By Russ and Tiña DeMaris
One of the banes of winter RVing is the buildup of humidity in a rig. Cooking, taking showers and running non-vented LP heaters like Blue Flames and catalytic units build up the amount of water vapor in the air. Result? Nasty slickness that can promote mold growth.
To reduce condensation, first reduce the amount of water vapor in your environment. Cooking? The more you cook, the more moisture is released. So keep it down and use the range hood fan. Showering? Crack open the bathroom roof vent to release some of the moisture. Need hot water? When it starts boiling, turn off the burner immediately.
Keeping the air in your RV circulating will also help. If you’re plugged into shore power, a small fan will help and even out the temperature in your rig making it easier to keep warm (huge fans used by orange growers increase the temperature about two degrees, sometimes saving a crop from freezing). If you’re away from shore power, a 12-volt fan kept on low will move the air with little battery power.
Dehumidifiers pull moisture out of the air. Mechanical ones are rated by the amount of pints of water they can remove in a day. A 50-pint unit is plenty big for an RV, but can make noise. You’ll also need to dump the device when it fills.
Other dehumidifiers work without motors and claim they don’t have to be drained. How? Says an advertisement, “Air-Dryr tackles moisture by drawing in cool, damp air through its bottom panel. Once the air is heated to the point that moisture is held in suspension, it’s released through the perforated top surface.” We’ve never tried one of these and perhaps we’re wrong, but it sounds like hocus-pocus. There are several air dryers (including Air-Dryr) available on Amazon, mostly with 4.5 star ratings.
Keeping a couple of windows cracked can help. Many RVers use Maxair Vents, which allow keeping a roof vent open without rain coming in.
Best recipe for killing off condensation? Move to someplace less humid!