Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA 


I spend $400 a month storing my junk, 98 of which I will never use, and the bulk of which can't be sold for more than price of a years storage. I could live on that in south america or asia.

I need to think a whole lot more about sipping yerba through a silver straw these days.

Regarding heat in the van in cold weather.. i used a coleman single pot heating burner for a few years for heat, worked great... until one night the plastic gas valve melted, turned into a blazing inferno about 24 inches from my head.

Luckily I was awake, and was able to grab it by the 1 lb propane canister, climb out of bed, open the back door with one hand... and throw it out the back of the van... just in time, suffering only minor burns.. and able to put out the flaming trail of debris inside the van between my bunk and and the back door.. all such heating gismo's need to be all solid brass.. no plastic. .. and with plenty of ventilation of course. Its still risky business however. I had it reliably suspended with wire so it couldnt fall over, but that turned out not be the real hazard.


I do not handle the cold well, therefore the temperature is my biggest concern. I think I will be using a 12 volt ceramic heater for warmth.


From the sound if it, Coleman leaves something to be desired! these are not minor issues, especially making burner parts out of plastic. gasp.

Hi Andy, I am an electrical / mech engineering type... electric space heat uses a lot of power, way to much to run for more than a few minutes, half an hour at the most on van battery power...

even with a golf cart battery fit it would be a problem unless you were going to wrap the heater up in a blanket with you... that would be dangerous unless its some kind of body warmer made for that, and never gets over 110F or so...

....or something like a 12 volt dc heating pad or electric blanket.. that might work. but would still drain a normal van battery in a short time. I can almost guarantee you that you will be real glad you carry a gas powered generator set for getting started when your van battery dies while you are camped out. Ive used mine dozens of times for that purpose.

Lately i fit two extra batteries, so I have 3 now, they seem to stay charged up pretty well.

The least you should have is a fully charged up spare battery at all times.. keep it wired in parallel with the van battery using alligator clips. charge it once a week for a few hours while driving. use #8 wire, thats fairly heavy wire, so it doesn't burn up if the battery is low.

For heat it might be worth investigating what the Everest expeditions use, my guess some sort of direct contact body warmer running on lighter fluid type fuel.

Phil J

Hi Andy. Guatemala sounds nice. I love Panajachal. I will go back. And stay at the same hotel in the same room if possible. Ground floor was only about 12 feet from wi fi router. I miss the steak grill at night. Pizza was good too. It was a memorable trip.
take care

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