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Old 05/24/08, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 1,138
How to cool a mobile home with no A/C

How do I cool a mobile home with no A/C? I have 2 box fans, and the windows are open, but it is terrible in here. I am thinking of blocking off the majority of the house, and start sleeping in the living room with the kids because it is so hot. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 05/24/08, 11:21 AM
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Location: SW VA
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I used to have a sprinkler hose (the flat type with holes punched in it) running the full length of the roof. I'm sure it won't do much for the lifespan of the roof, but it did wonders for the inside temperature.
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Old 05/24/08, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Galena MO
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Always draw air through the house from the shaded side. when i was a kid we used to put the fan in the window on the sunny side of the house blowing out. the other thing is close it in the morning after a cool night to keep the cool in longer. hope this helps!
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Old 05/24/08, 11:47 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 236
Is it possible to get a small window unit? That would take the edge off.
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Old 05/24/08, 11:48 AM
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Anything you can do to shade the mh will help. You'd be amazed the difference if you could move the mobile home under a big tree. I know that isnt probably possible but you could for example make a arbor/trellis over the mobile home and get some vine to cover it or suppose you could put some kind of ag shade material over the arbor instead. Even cheap tarps would work but dont allow for ventilation.
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Old 05/24/08, 11:58 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Louisiana
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Shade is your best bet, as others have said. But...I did buy a 5000 btu window unit last week for $70. One of those in a bedroom lets everybody in the room sleep in comfort, and you can turn it off during the day.

There's a reason the old folks down here built houses that had rooms with 10 foot ceilings, painted white exteriors, and considered shade as one of the most important factors when choosing a homesite.
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Old 05/24/08, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 1,138
Well the only tree of any size I have on my land is a willow in the ditch. I am planning on transplanting some plums and peaches soon. I will see what I can do about shading it. I am planning on borrowing a A/C unit that is not in use from my mom. I figure that will keep the living room cool enough for all of us.
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Old 05/24/08, 12:22 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Jones Co, Texas
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Use your water hose to spray water underneath the trailer. Then sleep underneath it in the cool, wet dirt.


Sorry, been there, and it really hurts in this part of the country to live in a trailer house with no A/C, or at least unable to run it much for fear of the bill.
There have been some good suggestions though!
All the trailers I have lived in have ran east to west. When it was hot, I'd try to sleep/stay in the east end of the house, as that it cooled off the first. I now live in a 14x40ft trailer house that has a patio door on the south side, and a bay window on the west... That room is hot! Awnings, shade cloth, anything to can do on the outside of the house to keep the sun out is good. While curtains on the inside do help some, it still allows the heat into the house. (just like it makes more sense to put the sun shade on the outside of the windshield of your car instead of the inside.)
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Old 05/24/08, 01:08 PM
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Location: Abilene, Texas
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I read this in a magazine somewhere, it will be a longer term solution.

An arbor about 2-3 feet from the house. I don't think it matters what kind of vines you plant, something fast growing. The plants keep the air between the house and arbor cooler, or something on that order. Another plus would be the shade.
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Old 05/24/08, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: MS
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Originally Posted by ajharris View Post
Well the only tree of any size I have on my land is a willow in the ditch. I am planning on transplanting some plums and peaches soon. I will see what I can do about shading it. I am planning on borrowing a A/C unit that is not in use from my mom. I figure that will keep the living room cool enough for all of us.
In the hot southern climate, it's next to impossible to survive without air conditioning. Even if you can only cool a portion of it with a small A/C, you can close off some doors and that's better than nothing. I hope you can borrow the one from you mom and get it hooked up.
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Old 05/24/08, 01:25 PM
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Water on the roof will work some but causes mud can cause mold and cost money. Shade is the only thing that will take some of the edge off the heat. If you are desperate and handy you can take some scrap wood and build a frame to sit on your roof then cover each side with tarps. Leave a space open down the ridge line and as the air under the tarp heats it will flow out the top and pull cooler air in. Doing the same thing to the sunniest side of the trailer will also help. BUT!!!!!!!!!! Make sure the frame(s) is(are) anchored to the ground and not the trailer so if the wind gets a hold of them the trailer won't get damaged.

I used to hang tarps on the side of our old house and it made a REAL difference in the heat coming into the house. The wife won't let me do this here because it looks so 'hillbilly'
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Old 05/24/08, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Tennessee
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Window shades and curtains help. Especially of there isn't any wind you will b eblocking. I have been there too . We lived in a mobile home overlooking a gravel pit. WHEW. We were so hot
We had to have AC ,but money was tight, so we closed off most rooms. Watcher has a good idea too, the cooler the air you have coming in the better. Good luck
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Old 05/24/08, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: KY
Posts: 12,678
We lived in a 12x50 for almost ten years, and had to eventually put an A/C unit in the living room AND the bedroom. It was unbearable without it. We had two maple trees, one at the front of the trailer and one at the back. Trailers are actually like Easy Bake Ovens. . . don't take much to heat em until it gets cold outside.
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Old 05/24/08, 02:44 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MS
Posts: 707
There is also a roof coating for mobile homes that is white - it helps reflect the heat off of the roof. My FIL put it on his renters roof and the renter said that it helped.

I also put aluminum foil on the top halves of our windows. It is darker in the summer but it does help keep it cooler.
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Old 05/24/08, 02:55 PM
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Location: oklahoma
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i feel your pain. you can also plant shrubs around the outside in front of the skirting to keep the air a bit cooler under the house. i read that somewhere and we're gonna give it a try. even with central a/c the living room is still bloody hot but i think the a/c needs work. we only have one tree that shades the bedroom and it is amazing the temp difference at that end of the place. i'm glad you started this thread cause i was wondering the other day what we could do to cool this oven off.
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Old 05/24/08, 03:13 PM
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Go to Walmart, K-mart or some sporting good store.
At walmart in the camping section for about $2 is a silver foiled space blanket.
One blanket cut in half will cover two windows and hold the cool of the night in, and reflect the sun out. You can buy solar curtains, but they are basically this, with a place to run a curtain rod thru.
This will allow you to see outside some when in the daylight, but will have a shady blue interior lighting. At night it will be reverse, and if regular curtains are open then people will be able to see in slightly.

My next door neighbor and I used this last summer and have it up for this summer, it does help.

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Old 05/24/08, 03:22 PM
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Location: Carthage, Texas
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I've been thinking about cooling through shading, for my future house... There aren't going to be any trees for many years. I've thought about building some frames (4x4's bolted to the exterior of the home) extending up into the air, crisscrossed with stainless steel cables, and have some of those camouflage cover type tarps the military uses for hiding tanks, on top of the cables... The material is perforated, to simulate leaves... so a rainstorm wouldn't hold water...

My current home stays 20 to 25 degrees cooler inside than outside, in the summertime. I've got huge oak trees shading my house from the sun... makes quite a bit of difference.
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Old 05/24/08, 03:37 PM
ldc ldc is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: S. Louisiana
Posts: 2,387
I use WHITE exterior house paint on my steep roof, here in LA, with no AC, and it cools down 5 degrees every time I paint it (annually). I have used "Silver Dollar" with is metallic and very expensive, but it washed off in our heavy rains. Now I use a mix of any/all ext. white paint that I mostly find or am given during the year. Doesn't sound like much but helps enormously. Others I know have built frames over their trailers and either used reflective tarps or wood/metal and painted those as reflective as possible. I've also used water on the roof in the hottest weather; here, that's usually up at 98 or more. our humidity is so high, this only helps when it's up around 100. I also have ceiling and box fans to pull in the cooler air from the cooler side of the house. ldc
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Old 05/24/08, 03:50 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 11,515
The cheapest thing you can do is to buy a large fan and have it blowing out and draw the colder air from the outside.You can use this even if you don't have shade. Put it in so that all the air will blow out and not just a little of it blowing out. For about 40 dollars yu can get a large fan that will blow out and have it fixed in a windoe and sealed tight so it omly blows out and crack a few windows on the other side of the MH. This will have a brese and cool the MH more that just a box fan.
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Old 05/24/08, 04:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Eastern Shore, Maryland
Posts: 371
Air conditioning is the answer!

Go buy yourself an a/c for your comfort and your family. I lived in a mobile home and when I would come home from work it would be hotter than hot!

Putting an A line roof up might help, but that is an expense that I am not sure will cool your home that much.

I feel for you! I remember those awful, unbearable nights. No one knows better than me.

Save up your money (hard thing to do in this day and time) and make plans for a nice small home. You will never regret it.

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