Wednesday, January 6, 2016

RV Humidity -- An RV Rig Killer!

A strong title, but true.  One of the major killers of RV walls is moisture in the form of humidity.  You don't even have to be using your RV it can be sitting in storage and humidity can still be present on the inside above a safe level.  Mold depends on moisture to grow and flourish. What is a person to do?  Well, the safe level of humidity for an RV is 40% or thereabouts.  So the first thing you need to do is know your current humidity level and the best way to know that is with a humidity monitor.







In the photo for the Humidity Monitor, the screen is showing 53% which is not acceptable for an RV.  The reading shown is more likely a Sticks&Bricks house.
Now that you know what the humidity is.  What can or should you do if it is not right.  You need to try and find out the source of the moisture causing the high humidity.  People give off moisture when we breathe, but getting rid of all the kids is not an option be they fur or not.

Next showers or taking a bath gives off  moisture.  Be sure that the bathroom fan is turned on during the bathing process, even in the colder months.  Wipe down the shower and bath area to reduce the amount of moisture that is evaporated back into the air of the RV.

Cooking is another moisture generator.  Keep lids on pans when cooking, to keep the moisture down, open a window a bit to let the warm moist air out, and turn on the kitchen vent if you have one.  Many of the newer RVs do not vent the stove vent to the outside.  This is not good, as an inside vented stove hood keeps the moist air inside the RV.  Do not let a tea kettle steam longer that is necessary.  Don't leave a coffee pot running all day long.  Make a cup as you need it or the coffee pot will add to the humidity in the RV all day long.

Try to locate any seals in the RV slides that is letting in outside air and seal that area.  You can cut strips of foam insulation like Reflectix or other foam insulation.  If you find caulking around the tub or shower stall or even around the kitchen/ bathroom sink is missing or cracking re-caulk using 100% silicone sealant like shown below.  This keeps water from going in the RV wood structure or supports where, if conditions are right, mold will start to grow.

If it is during the colder months and your RV has single pane windows you might add Bubble Wrap to the windows.
To install the bubble wrap do the following.

Cut the bubble wrap to the size of the window pane with scissors.
Spray a film of water on the window using a spray bottle.

Apply the bubble wrap while the window is still wet and press it into place.
The bubble side goes toward the glass.
To remove the bubble wrap, just pull it off starting from a corner.

This bubble  wrap will help insulate the inside of the window from the outside of the window to further reduce moisture forming on the inside of the window when the outside air is colder than the inside air.

Do you dry clothes in the RV by hanging them in the bathroom?  Did you remember to turn on the exhaust fan?  It is not wise to dry clothes in the RV during the colder months because drying clothes adds to the amount of moisture inside the RV.  Do you have a combination washer/dryer?  Make sure the dryer is vented to the outside.  If you do not the dryer will add to the moisture in the RV.

If  it possible let the RV inside temperature drop a bit in colder weather so the air inside the RV will hold less moisture.  Cooler air holds less moisture than warm air.  You may have to dress a bit warmer, but your RV investment will thank you for being a bit cooler.

Poor air circulation inside the RV can make mold grow in drawers, closets, and even cabinets.  Keep the air moving even when you are not inside your RV.  How, you may ask? You could open two roof vents or a single roof vent and crack a window so that air naturally flows in and out.  You can add a MaxxAir vent cover

over your current roof vents so that you can keep your vents open without rain or snow coming in the RV when the roof vent is open. You should put your RV in storage with vents cracked a little bit to allow for air movement.

If your RV does not have LED lighting you could swap out your current incandescent light bulbs for the LED equivalent.  This will reduce the about of air heating that the hotter incandescent bulbs are known for.  There is an LED replacement light for most all of the RV incandescent bulbs used in RVs. As an additional benefit, your RV battery will last longer during dry camping with LED lighting and depending on the LED light you buy you may find that the inside of your RV is now brighter with the lights on.

OK, we have talked about what not to do and some of what you can do to reduce moisture in the RV now let's get serious about stopping or greatly reducing moisture in your RV.
1. Get a dehumidifier.  They come in several sizes and types.
The simplest one to do business with is the bead type.

Twin Pack resealable packaging
100% silent operation
Lasts 45-60 Days
Indicator beads let you know when it's ready to be discarded.

You can spot these around the RV and in closets, cabinets, drawers, where ever you feel or think moisture may be lurking.
Next you have the mechanical dehumidifiers.

Whisper quiet
Renewable reservoir
Compact size is perfect for bathrooms, closets, and R.V.s
Low energy consumption
One of these usually works but if you have a severe problem you may want to consider two of them.

If you have an RV more than 36 feet long you may want to consider this one.

Squeeze's Up to 20 oz. of Water a Day From Humid Air
Very Quiet Operation Due to No Moving Parts
At Capacity, Indicator Lights Up and Device Shuts Off
Compact at 4.45 pounds, 6.8" x 8.5" x 14"
For bunkhouse RVs, you will need two.

And if you really need more moisture removal you can use a sticks and bricks type unit.
Removes up to 70 pints of moisture from the air per day
1.3-gallon water tank with transparent water level indicator, full bucket alert and automatic shut-off when full
Removable, easy-cleaning dust filter with a clean filter alert
4 durable, rolling casters for easy movement

 It is generally felt that a combination of dry and mechanical works the best.

Well, that should about do it for this topic.  I hope you found the information helpful and can use some of the ideas presented.

Until Next Time






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1 comment:

  1. What about in the winter when the furnace us running & you really need to add moisture to the air. We use a humidifier. I will be getting a monitor for sure but other than keeping the humidity at 40% is there anything I should be watching for?

    ReplyDelete