How to keep moisture out of rv in winter
High moisture levels and humidity anywhere is an issue. If the RV that you travel in or stay in has excess moisture buildup and condensation forms constantly, you are in trouble because of the trapped moisture in your RV. The problems that arise from high indoor humidity and RV condensation are many. Almost all RV owners are looking for ways to reduce condensation and to reduce humidity as the moisture increases within an RV.
In this article, we will discuss the damages that arise with excess moisture in your RV and high indoor humidity and how to keep moisture out of your RV in winter. Let’s get started!
Why It Is Bad To Have Too Much Moisture In RVs?
A musty odor, mold growth, mildew buildup, condensation inside, uncomfortable temperature difference, poor quality of indoor air from the mold and mildew and allergens, etc. These are just a few of the many damages that come when the indoor temperatures and indoor humidity are not balanced.
Homeowners try had to reduce condensation and reduce humidity by trying to remove moisture from the environment. It is bad to have more moisture building upon in enclosed spaces, especially in an RV. Here we will discuss why it is bad when condensation forms in an RV, the hazards if you have too much moisture in your RV, the damages of mold and mildew and condensation inside, and more.
One if the main reasons to prevent RV condensation and why keeping moisture out of RV in winter camping season must be a priority is the Visibility concern. Moisture buildup inside an RV is going to bring issues with visibility and here is how.
You might be aware of the fact that RV windows could be double pane windows or single pane windows. Although single pane windows are not great at proving insulation, single pane windows are easier to clean. On the other hand, double pane windows are a better option to provide insulation and keep the warm air environment inside. However, cleaning double pane windows is a challenge if the seal between the window panes breaks causing trapped moisture. When you notice RV condensation and the need to evaporate condensation at the earliest, take measures to remove moist air from the RV. You must stop condensation from filling anywhere in the RV to keep the RV windows free from RV condensation.
RV walls and floors, RV windows (window or ceiling vent), RV oven, RV furnace, RV closets, etc., are some of the common places water vapor and water droplets can stay hidden and cause unseen damage. Moist air, water vapor, water droplets hiding away in hard-to-reach spots are a danger in not just an RV but in any area. Remember that RV condensation during winter camping alone is not a priority, but even during winter storage.
When there is no room to circulate air and water vapor and water droplets get trapped within the moist air, it can easily lead to damage in the hidden areas in enclosed spaces. Apart from musty odor, mold, and mildew, rust and rot are the other problems that can arise when you don’t remove moisture in your RV. Keep moisture levels under check and prevent condensation, especially in the hidden areas like the RV windows, RV walls, RV cushions, curtains, closets, mattresses, etc.
How To Keep Moisture Out Of An RV In Winter (Try These Effective Tips)
Warm air filled with moisture touching cold surfaces is the cause of RV condensation. The important step in removing RV condensation is to prevent condensation in easy and effective ways possible. If the cold air and warm air combination hitting the cold surfaces in your RV or the pressure outdoors is causing a change in indoor temperatures and leading to a rise in relative humidity, you must focus on ways to handle the balance.
Maintaining relative humidity, keeping moisture levels under control, and keeping an eye on the cold surfaces in the RV can be done. Here are a few effective tips that guarantee to reduce condensation, reduce humidity, and remove excess moisture in your RV.
To reduce humidity, absorb excess moisture, and reduce the number of cold surfaces that warm air filled with moisture can come in contact with must be the priority in an RV. Maintaining the ideal relative humidity levels even during cold weather conditions is possible only with smart help- dehumidifiers!
An electric dehumidifier, moisture absorbers, desiccant dehumidifiers, etc., are guaranteed devices that can maintain the ideal relative humidity in an area. Cold weather, colder air, warm moist air, cold RV, fluctuating indoor temperatures, poor indoor air quality- any given situation with excess moisture can be dealt with with ease by a good dehumidifier.
Invest in moisture absorbers and dehumidifiers that can monitor the relative humidity levels inside the RV and ensure less moisture exists in the area going forward. Keeping moisture out of the RV, despite the pressure outdoors, the temperature of outside air, etc., can be carried out with dehumidifiers.
A dehumidifier can remove the excess moisture from the warmer air and lower temperature and make sure the inside air temperature is comfortable to stay in. When the air inside the RV comes in contact with outside air and leads to RV condensation, you can rest assured that the air temperature, relative humidity, and the quality of air inside are taken care of by dehumidifiers (even keeping the area free from mold and mildew).
Window or ceiling vent fans, roof vents are a simple yet thoughtful way to let the humid air escape from the RV. If you have window or ceiling vent fans installed, you must put them to regular use to allow the air temperature to return to a healthy balance. As the fans run distribution of the warm moist air takes place and you can let humid air escape. Using fans also prevents condensation and helps to evaporate condensation.
Windows and vents
The humid climate and RV condensation form when the air inside the RV is warmer air than the outside air. When warm air and cold air come in contact, the air inside the RV becomes humid. Opening windows and vents helps to circulate air and the moisture in the air escape. The inside air temperature also will improve almost immediately.
Investing in moisture absorbers and RV fans can be a great way to help the cold air and warm air circulation to take place. Activities like cooking and showering increase the warmth of the air inside the RV and in such scenarios getting RV fans to handle RV condensation becomes important.
High indoor temperature
Another smart method that can reduce condensation in an RV is increasing the temperature indoors. Since cold air meeting the warm air is the cause of RV condensation, a good way to stop condensation is to be mindful of the temperature in the RV.
Replace the use of an air conditioner with an electric heater to shoot the temperature slightly. Raising the temperature using electric heaters will make sure any cold surface like the windows, will not be affected by RV condensation.
Another point to remember when trying to stop condensation is to use a dry heat source. An electric heater or an RV heat pump are good examples of a dry heat source. Using electric heaters will provide the warmth required alone. This isn’t the case with a propane heat source. Propane heaters might give you warmth but will also add moisture to the environment. Avoid propane heaters to have less moisture added to the surrounding.
Drying clothes outdoors
Make use of laundry room dryers when available. Drying clothes outdoors or using laundry room dryers during the colder months will help to avoid the humidity increasing indoors.
Say NO to the gas furnace
Switch from propane heaters or propane furnaces to electric heating options or RV furnaces. A propane heat source or propane furnace will add moisture to the surroundings and thus must be avoided.
Another point to remember while depending only on an RV furnace to prevent freezing is that the furnace must be kept running constantly.
Making changes to the cooking routine has a great impact to prevent condensation. The steam that comes out from cooking in open pans contributes to RV condensation. To stop condensation in the colder months, choose to use pans and pots with covers on them.
You can also resort to cooking outdoors to prevent shooting up the relative humidity indoors, consider switching to an instant pot (an instant pot is a trusted device to prevent steam and moisture building up indoors), invest in a convection oven or RV oven (a convection oven releases less moisture than a stove).
Another way to raise the temperature in the RV is to keep the floor warmer. Insulting the RV floor with carpets, foam board, etc., are options to keep the floor warmer and increase the indoor temperature.
Another way to make a difference in the temperature indoors is to insulate RV slide-outs. Taping some foam board to the bottom of all the slides will seal any drafts that exist. You will notice a change in the temperature of the air near the floor immediately when you insulate the RV slide-outs.
An important step to ensure mold and mildew are not invading the small enclosed spaces as a result of severe RV condensation is to open the RV cabinet doors as often as possible. A cold RV with cold surfaces and several small enclosed spaces is the best environment for mold growth.
Open the RV cabinet doors to promote air circulation, especially when you have cold weather. Letting out the moisture that is trapped by opening the cabinet doors is a small sensible step to prevent condensation.
Insulting the windows or switching from single pane windows to double pane windows will help to prevent the RV condensation or moisture from getting locked in the windows. The temperature difference between the outside and the indoor cold surfaces leads to RV condensation affecting the single pane windows easily. Insulate the windows to avoid this concern.
Winter camping can be handled effectively by making use of the campground facilities. The most common cause of increased moisture in RV in winter (or even otherwise) is hot showers. Avoid hot showers inside the RV as best possible. When you turn on a hot shower, whether in a motorhome or in a home, you pave way for a humid environment.
As much as we all love hot showers, especially in the winters, it is advised to make use of campground facilities when you want to take a hot shower.
How big of a dehumidifier do you need for your camper?
Choosing the right capacity dehumidifier for the camper depends on the square feet area of the RV. RV owners are found to be choosing anywhere between 1500 ml capacity dehumidifiers to 500 ml capacity devices.
The amount of RV condensation, water vapor content in the RV, level of relative humidity maintenance required, mold and mildew growth, etc., will determine the size of the dehumidifier the camper can use.
1. Should you tarp your RV in the winter?
It is recommended that you cover your RV using ropes or bungees to prevent the UV rays from damaging paint and bodywork, and also the excessively cold weather from damaging the engine parts. A breathable cover will protect the RV and also help it stay warm.
On the other hand, a tarp may seem like it can help the RV stay warm and protected but they are not breathable. They serve as traps for water vapor and can lead to mold and mildew growth.
2. Do you need a dehumidifier in RV?
Yes. The best-recommended way to maintain the ideal relative humidity level inside an RV and to absorb excess water vapor content from the air is to invest in a trustworthy dehumidifier.
3. Do RV covers cause mold?
Yes. If the RV cover is left unsupervised or is not well ventilated (like a Tarp), the cover will end up trapping water vapor and lead to mold growth.
4. How to stop condensation in a pop up camper?
To prevent RV condensation in a pop-up camper, follow the tips aforementioned. Remember to store wet gear outside and not close to the sleeping area, and always open the windows and vents when the weather permits. This will help in building up warmth inside the camper and keep the relative humidity balanced.
5. Does DampRid work in cold weather?
Yes, using DampRid during RV winter camping is a smart way to avoid RV condensation.
6. What should the humidity be in RV?
Maintaining a relative humidity level between 30% to 50% is good enough for an RV.
7. How can you stop the camper from smelling musty?
Preventing mold and mildew growth, avoiding water stagnation, keeping wet and damp items away, promoting air circulation. These are the best ways to naturally avoid musty smells inside enclosed areas.
That’s an end to the article. We trust you learned how to keep moisture out of RV in winter and the hazards of letting moisture build up inside an RV. Share with us your experiences of camping in an RV during the winter and the methods you follow to keep RV condensation away.
About The Author
Olivia — a self-confessed air quality addict — is a home climate enthusiast, fresh air advocate, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about mold extermination. Her work was mentioned in countless notable humidity publications. Previously she was an editor at Mold Remediation.