Spring has sprung in Florida!
Well, sort of.
Florida is where summer happens twice a year with each season lasting 6 months.
There may not be snow or colorful autumn foliage but there are notable differences between the seasons – mostly the degree of heat and humidity.
In this post, I’ll share some tidbits about the current south Florida weather and how I’ve been handling it now that I’m back in the van – with no air conditioning.
South Florida Weather
The simple fact is, it’s (almost) always humid in south Florida.
Most of the time, during the winter months, I find it very tolerable with no AC.
As spring sets in, the heat and humidity start ramping up (getting warmer and more humid).
According to Local’s and fellow Camper’s who have been here during the summer months… summer is excruciatingly hot and humid.
The Curent Weather
This year, the mid-March weather has been quite warm and humid.
There have been a couple of brief reprieves but I can tell winter is out and summer is on it’s way in.
The Temperature Is Rising
Daytime temps have been in the mid-upper 80’s with a feels-like temp in the 90’s.
Night time temps rarely dip below 70 degrees.
The Dew Point Is Rising
Every time I look at the dew point it’s between 70-74 (during the daytime). I don’t know what it is at night because I’m busy sleeping!
According to Google, a dew point between 71-75 is considered oppressive.
Humidity Levels Are Rising
The humidity level fluctuates depending on rain, wind, etc. Most of the time it’s 70% or higher – once in a while dipping into the upper 60’s.
According to Google, most people are comfortable with humidity levels between 30-50%.
The Breeze Helps
The almost constant breeze from the Atlantic ocean (several miles away) is helpful.
It would definitely be worse without the breeze.
This is not at my preferred comfort level but I’ve been managing fairly well with no AC.
I’d describe the current level as being at the far edge of tolerable… meaning it wouldn’t take much for it to become insufferable.
Florida Van Life With No Air Conditioning
Just to clarify… I have AC when I’m driving the van but I do not have AC in the living area ￼of the van.
I’ve recently added a bit of insulation inside the van.
It’s still a work in progress and may be too early to draw a solid conclusion… but it seems to help a little.
The temp inside the van also depends on whether I’m parked in direct sun vs shade.
Thankfully, it’s been cloudy lately… which helps a lot.
Dealing With The Hottest Time of The Day
When it’s not cloudy, my campsite is in direct sunlight during the warmest time of day (usually around noon to 3-4pm).
The tree in my neighbors campsite offers no shade when the sun is directly overhead.
In direct sun, during the hottest time of day, it can get quite toasty (almost unbearable) inside the van. And, with no overhead shade, it’s not always pleasant outside the van.
I’m considering some sort of portable awning or canopy. I just haven’t gotten that far.
I use the unbearable hours as an opportunity to get groceries, run errands, explore or head down the street to Mayor Roscoe Warren Municipal Park and hide out under one of the very few shaded areas (if I can find one that isn’t already occupied).
Any amount of shade helps but there’s not a lot of shade in south Florida and everyone wants a piece of it.
Contemplating An Air Conditioner
I’ve considered having AC put on the roof of the van but it’s very costly.
There are also portable AC options. These aren’t as costly as rooftop AC but they’re still expensive – not to mention bulky.
A portable (inside the van) AC would need to be vented to the outside the van. And, the smallest unit I’ve found takes up considerable space inside the van – whether I’m using it or storing it.
I’m still undecided if or how I want to move forward with AC. I also question if it’s as big of an issue as I perceive it to be.
A Handy Dandy Fan
After a little research, I got a different fan. This fan does a much better job than my previous fan. My previous fan happily resides at Nikki’s house.
My new fan is the Vornado 460 Small Whole Room Air Circulator Fan. (This is a referral link. I earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase).
This fan is small but mighty. The air it swirls out is more effective than a normal fan.
A fan won’t remove humidity like an air conditioner does but, at current humidity levels, the Vornado does a good job keeping me cool when inside the van.
As for noise level, I’m not a good person to ask. I have severe hearing loss in my right ear. Things don’t sound the same to me as they might to you.
I don’t know how long the Vornado would run on my solar. There hasn’t been a need to use solar because I’ve been plugged in at a campground.
On the other hand, if it’s hot-n-humid I’m either headin’ out of Dodge or plugging in at a campground and there’d be no need to worry about solar power vs shore power.
I’ll soon be leaving south Florida and begin my northward trek.
The sad part about coming to see Nikki is having to leave.
Visiting Nikki is one time I don’t want my willy-nilly planning to cause problems… so I already made my campground reservation for next winter!
I’ve been back in the van just over a month now and I’m pretty well settled in. It was an easy transition, though.
I enjoy the much needed simplicity, flexibility and improved health of living the Van Life.